From 1932 to 1954 the fate of Ford Motor Company would ride a wild roller coaster of ups and downs. At times, sales forged ahead rapidly, and at others the company narrowly scaped going under. However, throughout this 22-year period, there was one constant, one everlasting icon that Ford enthusiasts could count on – the flathead Ford V8.
When it became abundantly obvious even to Henry Ford that his Model T was on its last legs in the marketplace, along about 1927 or so, the old man wanted to assemble a V-8-powered car to take its place. With the company’s future hanging by a thread, though, an interim move created another four cylinder car, the Model A. Read more . . .
Mercury has always existed in a Never-Never Land inside Ford Motor Company. The brand was established in 1939 to fill the huge gap that existed between the luxury Lincoln and the popular-priced Ford, but for some reason, in the 60-plus years, the product has been in existence, Ford execs have been unable to give it a strong identity. Certainly, the mid-priced brands from General Motors — Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Buick — and Chrysler’s Dodge division have always had better-defined personas than Mercury, and that has always been to Mercury’s disadvantage. It seems that over the course of its history, Mercury has wavered from being just a tarted-up Ford to a near-Lincoln, which has made it improbable for the buying public to pin down. Of course, in the clutter of the American car market, if a brand has a puzzled image, it really has no image at all. Read more . . .
It is fitting that the quintessential military vehicle of today, the HMMWV (or Humvee), and the quintessential military vehicle of all eras, the Jeep, should arise from the same origin. Further, those roots are planted intensely in the soil of solidly Midwest Indiana, where they can be traced back to 1903, when Standard Wheel Company, a Terre Haute bicycle manufacturer, decided to enter the infant automobile industry with the introduction of the Overland Runabout, its first motor vehicle.
Competing for military respect
While Overland is a well-known name to antique auto buffs, a household name became associated with the enterprise when John North Willys purchased it in 1908, the same year the Chicago Cubs Read more . . .
If there was ever a car that epitomized the greed-is-good extras of the Eighties, it was the Ferrari Testarossa. To purists, even its name symbolizes a sell-out. The original 250 Testa Rossa road racer was not only shockingly beautiful, it functioned beautifully on the racetrack as well, winning three World Sports Car Championships between 1958 and 1961.
Proposed for good looks
In contrast, the Testarossa of the Eighties had no racing pedigree whatsoever. Impure and not-so-simple, it was a car designed and built to cash in on an image. And since cashing in was what the Eighties were all about, it was the best vehicle for its time. The saving grace was, it was also a damn good car.
From the beginning, the Testarossa was envisioned to Read more . . .