Tag: Classic Car.com Journal

Diego’s Friday AutoHunter Picks – Diego Rosenberg @ClassicCars.com

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A random assortment of collectibles through the decades

1969 Dodge Super Bee

Today’s Friday, which means it’s time to pick several cars on AutoHunter to highlight for your reading enjoyment. No particular theme here except that they each have something that has piqued my interest. Do any of them pique yours? Let’s hope you’re entertained!

1939 Mercury
Nineteen thirty-nine marked the first model year for Ford’s new medium-priced brand. Featuring a family resemblance to Ford, Lincoln Zephyr and senior Lincolns, the Mercury utilized a flathead V8 with more cubes than the Ford, better trim and interior appointments, and a longer wheelbase.

The similar 1940 used regulation sealed-beam headlights, but I’ve always fancied the way the earlier ones looked with their lantern-like teardrop lenses. This one is a two-door coupe — sportier than your usual sedan — that also features Offenhauser aluminum heads and intake, dual Stromberg 97 carburetors, modern 12-volt electrical system and electronic ignition. Sign me up!

1969 Dodge Super Bee
Truth be told, I much prefer the Coronet R/T for the taillights, but none are currently on AutoHunter, so why not this Super Bee? The front styling is the same, and they both have that slightly mean look without the ugliness that came the following year (admission: I like the 1970s too). Though I never was a fan of the standard power-bulge hood — the Ramcharger hood is cooler — “Y2” Yellow is a hue that I’ve always been partial to even though many seem to feel otherwise.

This Super Bee is a Coupe, which means it has a B-pillar and pop-out rear side window. This is more in keeping with the econo-muscle car formula a la Plymouth Road Runner. Look inside and you’ll find that formula continues with the bench seat with column-shifted 727 TorqueFlite harnessing the standard 335-horsepower 383 Magnum. While I wasn’t alive in 1969, I’d bet this is a typical example of the many Super Bees that were prowling the street back in the day

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Pick of the Day: 1950 Mercury Monarch six-passenger coupe – Diego Rosenberg @ClassicCars.com

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Ford of Canada brands a Mercury mutant

A few days ago, our Pick of the Day was a Pontiac Parisienne, a Poncho unique to the Canadian market. This time, the Pick of the Day is another unique Canadian, a Monarch six-passenger coupe listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Pasadena, California. (Click the link to view the listing) 

As mentioned in the story of the Parisienne, Canada had tariffs on cars imported from the U.S., so several interesting vehicles developed that were only available to Canadians. Additionally, in the case of Monarch, Ford of Canada started a unique brand to give Ford dealerships more breadth of models, especially in a different price class. To you Yankees out there, Canada may seem an equivalent country today but, in the not-too-distant past, Canada was not as well developed as the U.S., and having one dealership with several brands was the norm because it could be miles and miles to the next dealership.

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Pick of the Day: 1947 Mercury 114x, a Canadian model in preserved condition – Bob Golfen @ClassicCars.com

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The Mercury still wears its original coat of factory paint, the seller says

Canadian snowbirds are plentiful in Arizona this time of year, but this rare and unusual Mercury 2-door sedan seems to have roosted in the dry, warm climate permanently, judging by its remarkably original survivor condition.

The Pick of the Day is a 1947 Mercury 114x, which still wears its original 74-year-old paint and shows just 48,000 miles on its odometer, according to the Tucson, Arizona, dealer advertising the car on Classiccars.com.

The Mercury 114 was built by Ford of Canada for the home market as a more-affordable model, compared with the slightly bigger Mercury 118, the numbers noting the 114-inch and 118-inch wheelbases.  The 114 was basically a rebadged and dressed-up Ford, although with a totally different grille treatment. 

This sedan coupe, as Mercury called the 2-door configuration, is a rarely seen upmarket Super Deluxe version, designated by the x in its numeric name.  It is therefore wearing some nice chrome accents and powered by Ford’s famous flathead V8, which in this model produces somewhere between 93 and 100 horsepower, the dealer says in the ad

Only a tiny percentage of the 10,393 Mercury 114s built for 1947 were Super Deluxe 114x models.

“The 1947 Mercury 114x offered here is one of only 34 produced for US and Canada, as noted in Jerry Heasley’s ‘The production figure book for U.S. cars’,” the seller says. “It remains largely original with only 48,000 original miles since new.

“The car is completely rust free and retains all of its original panels and floors. The paint is largely original and still shines very nice. It has multiple chips, dings, and scrapes from over 70 years of service. Both front fenders have had touch ups, but I cannot find anywhere else that has had paint work on the car.

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Pick of the Day: Different twist on the hot rod – Larry Edsall @ClassicCars.com

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With this being the 90th anniversary of the classic ’32 Ford hot rod, look for prices of those vehicles to get a bump as celebrations are held at car shows across the country.

It turns out, however, that you can have a hot rod without going to the extremes of the ’32 Ford. The Pick of the Day is a hot-rodded 1922 Overland, and it’s private owner in Sacramento, California, is offering it for what seems a reasonable $16,995.

Among the things making this hot rod more affordable while still quite rare is its conversion on an Overland chassis and, instead of a flathead Ford V8 or even a small-block Chevy V8, the builder opted for an inline 6-cylinder engine from General Motors. 

Overland was founded in 1903 in Terre Haute, Indiana, by Claude Cox, a graduate of the local Rose Polytechnic Institute and an employee of the Standard Wheel Company. Cox relocated his automaking enterprise to Indianapolis in 1905. Three years later, Overland was purchased by John North Willys and became part of his newly renamed Willys-Overland company based in Toledo, Ohio.

For the 1922 model year, Overlands were offered in 3- or 5-passenger configurations, with roadsters, coupes and sedans each powered by a 4-cylinder engine rated at 27 horsepower. 

The seller says this hot rod has steel coachwork and frame from a 1922 Overland while the GM engine is mated to a 2-speed “power-glide” transmission. The ad does not specific which GM inline 6 is used, nor does it include displacement or power rating

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Rare ’34 Auburn donated to museum – Larry Edsall @ClassicCars.com

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Only two 1934 Auburn 652X Broughams are known to exist, and one of them will be preserved now that it has been donated to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in northeast Indiana. The donation was made by car owners Tali and Lynn Petersons of Baltimore, Maryland, the museum announced.

“This is the first 1934 Auburn in our collection and it fills an important slot in our museum’s story,” museum curator Sam Grate is quoted in making the announcement. 

“Stylistically, it was a departure from any Auburn before it. Being the rare brougham body style with only one other known to exist, we are honored to be the stewards and representatives of this exceedingly rare automobile.”

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ACD Museum can be found here

Pick of the Day: 1951 Ford Victoria hardtop with flathead-V8 power – Bob Golfen @ClassicCars.com

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In the early 1950s came a particular style of hardtop design favored by US automakers, a rounded roofline that flowed into the C-pillars in a graceful curve.  This is the roofline seen on the Pick of the Day, a 1951 Ford Victoria 2-door hardtop that appears to have been restored to original. 

In an appealing shade of pale green with an ivory top, the Ford packs a classic flathead V8 that makes 100 horsepower and is shifted by a 3-on-the-tree manual transmission.

“This ‘51 2-door Victoria is a real time machine for those who remember these years fondly,” says the Orlando, Florida, dealer advertising the Ford on ClassicCars.com. “The swooping body lines combined with whitewall tires and polished hub caps really give the car an eye-catching stance.

“The interior is finished in a dark and light green combo, and the dash and panels will make it feel like a different time. With the bench seat, there is plenty of room for cuddling at the drive-in.”

Still looking great after an apparently older restoration, the Ford has an award-winning claim to fame, the dealer says.

“As shown on the bumper plaque, this vehicle was the 2003 national first-prize winner of the Antique Automobile Club of America!” the ad notes, although it in unclear how or where the AACA senior award was won.

The period options on this Ford include an AM radio, whitewall tires, what look like the correct full hubcaps, fender skirts and lots of chrome details.

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Pick of the Day: 1940 Lincoln Zephyr convertible in all its V12 glory – Bob Golfen @ClassicCars.com

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The gleaming classic looks to be in exceptionally fine condition

The glossy Lincoln stands on an impressive set of wide whites

With evocative aerodynamic styling and powered by an L-head V12 engine, the Lincoln Zephyr was conceived by Edsel Ford as a midsize luxury craft for the very well-to-do, with hand-crafted production beginning in 1936. 

The Pick of the Day is a 1940 Lincoln Zephyr convertible, widely considered to be among the most elegant model years, and which represented something of an end and a beginning for the Ford division before the war years intervened. 

The Zephyr was the final pre-war design for Lincoln, with the Zephyr name dropped once production resumed after the war.   But 1940 saw the beginning of the Continental nameplate, another Edsel Ford concept, which became Lincoln’s longest-running brand.  Along with that came the rear-mounted spare tire on the Zephyr that became an enduring feature of Lincoln design.

“Edsel Ford rebelled against his father’s mass-market sensibilities by building a car for people in his substantial wealth class,” notes the Lutz, Florida, dealer advertising the Lincoln on ClassicCars.com. “He emphasized design, which means these first-generations show their boldness with sleek lines rather than adding chrome. This was the car he could have proudly driven in Europe with its waterfall grille, lowered stance, and deleted running boards.

“These were both beautiful and expensive, and so only about 700 examples were hand-built in 1940.”

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Heartbeat of American motorsports displayed in the country’s heartland – Larry Edsall @ClassicCars.com

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Among the many galleries in Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed is one that focuses on all the companies that produced parts to enhance the performance of Henry Ford’s Model T engine. Frontenac was the Chevrolet brothers company after they sold the rights to their family name to Chevrolet | Larry Edsall photos

In the early 1940s, a policeman showed up at the Smith family home in Lincoln, Nebraska, with 12-year-old D. William Smith in tow. Like other youngsters, he had used an old gas-powered Maytag washing machine engine to power a go-kart. Problem was, he’d been driving it down one of the town’s main streets.

From an early age, D. William Smith, to become better known as “Speedy” Bill, had a need for speed. He tinkered with cars, raced them and motorcycles as well, yet went to Nebraska Wesleyan University and graduated with a degree in education. 

But instead of teaching, he borrowed $300 from his fiancé, Joyce — who later would insist that he never officially repaid that loan — and opened a speed shop called Speedway Motors in a 20×20-foot building on Lincoln’s main street, US Route 6/O Street. 

The museum is about preserving American racing history, When the Smiths acquired the garage in which A.J. Watson built his Indy cars, they wanted its display to be so accurate that they used an overhead camera to record all the oil stains on the floor of Watson’s garage so they could be copied in the museum’s display

Fast forward a few decades and the Smiths with their four sons grew Speedway Motors into a major supplier of automotive speed equipment that occupies a half-million square-foot warehouse and headquarters on a 46-acre Lincoln campus just off O Street that since 1992 has included the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed.

The museum is a separate building just across the parking lot that fills three stores while preserving race cars, engines and historic performance accessories. For example, there’s a large area devoted to Henry Ford’s Model T, and to the parts from Frontenac, Rajo, Riley, Roof and others that, shall we say, accelerated the car’s capabilities. 

Ditto the Flathead Ford V8, with one wall covered by every cylinder head ever created to enhance that engine’s performance, including some experimental models that Ford sold to the museum by mistake and then asked for their return, which Speedway Motors politely declined.

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Pick of the Day: 1941 Ford 2-door coupe with classic car finance lesson – Tyson Hughie @ClassicCars.com

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Restoration expenses once again far outstrip the value of the finished product

If there’s anything that owning a “project vehicle” has taught anyone, it’s that restoration work almost always ends up being much-more expensive than originally anticipated.  And while it’s rewarding to be part of an extreme makeover, sometimes it means taking a loss when it comes time to part ways and offer that vehicle up to the collector marketplace.

Many classified listings these days include some variation of the phrase, “You can’t build it for what I’m asking.”  And that statement rings painfully true in many cases

A private seller on ClassicCars.com in Longview, Texas, is offering an 80-year-old custom Ford at a fraction of the investment that it took to restore.  The Pick of the Day is a red 1941 Ford Super Deluxe two-door coupe complete with receipts totaling $100,000 and a selling price that is significantly lower.

“The price to build was right at $100k,” the listing states.  “Invoices are available which will list all of the individual components plus the shop labor hours.” 

The rebuilt Jasper flathead engine alone, now having accrued only a few hundred miles since installation, reflected an expenditure in excess of $10,000, according to the ad.

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Sisters, ages 20 and 18, youngest winners of The Great Race – Larry Edsall @ClassicCars.com

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Sisters Olivia Gentry, 20, and Genna Gentry, 18, of Newnan, Georgia, became the youngest winners of The Great Race, winning the 9-day, 2,300-mile cross-country competition for vintage vehicles. The 2021 time-distance rally, which began in San Antonio, Texas, ended June 27 in Greenville, South Carolina. 

The sisters, competing for the fourth time, earned $50,000 for their performance in a 1932 Ford 5-window coupe. Olivia drove and Genna navigated. They had finished seventh overall in 2019. 

The competition drew 120 entries in the time-distance rally that precludes the use of modern navigation or electronic devices while competing in various stages at precise time and speed averages. Teams can use only a map, stopwatches and “old-fashioned reckoning,” event organizers note.

“We are thrilled that the Gentry sisters won the race after several impressive showings over the past few years,” Wade Kawasaki, president and chief executive of event owner Legendary Companies, was quoted in the post-event news release.

“These young ladies and their beautiful ‘32 Ford have shown that the spirit of competition, a drive to compete and excellent math and navigational skills live on in the youngest generation.

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