Erret Leban Cord began building his empire in the mid 1920s when he became president and primary stockholder of Auburn. In 1929 Cord introduced a car bearing his name, the front-wheel-drive Cord L-29. There were unfortunately many technological problems with the L-29 that kept it from becoming the great car for which people had hoped. However, the L-29’s purpose was well served, as it laid the groundwork for the famed Cord 810 and 812 models.
Like the L-29, Read More
Chevrolet enlisted the help of Lotus Engineering to create a new engine for the Corvette. Together they developed a design with an aluminum block, dual overhead camshafts, and 4 valves per cylinder. In 1990, it emerged as the 375-horsepower LT5 engine. But there was more than an engine. The Corvette ZR1 package cost $27,000 more than the base coupe, which sold for $31,900. In the package were a ZF 6-speed transmission, ride control, power seats, Delco-Bose stereo system and Read More
When Thunderbird designer Frank Hershey set out to design a sports car with “banker appeal,” he unknowingly created a legendary automobile that was so popular in its first year, it outsold the Chevrolet Corvette four to one. When Hershey left Ford for General Motors in 1960, the Thunderbird had sold over 90,000 units in the same year. The car had not only survived, but become an overwhelming success in the eyes of the American public.
Unfortunately, the ‘58-’60 models Read More
In 1956, Ford was building the two-seat Thunderbird, and outselling Corvette four to one. After two disastrous sales years, the Corvette had to change or die. And change it did. First, it received a new body to replace the classic roadster style body of the previous three years. Still in fiberglass, it now had external door handles, wind-up windows and a stylish “cove” or indent in the side, outlined with a polished, stainless-steel strip. Corvette also began to get Read More
When the Ford Thunderbird arrived in 1955, it literally blew past the Corvette in both sales and popularity, giving General Motors pause to reconsider the Corvette’s future. It was the beginning of the short-lived but exciting sports car wars which revved up in 1955 and ended abruptly in 1957, when Ford Motor Company ceased production of the two-passenger Thunderbird. Although its fate had been sealed, the Thunderbird went out with a bang in ’57, building 194 supercharged Read More
Cadillac cars were the inspiration of Henry M. Leyland and established the tradition of interchangeability of components. They became part of General Motors in 1909 and were soon the leaders of that group. In 1914 they introduced the world’s first commercially successful V8 engine, which stayed into production in its first series until 1926.
In 1926 the series 314 V8 engine was announced, and although it had the same bore and stroke of previous models, it was an entirely fresh Read More
In 1964, Ford Motor Company produced one of the most successful cars in history – the Mustang. It sold 22,000 cars the first day! At that same time, Ford had Texan racecar driver Carroll Shelby under contract. They were already selling his AC Cobra in Ford dealerships. Ford decided to have Shelby experiment with the Mustang 2-plus-2 fastback to see if he could make it a potential Group B SCCA racer. The result was called the Shelby GT-350. It Read More
After the war, America started its love affair with the British sports car and it did not go unnoticed that sports cars attracted customers to showrooms. At the time “dream cars” were a feature of American motor shows and late in 1951 Harley Earl, General Motors’ chief stylist, sketched out a sports car named the Corvette which, in January 1953, was shown at the Motorama in New York.
Production began in June of the same year with Read More