Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Here is a link to my current classic car column in Cincinnati Profile Magazine. http://cincinnatiprofile.com/2013/07/auto/a-classic-car-education/
Monday, July 29, 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013
The oldest bicycle manufacturer in the world that is still in existence is Bianchi Bicycles. Founded in 1885 it was a pioneer in using equal sized wheels and pneumatic tires.The company was created by a 21-year-old medical tool manufacturer named Edoardo Bianchi and by the turn of the century this forward thinking was looking toward expanding into the manufacture of automobiles.
Cars were still in the blood of many top Bianchi employees. When research showed that there was still a market for Bianchi cars, albeit not as luxury sedans, the firm turned to Fiat who, along with Pirelli formed the Autobianchi company in 1955. In 1968 Bianchi faced economic problems in its motorcycle division and sold out completely to Fiat and Autobianchi was gradually merged into the newly acquired Lancia line.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Like other Concours events, the Keenland Concours d'Elegance brings in some of the rarest, most beautiful automobiles from the past. Strewn across a beautiful grass paddock area were representatives of those great Vintage cars from 1925 through 1949. This includes the car above, a 1932 Chevrolet 2 Door Coach which was their answer to the popular Ford Model A.
Here is a 1935 Buick Model 46C convertible. This was the last year for the wood body and mechanical brakes for Buick. Of the 933 Model 46Cs produced only five are know to still exist. And yes, this is the original color.
Easily recognizable is this 1929 Ford Model A Roadsters. This car was so popular among drivers that two million were manufactured by the time this one was bought. Keep in mind, too, that the car had only been released 19 months prior to this one hitting the show room floor.
A lot changed in car styling and design in 20 years as is evident by this 1949 Buick Roadmaster Sedanet Model 70. This car was purchased new by Helen Gerber of Gerber Baby Foods fame. She owned it until 1986.
The next car is a 1932 Plymouth PA Sport Roadster. Plymouth was introduced in 1928 as a competitor of the wildly popular Ford Model A and while its sales never approached that of Ford this car propelled parent Chrysler solidly into third place as most popular car brand in America.
Finally here is a 1928 Dodge Victory Six Touring 4 Door Phaeton. The car was released in honor of the 10th anniversary of World War I. It was Dodge's first six cylinder car and the first car manufactured by any company to have an all steel body.
Monday, July 22, 2013
The car at the top is a 1920 HCS Series 2 Roadster. The HCS stood for the car's builder, Harry Clayton Stutz who, more often, simply put his last name on his cars. Next is a 1912 Cadillac Phaeton, the first car to use an electronic starter.
Friday, July 19, 2013
Even when it was first begun in 1902, Cadillac was a car line known for luxury. Even though the earliest model was nearly identical to the Ford Model T, the brand soon garnered a reputation of having some of the most well-built and luxurious cars on the market. After it was purchased by General Motors in 1909, it was steered toward being that company’s top of the line automobile offering.
For much of its first seven decades Cadillac was always at or near the top of all luxury cars, especially those made in the United States. While the 1950s, 60s and into the early 70s saw a staggering growth in the size of this car as wheelbases stretched to ridiculous lengths, the power plants that accompanied them didn’t evolve as well. Add to that the numerous new regulations that swamped the auto industry on the heels of the 70s oil crisis and Cadillac saw its performance, and its sales, drop.
Through the 1970s and 80s these cars were big, bulky and slow. Seeing themselves as the luxury line in the GM stable they couldn’t easily downsize the way a Chevrolet or Pontiac could; though to a slight degree they tried.
The cars of this era were still large and heavy but bore the added burden of new clean air emissions regulations that, for a while at least, all but killed the American muscle car. Still, Cadillac’s reputation and name recognition managed to draw in more than a few buyers. Among them was my father who, during this time, had become a true blue Cadillac man. This would change in the 1990s when he began driving Mercedes but during this time when I was first getting my driver’s license (which came in 1972), he was a Caddy man.
Yes, I had my own cars during this time: a VW Beetle and a Ford Maverick. But when it came time to take a girl to homecoming or prom guess which car I got to drive. That’s right, the Caddy. For that reason (no, nothing ever happened in the back seat or even front seat of my dad’s car) I still harbor a fondness in my heart for these series of Cadillacs.
The cars pictured here were plucked from some car shows from last summer and reflect the trend that many of this era Caddy is becoming a collector car. So keep your eyes out and hopefully you’ll see a few at shows near you.