Posts from ‘Classic Cars’
There are limitations to the marketing power of heritage and quirkiness, and it’s possible that no car manufacturer is more aware of this reality than Volkswagen. Case in point: VW recently made known its intentions to drop the retro-themed Beetle from its lineup. Both the soon-to-depart current-generation Beetle (2011-2019) and New Beetle before it (1998-2011) drew heavily on shopper nostalgia. Though they were quite conventional mechanically, these “homage” Beetles obviously borrowed their “throwback” styling inspiration from the legendary original Beetle, which was first produced in 1938.
The Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals is widely regarded as the best show of its type in the world. The show celebrated its tenth anniversary earlier this month, once again filling the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, with a mind-bending array of vintage and not-so-vintage American muscle cars, race cars, Corvettes, street machines, and auto-oriented collectibles and memorabilia.
Note: The following story was excerpted from the April 2007 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
There’s an old and very common expression for describing someone who finds himself mired in difficult circumstances. He’s said to be “up a creek without a paddle.” That almost literally describes the situation in which George Hamlin found himself when he first laid eyes on the vintage truck featured here.
Note: The following story was excerpted from the August 2015 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
Long before gourmet food trucks began peddling high-end lunches and pricey cupcakes on city streets, Helms Bakery trucks were a common sight in Southern California. Starting in 1931, Helms delivered bread, doughnuts, pies, cookies, pastries, and other baked goods to people’s homes. Its products were not sold in stores. Indeed, the company’s slogan was “Daily at your door.” Customers could place a Helms placard in their window as a signal for the “Helmsman” to stop—or just flag down a truck as it passed by. Based in Culver City, the Helms Bakery fleet ranged as far north as Fresno and as far south as San Diego. It delivered its last loaf in 1969.
Every October, the Mecum Auctions road show rolls into Chicagoland for a weekend-long event that takes over the Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg, Illinois. Like any of the major-league televised auctions, the 2018 Mecum Chicago shindig had its share of big-ticket featured lots. A 1979 Porsche 930 Turbo originally owned by legendary Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton was the star of this year’s show—it sold for $324,500, topping the list of results for the event.
Ford Motor Company’s Mercury division was taken from us in 2011. The brand’s demise came during a flurry of marque terminations, and was bracketed by the shutdown of Pontiac (2010) and the final model year of Saab (2012).
Though hard to pinpoint exactly, Mercury’s market position probably hewed most closely to GM’s Oldsmobile division, though both brands drifted at different times between being slightly sporty to being more luxury focused.
Note: The following story was excerpted from the August 2014 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
The B-series Mack trucks produced from 1953 to 1966 were one of the most familiar commercial-vehicle lines of the post-World War II era. However, this successful truck family begs the question: If that’s the “B” model, then what was “A”?
Note: The following story was excerpted from the April 2013 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
Yosemite National Park occupies 747,956 acres in east central California. It is home to natural wonders like imposing El Capitan, the world’s largest exposed granite mononlith; towering sequoia trees, some of which are thought to be thousands of years old; and breathtaking waterfalls fed by snowmelt. President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill in 1864 that granted the Yosemite Valley to the State of California as a natural preserve, an event seen as a precursor to the national parks movement. Noted naturalist John Muir was instrumental in Yosemite becoming established as a national park on October 1, 1890.
An international society of automotive historians has named Collectible Automobile® magazine—a companion publication to Consumer Guide® Automotive—the winner of its top award for the presentation of history in a periodical.
Note: The following story was excerpted from the October 2014 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
As James Longoni’s sparklingly restored Dodge ½-ton pickup seen here clearly demonstrates, by 1960, the outlines of the modern pickup truck had been drawn. Stylishness and a rising level of creature comforts would increasingly be expected. America’s hardy workhorse was being turned into a polished thoroughbred.