Jim Rockford is the only TV detective with a driving move named for him. The late James Garner, who played Jim Rockford, didn’t invent the reverse 180-degree “J-turn,” but he used it so often in The Rockford Files television series that the maneuver is forever associated with the character. To execute a “Rockford,” Jim Rockford would drive about 35 mph in reverse, then let off the gas, turn the steering wheel sharply, and pull on the emergency brake. The car’s front end would swing around 180 degrees, and Rockford would be off—now driving forward.
Chicago’s Michigan Avenue has long been one of the most important streets in the city. In addition to being a major north-south thoroughfare, Michigan Avenue is home to landmarks such as the John Hancock Center skyscraper, the Chicago Water Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Millennium Park, as well as the famous Magnificent Mile shopping district.
Coupes account for only five percent of the premium vehicle market, but they’ve also traditionally been important halo vehicles for their respective brands. That’s certainly been the case at Infiniti, where the Q60 coupe and convertible (and their G35/G37 predecessors) have typically been the most stylish and dynamic vehicles in the marque’s model lineup. After a year’s absence, the Q60 coupe returns for 2017 with a new design that shares elements of its architecture with the Infiniti Q50 sedan. We recently had the opportunity to sample the hottest version of the Q60 on a San Diego-area drive route.
If you attended at the Chicago Auto Show back in 2003 or 2004, you might have seen a Hummer-like SUV with “Studebaker” stamped on the liftgate. Posed by some rugged-looking rocks in a small Avanti Motor Corporation display, this hulking behemoth was a Hail Mary attempt by struggling Avanti Motor to cash in on the then-booming mega-SUV market. How did such a bizarrely branded vehicle ever come to pass?
If you’re a car guy of a certain age, chances are you have fond memories of the original Adam 12 TV series. The half-hour police drama ran between 1968 and 1975, following veteran LAPD patrol officer Pete Malloy (played by Martin Milner) and junior partner Jim Reed (played by Kent McCord) as they went about their job to protect and serve the citizens of Los Angeles.
Cars were an important part of the Jazz Age and of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald mentions only two cars by make in The Great Gatsby— Nick Carraway’s Dodge and Gatsby’s Rolls-Royce. The rest are left to the reader’s imagination.
Foreign automakers have been selling vehicles in America since the early days of the automobile, but not all international automobiles, or their nameplates, are appropriate for U.S. buyers. Here is a fun sampling of some bizarre foreign-vehicle names.
Bob Lutz has accomplished more in his golden years than most auto execs do in a lifetime. At age 69, Lutz became General Motors’ Vice Chairman of Product Development and helped create cars such as the Cadillac CTS, Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Malibu, Buick Enclave, Buick LaCrosse, and Pontiac Solstice. He also championed the electric/gas Chevrolet Volt before withdrawing from an active role at GM in 2009. Now at age 81, Lutz is launching a high-performance sedan, the VL Destino.
Note: This article is reprinted from the April 2013 issue of Collectible Automobile.
Henry J. Kaiser revolutionized shipbuilding during World War II with his mass-produced Liberty ships. While Kaiser was building ships faster than anyone had ever imagined, he was already planning to shock the auto industry with a postwar “people’s car.” As early as 1942, Kaiser was concocting a front-wheel-drive, fiberglass-bodied car to sell for as little as $400. However, when the 1947 Kaiser took its bow, it was a conventional, medium-price sedan.