Friday, October 7, 2011

Don't Mess with Denver Cops

It turns out that the Carbon E7 isn't the first purpose-built police car.  Back in 1921 the Denver, CO. police department commissioned a police car just for chasing down the perps. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Financial Asshats

I took this picture a few weeks ago.  It's not very good, quality-wise, but shows not only the state of the economy, but some of the jerks that are profiting from other's misfortunes and their attitudes towards others.

Click on the picture to blow it up, then look at the license plate and the decal in the rear window.  Form your own conclusions. 

Click to enlarge

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Volkswagen's Fabulous Ads, Pt.2

These ads are from 1960.  Click on any ad to enlarge.  Enjoy!  

Volkswagen's Fabulous Ads, Pt 1

While going through some old periodicals, I ran across one of VW's iconic ads from back in the 60's.  I thought it would make a good subject for this blog, so I started pulling down all the ads I could find, thinking I could just pick the best ones.  Little did I realize that ALL of the ads are pure advertising gold.  I'm up to 64 ads now, and I'm only to 1963.  These ads in Pt. 1 are from 1959.

Click on any of the ads to enlarge

For now, I'm going to add about 10 or 15 ads at a time, a couple of times a week until you or I get tired of them.  If you like them, comment.  Same thing if you don't like them.  After all, this blog is for you, my tens of loyal readers, right?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Another "What Will Your Next New Car Be Like" from 1944

I just love these "what will your next new car be like" articles.  This one is from the July 1944 issue of Popular Science.  They have us driving diesels and hybrids with front wheel drive.  That part is accurate.  Not so much for the rear engine and rear wheel steering and hydraulic drive. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The $30,000 Pyramid

My parents sent me a newspaper clipping from the June 23, 2011 Aurora Beacon News (part of the Sun Times Media Group) about a local inventor, Greg Zanis, who is trying to produce his electric car.  Here are some of the highlights....
  • 500 miles between charges
  • 4 to 5 hours charge time
  • Bulletproof glass and gel tires
  • Life expectancy of a million miles
  • Eventual selling price of around $30,000 

Did I mention that it's shaped like a pyramid and seats one?  

UPDATE:  Check out Greg's website for the Pyramid Car.  

Those Fabulous Fords, 1950 Style

Article and photos by C.A.T.C. friend Wendell in Aurora, IL.

Check out this fabulous 1950 Ford coupe.  I'll let Wendell tell you all about it after the jump.  It's worth the read, and as usual, click the pictures to enlarge them.  

Monday, July 4, 2011

Meet Me in St. Louis

An amusing and insightful article from the July 12, 1954 issue of Life Magazine on the 50th anniversary of one of the first cross-county automobile tours in 1904.  NYC to St. Louis.  You couldn't just hop onto the freeway back in those days.

It's a rather long article, but it's worth reading.

Happy 4th of July!

As far as I'm concerned, this is the ultimate BBQ setup.
I wonder if they use KingsFORD charcoal?  

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Love Station Wagons

I've always loved station wagons.  My very first car was a 1961 Ford Falcon 4dr wagon in 60's brown inside and out.  That car lasted one week before losing most of the front suspension in a hole while doing some off-road hooning with a friend driving a matching 1961 Ranchero. 

Between the clean lines of the squared off back, and the utility of the wagon, they are the perfect car.  Too bad they don't make them anymore, but back in the early 50's, station wagons were being transformed from pure work vehicles to something the family could use.  Steel bodies were replacing wood, suspensions were getting more comfortable and power steering and automatic transmissions were making them easier to drive. 

Check out this article from the Sept. 1953 issue of Popular Mechanics to see where wagons were going back in 1953. 

NBC's $62,000 Camera Limousine

Back in 1950, the television industry was just getting into full swing.  There was a demand for on-the-spot coverage of events.  Rather than to use a truck or van, NBC showed some class and custom built a new Cadillac Limousine to cover the news in NYC.  Read all about it from this article from the June 1950 issue of Popular Mechanics.  

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The US Interstate System: The Beginnings

Eddie Valiant: So that's why you killed Acme and Maroon? For this freeway? I don't get it.
Judge Doom
: Of course not. You lack vision, but I see a place where people get on and off the freeway. On and off, off and on all day, all night. Soon, where Toon Town once stood will be a string of gas stations, inexpensive motels, restaurants that serve rapidly prepared food. Tire salons, automobile dealerships and wonderful, wonderful billboards reaching as far as the eye can see. My God, it'll be beautiful.

Read all about Judge Doom's vision of the future as told in the 
May, 1957 issue of Popular Science.   

Saturday, June 25, 2011

NASCAR: The Beginnings

This is the beginning of NASCAR from the pages of the Sept. 1950 issue of Popular Mechanics.  Notice the mention of Andy Granatelli on page 6.  Also notice the rules of the game...or lack of them. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

1960 T-Bird Caught At The Curb

It's been awhile since I've had some original content, so when I spotted this really nice 1960 Thunderbird sitting in Plano, Texas today, I snapped a few pics.   I just had to.  I used to own a very similar '58 T-Bird.  CATC contributer Rick Aurora also used to have a nice black 1959 T-Bird as well.  We love "Squarebirds" here at CATC.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Problems Shipping Cars Abroad Isn't New

Many of the car-people who's posts and stories I read online lament not being able to get, say, a Citroen or a diesel Toyota over here in the USA.  The laws and customs of countries sometimes forbid their importation.  We complain that it "didn't used to be like this", but it was.  In the following article from the Oct. 1930 issue of Popular Science, we are told how hard it is to export cars from the US to other countries.  Sometimes, it's the laws.  Sometime it is the customs of that country.  Enjoy!  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Our Sun Unleashes A Massive CME


"The sun unleashed a massive solar storm today (June 7) in a dazzling eruption that kicked up a vast cloud of magnetic plasma that appeared to rain back down over half of the sun's entire surface, NASA scientists say.
The solar storm hit its peak at about 2:41 a.m. EDT (0641 GMT), but the actual flare extended over a three-hour period, said C. Alex Young, a solar astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center who runs a website called The Sun Today, in a video describing the event.
"The sun produced a quite spectacular prominence eruption that had a solar flare and high-energy particles associated with it, but I've just never seen material released like this before," Young said. "It looks like somebody just kicked a giant clod of dirt into the air and then it fell back down." [Video: See the sun's June 7 solar flare and eruption]"

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Popular Mechanic's Take On The Volkswagen, circa 1956

In keeping with VW's birthday today, another couple of articles about the early days of VW.  

Popular Mechanic's tests were very thorough.

These two articles are from the Oct. 1956 issue of Popular Mechanics.  See what the media were saying about this funny little car that nobody expected to sell very well. 

Happy Birthday, VW!

While reading another car blog, it was brought to my attention that Volkswagen is 74 years old today.  As a satisfied VW owner myself, I just wanted to wish VW a happy birthday. 
Happy Birthday!!

It's beginnings were dubious, of course.  Adolf Hitler wanted a car for the people, and Ferdinand Porsche designed the Beetle.  Volkswagen means "people's car" in German.  Of course, Mr. Hitler's plans for world domination got in the way, the Beetle was converted to military use as the K├╝belwagen

There are two short articles after the jump.  The first article is from Popular Science, May 1944, during WWII.  The following article is from  Oct. 1950 when the first Beetles showed up in the USA.  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Henry Ford: Control Freak or Genius?

Henry Ford was many things, but above all he was the ultimate control freak.  He controlled his cars, he controlled his workers including their off-hours private time.  He also wanted to control the content of his automobiles to the point where he built factories to produce everything that his cars needed.  Stuff that normally would be bought from an outside source.  Things like cardboard, paper, tires, steel, etc., he would make himself.

This is an article from Life Magazine, May 30, 1938 which shows some of his new factories, but also mentions his vision for the future of manufacturing in the US.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Obama's Hang-Up

President Obama's limo had a little problem on his recent trip to Ireland.  It managed to bottom out (high centered itself) while pulling out of the US embassy. 

FYI, these are the previous generation limos also used by "W", not the bigger, truck based "Beast".  Maybe he should have used that one! 

Let's Take a Break With Marcia Ball

What do these clips have to do with cars?  Absolutely nothing.  I've just loved the hell out of this woman and her music ever since I saw her do a "Don't Mess With Texas" PSA back in the 80's or 90's.  This gal can really cook, and I don't mean dinner either.  Her piano solos are killer (especially in the second clip)!

The first clip is from the early 90's (I think) and is the PSA I mentioned above.  The second clip (after the jump) is from 1990, and the third one is from about a year ago (2010).  She's still got it!  Enjoy!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

SIA Flashback – Los Angeles: Postwar Paradise of Cheap Classics at Hemmings Blog: Classic and collectible cars and parts

SIA Flashback – Los Angeles: Postwar Paradise of Cheap Classics at Hemmings Blog: Classic and collectible cars and parts

Cords and Duesenbergs weren't always collectable. Check out this repost from Special Interest Autos.  It matches perfectly with the post about my visit to the ACD Museum I posted yesterday. 

FYI, right-click on each page and open in a new tab, then hover over the resulting picture. If you see a "+", left click and it will blow up enough to read it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

FLASH!! CATC Commenter Rick Aurora chased in Missouri!!

CATC Rick Aurora and his friend, Mark, were spotted being chased all the way to Rolla, MO. in their silver Dodge Magnum wagon.  They put up a good fight, but we all know how these things end.  We may not hear from Rick for awhile. 

A Visit To The Museum

On May 15, I took my Father on a surprise trip to the Auburn/Cord/Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana.  Ok, it was May 15, 2004, but I just found the photos I took of the trip and thought I'd share them here.

The museum itself is the former factory and headquarters of E.L. Cord's empire and the art-deco showroom is the same one in which brand new Cords, Auburns and Duesenbergs were originally shown and sold.  Try to visit if you get the chance.

I'll be adding more captions as soon as I identify each car, but for now, sit back and enjoy...there are tons of pictures.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Lunchtime In Dallas

Instead of eating lunch today, my friend and co-worker, Rajesh, and I visited Texas Classic Cars of Dallas.  Rajesh whipped out his camera-phone and went nuts.  He was also kind enough to share his pictures with CATC.  Enjoy!  (As usual, click the pictures to enlarge).

Friday, May 13, 2011

Watch Fort Worth, TX. Blow Up!!!!

The city of Fort Worth, Texas blew up Tuesday night (5/10/2011) during a thunderstorm.  Well, the entire city didn't blow up, but several dozen exploding transformers put on one hell of a light show for about a half-hour.  Put on some good music and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Sociopath's Guide to Owning and Maintaining Classic Cars

A very, very funny article from Cracked

"Now that you've acquired your perfect vehicle and you've got all your tools, it's time to drink a lot. That's about 80 percent of the reason people even own cars. It's like fishing: Nobody actually goes to fish. You just get drunk on a lake, because ducks are hilarious when you're wasted. So it's time to open up the hood, smear some grease on your body and get sloshed in your driveway. If anybody asks what you're doing, simply look annoyed, yell something that sounds like a car-part and then blame it on a minority. Here's a few to get you started:"

Warning:  Some language NSFW. 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

You Must Be Ly'in....The Rest Of The Story!

Awhile back, I posted a picture of a lion riding in a car around a large drum-shaped "wall of death".  I never knew the context of the picture, but now I do. 

Thanks again to CATC friend, Jesse, at "Just A car Guy", for filling me in on that picture of that daredevil lion.  It turns out that lion belonged to "Fearless Egbert" and was a seasoned performer at various state and county fairs back in the 1930's.  Go to Jesse's blog entries for more pictures and information about this unique act. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tucker Torpedo 48

Tucker Torpedo 48: by Brian Hague

This is the last "official" Tucker...#50.  Brian took a trip recently to San Marcos, Texas, and took these great pictures.  Be sure to comment and thank him!

Click image for more pictures

Big Pick Up

by CATC contributer: Rick Aurora
Photo: Rick Aurora
There was a need to stop at the rest stop last weekend.  I saw five fellows jump out of this big pick up.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Homemade Hyper-miler

by CATC contributer: Rick Aurora

Photo: Rick Aurora
Whilst filling up my car in
Newton, Iowa look what I saw!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Laser igniters could spell the end for the humble spark plug -- Gizmag

Laser igniters could spell the end for the humble spark plug -- Gizmag

Reposted from

 Internal combustion engines are likely to remain in widespread use for some time yet, but it's possible that we may be bidding adieu to that most iconic of engine parts, the spark plug. Researchers from Japan's National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) are creating laser igniters that could one day replace spark plugs in automobile engines. Not only would these lasers allow for better performance and fuel economy, but cars using them would also create less harmful emissions.

Click above link for the rest of the article.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

You Saw What? You Must Be "Ly'in"

No background information.  No idea what the context of this picture is, but it's too awesome NOT to post!

A motorcycle driving in a drum.  Great!
A car driving in a drum.  Fantastic!!
A car AND a motorcycle together in a drum?  Unbelievable!!!
A car with a sidecar?  Bizarre!!!!
A motorcycle---with a car---with a sidecar---in a drum---with a LION???

UPDATE!  We now know the rest of the story.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Michigan: Police Search Cell Phones During Traffic Stops | The Truth About Cars

Michigan: Police Search Cell Phones During Traffic Stops | The Truth About Cars

A few months ago, in the sleepy little town in Decatur, Texas, a local man was arrested for child pornography.  Normally, I would applaud such a thing, however something troubled me as I read the local newspaper's account of the arrest.  To paraphrase, it said that "the arrest was made using information gathered from the man's cellphone during a suspected DUI stop".  

I had never heard of someone's cellphone being searched during a routine traffic stop, even one for suspected DUI. 

Today, I read an article on The Truth About Cars which addressed these concerns and featured the device used to accomplish these searches.  It didn't ease my concern.  Click the above link to read the article about the abilities and issues with searching your cellphone or laptop during a routine traffic stop.  It's quite an eye-opener. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Table Lake Recreation

The ice melted a few weeks ago at Table Lake.
Rick Aurora is seen here testing a new outboard motor.

Photo courtesy: Table Lake Tourism Board