George Murphy was riding high in the mid-1960s. He owned a string of GM dealerships in Hawaii and California. He was named Hawaii’s Businessman of the Year in 1965. Time magazine profiled him less than a year later. And he’d just pocketed $15 million from turning around Honolulu Iron Works. The obvious next step for him then was to buy Studebaker just before it quit building cars.
To Murphy, it made perfect sense. The Saskatchewan native had been selling cars since he joined his father’s Chevrolet dealership in 1921. He later established his own Oldsmobile dealership in Honolulu in 1938, leveraging the success of that to buy into Aloha Chevrolet in 1940. His modus operandi, as he explained to the Wall Street Journal in 1940, consisted of buying “rundown, poor management companies” then turning them around, though during World War II he also found a successful scheme buying trucks in bulk then turning around and selling the trucks to the U.S. and Allied governments right when they needed trucks the most. Under his ownership, Aloha expanded by selling GM vehicles—including Holdens—all around the Pacific Rim, eventually becoming the largest General Motors dealership in the world.
Studebaker’s automotive division, meanwhile, had been in freefall. In 1963 alone, it lost more than $25 million, prompting the company—which had already started to diversify its holdings years prior—to close the South Bend, Indiana, plant and move production to Hamilton, Ontario. Murphy sensed an opportunity with Studebaker, so in February of 1966, after selling Honolulu Iron Works, he approached Studebaker chairman Randolph Guthrie with an offer to buy 500,000 shares of Studebaker stock—more than a sixth of the outstanding shares of common stock—at $30 per share, above market price. The offer came out of left field, according to a lawsuit between Studebaker and Allied Products, a Studebaker supplier that also entered in negotiations to buy the company immediately after Murphy’s offer. Studebaker’s board of directors appeared in favor of Murphy’s offer but ultimately left the decision up to the stockholders, who, by all indications, let the offer die on the vine. Guthrie, in turn, rejected Allied’s offer, and a month later Studebaker shut down the Hamilton assembly line, bringing an end to the company’s car making efforts
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.
Project car builds don’t always go as planned, but sometimes they go so far off the rails that it’s hard to imagine them ever being completed. “Off the rails” might be an understatement for this 1966 Mustang project, which started life as a completely different car than the one you see here.
As explained by SoCal-based pony enthusiast named Gee, his first 1966 Ford Mustang burnt down in an electrical fire while in the shop for a tune up. That car was almost a total loss, with the only part that could be salvaged being the engine.
Since the ‘Stang was a project car, it wasn’t insured for damaged caused by “electrical fire in a garage.” Luckily, Gee was able to recover enough from the car to purchase a second 1966 Mustang Coupe and used the 347 cubic-inch Stroker engine from the scorched model to power it.
Plymouth folks are fond of telling you that Dodge stole every good thing Plymouth ever had. Whether that’s a fair assessment or not, it does put an interesting spin on the 1966 Dodge Charger.
In 1964, a few months before the Ford Mustang debuted, Plymouth brought out its own sporty compact. As the Mustang had its roots in the Falcon, Plymouth’s new Barracuda was based on the brand’s compact Valiant. While the Mustang used radically different bodywork from the Falcon, the Barracuda was essentially a new body style of Valiant, with a large glass fastback.
When Dodge dealers saw the success of the Barracuda, they clamored for their own sporty compact based on the Dart. In a rare act of defiance, the Chrysler board said no. Dodge would get a sporty, two-door fastback, but instead of being based on the Dart, it would use the midsize Coronet platform.
Mustangs have always been quick, powerful cars, with the notable exceptions of the underperforming models the Ford Motor Company sold during the Malaise Era. Some of the best-handling ponies from the Blue Oval feature motorsport-inspired mods from a Texas chicken farmer, a man you have certainly heard of before.
Thanks to Carroll Shelby, the Shelby GT350 rolled out in 1965 to much critical acclaim from both casual buyers and racers alike. In addition to the go-faster upgrades under the skin, the Shelby GT350 refused to blend in with the herd from a visual standpoint as well. This fellow here may not be an original car, but had he lived, Carroll would have certainly given his blessing.
What you’re looking at is a clone with Emberglow paint, four-corner disc brakes with slotted-and-drilled rotors, as well as a 302 Cobra. In addition to more displacement than the K-Code Windsor of the Shelby GT350, the 5.0-liter blunderbuss also features a Vortec supercharging kit.
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Today is my car’s birthday. This day fifty four years ago on the 11th July 1966 my car rolled off the Ford production line at Dearborn, Michigan. USA. Speaking of things being built, I was bought a model kit a while ago which was the LEGO GT500 kit, which I reviewed here. I thoroughly enjoyed […]
For the 1966 model year, Chevrolet produced a feature-length film extravaganza for its dealers called Impact ’66, complete with Hollywood-style production values and hosted by Lorne Greene, star of the NBC television western Bonanza. (Chevrolet was a presenting sponsor of the popular 1959-73 horse opera.) While the movie runs a bit too long for internet viewing, we have featured a few select excerpts now and then, and here’s another choice item: a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of a rather unique commercial for the 1966 Chevy big-car line.
Lawson’s concept actually begins with his Hub Cities proposal, which would restructure the country’s urban environment by stringing a network of planned cities across the country “to create better living through less densely-populated cities and safer, more efficient transportation,” according to a description by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian’s Design Museum.
Lawson’s utopian vision of better city living required a network of Hub Cities to be built across the country, each accommodating 50,000 residents and their sites of employment. For the ease of construction, Hub Cities would feature mass-produced and pre-fabricated buildings that could be implemented in a similar plan in a range of geographic sites. A building at the city’s center would house all utility and service offices, commercial retailers, and business offices. Perhaps most importantly, the central building would also house a parking lot for private cars and a marshalling yard for all subsurface transportation equipment.
To prevent traffic from bogging down the Hub Cities with congestion, he envisioned placing industrial areas at the peripheries of the cities to keep trucks and other large vehicles off the city streets. But people still needed to get around within the cities, he reasoned, so he designed the Mini-Max car system.
The 427 FE Sideoiler: Powering Ford To Victory At LeMans
Unlike other displacements in the FE-series, the 427 version – which was actually a 426, take that Chrysler! – was the only race engine in the lot.
With the “Ford v Ferrari” movie opening in theaters this weekend, it might help to review some of the details which delivered victory for Ford at LeMans in 1966. There’s the GT40 itself, of course, the will of Henry Ford II and his need to crush Ferrari, massive engineering and financial resources of Ford, renegade race car drivers, California hot-rodders, Carroll Shelby, and last but certainly not least the venerable Ford 427 FE Sideoiler engine. The motor that started it all.
The 427 FE Sideoiler: Powering Ford To Victory At LeMans
A brief history of Hertz Rent-A-Racers from the Shelby GT350H to today
It started when Carroll Shelby, ever the salesman, convinced Hertz to order 1,001 Ford Mustangs modified by his shop for a “Rent-A-Racer” program in 1966. The Shelby G.T.350H was born, and the legend grew almost as soon as the cars began hitting the track and dragstrip. It took 40 years for Hertz to try again, returning with another Shelby Mustang and adding a few more restrictions to the rental agreement. Since then, the Hertz special cars have come at a regular cadence, each one slightly altered from stock and produced in limited numbers, capped by the latest 2020 Hertz-Hendrick Motorsports Camaros. Here’s a rundown of all ten cars that wore the black and yellow paint scheme plus one bonus car.