Shout Out to All Overseas Readers

I never want to take readers for granted.  They are the life’s blood for a blogger and I appreciate all of them.

Here in the U.S. we sometimes think – just by volume of publications that we are the “hub” of the automotive  hobby, but there is so much more in all the countries listed below. Innovation from the land down-under to some cool retro stuff in Japan and some very awesome car shows in Switzerland and all those British cars!!!!

Thanks to all readers in each of the countries below!!!!!  You folks ROCK!!!!!  Keep up the great work.

UK
Canada                          Australia
France                           Mexico
Germany                      Brazil
Italy                              Portugal
Turkey                          Russian Federation
Spain                            Puerto Rico
Switzerland                 Belgium
Japan                           Ireland
Philippines                Malaysia

 

Tim

australian cars

classic japanese cars[ ATTRIBUTE: Please check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76492175@N08/10151221815 to find out how to attribute this image ]

mustang1

National Corvette Museum: Museum Owned GS90 Unveiled at 20th Anniversary Event

So what’s a GS90?   Here a share from  National Corvette Museum blog

BTW it you are a Corvette owner or enthusiasts and you are not a member of the Museum – you should be and here is the perfect reason why.  Read on!!!

History of the GS-90

In 1994, Corvette racing driver and tuner, Dick Guldstrand introduced his first and only coachbuilt Corvette: the GS90. The car is based on the Corvette ZR-1 chassis and engine designed by Steve Winter. When the C4 ZR-1 was released, Guldstrand saw an opportunity to bring back the Grand Sport he used to race with, pitching the concept of his radically restyled ZR-1 to Chevrolet. He requested several ZR-1s and a few million dollars. Instead he received one car and a blessing.

The GS90 was Guldstrand’s ultimate 475hp version of the ZR-1, incorporating influences from the Grand Sports of the early 60s inside a distinctive body style that is a throwback to the original 1963 Corvette Grand Sport race cars. Guldstrand left the ZR-1 cabin alone, concentrating instead on the chassis and engine development, and bespoke coachbuilt distinctive body.

Read entire article here National Corvette Museum: Museum Owned GS90 Unveiled at 20th Anniversary Event and see how a Lifetime Member supported the restoration of this rare car!!!

GS90

Thanks for reading.

Tim

corvette gs 90

Car Collecting Scale Down – Promo Cars

A while back I wrote about collecting die-cast cars (See  – When You Just have to have that Classic/Muscle Car?…Think Small!!!!).   My collection continues to grow and I’ve added a new dimension.

A few years back I pick up a 1984 Corvette…my first Corvette ever and it was my daily driver.  I did a lot of work on it and it brought home two trophies best in class.

IMG_4409

While looking for display items for a car show set up (brochures and the like) I ran across what the dealer ships called “Promo Cars”  These were basically scale model (1/24 or smaller scale) cars given out to promote the car that year.  They were plastic and normally no movable parts (doors, hoods, trunks didn’t open), most had rubber tires that turned and a detailed interior.  So I picked up a couple for my ’84 Vette along with the boxes, in fact two of them were ‘red’ that matched my car color.  Eventually I sold the C4 and purchased the my C6.

 

1984 C4

1984 C4

2007 C6

2007 C6

Just recently I ran a cross a batch of promo cars and realized that there were a lot of car manufacturers that produced these back in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.  I thought they’d make a good addition to my current collection.

They all varied in quality and detail especially when a 1960 model is compared to a 1980’s model.  I recently ran across a promo car for the 1961 Thunderbird and I purchased it for $10.00.

1961 Thunder Bird

1961 Thunder Bird

Some Nice Detail

Some Nice Detail

Door don't open but detailed interior

Door don’t open but detailed interior

Rubber tires with White Walls

Rubber tires with White Walls

Nice detail there

Nice detail there

Not great quality looking at the front scoop

Not great quality looking at the front scoop

The really interesting view is of the bottom of the model.

Pretty Good Detail of the undercarriage.

Pretty Good Detail of the undercarriage.

What’s up with all the text?   They promote the options for this model year!!!!   Very cool!   Let’s take a closer look.

On Tank it states "Thunderbird...unique in all the world"

On Tank it states “Thunderbird…unique in all the world” Hey…”Triple Life Aluminized”  Mufflers

Unmistakeably New - Not a Hair Wider Unmistakeably Thunder Bird - not 1/10 longer

unmistakably New – Not a Hair Wider
unmistakably Thunder Bird – not 1/10 longer 

Notice that is has “Special Three-Phase Rust Prevention Treatment”.  Sports a “Cruise-o-Matic Drive, Power Steering and Self Adjusting Brakes – All Standard Equipment”

 

 

61-TBird4

“Welded, Integral Body and Frame for Quietness and Strength”    “New Wing-Away Steering Wheel (Optional)”  (BTW that actually function on the promo model – you can push the steering wheel to the side.

"Wider Tread" on the axle

“Wider Tread” on the axle

Gas tanks reads “New 12,000 or 1 Year Warranty

"New Thunderbird 390 Special V8"

“New Thunderbird 390 Special V8″

Oil pan says “4000 Miles Oil Service Changes”

The seats are two-tone and the steering wheel swings to the side.

You can notice that the tires are rubber, the wheels are plastic and they are on metal rods.

Do you have a sale car collection?  Let us know.

Thanks for reading.

Tim

dealer promo car modelsdealer promo car modelsdealer promo car models

Selecting A Collector Car Based on Original Reliability Impressions

Well that title was longer type out than it was in my head.

A recent discussion over on my Twitter feed (@07C6Vette) had us discussing the collect-ability the Edsel. Part of the conversation dealt with one participates’ opinion/conclusion that Edsels were unreliable back in the day, therefore not desirable for collecting.

I would imagine that for some, that rationale seems prudent and I bet they believe they’ve saved themselves money and status by opting for a Ford or Mercury (in this instance) of the same era instead. I say they are missing out on some fantastic cars if they determine their selection based on original reliability.

Check out these dashboards!! Sure both are great (you know I love the painted dashboards) but the Edsel’s is just cooler!!!

 

1959 Edsel Dash

1959 Edsel Dash

1959 Ford Ranch Wagon Dash

1959 Ford Ranch Wagon Dash

Clearly there are differences that may or may not be substantial to a collector. For me it’s not about just having ‘a similar’ car, it’s about the car.

Another example is the rep the British cars managed to obtain. For instance the MG during the 1970’s and 1980’s were tagged as being electrical nightmares and unreliable. Having direct exposure to a 1960ish and a 1970’s MG I would agree that electrically they were unreliable. Now days a quick trip online to a forum and you know someone has it all figured out and often times even a beginner can remedy the situation.

Trumph’s Stag sported a 3.0 V8 and that was its down fall.  It was horribly unreliable.  Everything from the water pump to cylinder issues right down to the Aluminum heads not matching up well with the iron block. But this are all fixable this day in age, but the all lead to the Stag making the top 50 worse cars ever.  But it is a very collectible British car, just ask these guys Stag Owners Club.

Carb problems, cylinder problems, fuel problems for most collectable and semi-collectable cars can all be overcome by modern technology and in many cases, done in such a way as to not impact the value of the car.

I think it’s important to keep a car as original as possible, but I’m not putting them Pebble Beach Contour’s competition, so using modern tweaks to ensure it can get you from point A to point B – safely is important.

So do your research before you purchase your next collector/project and don’t just consider the reliability opinions surrounding the model you are considering.

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

 

_JKP2736-1970-mustang-web

Man’s prized ’79 Corvette found 33 years after it went missing in Detroit | The Detroit News

Detroit — A man’s prized Corvette that was stolen three decades ago in Detroit has been found in Mississippi.

George Talley says he was watching TV last week when AAA called to say his 1979 Corvette had been found.

Talley tells WXYZ-TV he was told the car still runs, has 47,000 miles on it and is sitting at a police station in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

The last time Talley saw the car was in 1981, before thieves took it from a parking spot along a Detroit street.

via Man’s prized ’79 Corvette found 33 years after it went missing in Detroit | The Detroit News.

 

It’s a little rough looking but it’s so cool that it had a happy ending…..33 years later!!!!  Low mileage is a plus!!!

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

 

1979 corvette

beritaauto

Reuss offers to help reunite Detroit man with ’79 Vette: A Detroit man and his beloved 1979 Corvette wil… http://t.co/RTqo7fEOfg #otos

Car News – Viper Production

I guess Chrysler….or…um Fiat…can’t seem to generate enough interest in the new Viper selling only 91 cars so far this year.  Nor did they sell that great last year only 591 went to new homes.

2013

2013

2014

2014

Chrysler laid of about 90 employees recently at SRT and now the Viper assembly plant is closed until June.

Maybe they can’t compete with…..well you know…..

2014 Stingray

2014 Stingray

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

viper assembly plant

AD #1336 – Mary Barra on Message, China OEMs in Brazil …

A source in the supplier industry tells Autoline Daily that the Viper assembly plant will be shut down for 15 weeks. Chrysler says it will be shut for 11 weeks starting the week of April 14. The plant was originally going to shut for …

Auto Factoids – Week of 4/20/2014

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

 

Only 3 major hits this week.

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

Hudson Hornet Hollywood.

Hudson Hornet Hollywood.

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

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

Rebel

 

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

 

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

 

RX-2

Mazda’s 1970 RX-2

Thanks for reading.  

Tim    

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

 

lamborghini countachamc

 

 

 

 

Wrecked – 1959 Bel Air

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

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

 

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

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

 

'59 Bel Air Parts Donor.

’59 Bel Air Parts Donor.

 

Lots of restorable chrome here!!!

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

1959_chevrolet_bel_air 112809BelAir3

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

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

 

virtualex71

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Vettes

The Vettes

The Mustangs

The Mustangs

 

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

Last Danbury Mint Production die-cast car!

Last Danbury Mint Production die-cast car!

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Thanks for reading.

Tim

danbury mint

TheCandiceM

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

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

 

 

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

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

The Mallett Hammer comes to the surface.

Hammer4 Hammer5

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

From the NCM:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading.

Tim

mallett hammer corvettenational corvette museum