The Maker of this model bragged “This car leads a double life” That might of a been true since its name was very “Hobo” like. Built between 1949-1952 this early SUV-esq vehicle indeed was half sedan half hauler. The maker of this unusual sedan was not known as a company that would take chances. When in 1949 one of the founders wanted to re-vamp the entire car line the other founder objected. Saying that the cost of retooling would show a net loss of 33 million if under 60,000 were sold. In fact over 80,000 vehicles were sold. Still the net loss was a staggering 31 million. Ahhh whats 2 million between founder friends. Still the company forged ahead and reported a small profit in 1951 due to its economy sedans and loans from Uncle Sam.One of the founders made a name as a ship builder during WWII and had a get things done at no excuse attitude. He would push to produce a sliding door sports car in the early 1950′s The second partner was known as a take no risks person. They would butt heads many times. By the late 50′s the whole mess would be part of the AMC flag. This half sedan half pickup would be based on its higher priced sedans. Its sibling was a pricey four door convertible named after a future TV Western .One of the last four door convertibles till Lincoln introduced the Continental in 1961. Powering this El Camino wanna-be was the company tried and true 221 cubic inch flathead six cylinder engine. Power was a sluggish 112 horsepower. Prices started at a very Buick-like $2088.00. For that you could chose between 17 different exterior and interior color combos.Standard issue was turn signals and a rear cigar lighter. Sales never be on a grand scale and this semi car/truck would fall into obscurity in 1952. “What Auto is This??”
Tag Archive: AMC
1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Dont ask me why I bought this wood slab sided Rhino. I can’t even remember where I bought it from. I do remember how I got rid of it. One word “fire”. My 1989 AMC Jeep Grand Wagoneer came from the factory with the trusty but thirsty 360 V8 engine. White with the cheesy wood grain on the side it bellowed everything bad about the American car industry in the 1970s-1980s. The Jeep portion was good stuff,Engine,transmission,4×4 etc were all robust.
Anything that was AMC(AMC stands for (A)All (M)Mistakes(C)Combined) would almost everyday self destruct. Still these Grand Wagoneers had the distinction of being the longest running single platform used by a USA car maker. Produced with various engines from 1963-1991 it was considered the first luxury SUV. Jeep-Willys introduced the Jeep Wagoneer to the public in early 1962. It would re-write the 4×4 segment.Engines would range from 230-258 six cylinders to 327-350 V8s borrowed from other suppliers in early models..
The later models used the AMC designed 360/401 V8s..While other 4x4s were spartan at best these vehicles offered something new in a 4×4 vehicle..comfort. This would force GM,Dodge and Ford to re-think how they made 4×4 vehicles. In some strange way Chevys Blazer and Fords Bronco would of never came into production if the Wagoneer was never produced. In 1970 AMC gobbled up Jeep and started to change the direction of the company. 1984 Jeep was going to bring out the mid-size Cherokee. With that Jeeps plan was to move the Wagoneer upmarket.
Thus the Wagoneer would become the Grand Wagoneer. Kind of like an American Range Rover. The Chrysler years(1987-1991)..saw upgrades in quality control and fit and finish(yeah sure). Despite having its own V8s Chrysler decided to use the AMC designed 360-V8 till the end of production. Many Grand Wagoneer collectors view these years 1987-1991 as the best of the breed. The last Grand Wagoneer rolled off the line on June 21st 1991 ending an era of full frame straight axle American 4X4s. In a strange twist of fate they remain highly collectable. My 1989 white Grand Wagoneer was going to be my winter vehicle. I had visions of plowing thru the deepest snow and rivers. Too many Jeep comercials from 1980s dancing in my head. Its wheezing emissions laden power plant could pull down a house but had all the MPG of the Space Shuttle. Every knob fell off the dash. The heater core would burst melting my shoe to the rubber mat one winter day. The tail gate glass would make a heart stopping thunk every time you lower it. The engine compartment had more rubber hoses and connection than a cruise ship. Still it had a strange charm. Kind of like Mrs Brady goes to boot camp. The poorly fitting leather interior was accented by the contact paper wood grain on the sides of the body. More creaks and rattles than a haunted house it would go just about anyplace you pointed it. From the first day I bought it I could smell a small gasoline vapor smell. As hard as I tried could never locate the problem. We(me and my bonehead friends) figured that it was a small fuel leak that was evaporating on the heat of a manifold or something. Come on gas dripping on a smoldering manifold. What could go wrong?
One hot summer day as I approached my pot hole filled driveway I hit a large crater. What ever connection that was slightly loose(causing the fuel smell) came flying off. This caused more fuel to spill out than the Exxon Valdez. As smoke bellowed into the cabin I drove as long as I could till the flames started to poke out from under the hood(real smart to keep it running and drving!!) I opened the hood causing a scene from the movie Backdraft. I ran for my hose about 100 feet away. I say 100 feet bacause all I had was a 75 feet of hose. As I ran like Bruce Jenner with the flowing hose I stopped more than 25 feet short of the target. Shooting the water into the air hardly reached the Towering Inferno that was happening. Still I managed to put out the fire. For some strange reason all the AMC stuff melted..Things like bad wiring,emissions hoses,cheap fake wood pieces and AMC badges. The things that survived..Engine,transmision,4×4 stuff..you know the true Jeep junk. I ended up discarding the chared remains and selling it to a freind who uses it as a plow truck till this day. Funny how the AMC junk flamed to a crisp and the Jeep stuff survivied. I wonder If God drives a Jeep.. and the Devil drives AMC products..
This car company was founded in 1917 and produced cars till 1954 when it would become part of the AMC merger madness of the 1950′s. This model would resurface in 1936 and would be this companies low price offering. This car companies founder was known for sturdy kitchen appliances as well as durable automobiles. 1936 would see the innovation that would be a favorite of American teenagers for decades.The front seats would fold down flat into the rear seats.Creating an in car bed. Perfect for watching “Submarine Races”. For a low priced car it had some upscale features. Full hydraulic brake system, heater and dual taillights were standard issue for the low selling price of $595.00 out the door. This company would be one of the first to offer in house financing. Hmmm whats the 48 month payment on $595.00. Oh how times have changed. Riding on a 117 inch wheelbase the ride was supple but handling was very barge like. As were most American cars of the day. Interiors were of mohair and broadcloth with fake wood accents on the dash and door tops. Again very upscale for a $595.00 car. Power was from a 223 cubic inch Flathead Six Cylinder rated at 93 horsepower. The maker claimed it offered “Superior power while giving better economy than smaller cars” The engine did prove to durable and economical to run. Sadly this maker would fall victim to the merger debacle of the 1950′s and die a quite death in 1957. What Auto is This??
The answer to 07/15/2011′s What Auto is This?? Quiz is the 1957 Hudson Hollywood. 1957 would be the last year for the once innovative independent make. Like its crosstown rival Packard, Hudson would be gobbled up in the merger mania of the 1950′s in a failed attemp to battle the “Big Three” Sadly also like Packard they would no longer be the proud stylish make that made it famous but rather a “fancified” Rambler. All 1957 Hudson Hollywood’s were 2 door hardtops and only 768 were made before the AMC board of directors pulled the plug on this American icon. This auto quiz was answered correctly by our friend and Carlisle Johnny.com fan Raaziq Ashruf.
In 1955 Hudson still had some life left in it as this classic “propaganda laden” TV commerical demonstrates…
This would be the end of the line for this once proud and innovative make.Producing some of the USA’s more interesting models from 1909 till its demise in 1957 it was named after a department store owner. It was a terror after WWII in the early days of NASCAR. Its post WWII models would be known for its “stepdown” body and lightweight construction. With its body inside the frame rails it gave it a low center of gravity that aided in handling and safety.These “stepdown”models would be one of the finest hours for this unique independent make. By 1955 it was part of the 1950′s debacle known as American Motors.The “stepdown” models would be replaced by dowdy overstyled glitz wagons that featured engines borrowed from other makes in the AMC family.So confused was the situation the 1955 model introductions were delayed till Jan.1955. The kiss of death in the car crazed 1950′s.By 1957 the end was near.In a last ditch effort to save the make stylist Richard Arbib slopped a tri-color re-do and designed what a car magazine of the day described as “Its looks like an elephant punched by a rhino” Even with the new 327 AMC V8 it would not survive past 1957. Sadly this once proud independent make would suffer the same fate as Packard and be gobbled up in the ”merger mania” of the late 1950′s. CLICK HERE TO SEE >>>> What Auto is This?? <<<< WITH A COOL CLASSIC TV AD
This car model was produced by a Kenosha Wisconsin company between 1951-1954(the first series) They would feature inovative “Step Down” designed chassis and floor pan. Also featuring streamlined styling they would eclipse both Cadillac and Lincoln as the automotive press would write on many occasions. The unique design and floor pan aided in both handling and interior space. Six people could be seated in “sumptuous ride and comfort” as the sales brochure would state. In 1952 they offered a 170 horsepower twin carb six cylinder engine. These engine were also available with many factory upgrades. With the optional “7X’ option which consisted of upgraded carbs,air induction and high lift cam would put out 210 horsepower..They proved almost invincible in NASCAR racing. Driver Marshal Teague in 1952 finished with a 1000 point lead. He would win 12 of 13 of his last races for the season.These cars would prove to be favorites of early NASCAR drivers. With proper tuning they could reach top speeds of over 120mph…Body styles ranged from 2 door coupes and four door sedans. A two door hardtop and convertible topped off the model range. Prices ranged in 1951 from $2543.00 to $3099.00 for a fully optioned convertible..Despite all this inovation and NASCAR victories sales would never top 35,000 units per year. A not so good re-style would happen in 1955-1957 but it would never capture the wonder of the series one..This company would get gobbled up by the merger madness of the 1950s. Becoming part of the AMC empire the company would close as a name in 1958. What Auto is This?
This car was produced between 1965-1967. Styled by famous designer Richard Teague. It was touted as Americas first “Mid-size fastback car”. From the start they were loaded with many expensive options as standard equipment. Ads at the time marketed it as a “Personal Luxury” car. Built in Kenosha Wisconsin engines ranged from a 232 cubic inch six cylinder up to a 343 cubic inch “Typhoon” V8 with 290 horsepower. This car was also the first American car to feature four piston front brake calipers on disc brakes. Less than 20,000 were produced from 1965-1967. What Auto is This??