Saturday, December 1, 2012

1969 Citroen DS21

The Citroen DS21 Pallas is a one family car since new. The DS is an abbreviation of desses or goddess, and Pallas is named after a Greek goddess. Manufactured for 20 years from 1955, Citroen produced nearly 1.5 million. The car has self-leveling hydropneumatic suspension, supreme ride quality, handling and braking.

An executive vehicle, the Citroen DS was also called the ‘Goddess' or ‘Déesse' and was introduced by the French Manufacturer Citroen. Unveiled in 1955, the Citroen DS was produced until 1975. More than 1.5 million D-series were produced during its 20 year long production run. The D-series was incredibly futuristic and cutting-edge with an aerodynamic body design that was designed by Flaminio Bertoni. The DS featured intense roadholding, braking and handling, and hydropneumatic self-leving suspension system.

The DS 19 was introduced on October 5, 1955 at the Paris Motor Show following more than 18 years of covert development as the replacement to the Traction Avant. The DS 19 stunned the public with its appearance and avant-garde engineering and 743 orders were placed in the first 15 minutes, with the total amount of orders totaling 12,000 for the first day. The DS-19 ‘defied virtually every automotive design convention of that era', and was a symbol of French ingenuity.

Unfortunately the price was too high and this affected sales in a country that was still struggling following WWII 10 years earlier. A cheaper submodel, the ID, was unveiled in 1957, and shared the same body with the DS but came with more traditional features under the hood.

The Citroen DS managed to remain on top of its game and ahead of its time throughout its lifetime. Featuring such features as power disc brakes, variable ground clearance, hydropneumatic suspension that included an automatic leveling system, power steering and a semi-automatic transmission and a fiberglass roof that reduced weight transfer. Many other features were also included. Unfortunately the DS design was affected by the tax horsepower system which effectively mandated small engines. The Citroen DS had a very illustrious past on the motorsport circuit and won the Monte Carlo Rally in both 1959 and 1966. in 2005 the DS placed fifth on Automobile Magazine's '100 Coolest Cars' listing. The DS was also famous for being the first production vehicle to ever have front disc brakes.

In 1965 the DS 21 was launched with a 2175 cc, 5 main bearing engine. In 1970, Bosch electronic fuel injection was introduced and was a substantial increase of power to the engine. The DS was one of the first mass-market vehicles to use electronic fuel injection.

The DS 21 was a true luxury car that featured large, broad leather seats up front, along with plush seats in the back. The 21 was a front wheel drive, with no tunnel to accommodate the drive shaft, but the engine was mounted longitudinally and aft of the transmission. The weight distribution was excellent due to half-shafts extended out to the front wheels. With a European dashboard, the driver doesn't turn over the engine with a regular key, but by pushing the gear shift lever into a particular position towards the left. The exterior of the DS 21 was a work of art that featured flowing lines and aerodynamic body with smooth angles.

The 21 engine only had 4 cylinders, but it gave decent displacement and featured hemispherical combustion chambers that achieved more than adequate power. The entire vehicle operates off a master hydraulic system with a hydraulic pump located up front with the alternator. The high-pressure hydraulic power was available whenever the engine was running. There are no springs or torsion bars used to suspend the vehicle and each wheel featured an independently controlled hydraulic ‘shock' powered off the high-pressure system, which was basically self-leveling suspension.

Both the clutch and the gear change in the DS 21 were controlled by the master hydraulic system, and no clutch pedal was found on the floor. The clutch was engaged by accelerating the engine.

Staying quite popular in the public's eye, the DS peaked in 1970 before being surpassed by the more modern, wider SM. In 1976 the Citroen DM was finally phased out after a production run of 1,455,746 units being produced and was replaced in the model range by the CX.

DS models were constructed in Paris, France, the UK, former Yugoslavia, Australia and South Africa. Today DS sedans are still used mainstream as taxicabs in various parts of the former Yugoslavia. DS's were sold in the U.S. from 1956 through 1972 with a total of 38,000 units being sold.

By Jessica Donaldson

Source: Internet

1962 AMC Rambler Budd XR-400

In 1962, Budd created a prototype car called the XR-400 (The R stood for Rambler). This convertible design based on the two-door Ambassador was elegant and clean, but it would be rejected by AMC.

The Budd Corporation was founded in 1912 by Edward R. Budd and would grow over time to become one of the biggest companies in American transportation. Their work included contract designs and construction of rail cars including city trolleys and high-speed rolling stock. Their business would further grow to include aircraft manufacturing and ship building. In the early 1930's, Edward Budd patented a unitary body/chassis construction for cars. Later, the company would design and develop automobiles based on production car for various clients.

After pitching a design to Ford for the Thunderbird, the company switched their efforts to American Motors. Budd and AMC had a history; Budd had supplied much of AMC's tooling and parts. They had collaborated with AMC on designs and the past, and the XR-400 was to be a platform to showcase the company's capabilities.

The XR-400 was a 2+2 sports car convertible derived from the two-door sedan version of the new 112-inch wheelbase. Since the new platform was net yet in production, Budd built the prototype from a two-door 1962 Ambassador riding on a 108-inch wheelbase. Besides just exterior changes, the mechanical features were updated to cope with the new designs. The engine was lowered by two inches, the radiator was lowered by 3.5-inches, and there were new rear engine mounts, pedal box, and gas tank. The fan blades was shortened, as was the oil-filler neck. The exhaust system was reshaped and the batter, header, and air cleaner were re-located.

Sadly, the XR-400 would remain a prototype.

By Daniel Vaughan

Source: Internet

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving From My
Family To Yours!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

1940 Duesenberg Model SJ

The Duesenberg Model J was the result of Errett Loban Cord's vision of creating the greatest American vehicle ever produced. It had all the amenities available, lots of power, and carried the Duesenberg's prestigious name. It was introduced to the public at the 1928 New York Auto Show. As was the case with many manufacturers at the time, various coachbuilders were tasked with outfitting the vehicle with various designs and creations. Meaning a chassis was usually supplied to the coachbuilder, including all mechanical compoents. The coach-builders would then create a body for the vehicle. The chassis used for the Model J was a simple ladder frame with solid front and rear axles. They were designed to accommodate all the body types to be created, regardless of the size. A revolutionary maintenance system was installed on the Model J's that automatically provided lubrication to various parts of the chassis after a period of time. Installed on the dashboard were lights that illuminated after various mileages elapsed informing the driver to perform preventive maintenance on the battery and to change the oil.

The 32 valve, dual-overhead camshaft eight-cylinder engine was capable of producing 265 horsepower. The 6.9 liter power-plant was designed by Fred Duesenber and constructed by the Lycoming engineer builder. A supercharger was available increasing horsepower even further. A small number of the Model J's were outfitted with the supercharged, they became known as the Model SJ. A few SJ's were modified further through the use of a ram-horn intake which boosted horsepower to an astonishing 400. These very rare examples were dubbed the Model SSJ. A four-speed gearbox was initially offered but was unable to handle the engines power. It was later replaced with a 3-speed gearbox that was unsynchronized. Ultimately, the Model J was difficult to drive and control due to its size and its horsepower.

Through out the production life span of the Model J only 481 examples were produced, falling well short of the initial estimated production figures. Part of the reason was the price tag and the economical turmoil the country was facing. The World War's and the Great Depression were difficult times for many companies and it was hard to gauge the impact it would have on the sales of the vehicles at the time.

The Model J vehicles were purchased by the rich and the famous. The Model J was truly a paragon that defined style, class, performance, and quality. Their low production figures and the various body-styles produced by coachbuilders ensure their exclusivity and their ability to fetch top dollar even in modern times. It is not uncommon to see a Model J sold at auction for more than a million dollars.

Though the Duesenberg Company ceased production in 1937, there were still individuals interested in having a Duesenberg automobile. Less than 500 of the Model J and Model SJ combined had been constructed which left few options for acquiring an example. A wealthy German, named Bauer, commissioned one to be constructed, even though the company had gone out of business. A demonstration chassis was in the possession of Felz Motors though it had a damaged cylinder and a LeBaron body. Felz Motors had purchased most of the spare chassis when the company folded.

The chassis was lengthened considerably to accommodate a larger body. Bauer's goal was to construct the longest car ever to be driven on roadways. There were many considerations when trying to achieve this goal; such as is it feasible and could it be done. The weight of the body and the stress applied to the chassis, suspension, and tires would be considerable. The spare tire was moved to the rear of the vehicle and the running boards were discarded. The front end was lengthened and a new grille was used for the front. The largest Duesenberg hood ornament ever to grace a Model J/SJ was built and placed in the front of the vehicle.

The LeBaron body was removed and the engine was repaired. Bauer drew up the designs for his Duesenberg and commissioned the German based coachbuilder, Erdmann & Rossi to construct the body. The chassis was prepared for shipping and sent to NY to be loaded on a ship that would take it to Germany. Just before the vehicle was loaded onto the ship, Bauer had a change of heart due to the demise of the conditions in Europe. The car remained in the United States and sent to Rollson to be bodied.

In the early 1940's, the vehicle was completed and delivered to its owner. This is the last Duesenberg Model J/SJ ever constructed.

This vehicle is still in original condition and was shown at the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where it was awarded a Second In Class in the preservation class.

By Daniel Vaughan

Source: Internet

DeLorean DMC-12

The DMC was rear-engined with a composite molded chassis and gullwing doors. Styling was by Giorgio Giugiaro, derived from his Tapiro concept-car design of 1970. The bodywork was composed of brushed stainless steel, the idea being that it would never require painting and be resistant to superficial blemishes.

The DeLorean was intended to be safe, technically advanced, limited in production and high-priced. Millions of dollars were spent on 'engineering development.' Production began late, the cars proved disappointing and sold poorly, and a halt was called to the venture in 1982.

This is the 2nd DeLorean produced. The car is powered by Smokey Yunick's research hot vapor engine.

Sold for $23,100 at 2007 RM Auctions.

This 1981 Delorean DMC12 is a very original example with only 355 miles on the odometer. It is powered by a V6 engine that displaces 174 cubic-inches and produces 130 horsepower. There is a three-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel independent suspension. Disc brakes can be found on all four corners and the wheelbase measures 94.8-inches. This car was put up for sale at the 2007 RM Auctions held in Mead Brook where it was offered without reserve and estimated to fetch between $20,000 - $30,000.

Standard features on the DMC12 were electric windows and mirrors, air-conditioning, a Craig stereo, central-locking and leather seats. The chassis was constructed from a Lotus designed chassis and consists of a central box-section backbone, and 'Y' shaped sub-frames. The body was formed from glass-reinforced plastic, with Brushed Grade 304 stainless-steel panels attached.

This DeLorean remains in very original condition and attracted a high bid of $23,100. At auction, this car was sold.

By Daniel Vaughan

In the last sixty years, very few new car enterprises have been launched from the ground up. However, with years of experience in the auto industry, John DeLorean knew that if he wanted to build his own car design, creating his own company was the most direct way. Willing to build a factory in what ever country was going to assist him the most, DeLorean decided on Northern Ireland after the British Prime Minister gave him the nod to a deal that included around $100 million in support.

The car was designed by the Italian designer Giorgio Giugiaro, it has a Renault engine, a British chassis, a Lotus process developed structure, and was destined for sale to an American audience. The most striking feature of the DeLorean is its brushed stainless steel finish. It took the DeLorean workers 15 months to get the look they wanted. The stainless steel is scratch resistant and corrosion proof, but can be very difficult to repair if damaged.

For the better part of the last century, new car companies have opened and closed without ever completing one product model. John Delorean's company was able to produce more than 8500 DMC-12 models before production ceased. And the impact of the DeLorean's bold move remains in the background motivating new ideas in the auto industry.

Source - SDAM

The 'Back to the Future Car.' The trio of the time-traveling movie series has sent this car into a world of its own. Unfortunately for the owner of the Delorian company, Mr. John Delorian, that he stopped selling the vehicle in 1982 before it could become famous by the 1985 movie.

The Delorian has similarities to the Lotus Esprit, and thus it should. It was designed by the same individual, Giorgetti Giugiaro of Ital Design. The car featured a V-6 alloy engine developed by Peugot, Renault, and Volvo. The vehicles slated for the European market had an engine they could be proud of. However, those going to America received a detuned version that greatly deteriorated the horsepower. The engine was placed in the rear of the car and gave the vehicle a 65/35 weight distribution. The transmission used was a Renault-derived five-speed manual. The Flux capacitor, capable of producing 1.1 Jigawatts of electricity, was added in 1985.

The body was made of stainless steel-clad panels. It was hard to keep clean; finger prints would show, that is why the manufacturer would provide cleaning materials with every vehicle sold. The Mercedes-Benz 300SL was the influence for the gullwing doors.

Production ran from 1980 through 1982. The car stopped selling poor build quality, expensive American Federal emission regulations, and lousy performance (American models). It probably did not help that the owner, John Delorian, was arrested on drug charges but later acquitted. When the company finally buckled there were still 2000 unsold Delorians.

By Daniel Vaughan

Source: Internet

1979 Stutz Bearcat

The Bearcat began in the late 1960's by the revived Stutz Motor Company. The company had been resurrected by a New York banker named James O'Donnell. The Bearcat was designed by the legendary Virgil Exner and based on the 'Duesenberg Revival Concept car. A production version was not ready until the late 1970's. It used the GM A platform which it shared with the Blackhawk. Production was low, with around 13 examples produced.

By Daniel Vaughan

The Bearcat was quite successful for more than twenty years, but unfortunately it was put out of business by the Great Depression of the 1930's along with the Duesenberg, Marmon and Pierce Arrow. It may be its quick and somewhat unexpected disappearance that added a bit to its romantic history.

It was nearly 30 years that the Stutz Company had remained dormant when Virgil Exner went to the O'Donnel Organization in 1968. Exner had been a veteran designer who went to Wall Street to petition for financial and management aid in manufacturing a ‘neo-classic' vehicle by using American engineering merged with the stellar artistry known from Italian coachbuilders. Exner originally wanted financing to create a new Duesenberg and he was part of a group that included Fred Duesenberg, the nephew of the original carmaker. Together they had an eye-catching prototype but were waiting merely on funding before production could begin. Unfortunately for them, the project was not well thought out and was immersed in serious debt. The loan was not approved at this time.

Several months later a financer contacted Exner and agreed to explore the manufacture of a different vehicle. The agreement was made that Exner would be wholly responsible for the designs the financer on the management and the financing. A market study of the luxury car market was first made and conclusions from that study reinforced determination to build a line of custom vehicles with classic lines.

August of 1968, the financer visited Exner in Birmingham, Michigan and viewed a sketch of one that resembled a non-threatening looking Batmobile. This design was chosen the winner, perhaps because the front of the vehicle had a phallic look that created excitement. Additional opinions were received from the Pontiac Division at General Motors were John Z. DeLorean headed the department. DeLorean agreed that the project was feasible and liked the concept. He agreed that the firm pointed lines of the design could only be created by hand.

The next decision was made how much financing to put into the production and how to go about getting it. Numerous questions arose regarding where the prototype would be constructed, what government regulations would need to by complied with and price range should they target. A name was also needed to proceed further. The financer had once had a Greek friend whose father owned a black and yellow Stutz Bearcat. Able to ride in it when he was younger, the financer had never forgotten the sensation of riding in the austere automobile.

Since the original Stutz Motor Company had been dormant for thirty years, the name was now public domain. They were able to use it, but it did take ten years of legal battles and fees, but success was finally won. With an initial capitalization of $100,000.000, the team eventually raised $1,200,000.00, the bare minimum needed for a project of this size. After they raised the capital, the next step in the process was to make the prototype. Exner fashioned a clay model of the new Stutz according to the vital measurement of a 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix. It was extremely important that the new Stutz body fit every centimeter of the Grand Prix, and when finished the clay model had the exact look and dimension of the car to be made.

The manufacturing site picked was in Cavallermaggiore, Italy, which was nearly an hour from Milan, outside of Tourin. The prototype from the clay model was made here and set up for subsequent production.

Stutz only made the handmade coach and the exquisite interiors, but it did not make any engine parts, AC's, radios or electrical systems. Once Exner was pleased with his final clay model, plastic forms or 'skins' were made over the clay model, the process of making the skins destroyed the original clay model, and it no longer exists now. The body parts were placed in a large fixture where a Grand Prix chassis waited for the welding process. In July of 1969 the mannequin was finally completed. The total cost for the prototype was $300,000 and would cost an estimated two million today.

The all new Stutz Motor Car Company of America didn't make any parts of the car except for the hand-crafted interior and the handmade coach. Suppliers had to be found and contracts needed to be negotiated to obtain more than thirty items to complete the production. The GM chassis gives the customer the best of both worlds, especially since parts and service on a GM car is available worldwide. Stutz body parts can be handmade in basically any good body shop anywhere.

Despite most of the vehicle being made based on practicality, a few pure luxury touches were added as well. The metal fittings inside the vehicle, the steering rim, the window controls and the cigarette lighter were all plated with 14K gold. The engine oil dip stick even featured this. With each new Stutz purchased buyers received two gold plated ignition keys.

In December of 1969, the first model was completed. The model was called the Stutz Blackhawk, a two door hardtop, the new Bearcat had to be a convertible. The U.S. government had outlawed the sales of convertibles in the U.S. and a design modification was necessary to comply with these new safety regulations. Unfortunately this kept the Stutz from realizing its full sales potential for a status vehicle.

On January 20, 1970, the Stutz Blackhawk prototype was flown to NYC and made it official debut at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It made an incredible impression on both the American and the International Press. This was an opportune time for a new luxury vehicle in America, more importantly, a handmade one.

A production Bearcat wasn't manufactured until 1979 and that model used the GM A platform shared with the Blackhawk and it was essentially a Targa top coupe. The following year the Bearcat switched with the Blackhawk to the GM B platform. The exterior continued the Blackhawk's exposed trunk-mounted spare tire. For 1987 the base platform was now the GM F platform with the trailing edge of the spare now forming part of the car's rear bumper.

Elvis Pressley bought the first car sold by the new Stutz Company. He bought three more of these vehicles later. Thought only 12, or possibly 13 modern Stutz Bearcats were ever produced, it was a great example of a plush luxury vehicle.

By Jessica Donaldson

Source: Internet

1972 Stutz Blackhawk

The Stutz Blackhawk was produced from 1971 through 1989 by the revived Stutz Motor Company. The company had been resurrected by a New York banker named James o'Donnell.

The Blackhawk was designed by the legendary Virgil Exner and prototyped by Ghia. It made its debut in January of 1970 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

By the time production ended, an estimated 500-600 examples had been produced.

The engine in the 1972 Stutz Blackhawk was a modified Pontiac 455 cubic-inch unit that offered an astonishing 430 horsepower. Zero-to-sixty took about 8.4 seconds with its maximum speed achieved at 130 miles per hour.

By Daniel Vaughan

An American luxury car, the Blackhawk was introduced in 1971 until 1987 by the Stutz Motor Company. Designed by Virgil Exner, the Blackhawk was prototyped by Ghia for more than $300,000. Unveiled at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City in January of 1970, the Blackhawk was met with excited response. Approximately 500-600 units ad been manufactured by the end of production in 1987. In 1972 the MSRP for the Blackhawk was sold for $23,000 and the following year it was sold for $43,000.

The steel body of the Blackhawk was hand built by Torina, Italy. The overall length measured more than 19 feet long, and the production model used Pontiac Grand Prix running gear, Pontiac's 7.5 L V8 engine and a GM TH400 automatic transmission. The engine was tuned to produce 425 hp and had 420 lb/ft of torque. Weighing 5,000lbs, the Blackhawk could achieve 0-60mph in just 8.4 seconds and had a top speed of 130 mph. Later on during its production period, Blackhawk's used Pontiac's 403 and 350.

The design of the Blackhawk by Exner came with a spare tire that protruded through the trunklid and separate headlights. Inside the Blackhawk were gold plated trim and birds-eye maple. The original Blackhawk models were coupes, but eventually sedans were produced. The Blackhawk was completely redesigned in 1980 for the Pontiac Bonneville chassis.

Elvis Presley was the first to purchase the original production vehicle, and he eventually bought four more. Other elite owners to own the Stutz Blackhawk included Evel Knievel, Sammy Davis Jrs. Larry Goulet, Dean Martin, Wilson Picket, Robert Goulet, Larry Holmes, Jerry Lewis, Billy Joel, Lucille Ball, Elton John, Al Pacino, Frank Sinatra, Paul MCartney and many more influential people. Each vehicle included a dash plaque that named its original owner.

By Jessica Donaldson

Source: Internet

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

General Motors' 50th Anniversary 'Golden Jubilee'

To celebrate General Motors' 50th Anniversary 'Golden Jubilee', all stops were pulled out by the designers on the 1958 Pontiac Bonneville Sport Coupe, undoubtedly one of the flashiest of all 1950's vehicles. A one year only body was featured as a final staement by longtime GM styling chief Harley Earl before his retirement. The entire 1958 lineup litterly sparkled chrome. Unique two-tone exterior color combo's and delxue interiors were showcased on interiors on all 58 models from Chevrolet's, Pontiacs, Buick, Oldmobiles and Cadillacs. There motto for this year was ‘The Boldest Advance in Fifty Years!'

Semon E. 'Bunkie' Knudsen became Pontiac's new general manager in the summer of 1956 and soon after he hired Pete Estes and John DeLorean. Huge changes were in the works for Pontiac. First introduced as mainly a dealer promotion vehicle, that attempted to highlight Pontiac's new high performance image, the original Bonneville was a largy flashy convertible with a highly powered V8 engine generating 310 horsepower.

Originally introduced as a limited production performance convertible in the Pontiac Star Chief model range during the 1957 model year, the Bonneville eventually became its own series in 1958. Historically based of of the Cadillac DeVille, the Bonneville was built by the Pontiac division of General Motors from 1958 until 2005. Pontiac has been best known for its performance vehicles, especially since the introduction of the Bonneville I 1957. Perhaps a little flashier and faster than than a Chevrolet, it is still cheaper than an equivalent Oldsmobile or Buick. That has remained Pontiac's mission.

First appearing in 1954 on on a pair of bubble-topped GM Motorama concept vehicles called the Bonneville Special, the Bonneville name first entered the lineup as the Star Chief Custom Bonneville, which was a high-performance, fuel-injected luxury convertible late during the 57 model year. The very first Bonneville was a spectacular, chrome-laden convertible with a continental-style spare wheel mounting, fuel-injeted engine. It came with an eight-power front seat, underseat heater, degroster electric antenna, and many more unique and exclusive features.

During that first year, only a total of 630 units were produced. This small amount made it the most collectible Pontiac of all time, especially since it cost twice the amount of the star Chief convertible. The Bonneville has persisted, and remained as the division's top of the line model until 2005. Many speed records were being set at the Utah salt flats, and the name was created from the town of Bonneville, the place of much auto racing, and most of the world's land speed record runs.

The public must have liked both the car and its name became in 1958, a coupe was added into the lineup as Bonneville expanded into its own series. In this year it paced the Indianapolis 500. Offering 225 hp an 285 hp V8 engines, the Bonneville sat atop the Pontiac range, also offering a deluxe steering wheel, unique upholstery and chrome wheel covers. The Bonneville also featured wraparound windshields and rear window, two-toning on the roof and long striking sidespear plus chrome hash marks placed on the front fenders.

During its third year, the ‘59 Bonneville gained a 4-door bodystyle along with a nearly complete line in itself. The Pontiac Wide-Track was born in 1959, when all Pontiac makes and models received new chassis with ‘wide-track' stance. During this year, the introduction of two of Pontiac's greatest marketing inspirations were showcased, the split grille, and the Wide Track slogan, both are still part of Pontiac's image to this day.

Sales peaed in 1966 at 135,401 units sold. In 1969, the main highlight became the new V8 engine that provided 360 horesepower. Considered Pontiac's most expensive and most luxurious model throughout the 1960s, the Bonneville was extremely instrumental in moving Pontiac to third place in sales from 1962 until 1970. Bonneville's constantly received updates, changes and restyling, along with new features for all of its trim models throughout the 1970's.

During the early 1970's, the Grand Ville name was being used for Pontiac's highest-price model, and though the Bonneville was de-emphasized slightly, it never went away. In 1976, the Bonneville emerged in the top spot. This was the final year before the down-sized full-sized Pontiacs began to appear in 1977.

The Bonneville nameplate was quite abruptly moved from a full-size vehicle to the mid-sized car in 1982. The mid-sized car was previously known as the Pontiac LeMans. This change was not taken to very well by customers, so Pontiac was forced to reintroduce a full-sized vehicle. They brought over the Canadian-built Pontiac Parisienne, which was basically a re-styled Chevy Caprile that was powered by a Chevrolet V6 or V8 engine. Once again, Bonneville was placed one notch below the top of the line.

Just like the previous time, downsizing became the salvation that the Bonneville needed. The Parisienne was discontinued in 1987, and the Bonneville was redesigned completely as a front-wheel drive vehicle and once again rejoined in pre-1982 platmform buddies, the Buick LeSabre and the Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight. It again regained its status as the senior Pontiac and the SE Bonneville was placed on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for that year.

The decision was made by Pontiac to change the Bonneville from rear wheel drive with a V8 engine to a more economical front wheel drive 3.8 V6 vehicle in 1987. The V6 that was installed was a 3.8L V6 with the RPO code of LG3. A dive in the performance market soon followed, as this engine only produced around 150 hp, though it had a kick of 210 ft-lbs of torque power.

The following model that was introduced in 1989, the Bonneville LE may have been Pontiac's attempt to add a bit more of pep and pizazz to the Bonneville line. This new model moved up to 15 hp and 10 ft-lbs of torque, and this engine has the RPO code of LN3. The Bonneville was once again redesigned in 1991, though it did remain as an H-body.

A total redesign was done in 1992 to the exterior of the Bonneville, though the interior experienced very few changes. The LE trim was also taken off the lineup. Available trims for 1992 were SE, SSE, and SSEi, and airbags now came as standard features in Bonnevilles. Nearly 100,000 Bonneville models were sold in 1992.

Things once again changed in 1993, though the exterior remained the same, the interior did go through a slight update. A sport Luxury Edition was made available for '93, which was basically a base SE, with an SSE exterior, an all of the same available options as an SE. Much remained unchanged for the 1994 model. Much of the vehicle has remained the same throughout the next few years, making way for a total redesign for the 2002 model year.

The Bonneville regained a V8 option on the GXP trim for 2004, which has been a first since 1986. On February 8, 2005, GM announced that the Bonneville would be dropped from Pontiac's lineup for 2006. The high-end Pontiac Grand Prix GXP trim replaced the Bonneville.

For many years, the vehicle fondly called the 'Bonne', the Pontiac Bonneville has showcased a mix of luxury, performance with the aid of a supercharged 3.8 liter engine.

By Jessica Donaldson

Source: Internet

1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama

Designer: Harley Earl

It's said that Harley Earl, director of GM styling, got the idea for a GM concept car while watching world speed records being set at the Salt Flats in Utah. It would be a sports racer called a Bonneville Special. That was when 1954 models were being readied for production and no GM car had ever carried the Bonneville name. Perhaps Harley Earl gave the assignment to Pontiac as the birth of its upcoming performance image. Under the direction of Earl, Hommer LaGassey and Paul Gilland were directed to build two Bonneville Specials. The bronze car would debut in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf in New York and the Green one in the Pan Pacific Auditorium in Los Angeles. The Green one would later tour major dealerships around the country. The cars were showbiz and beyond production but realistic enough for the public to identify with them and make them contenders for best remembered Motorama cars.

The outrageous, Corvette-derived, two-seat, fiberglass bubble-top Pontiac Bonneville Special 'Dream Car' roadster was powered by a 268 cubic-inch flathead straight eight, enhanced to produce 230 horsepower. It had a bank of four side-draft two-barrel carburetors and coupled to a two-speed Hydramatic transmission.

The front fenders had 'Bonneville Special' lettering over twin finned-aluminum faux oil coolers. The rear fenders were rounded and arched over the wheels before extending behind them with a round, chrome-rimmed tail-lamp molded in each of their vertical trailing edges. Among its many unique features was the 'Continental Kit' spare tire housing integrated into the rear deck. Its clear plastic gullwing hatches swung up from its roof's center section, allowing for entry and exit.

Pontiac's Motorama star for 1954 was its first sports dream car, the Bonneville Special. Using a name that would make the production cars in 1957 and never let go, the 100-inch wheelbase and fiberglass Bonneville has a transparent plexiglass roof with opening panels over the seat to aid access.

It looks every bit the competition car it was designed to be; however, Pontiac was a year away from having its new V-8 and the 48-inch high machine had to make do with a flathead straight eight and Hydramatic transmission, somewhat limiting potential performance. Hood lines flow back from the open grill to two small scoops, via the traditional Pontiac silver streaks.

Defining the rear is a vertically mounted spare time and wheel with an exposed center. Red bucket seats and full instrumentation, spread across the dash, marked the interior.

Harley J. Earl's trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, was said to be the inspiration for the name, the Bonneville was lucky to survive. Most Dream Cars were deliberately cut up to avoid any possible litigation.

Source: Internet

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Homemade Car From Parts Found On The Farm

When you live on a farm you learn to "make do" with whatever you find in the barn!!

This is the exact and perfect example of why we save everything. This car has been built with all of the “junk” laying out back in the pile, and under the work bench, and stuffed in the rafters. All this guy needed was a little time on his hands.

Spotted in Cannon Falls , MN on 5/23/12 – It’s a car? or a truck?

Milk Can Fuel Tank

Check out the “gearing wheel”... What do you see?

Dash is a saw blade with handles attached - tractor hand brake - tachometer - Two mirrors mounted on horse shoes - big truck signal switch mounted on left - single wiper motor -

How many men who grew up on a farm are now thinking – Why didn't we do that?

Cow milking apparatus on air cleaner - galvanized wash tub fan shroud -

Tractor wrench bracket for headlamp housing -

Rear seats from toilet with stereo speakers below them -New home seat backs including an Oxen yoke!!

The rear lamp frame built with saw blades and a chicken feeder box - manure spreader drive is still intact - horse shoe door hinges.

Tractor seats with pitchfork backs - seat belts - tractor compartment box behind driver seat - gear shift beside hand brake - stereo & CD player on dash blade - the drive chains are still on the floor board. Also please note that he put in seat belts - so he must be street legal??

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

1995 Plymouth Backpack

Unveiled at the 1995 Chicago Auto show at the same time as other concepts, the Chrysler Thunderbolt and the Eagle Jazz, the Plymouth Back pack was a small pickup truck concept vehicle. A front wheel drive vehicle, the quirky Back pack could carry two passengers with ease, and even left enough room for a laptop on a small table inside the cabin. A bike rack on the back was also built into the vehicle.

Tom Gale, Chrysler's design chief that had visions of the future vehicles of the company; 'not what Plymouth is today, but what it will be', designed the sporty Backpack. The Back Pack was such a vehicle, and it was based on Neon underpinnings. Producing 135 horsepower, the Back Pack featured a MoPar 2-liter OHC 4-cylinder engine.

Unfortunately for its fans, the small sport-utility concept never left concept form and was replaced with a four-door wrangler two years later.

Source: Internet

2000 Plymouth PT Coupe Concept

Source: Internet

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

1954 Hudson Italia Arrow

Hudson Motor Car Company began the manufacture of automobiles in Detroit in 1909, and merged with Nash in 1954 to form American Motors Corporation. The Hudson nameplate was continued for three more years, ending in 1957. Prior to the merger, Hudson, like many other car companies, set out to build a sports car to bring attention to the brand and to bring customers into the showroom.

Hudson created the Italia, a car built on the 1954 Hudson Jet chassis, with a hand formed aluminum body built by Carrozzeria Touring in Italy. Only 26 cars were produced. All cars were Italian Cream in color with red and cream interiors. They were equipped with Borrani wheels. The cost to the dealer for the Italia was $4,800.

The car displayed here is number 22, and was originally purchased in California by an individual who worked as a scientist for NASA and the space program.

This car has undergone a complete restoration between the years 2000 and 2003. Over 20 items had to be custom made to the original specifications by borrowing and copying pieces from other Italia owners.

Source: Internet

1958 Nash Metropolitan

Sold for $14,850 at 2008 RM Auctions.

The original Metropolitan was introduced in 1954. It was an English-built, Pinin Farina designed, Austin-powered car with eight-thousand examples sold during the four months following its introduction. AMC installed a larger, more powerful Austin engine in 1956, added a chrome side slash for two-toning, and did away with the faux hood scoop giving the car a cleaner appearance. At the end of 1956 both Nash and Hudson dropped their respected nameplate, and from 1957 through 1962 the car was known as the AMC Metropolitan.

This example has been treated to a rotisserie restoration. It is painted in tan and white two-tone paint scheme combined with red-monogrammed chrome hubcaps, a chrome driver's side mirror, a manually operated antenna, and a standard 'Continental' spare tire with a white vinyl cover. There is a cloth interior, pod-style instrument panel, and black carpeting.

The engine is an Austin unit that displaces 91 cubic-inches and has been completely rebuilt.

In 2008 this 1958 Nash Metropolitan Coupe was brought to RM Auctions 'Vintage Motor Cars of Meadow Brook' where it was estimated to sell for $10,000-$15,000 and offered without reserve. Bidding reached $14,850 including buyer's premium which was enough to satisfy the reserve. The lot was sold.

In 1947 the Nash company started to think about a small automobile well-directed as a second car. At first they tried technical components from different European manufacturers, some few prototypes were built on Fiat 500 Topolino chassis. Coevally the Nash management negotiated with several European companies about the model's production, such as Borgward and Peugeot. Besides that, there were hundreds of thousands of potential buyers questioned about their needs and demands, making the Metropolitan the very first result of massive market research in the automotive history.

Finally, the British Motor Corporation BMC won the race. So in late 1953 the Nash Metropolitan was realized as an import produced at the Austin factory in Longbridge (where later the Mini was made) from BMC parts. The 42 horsepower 1,200cc inline four came from the Austin A40. The only Nash heritage was their typical front suspension layout.

When the Nash name plate disappeared in 1957 in favor of the Rambler script badge, the model name Metropolitan became the car's brand name. At that time the 'Met' came in chic two-tone paint and a 52 horsepower, 1489cc Austin A50 engine. Until early 961 there were 104,377 convertibles and Coupes made of which 94,991 were sold in teh United States and Canada.

Source: Internet

1959 Nash Metropolitan

Sold for $17,050 at 2011 Gooding & Company.

This Metropolitan, known internally as Series IV, is an early example of the model's final version. Unlike prior series, this car is fitted with window vents and a trunk lid, which greatly improved access to the trunk. Since new, the car has been treated to a restoration. There is a white continental tire kit and matching hardtop. The interior features new vinyl upholstery and fresh color-matched carpeting. There is an original jack and owner's manual.

In 2011, this vehicle was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Amelia Island, Florida. It was estimated to sell for $10,000 - $15,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $17,050, inclusive of buyer's premium.

This car, owned by Neil Zurcher of FOX-8 TV, has been used for many seasons for Neil's 'One Tank Trip' specials on Channel 8, Cleveland, OH.

Source: Internet

1957 Nash Metropolitan

Built by Austin in Great Britain, this was the first car to be manufactured abroad, badged and sold by American Motors as the Metropolitan.

The car had a modern drive-train and brakes, making this car ready for today's roads. The Metropolitan was targeted to the female population as a sensible second car.

The Nash Metropolitan was produced from 1954 through 1962. In 1954 the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation merged with Hudson Motor Car Company to form the American Motors Corporation (AMC). It was the largest corporate merger in the United States history up to that point.

When most other automobile manufacturers of the time were creating large automobiles, the Nash Motor Company set out to produce a small, economical, fuel-efficient vehicle. A concept car was created to gauge public reaction. This concept was the NXI, known as the Nash Experimental International, builit by William J. Flajole. After a number of positive reviews and interest in the vehicle, the decision was made to produce the vehicle. Additional research revealed that it would be more cost-effective to produce the vehicle overseas using existing mechanical components rather than to invest in tooling costs in the United States. After searching and negotiation, the production was handed over to Austin of England. In October of 1953 production began at Austin's Longbridge factory. Bodywork was handled by Fisher & Ludlow. Final assembly was by the Austin Motor Company.

The Nash Metropolitan was available in two body-styles, a hardtop or convertible. They rested on an 85-inch wheelbase and weighed just 1800 lbs. Power was from the Austin four-cylinder A-series engine which sent the power through a three-speed manual gearbox to the rear wheels. A change was made to the B-series engine after 10,000 examples had been produced.

In 1956 the Metropolitan was redesigned and the engine capacity was enlarged from 1200cc to 1500cc. Two-tone paint schemes and chrome trim could now be found on the exterior. The non-functional hood scoop was removed.

Power was again improved in 1959, now reaching 55 horsepower. This was also the year that had its greatest number of sales for any given year.

Production continued until 1961 though there were still enough product to continue sales until March of 1962. In total, 95,000 examples of the Metropolitan had been sold to US Customers. About 9,400 examples were sold to United Kingdom customers.

Source: Internet