Posts from ‘Classic Cars’
To perform a quick case study on how different the automotive world is today from what it was in 1979, consider the following:
Maybe you’ve heard of the “runner’s high,” an elusive phenomenon experienced by distance runners and other serious exercise buffs. At some point during a good, long run, an endurance-focused athlete can experience a period of euphoria that, to hear some folks tell it, makes the whole physical-exertion thing more than worth the effort.
by Don Sikora
Note: The following story was excerpted from the October 2017 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
The 1978 Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon hatchback sedans were Chrysler’s well-received answer to the Volkswagen Rabbit. Racy Omni 024 and Horizon TC3 two-doors followed for the 1979 model year as the American company’s response to the Rabbit-based Scirocco.
The 2003-2006 Chevrolet SSR was a retro-styled convertible pickup truck, though the vehicles with which it shared its basic architecture were none of the above. It would not surprise me if the SSR was the product of a truth-or-dare game gone horribly wrong, and a group a General Motors engineers found themselves at the losing end of a sinister “dare.”
by Jack Stewart
Note: The following story was excerpted from the February 2016 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
Don’t cross Buick. The manufacturer was eager to win some races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 27, 1910, but its Model 30 racecars were disqualified the morning of the race. Buick management was mad and resolved to get even. In a time before “the Brickyard” had settled on a yearly 500-mile race, Buick planned to come back for the track’s next meet on July 1 with revolutionary cars to extract its revenge.
There is no longer space in the American new-car marketplace for vehicles with hoods and trunklids that consume more linear space than their passenger compartments do. While I know that the passing of the giant coupe was inevitable, I also lament that automotive designers no longer have a free hand with such large and expressive canvases.
By Frank Peiler
Time for another exercise in counterfactual automotive history. This time we ask the question: What would have happened if other carmakers had lent their designers to Crosley Motors to help style an all-new 1953 Crosley lineup?
Here’s a question for you: What was Jaguar’s biggest-ever marketing blunder? Many might argue it was the X-Type, a compact sedan that was little more than a Ford Mondeo (called Contour in the U.S.) gilded with a Jaguar grille, curvy sheet metal, and some extra wood and leather inside. By virtually every measure, the X-Type was a flop as a Jaguar, though the wagon version was not without its charms.
Ford is doing it right now with a subcompact crossover (EcoSport) imported from India. Cadillac did it with a German import badged on these shores as Catera. Honda did it with rebadged midsize SUV (Passport) that was actually built by Isuzu.