1969 Chevy Camaro

When it was introduced, the 1969 Chevy Camaro was unlike any other muscle car or sports car at that time. Chevrolet understood Americas need back then for style and power, offered at a lower price point.

The Camaro had the long, lean look of its sports car cousin, the Corvette. It had the Corvette muscle too, with a 210-hp 327 V8 standard. Other V8’s available to order ran all the way up to a 325-hp Tubo-Jet 396.

Someone looking for a lot of muscle in their Camaro could also purchase the1969 Camaro SS. The SS was so popular it had been chosen the Pace Car for the Indy 500 multiple times. The engine choices started with a 300-hp 350 V8 and worked their way up from there. The SS also came with a special intake hood that, during acceleration, would gulp huge amounts of air to the engine increasing the power.

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The Mythical 1955 Ford Thunderbird’s Origins

When America fell in love with the Thunderbird back in 1954 it was a lively two seater. Yet the Ford Thunderbird has continued to evolve into many different auto market segments over its lifespan and miles of the product. Yet nothing seems to hold T-Bird fans attention and rapt attention at the original 1955 “bird”.

“Thunderbird” is undoubtedly a fine name for a motor car, with its connotations of power, flight with just a hint of mystery. Yet Ford Thunderbirds is also a truly American car badge and label, the icon being a magical one for the Pueblo Indians of the South-West United States. That is more than appropriate because the “T-bird” was and still remains the essence itself of the American car illustrating over it more than 50 year most of the foibles as well as many of the strengths of that particular breed.

 

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The Ford Capri

In January 1969, a few months before man walked on the moon, Ford introduced the new Capri into Europe, in a bid to capitalise upon the massive success that the Capri’s American cousin the Mustang had enjoyed in the pony car and sports coupe market throughout the decade.

When the Mark 1 Capri was launched at the Brussels Motor Show with the slogan ‘The Car You always Promised Yourself’ it became an instant success with the baby boomer generation.

Within a year of production, almost one in four of all cars that Ford sold in Europe, was a Capri.

In 1970 nearly 250,000 Capris were sold. The car was assembled at Liverpool and Dagenham in the UK and at Ford’s plants in Ghenk in Belgium and Cologne in Germany. By 1973 the millionth Capri an RS 2600 rolled off the production line at Ford’s Halewood plant in Liverpool.

The early success in Europe led to Ford introducing the car into the US and Australian markets in 1970 and guaranteed the production of two further models, the Mark 2 and Mark 3 Capris. Continue reading “The Ford Capri”

1967 Shelby Mustang

In the last 15 years or so the 1967 Shelby Mustang has become one of or maybe the most desirable Mustang model ever made. These days most Shelby’s are financially out of reach for many, but hey we can dream right?

Many movies have had effect on the desirability of cars but the Eleanor Mustang in Gone in Sixty Seconds seemed to secure its place in recent pop history. After the movie the demand for the cars and parts to convert cars to “clones” skyrocketed. Granted I’m not a big “clone” fan. I think you should customize your car to make it just what you want, heck go crazy. But I really hate to see the market diluted with fake cars. When Shelby build the 67 Mustang GT 500 it was a complete makeover. They left little unchanged. In 1967 Shelby rolled out the big guns with the 428 with dual carbs! This beefy engine produced 355 horsepower and had the now iconic oval Cobra air cleaner and cool finned cobra valve covers. Just as a side note did you know that a very limited number of 1967 GT 350 had Paxton superchargers? Dare you to find one of those in a junkyard. The 67 GT 500 had the heaver duty C6 transmission or the Ford top-loader 4 speed.

It doesn’t seem like Shelby did much to even identify the 67 GT 500 as a Mustang, maybe because of the classic lines they didn’t feel like it was necessary or maybe they just wanted to set it that much further apart from the more traditional Fords. In 1967 they made the front of the car 3 inches longer using fiberglass hood and other nose pieces. In the style that would look a lot like the 1969 Mustang Shelby mounted two driving lights at the very outside edge of the special Shelby replacement grill. Like in earlier models Shelby also put a larger opening in the fiberglass front valance to help with cooling the big block hidden under the restyled fiberglass hood. Continue reading “1967 Shelby Mustang”

The Bentley Mulsanne

Bentley is one of the most famous names in the automotive industry. The name is essentially synonymous to the best in British car engineering, with its high level of sophistication, technology, manufacturing, and luxury, seen in all of its cars. Today, it is the brand of choice for many celebrities, businessmen, and affluent people, opting for famous models like the Continental T and the Azure that have placed very good numbers of Bentley sales. These 2 models, however, owe their lineage to a car named the Bentley Mulsanne, an iconic model that paved the way for many of Bentley’s famous modern models today.

The Mulsanne, named after the “Mulsanne Straight” of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, was created with the intent of epitomizing the essence of what it is to be a Bentley car: high performance, topnotch luxury, advanced engineering. This was achieved by using some of the most expensive materials, machinery, and technology of its day, a truly top-of-the-line vehicle produced between 1980 and 1992.

Originally, the Mulsanne was equipped with a 6.75L Rolls-Royce V8 engine which had cylinder heads made out of aluminum alloy, with a 3-speed automatic transmission system. A Bosch fuel injection system replaced the original SU carburettors on cars made after 1986, and continued on until the end of production. Continue reading “The Bentley Mulsanne”

Classic Car History – 1963-67 Corvette Sting Ray

Specs for 1963-67 Corvette Sting Ray
Engine: OHV 90 degree V-8, 327 cid, 396 cid, 427 cid

Construction: Cast-iron block and heads, single cam, pushrods

Compression ratio: 11:1

Induction: Rochester fuel injection or one/two Carter four barrel carbs

Maximum Power: 250-375 bhp (327 cid) 390-435 (427 cid)

Top Speed: 152 mph

0-60 mph: 5.4 sec, 427 cid

Transmission: Four-speed, all syncromesh manual, optional three-speed manual, or Powerglide automatic

Body/Chassis: Steel ladder frame with two door convertible or coupe fiberglass body

Wheels: Five bolt steel (knock off aluminum optional) 6in. x 15in.

Tires: 6.7 in. x 15 in. Firestone Super Sport 170

Brakes: Drums to 1965, then four wheel discs

Front Suspension: Double wishbone, coil springs, anti-roll bar

Rear Suspension: Semi-trailing arms, half shafts and transverse links with transverse leaf spring

Wheelbase: 98 inches Continue reading “Classic Car History – 1963-67 Corvette Sting Ray”

Classic Car History – The 1959 Cadillac Series 62

The 1959 Cadillac was the brainchild of Designer Harley Earl, who drew on the inspiration of American space travel and rockets for his design. The 59 Cadillac was the pinnacle of the American auto design excess. With tail fins that rose a full 42 inches off the ground, rocket flare tail lights, quad headlights and massive chrome bumpers, a body length of over 20 ft, this was the ultimate Cadillac for grabbing attention. The ’59’s outrageous fins are accentuated by its very low profile, which is 3 inches lower that the ’58 model’s already low profile.

Harley Earl was directly responsible for the design of 50 million vehicles and completely changed the face of the American automobile in the 1950’s. No single man has had such an impact on the shape of American auto design and no one man has been guilty of so many design excesses. Included in his space-themed design were other images such as chrome denture like grilles, dashboards that looked like they belonged to jet fighters with dozens of switches and controls, bumpers protrusions known as “Dagmars”, hood ornaments which looked like missile launchers.

The 1959 Cadillac is an American icon. You will see this year model displayed in many 50’s styled diners and restaurants. Hard Rock cafe always has either a 1959 or 1960 Cadillac displayed in their restaurants. The 59 also starred in many films, like in the Clint Eastwood movie “Pink Cadillac”. The 59 Cadillac was a monument to American optimism in the 1950’s; it was in fact the “American Dream”. Who wouldn’t love to drive one of these today? Today you will be hard pressed to find a restored 59 convertible for less that $70,000 with many of them selling for well over 100K. Continue reading “Classic Car History – The 1959 Cadillac Series 62”