Monday
Nov042013

Chevrolet Impala, then and now

By Ted Orme

Now that I’ve graduated to the age of living history, this 2014 Chevrolet Impala review gives me the opportunity to relate one of my fondest memories: the day I urged (conned) my father into trading his humble ’56 Chevy 210 for the all-new, just launched, first-ever 1958 Impala.

I had just gotten my driver’s license that June and, somehow, by fall the transmission in that 210 was going bad. I went with Pop to the local Chevy dealer to see about repairs, which turned out to be expensive. “Let’s take a look at the new models,” I suggested, which had just gone on sale three days earlier. He was willing because it turns out he didn’t like that dowdy 210 anymore than I did. We slipped in the showroom and there it was: a gleaming jet black devil that instantly cast a siren song spell on both of us.

Speaking of the devil, his name that day was Teddy, and he was in Pop’s ear egging on this orderly accountant to commit the most impulsive, irrational act of his life. “I can’t afford a $3,200 car unless I take some money out of your college fund,” he pleaded, weakly. “No problem, Dad. I’ll work hard and earn a scholarship,” said the “C” student. Long story short, we drove that dream car right off the showroom floor.

Monday morning I took Pop to the bus stop and took the Impala to school, where this skinny, four-eyed kid was Prom King for a Day. That weekend, I was at the drag strip earning an “A Stock Automatic” trophy in what turned out to be a very fast new big-block 348 cu in (5,700 cc) Turbo-Thrust V-8 cranking out 250 horsepower with the standard four barrel carburetor. Even with a two-speed Powerglide automatic, those bias ply tires wouldn’t stop smoking until you took your foot off the gas, which may be why they only lasted 7,000 miles.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct292013

1911 Model T Ford Touring Car

By Vern Parker

The Ford Motor Company, as we know it today, began in 1903. Several models were tried in the first few years until the famous, reliable, simple to operate and affordable Model T was introduced late in 1908.

For 19 years Ford produced the Model T in numbers of about 15 million. One of those 1911 Model T Ford Touring Cars eventually ended up in the hands of a Model T aficionado. Nearby lived a young boy who was infatuated with the old Ford.

That young boy, Kevin Shields, now of Rockledge, Florida, recalls that his mentor would only let him polish the painted parts of the car. The brass parts were off limits.

As the years went by young Shields grew to be a man and became well acquainted with the 1911 Model T Ford. He learned that the front tires were 30x3-inch models with NONSKID lettering providing the tread pattern.

 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct222013

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Crew Cab 4WD

By Ted Orme

Even though I’m a sedentary, home office suburbanite I like the ads for big pickup trucks. You know, macho guys hauling or towing monstrous loads and fighting death defying weather and geography to rescue calves. Not to be confused with Viagra ads, it’s man and machines. Machines that embody America’s character: big, strong, and undefeated Now add another quality to the new generation of full-sized pickups, amazingly comfortable and quiet.

That’s the first impression of the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Crew Cab 4WD that I just drove for a week. Oh, it’s still a truck with workhorse capability but now with the refinement, content and comfort of a luxury automobile – and with a similar price, to boot.

GM is offering its new light-duty pickups with a choice of three updated engines options: a more efficient Ecotec3 285 horsepower, 4.3-liter V-6; a 355 horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8 with greater hauling and towing capacity that will be its volume leader; and, later this year, a 420 horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 aimed at commercial users and muscle truck enthusiasts.

 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct162013

1968 Triumph TR250

By Vern Parker

Away back in 1969 Jerry Price was a student at Utah State in Logan, Utah. One day he was driving a nearly new 1967 Ford Mustang through Salt Lake City when he saw an automobile dealership offering for sale a 1969 Triumph TR250.

Young Price was smitten by everything about the sporty Triumph, so much so that he went to see his father who held the title to the Mustang.

The plan was to get his father to transfer ownership of the Mustang to him so he then could trade it in on the Triumph.

Parental common sense won out and the younger Price had no choice but to continue on at school in the Mustang.

Upon graduation in 1972 Price quickly traded the Mustang for a new Triumph TR6. The TR250 was produced for only two years in limited quantities so finding a well preserved TR250 was an endless task. Price chased down several leads and found only worn out or rusted out cars.

 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep232013

1969 Oldsmobile 98 Holiday Coupe

By Vern Parker

 

When this luxurious, yet somewhat sporty, 1969 Oldsmobile 98 Holiday Coupe was new, young Scott Patton was living with his parents in the Panama Canal Zone.

Because of his locale at the time the young man never saw the myriad of American automobiles that he would have seen had he been in the continental United States.

Decades later Patton was in the United States and in 2012 he spotted for sale a 1969 Oldsmobile 98 Holiday Coupe in an old car magazine. Month after month the Oldsmobile appeared for sale. Eventually the seller dropped the price in September, 2012. That is when Phillips lept at the chance to acquired his Oldsmobile.

After renting a car in Virginia he drove to Manchester, New Hampshire to see the car.

Only Oldsmobile's official terminology described the car as a Holiday Coupe. Everyone else simple called it a two-door hardtop.

He found everything on the Olds as it should be and

Click to read more ...