Category: Hagerty

Devastating LOSS for Classic Car Community: Rare restoration shop burns | Barn Find Hunter – Ep. 107

Devastating LOSS for Classic Car Community: Rare restoration shop burns | Barn Find Hunter – Ep. 107

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In episode 76 of “Barn Find Hunter,” Tom visited Mike Nickels Woody restoration shop and was fortunate enough to see all the patterns, equipment, and projects he was working on. Since then, Mike suffered a devastating fire that brought his everyday life to a screeching halt. Ride along as Tom and Mike walk you through what exactly happened.

Donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/mike-nicke…

Article here on Hagerty

Even after a fire destroyed his Michigan workshop, this renowned woody wagon restorer isn’t quitting

11 of the most insane automotive interiors, by decade -Sajeev Mehta @Hagerty

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I recently asked those in the Hagerty Community about the most insane interior they’ve ever seen. (You should visit our Community lounge, and not just because I’m the moderator.) Our users clearly did a great job, as their hard work motivated me to research this list of amazing automobile interiors. It was a collaborative labor of love amongst many of you, but I also dug up a few of my historical favorites. So let’s start from the early days of motoring and take a quick tour of 11 wild automotive interiors over the decade

While it’s true that the first mass-produced car didn’t have much of an interior, what made this Oldsmobile unique for its time was the dashboard. Sure, that area looks like the front of Santa’s stereotypical sleigh, but that aggressive curve extends deep into the front passenger compartment. The Olds Tonneau body style has a nicely designed rear passenger section, complete with a shockingly well-padded rear door that, apparently, Oldsmobile was simply begging others to replicate. Perhaps this “Curved Dash” Olds is more than a configuration that protects occupants from “dashed up” (i.e. kicked up) debris from the spinning wheels—it might just be the first car with an interior designed for style and functionality

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9 tragically flawed GM vehicles whose heroic fixes came too late – Sajeev Mehta @Hagerty

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Decades upon decades passed when General Motors could do no wrong, and the products rolling off its assembly line were proof positive of its business model’s supremacy. But nobody’s perfect, and mistakes had to be addressed to meet stockholder’s expectations. GM’s design and engineering teams made some great cars with serious potential that were packed with tragic flaws—and received heroic fixes that came right before their curtain calls. It’s all rather tragic, so here are nine examples to prove the point.

1993 Cadillac Allanté (Northstar)

You gotta give General Motors credit, because when it aims for the stars, it grabs a firehose full of ideas and shoots skyward. Take a shortened E-body coupe and turn it into a bespoke V-body, then deliver finished shells from Italy’s Pininfarina to Hamtramck via a convoy of Boeing 747s known as the “Air Bridge.” One of the biggest keys to the Allanté’s failure was the drivetrain layout (front-wheel drive does not a Mercedes SL competitor make) and the mediocre performance of Cadillac’s High Technology V-8 engines.

The lack of power was finally addressed in 1993, the Allanté’s final year, by the rocket-like thrust of Cadillac’s all-new Northstar V-8. The added grunt was competitive, but 1993 also included a heavily revised rear suspension, active dampers, and revised power-steering. As we previously mentioned, the 1993 Allanté was “finally, the internationally competitive luxury roadster its creators had envisioned … albeit six years too late.”

1988 Pontiac Fiero

One of the big problems with the Pontiac Fiero, aside from the engine fires of the early models, was the promise of sporty performance, which wasn’t realized until the last year of production. As we previously mentioned, cost-cutting sealed the Fiero’s fate well before 1988. There was simply too much parts-bin engineering: The compact X-body (Citation) front suspension was flipped 180 degrees and dropped in the back, while the front suspension was lifted from the T-body subcompact (Chevette). It’s a shame that in the Fiero’s final year the necessary suspension upgrades (new front control arms, knuckles, and an all-new tri-link rear suspension, plus a wider front track and, on WS6 models, staggered wheels) and improved brakes (four wheel vented discs) couldn’t alter the course of history. These bits were precisely what Pontiac engineers intended for the Fiero from the get-go. At least we got one year of mid-engine Pontiac Excitement.

2020 Cadillac CT6-V (Blackwing)

Hate to say it, but the Cadillac CT6 is not unlike the Cimarron before it. That’s because the last examples of Cadillac’s J-body experiment indeed improved when a 2.8-liter V-6 and five-speed manual transmission were standard equipment. Similarly, the CT6 never set the world on fire, because a flagship luxury sedan needs more swagger under the hood than a turbocharged four-cylinder could ever provide. (Yes, the CT6’s standard engine was 0.8 liters smaller than what’s on tap for a 1987 Cimarron.)

The CT6 didn’t receive a proper V-8 until the 2020 CT6-V hit the scene with the similarly star-crossed Blackwing motor. Because there is still a market for upper-crust luxury sedans (think Mercedes S-Class), the CT6 deserved an optional V-8 from the start. What happened when the CT6 got it all? Both the engine and the car unceremoniously met their maker

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Deciphering our 1937 Ford race car’s front suspension | Redline Update #84 – @Hagerty

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This week Davin gets to tackle something he’s been dreading for quite a bit, the front suspension of our 1937 Ford race car. When Snowball and the boys put this car together they worked with the parts they had or could salvage from somewhere near. They didn’t have a website to order from and wait for the proper parts to arrive in the mail. They improvised and made it work. Davin respects what they got up and running, but that won’t help him remember how everything is assembled.

The Taurus SHO is the fastest, most expensive Ford sedan | Revelations with Jason Cammisa @Hagerty

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With a development budget of $3.5 billion, the Taurus was Ford’s most expensive project ever. It was also a Hail Mary for the company, which was in financial trouble.


And the SHO was the fastest version of the Taurus.

If the Taurus failed, so, too would Ford. It was so important to the success of the company that Ford restructured the engineering and design teams to work together on the new family sedan.

The Taurus’s design was so revolutionary that Ford kept its previous mid-size sedan, the LTD, in production at the same time, just in the new car failed — as the other American car executives predicted it would. Instead, Taurus was an enormous success, eventually becoming the bestselling car in America. The performance version, the Taurus SHO, used the same basic 3.0-liter Vulcan V-6, but instead of pushrods, it used four overhead cams and 24 valves. The DOHC 4-valve heads were designed, manufactured, and assembled by Yamaha in Japan.

The SHO used a Mazda-sourced 5-speed manual and was the most powerful front-wheel drive sedan in the world. The only four-doors quicker or faster in America were the BMW M5 (E34) and 750iL. It was a performance bargain.

But although Ford sold around 400,000 Tauruses per year, it didn’t come close to its target of 20,000 SHOs annually. Except for the first year with the new, optional automatic transmission and larger 3.2-liter SHOgun engine.

Why didn’t the SHO sell? Well, because it looked like a Taurus — then, the de rigueur family sedan for the person who didn’t care about performance.

So the SHO was a victim of the Taurus’ success.

The Fox-body Ford Mustang is the best blank canvas pony car | Buyer’s Guide – @Hagerty

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Hagerty’s Editor-at-Large Sam Smith takes a look at the Fox-body Ford Mustang and offers a general overview of the highly affordable but highly variable third-generation pony car. With an easy-to-modify structure, Sam not only covers the pluses and minuses of the Mustang’s massive aftermarket, but also the nuances of owning, buying, and maintaining this iconic classic.

Episode chapters:

Mythbusting: The truth about the GM EV1 – Gary Witzenburg @Hagerty

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About halfway down the long hill leading to the General Motors Proving Ground test tracks in Milford, Michigan, it hit me that the electric concept car I was driving rolled on a cobbled-up show-car suspension and was armed with barely functional brakes. Uh-oh! It would be a supremely stupid, costly, career-ending blunder to crash this incredibly significant hand-built prototype EV by plowing off the fast 90-degree corner that awaited down the hill. Though the concept was called the Impact, I had no intention of putting that name to the test.

But wait! I recalled that the Impact featured variable regenerative braking with a rheostat control between the seats. I eased on the friction brakes, cranked the rheostat up to full regen, and barely made the corner. Whew! Shaken and chastened, I continued carefully to where I—as GM EV program Vehicle Test and Development manager—was heading to give members of the Board of Directors demo rides on the “Black Lake” skidpad.

Dramatic beginnings

At the 1990 Los Angeles Auto Show, people stopped in their tracks to gawk at this sleek, silver-bullet-shaped concept that would later morph into the EV1. Engineered and developed with high-tech California contractor Aerovironment, the Impact did more than just look cool. It could sprint from zero to 60 mph in a (then-quick) eight seconds and had achieved—in one test from 100 percent to absolute zero state of charge under ideal conditions at GM’s Arizona Desert Proving Grounds—a stunning 125 miles of range. At the time, that was better performance than any other practical electric car could claim.

Many saw it as the industry’s automotive future. Idealists cheered while skeptics scoffed. Politicians plotted to force-feed it to the American public. So positive was its press and public reception that on April 22, 1990 (Earth Day) GM CEO Roger Smith announced GM’s intent to produce such a car, targeting 25,000 units a year. Ken Baker, then head of Advanced Vehicle Engineering for GM’s Chevrolet-Pontiac-Canada Group, was recruited to lead the effort.

“We recognized the obvious shortcoming of EVs,” Baker later said. “Our plan was to be battery agnostic—take the best available and focus on engineering the world’s most efficient vehicle, which would give dramatically better performance once a better battery came along. We had just come off of the success of the [race-winning solar-powered] SunRaycer and were encouraged by the sold-state electronics that had been demonstrated in that car, and [in] Impact

One key goal was to see how quickly and efficiently GM could do a completely different new car through a new Systems Engineering approach. The production target was just 36 months.

Then, by September 28, 1990, California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) mandated the seven top-selling automakers to make two percent of their California sales “zero emissions” by 1998, five percent by 2001, and 10 percent by 2003.

Myth: GM’s EV program was a reaction to the CARB mandate.

Truth: Other way around. GM was already working to produce a practical electric car, so CARB decided to force all major automakers to follow suit.

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12 essential automotive chemicals for your garage | DIY – Kyle Smith @Hagerty

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I remember the days when you only needed a roll of duct tape and a lubricant in your toolbox. These days there are so many automotive chemicals it can make your head spin. Lubricants, penetrants, cleaners, adhesives; where do you start? In this DIY, Kyle Smith breaks down what he thinks are the essential chemicals you should always have handy in your garage. #DIY#KyleSmith#NeverStopDriving

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  • Contents of this Video:
  • 0:00​ Intro
  • 0:47​ Multi-Purpose Grease
  • 1:22​ Threadlocker
  • 2:13​ Dielectric Grease
  • 2:52​ WD-40 & PB Blaster
  • 4:09​ Starting Fluid
  • 4:59​ White Lithium Grease
  • 5:38​ Carb Cleaner
  • 6:20​ SEM Solve (Paint Prep)
  • 7:10​ Brake Clean
  • 7:56​ Engine Degreaser
  • 8:32​ Glass Cleaner
  • 9:16​ Interior Cleaner
  • 9:37​ Outro

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9 flavors of prewar hot rod at Mecum’s 2021 Indy sale – Brandan Gillogly @Hagerty

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If you’re in the market for a prewar hot rod, Mecum’s Indianapolis auction running May 14–22 has something from just about every era you could desire. While the cars themselves were built before WWII, the different eras of customization really kicked off after the war. If you prefer your ’32 Fords and Model A coupes, roadsters, cabriolets, and sedans more in the factory flavor, Mecum has those as well. For now, let’s take a look at a 9 varieties of custom builds that trace a timeline of hot rod design.

Perhaps you’re looking for something simple with a unique pedigree. In that case, this 1927 Ford Model T track roadster might suit you. This racing roadster was built in the vein of the ’40s and ’50s racers that plied dirt tracks all over Southern California and comes from the collection of road-racing phenom Parnelli Jones. It’s powered by a 304-cubic-inch Ford flathead V-8 wearing a set of aluminum heads. It tuns on alcohol and turns the tires by way of a three-speed manual trans.

For those who would like a leg up on their hot-rod build but still want some say in the final product, this handsome, black 1932 Ford roadster has much of the hardest work already done. The subtle modifications and vintage speed parts give it a traditional 1950s hot-rod look. The Ford flathead has a 4 inch-stroke crank, likely compliments of a Mercury. It’s topped by a set of Smith heads and uses an Isky cam to breathe through a twin-carb Eddie Meyer intake and gorgeous Eddie Meyer air cleaner. Inside, the dash is filled with a full complement of Stewart Warner gauges. It doesn’t get much more iconic in the world of hot rods than a ’32 Roadster, and this one is built with a fantastic collection of vintage components.

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Why are ’90s American sports cars still so affordable? – Andrew Newton @Hagerty

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Whether you call them “modern classics,” “youngtimers,” “Radwood cars” or something else, enthusiast automobiles from the late 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s are having a moment right now. Over the last few years, most enthusiast cars from that era have made that all-important transition from “used” to truly “collectible.” Of course, how one defines collectible is up for debate. All cars are collectible to some degree, but what we keep an eye out for is when a car stops depreciating and prices start moving up, spurred on by either a large auction sale, demographic shifts in the hobby, changes in the economy, or some other combination of factors.

Clinton-era cars are definitely hot right now, and that makes sense when you look at the market conditions. The folks who took their driving test in the mid-1990s are now in their 40s. The cars themselves are 20-30 years old, and the cruel forces of attrition (rust, wrecks, neglect, etc.) have taken their toll. But most of the headlines and heat in the ’90s car market focus on imports: think six-figure Supras, E30 M3 BMWs, and super low-mile Hondas. Meanwhile, two of the biggest names in the business—Mustang and Corvette, to be specific—plod along at middling prices while their peers from Japan and Germany soar. In the 1990s, both of these home-grown automotive heroes offered big and (relatively) powerful V-8 engines, rear-wheel drive, and the conveniences of modern cars. So why are they still cheap even as Honda Civics sell for $50,000 on Bring a Trailer?

Nothing puts this predicament into high relief quite like values for the #2 (Excellent) condition 1995 Miata ($18,300), which is now worth more than a 1995 Corvette coupe, a car with more than double the horsepower and triple the torque. A Mustang coupe in the same condition costs $11,100, on average. Why has appreciation for nearly every performance car from the ’90s outpaced both America’s sports car and America’s pony car? The answer is a mix of subjective preference and hard production numbers.

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