Auto Factoids for Week of April 30th, 2017 – AMC, GM, Packard, Le Mans

Auto Factoids (#AutoFactoids) for Week of April 30th 2017


May 1, 1954 – American Motors Corp Formed

Formed  from Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson merger.  It was still referred to as Nash-Ramber and then AMC Ramber though the 1950’s.  Styling didn’t change in the next few years and 1955-1956 Ramblers were badged as both Nashes and Hudsons, with no visible difference between the two. Rambler became a marque in its own right for the 1957 model year. The Nash and Hudson makes were continued as senior model only through 1957, after which all of AMC’s offerings were marketed as Ramblers.

1958 4 Door Rambler Ad

1958 Rambler Statesman – 2Dr.


May 2, 1918 – Chevrolet becomes part of GM.

GM was started Billy Durant by using the financing from his Durant-Dort Carriage Company to take over Buick Motor Company. He changed the name to General Motors (with Buick eventually becoming a separate brand later on).  He soon brought in Oldsmobile, Cadillac and Oakland company.  He started Chevrolet (in partnership with famous Swiss race car driver Louis Chevrolet) to help off set the financial issues as a separate company.  Durant eventually started purchasing more Chevy stock and eventually took control and folded Chevy into GM.

May 3, 1948 – Willys Jeepster Phaeton debuts. 

These were mostly powered by the Inline 4 Cylinder, L-head engine. (134.2 cid, bore 3.13, stroke 4.38, compression 6.48:1 for about 63hp). Power got to the wheels via a 3 speed transmission.  All the Willys had the same wheelbase length of 104″ with the total length of the Phaeton being 174.8″.   Production was not well-defined through out all the models offered but approximately, 10,326 Phaeton were build.

1948 Jeepster Phaeton

May 3, 1949 – Packard’s 50th Anniversary 2000 Gold Packards. 

These were  Dealer Driveway.  These weren’t “gold” cars but they were painted in a special paint code of Gold.  Each were powered with 327 c.i.d., 150 hp engine. The number of ’49 2000 Gold Packards produced was about 600 (some say 1500) . The event was held at was the Utica Proving Grounds.  Currently none are known to exists although you can see a few “gold painted” 49 Packards pop up from time to time.

Here is a 49 Packard – painted gold.  Is it one of the Drive-Aways?  Slight chance.

Packard’s Utica Proving Grounds.


May 4, 1923 First Le Mans 24 hour race.

The first Le Mans 24 Hour race was held just outside Le Mans, France.  Initial the race was limited to ‘production’ cars  and  two drivers, now they require 3 drivers per car and the of course these cars aren’t in your dealers show rooms.  The race was won by one of the French teams  – André Lagache and Léonard driving a Chenard et Walcker  with  3.0L I4 engine.

This is an awesome looking car!!!

May 6, 1928 Chrysler debuts the De Soto.  The De Soto wasn’t available to the public until 1929.  It sported an L-head six cylinder engine, displacing 174.9 CID and producing about 55hp.

First De Soto

Thanks for reading.



Here are your Auto Factoids #AutoFactoids for the beginning of June, 2015. May 31, 1927 – Ford produced the last Model T. There is some debate as to actual …

Average Guy’s Car Restorations, Mods, and Racing

(via Auto Factoids for the Week of April 23, 2017 Mazda, Ford, Lamborghini). Tagged: autofactoids. Source:

#AutoFactoids – Average Guy’s Car Restoration, Mods and Racing

AutoFactoids | Auto Factoids for the Week of April 23, 2017 April 25, 1970 – First Mazda in the US I remember seeing the first Mazda cars in the U.S. I was 12 or …

Auto Factoids for the Week of 2/22/2015 – Firebird, Thunderbird, AMX

Feb 25, 2015 Got a few huge debuts this week’s Auto Factoids (#AutoFactoids), so lets get started. Feb 23, 1954 – Ford shows off the Thunderbird for the first.

Auto Factoids for the Week of April 23, 2017 Mazda, Ford, Lamborghini

Auto Factoids for the Week of April 23, 2017

April 25, 1970 – First Mazda in the US

I remember seeing the first Mazda cars in the U.S. I was 12 or 13 and I recall thinking – Why?   We still had the big 60’s cars and really didn’t see a need for the small cars.  The first rounds fo the Japanese imports were well thought of, perhaps unfairly and reliability was an issue.  But the Mazda has come a long way.  I remember back in 1989-90 when the  Mazda Miata (MX-5).  It was a “girls” car (so I thought…don’t judgement) and dealerships were charging quite a bit over invoice and getting that price, at least out in California.  But have things changed.  See the times they put down in SCCA events and even at my local SCCA chapter where I run my Corvette, I don’t think less of this generation of Mazda.

The car had some ‘socialization’ issues and it took a few years to get a good network of dealerships in the U.S.  However, by the mid 1970’s Mazda’s were emission compliant and figured out how to get 90 hp out of just 70 cubic inches.

1970 Mazda Luce Coupe


April 28, 1916 – Ferruccio Lamborghini born in Renazzo di Cento, Italy.

Ferruccio Lamborghini

Renazzo isn’t far from Modena, Italy, which is ‘Mecca’ for Italian cars.  Ferruccio’s family were grape farmers and didn’t just jump in to designing cars, but started out in the tractor business Lamorghini Trattori.   Then he started an oil heater factory that turned into an air conditioning factory.  In fact he didn’t start Automobili Lamborghini until 1963.  It’s a shame those car never caught on!!

Lamborghini Tractor

2017 Lamborghini Centenario

1963 350 GTV

Note:  It takes me a couple of days to put these together – not working straight though, mind you – as I was getting ready to finish this up I ran across an article May 2017 edition of Hemmings Motor News (my personal favorite automotive magazine publisher) on the 1959 Lamborghini DAL 35 Super Tractor.   The company is now part of SDF and they also sell other band name tractors like SAME, Dutz-Fahr and a couple of others.  According the Hemmings article they use the Lamborghini Bull logo.

April 28, 1953 – Kaiser-Frazer buys Willys.

Kaiser-Frazer car production was a mixed bag in the 1950’s.  Some typical 50’s cars were produced and some exciting like the Henry J and the Kaiser Roadster of 1954 and the Kaiser Darrin. The Frazer name had faded away by then and Kaiser purchased Willys for $63,381,175 and formed the Kaiser Willys Corporation.  They exited the passenger car market to focus on utility vehicles, including the Areo-Willys.  Kaiser took their business overseas to Argentina,  Israel, Netherlands and continued make utility vehicles until 1962.  By 1963 the company was called the Kaiser Jeep Corporation and was sold to American Motors in 1970.

'50s Willys.JPG

Last of the passenger cars Areo-Willys

April 29, 1959 – Ford builds 50,000,000 car.

That car was a 1959 Ford Galaxie that came out of the Dearborn factory.  It was a white 4 door sedan with the 292, engine.  It was actually a Ford Fairlane 500 Galaxie and the first time Galaxie was used on a Ford car.  Fast forward – but not too far – and the Fairlanes, Fairlanes 500, and the Galaxies were to become monster muscle machines in the mid to late 60’s!!!

Ford Fairlane 500 Galaxie – 50 Millionth Ford

Thanks for reading.  Stay tuned for another episode for Average Guy’s Car talk.



Auto Factoid for Week of Nov. 30, 2014

Hope you all had a great Turkey Day!! Here is the line up of Auto Factoids for the first week in December!!!   Nov 30 1960  De Soto ceases production.  The last De Soto produced were really the Chrysler Windsor, most did not sale, even though dealerships continued to received cars after the …

Auto Factoids – Week of May 31, 2015 – Ford, Olds, Model T

Here are your Auto Factoids #AutoFactoids for the beginning of June, 2015. May 31, 1927 – Ford produced the last Model T.    There is some debate as to actual date and it’s said that the 15th million Model T rolled off the production line on May 26th, 1927 and the Henry …

AUTO FACTOIDS & C.N.N for Week of 7/26/2015 – Studebaker to Viper

Kaiser-Fraser formed July 26, 1945 – The Kaiser-Frazer Corporation was the result of a partnership between automobile executive Joseph W. Frazer and business man Henry  J. Kaiser. In 1947, the company acquired the automotive assets of Graham-Paige.  Interesting enough, Kaiser had no automotive business experience.   In 1953 the company became …

Auto Factoids and C.N.N for week of Sept 6th 2015 – TBird and Studebaker

Here is your #AutoFactoids and Car News Now for this first full week of September 2015. Auto Factoids Sept. 7, 1954 – Production of Ford Thunderbird begins 1955 T-Bird 2002 Thunderbird             Sept. 8, 1903   Preston Tucker was born in Capac, MI. While dubbed “Tucker Torpedo” during production no ‘Torpedoes’ were produced. Beautiful …

Auto Factoids for the Week of 2/1/2015 – Kaiser Week

Here are your Auto Factoids (#AutoFactoids) for the first week in Feb. 2015!!! I think we can call this Kaiser Week as 3 of our factoid are related to the Kaiser auto manufacturing. In fact the month starts right off with Kaiser factoid. Feb 1, 1947 – Graham-Paige sold out to Kaiser. …

Auto Factoids for the Week of 2/22/2015 – Firebird, Thunderbird, AMX

Got a few huge debuts this week’s Auto Factoids (#AutoFactoids), so lets get started.   Feb 23, 1954 – Ford shows off the Thunderbird for the first time. Although the Thunderbird wasn’t available until 1955 it was in design.  Originally it was going to be called the Vega!! 1955 T-Bird   Feb 23, 1967 – …

Auto Factoids for Week of May 24 2015 – Mauri Rose

Here are your Auto Factoids (#AutoFactoids) for the last full week of May 2015.

 May 26, 1906 Mauri Rose was born in Columbus, Ohio.   Rose still holds the 2nd spot for the most Indiana 500 wins.  His first win was in 1941 but he didn’t finish in the car he left the starting line in. The first car was a Maserati and developed mechanical issues and he moved to a Wetteroth/Offenhauser car.   He managed two back-to-back wins in 1947 and 1948, driving one of a Deidt/Offenhauser  Blue Crown Spark Plug Specials.


Mauri in the Maserati were he started in pole position in his first win.


Muari in Wetteroth/Offenhauser car

Mauri in the Blue Spark car!

Mauri in the Blue Spark car!

May 29, 1946 Kaiser-Frazer produced its first vehicles.  Kaiser-Frazer’s plant was located in Willow Run Ypsilanti, Michigan.  The company was formed when the two purchased the defunct Graham-Paige (of which Frazer was once Present, prior to WWII).  There first cars were called the Frazer and Kaiser, one a mid-level luxury car and the other an innovative front wheel drive model.


The two parted ways in 1951 and the company name was changed to Kaiser.  They went on to design some fantastic cars like the Darrin (named after one of the designer – Dutch Darrin.  Bill Tritt was the other part of the team.) and on to the Jeep fame with Willys-Overland.

1953 Kaiser Darrin

1953 Kaiser Darrin

Thanks for reading.


mauri rose

Indianapolis 500 Winners

1950 — Johnnie Parsons. 1949 — Bill Holland. 1948 — Mauri Rose. 1947 — Mauri Rose. 1946 — George Robson. 1942-45 — No races, World War II. 1941 — Floyd Davis and Mauri Rose. 1940 — Wilbur Shaw. 1939 — Wilbur Shaw. 1938 — Floyd Roberts.

1954 Kaiser Manhattan – Dare To Be Different

The Manhattan has been honored by the community and is the first hot rod to win the people’s choice award two years in a row at the annual Kaiser Frazer Club National Convention. Share This Article. Facebook Twitter Google+ Email. Author: Christopher …

From city leader to classic cars, Founder’s Day Celebration kicks off host of …

Members of the Binghamton Kaiser Frazer Club will bring vehicles, Reilley said. The Seward House Museum, at 33 South St., will showcase several cars, including the Seward family’s own Packard. There will be automotive memorabilia for sale and, if you …


Gorgeous ˜Wood Vehicles 1948 – Part IV Willys Woody

In 1948 Willys was not to be left without a ‘woody”.

1948 Willys Woody Wagon

There were only about 22k sedans and wagons were produced (with about 10k Jeepsters).

These were powered by one of two engine choices, the inline 4 and the inline 6.  But only the inline 6 was used in the wagons.

1948 Willys Engine

These engines were power house engine producing 72 hp, 148 cid and topped with a 1 bbl Carter carb – dubbed “Lightning”.

Thanks for reading


Gorgeous ˜Wood Vehicles 1948 – Part I

I got this idea from our friend Joe in Florida.  Thanks, Joe,  for the pictures and the reminder of some these great iconic cars.

I’ve always admired the workmanship that went in to the older cars that had wood components and have always disliked the simulating wood on cars with plastic molding and contact paper stuck on the horrible quality 1970’s and 1980’s station wagons was supposed to be a retro look (but only at 15 feet away) and cool (well as cool a station wagon was back then). I recall working in my father’s body shop and how much “fun” it was to put that contact paper back on Ford station wagon. In this mini series “Gorgeous “Wood Vehicles”  I’m going to pick a year and toss you a few facts about the cars that came ‘in wood’.

Wood was used a lot in the auto industry, from all wood wheels to just the spokes to entire frames and interiors (like dash boards and steering wheels).  Some of the best uses known uses were on the outside and truck beds.  They were often referred to as ‘Woodies” either correctly or incorrectly, be most of us know that the term relates to cars with real wood on the outside.  These are the cars I’m going to look in this series.  For no particular reason, other than this was the first picture Joe sent, I’m starting with the year 1948.

A major reason for using wood was the shortage of raw materials and labor issues for producing steel/sheet metal. This was the case in 1948, just a few years after the end of World War II.

Nearly all of the major producer had models that had external wood components.  This 1948 Chevy was one.

1948 Chevy.

This is the two door Fleetwood Aerosedan, but Chevy also made an 8 passenger station wagon the Model 2109 Fleetmaster. This year’s model set the record for Chevrolet woody production with 10,171 wagons built. Both Cantrell and Iona built bodies to fill the demand for the last Chevrolet wagon with structural wood.  The 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Station Wagon was the last true woody (structured wood) from Chevrolet.  What type of wood was used?  Ash the wood used for the structural base, while mahogany was used for the panels. Leatherette was stretched over a wood frame to provide the roof. Approximately 10,171 were built between February 1948 and January 1949.

Most of these cars were powered by the Chevy Straight 6, 216 CID engine.

The 1948 Straight 6 216 engine (The 235 was very similar).

Engine specs:

Bore and stoke 3.5 x 3.75 (in); Displacement 216.5 (CID); Compression 6.50:1; Max Brake Horsepower 90 @ 3300 RPM; Max Torque 174 Lbs.ft. @ 1200 RPM




1948 Packard

Packard was another manufacturer that produced woodies.  They released their Twenty-Second Series cars. They were Packard’s first totally new models were since before World War II.   The wood used was northern birch for the frame and maple panels.  This was purely for looks, because the overall structure was braced by the metal body shell which actually was modified from the Standard Sedan Body, only the upper rear quarters which were removed from the sedan body used the wood as actual bracing. On the door sides and window frames the regular sheet metal was cut away in order to allow the wood to be inlaid, rather than just bolted on top.  These were powered by the Packard’s L-head straight 8.

Some engine specs:

Bore x stroke 3.50 x 3.75 (in.); Displacement 288.64(cid); Horsepower 130 @ 3,600 rpm; Torque 226(lb-ft) @ 2,000 rpm; Compression ratio 7.0:1; Main bearings 5; Lubrication full-pressure; Carburetor Carter 2-bbl
automatic Choke;  mechanical Fuel pump


We have Chrysler’s, and Pontiac’s 1948 woodies as well as a Bentley woody and Willys coming up next in this series.

Thanks for reading


Car Production Numbers. They Made How Many? 1911

1911 oh… that was a great year!  Well I don’t actually have any proof of that, but there sure were a lot of new car makes that year.  Here the list:

Alpena; ArBenz; Atterbury; Carhartt, Case, Chevrolet; Colby, Crow-Elkhart, Dalton, Gaylord, Havers, Hupp-Yeats; King; Lenox; Mighty Michigan; Motorette; Nyberg: Penn; Rayfield; R.C.H.; Roader; Rogers; S.G.V.; Standard Electric (yes electric); Stutz; Stuyvesant; Virginian; W.F.S.

So who were the leaders for that year?

Ford out-paced all with 69,762 Cars.

Second up was Studebaker/EMF with 26,827.

1911 can't use just '11 any longer - someone might think this was a 2011 Studebaker

Willys-Overland up next with 18,745 and Maxwell about 2,000 less at 16,000.

One of the 16,000 Maxwells

Buick came in at fifth with 13,389, beating out Cadillac with 10,071 cars.

Hudson and Chalmers finish up the list with 6,486 and 6,250 respectively.

The 1911 Chalmers - look at that stance!!!!

1911 Milestones:

–  International Motor Company was formed (MACK)

– Buick sets a speed record, running 20 miles in just over 13 minutes.

– First Indianapolis 500 was held and won by Ray Harroun in a six-cylinder Marmon Wasp – 6 hours, 42 minutes and 8 seconds of drive time.

The Marmon Wasp

Thanks for reading.


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.


Car Production Numbers. They Made How Many? 1928

The Roaring Twentys – a great time in US social and economic history.  1928 things still looked pretty good and no indication of the tough economic times that would lead to the terrible 30’s.

1928 saw 8 car companies fighting it out for market shares.

Chevy lead the way with just over a million units at 1,193,212 cars.  Ford was a distant second with 607,592 vehicles.

Surprisingly Willys-Overland/Whippet were in third with 315,000 (well behind Ford).  Hudson/Essex produced 282,203 for fourth spot with Pontiac/Oakland at fifth with 244,564, Buick was next with 221,758.  Chrysler and Nash grabbed sixth and seventh place respectively with 160,670 and 138,137.

Notes for 1928:

– Chrysler was getting its new brand ready for the next year – the DeStoto.

– Ford business coupes came with a rubberized roof.

– Chevy produced it 5 millionth car

– It was a record sales year for Essex.

1928 Essex Sedan

1928 Nash Special 6 Cabriolet



Wrenchin’ Tip – Got 6 Volts?

I was recently talking to a coworker of mine who own a 1949 Pontiac Silver Streak Delivery Van (link – ) and we were discussing his 6 volt system and the troubles with low amperage.

Well I just ran across a couple of interesting articles dealing with that subject.  Now I will tell you I am not “the guy” for electrical work – nope not me (I had a bad experience – ok – a couple of bad ones).  But even this one I can understand.

Increasing the power supply often means that you need to convert to 12 volt and maybe 15 years ago yes, but now 6 volts are readily available.  So here is what you do (sorry no pics)

Take two 6 volt batters and link them in parallel by connecting the two negative terminals to each other and the two positive to each other. The main positive cable goes from the positive terminal of the first battery to ground and the main negative cable is connected to the negative terminal of the second battery.  Of course in some case you may have to modify the batter shelf, but it will sure help kick up the cold cranking amps.

Thanks for reading


Car Production Numbers. They Made How Many? 1950

Folks seem to like this segment so let’s continue with 1950.

19 major car makers existed back then and Chevy topped the production totals with 1,498,590 units followed closely by Ford with 1, 208,912.  The rest of the field were all less than have that.

Plymouth – 610,954

Buick – 588,439

Pontiac – 466,429

Olds – 408,060

Dodge – 341,797

Studebaker – 320,884  (Don’t ya wish they would have made it?  I would love to have seen their innovation continue.)

Mercury – 293,658

Chrysler – 179,299

Nash – 171,782

DeSoto – 136,203

Hudson – 121,408

Cadillac – 103,857

Packard – 42,627

Lincoln – 28,190

Kaiser – 15,228

Croslely – 6,792

Frazer – 3,700

Of note:

This was the last year for the Old 6 cylinder 76 models, while their Rocket  88 set speed records at Daytona – averaging 100.28 mph.

Packard began selling the only automatic transmission ever developed by an independent car maker.

The Rocket 88 - record setter.


Can a pick a Frazer out of a line up?  Me either. Here’s one.

1950 Frazer Manhattan Convertible

How about a Crosley?  Yeah I could do that one.

Crosley Hot Spot - circa 1950

And what did a automatic transmission look like in 1949?  Here is the Packards Ultramatic.

The looked a lot like todays automatic transmissions


Thanks for reading.