Monday, December 5, 2011

Collectible Classic: 1935-1936 Chevrolet Master DeLuxe

Click Here to read the article from AOL Autos.

Source; Internet

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Essex (automobile)

Essex Logo

The Essex was a brand of automobile produced by the Essex Motor Company from 1918–1922 and Hudson Motor Company of Detroit, Michigan between 1922 and 1932.

Corporate strategy

During its production run, the Essex was considered a small car and affordably priced. The Essex is generally credited with starting the trends away from open Touring cars toward enclosed passenger compartments as the rule, not the exception.

The Essex enjoyed immediate popularity following its 1919 introduction. More than 1.13 million Essex automobiles were sold by the time the Essex name was retired in 1932 and replaced by the Terraplane

Originally, the Essex was to be a product of the "Essex Motor Company" which actually was a wholly owned entity of Hudson's. Essex Motors went to so far as to lease the Studebaker auto factory in Detroit for production of the car. By 1922 the Essex Motor Company was dissolved and the Essex officially became what it was all along, a product of Hudson.

Essex cars

Essex cars were designed to be moderately priced cars which would be affordable to the average family. Proving durable, their capabilities were checked upon and confirmed by AAA and the United States Postal Service. In 1919 an Essex completed a 50-hour, 3,037.4 miles endurance test in Cincinnati, Ohio, at an average speed of 60.75 miles per hour. The early Essex cars also captured many hill climb records. In a special Essex race car, Glen Shultz won the 1923 Pikes Peak Hill Climb.

Initially Essex marketed a line of touring cars (open four-door cars with canvas tops), which was the most popular body style of cars in production at the time. While Essex added an enclosed sedan in 1920, it was the introduction of the 1922 closed coach, priced at $1,495 (equal to $19,590 today), only $300 (equal to $3,931 today) above that of the touring car. By 1925 the coach was priced below that of the touring car. While Henry Ford is credited with inventing the affordable car, it was Essex that made the enclosed car affordable.

Essex sales remained strong through the 1920s and into 1931 before sales began to trend downward. For 1932 a redesigned Essex debuted and was named the Essex-Terraplane, a play on the word aeroplane. By 1933 the Essex was no more and the car carried on as the Terraplane.

The instrument panel of the 1932 Essex featured the first use of "warning lights" instead of gauges.

Essex production models

Essex Coach

An Essex motor car ( 4 door saloon ) was seen on the Aventine Hill in Rome outside of the church of Santa Sabina on 21 January 2010 being used in the filming of a period drama.

Source: Wikipedia

Monday, October 3, 2011

Vauxhall Velox

Vauxhall Velox 1958

The Vauxhall Velox (L-Type) is a medium sized six-cylinder saloon. By the time production ended, in 1965, it had evolved into a large family car, competing in the UK with the contemporary six cylinder Ford Zephyr. It was introduced by Vauxhall in 1948 as a successor to the Vauxhall Fourteen. Between 1948 and 1957 the Velox shared its body with the less powerful four cylinder engined Vauxhall Wyvern. Between 1957 and 1965 it shared its body with the more luxuriously equipped Vauxhall Cresta.

The Velox and its Opel contemporaries are remembered for having mirrored North American styling trends much more closely than other European models of the time: this was particularly apparent following the introduction in 1957 of the confidently styled PA version of the Velox.

Velox LIP (1948 - 1951)

Vauxhall Velox LIP

Production 1948-1951


Luton, Bedfordshire, England

Biel, Switzerland

Body style 4-door saloon

Engine 2275 cc I6 ohv

54 bhp (40 kW)

Wheelbase 97.75 in (2,483 mm)

Length 164.5 in (4,178 mm)

Width 62 in (1,575 mm)

Height 63 in (1,600 mm)

Curb weight 2,268 lb (1,029 kg)

Related Vauxhall Wyvern

The classic four door saloon boasted a newly developed straight six cylinder engine of 2275 cc, with overhead valves. The 54 bhp (40 kW) power output provided for a claimed top speed of 74 mph (119 km/h). Power was delivered to the rear wheels via a three speed manual gear box with synchromesh on the top two ratios.

Optional extras included a heater from which warm air was evenly distributed between the front and back areas of the passenger cabin and which could be set to de-ice the windscreen in winter or to provide cool air ventilation in summer. Also available at extra charge was an AM radio integrated into the facia.

The body was shared with the four cylinder Vauxhall Wyvern, a pattern that continued with subsequent versions of the Velox until 1957. The interior of the Velox was not greatly differentiated from that of the Wyvern, but it could boast superior seating materials and, for the rear seat, a central arm rest.

Early Velox and Wyvern models were assembled at Vauxhall's Luton plant in England, at the General Motors plant at Biel in Switzerland and in Australia (by Holden in Melbourne) and New Zealand at the GM plant in Petone near Wellington.

A car tested by The Motor magazine in 1949 had a top speed of 74.1 mph (119.3 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 22.8 seconds. A fuel consumption of 22.3 miles per imperial gallon (12.7 L/100 km; 18.6 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £550 including taxes.

Velox EIP (1951 - 1952)Vauxhall Velox EIP Vauxhall Velox 1955

Vauxhall Velox 1957

Production 1951-1957
235,296 made
Assembly Luton, Bedfordshire, England

Body style 4-door saloon

Engine 2275 cc I6 ohv

55 bhp (41 kW)

2262 cc I6 ohv

64 bhp (48 kW)

2262 cc I6 ohv

67.5 bhp (50.3 kW)

Transmission 3 speed manual

Wheelbase 103 in (2,616 mm)

Length 172 in (4,369 mm)

Width 67 in (1,702 mm)

Height 63.5 in (1,613 mm)

Curb weight 2,352 lb (1,067 kg) - 2,436 lb (1,105 kg)


Vauxhall Cresta EIPC

Vauxhall Wyvern

Late in 1951 a completely new much larger Velox was launched, featuring a modern 'three box' shape and integral construction. The body was again shared with the 4 cylinder engined Wyvern. The car was launched with the previous model's engine but with power output increased to 58 bhp (43 kW).

A car with the original 2275 cc engine tested by The Motor magazine in 1951 had a top speed of 77.4 mph (124.6 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 23.7 seconds. A fuel consumption of 23.5 miles per imperial gallon (12.0 L/100 km; 19.6 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £802 including taxes. In the same year, the magazine tested the similarly sized Ford Zephyr Six. Ford's test car was fitted with options including a radio, a heater and leather seating: thus equipped the Zephyr came with a recommended retail price of £842.

Velox EIP/EIPV (1952 - 1957)

Less than one year after the appearance of the first ponton models, the Velox received a new over-square 2262 cc engine which had been in the development pipeline for several years. This provided either 64 bhp (48 kW) or, with a compression ratio improved to 7.6:1, 68 bhp (51 kW) of power.

1954 saw a significant facelift. Most obvious of the many cosmetic changes was a new front grill. More important was the introduction at this time of a sister model, branded as the Vauxhall Cresta. In addition to superior equipment levels, the Cresta was distinguished by a two tone paint finish.

Detroit was by now favouring annual facelifts, and Vauxhall reflected that trend, announcing a facelifted Velox for the 1955 London Motor Show and again in 1956. Technically, however, there were no further changes until the arrival of a completely new Velox in October 1957.

A further test by The Motor magazine in 1952, now with the short stroke 2262 cc engine, found the top speed had increased to 80.4 mph (129.4 km/h) and accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) to 21.4 seconds. A similar fuel consumption of 23.6 miles per imperial gallon (12.0 L/100 km; 19.7 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost had risen to £833 including taxes.

Velox PA S/PA SY (1957 - 1960)

Vauxhall Velox PA 1960 Vauxhall Velox (North America)

Production 1957-1962

Assembly Luton, Bedfordshire, England

Body style

4-door saloon

5-door estate car

Engine 2262 cc I6 ohv

82.5 bhp (61.5 kW)

2651 cc I6 ohv

94.6 bhp (70.5 kW)

Wheelbase 105 in (2,667 mm)

Length 177.5 in (4,509 mm)

Width 68.5 in (1,740 mm)

Curb weight 2,520 lb (1,143 kg) - 2,576 lb (1,168 kg)

Related Vauxhall Cresta PA

At the 1957 London Motor Show Vauxhall presented radically new Velox and Cresta models: these would come to be known as the PA versions, being the first of the P series. Particularly eye catching was the new wrap-around windscreen, which combined with a huge three part rear window to create an exceptionally airy passenger cabin, providing exceptional all round visibility. The back of the Velox was graced by tail fins, a Detroit inspired trend already taken up by the car's Ford rival, and which would in the next two years be followed also by such European competitors as Fiat, BMC and Peugeot. On the inside the new Velox also followed US practice, combining a front bench seat with a column mounted gear change / shift, continuing a trend back to the first Velox of 1948.

Minor modifications to the car's six cylinder engine raised power output to 83 bhp (61 kW). As before, the Cresta was distinguished from the Velox model by superior levels of equipment and a two tone paint finish.

The Velox PA received its first facelift in October 1959 when the front grill was enlarged and the three piece rear window was replaced by a single wrap-around window. Technical improvements had to await the 1960 facelift, however.

Vauxhall Velox estate / wagon 1959

Velox PA SX (1960 - 1962)

The October 1960 facelift was marked by further modifications to the trim and to the rear lights. There was also a new engine, still of six cylinders, but now increased in capacity to 2651 cc, and delivering 95 bhp (71 kW). The UK had recently embarked on its first programme of motorway building, and the Velox now boasted a straight line maximum speed of 94 mph (151 km/h).

At the same time, the saloon models were joined by a five door estate.

In their 1960 form, the Velox and its Cresta sibling continued without further significant changes until replaced in Autumn 1962.

Velox PB (1962 - 1965)

Vauxhall Velox PB

Production 1962-1965

Assembly Luton, Bedfordshire, England

Body style

4-door saloon

5-door estate car


2651 cc I6 ohv

94.6 bhp (70.5 kW)

3293 cc I6 ohv

115 bhp (86 kW)

Wheelbase 107.5 in (2,731 mm)

Length 181.75 in (4,616 mm)

Width 70.25 in (1,784 mm)

Curb weight 2,632 lb (1,194 kg)

Related Vauxhall Cresta PB

The final version of the Velox, launched along with the Cresta PB at the London Motor Show in October 1962, was well over four and a half meters long: it was the largest Velox ever built, longer and wider than the benchmark Ford Zephyr with which it competed in the UK. The new car was considered stylistically more restrained than its flamboyant predecessor, the removal of vertical fins emphasizing the car's width. Power output was increased to 115 bhp (86 kW). Two years after launch, the Velox PB became available with a more powerful 3294 cc engine for its third and final year: this made it one of the fastest European saloons of its day.

October 1965 saw the introduction of the Vauxhall Cresta PC, equipped with that same 3294 cc engine. This time no Velox version was offered. Rather, the Cresta itself became the base model, with two headlights, complemented by the more luxurious Cresta Deluxe, with four headlights, and the vinyl roof Vauxhall Viscount with more luxurious trim and power windows.

Source: Internet

Saturday, September 24, 2011

GM FuturLiner

The GM Futurliners were a group of stylized buses designed in the 1940s by Harley Earl for General Motors. They were used in GM's Parade of Progress, which traveled the United States exhibiting new cars and technology. The Futurliners were used from 1940 to 1941 and again from 1953 to 1956. A total of 12 were built, and 9 were still known to exist as of 2007.

Parade of Progress

Each Futurliner displayed modern advances in science and technology such as jet engines, stereophonic sound, microwave ovens, television and many other modern innovations of the time.

The Parade of Progress was halted by WWII. The vehicles were refurbished by GM and the Parade resumed in 1953, and were discontinued in 1956, a victim of the technologies the Futurliners had featured: television.

In addition to the Futurliners, the Parade of Progress included 32 support vehicles.

After the Parade

Following the Parade of Progress, the twelve Futurliners were disposed of by General Motors.

Two Futurliners were donated by GM to the Michigan State Police. Rechristened as "Safetyliners", they were used to promote safety on the roads.

At least one Futurliner was purchased by Oral Roberts and used as a portable stage during evangelical crusades of the 1960's. This vehicle may have been taken to Central or South America.


Futurliner #11 sold for a record US$4,000,000 (plus premium) on Jan 21, 2006 at a Barrett-Jackson auction in Arizona. Too large to ship, it was driven to its new home in Chandler.

Futurliner #10 is believed to be the most accurately restored of the Futurliners.

As of summer 2008 Futurliner #8 was delivered to its new Swedish owner Nicklas Jonsson who plans to restore it over a 10-year period. It's the first and only Futurliner in Europe.

Of the other six known surviving Futurliners, one is used as a motorhome and two in advertising. One is in Maine and is currently being restored. It is owned by Tom Learned and is powered by a GM V-8 with an Allison automatic transmission. The other four are generally beyond restorable condition.


Other GM Futurliners

The GM Futurliner Restoration Project

The General Motors Futurliner: A History

Source: Wikipedia

Monday, September 19, 2011

Morris Minor

The Morris Minor was a British economy car that debuted at the Earls Court Motor Show, London, on 20 September 1948. Designed under the leadership of Alec Issigonis, more than 1.3 million were manufactured between 1948 and 1971. Initially available as a 2-door saloon and tourer (convertible), the range was subsequently expanded to include a 4-door saloon in 1950, and in 1952 a wood-framed estate (the Traveller), panel van and pick-up truck variants.

The Minor was manufactured in three series, Series I, Series II (1952) and finally the 1000 series (1956).


Sir Alec Issigonis' concept was to combine the luxury and convenience of a good motor car at a price affordable by the working classes. The Minor was a roomy vehicle with superior cornering and handling characteristics. Internal politics inside BMC, the parent of Morris, may have led to the limited North American sales. The Minor prototype had been known as the Morris Mosquito.

More than 1.3 million of the lightweight, rear-wheel drive cars were eventually produced, mainly in Cowley, Oxfordshire, and exported around the world, with many variants of the original model. Production continued in Birmingham, England until 1971 (for the commercial variants and estate only). The last Morris Minor (commercial) was assembled at Stoke, Nelson, New Zealand in 1974.

Manapouri, New Zealand

The Minor has been described as typifying “Englishness”, a "British icon" and a "design classic".

Minor MM

Morris Minor MM

Production 1948–53; 250,

962 produced

Assembly Oxford, England

Body style 4-door saloon, 2-door coupe, 2-door convertible

Engine 918 cc (0.918 l) Morris Sidevalve engine I4

The original Minor MM series lasted from 1948 until 1953. It included a pair of 4-seat saloons, 2-door and 4-door, and a convertible 4-seat Tourer. The front torsion bar suspension was shared with the larger Morris Oxford, as was the almost-unibody construction. Although the Minor was originally designed to accept a flat-4 engine, with four distinctive gaps in the engine bay to accommodate it, late in the development stage it was replaced by a 918 cc (56.0 cu in) side-valve straight-4 producing 27.5 hp (21 kW) and 39 lbf·ft (53 N·m) of torque. This little engine pushed the Minor to just 64 mph (103 km/h) but delivered 40 miles per imperial gallon (7.1 L/100 km; 33 mpg-US).

Early cars had a painted section in the centre of the bumpers to cover the widening of the production car from the prototypes. This widening of 4 inches (102 mm) is also visible in the creases in the bonnet. Exports to the United States began in 1949with the headlamps removed from within the grille to be mounted higher on the wings to meet safety regulations. These became standard on all Minors for 1951. When production of the first series ended, just over a quarter of a million had been sold, 30% of them the convertible Tourer model.

A tourer tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1950 had a top speed of 58.7 mph (94.5 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–50 mph (80 km/h) in 29.2 seconds. A fuel consumption of 42 miles per imperial gallon (6.7 L/100 km; 35 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £382 including taxes.

Minor Series II

Morris Minor Series II

Production 1952–56;

269,838 produced

Assembly Oxford, England, Birmingham, England

Body style 2-door coupe, 4-door saloon, 2-door convertible, 2-door estate, 2-door pickup truck, 2-door van

Engine 803 cc (0.803 l) A-Series I4

In 1952, the Minor line was updated with an Austin-designed 803 cc (49.0 cu in) overhead valve A-Series engine, replacing the original side-valve unit. The engine had been designed for the Minor's main competition, the Austin A30, but became available as Austin and Morris were merged into the British Motor Corporation. The new engine felt stronger, though all measurements were smaller than the old. The 52 second drive to 60 mph (97 km/h) was still calm, with 63 mph (101 km/h) as the top speed. Fuel consumption also rose to 36 miles per imperial gallon (7.8 L/100 km; 30 mpg-US).

An estate version was introduced, known as the Traveller (a Morris naming tradition for estates, also seen on the Mini), along with van and pick-up versions. The Traveller featured an external structural ash (wood) frame for the rear bodywork, with two side-hinged rear doors. The frame was varnished rather than painted and a highly visible feature of the body style. Rear bodies of the van versions were all steel. The 4-seat convertible and saloon variants continued as well.

The grille was modified in October 1954, and a new dashboard with a central speedometer was fitted. Almost half a million examples had been produced when the line ended in 1956.

The Motor magazine tested a 4-door saloon in 1952. It reported a top speed of 62 mph (100 km/h) and acceleration from 0–50 mph (80 km/h) in 28.6 seconds. A fuel consumption of 39.3 miles per imperial gallon (7.19 L/100 km; 32.7 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £631 including taxes.


1952–56: 803 cc A-Series Straight-4, 30 hp (22 kW) at 4800 rpm and 40 lbf·ft (54 N·m) at 2400 rpm

Minor 1000

Morris Minor 1000

Production 1956–71;

847,491 produced

Oxford, England
Birmingham, England

Body style 2-door saloon, 4-door saloon, 2-door convertible, 2-door estate, 2-door pickup truck, 2-door van

Engine 948 cc (0.948 l) BMC A-Series I4, 1,098 cc (1.098 l) BMC A-Series I4

The car was again updated in 1956 when the engine was increased in capacity to 948 cc (57.9 cu in). The two-piece split windscreen was replaced with a curved one-piece one and the rear window was enlarged. In 1961 the semaphore-style trafficators were replaced by the flashing direction indicators, then becoming the norm for the UK market. An upmarket car based on the Minor floorpan using the larger BMC B-Series engine was sold as the Riley One-Point-Five/Wolseley 1500 beginning in 1957: a version, with tail fins added, of this Wolseley/Riley variant was also produced in Australia as the Morris Major.

Morris Minor Traveller (estate)Minor Million

In February 1961 the Morris Minor became the first British car to sell more than 1,000,000 units; in Italy, the Fiat 600 notched up its first million in the same month. To commemorate the achievement, a limited edition of 350 two-door Minor saloons (one for each UK Morris dealership) was produced with distinctive lilac paintwork and a white interior. Also the badge name on the side of the bonnet was modified to read "Minor 1,000,000" instead of the standard "Minor 1000". The millionth Minor was donated to the National Union of Journalists, who planned to use it as a prize in a competition in aid of the union's Widow and Orphan Fund. The company, at the same time, presented a celebratory Minor to London's Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, but this car was constructed of cake.

Morris Minor 1000 Pickup (1960 North American model)ADO59

The final major upgrades were made to the Minor 1000 in 1962, when it gained another larger version of the A-Series engine. Developed in conjunction with cylinder head specialist, Harry Weslake, for the then new ADO16 Austin/Morris 1100 range, this new engine used a taller block with increased bore and stroke bringing total capacity up to 1098cc. Although fuel consumption suffered moderately at 38 mpg, the Minor's top speed increased to 77 mph (124 km/h) with noticeable improvements in low-end torque giving an altogether more responsive drive. Other changes included a modified dashboard layout with toggle switches, textured steel instrument binnacle, and larger convex glove box covers. A different heater completed the interior upgrade, whilst the larger, more modern combined front side/indicator light units common to many BMC vehicles of the time, were fitted to the front wings.

During the life of the Minor 1000 model, production declined. The last Convertible/Tourer was manufactured on 18 August 1969, and the saloon line was discontinued the following year. 1971 was the last year for the Traveller and commercial versions. Almost 850,000 Minor 1000s were made in all. The car was officially replaced by the Morris Marina, which replaced it on the Cowley production lines. For the management of what had, by 1971, mutated into the British Leyland Motor Corporation, the Morris Marina was seen primarily as a "cheap to build" competitor to Ford's top selling (and in many respects conservatively engineered) Cortina, rather than as a replacement for the (in its day) strikingly innovative Morris Minor.


Despite the four major updates of the Minor in its 23-year production run, very few actively designed 'safety features' were ever installed. Provisions were made for seat belt fittings in the early 60's, but the rigid structure of the car's monocoque body made it dangerously unabsorbent to impact. For a short time in 1968, the thickness of the steel used in the bonnet and doors was decreased from 1.2mm to 1.0mm to act as a form of 'crumple zone', but as the wings continued to be made of 1.4mm mild steel, the modification was largely ineffectual and was reversed in 1969.

Commercial versions

Closed van and open flat-bed ('pick-up') versions of the Minor were built from 1953 until the end of production. They were designed for commercial use with small businesses, although many made their way to larger corporations. Van versions were popular with the General Post Office, the early versions of these (to around 1956) having rubber front wings to cope with the sometimes unforgiving busy situations in which they were expected to work. Both the Van and the Pickup differed from the monocoque construction of the Saloon and Traveller variants by having a separate chassis. They also differed in details such as telescopic rear dampers, stiffer rear leaf springs and lower-ratio differentials to cope with heavier loads.


1956–62:948 cc A-Series Straight-4, 37 hp (28 kW) at 4750 rpm and 50 lbf·ft (68 N·m) at 2500 rpm

1962–71:1098 cc A-Series Straight-4, 48 hp (36 kW) at 5100 rpm and 60 lbf·ft (81 N·m) at 2500 rpm

Morris Minor today

Morris Minor rally

Today the Morris Minor and 1000 are among the best served classic family-sized cars in the old vehicle movement and continue to gain popularity. The enduring affection for the "Moggie" (also a common British nickname for an undistinguished cat, or a Morgan) or "Morrie" (as it is often known in Australia and New Zealand) is reflected in the number of restored and improved Morris Minors currently running in Britain, Australasia and in India. In addition to more powerful engines, desirable improvements necessitated by the increase in traffic density since the Minor was withdrawn from volume production include the replacement of the original equipment drum brakes with discs. Other important upgrades include the 1,27cc (77.8 cu in) version of the A-series engine, derided by Morris Marina enthusiasts as a key reason why many Marinas were scrapped. Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson once stated that the Morris Minor is Britain's Volkswagen Beetle.

The Morris Minor is still being built today, by the Durable Car Company in Sri Lanka.

Source: Wikipedia

Riley RM

The Riley RM Series was the last automobile series developed independently by Riley. RM vehicles were produced from 1945, after the Second World War, through the 1952 merger of the Riley's Nuffield Organisation with Austin to form BMC. They were originally made in Coventry, but in 1949 production moved to the MG works at Abingdon.

There were three types of RM vehicles produced. The RMA was a large saloon, and was replaced by the RME. The RMB was an even larger car, and was replaced by the RMF. The RMC and RMD were limited-production roadsters.

All of the RM vehicles featured the pre-war Riley designed 1.5 L (1496 cc) 12 hp (RAC Rating) or 16 hp (RAC Rating) 2.5 L "Big Four" straight-4 engines with twin camshafts mounted high at the sides of the cylinder block and hemispherical combustion chambers.

Riley RMA

Riley RMA 1951 Riley RMA

Production 1945–1952

10,504 produced.

Successor Riley RME

Body style 4-door saloon

Engine 1.5 L Straight-4

The RMA was the first post-war Riley. It used the 1.5 L engine and was equipped with hydro-mechanical brakes and an independent suspension using torsion bars in front. The frame was made of wood in the English tradition, and the car featured traditional styling. The car was capable of reaching 75 mph (121 km/h). The RMA was produced from 1945 until 1952 when it was replaced by the RME.

Riley RMB

Riley RMB Riley RMB 2½-Litre 4-Door Saloon 1950

Production 1946–1952

6900 produced

Successor Riley RMF

Body style 4-door saloon

Engine 2.5 L Straight-4

Wheelbase 119 in (3,023 mm)

Length 186 in (4,724 mm)

Width 63.5 in (1,613 mm)

Height 59 in (1,499 mm)

The RMB was an enlarged RMA and was launched a year later in 1946. It used the 2.5 L (2443 cc) "Big Four" engine with twin SU carburettors, starting with 90 hp (67 kW) but increasing to 100 hp (75 kW) for 1948 with a 95 mph (153 km/h) top speed. The RMB was replaced by the RMF for 1952.

A car tested by The Motor magazine in 1949 had a top speed of 90 mph (140 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 16.8 seconds. A fuel consumption of 19.6 miles per imperial gallon (14.4 L/100 km; 16.3 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1224 including taxes.

Riley RMC

Riley RMC Riley RMC

Production 1948–1951

507 produced

Body style 2-door 3 seat convertible

Engine 2.5 L Straight-4

The RMC was a 3-passenger 2-door convertible version of the RMB with a large rear deck area and fold flat windscreen. It shared that car's 2.5 L 100 hp (75 kW) engine and could reach 100 mph (161 km/h). The car was primarily designed for the North American export market, and just over 500 were built from 1948 until 1951. The gear change lever was moved to the steering column on left hand drive models.

Riley RMD

Riley RMD (prototype with 1½ litre engine pictured)

Production 1949–1951

502 produced

Body style 2-door convertible

Engine 2.5 L Straight-4

The RMD was a traditional 2-door drophead coupé, the last convertible to wear the Riley name. It used the same 2.5 L 100 hp (75 kW) engine as the RMB, on which it was based. Just over 500 were produced between 1949 and 1951.

Riley RME

Riley RME Riley RME 1,5-Litre 4-Door Saloon 1953

Production 1952–1955

3446 produced

Predecessor Riley RMA

Successor Riley One-Point-Five

Body style 4-door saloon

Engine 1.5 L Straight-4

The RME was an updated RMA. It still used the 1.5 L four and featured a fully hydraulic braking system. The body had an enlarged rear window with curved glass and from 1954 no running boards. To improve acceleration the rear axle ratio was changed from 4.89:1 to 5.125:1.

Produced from 1952, it was replaced by the Riley One-Point-Five in 1955.

An RME tested by The Motor magazine in 1952 had a top speed of 75 mph (121 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 29.5 seconds. A fuel consumption of 24.2 miles per imperial gallon (11.7 L/100 km; 20.2 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1,339 including taxes.

Riley RMF

Riley RMF Riley RMF 2½-Litre 4-Door Saloon 1953

Production 1952–1953

1050 produced

Predecessor Riley RMB

Successor Riley Pathfinder

Body style 4-door saloon

Engine 2.5 L Straight-4

The RMF replaced the big RMB limousine in 1952. It shared that car's 2.5 L "Big Four" engine as well as the mechanical updates from the RME. The RMH Riley Pathfinder, last of the Riley "Big Fours", and thus considered to be the last "real" Riley by purists, took its place after 1953 and continued in production until 1957.

Source: Wikipedia

Willys-Overland Jeepster

The Jeepster was an automobile originally produced by Willys-Overland Motors from 1948 to 1950.

The Jeepster name was revived in 1966 on a new model, the C-101 Jeepster Commando, and American Motors (AMC) (successor to Willys-Overland) removed the Jeepster name for 1972, ending production after 1973.


The original Willys-Overland Jeepster ("VJ" internally) was produced from 1949 through 1950, although some leftover models were sold under the 1951 model year. After World War II, Jeep trademark owner, Willys, believed that the market for the military-type Jeep would be limited to farmers and foresters, therefore they began producing the "CJ" (or Civilian Jeep) to fill this growing segment as well as producing the new Jeep Wagon in 1946, and then the Jeep Truck in 1947.

Realizing a gap in their product line up, Willys developed the Jeepster to crossover from their "utilitarian" type truck vehicles, to the passenger automobile market. The car was originally only offered with rear-wheel drive, thus limiting its appeal with traditional Jeep customers. While its distinctive boxy styling (created by industrial designer Brooks Stevens) was a hit with critics, it did not catch on with the intended market segment. Sales were also limited by sparse advertising. In the end, 19,132 original VJ Jeepsters were produced (1948 - 10,326; 1949 - 2,960; 1950 - 5,836).

The VJ Jeepster was powered by the 62 horsepower (46 kW) "Go Devil" engine, a 134 cu in (2.2 L) straight-4 also used in the CJ. A 3-speed manual transmission with optional overdrive was used, as were drum brakes all around. The vehicle's front end and single transverse leaf spring suspension, was from the Willys Station Wagon, as was the rear driveline. The flat-topped rear fenders were copied from the Jeep truck line, as were the pair of longitudinal rear leaf springs.

1948 Willys Jeepster


1948-1950 - L134 Go Devil I4 — 134.1 CID (2,197 cc)
1949-1950 - L148 Lightning I6 —148.5 CID (2,433 cc)
1950 - F134 Hurricane I4 —134.2 CID (2,199 cc)
1950 - L161 Lightning I6 —161 CID (2,638 cc)

Model Variations


The VJ-2 Jeepster was built on a Willys chassis and began production with a one-model/one-engine offering. Due to poor marketing, high price and weak performance sales were low and few were produced. The following year the VJ-3 was produced.


The VJ-3 Jeepster had very little standard equipment. This time there were two engines offered, changing the Jeepster's designations to VJ-3 4-63 for the four-cylinder and VJ-3 6-63 for the Lightning-equipped six-cylinder. In 1950, there was a redesigned front end and new engines and designations dependent on what part of the year it was. Early 1950s four-cylinder Jeepsters were VJ-3 463, and the six-cylinder Jeepsters were VJ-3 663. The later-year Jeepsters were VJ-473 and VJ-673, respectively. The hood and grille also put the V in VJ in 1950, when the design took on that shape.

External Links

Willys Overland Jeepster Club

Hurst Jeepster Pages

Jeepster History

Midstates Jeepster Association

Source: Wikipedia

Sunbeam-Talbot 90

The Sunbeam Talbot 90 was a sporting car built by the Rootes Group in Ryton Coventry under their Sunbeam-Talbot brand.

Sunbeam Talbot 90 Mk II saloon 1953

Sunbeam Talbot 90 Mk II cabriolet ca. 1953

The car was launched in 1948 along with the smaller engined Sunbeam-Talbot 80 but many features dated back to the pre war Sunbeam-Talbot Ten. The body was completely new and available as a four door saloon or two door drophead coupé. The saloon featured a "pillarless" join between the glass on the rear door and the rear quarter window.

The car went through three versions before production stopped in 1954. It was the last car to bear the Sunbeam-Talbot name.

Sunbeam-Talbot 90 MkI 1948-1950

The original version had a 64 bhp (48 kW) 1944 cc side valve four cylinder engine derived from a pre-war Humber unit carried over from the Sunbeam-Talbot 2-Litre. The chassis was derived from the Ten model but with wider track and had beam axles front and rear and leaf springs. The brakes were updated to have hydraulic operation. Saloon and Drophead coupé bodies were fitted to the chassis and the rear wheel openings were covered by metal "spats".

4000 were made.

Sunbeam-Talbot 90 MkII 1950-1952

The Mk II got a new chassis with independent front suspension using coil springs and the engine was enlarged to 2267 cc and the cylinder head changed to overhead valves. Power was up at 70 bhp (52 kW) the front of the body was modified. The headlights were higher and there were air inlet grilles on either side of the radiator

A Coupé version tested by The Motor magazine in 1952 had a top speed of 85.2 mph (137.1 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 20.2 seconds. A fuel consumption of 22.5 miles per imperial gallon (12.6 L/100 km; 18.7 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1393 including taxes.

5493 were made.

Sunbeam-Talbot 90 MkIIA 1952-1954

The Mk IIA had a higher compression engine raising output to 77 bhp (57 kW). To cater for the higher speeds the car was now capable of, the brakes were enlarged and to improve brake cooling the wheels were pierced. The Talbot MkIIA coupe/convertible is regarded as the rarest of the Sunbeam Talbots and is in the league of Jaguar, Mercedes and Duesenberg coupes.

The rear wheel spats were no longer fitted.

10,888 were made.

Sunbeam Mk III

From 1954 to 1957 the car continued, but without the Talbot name and was marketed as the Sunbeam MkIII and badged on the radiator shell as Sunbeam Supreme. The drophead coupé was not made after 1955.

There were some minor styling changes to the front with enlarged air intakes on each side of the radiator shell and three small portholes just below each side of the bonnet near to the windscreen. Duo-tone paint schemes were also available. Engine power was increased to 80 bhp (60 kW) and overdrive became an option.

A Mk III tested by The Motor magazine in 1955 had a top speed of 93.6 mph (150.6 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 17.4 seconds. A fuel consumption of 22.1 miles per imperial gallon (12.8 L/100 km; 18.4 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1191 including taxes.

Sunbeam Mk III

The main Rootes Group dealers in Leicester, Castles of Leicester, offered a conversion that moved the gearchange to the transmission tunnel, modified the cylinder head, fitted a bonnet air scoop and changed the way the boot lid opened. These models were not connected with the Sunbeam factory but are sometimes referred to as the Mk IIIS. Some 30-40 cars were modified. The revised gearchange was also offered as an after market accessory and was suitable for fitting to earlier models also.

Approximately 2250 were made.

Sporting achievements

A Mk II was driven by Stirling Moss to take second place in the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally.

A Sunbeam Mk III was outright winner of the 1955 Monte Carlo Rally.

Source: Wikipedia


Talbot-Lago was a French automobile manufacturer at Suresnes, Paris.

1938 Talbot-Lago T-150 CSS


948 Talbot-Lago T26C

1950 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport, coachwork by Jacques Saoutchik, Paris
Talbot-Lago T26 ca. 1950

The Anglo-French STD (Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq) combine collapsed in 1935. The French Talbot company was acquired and reorganised by a Venetian born engineer called Anthony Lago (1893-1960) and after that, the Talbot-Lago name was used. On the home market the cars carried a Talbot badge.

At the same time, the British interests of Talbot were taken over by the Rootes Group and the parallel using of Talbot brand in France and Britain ended. Talbot-Lago cars sold in Britain were badged as Darracq.

Reorganisation Under Tony Lago

For 1935 the existing range continued in production but from 1936 these were steadily replaced with cars designed by Walter Becchia featuring transverse leaf sprung independent suspension. These ranged from the two litre T11, the 3 litre T17, four litre T23 and sporting Spéciale and SS.

Lago was an excellent engineer, who developed the existing six-cylinder engine into a high-performance 4-litre one. The sporting six-cylinder models had a great racing history. The bodies—such as of T150 coupé—were made by excellent coachbuilders such as Figoni & Falaschi or Saoutchik.

After World War II

After the war the company continued to be known both for successful high performance racing cars and for large luxurious passenger cars, with extensive sharing of chassis and engine components between the two. Nevertheless, the period was one of economic stagnation and financial stringency. The company had difficulty finding customers, and its finances were stretched.

In 1946 the company began production of a new engine design, based on earlier units but with a new cylinder head featuring a twin overhead camshaft. This engine, designed under the leadership of Carlo Marchetti, was in many respects a new engine. A 4483 cc six cylinder in-line engine was developed for the Talbot Lago Record (1946 - 1952) and for the Talbot Grand Sport 26CV (1947-1954). These cars were priced against large luxurious cars from the likes of Delahaye, Delage, Hotchkiss and Salmson. Talbot would remain in the auto-making business for longer than any of these others, and the Talbot name had the further dubious distinction of a resurrection in the early 1980's.

Talbot-Lago T26 ca. 1950

Talbot Lago Record T26

The Talbot Lago Record T26 was a large car with a fiscal horse power of 26 CV and a claimed actual power output of 170 hp, delivered to the rear wheels via a four speed manual gear box, with the option at extra cost of a Wilson pre-selector gear box, and supporting a claimed top speed of 170 km/h (105 mph). The car was commonly sold as a stylish four door sedan, but a two door cabriolet was also offered. There were also coachbuilt specials with bodywork by traditionalist firms such as Graber.

Talbot Lago Grand Sport T26

The T26 Grand Sport (GS), was first displayed in public in October 1947 as a shortened chassis, and only 12 were made during 1948 which was the models's first full year of production. The car was noted for its speed. The engine which produced 170 hp in the Lago Record was adapted to provide 190 bhp (140 kW) or, later, 195 bhp (145 kW) in the GS, and a top speed of around 200 km/h (124 mph) was claimed, depending on the body that was fitted. The car was built for either racing or luxury and benefited directly from Talbot's successful T26C Grand Prix car. As such it was expensive, rare and helped Louis Rosier with his son to win the LeMans 24 Hour race in 1950. The GS replaced the Lago-Record chassis which was named for its remarkable top speed. Having a 4.5 liter inline-6 aluminum cylinder head and triple carburetor from the T26 the Grand Prix cars, the GS was one of the world's most powerful production cars. Chassis details were similar to the Grand Prix cars, but it was longer and wider. It came it two wheelbase lengths -104 and 110 inches (2,800 mm).

Almost all the Talbots sold during the late 1940s came with Talbot bodies, constructed in the manufacturer's extensive workshops. The T26 Grand Sport (GS) was the exception, however, and cars were delivered only as bare chassis, requiring customers to choose bespoke bodywork from a specialist coachbuilder. The The GS was a star turn in a dull world and coachbuilders such as Saoutchik, Franay and Figoni & Falaschi competed to trump Talbot's own designers with elaborately elegant bodies.

Talbot Lago Baby

The Talbot Lago Baby (1948 - 1951) marked the return of a pre-war Talbot model name and was the third model presented by the company during the 1940s. The car was commonly sold as a four door sedan, but a two door cabriolet was also offered. Its engine comprised only four cylinders, but the twin overhead camshaft with cylinder valves on both sides of the engine block was again featured: at 2690cc the engine capacity equated to a fiscal horse power of 15 CV which was enough to attract the punitive levels of car tax applied by the French government to large cars. The power output was initially 110 bhp (82 kW), which in 1949 was increased to 120 bhp (89 kW). Although the postwar Baby sedan closely resembled the more powerful Record on a brief glance, the Baby's 2950 mm wheelbase was slightly shorter than the 3130 mm wheelbase of the Record, and the overall length was correspondingly 200 mm shorter, reflecting the shortened 4 cylinder engine block. Additionally the cheaper car sat on a simplified suspension set-up. Baby customers could specify as an option a Wilson pre-selector gear box.

New bodies for 1952

In 1951, as rumours of the company’s financial difficulties intensified, a new Ponton format body appeared for the Talbot Baby and Record. The wheelbases were carried over from the earlier models. Although in many ways strikingly modern, the new car featured a two piece front windscreen in place of the single flat screen of its predecessor, presumably reflecting the difficulties at the time of combining the strength of a windscreen with curved glass at an acceptable price and quality. The new car’s large rear window was itself replaced by a larger three-piece “panoramic” wrap around back window as part of the car’s first face-lift, which took place in time for the 1952 Paris Motor Show. The engine specification of the four cylinder unit was unchanged as was the claimed performance even though the new body was some 100 Kg heavier than the old. A new development with the Ponton bodied cars body was the availability of the larger six cylinder unit from the Talbot Record in the top of the line Talbot Baby, which in this form was called the Talbot Baby/6 Luxe, and had the slightly longer wheel-base and overall length enforced by the greater length of the six cylinder engine.

Maserati Engine

A later model, the Lago Sport (1954-1957), would used a Maserati engine.

Lago America

The final Lago America models (1957-1959) used 2476 cc BMW engines or, for the last cars, less sophisticated and less powerful Simca 2351 cc ohc engines from the Vedette.

Despite its high quality cars, Talbot-Lago struggled for postwar survival along with other prewar marques such as Hotchkiss and Delahaye, and production ceased when Simca took over during 1959. (Simca was subsequently taken over by Chrysler, who gained a controlling share in 1963, and rebranded the business as Chrysler France in 1970).


Sales data by model was kept confidential, possibly in connection with the company’s financial difficulties, but the overall totals for the early 1950s tell a dire story. The Suresnes plant produced 155 cars in 1947 which had increased to 23 in 1948.433 cars were produced in 1950, but this then fell to 80 in 1951 and to 34 in 1952. In 1953 it is thought that the company turned out just 13 of the 26CV Record model and 4 of the 15 CV Babys. During the rest of the decade volumes do not appear to have recovered significantly.


Talbot-Lagos have become a top-prized car at various auctions, fetching as much as $3.685 million at the 2005 Pebble Beach Auction for a 1938 T150-C Lago Speciale Teardrop Coupe. The same year, the top bidder at a Christie's auction was awarded a 1937 Talbot-Lago T150 C-SS Teardrop Coupe with coachwork by Figoni and Falaschi for his $3.535 million-dollar bid.

Source: Wikipedia

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dixi 9/40 Cyklon 1927

Source: PreWarCars

Monday, July 4, 2011

Just When You Thought You Had Seen It All ?

Tata Motors is ready to introduce Air Car - Will it be the next big thing? Tata Motors is taking giant strides and making history for itself. First the Land Rover/Jaguar deal, then the world's cheapest car, and now it is also set to introduce the car that runs on compressed air.

Air Powered Car:

With spiraling fuel prices it is about time we heard some breakthrough!

India's largest automaker, Tata Motors, is set to start producing the world's first commercial air-powered vehicle.

The Air Car, developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy Nègre for Luxembourg-based MDI, uses compressed air, as opposed to the gas-and-oxygen explosions of internal-combustion models, to push its engine's pistons. Some 6000 zero-emissions Air Cars are scheduled to hit Indian streets by August 2011.

The Air Car, called the "MiniCAT" could cost around Rs. 3,475,225 ($8,177.00) in India and would have a range of around 300km between refuels.

The cost of a refill would be about Rs. 85 ($2.00)

The MiniCAT which is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis that is glued, not welded, and a body of fiberglass powered by compressed air. Microcontrollers are used in every device in the car, so one tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights, indicators, etc.

There are no keys - just an access card which can be read by the car from your pocket. According to the designers, it costs less than 50 rupees per 100 Km (about a tenth that of a petrol car). Its mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car (200 to 300 km or 10 hours of driving), a factor which makes a perfect choice in cities where 80% of motorists drive at less than 60 Km. The car has a top speed of 105 Kmph (65 mph).

Refilling the car will, once the market develops, take place at adapted petrol stations to administer compressed air. In two or three minutes, and at a cost of approximately 100 rupees, the car will be ready to go another 200-300 kilometers (125-185 mi).

As a viable alternative, the car carries a small compressor which can be connected to the mains (220V or 380V) and refill the tank in 3-4 hours. Due to the absence of combustion and, consequently, of residues, changing the oil (1 liter of vegetable oil) is necessary only every 50,000 Km (31,000 mi)).

The temperature of the clean air expelled by the exhaust pipe is between 0-15 degrees below zero, which makes it suitable for use by the internal air conditioning system with no need for gases or loss of power.

Will we see it here???

Source: Internet

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Oldsmobile was a brand of American automobile produced for most of its existence by General Motors. It was founded by Ransom E. Olds in 1897. In its 107-year history, it produced 35.2 million cars, including at least 14 million built at its Lansing, Michigan factory. When it was phased out in 2004, Oldsmobile was the oldest surviving American automobile marque, and one of the oldest in the world, after Daimler and Peugeot. The closing of the Oldsmobile division presaged a larger consolidation of GM brands and discontinuation of models during the company's 2009 bankruptcy reorganization.


Early history

Ransom Eli Olds

Oldsmobiles were first manufactured by the Olds Motor Works in Lansing, Michigan, a company founded by Ransom E. Olds in 1897. In 1901, the company produced 425 cars, making it the first high-volume gasoline-powered automobile manufacturer. Oldsmobile became the top selling car company in the United States for a few years. Ransom Olds left the company in financial difficulties and formed the REO Motor Car Company. The last Curved Dash Oldsmobile was made in 1907. General Motors purchased the company in 1908.

The 1901 to 1904 Oldsmobile Curved Dash was the first mass-produced car, made from the first automotive assembly line, an invention that is often miscredited to Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company. (Ford was the first to manufacture cars on a moving assembly line.) After Olds sold the company in 1899, it was renamed Olds Motor Works and moved to a new plant in Detroit. By March 1901, the company had a whole line of models ready for mass production. Unfortunately, a mistake by a worker caused the factory to catch fire, and it burned to the ground, with all of the prototypes destroyed. The only car that survived the fire was a Curved Dash prototype, which was wheeled out of the factory by two workers while escaping the fire. A new factory was built, and production of the Curved Dash commenced.

Setting the Pace painted in 1909 by William Hardner Foster depicts the race between an Oldsmobile Limited and the 20th Century Limited train

1904 Olds Model 6C Curved-Dash-Olds

1934 Oldsmobile 8 Convertible Coupe

1957 Oldsmobile Super 88

Officially, the cars were called "Oldsmobile automobiles," colloquially referred to as "Oldsmobiles." It was this moniker, as applied especially to the Oldsmobile Curved Dash, that was popularized in the lyrics and title of the 1905 hit song "In My Merry Oldsmobile."

The 1910 Limited Touring was a high point for the company. Riding atop 42-inch wheels, and equipped with factory "white" tires, the Limited was the prestige model in Oldsmobile's two model lineup. The Limited retailed for US$4,600, an amount greater than the purchase of a new, no-frills three bedroom house. Buyers received goatskin upholstery, a 60 hp (45 kW) 707 CID (11.6 L) straight-6 engine, Bosch Magneto starter, running boards and room for five. Options included a speedometer, clock, and a full glass windshield. A limousine version was priced at $5,800. While Oldsmobile only sold 725 Limiteds in its three years of production, the car is best remembered for winning a race against the famed 20th Century Limited train, an event immortalized in the painting "Setting the Pace" by William Hardner Foster.

In 1929, as part of General Motors' companion make program, Oldsmobile introduced the higher standard Viking brand, marketed through the Oldmobile dealers network. Viking was discontinued already at the end of the 1930 model year although an additional 353 car were marketed as 1931 models.


In 1937, Oldsmobile was a pioneer in introducing a four-speed semi-automatic transmission called the "Automatic Safety Transmission", although this accessory was actually built by Buick, which would offer it in its own cars in 1938. This transmission featured a conventional clutch pedal, which the driver pressed before selecting either "low" or "high" range. In "low," the car shifted between first and second gears. In "high," the car shifted between first, third and fourth gears.


For the 1940 model, Oldsmobile was the first auto manufacturer to offer a fully automatic transmission, called the Hydramatic, which featured four forward speeds.

Starting in 1941 and continuing through 1996, Oldsmobile used a two digit model designation. As originally implemented, the first digit signified the body size while the second represents the number of cylinders. Body sizes were 6, 7, 8, and 9, and 6- and 8-cylinder engines were offered. Thus, Oldsmobiles were named 66 through 98.

The last pre-war Oldsmobile rolled off the assembly line on February 5, 1942. During World War II, Oldsmobile produced numerous kinds of material for the war effort, including large-caliber guns and shells.

Production resumed on October 15, 1945 with a warmed-over 1942 model serving as the offering for 1946.

Oldsmobile once again was a pioneer when, for the 1949 model, they introduced their Rocket engine, which used an overhead valve V8 design rather than the flathead "straight-8" design which prevailed at the time. This engine produced far more power than the engines that were popular during that era, and found favor with hot-rodders and stock car racers. The basic design, with few minor changes, endured until Oldsmobile redesigned their V8 engines in the mid-1960's.


1953 Oldsmobile Advertisement

Oldsmobile entered the 1950's following a divisional image campaign centered on its 'Rocket' engines and its cars' appearance followed suit. Oldsmobile's Rocket V8 engine was the leader in performance, generally considered the fastest cars on the market and by the mid 1950's their styling was among the first to offer a wide, "open maw" grille, suggestive of jet propulsion. Oldsmobile adopted a ringed-globe emblem to stress what marketers felt was its universal appeal.

Throughout the 1950's, the make used twin jet pod-styled taillights as a nod to its "Rocket" theme. Oldsmobile was among the first of General Motors' divisions to receive a true hardtop in 1949, and it was also among the first divisions (along with Buick and Cadillac) to receive a wraparound windshield, a trend that eventually all American makes would share at sometime between 1953 and 1964.

In the 1950's the nomenclature changed again, and trim levels also received names that were then mated with the model numbers. This resulted in the Oldsmobile 88 emerging as base Dynamic 88 and the highline Super 88. Other full-size model names included the "Holiday" used on hardtops, and "Fiesta" used on its station wagons. When the 88 was retired in 1999 (with a Fiftieth Anniversary Edition), its length of service was the longest model name used on American cars after the Chrysler New Yorker.

GM styling as a whole lost its frontrunner status in 1957 when Chrysler introduced Virgil Exner's "Forward Look" designs. When compared side to side, Oldsmobile looked dated next to its price-point competitor DeSoto. Compounding the problem for Oldsmobile and Buick was a styling mistake which GM called the "Strato Roof." Both makes had models which contained the heavily framed rear window, but Detroit had been working with large curved backlights for almost a decade. Consumers disliked the roof and its blind spots, forcing GM to rush a redesign into production on some of its models.

Oldsmobile's only off year in the 1950's was 1958. The nation was beginning to feel the results of its first significant post war recession, and US automobile sales were down for the model year. Oldsmobile, Buick and Cadillac received a heavy handed makeover of the 1957 GM designs. The Oldsmobile that emerged in 1958 bore little resemblance to the design of its forerunners; instead the car emerged as a large, over-decorated "chromemobile."

Up front, all 1958 Oldsmobiles received one of General Motors' heavily styled front fascias and quad-headlights. Streaking back from the edge of the headlights was a broad belt consisting of two strips of chrome on regular 88s, three strips on Super 88s, and three strips (top and bottom thin, inside thick) on 98s that ended in a point at mid-body. The bottom of the rear fender featured a thick stamping of a half tube that pointed forward, atop which was a chrome assembly of four horizontal chrome speed-lines that terminated into a vertical bar. The tail of the car featured massive vertical chrome taillight housings. Two chrome stars were fitted to the trunklid.

1958 Oldsmobile Super 88

Ford styling consultant Alex Tremulis (designer of the 1948 Tucker Sedan) mocked the 1958 Oldsmobile by drawing cartoons of the car, and placing musical notes in the rear trim assembly. Another Detroit stylist employed by Ford bought a used 1958 Oldsmobile in the early 1960s, driving it daily to work. He detached and rearranged the OLDSMOBILE lettering above the grille to spell out SLOBMODEL as a reminder to himself and co-workers of what "bad" auto design meant to their business.

In 1959, Oldsmobile models were completely redesigned with a rocket motif from front to rear, as the top of the front fenders had a chrome rocket, while the body-length fins were shaped as rocket exhausts which culminated in a fin-top taillight (concave on the 98 models while convex on the 88 models). The 1959 models also offered several roof treatments, such as the pillared sedan with a fastback rear window and the Holiday SportSedan, which was a flat-roofed pillarless hardtop with wraparound front and rear glass. The 1959 models were marketed as "the Linear Look", and also featured a bar-graph speedometer which showed a green indicator through 35 miles per hour (56 km/h), then changed to orange until 65 miles per hour (105 km/h), then was red above that until the highest speed read by the speedometer, 120 miles per hour (190 km/h). Power windows were available on the 98 models, as was two-speed electric windshield wipers with electrically-powered windshield washers. The 88 still relied on vacuum-operated windshield wipers without a washer feature. 1959 Oldsmobiles were offered with "Autronic Eye" (a dashboard-mounted automatic headlight dimmer) as well as factory-installed air conditioning and power-operated front bench seat as available options.

The 1959 body style was continued through the 1960 model year, but the fins were toned down for 1960 and the taillights were moved to the bottom of the fenders.


Oldsmobile Headquarters (1966) - Building 70

In the 1960's Oldsmobile's position between Pontiac and Buick in GM's hierarchy began to dissolve. Notable achievements included the introduction of the first turbocharged engine in 1962 (the Turbo Jetfire), the first modern front-wheel drive car produced in the United States (the 1966 Toronado), the Vista Cruiser station wagon (noted for its roof glass), and the upscale 442 muscle car. Olds briefly used the names Jetstar 88 (1964–1966) and Delmont 88 (1967–1968) on its least expensive full size models in the 1960's.

Notable models for the 1960's:

Oldsmobile 442 - began as a 1964 muscle car option package (4-barrel carburetor, 4-speed manual transmission, 2 exhausts) on the F-85/Cutlass. In 1965, to better compete with the Pontiac GTO, the original 330 CID V8 rated at 310 hp (231 kW) was replaced by a new 400 CID V8 rated at 345 hp (257 kW). The 442 definition was changed to "4" hundred CID V8 engine, "4"-barrel carburetor, and "2" exhaust pipes, and was named by "Car Craft Nationals" as the "Top Car of 1965." In 1968 the 442 became its own model and got a larger 455 CID (7.5 L) V8 engine in 1970.

Oldsmobile Cutlass (1961–1999) - mid-size car. Oldsmobile's best seller in the 1970s and 1980s, and in some of those years America's best selling car. In 1966 a top-line Cutlass Supreme was introduced as a four-door hardtop sedan with a more powerful 320 hp (239 kW) 330 CID Jetfire Rocket V8 than the regular F-85/Cutlass models, a more luxurious interior and other trimmings. In 1967 the Cutlass Supreme was expanded to a full series also including two-door hardtop and pillared coupes, a convertible and a four-door pillared sedan. Also came with a 7.0L 425 CID engine as an option in 1966-1967

Oldsmobile F-85 (1961–1972) - compact sedan, coupe and station wagon powered by a 215CID aluminum block V8 engine from 1961 to 1963. In 1964 the F-85 was upgraded to an intermediate sized car and the aluminum V8 was replaced by conventional cast iron six-cylinder and V8 engines. The Cutlass was initially the top model of the F-85 line but became a separate model by 1964 with the F-85 nameplate continued only on the lowest priced models through the 1972 model year, after which all Oldsmobile intermediates were Cutlasses.

Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser (1964–1977) - a stretched wheelbase Cutlass station wagon, which was stretched to 120" from 115" in the 1964-67 models and to 121" from 116" in the 1968-72 models, the stretched area being in the second-row seating area. This car featured an elevated roof over the rear seat and cargo area and glass skylights over the rear seating area, which consisted of a transverse skylight over the second seat (two-piece from 1964–67, one-piece from 1968–72) and small longitudinal skylights directly over the rear cargo-area windows, and also featured standard second-row sunvisors. The three-seat models featured forward-facing seating, at a time when most three-seat station wagons had the third row of seats facing the rear. From 1965 - 1970, it would be Oldsmobile's flagship station wagon, as no full-sized wagons were produced. The third-generation 1973-77 models no longer had skylights other than an optional front-row pop-up sunroof. This car was merely an up-line trim package on the Cutlass Supreme wagon and carried the Vista Cruiser nameplate rather than the Cutlass nameplate. The optional third seat was rear-facing in the third-generation Vista Cruiser.

Oldsmobile Starfire (1961–1966) - a sporty and luxurious hardtop coupe and convertible based on the 88. The Starfire featured interiors with leather bucket seats and a center console with floor shifter, along with a standard Hydra-Matic transmission, power steering and brakes (and power windows and seats on convertibles). It was powered by Oldsmobile's most powerful Rocket V8 engine, a 394 CID engine from 1961 to 1964 rated from 330 to 345 hp (257 kW), and a larger 425 CID Super Rocket V8 from 1965 to 1966, rated at 375 hp (280 kW).

Oldsmobile Jetstar I (1964–1966) - Life for the somewhat obscure Jetstar I started in 1964. It was designed to be a low cost option to the successful full size Starfire series - more of a direct competitor to the Pontiac Grand Prix. Standard equipment included the 345 hp (257 kW) 394ci Starfire engine, vinyl bucket seats and console. Keeping the “sport” part of the Starfire, it possessed less of the luxury and glitz. It weighed in at 4028 pounds, and 16,084 were produced for 1964. It was a Starfire without the frills and was informally dubbed “the poor man’s Starfire”. Proving to be an ill-fated model, 1965 concluded the 2 year run for the Jetstar I. Only 6,552 were sold. The introduction of the Pontiac GTO and Oldsmobile 4-4-2 in 1964 insured the future of the musclecars were the intermediates, and the front-drive Toronado loomed big in Oldsmobile's future taking over the flagship status from the Starfire. Further confused with its lesser brethren with the Jetstar 88 nameplate, there was no way but out for the Jetstar I. And close examination of prices revealed that unless one bought a sparsely optioned JS1, there was little financial incentive to buy a JS1 over the Starfire. Take the $3602 base price and add the $107.50 power steering, the $43.00 power brakes, and the $242.10 automatic transmission (all standard on the Starfire), and you had a $4,000 Jetstar I. And less than $150 more would buy you the $4148 based priced Starfire, which not only included those standard features but a more luxurious leather interior. But lost in the mix was a jewel of a high performance car in the ’65 Jetstar I. Trimmed down to 3963#, the ’65 model was an overlooked performance car. The new 370 hp (276 kW) 425ci Starfire engine delivered 470 lb·ft (637 N·m) of torque, was durable, and was quite an improvement over the ’64 394. How serious was that horsepower and torque in ’65? If you wanted this much power in a Pontiac, it was only available in the top-of-the-line 421 HO Tri-Power engine that was not standard in any Pontiac model, but an extra-cost option. The new Oldsmobile Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission was a vast performance improvement over the previous “slim-jim” Hydra-Matic transmission. But best of all, Oldsmobile offered the Muncie 4-speed with Hurst shifter in ’65.

Oldsmobile boasted in a 1965 press release that “a Jetstar I proved to be the top accelerator of the entire event” at the 1965 Pure Oil Performance Trials in Daytona beach. Those trials were sanctioned and supervised by NASCAR.

Note: between 1964 and 1966, Oldsmobile named its least expensive full size model the Oldsmobile Jetstar 88 which the Jetstar I was not related to, and priced $500–$600 below the Jetstar I.

Oldsmobile Toronado (1966–1992) - a front-wheel drive coupe in the personal luxury car category, introduced in 1966. At the time, the largest and most powerful front wheel drive car ever produced, and one of the first modern front wheel drive cars equipped with an automatic transmission. The original Toronado was powered by a 425 CID Super Rocket V8 engine rated at 385 hp (287 kW), mated to a three speed Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission. The Toronado was Motor Trend magazine's 1966 "Car of the Year."

1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Sedan

Oldsmobile sales soared in the 1970's and 1980's (for an all-time high of 1,066,122 in 1985) based on popular designs, positive reviews from critics and the perceived quality and reliability of the Rocket V8 engine, with the Cutlass series becoming North America's top selling car by 1976. By this time, Olds had displaced Pontiac and Plymouth as the #3 best selling brand in the U.S. behind Chevrolet and Ford. In the early 1980's, model-year production topped one million units on several occasions, something only Chevrolet and Ford had achieved.

The soaring popularity of Oldsmobile vehicles resulted in a major issue in the late 1970's. At that time, each General Motors division produced its own V8 engines, and in 1977, Oldsmobile, Chevrolet, Pontiac and Buick each produced a unique 350 cubic inch displacement V8.

It was during the 1977 model year that demand exceeded production capacity for the Oldsmobile V8, and as a result Oldsmobile began equipping most full size Delta 88 models (those with Federal emissions specifications) with the Chevrolet 350 engine instead. Although it was widely debated whether there was a difference in quality or performance between the two engines, there was no question that the engines were different from one another. Many customers were loyal Oldsmobile buyers who specifically wanted the Rocket V8, and did not discover that their vehicle had the Chevrolet engine until they performed maintenance and discovered that purchased parts did not fit. This became a public relations nightmare for GM.

Following this debacle, disclaimers stating that "Oldsmobiles are equipped with engines produced by various GM divisions" were tacked on to advertisements and sales literature; all other GM divisions followed suit. In addition, GM quickly stopped associating engines with particular divisions, and to this day all GM engines are produced by "GM Powertrain" (GMPT) and are called GM "Corporate" engines instead of GM "Division" engines. Although it was the popularity of the Oldsmobile division vehicles that prompted this change, declining sales of V8 engines would have made this change inevitable as all but the Chevrolet version of the 350 cubic inch engine were eventually dropped.

Oldsmobile also introduced a 5.7L (350cu-in, V-8) diesel engine option on its' delta 88 & 98 models in 1978 and a smaller 4.3L (260 cu-in) displacement diesel on the '79 Cutlass Supreme. These were largely based on their gasoline engines but with heavier duty cast blocks, re-designed heads, fast glow plugs, and on the 5.7L, oversized cranks, main bearings, and wrist pins. There were several problems with these engines including water and corrosion in the injectors (no water separator in the fuel line), parafin clogging of fuel lines and filters in cold weather, reduced lubrication in the heads due to undersized oil galleys, head bolt failures, and the use of aluminum rockers and stanchions in the 4.3L engines. While the 5.7L was also offered on the 1980 Caddilac, Buick, Pontiac, and Chevy Impala, they were soon discontinued by all divisions by the mid 80s.

1987 Oldsmobile 88

Notable models:

Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme (1967–1997) - more performance and luxury than the lower priced Cutlass and Cutlass S models, fitting in at the lower end of the personal luxury car market. Models were similar to the Pontiac Grand Prix, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, and Buick Regal.

Oldsmobile 98 - Oldsmobile full-sized luxury sedan that was downsized in 1977 and 1985, became front wheel drive in 1985

Oldsmobile Toronado (1966–1992) - personal luxury coupe, major redesign downsized the car in 1986, Motor Trend Car of the Year in '66

Oldsmobile Omega (1973–1984) - compact car based on the Chevrolet Nova and later the Chevrolet Citation.

Oldsmobile Calais (or Cutlass Calais) (1985–1991) - popular compact coupe or sedan on GM's "N-body" platform, similar to the Pontiac Grand Am. The series' name was taken from what was formerly the high-end option package for Cutlass Supreme models.

Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera (1982–1996) - popular selling upscale mid-sized car based on GM's A platform. During its run, the Cutlass Ciera was Oldsmobile's best-selling model. It consistently ranked among the highest rated vehicles by J.D. Power and Associates; it was ranked the "Best in Price Class" on July 30, 1992 and the "Top-Ranked American-Made Car" on May 28, 1992. It was also named "Safe Car of the Year" by Prevention Magazine on March 6, 1992.

Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser (1971–1992) - full-size station wagon.

Oldsmobile Starfire (1975–1980) - Sporty subcompact, hatchback coupe similar to the Chevrolet Monza, which was itself, based on the Chevrolet Vega.

Oldsmobile Firenza (1982–1988) - compact sedan, hatchback, coupe, and station wagon based on GM's J-body, sharing the same bodyshell with the Chevrolet Cavalier, Pontiac Sunbird, Buick Skyhawk, and Cadillac Cimarron.


1994 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight Royale

After the tremendous success of the early 1980's, things changed quickly for Oldsmobile, and by 1990 the brand had lost its place in the market, squeezed between other GM divisions, and with competition from new upscale import makes such as Acura and Lexus. Oldsmobile's signature cars gave way to rebadged models of other GM cars, and GM shifted the performance mantle to Chevrolet and Pontiac. GM continued to use Oldsmobile sporadically to showcase futuristic designs and as a "guinea pig" for testing new technology, with Oldsmobile offering the Toronado Trofeo, which included a visual instrument system with a calendar, datebook, and climate controls. For 1995, Oldsmobile introduced the Aurora, which would be the inspiration for the design of its cars from the mid-1990s onward. The introduction of the Aurora marked as General Motors' catalyst to reposition Oldsmobile as an upscale import fighter. Accordingly, Oldsmobile received a new logo based on the familiar "rocket" theme. Nearly all the existing model names were gradually phased out: the Cutlass Calais in 1991, the Toronado and Custom Cruiser in 1992, the Ninety-Eight and Ciera (formerly Cutlass Ciera) in 1996, Cutlass Supreme in 1997, and finally the Eighty-Eight and Cutlass (which had only been around since '97) in 1999. They were replaced with newer, more modern models with designs inspired by the Aurora.

First Generation Oldsmobile Aurora

Redesigned & new models introduced from 1990–2004:

Oldsmobile Achieva (1992–1998) - compact sedan & coupe

Oldsmobile Alero (1999–2004) - compact sport sedan & coupe

Oldsmobile Aurora (1995–2003) - full-size luxury/performance sedan (redesigned for 2001)

Oldsmobile Bravada (1991–2004) - mid-size premium SUV (redesigned for 1996 and 2002)

Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser (1971–1992) - full-size station wagon. (Redesigned for 1991)

Oldsmobile Cutlass (1997–1999) - mid-size sedan

Oldsmobile Eighty Eight (1949–1999) - full-size premium sedan (redesigned for 1992)

Oldsmobile Intrigue (1998–2002) - mid-size luxury/sport sedan

Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight (1941–1996) - full-size luxury sedan (redesigned for 1991)

Oldsmobile Silhouette (1990–2004) - premium minivan (redesigned for 1997)


002 Oldsmobile Alero

In spite of Oldsmobile's critical successes since the mid-1990s, a reported shortfall in sales and overall profitability prompted General Motors to announce in December 2000 their plans to phase out the Oldsmobile brand. The announcement took place just two days after Oldsmobile unveiled what would be its last new model ever, the Bravada SUV - which became, somewhat ironically, another critical hit for the division.

The phaseout was conducted on the following schedule:

Mid-2001: The 2002 Bravada, the company's last new model, hits Oldsmobile showrooms

June 2002: Production ends for Intrigue and the Aurora V6 sedans

March 2003: Aurora V8 sedan production ends

January 2004: Bravada SUV production ends

March 2004: Silhouette minivan production ends

April 2004: Alero compact car production ends

The final 500 Aleros, Auroras, Bravadas, Silhouettes and Intrigues produced received special Oldsmobile heritage emblems and markings which signified 'Final 500'. All featured a unique Dark Cherry Metallic paint scheme. Auroras and Intrigues would be accompanied by special Final 500 literature.

The final production day for Oldsmobile was April 29, 2004. The division's last car built was an Alero GLS 4-door sedan, which was signed by all of the Olds assembly line workers. It is on display at the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum located in Lansing, Michigan.

Source: Wikipedia