Monday
Jul082013

1972 Ford LTD Convertible

By Vern Parker

Convertibles have never occupied a high position on Ray Hummel's wish list. However, he did own one years ago when he was in high school. He recalls that, “I told myself I would never own one again.

Over the years since then he has bought several cars and trucks to “fix up” and offer some of them for sale.

In 2003, he says, his sun-loving wife, Jennifer, mentioned to him that it sure would be nice if one day he bought a convertible car for her.

Always eager to please, Hummel put aside his disdain for convertible cars and began shopping for a suitable convertible.

 

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Tuesday
Jul022013

1930 Plymouth

By Vern Parker

In the late 1920s Walter P. Chrysler was growing weary of watching Ford and Chevrolet dominate the low priced automobile market. He decided to compete with a line of affordable cars named Plymouth.

The staid, inexpensive competitor to Ford and Chevrolet debuted July 28, 1928 priced at $675.

The new Plymouth was a sales success and by 1930, despite the Great Depression, Plymouth sales were soaring. A 2,280-pound two-door sport roadster, one of 2,884 such roadsters manufactured sold for a base price of $610. A total of 76,950 were built from April 8, 1930 until June 8, 1931. Each one of the 14-foot, 1-inch-long cars rode on a 109-inch wheelbase.

“I've always liked cars,” Chris Lutz admits. In April, 2011, he learned of a 1930 Plymouth roadster for sale in Pennsylvania. He went to see the old Plymouth and was surprised to find it was in great condition. He trailered the Plymouth to his home in Manassas, Virginia.

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Tuesday
Jul022013

1961 Studebaker Hawk

By Vern Parker

It was in April 2010 that George Marshall decided to do his part in bringing springtime color to his part of the world. On his computer he located a turquoise and white 1961 Studebaker Hawk for sale in Atlanta. It was similar to the Studebaker Hawk that his mother, Lucy, had bought years before. Marshall's wife, Rosemary, also found the car appealing.

A trusted friend in Atlanta agreed to inspect the automobile. His positive report soon arrived with no negative comments. Based on his friend's recommendation Marshall flew to Atlanta, gave the car a quick once over and purchased it right then.

However, the car was new to him so he did not want to drive it several hundred miles home to Springfield, Virginia. He flew home and waited for his car to arrive on the back of a truck. “If I knew then what I know now,” he says, “I would have driven it home.”

 

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Thursday
Jun272013

2013 Toyota Avalon: Lexus Level Luxury

By Ted Orme

So what do you do when you suffer a spate of unprecedented bad press over sudden acceleration lawsuits, recalls and some critical reviews of mundane products? If you’re Toyota, you set about making people forget about this negative blip by building even better cars and trucks. A fine example – and I do mean fine – is the all-new flagship 2013 Toyota Avalon XLE Touring sedan I just spent a most pleasurable week in.

No longer just a gussied up, soft-riding Camry, the new Avalon has clearly moved into Lexus ES350 territory and bested it with stunning new styling, performance and technology. Let’s start outside and work our way in.

This is a fine looking car. I know that’s a subjective judgment but I loved the new coupe-like flowing roofline, lower beltline, sculpted flanks, and new front-fascia design with larger grille and headlight cluster. It gives the Avalon a fluid, athletic stance that earns it a sleek 0.28 coefficient of drag that begs you to get in and drive.

 

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Monday
Jun242013

1986 Ford Ranger

By Vern Parker

It was 27 years ago that a farmer in Indiana decided to purchase some basic transportation. After much shopping he settled on a base model Ford Ranger pickup truck.

Even though the truck was a low-end model he wanted it to last so he took his new truck to the local Ziebart facility to receive an application of rust proofing.

He purchased the little pickup at the Ford dealership in Warren, Indiana. The Ranger was equipped with a 2.3-liter fuel injected four-cylinder engine that delivered 79 horsepower.

Also available but rejected were two other engines, a 2.0-liter carbureted four-cylinder engine that produced 73 horsepower and a 2.9-liter fuel-injected V-6 engine producing 104 horsepower.

Year after year the farmer parked his Ford under cover six months of the indiana winter when he went to sunny Florida.

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