Posts from ‘What was…’

Aug
28
What ws the Iron Duke?

Though technically a Pontiac engine, the Iron Duke found a place under the hood of dozens of non-Pontiac models.

The Chevrolet Vega was meant to be a technical and efficiency tour de force. The good-looking, lightweight little car featured a number of cutting-edge features, and was positioned to prove that the Bow-Tie Brand—and on a broader scale General Motors—was in a position to take on the low-cost and fuel-efficient imports that were starting to show up in dealerships at the beginning of the Seventies.

Aug
13
1985 Pontiac Firefly

Most Americans have never heard of the Firefly, but Canadian consumers might well have considered purchasing one of these subcompact Pontiacs. A 1987 “Base” is shown.

Pontiac of Canada was well known for selling gently tweaked variations of Chevy products for exclusive distribution north of the border. The 1976-1987 Pontiac Acadian for example, was actually a retrimmed Chevrolet Chevette.

Jun
28
What was the Envoy XUV?

Offered for only two years, the GMC Envoy XUV afforded owners an amazing amount of cargo-hauling flexibility, along with a slightly awkward profile.

It wasn’t a dream. You didn’t imagine it either—there really was a GMC SUV equipped with a retractable roof. To the uninitiated, that might not sound too odd, except that the roof didn’t retract back from over the passengers, sunroof style; it pulled into the center of the vehicle from over the cargo hold, creating what more or less amounted to a handy pickup bed.

Jun
19
Cadillac Eldorado Evolution

Cadillac Eldorado Evolution by Pierre Cardin

Most Americans know Pierre Cardin as a purveyor of luxury designer clothing, but how many of us recall the fashion maestro’s foray into the automotive realm?

Jun
15
What Was The Harold and Maude Car

Harold and Maude Jaguar E-Type Hearse

For many car enthusiasts, the most memorable (and cringe-inducing) element of the 1971 cult-classic movie Harold and Maude is the conversion of a Jaguar E-Type roadster into a hearse. Harold and Maude is the offbeat story of a death-obsessed young man, Harold (Bud Cort), who falls in love with a free-spirited elderly woman, Maude (Ruth Gordon). Harold and Maude was an early work by acclaimed director Hal Ashby, who would go on to direct such films as The Last Detail, Coming Home, Shampoo, and Being There.

May
17
Ford F-1000, What Was the Ford F-1000

Ford F-1000

Comparing pickup trucks to Hamburger Helper may seem like a stretch, but I beg your indulgence as I explain myself. Here goes: The main purpose of Hamburger Helper is to help costly ground beef go further, at less cost. Thus, a meal that might have involved the expense of a pound and a half of meat might require just a single pound once augmented by the sodium-packed filler material that generally retails for around $1.39 a box.

May
14
Chevrolet Bonanza

Chevrolet Bonanza

For as globalized as the auto business has become, you might think a brand as omnipresent as Chevrolet would sell pretty much the same lineup in every market it plays in. Turns out that’s not the case.

Apr
23
What was the Aston Martin Cygnet

Aston Martin Cygnet

Why would Aston Martin, a British company known for building ultra-luxury high-performance coupes, contract with Japanese automaker Toyota to build an Aston-branded version of one of the smallest, least-powerful Toyota-built cars on the market? Turns out there’s a good answer to that question, but it gets a little complicated.

Mar
26
Simon Templar and Volvo P1800, What did The Saint Drive?

Roger Moore starred as Simon Templar in the popular show The Saint, which ran from 1962-1969 on British TV.

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.

Mar
19
GMC Twin Six

GMC Twin Six

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