42 Chevrolet Blackout Special

Did You Know?

The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941 leading to America's immediate involvement in World War II.


Blackout Specials were American automobiles made toward the end of the short 1942 model run.  Chromium was promptly labeled a strategic material, and the US government ordered the nation's automakers to eliminate brightwork on the cars (primarily chrome and stainless trim) within one month, since the copper and nickel used in the manufacture of it were going to be needed for the war effort. They were allowed to chrome-plate only bumpers, bumper-guards, and windshield-wipers.


Detroit was told to cease production of passenger cars entirely in February 1942. This federal mandate led to a very low-production run of cars, commonly known as the wartime 'blackout specials' or 'victory cars', with the formerly shiny parts painted either black, grey, or some other color to complement/contrast the main bodywork.


Although it is difficult to ascertain precise production figures for each of the blackout models of 1942, for example typically high-production Chevrolet only managed to assemble 2350 victory cars in the two months prior to the near-total defense-manufacturing switchover.


On January 1, 1942, the Office of Production Management (OPM) froze dealer inventories, halting all new car and truck sales pending a rationing program to be implemented in March. All passenger car production had ended by February 11. Nationwide, there remained 340,000 new 1942 cars in dealer inventories, including all the January 1942 blackouts. The war ended in 1945. Local ration boards authorized each new car sale at OPM-controlled prices. Used car prices nearly doubled. New tires were not available; recaps were rationed. Gas was rationed. The national speed limit was reduced to 35 mph.


Chevrolet's car production resumed on October 3, 1945.  Over time many of the Blackout Specials were refitted with regular production chrome / stainless steel trim pieces.  Few of the 1942 cars were saved after the war's end and even fewer Blackout Specials remain as they were in 1942. (Source: The Reaganite Repuplican)


Did You Know?

The LaSalle was manufactured and marketed as a companion marquee for Cadillac from 1927 through 1940. LaSalle's were priced lower than Cadillac-branded automobiles and were marketed as the second-most prestigious marquee in the General Motors line up.


General Motors' market segmentation strategy placed each of the company's individual automobile marques into specific price points. The Chevrolet was designated as the entry level product. Next (in ascending order) came the Oakland, Oldsmobile, Buick, and ultimately, the Cadillac. By the 1920's certain General Motors products began to shift out of the plan as the products improved.


Under the companion marquee strategy the gap between the Chevrolet and the Oakland would be filled by a new marquee named Pontiac, a quality six-cylinder car designed to sell for the price of a four-cylinder. The wide gap between Oldsmobile and Buick would be filled by two companion marques. Oldsmobile was assigned the up-market V8 Viking and Buick was assigned the more compact six-cylinder Marquette. Cadillac, which had seen it's base prices rise in the 1920's, was assigned the LaSalle as a companion marquee to fill the gap that existed between it and the Buick.


In it's final year (1940) LaSalle sales were the second highest in it's history at 24,133. The decision to abandon the LaSalle line is open to speculation. LaSalle sales had consistently exceeded Cadillac's since 1933.

Viking Logo

Did You Know?

The Viking was an automobile manufactured by General Motors' Oldsmobile division for model years 1929 to 1931.


Viking was introduced to help expand the General Motors pricing structure, and was marketed through GM's Oldsmobile division. Viking was priced higher than it's "parent" make.


Viking production for 1929 was 4,058 units and 2,813 units in 1930. GM discontinued the Viking at the end of the 1930 model year. However, an additional 353 units were assembled using existing parts and marketed as 1931 models.

Marquette Logo

Did You Know?

The Marquette brand was the sister make for Buick introduced in the 1930 model year. The Marquette went on display in dealer showrooms on June 1, 1929. The Marquette name had been used previously from 1904 to 1912 by General Motors and others. Marquette was placed below Buick but above Viking which was to be sold in Oldsmobile dealerships.


Marquette was built to sell in the $1,000 price range and featured a "L" head six 212.8 cu. in. engine. Vikings were powered by a monobloc V8 engine, the first automobile using this type of engine construction.


Compared to Oldsmobile's Viking, which only enjoyed a total production run of 7,224 over three model years (1929, 1930, 1931) Marquette produced 35,007 vehicles in the U.S. during it's brief one year life span; additionally GM Canada produced another 6,535 Marquette's.


Despite it's promising first year sales GM abruptly discontinued the line. The economy was simply not strong enough to support additional brands such as the Marquette and Viking.


'Car Talk' co-host Tom Magliozzi passes away at 77

Thomas Louis Magliozzi (June 28, 1937 – November 3, 2014) and his brother Raymond F. Magliozzi (born March 30, 1949) were the co-hosts of NPR's weekly radio show, Car Talk, where they were known as "Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers". Their show was honored with a Peabody Award in 1992.


Car Talk began in the fall of 1992, with the last new episodes being aired in September 2012. Tom and Ray continued to work in their garage while they produced Car Talk.


After Tom's death, the show's long time producer Doug (the "Subway Fugitive") Berman said that Tom, "...and his brother changed public broadcasting forever." “Before Car Talk, NPR was formal, polite, cautious….even stiff. By being entirely themselves, without pretense, Tom and Ray single-handedly changed that, and showed that real people are far more interesting than canned radio announcers." "Every interesting show that has come after them owes them a debt of gratitude". “The guys are culturally right up there with Mark Twain and the Marx Brothers,” Berman said. “They will stand the test of time. People will still be enjoying them years from now. They’re that good."


On November 3, 2014, Tom died due to complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 77. (Source: Wikipedia)


If you'd like to hear Tom's off the wall advise and infectious laugh one more time ⇒ Car Talk

Bill Spoerle

Bill Spoerle, master auto restorer, dies at 80

Spoerle was the longest-tenured employee at IMS. You knew Bill not by his name but by his work. He was the quiet man restoring motorsports history in an overlooked garage near Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


Spoerle, who died in his sleep Nov. 4, 2014 in Indianapolis, was 80 years old and the longest-tenured employee at IMS. He joined the staff in 1963 after emigrating from Germany at the request of Floyd “Pop” Dreyer, an Indianapolis-based motorcycle dealer.


Spoerle could restore anything, and it seemed he did. Duesenbergs. Maseratis. A Lotus or three. The Miller that Louis Meyer won the 1928 Indianapolis 500 with.


Spoerle uncovered so many cool cars for Tony Hulman, the Terre Haute, Ind., businessman who purchased the Speedway in 1945. He found a seven-passenger Mercedes of King Faisel of Saudi Arabi that is always used in the 500 Festival Parade on Memorial Day weekend in Indianapolis. He alerted Hulman to a 1925 Duesenberg Model A being offered by a Terre Haute estate. Trouble was, the car wouldn’t be sold separately from the farm, so Hulman had him buy all of it. Spoerle was so fond of that car that for years he drove it in the 500’s parade.


Spoerle was born in Jagstfield, Germany, and studied mechanical engineering in trade school. His first job was with a factory motorcycle team. His first job in U.S. racing was with Elmer George’s sprint car team. George was married to Hulman’s daughter, Mari, now chairman of Hulman & Co., which owns IMS and IndyCar.


“He was not just an employee, or a friend, but rather considered a member of our extended family,” Tony George, former IMS president and CEO, said in a statement released by IMS. (Source: Autoweek, IndyStar)

VW Bug dash

Did You Know?

Prior to 1962 VW's did not come with a gas gauge. There was however a reserve portion of the fuel tank which could be accessed with a foot lever, allowing you to keep on driving for a short distance.

Waltz BlueTucker

Did You Know?

One of the most recognizable features of the Tucker '48 was it's center headlight which would activate at steering angles of greater than 10 degrees to light the car's path around corners. At the time, 17 states had laws against cars having more than two headlights. Tucker fabricated a cover for the "cyclops" center light for use in these states. (Source: Wikipedia)

Capitol 256

Did You Know?

(Get Your Kicks On) Route Sixty-Six!

The song "Route 66" was written by song writer Bobby Troup with the help of his wife Cynthia in early 1946.  It was Cynthia who suggested Bobby write a song documenting their travels in February of that year from Lancaster & Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Los Angeles, California.


Cynthia first urged Bobby to compose lyrics for U.S. Highway 40 which he thought silly since the majority of their time would be spent on U.S. Highway 66, the road most associated with traveling west.  Once on U.S. 66 Cynthia began rhyming the numbers in quick riffs, "Six, nix, picks, kicks" finally exclaiming to Bobby "Get your kicks on Route Sixty-six."  Bobby instantly recognized it as a winning lyric.


Cole's Trio recorded three versions of Route 66 during March and April 1946.  "Route 66" was released by Capitol on April 22nd.  It was a hit by mid-summer.  It should be noted that by June Cole made the transition from jazz to more popular music which he thought would further his career.  Released in November, 1946 "The Christmas Song" became an instant Christmas classic, the public approving of his now wider more romantic musical style.


In retrospect the timing for "Route 66" turned out to perfect. Had Nat Cole not needed a novelty song in the Spring of 1946 "Route 66" might never have become a national hit. While others recorded "Route 66" during that era it is the Nat King Cole version that we most often remember. In time "Route 66" became to symbolize not just a highway but a state of mind.


If you ever plan to motor west, travel my way,
Take the highway that's the best,
Get your kicks on Route Sixty-six!
It winds from Chicago to L.A.,
More than two thousand miles all the way,
Get your kicks on Route Sixty-six!


Now you go through St. Louey, Joplin, Missouri
Oklahoma City looks mighty pretty,
You'll see Amarillo, Gallup, New Mexico,
Flagstaff, Arizona, Don't forget Winona,
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino.


Won't you get hip to this timely tip,
When you make that California trip,
Get your kicks on Route Sixty-six!

1932 Rockne '75 Convertible Roadster Studebaker

Did You Know?

The Rockne was an American automobile brand produced by the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana from 1932-1933. The brand was named for University of Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne.


Discussions between Studebaker and Knute Rockne began in 1928. Rockne was offered a high-visibility job by Studebaker president Albert Erskine. Studebaker planned for a durable, inexpensive car. The Rockne would replace the slow-selling, expensive Erskine car.


There were two prototypes that some would consider 1931 Rocknes. In 1930, Ralph Vail and Roy Cole operated an engineering/consulting firm in Detroit. Willys-Overland commissioned them to design a new small six and build two prototypes. Upon presenting the two vehicles to W-O the independent designers/engineers where told W-O was on the verge of bankruptcy and they could do what they wanted with the cars, one a sedan, one a coupe. Vail stopped in South Bend and demonstrated the car to Albert Erskine. Erskine bought the design that day and both Vail and Cole would be brought into the Studebaker organization. The Rockne moniker was a later adoption so, technically, there were no 1931 Rocknes.


On March 31, 1931, 12 days after being appointed manager of sales promotion, Knute Rockne was killed in an airplane crash. In September, 1931, George M. Graham, formerly of Willys-Overland, was named sales manager of the new Rockne Motor Corporation. Two models were approved for production, the "65" on 110 in wheelbase and the "75" on a 114 in wheelbase. The "75" was based on the 1931 Studebaker Six Model 54, while the "65" was based on designs by Vail and Cole, the two engineers under contract for Willys-Overland. The "75" was designed under Studebaker's head of engineering, Delmar "Barney" Roos.


Production of the Rockne "75" began at South Bend on December 15, 1931. The smaller "65" went into production at the old E-M-F plant on Piquette Avenue in Detroit, February 22, 1932. This was the same plant at which the 1927 and 1928 Erskine models had been built. The Rockne also went into production at Studebaker's Canadian plant at Walkerville, Ontario, near Windsor.


For 1933 the emphasis was on one model, the "10", although the slow selling "75" was still available. The Rockne "10" was an update of the "65". When Studebaker went into receivership on March 18, 1933, it was decided to move production of the Rockne to the Studebaker plant in South Bend. The Rockne "10" was built in South Bend from April through July, 1933.


Small styling changes were made in 1933 on the smaller Rockne.  The leading edge of the front fenders was different.  The vehicles now rode on 17-inch wheels (formerly 18-inch) and the body's were lengthened by 1-inch.  A new model the Rockne Deluxe Delivery Car (panel delivery truck) based on the Rockne "10" was now available.  The Rockne "75" cars did not change for 1933, with only a few hundred being produced through June 1933.  


Rockne "65" and "10" cars were produced as 2 and 4-door sedans, 2 and 4-passenger coupes, 4-passenger convertible-coupe roadsters, and 2-door convertible sedans.  Rockne "75" cars came only in 4-door sedans, and 2 & 4-passsenger couples.  Earlier advertising and press releases indicated a "75" convertible roadster (pictured above), but none were produced.    All Rockne cars were available in "standard" or "deluxe" trim.  The "standard" vehicles had a single rear-mounted spare, while the "deluxe" equipped vehicles sported dual front mounted spares.


The Rockne "65/10" engine would replace all the six-cylinder Studebaker car engines then in production.  It powered Studebaker Dictator and Commander cars prior to WWII and Commander cars and most six-cylinder truck models through 1960.


It is believed that total production of Rockne vehicles for 1932 and 1933 model years was 37,879, which consisted of 16,860 1932 model "65" cars, 13,695 1933 model "10" cars and trucks, and 7,324 1932 and 1933 model "75" cars.  These numbers include all production in Detroit, South Bend, and Walkerville. 


Although the Rockne was not a success, its failure was a product of the times. The year 1932 was the bottom of the depression, not a good time to introduce a new name. Leftover Rocknes were sent to Norway in kit form, where they were reassembled and sold.


NOTE:  Knute Rockne was not involved with any aspect of the planning, development, or production of Rockne cars - and he did not see one, because he died in March 1931, before the first Rockne was produced in December 1931.


Mrs Knute Rockne was awarded the first Rockne automobile off the assembly line for the 1932 model year.  In addition the company agreed to pay her 25 cents for each car it sold.


Knute Rockne was 43 when he died (March 4, 1888 -  March 31, 1931).

Source:  Wikipedia & Larry Tholen (The Antique Studebaker Club)

1908-ford-model-tDid You Know?

The Ford Model T was produced by Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company from October 1, 1908, to May 26, 1927.  Automobiles were considered luxury items for the common man until the arrival of the Model T.  The Model T was Ford's first automobile mass-produced on moving assembly lines with completely interchangeable parts, marketed to the middle class.


There were several cars produced or prototyped by Henry Ford from the founding of the company in 1903 until the Model T was introduced. Although he started with the Model A, there were not 19 production models (A through T); some were only prototypes. The production model immediately before the Model T was the Model S.


The Model T had a front-mounted 177-cubic-inch (2.9 L) inline four-cylinder engine, producing 20 hp, for a top speed of 40-45 mph. According to Ford Motor Company, the Model T had fuel economy on the order of 13-21 mpg-  The engine was capable of running on gasoline, kerosene, or ethanol.


The Model T was a rear-wheel drive vehicle. Its transmission was billed as "three speed". In today's terms it would be considered a two-speed, because one of the three speeds was reverse.


The Model T's transmission was controlled with three foot pedals and a lever that was mounted to the road side of the driver's seat. The throttle was controlled with a lever on the steering wheel. The left pedal was used to engage the gear. With the floor lever in either the mid position or fully forward and the pedal pressed and held forward the car entered low gear. When held in an intermediate position the car was in neutral. If the driver took his foot off the left pedal, the Model T entered high gear, but only when the lever was fully forward.  In any other position the pedal would only move up as far as the central neutral position. This allowed the car to be held in neutral while the driver cranked the engine by hand. The car could thus cruise without the driver having to press any of the pedals. There was no separate clutch pedal.


When the car was in neutral, the middle pedal was used to engage reverse gear, and the right pedal operated the transmission brake.  There were no separate brakes on the wheels. The floor lever also controlled the parking brake, which was activated by pulling the lever all the way back. This doubled as an emergency brake.


Ford wrote in his autobiography that in 1909 he told his management team in the future "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black". However, in the first years of production from 1908 to 1913, the Model T was not available in black but rather only grey, green, blue, and red. Green was available for the touring cars, town cars, coupes, and Landaulets. Grey was only available for the town cars, and red only for the touring cars. By 1912, all cars were being painted midnight blue with black fenders. It was only in 1914 that the "any color so long as it is black" policy was finally implemented.


It is often stated that Ford suggested the use of black from 1914 to 1926 due to the cheap cost and durability of black paint. During the lifetime production of the Model T, over 30 different types of black paint were used on various parts of the car. These were formulated to satisfy the different means of applying the paint to the various parts, and had distinct drying times, depending on the part, paint, and method of drying.


More than 15 million Model Ts were manufactured, reaching a rate of 9,000 to 10,000 cars a day in 1925, or 2 million annually, more than any other model of its day, at a price as little as $240. (Source: Wikipedia)

1939 Plexiglas Pontiac

1939-1940 Plexiglas Pontiac

Did you know?

For the 1939-1940 Worlds Fair in New York, Pontiac had a special surprise in store. Working in collaboration with chemical company Rohm & Haas, who had just developed a new product called Plexiglas, they created an entire body shell for a 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six. It was soon dubbed the Ghost Car.  Later the vehicle was updated to reflect 1940 styling.


When the car was first featured at General Motors Highways and Horizons pavilion, it was a massive hit. Most people wouldnt have seen Plexiglas before, so a transparent material with that many curves was almost unheard of. Here you could look through the body of the car to see all its internal workings exposed. For aesthetic purposes all structural metal was given a copper wash, while the hardware and even the dashboard were covered in chrome. All the rubber elements in the car were made in white, including the tires.


The final price for the car? In the days when a new Pontiac was just about $700, this beauty cost $25,000 to build. When this car was auctioned by RM Auctions in 2011, it went for just a little more than its original price. The one-of-a-kind car sold for $308,000.


According to the GM Heritage Center, a second car, on a Torpedo Eight chassis, was hurriedly constructed for the 1940 Golden Gate Exposition on Treasure Island, a man-made island in San Francisco Bay. Once their respective showcases had closed, both "Plexiglas Pontiacs" or "Ghost Cars" as they were sometimes known, toured the nation's dealerships. The 1939-40 Deluxe Six is the only one known to survive.


Following the dealership tour, it went on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and was reportedly there until 1947. It was later owned by a succession of Pennsylvania Pontiac dealers. It appeared at the first annual meet of the new Pontiac-Oakland Club International in 1973 and was purchased by Don Barlup of New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. Barlup commissioned a partial restoration from S&H Pontiac of Harrisburg and sold it to collector Leo Gephart in 1979.  Next it was sold to a family in the early 1980's which kept it until 2011.


The car is in a remarkable state of preservation, a testament to the longevity of Plexiglas in an era when automotive plastics tended to self-destruct within a few years. Although it has acquired a few chips and cracks, it is structurally sound and cosmetically clear, showing off the Ghost Car's innards as it did in 1939. The car rides on its original U.S. Royal all-white tires and sports the correct white rubber running boards. From the beginning it was a running car, although extensive use would have been unduly detrimental. The odometer is believed to still recognize just 86 miles. The only recent mechanical work has been replacement of the fuel lines.


Not surprisingly, it has no conventional vehicle identification number; even the machined boss for the engine number is blank. The identification number traditionally used for the car is 3113436, probably a part number, found on the radiator. A collection of period photos and other memorabilia accompanies the car, which still turns heads as much as it ever did. It is not, obviously, suited for touring, but as a unique artifact from automotive and cultural history, it deserves a wider audience. It will certainly be welcome at all manner of shows and concours, as well as being suited for a singular museum display. It is no longer the only see-through automobile, but surely the first full-sized transparent car ever made in America has a unique spot in history.

Resource: Retrorambling & autoblogdotcom


Click here for a fantastic view of this car !

1919 Chevrolet 490 Touring

1919 Chevrolet 490 Touring

1919 Chevrolet 490 engine

1919 Chevrolet 490 Touring Engine

Did you know?

Introduced in prototype form around January 1, 1915 and available for sale beginning June 1, 1915 as a 1916 model the Chevrolet 490 was an immediate success.  The "490" denoted a base price of $490.  When first introduced the Touring and Roadster were only available in black and both lacked left-hand front doors, making the Roadster a one-door car and the Touring a 3-door model. 


The purpose of the "490" designation was to compete head on with the very popular Ford Model T Touring, which also sold for $490.  Not to be outdone Ford, within a few weeks, reduced its Touring car price to $440.  Chevrolet soon found itself needing to raise it's price to $550 on it's electrically- equipped Touring cars.  Chevrolet dealers were told to continue advertising the 490, one without an electrical system, for $490 but to give the customers a hard sell to convince than an electrically-equipped $550 car was a much better investment.  


During this time period a larger more expensive Chevrolet, designated as Series H, were also available. The engine of the new 490 was the basic Series H 4-cylinder unit, subject to a few technical changes to lower manufacturing costs.  Among these changes were smaller rod and main bearings, simplified lower block design, and elimination of the rocker arm cover.  The latter move defies belief, as the minor economy derived from leaving off this cover would be more than offset by the increased wear on the rocker arms due to dust and dirt collecting on these parts and getting into the lubricating oil.  The open rocker arms had to be hand lubricated with an oil can every 100 miles or so.  The oil can resided in it's own place under the hood.  The 490 engine was rated at 20 horsepower, same as the Model T, while the Series H version was given a rating of 24 horsepower. 


In 1917 Series H models were replaced with series F models which were closer in appearance to the 490's.  A new closed car model 490 was introduced in 1917.  Called the All-Season Tourer, this interesting style could be used as a closed sedan or an open Hardtop Sedan.  In 1917 Chevrolet made electric lights and starter standard equipment, whereas they had been a $60 accessory in 1916.  The result was a new $550 base price on the Touring.  For 1917 left-hand front doors were added to all models.  Ford, throughout it's Model-T life, had never given doors to the driver, at the time saying that the Model T's hand brake lever would be in the way and make it difficult to use a left door even if there had been one.  


Chevrolet in 1917 also brought out it's first V8 model.  The series D V-8, which sold in the $1400 range, was available in two styles, a 4-passenger Roadster and a Touring Car, both with a large 120-inch wheelbase.  The only color available was Chevrolet Green with black leather upholstery.  The engine was a 90-degree V-8 with overhead valves and a displacement of 288 cubic inches.  Production lasted only into 1918.  Buyers who normally would have thought of a Chevrolet could not afford the V-8.  And those who could afford the V-8 wanted something with a more prestige name than "Chevrolet".


On May 2, 1918 Chevrolet became part of General Motors.  In 1918 Chevrolet introduced it's first commercial vehicles, one light duty model based on the 490.  Chevrolet also offered a new 1-ton truck, called (of all things) the Model T.  The Model T's standard equipment consisted of windshield, seat, complete electrical system, tools, horn, and a governor locked at 25 MPH. 


In 1918 the auto line the F Series was replaced by the FA Series.  In the 490 Series, a Coupe and a Sedan were added but at mid-year the All-Season Tourer was discontinued.  The Series 490 Touring was little changed, but up again in price, now selling for $685. 


In 1919 the FA Series became the FB Series.  The Series D V-8's remained on the dealer's lists, but there was no production of these cars in 1919, and what V-8's were sold as 1919 models were really run-off 1918 vehicles.  From this year until 1929, all Chevrolet engine production would consist of 4-cylinder blocks only. 


The 1919 490 Series continued to be very popular, even though they were little changed from previous years.  The Touring model was now priced at $735.  Front fenders were revised with a more pronounced reverse curve design.  The headlights mounted directly to these fenders and the cross bar was eliminated. 


It should be noted that some sources say the stylish reverse curve style fenders were not introduced until the 1920 model year.  New for 1920 open models was a top with two small round windows in the rear, replacing the top which used a single rear window. In 1920 the price of the Touring model was $810 but dropped to $735 by the end of the model year. 


In 1921 total Chevrolet production dropped to 75,700 vehicles and the company lost around $8.7 million.  At this time the Model T Ford was outselling Chevrolet about 13 to 1.  Some industry "experts" suggested G.M. drop the Chevrolet line because it was a lost cause to compete with Ford. 


Because of the depressed economic conditions of the company few changes were incorporated into the 1921 Chevrolet models.  The 490 Touring model sold for $820 at the beginning of the model year but would drop to $610 by the end of the model year.  The passenger side door on the sedan was moved to a position in the center of the car. 


Feeling it was time for a brand makeover G.M. decided after the 1922 model year had ended Chevrolet production would be updated with new models.  In it's final year the 490 Touring was priced at $525.  Few changes were made to the models knowing this would be the last year of production.


In time Chevrolet would become the single largest auto producer in the world and General Motors the largest auto complex in the world.  Many point to this success as first starting with the Chevrolet 490.

Resource:  75 Years of Chevrolet

Illuminated Tires

In 1961, Goodyear introduced illuminated tires, but ultimately decided against the idea.
Inflatable tubes + light bulbs (glass) + potholes what could possibly go wrong?




One of the first Auto-Rx Labels


21363 _R_15fd27ec


Did You Know?

It's quite common now for a automobile manufacturer to recall a certain model to fix a particular defect.  But did you know that back in 1923 Chevrolet bought back ALL of their Series C vehicles because they didn't know how to repair them? 


The 1923 Chevrolet Series C Copper-Cooled was an automobile made to be completely air-cooled.  The automobile used a body style from its predecessor, but incorporated an air-cooled engine. Air cooling, as opposed to water-based cooling, was much more practical in a sense because it did not require a radiator, nor the piping that came with it. Although air cooling was not new to the time period, it was new to engines of that scale. The Copper-Cooled Chevrolet was in fact a feasible project; however, the final product did not live up to the standards that General Motors had imagined. The car dangerously overheated in hot weather, and posed a safety hazard to the drivers. Only a few made it to the sales floor, only to be recalled and destroyed by Chevrolet. The 1923 Chevrolet Series C Copper-Cooled consumed extensive amounts of resources to develop and was a failure in the end.


In 1919 General Motors approved the new design for testing under the Chevrolet and Oakland divisions. During testing the car had failed some of Oakland's tests, and was criticized heavily.  Oakland overall was not pleased with the project and couldn't be convinced otherwise.


Chevrolet however gave time in its schedule to begin assembly in the new production year, and Oldsmobile also showed signs of interest.


Production was set for 1,000 cars by February 1923, and later revised to 50,000 cars for October production.  When the plans were finally set in motion GM made a statement saying "The only question that seemed to remain at the beginning of the new year regarding the water cooled car was the exact date on which it should be abandoned. However only 759 cars actually made it out of production by May of 1923. Of those 759, only 500 went to sales. Of these 259 were destroyed in the factories. Of the 500 that went to sales 300 made it to sales floors, and of those 300, only 100 made it in the hands of customers.


When the vehicle finally made it to the public all of the issues that Oakland had complained about had become a reality. The engine was cooled unevenly, and showed significant power loss in hot weather. The engine also pre-ignited severely at higher temperatures. Oldsmobile did not take part in the project and kept working with their water-cooled designs. 


Chevrolet managed to recall all of the sold vehicles and destroy them, except for 2 that survive to this day. One is in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. and the other is in the Nation Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada.

Source: Wikipedia

Tire Pressure GaugeWhy Check Your Tire Pressure ?

With the right amount of air pressure, your tires wear longer, save fuel, enhance handling, and prevent accidents. Failure to maintain the correct air pressure can result in poor gas mileage, reduce tire life, affect vehicle handling, and cause vehicle overloading. If you consider these factors, then the need to routinely check your tire pressure is even clearer.


Because tires do so much without appearing to need attention, it's easy to forget about them. However, tires do lose pressure each day, through the process of permeation. In cool weather, a tire will typically lose one or two pounds of air per month. In warm weather, it's common for tires to lose air at an even higher rate.  Seasonal changes or altitude changes create a rise or drop in air pressure (for every 10 degrees change in temperature, tire air pressure changes 1 psi). Tires are also often subjected to flexing and impacts that can diminish air pressure as well. So it's important to realize that refilling your tires is as important as refilling your gas tank.


Some vehicles have different tire pressures on the front and rear axle, so remember to have this adjustment made. Also remember to have the pressure in your spare tire checked. The space-saver type spare requires a much higher air pressure level than other tires, and is virtually useless (due to overloading) at lower air pressure levels.


The correct air pressure may be found in the vehicle owner's manual or on the tire placard (attached to the vehicle door edge, doorpost, glove box door or fuel door). The placard tells you the maximum vehicle load, the cold tire pressures and the tire size recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.


Properly checking tire pressure requires an accurate air gauge. Many people (falsely) believe they can check air pressure just by looking at the tire and judging the sidewall appearance. Also, many people use air meters at service stations, which can be grossly inaccurate due to exposure or abuse. Take the guess work out of the equaision, invest in your own quality air gauge!


When checking your vehicle's tire pressure, make sure the tires are "cold". Cold air pressure means that the vehicle has not yet been driven one mile. Remember that driving on a tire increases its temperature and air pressure. If you must drive more than one mile for air, check and record the air pressure in all your tires before you leave. Once at the tire dealer, measure each tire's inflation again and then note the difference. Inflate the tires with low pressure to a level that is equal to the recommended cold pressure plus the difference at the higher temperature.


Finally, after completing the pressure check, make sure that the valves and extensions are equipped with valve caps to keep out dirt and moisture. Remember to replace the valve assembly when you replace the tire. It's your best assurance against a sudden or consistent loss of air pressure.


How can routine air pressure maintenance impact our environment? Consider that fewer tires per year would end up in the landfills and scrap heaps that trouble our ecology. How many tires are we talking about? We estimate that most drivers lose from 10% to as much as 50% of tire tread life due to underinflation. That's a significant statistic. Now consider the extra fuel we burn to push cars along on soft, underinflated tires. Tires do require extra energy to roll if they are underinflated. While the statistics vary widely and can be somewhat inconclusive, the implications are staggering. Maintaining tire pressure may seem like a low priority in our busy daily routines, but it adds up to big environmental consequences.

Source:  Discount Tire


Which Tire Pressure Gauge Should I Buy?


You should select a tire gauge so the typical pressure you will be testing is in the middle of the gauge span.  Example:  for a typical car tire that runs at 32 psi you would select a 60 psi tire gauge and for a light truck tire that runs at 50 psi a 100 psi tire gauge.

When selecting a tire gauge for a car, don't forget your spare! Many compact spare tires have a higher pressure requirement than a typical car tire (some as high as 80psi). Select your tire gauge(s) accordingly. To cover all applications you may need two gauges, one that registers up to 60 psi and another that registers up to 100 psi or more. 



Consider purchasing a ANSI Commerical Grade B dial gauge (meeting ANSI B40.1 Grade B specifications), which is the best quality gauge typically used for non-racecar  tire pressure applications. Tire pressure gauges sold under the  Accu-Gage®  brand use a fully geared, solid brass precision movement with bronze bourdon tube. Unlike piston-plunger-type gauges, the bourdon tube movement is not affected by changes in temperature, humidity, altitude or air stream contaminants. The mechanical accuracy rating is ± 2% from 25% to 75% of scale and ± 3% below 25% and above 75%.


  • A 60 psi tire gauge is accurate to +/- 1.2 psi from 15 to 45 psi and is calibrated to ± 1 psi at 30 psi.
  • A 100 psi tire gauge is accurate to ± 2 psi from 25 to 75 psi and is calibrated to ± 1.5 psi at 50 psi.
  • A 160 psi tire gauge is accurate to ± 3.2 psi from 40 - 120 and is calibrated to ± 2 psi at 80 psi.

Source:  getagauge dot com


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