First, we owe a big thank-you to automotive historian Bill Munro, who shared the link to this video with us. (See our review of his excellent book Traction for Sale here and check out all his books at his Amazon author’s page here.) Next, we thank the Ford House, the caretakers of Edsel and Eleanor Ford’s beautiful home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan for producing this moving video.
Tag: Mac’s Motor City Garage
The curious saga of the Ford Wrongbeds begins here, with the company’s new Styleside pickups introduced in 1961 (above). In a departure from conventional U.S. pickup truck construction, Ford body engineers combined the cab and bed in a single welded assembly, which the company—with great fanfare—called “Integrated.” Note there is no gap between the passenger cab and the pickup box. They’re one unit. This style of construction was intended to provide a more sleek and contemporary look, and it also reduced the number of body panels and welds required, reducing manufacturing cost. While some folks call these trucks “Unibody,” borrowing the Chrysler trade name, that is a bit of a misnomer. There was still a conventional ladder frame underneath and only the bodies were unitized, if you will.
Actually, this mode of pickup truck construction is not so unusual today. You can find integrated cargo beds (in both unitized and body-on-frame versions) on the 2004-on Honda Ridgeline, the 2001-2013 Chevrolet Avalanche and Cadillac Escalade EXT, and Australia’s ubiquitous Ford Falcon and Holden Utes, among others. But when Ford attempted the design way back in ’61, a serious problem soon arose. Owners discovered that when the cargo box was loaded, the doors would no longer open. Or close. Body panels rippled and tore. The new body shell design was insufficiently rigid, twisting out of shape when loads were applied
When the GM streamliners first made their appearance in 1941, they looked like the most advanced cars on the road. But the futuristic shape didn’t age well, lasting barely a decade.GM’s Fleeting Fastback Phase: The 1941-52 Streamliners — Mac’s Motor City Garage
Better late than never. We’ve got some awesome car care tips for your brand new 1951 Ford. Here’s one big takeaway from this neat old 1951 factory film: Cars used to require a whole lot more service and maintenance than they do today. We are so spoiled here in the 21st century. Back in…
Purists will say the 1958 Hawk isn’t truly a Packard. That may be so, but it’s certainly an interesting car.
In gearhead lore, the 1958 Packard Hawk was created almost by accident. Roy Hurley, the Curtiss-Wright CEO who was in charge at Studebaker-Packard in the final days of the Packard brand, asked chief designer Duncan McRae to create a customized vehicle for his personal use. As this single custom car was completed, somehow the decision was made to add it to Packard’s meager production lineup for 1958. As a result of this unusual provenance, the Packard Hawk is sometimes referred to by S-P enthusiasts as the Hurley Hawk. (For more on the final Studebaker-based Packards of 1957-58, see our feature, The Packardbakers.)
“What it did can only be done once,” historian Bob Casey shrewdly observes at the top of this video. “It’s the car that made people want cars.” He’s speaking, of course, of the Model T Ford. When the Model T was introduced in the autumn of 1908, within a few years it became such a phenomenal success that the notion took root that Henry Ford had personally invented the automobile. He’d done nothing of the sort, of course. Cars were around years before Ford or the Model T. What Ford did was to make the automobile a serious idea, a real possibility, to the great mass of the American people. And ultimately, that became a more significant achievement than inventing the automobile in the first place.
The Historic Vehicle Association is calling this awesome video history lesson Part 1, so naturally we’re expecting additional episodes. We can hardly wait, as the six minutes released so far are simply superb. We can’t recall the Ford Model T story being told with such expertise and visual style. If the interest is sufficient, we’ll share the following episodes here as well, but in any event, be sure to bookmark the HVA YouTube Channel so you can follow along. We trust you will enjoy the video as much as we did.
BMEP—that’s short for Brake Mean Effective Pressure—is an important yardstick in engine development. Here’s Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained to sort it out for us.
There is more than one way, naturally, to consider the potential work we can perform when we combust fuel and air in the cylinders of a piston engine. One familiar method includes measuring the torque produced at the crankshaft, as we do on the dynamometer, which we can then state as pound-feet (English) or newton-meters (SI) units of rotational force.
America knows Mo Rocca, the journalist, humorist, and actor. We first got to meet him as a regular correspondent for The Daily Show on Comedy Central and The Tonight Show on NBC, and listeners to National Public Radio are well-acquainted with his dry and playful wit as a panelist on the quiz show Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! Mo is a familiar face to kids as well, as the host of the The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation sketches on Saturday mornings on CBS.
Chevrolet was proud of its 1956 lineup, and rightly so. See the confidence on display in this 1956 color film.
This beautifully produced clip is actually an excerpt from a much longer 1956 General Motors film entitled American Engineer, and as such, it provides a 10,000-ft. look at the engineering and design work that created the ’56 Chevrolet line. There’s very little n the way of granular technical detail here. This is more of a cinematic think piece on the corporation’s philosophy of engineering—as seen, perhaps, through the eyes of the automaker’s public relations department.
The production is busting its buttons with mid-century American pride and confidence, and rightly so, we think. At the time, General Motors was far and away the world’s largest automaker, as well as one of the greatest industrial enterprises in history. And the Chevrolet division was its flagship, with sales that often exceeded the rest of the GM brands combined. While ’56 was not a record year for the bow-tie
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.