Posted in GMC, Syclone

The GMC Syclone was the world’s quickest pickup | Revelations with Jason Cammisa | Ep. 13 @Hagerty

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The GMC Syclone wasn’t just quick — in its day, it was among the quickest vehicles ever tested. And that success was lingering: the Turbo Truck was, by a significant margin, the quickest pickup truck in the world for a staggering 30 years. That’s nearly twice as long as the McLaren F1 held the top-speed record.

Surprise: it also handled well, keeping up with the supercars of its day.

What’s not a surprise: the Syclone, and its SUV-bodied brother, the Typhoon, were not conceived through the regular product-planning channels at General Motors: they were dreamt up by a Real Car Guy — Kim Nielsen — and pushed through using the help of outside consultants.

To get into production quickly, before the S-15 Sonoma pickup and Jimmy SUV ended their product cycle, Nielsen worked closely with ASC/McLaren and then Production Automotive Services to develop the turbo truck. And then PAS won the contract to engineer, certify, and build the SyTy (Syclone and Typhoon.)

With just a little wheelspin off the line, the Syclone blasted from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds, quicker than the then-brand-new C4 Corvette ZR-1 and almost as quickly as the Ferrari F40.

30 years later, there are many fast SUVs on the market, but until the 702-hp 2021 Ram TRX, there’s never again been a pickup this quick. And certainly none this good-looking: available only in black, with black trim that includes a deep air dam and (of chief importance) integrated fog lights.

Learn everything you need to know about the GMC Syclone in this entertaining episode of Revelations with Jason Cammisa.

Posted in Carroll Shelby

A Brief History of Shelby Cars – Hagerty Media

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This is a really interesting listen from the Hagerty Sidedrafts podcast, Carroll Shelby did more than Ford

Carroll Shelby behind the wheel in 1964.Credit…Associated Press

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Everyone knows Carroll Shelby’s work with race cars and Mustangs, but he’s done so much more than that! Join us for a fun conversation about some of the lesser-known Shelby cars, hosted by Shelby expert, Colin Comer, and Brad Phillips, Executive Director of LeMay America’s Car Museum.

Posted in Hemmings, Henry Ford II, Transmission

Why the death of the stick shift is almost irrelevant to the classic car scene – David Conwill @Hemmings

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For 1935, Ford offered customers “effortless driving.” Today, that clutch pedal is just too much work for the average new-car buyer.

I hear somebody, maybe Volkswagen, has announced the end of manual transmissions—with other manufacturers almost certain to follow suit. Honestly, I don’t care much.

Any development on new cars is only of peripheral interest to me. I’ll likely never buy a new car. If I did, it would be some kind of roomy, economical family hauler—not a sports machine (the kind my colleague Mark McCourt insists need three pedals). The manual transmission has been extinct in family vehicles for a long while now. I’d much rather spend my money on something like a 1940s De Soto Suburban anyway.

The newest car I’ve personally owned was the 1993 Ford Escort I had from 2001 to 2009. I replaced it with a ’61 Ford Falcon and have largely tried to stick with stuff of ’60s or older vintage ever since. Largely, I’ve also sought out manual transmissions in these older vehicles, though my current car (foreseeably a long-term keeper) has a Powerglide automatic.

Henry Ford II said it himself, way back in 1970: “I think the glamour of the automobile is decreasing… People are looking at it now as a machine to get from place to place to do something else.”

Manual transmissions are like every other manual item of the 20th century that has been automated: air-fuel mixture, spark advance, heck, even staying in your own lane and not tailgating people. Satisfying to those of us that enjoy extracting fine control from a machine, but mostly just an irritation to the average new-car buyer who seems to view driving itself as a major inconvenience anymore. Expecting 21st century, multinational corporations to cater to the enthusiast is a pipe dream. Why not ask for access to their proprietary software while you’re at it?

Better to stick with old cars and create your own reality. They’re not going anywhere, barring draconian legislation that bans driver-operated vehicles from the roads. Even if gasoline goes away, enthusiasts have already started exploring dozens of ways to repower old cars.

Posted in Cougar, mercury

The well-planned purchase of a 1969 Mercury Cougar turned into five decades of family car memories. – Matt Litwin @Hemmings

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Mercury, it seemed, was in the habit of being the division that never truly fit where it was intended. Throughout much of its existence, it was perceived as either a plush Ford or a baby Lincoln, and Dearborn’s front office never really helped change the public opinion along the way. That’s not to say there weren’t a few valiant efforts during the Fifties and early Sixties. However, if there was ever a moment when Mercury stood out as intended, it was when the division announced the arrival of the Cougar for 1967.

Rather than simply giving the Mustang a facelift, Mercury designers reimagined the platform by creating a new foundation that was both longer and wider, coupled with a suspension tuned for a spirited, yet discerning buyer. Power was derived not from a six-cylinder, but rather a 200-hp 289-cu.in. V-8 issued as standard equipment. Stylists crafted a body tinged with European influences, with elegant, narrow wrap-around front and rear bumpers, finely contoured flanks, and larger sail panels emphasizing its coupe style. Cougar also got hidden headlamps and broad taillamps (with sequential turn signals) that reflected the design of the front end. Interiors were outfitted with vinyl bucket seats, plush carpeting, and a three-spoke “sport style” steering wheel. In effect, the Cougar was a harmonious blend of Thunderbird’s personal luxury accoutrements with Mustang’s agility and adaptable performance

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As one of several new “pony cars” to emerge on the market at that time, the Cougar was a resounding success in its first year, attracting 123,672 buyers. If that weren’t enough, 27,221 more sprung for the mid-year release of the modestly fancier Cougar XR-7. Among those 150,800-plus buyers was Brooks Baldwin, then a recent college graduate who was living with her three girlfriends in Indianapolis, Indiana.“As we were graduating, the other girls purchased Mustangs. However, my father, Tom, was a salesman at C.R. Barkman Lincoln-Mercury, which was in nearby Rochester, so naturally I ended up buying a new Cougar instead. It was painted Lime Frost and had a black vinyl top, with a black interior, and my boyfriend Bill Thompson and I enjoyed driving around the area. It was also a perfect car for my commute,” Brooks remembers.

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Posted in 1952, mercury

Pick of the Day: 1952 Mercury Monterey convertible in brilliant stock condition – Bob Golfen @ClassicCars.com

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The Mercury was completely redesigned for 1952, along with other Ford vehicles, with the brand moving away from the rounded form of previous years, which was much-beloved by lead-sled custom builders.

The new look was taller and squarer, and more in line with modern taste as the chrome-bedecked cars of the ‘50s got under way.  The Monterey became its own top-drawer model, with premium trim and features.

The Pick of the Day is a highly attractive 1952 Mercury Monterey convertible in red with a black-and-red interior, powered by the correct 255cid, 125-horsepower flathead V8 linked with a 3-speed manual transmission and overdrive.

The Mercury has had “limited ownership” during the past 35 years, according to the Canton, Ohio, dealer advertising the convertible on ClassicCars.com.  Presumably, that means it’s been in the hands of just a few people during that time

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Posted in Ford Mustang

Why the 1971-’73 Mustang Is My Preferred Pony – Matt Litwin @Hemmings

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By Matt Litwin from December 2021 issue of Muscle Machines



In This ArticleCategory: Hemmings Classic CarDuring the 2018 AACA Fall Meet, I had the unexpected pleasure of spending some time with retired Ford stylist Gale Halderman, who has since sadly passed away. If you’re not familiar with the name, Gale began his employment at Ford Motor Company in 1954, but within a decade the otherwise unassuming employee was thrust into a path of what would prove to be automotive greatness, at least in the eyes of today’s classic car enthusiasts. It started when Gale submitted his early sports car concept sketch — one of what turned out to be a field of 24 such renderings — to project planners for review. Gale’s drawing struck a chord, and he was subsequently selected by Lee Iacocca, special projects manager Hal Sperlich, and Ford studio chief Joe Oros to oversee the design of a new car that was eventually named Mustang.

Gale’s time with the Mustang didn’t stop with the smashing success of its first year on the market. He was destined to serve as the car’s design chief for another eight years, and his advances led to the development of the 1965 2+2 fastback and 1967 SportsRoof. In 1968, Gale was promoted to director of the Lincoln-Mercury design studio, a stint in the luxury divisions that lasted less than a decade. Why? Who better to oversee the development of the Fox-platform Mustang — introduced in 1979 — than the designer responsible for “the original” pony car?

Despite creating a legacy of automotive design that should register with old car enthusiasts as easily as Darrin, Earl, and a host of others, Gale, it seemed to me, hovered below the radar and remained a humble Ford employee who was simply proud of being in the right place at the right time, throughout his career. You could hear it in his voice that fall afternoon, as he thoughtfully reflected on his time at Ford

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Posted in rambler

Other Than the Aftermarket Radio, This 1966 Rambler Rebel Is Remarkably Preserved – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

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The fact that this 1966 Rambler Rebel, listed for sale on Hemmings.com, is still around shouldn’t come as a surprise: Well-equipped or sporty versions of any car tend to have higher survival rates than the bare-bones models. Go to any AMC show, though, and you’re far more likely to see restored Rebels than you are ones left essentially untouched, like this example. That legendary straight-six is just getting broken in, with the odometer reporting 65,000 miles. The body shows some wear on the trunklid but no rust, and that interior might have suffered some sun fading but remains intact and clean. The only modification we can see is the addition of the modern radio and speakers. This nice Rambler shows how these cars were originally put together. From the seller’s description:

This Teal Rambler Rebel has a black vinyl hard top and Rambler hubcaps with teal accented wheels making this a cool Survivor Classic. This Rambler started its life at the Kenosha Wisconsin assembly plant as verified by the VIN. The original inline 6 with 3 speed automatic glides through the gears and is an original numbers matching survivor.

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Posted in 1965, Chevrolet, Corvair, Racing

A Road Racing-Inspired Mid-Engine Corvair? Yes, Please – Mike Austin @Hemmings

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The annual SEMA Show encapsulates so many things we love about the car hobby. Heritage, innovation, and craftsmanship are all on display. Take Lonnie Gilbertson’s RareVair, which is headed to this year’s festivities in Las Vegas. It’s a 1965 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa, with a mid-mounted small-block LS, painted to match a unique piece of Chevy road-racing history.

A mid-engine Corvair is not a new idea, of course. Kelmark and Crown made kits, and there are no doubt countless DIY efforts. Gilbertson’s personal introduction to the Corvair happened when his brother bought a Corsa in the 1970s. “That’s when I kind of first became aware of what Corvairs were and I’ve always liked that body style,” he says. “So progress up to now, I was looking around for another project to build, and I thought I’m going to go for a Corvair.”

The inspiration for the car began with the Yenko Stinger. “With the style of that body, it just fit for the sports racer feel about it,” Gilbertson says. Combine that with a 1972 De Tomaso Pantera his shop restored a few years ago and, Gilbertson says, “I’ve always had a thing in the back of my mind about how a mid-engine V-8 car is just a lot of fun to drive. So that combined with the Yenko Stinger and my need for speed, I just thought, I gotta do this.

“After finding a suitable donor car, Gilbertson sourced an LS3 V-8 from a 2009 Corvette. For the gearbox, he went to the 930-generation Porsche 911 Turbo, given its reputation for strength and the fact that the earlier four-speeds have one of the shortest bellhousings. With the gears mounted behind the engine, that means more legroom. “I’m not a small guy,” says Gilbertson, “so I wanted passenger comfort

.”He went to Kennedy Engineered Products to mate the transaxle to the small-block. As for the engine, it had about 30,000 miles on it and looked new inside, so Gilbertson didn’t feel the need to change too much. A Comp Cams camshaft (and associated valvetrain parts) and a Holley Sniper intake are the only changes from stock. Still, he estimates it makes about 500 horsepower at the wheels. Not bad for a car that weighs only about 2800 pounds

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