Nothing says “Red White & Blue” like Chevrolet. For many years, Chevrolet dealers have catered to Americans who wanted a nice vehicle at an affordable price. From the family-friendly Chevrolet Impala to the work-ready Chevy Silverado, the bow-tie brand has been a transportation mainstay for generations of Americans. So let’s find out how this famous car brand got its start…
For many years, Buick’s were badge-engineered boats, designed by accountants to keep the costs down. Americans responded to this corporate indifference by bypassing of their local Buick dealers, as they went in search of something from Japan or Europe. By the late 90’s, this storied car brand had completely fallen from the premium car segment. Then GM went bankrupt, and the boffins at Buick decided to give the luxury segment another go. This resulted in the Buick LaCrosse and Buick Enclave, two vehicles that finally lived up to the legendary Buick name. Continue reading »
Years ago, Audi was just a small West German automaker that sold quirky Quattros. Now, Audi dealers are packed with people wanting the latest in Teutonic luxury. The Audi A3, Audi A4, Audi Q5, they’re all brimming with the latest technology, beautiful interiors, and Audi’s legendary Quattro 4-wheel drive. This small-volume car maker has grown up to rival luxury stalwarts like Mercedes Benz and BMW. But where did they come from, and how did they become so popular? Continue reading »
Nearly any car company can build a V8 or V12 engine, then stuff it inside a sexy supercar body. But only one car builder can make it sound and feel like a Prancing Horse from Maranello. From the audacious Ferrari F12 and Ferrari FF, to the stunning Ferrari 458 Italia, Italy’s favorite supercar builder has been showing the world how to do fast since 1939. This is their story. Continue reading »
Cars are remembered for many different reasons. Some are pretty, some are fast, and occasionally some contribute an innovative technology which advances the automotive industry forever. But, the Mercedes-Benz 300TD features none of the above. And yet, this particular and much-beloved vehicle is AND was popular far beyond the scope of what consumers might expect. Continue reading »
Americans love baseball, and we have always loved automobiles. There is something about the two that go hand-in-hand, and this connection was directly felt in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio a number of decades ago.
These days the Cincinnati Reds play in a fantastic facility called Great American Ball Park. You couple that with beer, hot dogs, and hot rods, and you have an over-the-top red, white,and blue experience.
Before they moved into Great American Ball Park the Reds played in a cookie-cutter stadium called Cinergy Field. Prior to the days of corporate sponsorship, Cinergy Field was called Riverfront Stadium. This is where Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Johnny Bench, Dave Concepcion and the rest of the fellows carved out the legend that became known as “The Big Red Machine.”
If you take it back one more step you enter Crosley Field. This is where the Reds played from 1934 through 1970. Prior to 1934, the same stadium was called Redland Field.
The place was called Crosley Field because it was named after the owner of the Reds, Powel Crosley Jr. He was a very successful businessman who had his hand in many different types of endeavors. Crosley was an early broadcasting magnate, and he decided to try his hand at the automobile manufacturing business in 1939.
The idea was to produce a very inexpensive, diminutive compact that would be attractive to families that were looking for a second car. Crosley produced the Series 1A in 1939, and Series 2A in 1940, the Series CB41 in 1941, and the Series CB42 in 1942.
After that, American automobile production was halted because of the onset of the American involvement in World War II. Auto factories were used to support the war effort.
Production returned in 1946, when the Crosley CoBra engine was introduced. It was small and lightweight, but the car itself was also a featherweight. As a result, the performance was decent.
The best year for Crosley was 1948, when almost 25,000 units were sold. Things went downhill from there, and by 1952, the bottom dropped out. Sales plummeted to a mere 1500 or so, and that was the final year of production for the fledgling Crosley.
For collectors, a classic Crosley is a great find. They are rare, there have an interesting history, and there is even a car club that is devoted to the Crosley.
American Motors Corporation was founded back in 1954. It was the product of a merger between two longtime players in the industry: Nash and Hudson. The company ultimately went out of business in 1988, but there were some memorable models churned out by AMC over the years. Continue reading »
We like to remember some memorable tunes about cars and driving from time to time, and there have been many of these songs written. Continue reading »
The impact that the automotive industry had on our country around the turn of the 20th century cannot be overstated. There were people who experienced this engineering breakthrough first-hand, looking on as the motor vehicle started to replace the horse-drawn carriage. Continue reading »
Americans know the city of Detroit as the “Motor City,” and rightfully so. Detroit has always been the hub of auto making in the United States. However, other countries have their own versions of the Motor City. In Italy, the city of Turin is the equivalent of Detroit with regard to automobile manufacturing.
Ford decided to blend the two when they came up with the Ford Torino. In Italian, this is how you spell Turin.
The Torino was initially introduced as a version of the Ford Fairlane. It was rolled out for the 1968 model year, and by 1970, the roles were reversed. At that time the Torino became the intermediate standard-bearer for Ford, and the Fairlane became a lower-end Torino.
The body style for the 1970 Torino was eye-catching, to say the least. It was long and sleek in the front, with a low sitting top and a quickly tapering rear. There was the standard Torino which came in four different body styles, including a station wagon.
The Torino Brougham was the upscale offering. It also came as a station wagon, along with a two-door and a four-door sedan.
Those who were looking for a more sporty edge could turn to the Torino GT. You could get the two-door SportsRoof GT, or a Torino GT ragtop.
The performance minded could opt for the Ford Torino Cobra. When you have the chance to buy a car called a Cobra, if you ask me, you have to pounce. The standard engine in the 1970 Torino Cobra was the 360-horsepower, 429-cubic-inch Thunder Jet.
One step up was the 429 CJ or Cobra Jet that was rated at 370 horses. At the top of the heap was the 429 Super Cobra Jet, which was available with or without Ram Air induction.
Executives at Ford had to be pleased with the way that the 1970 Torino was received by the buying public and the automotive intelligentsia alike. During that model year Ford was able to churn out over 230,000 Torino units. If that wasn’t enough, the 1970 Ford Torino was named Motor Trend Car of the Year.
That was not the final chapter for the Torino. The Gran Torino was introduced for the 1972 model year, and we will look at that car when we tell the rest of the Torino story in an upcoming post.