Posts from ‘DeSoto’
Note: The following story was excerpted from the April 2019 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine
The writing was on the wall for DeSoto in the late Fifties. In 1958, DeSoto production plummeted from 117,514 to 49,445. It was a bad year for almost every make, but DeSoto fell harder than most. Later that year, DeSoto lost its dedicated factories as production moved to Chrysler’s Jefferson Avenue plant. In late 1959, the DeSoto Division was folded into Plymouth.
If you trust Wikipedia, the Cord 810 was among the first automobiles to sport hidden headlamps. As far as design trends go, that’s a pretty auspicious starting point. For the purposes of this gallery, we are making a clear distinction between hidden headlamps—those found in or near a traditional grille–and pop-up headlamps along the lines of those found on the early-generation Mazda Miata or RX-7.
I recall a time, oh, 38 years ago, when my folks forbade me from driving to a friend’s house because it was raining. At the time, even if I believed that rain in any way made driving more dangerous, I wasn’t prepared to admit it. Besides, real car guys were unafraid of driving in snow, at night, and through downpours. Honestly, I still enjoy driving around through fresh snow.
Note: The following story was excerpted from the February 2017 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine
The wood-bodied station wagon was in its twilight years by 1950. It had progressed from commercial depot hack in the Teens and Twenties to something of a status symbol in the Thirties and Forties. Station wagons were just the thing for hunting trips or carrying riding tack to and from the stables. In the 1939 movie Dark Victory, Bette Davis’s socialite-horsewoman character describers herself as part of the “station wagon crowd.”
In his 2012 book Fractured Times: Culture and Society in the Twentieth Century, historian Eric Hobsbawm noted, “In terms of literary pedigree, the invented cowboy was a late romantic creation. But in terms of social content, he had a double function: he represented the ideal of individualist freedom pushed into a sort of inescapable jail by the closing of the frontier and the coming of the big corporations.”
The bad news is that fewer than one of every hundred cars sold in the United States is a convertible. (I will spare you the fractional math required to pass along the number of manual-transmission-equipped convertibles sold on our shores last year, but it’s fewer still.)
What would be the the automotive equivalent of a leg man? I’m guessing it’s a wheel-and-tire guy. But whether or not your type is brunettes or redheads, you have to admit it’s always fun to admire the things we love from a new perspective.
As you likely already know, the manual transmission is all but dead. Nothing drove home this point better than the news that in 2019, pure-electric vehicles outsold vehicles equipped with manual transmissions in the U.S.
Legendary Chicago Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg racked up nine Gold Gloves during his 17-year career as a big-league ball player. That’s a number Ryno can point to with pride, and it’s a number even casual baseball fans can appreciate. Not that the famously modest ex-Cub spends much time defending his career, but if he had to, the stats are there.
Good news, Matthew McConaughey fans–Tinseltown’s improbable product pitchman is back for another round of Lincoln commercials. The enigmatic star of such films as Mud and Dallas Buyers Club has returned to help the luxury carmaker roll out the new Nautilus midsize crossover.