Auto Factoids – Week of 4/20/2014

Here are your Auto Factoids for the week of April 20, 2014;

 

Only 3 major hits this week.

The first is that the American Motor Corporation (AMC) from the merger of Nash and Hudson that happened on 4/22/1954.  It was actually Nash-Kalvinator and Hudson.   Cars were still produced under the Hudson name until 1957.

Hudson Hornet Hollywood.

Hudson Hornet Hollywood.

You know that AMC brought you some pretty out of the ordinary cars (Gremblin, Pacer) as well as some class muscle, (AMX, Javelin, Rebel).

There is great article on a Rebel in the May 2014 Hemmings Muscle Machine on a 1970 AMC Rebel.
Javelin

Rebel

 

Next up Chrysler purchases Lamborghini on 4/23/1987. What?   Yes….funny now Chrysler is owned by an Italian car company (Fiat).  Oh it was a smoking deal, only $25 million dollars.  That lasted until 1994 when Chrysler sold Lamborghini to an Indonesianan company.  In 1998 Volkswagen took over Lamborghini.

 

Finally this week back on 4/25/1970 Mazda’s first cars show up on U.S. shores.

 

RX-2

Mazda’s 1970 RX-2

Thanks for reading.  

Tim    

If you liked to sponsor an Auto Factoid article drop me a note.

 

lamborghini countachamc

 

 

 

 

Wrecked – 1959 Bel Air

Wrecked is a one of the features on Average Guys’ Car Restoration, Mods and Racing that spotlights vintage cars that are available as parts donors.  I do this based on the offering that PartingOut.com has listed.

Parting Out does a great job of pulling together offering from across the country of salvage yards and private individuals that have vintage/classic car parts available for plundering.  Many of these are located in the steel friendly Texas.

 

Up this time a 1959 Chevy Bel Air, oh yea…the era of big finned cars.

This car’s not ‘wrecked’ and there is a lot of good steel and good looking chrome still on it.  It is a 4 door.

 

'59 Bel Air Parts Donor.

’59 Bel Air Parts Donor.

 

Lots of restorable chrome here!!!

Lots of restorable chrome here!!!  Hard to find a gille with all the bullets still on it.

59bel-3 59Bel-4 59bel-5 59bel-6

Good look steel, restorable dash and it even had the original power plant – 283 maybe?   See at PartingOut.com  1959 BEL AIR.

 

The 1959 Bel Air was the 4th Generation Bel Air – basically an entirely new car as compared to the 1958 Bel Air.   The 1959′s came in 2 door, 4 door and re-branded as Parkwood or Kingswood for the station wagons. To power these  210.9″ long cars you had the 3.9L (235.5 cid), 4.6L (283 CID) and the 5.7L (348 CID).  They were mated up 3 & 4 speed manuals or 2 speed power glide automatic.

 

Grab some of these parts and you could have a classic that looks like these:

1959_chevrolet_bel_air 112809BelAir3

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

Own a 1959 completed or project Bel Air?  Drop me a note!!

 

virtualex71

I liked a @YouTube video http://t.co/mNBKjK6FrB 2009 Chevy Malibu vs 1959 Bel Air Crash Test
1959 Bel Air | Flickr – Photo Sharing!

Heard some guys talking that this car was low mileage, like 40000 miles. I didn’t look at the sign, but sure looks like it has been restored and not original. I like this car and I would drive it everywhere.
1959 Bel Air – Best Chevy Ass end ever | Flickr – Photo …

Kustom Koffin – Grandpa’s Dragula from The Munsters – Homage; 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air – Cool Tail Light and fin detail; 1959 Bel Air – Best Chevy Ass end ever; 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air Custom – Side View; Gene Winfield’s …

Danbury Mint discontinues die-cast car line after its factories shut down | Hemmings Daily

I’ve been collecting  Danbury Mint die-cast cars for years now.  I have complete collections of the Corvettes and Mustangs they offered plus a few other models.  Sad to see them go out of business.  Too bad they couldn’t bring it back home and make a go of it.  See my article “When You Just have to have that Classic/Muscle Car?…Think Small!!!!”

 

The Vettes

The Vettes

The Mustangs

The Mustangs

 

I recently ordered their last car – the 1935 coupe, even though it doesn’t match my collection.

Last Danbury Mint Production die-cast car!

Last Danbury Mint Production die-cast car!

 

Danbury Mint discontinues die-cast car line after its factories shut down | Hemmings Daily.

 

Up against an industry-wide trend of rising costs and difficulties dealing with overseas factories, Danbury Mint – the company best known among gearheads for its high-quality, 1:24 scale, shelf-topping classic cars – has exited the die-cast car business.

“Like Packard, Duesenberg and Pontiac, so too has our journey come to an end,” wrote the Danbury Mint’s Die-cast Product Manager, Art McKenna. “For more than 20 years, the Danbury Mint has been proud to offer what many deem to be the finest 1:24 scale replicas in the world. Unfortunately, our last 1:24 scale replica has rolled off the assembly line.”

McKenna said the decision to discontinue the die-cast car line came after the factory in China that produced the models for the company closed. Two years ago, the Danbury Mint’s main factory in China closed, leaving it with only its secondary factory to produce a limited lineup of die-cast cars. No reason was given for either factory’s closing. “We didn’t own the factory, so we couldn’t control much of what happened,” McKenna said.

Pricing of the models also appeared to play a role in the decision. In a letter that McKenna sent to members of the Danbury Mint’s Classic Car Preview Society late last year, he noted that the company was no longer able to cost-effectively produce enough models for that program. Retail prices for the company’s die-cast cars had also sharply risen over the last couple of years from about $150 to about $250.

While the Danbury Mint was founded in 1969, it didn’t begin producing collectible die-cast vehicles until the late 1980s, starting out with a range of sporty Full Classics like the Duesenberg SSJ and Packard V-12 LeBaron Speedster. McKenna said that over the next quarter century, the company produced hundreds of different vehicles, but that they wanted to make their last die-cast car release – a 1935 Ford DeLuxe three-window coupe – an all-new design and not merely a re-paint of a previous design. Limited to 2,500 pieces, the coupe has already sold out.

Die-cast cars were only a part of Danbury Mint’s overall offerings, however, so the company will remain in business selling sports collectibles, coins, and figurines.

- See more at: http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2014/04/09/danbury-mint-discontinues-diecast-car-line-after-more-than-a-quarter-century/?refer=news#sthash.vJODwAKd.dpuf

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

danbury mint

TheCandiceM

1986 Silver Screen Danbury Mint Porcelain Doll Shirley Temple Wee Willie Winkie http://t.co/axc2glAQRg via @eBay http://t.co/N0jxjBxa7t
homeshopbuzz

#cars #chevy http://t.co/u6b0eaiSBP 1975 Corvette Chevrolet Convertible Danbury Mint 1:24 DieCast Model Car In … http://t.co/O8J0etmJEm

 

 

NCM – Mallett Hammer Update 4/09/14 Part II

So it ends, at least the recovery part of the ill-fated  “Great 8″ as dubbed by the National Corvette Museum folks.

The Mallett Hammer comes to the surface.

Hammer4 Hammer5

As with a couple of the others – this is how I expected to see them come to the surface.

From the NCM:

The 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 was one of two Corvettes that’s whereabouts were initially unknown after the sinkhole happened. The car was finally discover this Monday, upside down with the nose pointing towards the red Spire in the center of the room. It is, by far, the most heavily damaged of all eight Corvettes.

“It looks like the worst one… a lot of parts and pieces,” said Mike Murphy, CEO of Scott, Murphy and Daniel Construction. “It took a lot of punishment from a lot of big rocks.”

The Mallett Hammer was donated to the Museum this past December by Kevin and Linda Helmintoller of Land O’ Lakes, Florida, Lifetime Members of the Museum and previous R8C Museum Delivery participants. Upon hearing the car had been located, Kevin traveled to Kentucky to witness the rescue operation. “I expected bad, but it’s 100 times worse,” he said. “It looks like a piece of tin foil… and it had a roll cage in it! It makes all the other cars look like they’re brand new.”

Strode had forewarned Helmintoller that the car would be in bad shape and he might not want to watch the recovery process. “Honestly though, I’m still glad I’m here because I would have never believed it was this bad. I’m not positive I would have recognized it – there are just a few little pieces that give it away.” 

Helmintoller added that he sent pictures of the damaged car to his engine builder, who (jokingly) was quick to point out that the motor was not covered under warranty.

Kevin and Linda spent 13 years modifying the Corvette, a car they purchased new in 2001. The Mallett Hammer conversion was completed in June 2002 and since then has had many AntiVenom LSX Performance modifications with the car boasting 700hp with 575 torque at the flywheel. The car’s speed achievements helped it score a cover of GM High Tech Performance magazine.

GM has said they would restore them.  I look at this one and the Spyder and say “Really?”   Same VIN number perhaps…not a lot more.

Although the recovery is completed – other than fishing out the top parts of the “Hammer” there is still a long way to go for rebuilding that part of the museum and restoring the cars.

I hope GM keeps great video records and that they release them to the public to allow us to keep track of the progress.  That ought to be a good History Channel – nearly live - documentary, yes?   For sure a dedicated YouTube channel. (Not sure live 24 hour camera coverage would be of much value.)

I’ve hyped the National Corvette Museum and urging folks to donate and I still do (Here’s the link again. Donate Click Here ) they need the assistance.  But that’s because Corvettes are my thing (one of them, anyway), but there are a lot of car museum’s across the country that are doing a great job preserving vehicles of interest.

Right here in Tucson, Az is the Franklin Museum with a very nice collection of Franklin cars.   Find one near you!!

Thanks for reading.

Tim

mallett hammer corvettenational corvette museum

NCM – Mallett Hammer Update 4/9/2014

The digging continues at the National Corvette Museum (NCM).  The goal is to uncover the beautiful Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette to the point where it’s removal.

Here is the latest picture  provided by the NCM and it’s not pretty with the shiny side down.

Hammer2 Hammer3

Thanks to the guys doing all the work down there in the sinkhole!!!!

Here is a link to donate to the museum.  GM is restoring the cars but the museum has to fix the sinkhole after the Vettes are removed.

Donate Click Here

Thanks for reading.
Tim

 

National Corvette Museum – Mallett Hammer Found!!!

The Mallet Hammer has been located in the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum (NCM).

According to the NCM:

The final Corvette… #8 of the “Great 8″ has been found! The Mallett Hammer is upside down with the nose going to the Spire in the center of the room. There are lots of rocks, so the removal process will be more time-consuming that it was with the other cars.

Thanks to Samuel for this photo!

MHammer

Mallet Hammer at the museum.

Mallet Hammer at the museum.

 

I’d image it’s going to take as while to pull that out and odds are it won’t be in great shape.

Thanks to all those work hard on the recover.

Thanks for reading.

Tim

 

A Look Back at Two Significant Corvettes | bowmanchevy

When the Z06 was introduced in 2001, Mallett quickly grabbed hold to engineer and develop the “Mallett Hammer” Z06 Corvette. Historically, this Z06 is significant because it was one of the first Mallett Hammers engineered to …

 

 

National Corvette Museum Sinkhole Update 4/1/2014 – Spyder and 1.5 Mil

From what I can see at this time the 1.5 millionth car is being uncovered as it was laying beneath the Spyder.  Here is an update from NCM:
“When we started digging around the Black Spyder, we found a piece of white fiberglass underneath it and we continued to expose that until we saw that it was the 1.5 Millionth car,” said Mike Murphy, CEO of Scott, Murphy and Daniel Construction. “We had no idea where it was, we just happened upon it. We hope when we move the white car we find the red car that way, because we’ve just not had any luck detecting where it is.” Murphy indicated that they have utilized metal detectors as well as probing rods, and that they remove layers of dirt as they probe but have not had a lot of luck so far.

On Monday, the team worked to continue removing dirt from around the Spyder, then in the early evening decided to carefully pull the car out of the remaining dirt.

“It was free everywhere except underneath there was a concrete slab wedged. We felt we had it in the best position, just like pulling a gun out of a holster. Everyone felt like it was best to take it so it wouldn’t bend and break if we’d had it exposed more,” Murphy said.

The team resumed recovery efforts early Tuesday morning, removing a large boulder that was lodged in the cabin of the Spyder and collecting bits and pieces of the car to help with any restoration or preservation efforts. The Spyder was removed from the depths of the hole around 9am CT, and is in worse shape than even the PPG Pace Car.

ZR1Spyder - The only ZR1 covertible...EVER!!!

ZR1Spyder – The only ZR1 convertible…EVER!!!

ZR1Spyder-1.5

ZR1 Spyder and the location of the 1.5 Mil

 

 

Current location of the 1.5 Mil Corvette

Current location of the 1.5 Mil Corvette

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

 

 

 

Auto Factoids for Week of March 30, 2014

Here is your weekly Auto Factoids for 3/30/2014.

 

April Fool’s Day back in 1964 the Plymouth Barracuda was introduced.

1964  Barracuda

1964 Barracuda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The base price for a ’64 ‘Cuda was about $2,500.   The platform was the Valiant A-Body.  The engine choices were between two variations of the Chrysler I6 (slant 6), either the 170 (2.8L) rated at 101 hp or the 255 (3.7L) with 140 hp.  You could also get a V8, that was the 273 (4.5L) and with a two barrel carb it produced 180 hp.

 

Lot of Color Options!!!!

Lot of Color Options!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Same date back in 1970 the AMC proudly  debuted what was perhaps the homeliest car of the era – the Gremlin.

1970 Gremlin.  Fastback or 'no back"

1970 Gremlin. Fastback or ‘no back”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again on April 1st, what was a innovated car for its time the Amphicar in 1961 was all car and part boat, was introduced.  These babies are sought after aggressively.

Love the fins!!!

Love the fins!!!

 Engine - 1147 cc straight-4 (Triumph)

Engine – 1147 cc straight-4 (Triumph)

The Quandt Group made only 4000 between '61-'68

The Quandt Group made only 4000 between ’61-’68

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to Walter P. Chrysler who was born in 1875, on April 2nd.  Wonder what he would have to say about government bailouts and Fiat?

Walter Chrysler

Walter Chrysler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regular production began of air-filled tires by Firestone on April 5, 1923.

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Auto Factoids for Week of March 23, 2014

Here are your Auto Factoids for the week.

Back in 1863 Mr. Henry Royce was born in Alwalton, England on March 27th.

 

Mr. Royce

Mr. Royce

The Royce 10

The Royce 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Royce 10 was a 10 horse powered car.  It was produced at the Trafford Park, Manchester plant in 1904 and sold fro 395 British pounds.  You could a variety of ‘power plants’ for this first offering.  Those included 15, 20 and 30 hp models.  (They were named the Royce 15, Royce 20 and Royce 30.

 

On March 29, 1980 Audi debuts the first all wheel drive (4 WD) Quattro.

1980 Quattro - Not a bad looking car at that!!!

1980 Quattro – Not a bad looking car at that!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

If you’d like to sponsor an Auto Factoid drop me a note and your ad appear weekly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Country Corvettes – NCoCC Plastic Fantastic XXXVII

NCoCC.

They have been holding this Plastic Fantastic  car show for 37 years (the oldest and largest Corvette show…ever!!!)

Looks like a blast!!!!!

Plastic Flyer 2014 - mailer 01-15-14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The proceeds go to support the club charity, the San Diego USO.

Thanks for reading

Tim