Nothing Runs like a Velie!

I was reading the other day and I came across a car manufacturer that I hadn’t heard of prior and yes it was an American car maker.  The maker was Velie.

1911 Velie passenger car

Like some car manufacturers Velie started out as a carriage maker (as in horse and carriage).  The owner was Willard Velie and we received his funding from this mother who was the wife of John Deer.  Yes that John Deer.  It’s not exactly clear if John Deer was is father, but we’ll assume it was so.

Willard created Velie Motor Vehicles Co. in 1908 and produced their first car in 1909.  It was a 4 cylinder and sold 1000 units and were sold though John Deer dealerships.  The 1909 and 1910 models primarily used existing engine but in 1911 build their own.  In that same year the Velie car participated in the Indianapolis 500 and finished 17th out of 46.

1911 Racer

That helped keep  car production was at 3,500 vehicles a year.  By 1914 Velie added a six-cylinder side-valve Continental engine to the mix of power plants. and by 1918 only offered six cylinders. The car became so popular and reliable that a few folks in Louisiana name a town after the car.

In 1918 Velie won the race at Pikes Peak which helped increase production to 9000 a year cars by 1920.

In 1928 they introduced the an 8 cylinder engine  a  Continental straight eight and were a roll so to speak. (Not to mention their little side business for producing air planes.)  However that was not to be, Willard died in late 1928 and Willard Jr. died a few months in 1929 later.  That ended the Velie Motor Vehicle Co.

John Deer company bought the plant and well they sold a few tractors now and then.

Thanks for reading


Automakers World War II Efforts-American Bantam

I love auto history and one of the areas I enjoy learning about is what the car company made to help support the war efforts.  So this series will be a small snap shot the vehicles and some surpising other item.  As a note most of the makers didn’t just volunteer to stop producing cars, although most complied with the restrictions on materials – like not using chrome for the brightwork, which created the very collectable attribute for war time cars – the blacked out version.

First up American Bantam.  “Who?” you might be saying.  Ok fine.   Do these ring a bell:

1938 American Bantam

1939 American Bantam Roadster


Nice looking cars, not much on name recognition.

The company started out as the American Austin Car company in 1930 and in 1934 became associated with the British Austin Car Company and then filed for bankruptcy.  In 1935 it was revived as the American Bantam Car Company.  They are credited with the first jeep prototype.  (So go any guesses as two one of their contributions during WWII?).  The company stopped doing business in 1941.

Reach search show 3 main contributions for the American Bantam Company.

First up and one of the most important  military vehicles.

1940 Bantam Jeep

Nothing but functional with a 4 cylinder engine.

1940 Bantam Engine - 4 banger Flat head.


As if that wasn’t enough the also produced two trailers for pulling behind the jeep.

1939 Bantam Pumper Trailer for use with the Jeep.


amphibious Trailer

And there you have it.  American Bantam’s extremely important contributions to the World War II effort and beginnings of one of the most versatile military vehicles…the Jeep!!

Thanks for reading.


ParkingLot Spotlight 1951 GMC 9/24/2011

So you are out at the mall or grabbing some groceries at the store and you are headed back to your car in the parking lot and you catch something out of the corner of your eye.  It’s out of the ordinary, it really shouldn’t be there, especially parked between that 1998 Honda with almost no paint and the huge Cummings Diesel pick up with a bench car seat bungy corded to the tie downs in the bed, but there it is, glowing and out-of-place.

That is what these segments will be about.  Sometime there will be comments from the owner and sometimes I won’t have a chance to chat with them.  There is a fine line between loving cars and stalking. (Standing around while your milk getting warm and your ice cream is leaking out of the hole in the plastic bag, waiting for the owner is on the line. only happened once!!!…Come on now!!!..You’ve done it!!!)

Up this time is a GMC Panel van from about 1951.  Found this one at  a local Fry’s grocery store parking lot.  I got a chance to take a few pics and didn’t get to meet the owner.

Here are some pics.

Looks in pretty good shape



Huge grill opening


In the above pic you can see that the air conditioning is on. ( just a vent but it is pretty cool.)

Needs a little chrome work.


These are not small vehicles


Those doors open up pretty wide and that bumper is HEAVY DUTY.

Quick peak inside


What are you finding in a parking lot?

Drop a note.

Thanks for reading.


1965 Chevelle – A rare one

Chevy and it’s customer loved the Chevelle, the customers because of the low price and horse power, Chevy because of the sales. Now days a Chevelle is a highly sought after collector car.  Finding a real good one is rare unless you want to play nearly a years salary.

Among those are clusters of the extremely rare.  Within the production of the 1965 Chevelle there is an extremely rare version. That was the year Chevy took its brand new Mark IV 396 engine and hoisted it to the engine bay.  It was the first of its kind (but not the last – the following year the 396 Chevelle became a regular model) with 375 hp and a 4 speed transmission.  This was the special SS model of the Chevelle.

This was Code Z16 and only 201 1965’s were made with engine/transmission and trim, making this one of the rarest of the Chevelles SS.

1965 Chevelle SS Z16

The 396:

The 396 engine


I love this combo.

Thanks for reading.




SEAT EXEO – Spanish Car

I don’t normally do this but every now and then someone will drop some spam on this blog and I’ll actually read it.  Rarely are these worth while bit I did find this one interesting.


The car brand is called SEAT and EXEO is one of its models.

Seat Exeo

The is actually made in Spain at the SEAT factory.  Volkswagen has a hand in the build as well.  The base platform for this 5 seater is the Audi.  Manufacturing started in 2008.

It comes in 4 and 5 door bodies and is considered “a large family sedan”.  It is based on the VW Group B7 platform which is the same platform used for the  Audi A4.

Wide range of power plants for this car from the 1.6 liter I4 to the 2.0 liter 16v that has the  Turbocharged Fuel Stratified Injection set up.

Here is a shot of the 5 door:

5 Door Seat Exeo - mini van? crossover?


The interior looks well equipped:




I don’t believe these are available in US specs.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading.


Mustang Upholstery Front Seat Finale

So what I’ve I been doing lately car-wise?

Finishing up the front seats of Mustang and putting them back in the car.  Yes, I know I should have gotten all the new carpet and the heat and sound deadening but  I didn’t.  They are easy enough to remove so not really a big deal.  I did notice while the seats were out just how thin the carpeting actually was, there is nothing between it and the floor pans, I’ve got to get those done…soon…soon.

Here’s some shots of the final production.

Drivers seat


Passenger's Seat. This is the one I just finished.





Car Production Numbers. They Made How Many? 1922

It is 1922 and the car industry is moving right along.  Small start-up car companies pop up here and there in the 1920’s.

Here is how they stacked up for 1922.

Top spot was Ford  producing 1,147,028 cars.

Dodge was a very distant second with 152,653 car rolling off their assembly line.

Chevrolet ran in third place with 138,932 cars made.

And finish up the list were Buick with 123,152; Studebaker with 105,005; Williys-Overland with 95,410; Durant with 55,300 and finally Maxwell/Chalmers 44,811.

Total passenger cars produced were 2,274,185 with 269,991 truck being made.

Rickenbacker was a new upstart beginning production in 1922.

Durant produce a car priced at $319 . Ford reduced prices to $298.

Balloon tires were introduced.

Hey fuel gauges began being installed in dash in 1922.

1922 Durant Star - An attempt to undercut Ford's prices

1922 Rickenbacker 4 Door

I love this one:

1922 Chrysler Panel Truck

Thanks for reading.


2015 Mustang – No V8?!!!

I was just reading about the 2015 Mustang (yeah..they are planning it now) in the Oct 2011 Motor Trend.

It’s going to look great with a lower angled windshield and it will be lighter, but it will begin to lose it’s muscle car images, at least

From the Motor Trend web site. 2-15 Mustang

The live axle will be gone, replaced with an independent rear suspension.  Not really what you want to take to the track.  There was talk that the live axle might live on in factory drag packs, but the tooling would be expensive and perhaps not cost-effective.   We’ll see what actually happens.

Ford Live Axel

Independent Suspension.

But this is not focus of this blog entry.  What I really want to mention was a side bar in the article.  It is entitled “Icons on An Icon”  “What should the next Mustang be?”  Those interviewed were Jack Tenack who was a designer for Ford and global design vice president ( He actually drew the first proposal for the 1965 Mustang); Chris Theodore who was chief of Ford Motor Company’s North American product development  (he left after a disagreement over the
suspension for the 2005 Mustang with Phil Martens); Tom Gale who had nothing to do with Ford at all, he was Chrysler design chief (now retired).

Generally Mr. Tenack stayed true to form, basically wanting small changes to the next issue of the Mustang, reinforcing the muscle car
image.  He thinks all-wheel drive should be added as an option…that’s not horrible.

Mr.Theodore wants the new Mustang to have a 4 cyclinder…WHAT???  Yeah, get this, he’s like the V8 engines reserved for ‘specialty models”…can you say  …hiss…boo???  “Hey, the 70’s called they want their paradigm back!!” Of course he led the charge to replace the live axle.

Mr. Gale thinks that we need to copy Europe and thinks the Mustang needs to be smaller.  He says the Camaro is more similar to is predecessor then the Mustang is to its predecessor.

Drop me your thoughts.  No V8?   Live axle?  Smaller ‘Stang?

Thanks for reading.


Photos: ROUSH Ford Mustang Sinks In Parking Lot During Hurricane Irene

Worst feeling ever

Photos: ROUSH Ford Mustang Sinks In Parking Lot During Hurricane Irene.

Photos: ROUSH Ford Mustang Sinks In Parking Lot During Hurricane Irene

Posted by on August 30, 2011 – Viewed 1,662 times – 3 Comments


As I’m sure you’ve heard or witnessed first-hand, Hurricane Irene threw her wrath against the eastern seaboard with initial landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1. Although predicted to be a Category 3 at landfall, this storm was still nothing less than a monster. This major hurricane realeased havoc from Myrtle Beach up to Maine as it churned along leaving major paths of destruction behind and massive amounts of rainfall. Power outages became widespread up the east coast, (includes my family in Pennsylvania at this current moment). Streams and creeks became raging rivers taking out roads, bridges, one being a 156-year-old hand-hewn bridge in upstate New York. It destroyed houses and stranded people in or away from their homes. Evacuated people are now stranded wondering the fate of their homes and personal belongings. Washed-out roads and bridges have left complete towns stranded without a way to get to or out like these towns in Vermont that have over 260 roads closed.

This storm has caused massive destruction and that has effected some of our own Mustang enthusiasts. Member, RobTRoma from PA, joked about getting a photo of his car next to a hurricane in our Mustang game thread. Featured above, what looks like a very nice ROUSH S-197 Mustang is sinking in a Subway parking lot in North Carolina during Irene’s throw-down. It almost has an ambience of Jaws coming out of the water before Roy Sheider exploded it.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Rotenizer/Journal

Another angle of the ROUSH from