Tag: 1989

Concept car poaching, Pininfarina, and plastic body panels: The story behind the Chevrolet Lumina APV minivan’s creation – Brett Berk @Hemmings

Concept car poaching, Pininfarina, and plastic body panels: The story behind the Chevrolet Lumina APV minivan’s creation – Brett Berk @Hemmings

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The 1989 Chevrolet Lumina APV was a resolutely futuristic design. With its extraordinarily fast front windshield angle, its rounded box passenger compartment, its blacked-out roof, and its injected-molded plastic body panels, it looked more like a Syd Mead concept for an Eighties sci-fi thriller than a GM design for an Eighties suburban hauler. But if you think its appearance is bananas, the story of its genesis is a bit more bonkers, involving internecine GM rivalries, backdated concept cars, and the involvement of famed Italian design consultancy Pininfarina

In the mid-Seventies, General Motors faced a reckoning. The company, which had for years lobbied aggressively against new safety-, emissions-, and fuel-economy standards, faced the enactment of significant federal regulations on all of these fronts. In addition, affordable, fun-to-drive, fuel-efficient, reliable vehicles were being imported in exponentially growing quantities from Japan (and Europe), eating up market share. And the General was mainly putting ugly, ill-engineered bandages on its ugly, ill-engineered old vehicles. A new way of creating cars was required.

The Total Automotive Systems Concept (TASC) program was meant to assist in this process. “TASC was created by GM Design, and was essentially a strategic automotive development menu system,” says Dick Ruzzin, a former GM Design employee who led advanced design for Chevrolet during that time period, before moving on to stints as design director for Cadillac and GM of Europe. The program included three different front-wheel-drive sedans, as well as sports cars, and these vehicles were all originally slated to receive rotary engines, before four- and six-cylinder gas engines were subbed in. But there was one other category the corporation was investigating.

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This Well Preserved 1989 Ford Taurus SHO Might Be The One To Get – Edward Snitkoff @FordAuthority

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The first-generation Ford Taurus revolutionized the mid-size sedan segment, literally sending competitors like General Motors and several Japanese rivals back to the drawing board. Several years after its introduction, Ford managed to once again light the world on fire with the 1989 Ford Taurus SHO, a range-topping performance model packed with respectable performance and driving dynamics.

Today, lightly-used models are starting to command prices well above $5,000, but our featured SHO currently on sale on Bring a Trailer with no reserve might not reach that high. That’s because of some imperfections that might make it a better deal than the extremely clean collectibles still out there.

Currently, $3,600 is the maximum bid for this 1989 Ford Taurus SHO. That’s a bit lower than expected, though there are two major reasons why bidders might be staying away. For starters, the true mileage of this SHO cannot be verified at the moment. The Carfax report suggests the odometer rolled over at some point, making it a 141K mile vehicle.

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Thirty years later, and little has changed at the Bonneville Salt Flats – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

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Thirty years later, and little has changed at the Bonneville Salt Flats

Back in 1989, ESPN sent Peter Graves out to cover the racing at Bonneville, almost on a play-by-play basis with color commentator Rick Vesco. Speeds were high, records were set, and the salt stretched out as far as the eye could see. More interestingly, little seems to have changed out at Bonneville in the last 30 years.

Sure, fashion has moved on from bright pink team t-shirts and pushbroom moustaches and modern pickups have replaced the assorted support vehicles seen in the background, but take those away (and update the speeds and the vehicles’ power outputs) and much remains the same. Many of the same racers mentioned and interviewed still compete at Bonneville today, and the quotes about Bonneville being the last bastion of true DIY amateur racing could have come from any story written about racing at Bonneville this year.

Thirty years later, and little has changed at the Bonneville Salt Flats

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Related – Bonneville racers push for $50 million to restore salt flats

Pit Stop: Ford Mustang Noisy Engine Diagnosis – Marlan Davis @Hotrod

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The question

I have a 1989 Mustang that I have owned since it was two years old. I have used it for everything from transportation to Solo II racing to bracket racing. A few years ago, the engine blew up at a drifting event. The car sat for a while, then I rebuilt the engine from leftover parts and parts I found by keeping a close eye on eBay and at swap meets. I then drove it regularly back and forth to work. My daughters that have been driving for a few years have shown interest in the car (they can drive a stick, unlike other teenagers). We started to take the car to autocross and cruises. We had plans this summer to set it up for the 130- and 150-mph club at the salt flats. Abby was going to try the 130 and I was going for the 150. Last winter, one day driving home, the car developed a big noise in the engine. It sounded like the flywheel was rubbing. Crankshaft endplay was OK. I think what happened is the machinist added weight to the flywheel to make up for the lightweight pistons. It may have came out, is my guess. What do you think?

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