Note: The following story was excerpted from the February 2017 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine
General Motors was flexing its engineering muscles in the early Sixties, especially when it came to the corporation’s new Y-body small cars. The line of 112-inch-wheelbase premium compacts included the Pontiac Tempest with independent rear suspension and curved “rope drive” driveshaft. Meanwhile, the Buick Special and Oldsmobile F-85 bowed in 1961 with an aluminum V8, followed in ’62 by a 90-degree V6 initially exclusive to Buick.
Note: The following story was excerpted from the June 2011 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine
When Alfa Romeo wanted to make a splash at the 35th Turin Automobile Show, it asked six coachbuilders to build a custom body on the Alfa 1900 chassis. They were Bertone, Castagna, Boneschi, Pinin Farina, Vignale, and Turin’s own Ghia.
American Graffiti is a classic coming-of-age comedy film that follows its cast through one end-of-summer night in 1962. This was technically the early Sixties, but culturally, 1962 can be considered the end of the Fifties era. Change was coming quickly, both for America itself and the main characters of American Graffiti. The plot of the movie centers around recent high-school graduates Steve Bolander (Ron Howard) and Curt Henderson (Richard Dreyfuss), who are set to enjoy one last night in their hometown before boarding an eastbound flight to college the next morning. Although the era was ending, this movie celebrates the Fifties in full flower.
Well, it’s official now… the Lexus LC 500 grand touring coupe will be joined by a convertible version for 2021. At the beginning of this year, Lexus displayed a LC 500 Convertible Concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, and the production version that is making its global debut at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show is remarkably close to the show car.
Note: The following story was excerpted from the October 2007 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
Chrysler’s streamlined 1934 Airflow flopped in America, but it was an inspiration to French automaker Peugeot. With headquarters in Paris and its main plant in Sochaux near the Swiss border, Peugeot is the second-oldest automaker in the world.
Note: The following story was excerpted from the August 2011 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
Henry J. Kaiser was part of the consortium that completed the daunting task of building Hoover Dam more than two years ahead of schedule. No one had mass produced ships until Kaiser built World War II Liberty Ships in as little as five days. Perhaps, then, Henry could have been excused for thinking he could revolutionize car building as well. He must have soon realized that it was a bigger job than expected and that the men running Detroit were smarter than he gave them credit for being.
Note: The following story was excerpted from the April 2002 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
Bentleys were fast sport tourers—absolutely dependable, but loud. By 1931, when Bentley Motors went into receivership, its larger cars were competing with Rolls-Royce. In a surprise move, Rolls bought its English competitor to prevent future rivalry.
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.
Note: The following story was excerpted from the October 2009 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in North Dakota needed three tough station wagons that could go anywhere in the wilds of the Northern plains, it chose the 1954 International R-140 with four-wheel drive. Why the Corps needed three such wagons is a mystery.