Friday, June 26, 2009

1939 Bantam Roadster

This 1939 Bantam Roadster was built by the American Bantam Car Company of Butler, Pennsylvania. The roadster was one of several models of Bantam built from 1937 to 1941. this diminutive car is based on a British Austin and is powered by a 20-horsepower 4-cylinder engine.

1957 Buick Hardtop Estate Wagons

In the 1950s, hardtop styling was all the rage. It started with hardtop coupes, and then spread to sedans. In the late 1950s, even some station wagons gained hardtop styling and lost their B-pillars. Among these were the 1957 & 1958 Buick Special Riviera Estate Wagon and Century Caballero. Buick's were not the only or even the first hardtop wagons. There were also Oldsmobile versions of the GM hardtop wagons, and hardtop wagons were made by Rambler, Mercury, Chrysler and Dodge as well.

This is the Special Riviera Estate Wagon, the lessor of the two Buick hardtop wagons. The Special line was Buick's "entry-level" line, as signified by its having only three portholes instead of four, though since Buick's position in GM's structure placed it below only Cadillac, even the Specials were well appointed. Thus, the Special line was prestigious enough for the hardtop wagon, though a pillared version was also available.

The Special Riviera Estate Wagon featured a 122-inch wheelbase, seating for 6 with a rear seat that folded flat for cargo space, and a 250-horsepower engine. Options included a split rear seat and a third row seat to provide seating for 9.

The higher-model of Buick's hardtop wagon was the Century Caballero Estate Wagon. It had the same wheelbase as the Special Riviera Estate Wagon, but featured a more powerful 300-horsepower V8 engine.

2008 Saleen Dan Gurney Signature Edition Mustang

The limited-edition 2008 Saleen Dan Gurney Signature Edition Mustang features the 465-horsepower supercharged 281-cubic inch engine used in the Saleen S281SC, a five-speed manual transmission with a short throw shifter, and unique styling including a "stinger" hood, "duck-bill" rear spoiler and graphics replicating those on Dan Gurney's 1969 Trans Am series Mustang. This example in Vista Blue 9one of the only three colors available, spotted at Cruisin' Sherwood on June 13, 2009, is #53 of only 300 to be produced.

Race Car Driver Dan Gurney is one of only two drivers to win Grand Prix, Indy Car, NASCAR and Sports Car races (Mario Andretti is the other) and is the only US citizen to win a Grand Prix in a car of his own construction. He won a total of 51 races in his 15 year racing career, including 7 Formula One races, 7 Indy Car races, 5 NASCAR Winston Cup races and Trans-Am, Can-Am and Sports Car races at Nuerburgring, Daytona, Sebring and LeMans. He has finished on the podium an additional 47 times, including 2 second-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500.

1957 Pontiac Chieftain Catalina

In 1957, the Cheiftain was Pontiac's entry-level model. But being as Pontiac was a distinct step up from Chevrolet, even the entry-level Chieftain was available as a Catalina hardtop coupe, while in the Chevrolet line only the mid-range Two-Ten and flagship Bel Air were available as hardtop Sport Coupes. 1958 would be the last year for the Chieftain name; in 1959, Pontiac's entire entry-level line would be named Catalina and the hardtop coupes would be called Sport Coupes like their Chevrolet cousins.

2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS

I've already discussed the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro in an earlier post, but here's a look at the SS version of the 2010 Camaro, spotted at Cruisin' Sherwood on June 13, 2009.

Standard equipment for the Camaro SS includes the 400-horsepower LS3 V8 engine with 400 foot-pounds of torque and a six-speed manual transmission. Options on this example include ground effects, 21-inch black wheels, and sunroof. The window-tinting and blackened emblems are aftermarket.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

1994 Dodge Viper

This 1994 Dodge Viper was at Cruisin' Sherwood on June 13, 2009. It is typical of the first generation of the Viper from 1992 to 1995. Powered by an 8.0-Liter V10 engine with a 6-speed manual transmission, the Viper offered performance that far surpassed the American competition, at a price that was lower than European exotics.

The Viper's 8-Liter V10 engine was designed as a cast-iron truck engine, but made its debut in the 1992 Viper with an aluminum-alloy block and heads. The truck version didn't appear until 1994. In the first generation Viper, the engine produces 400 horsepower and 465 foot-pounds of torque. The Viper would accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds and would reach 100 in 9.6 seconds and reach a top speed of over 180 miles per hour.

Aside from its performance, the Viper was quite no frills. It featured side curtains of fabric and clear plastic instead of side windows and a manual soft top that folded to fit in the trunk instead of a more typical convertible top. The Viper also lacked traction control and anti-lock brakes, and air conditioning did not become available as an option until 1994. This would change with the 1996 debut of the second generation Viper, which not only included many of these features, but was also available as a fixed-roof coupe.

Porsche 356C

The 4-cylinder Porsche 356C was produced for the 1964 and 1965 model years. It was the last and most powerful version of the 356 series with up to 95 horsepower and was built at the same time as the first 6-cylinder Porsche 911s. The 356C also featured 4-wheel disc brakes. Over 10,000 356Cs were built for 1964, an all-time high for the 356 series. After the 356C was discontinued, its 4-cylinder engine was used in a new entry-level model call the 912 that shared the 911's body. This 356C was spotted in The Dalles, Oregon on June 10, 2009.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

1953 Studebaker Commander Convertible

Spotted in The Dalles, Oregon on June 10, this car is perfect for my first classic car profile. It is more than it seems, as Studebaker never sold any convertibles with this body style. But first, some history...

In 1947, Studebaker was "first by far with a postwar car;" the first major U.S. Automaker to have a significantly new car design that wasn't based on their prewar models. At the time, postwar carbuyers weren't really so concerned with models that were truly new designs. They hadn't been able to replace their cars since 1941, and having been in a depression, many had cars much older than that, or were young G.I. just coming back from the war with a lot of cash saved to buy a new car. The other carmakers held onto their new designs for a couple more years, by which time the Studebaker design had become dated. Studebaker planned new models for the company's 100th anniversary in 1952, but they didn't actually come out until 1953.

The 1953 Studebaker line featured a sleek hardtop coupe designed by Raymond Loewy and Bob Bourke based on an earlier show car, and the sedans featured similar lines. With their European-inspired lines, all were sleeker than just about anything else available. A single prototype 1953 convertible was built, but convertibles had only accounted for 2% of Studebaker's 1952 sales so it didn't go into production, and financial troubles kept them from making a convertible version in subsequent years.

This example actually started out as a 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk Hardtop Coupe. In 1983, the roof was removed and a convertible top from a 1964 Dodge Dart was installed and the styling was changed to that of a 1953 model. Carol and Steve Hudson of The Dalles discovered the unfinished project in 1995 and completed it in 2003.

This beautiful car is perfectly restored and looks stunning with its red paint and white interior. It absolutely looks like a factory model, and if you don't know that Studebaker never actually amde any you'd never suspect that any significant work had been done to it. It is a shame that Studebaker never actually sold 1953 convertibles, but it makes this custom car that much more unique.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

The new 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is the most powerful production Corvette ever offered by General Motors. It also features lightweight carbon-fiber bodywork.

The Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is powered by a supercharged 638-horsepower LS9 V8 with a 6-speed manual transmission and has a top speed of 205 miles per hour. The base price of the Corvette ZR1 is $102,450.

Standard equipment includes carbon fiber fenders, floor panels and hood, visible carbon fiber roof, roof bow, splitter and rockers, action handling, traction control, 4-wheel independent suspension, 6-piston fronts and 4-piston rear cross drilled Brembo ceramic antilock disc brakes, 19" front and 20" rear aluminum wheels, run-flat tires, keyless access with push button start, theft deterrent system and alarm, xenon high intensity discharge headlights, head-up display, power heated outside mirrors, leather seating surfaces, XM satellite radio and steering wheel radio controls.

This example with Premium Equipment Group including DVD Navigation, Bose 7-Speaker Premium Sound, power telescoping steering wheel, heated seats, side impact airbags, and custom leather-wrapped interior costs $115,000.

The Corvette ZR1 delivers fuel economy of 14 miles per gallon in the city and 20 miles per gallon on the highway.

2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Coupe

The new 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 coupe features a new 560-horsepower 5.2-liter V10 with all-wheel drive and a six speed transmission with optional E-Gear sequential paddle shift system, an aluminum space frame and aluminum body with a total weight of 3,110 pounds and a leather interior. It will accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 202 miles per hour. The base price is $200,000.

2009 Callaway Corvette

The 2009 Callaway Corvette is available as either a coupe or convertible and with either a manual or automatic transmission. The supercharged V8 engine produces 580 horsepower and 510 foot-pounds of torque.

Standard equipment includes a polished CS2000 Roots supercharger with intercooler, an electronic fuel system control with high volume injectors, a Callaway Honker high flow intake system, stainless steel exhaust, body-color injector covers, a C16 hood with supercharged emblems, embroidered floor mats, a dash plaque and a 3 year/36,000 mile powertrain warranty.

Available options include exhaust tip slats, multi-pro suspension, C-Mg wheel & tire package, Deutschleder interior package, short-throw shifter, LeMans brake packages, SportSeat package and Car Cover.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

2009 Ford Flex

The all-new 2009 Ford Flex crossover utility vehicle became available in the summer of 2008 and was a finalist for the 2009 North American Car of the Year. It is powered by a 263-horsepower 3.5-liter DOHC Duratec V6 with a six-speed automatic transmission and AdvanceTrac electronic stability control with Roll Stability Control and is available with optional all-wheel drive. Fuel economy for the front wheel drive version is 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway. The all wheel drive version delivers fuel economy of 16 miles per gallon in the city and 22 miles per gallon on the highway.

Options include seating for seven, a multi-panel Vista roof consisting of a power sunroof for the front passengers, two fixed roof windows for the middle row and a single fixed skylight for the third row, rear console refrigeration, a power liftgate, White Suede or Brilliant Silver roof and 19" or 20" wheels.

2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe

A hardtop coupe version of the Pontiac Solstice roadster became available in early 2009. Pictures here, at the 2009 Portland International Auto Show, is a 2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe.

The Solstice coupe features a removable lightweight roof panel can be removed by one person and has a curb weight that is only 22 pounds more than the roadster's.

The Pontiac Solstice GXP coupe is powered by a 260-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter Ecotec® DOHC 4-cylinder engine with variable valve timing and 260 foot-pounds of torque and a five-speed transmission, that delivers 0-60 times of under 5.5 seconds. The base model Solstice coupe features a 173-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with 167 foot-pounds of torque.

The Solstice coupe features four-wheel independent sport-tuned suspension with StabliTrak handling and additional cargo room under a rear liftglass.

2009 Jaguar XF

The all-new 2009 Jaguar XF was introduced in March of 2008. It is powered by a 4.2-liter aluminum-alloy DOHC 32-valve V8 that produces 300-horsepower. It is also available as a 420-horsepower supercharged version. The XF will accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 121 miles per hour. The supercharged version will accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 miles per hour.

Standard equipment includes a six-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, a pushbutton starter and iPod, mp3 player and Bluetooth cell phone connectivity. Available options include a Bowers & Wilkins 14-speaker 440-watt surround sound system, Sirius satellite radio, voice-activated navigation, reverse parking camera, climate controlled seats and a blind spot monitor.

2009 GMC Sierra Hybrid

The GMC Sierra Hybrid became available in early 2009, in two-wheel-drive & four-wheel-drive crew cab short box models. The two-mode hybrid system includes a 322-horsepower 6.0-liter V8 and two 60-kilowatt electronic motors in an electronically variable 4-speed automatic transmission. The Sierra Hybrid can be powered by the electric motors at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour and will deliver fuel economy of up to 21 miles per gallon in the city and 22 miles per gallon on the highway with the two-wheel-drive version or 20 miles per gallon with the four wheel drive version, but still have a 6,100-pound trailer rating when needed.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500

The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 was a finalist for North American Truck of the Year. The Ram is available with a 5.7-liter HEMI® V8 with a Multi-Displacement System that delivers fuel economy of 14 miles per gallon in the city and 20miles per gallon on the highway.

Standard equipment includes multi-link coil-spring rear suspension and in-floor storage bins. The truck pictured, from the 2009 Portland International Auto Show, features the available RamBox Cargo Management System with a cargo bed extender/divider and lighted lockable storage bins.

2009 Ford F-150

The 2009 Ford F-150 became available in the fall of 2008, and is the 2009 North American Truck of the Year and the 2009 Motor Trend Truck of the Year.

The 2009 F-150 features a stronger frame, three V8 engine choices (a 4.6L 2-valve V8, a new 4.6L 3-valve V8 and a 5.4L 3-valve V8 that can run on E85) and an available 6-speed automatic transmission with a Tow/Haul Mode that comes standard with both 3-valve engines.

The F-150 features a flat loadfloor without the "hump" behind the seats, fuel economy of up to 21 miles per gallon, 4x2 or 4x4 drivelines, 3 cab styles, 3 box lengths and 2 box styles, and 7 trim levels (XL, XLT, STX, FX4, Lariat, King Ranch & Platinum).

Standard features include AdvanceTrac electronic stability control with Roll Stability Control and Trailer Sway Control, side-curtain airbags and a Standard Personal Safety System that controls the deployment force of the airbags based on the severity of the crash and other factors.

Options include a voice-activated navigation radio with Sony premium audio and Sirius satellite radio and TravelLink, an enhanced reverse camera system, a tailgate step, box side steps, bed extender and cargo management system, telescoping/folding trailer tow mirrors, integrated trailer brake controller, and heated and cooled 10-way power leather-trimmed front seats.

At the 2009 Portland International Auto Show, Ford displayed a cutaway version of the 2009 F-150 that displayed many of the truck's features.

This view shows the inside of the SuperCrew cab, with the flat loadfloor behind the front seats.

At the front the cutaway allowed a view of the front suspension.

The cutaway box allowed for a view of the frame and rear suspension, and a closer look at the optional box-side steps.

This rear view of the cutaway F-150 shows the optional tailgate step and bed extender.

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