Auto Factoids for Week of May 4, 2014

This one got lost.   Better late, than never.

5/4/1923  First Le Mans 24 hour race

-The original intention of the race was for a winner to be declared following three straight years of competition. The Rudge-Whitworth Cup would be given to the driver combination to complete the farthest distance total over three years. Unfortunately the idea would be abandoned after the end of the first three year segment, in 1925.

The winners for 1923 were  Andre’ Lagache and Ren`e Leonard and the accomplished that feat by completing 2209.536 km (apporximately 1372.9420186 miles –  🙂 in 128 laps in a Chenard & Walcker Sport with 3-Litre overhead camshaft engine.


This is an awesome looking car!!!

This is an awesome looking car!!!

Originally, the race was held for cars as they were sold to the general public…

...Not so much so today!!!

…Not so much so today!!!

5/6/28 – Chrysler intros the Desoto

Debuted in 1928 and produced for sale in 1929.  Desoto merged with Chrysler as part of the Dodge Brother’s deal and the name disappeared in 1960 and was renamed “Newport”.

28Desoto 220px-'29_DeSoto_(Auto_classique)


5/7/28 – Chrysler buys Dodge – Follow this – Mr. Chrysler started Dodge and booted out. Mr. Chrysler starts Chrysler and buys Dodge.

5/10/23 – Alfred Sloan becomes pres of GM – MIT grad – carried GM through the Great Depression.


Thanks for reading.


1929 desoto roadster




Barrett Jackson – Recap Part IV – Test Drive 2013 Mustang 5.0

Before we get to the drive, it’s worth noting that my daily driver is a base model  2007 Corvette 410 hp with a stage 3 clutch.  This puts down a lot of torque.  My other car is 1970 Mustang pushing out 300 hp and I dive that a couple times a week.

Last year, I drove the Ford Taurus SHO and that was a nice with plenty of pep. But I wasn’t ready for this years ride, 2013 Mustang 5.0.

The car manufacturers set up a small auto cross track, under a 1/4 mile in length, it had a starting line  and brief straight way in to a “switchback” turn, another straight way combined with a moderate turn and than the finish.

You are sharing the track with mild-mannered cars, like a Ford Focus and Chevy Cruz and the Corvettes and Camaros of Bondurant School and the Super Snake and Shelbys.  There is a lot going on.

So I hopped into the Mustang, along with a ‘handler’ ( he rides along) and we pull in to line behind two Bondurant Corvettes.  This Mustang is the automatic version of the 412 hp 5.0 and it feels small and light (much different than my C6).

The handler gives me the nod and I hit the gas.  The rear wheels spin for a second and the you can feel the 420 hp launch the car forward. I was at the switchback curve in about 3 seconds – didn’t notice the speedometer but the handler said ‘slow into..’ but I was in an out of corner.   The Mustang had excellent handling at about 50mph in a tight turn.  I told the handler I that I raced SCCA with my vette, but  don’t think that made him any more comfortable.  I finished curve and punched the gas and breezed through the short  straightway and then the final curve at about 60 mph and a quick braking and done!

Ok…again, I’m no big time automotive journalist, but I know cars. So, here are my impressions of the 2013  5.0 Mustang.

Interior was much better than previous years and it felt like sports when sitting in the seat, much like my Vette.  I’m not normally a automatic transmission enthusiast but this one shift smooth as ice on a professional hockey rink.  It launched really well, didn’t fell like 390 ft lbs of torque, felt straight and although a didn’t notice the band of rubber it  was sporting, it did feel grip well.  The car felt stable going into the two curves and it was enjoyable.

With more horsepower than my Vette it still couldn’t match the quickness of my C7  (oh….Freudian slip) …um  C6 with more torque  and almost 500 less pounds ( 3350 vs. 3800 curb  weight).

Over all I WOULD purchase a new Mustang – but something at the next level than the base model 5 liter.  The Boss 302 (maybe in the Laguna Seca) or the GT500)

Or something in a “Super Snake”??

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.


Product Review – Griot’s Garage – Long Lasting Tire Dressing Closure

So you’ve read my review and I promised to drop a note as to the “Long Lasting” part of Griot’s Garage’s – Long Lasting Tire Dressing.

Now is has rained nearly every day since I applied the dressing.

So take a look at the tires with 2 applications and 3 applications.

Tires with 2 applications of tire dressing


Here is the tire with 3 applications of tire dressing


Here is what I think as a wrap up.   Long lasting to me doesn’t necessarily mean just duration, but can it stand up to everyday driving – oh—yeah…just in case I failed to mention, the  Vette is my daily driver.  It lived up to the Griot promise.  I’ll continue using this product.

Thanks for reading



Product Review – Griot’s Garage – Long Lasting Tire Dressing

From time to time I check out a product that I hear about, in this case, from a repetitive mail from Griot’s garage.  This is a catalog of sorts, with a lot of merchandise and everything you need to spruce up your ride.

Thier “Long Lasting Tire Dressing” is the first item I’ve tried.

If you recall I did a review a while back on a tire gel here is the link: ” Like and Don’t Like – Products (Tire Gel) and Tools (Thread Chasers)”

Here is my new try:

[vodpod id=Video.13290806&w=425&h=350&]

Tire Dressing, posted with vodpod
Now before we start, the bottle you see in the video has instructions and to be fair, I’ll give you any variations.
The direction say, roughly, clean the tire, apply with application pad and that a light application will give you a shine and subsequent will increase the luster.  Not much there to go on.
Now you need to know that I applied the dressing with an old sock.  Most manufactures always try to sell something extra and kt, which is an “applicator”, the magic potion and a terry cloth/micro fiber towel.  I normally don’t go for that sales pitch.  So that was the only deviation.
A couple more variables:
1.  The dressing was stored in my garage.  The temperature in there today was about 105 degrees. I applied the dressing while the car was in the garage.
2. The temp outside was about 108.
3.  As you will see my Corvette’s tires have small sidewalls and a lot of small raised text and logo.
Ok so here are a couple before pics:

Before, notice the off-color

More of the discolor and you can see there isn't must sidewall.

Lots of raised lettering

Raised logo

Coming  up application and an opinion.

Thanks for reading.

How Many Did They Make? 1902

There is a lot of emphasis on numbers for production when it comes to collector cars and I get that, who wouldn’t what a low product something or other.

So I got to thinking about production numbers and thought it would be interesting post some up from time to time.

Now in 1902 there weren’t many cars being produced but there were 8 makers.

1.  Locomobile                                                                           2,750

2.  Oldsmobile                                                                        2,500

3.  Rambler                                                                            1,500

4. White                                                                                     385

5.  Knox                                                                                     250

6. Packard                                                                                 179

7.  Stanley                                                                                  170

8.  Union                                                                                      60

1902 White Auto

Knox Truck Circa 1902

Thanks for reading


Closure Missing 1970 Mustang Grande

OK after all these years, after the car was gone.  I stopped by the house.  I was met by Al, short for Albert, not Alan, as Al informed me.

I told him that I had always wanted to check on the Grande and he informed I was a bit late.  He said he didn’t mind answers a few questions.

So I asked Al how got the car and he said he bought it back in 1972 from some guy.  “It was a nice car with an automatic.”  Of course my next question was what was under the hood and he said ‘nothing’.  “Took it out about 10 years ago and parked on the side of the house.”  He told me he never got the engine fixed, ” ’cause  it ‘cost too much.”  He ended up letting the guy that did some work on it keep.  “Ya know, it might have been a 302.”  He said he didn’t really know want to do with the body and just ended up hanging on to it.

So I asked him where the car end up, hoping it was sent out to be restored.  He said there was this guy from Texas that would stop by every now and then and ask if it was for sale.  He drives large pick up and always has an empty trailer attached.  This same guy that has stopped by a co-worker of mine, who has her son’s 70 Monte Carlo and her daughter’s 1969 Camaro sitting under her car port – waiting for some TLC and try’s to convince her that she should sell them to him.  She chases him off each time, but he’ll swing by a few months later.

A couple of weeks ago, Texas dude, stops by Al’s home and Al decided to get the Grande out of the yard and sold the man from Texas.

We talked a bit longer about my 1970 Mustang coupe and I showed him a couple of pics on my phone and then thanked him for his time.

There ya go..closure!

Thanks for reading.


Mustang Upholstery Part I

I know, I have a lot of work scheduled for the Mustang. This includes interior work and yes maybe doing it all at once would be a good idea. But I drive it a couple of times a week and the seat is getting worse. So I decided it needed to be fixed.


The kit is from TMI and I think I purchased it from a Mustang parts dealer, but I don’t recall which one. Here’s a couple of videos on it.



What I noticed is the black piping. I know that the car was re-upholstered before I purchased it, so I’m guessing that this was not original, at least they don’t make them in the reproduction world.


Coming up is the removal of the seat.

Thanks for reading.

Auto Factoid 6/13/2011

Nicola Romeo is credited with setting the foundation for Italian car maker Alfa Romeo.  What a lot of folks don’t know is that  Alfa was a car manufacturer before Nicola came around.

Afla stood for Anonima Lombardo Fabbrica Automobili and began production in Milan in 1910.   They actually produced French cars (the Darracq) under a license, all hand built.

Darracq 1906


Nicola had an engineering degree from Turin.  He first worked with mining equipment and eventual purchased Alfa’s plant in Portello.

His management skills and love of racing helped build this car .company in to a lasting enterprise.

Although, apparently their latest offering to the U.S. market of the Giulia, was not well received, design wise and the parent companies FiatChrysler killed it until 2013.

Giulia - see ya in 2013


Thanks for reading.


Parking Lot Spotlight 6/13/2011

Here is another cool  car sighting.

This one was in the parking lot of the a local auto parts store Checker’s or O’Rielly’s….or….all those mergers are making hard to have common name that everyone can related too (remember when there was just NAPA….can’t find them very often).

1969 Chevelle 454 Restored shell

This 1969  Chevelle  was merely as shell…oh but is extremely well done restoration.  The paint was excellent (makes ya wonder why it was being dragged round uncovered), the inside of the shell had been as expertly sprayed as the was almost a shame to put in the interior in there.

Reproduction gauges and not much in the way of interior yet.

The badge on the car shows that this car housed or will house 454.  But however, the 454 didn’t show up on the scene until until 1970 so this must be a retro fit.

You can see the big power plant is missing.

It looks absolutely ready to for dropping that monster engine back in and hitting the strip.  Hey I don’t even mind the wheels!!!

Didn’t find the owner (or driver) , part store was crowded.

Of course this isn’t a 1970, I’ll update the data a bit later.

Some 1970 Chevelle facts:

– The 454 was produced between 1970 thru 1976.

–  It produced 450 hp configured with 4bbl carb

–  It was designated the LS6 with 475 ftlbs of torque and 9.0:1 compression ratio

The majority of the Chevelle’s  (approx. 13,000) had V8 in 1970 and approx. 10,000 had 6 cylinders.

Thanks for reading.