This luxury automobile was introduced in 1917.Its name was known as a low price brand.In an unusual move for head of GM Billy Durant this car was entered into the high price field going against Packard and Pierce Arrow.This touring car featured a very ahead of its time “overhead valve” V8 engine.This would be a first for this high volume car company but not its last. They would not produce another V8 car till 1955. The advanced V8 engine featured a central camshaft, counter balanced crankshaft and detachable crossflow cylinder heads. Horsepower for this V8 wonder was very high for the time 55.The most for this maker till 1932. At 288 cubic inches the little V8 was fed thru a two barrel Zenith updraft carburetor. While Ford’s Model T featured a planetary gear set this car used a very modern 3 speed manual with a leather faced clutch and single reverse gear. Riding on a 120 inch wheelbase and weighing at 3200 lbs it was over two feet longer and half a ton larger than its 4 cylinder siblings. Featuring full electrical items such as lights and starter as standard equipment its price was $1395.00.Higher than Buick or Hupmobile.That very vaulted pricing would hurt sales.In its first year only 511 units were produced. While the other models of this make would top 111,000 for model year 1917. As much of a mechanical marvel this touring car was it only lasted two years.Production would stop in 1919 with only a total of 1500 being produced. What Auto is This??
Tag Archive: Buick
This was the last year for this 1931 Make. Produced from 1907-1931. It would become part of Billy Durant’s GM empire in 1909 till its demise in 1931. By the mid 1920′s GM vehicles had big gaps in pricing. GM beancounters decided to create “Companion Makes” Buick would get Marquette.Cadillac got LaSalle and this make would be the parent to soon to be famous make. This make was always outshined by it other sibling divisions. Not a Chevy or a Caddy it never found its true market place. In the mid priced range it offered a good value at a less than Oldsmobile price. Even offereing V8 power at a few dollars more than Ford. It also would benifit from the superb Fisher body and reliable Delco electronics. The one thing the beancounters didn’t get was that the divsions were too close in price. By the time the Great Depression kicked in the upstart and stylish companion make was out selling its parent by more than 10 to 1. With slow sales and bread lines becoming part of the American way of life GM sent this make to the automotive trash heap. Oddly its companion would go onto become a long running and spirited American icon. “What Auto is This”
This car company was formed in 1913 when it was purchased from The Edwards Motor Car Company located in Long Island New York. It was swiftly moved to Elyna Ohio in 1914 and then to Toledo Ohio in 1915. it would remain in Toledo till its demise in 1933. It was known for its unusual Sleeve Valve type engines.Mostly in four and six cylinders they did produce a short lived V8 sleeve valve from 1917-1919. Slow sales and poor reliability killed the V8 with only a handfull being produced. In 1914 the price of a four cylinder model was a lofty $2500.00. That pricing would put them in the same league as Packard and Cadillac. With upgrades and improvements in production the prices would go an almost Chevy like level. By 1922 they would produce and average of 55,000 vehicles per year. by 1929 the featured car would only be available with a six cylinder engine. Power ranged from 53-87 horsepower. By this time features and appointments would put them in the same league as Buick and Peerless. Thses upgrades would prove to be fatal when The Great Depression hit in late 1929. Despite that the larger models were considered the finest offerings from this soon to be orphaned make. What Auto is This??
My Dad’s name was Jerry Baumann or as his friends called him “One Punch Jerry” He was 77 when he went to the other side. He spent the last years of his life in a nursing home stricken with Alzheimers.His body was healthy but his mind was gone.We all felt that was the worst of all..It was like being in limbo between heaven and earth. My Dad led an interesting life.He was a Dog Trainer by trade but a lover of big smelly cigars,anything to do with boxing and old cars.He had a love of old Benzes and Diesel VW Rabbits.
He liked my Triumphs but would never hurt my feelings that they were just to damn small.. Some of my most fondest memories involve my Dad and cars. When I was about 8 or 9 years old (circa 1969)..My Dad had a kennel in the Bronx. If you remember at that time there were many race riots in major cities. I would go with him to work on the weekends. At the time his car of choice was a 1967 Buick Riviera with a 430 “Wildcat” engine. It could pass everything but a gas station..As we arrived in the Bronx we stumbled upon a full blown race riot.
With no place to go front or rear my Dad blasted all 430 of those Wildcat horses down city sidewalks up rooting fruit stands and news vendors.Escaping I spotted people chasing us. You just cant catch the “Wildcat” Proving a fact my buddy Jeff McCleer always said. “Theres no replacement for cubic inch displacement” When I was a sophomore in high school my Dads ride of choice was a very ratty 1965 Chevy Impala 4 door. He stopped at home first to get a bite to eat. He left a dog in the car while he ate.Unknown to him while gorged himself on a blubber burger the dog ate the interior of the car.
All that was left on the interior when my Dad came out to pick me up from school was cotton and springs.Being the tropper he was he left to pick me up in a Impala with a digested interior. It had been very hot that day so my Dad had to ride with the windows open. As I stood outside the school with my friends in all my teenage glory my Dad approached the school.I heard from the background somebody yell “Hey its snowing inside that guys car!!”.The stuffing from the seats from had created a blizzard effect inside the car.All at the same time sticking to my Dad sweaty angry skin. As I climbed into the car and slumped into the seat mortified I prayed for lightning to strike the car and the memory from my mind. I looked at my very pissed off Dad and all he could say with a scowl was “Don’t ask” My Dad provide some automotive firsts. He proved you can stuff five German Shephards in a 2 door Ford Maverick..You can out run a Mustang GT in a 1972 Mercedes 280se with 4.5 Litre V8 while smoking a cigar..Its possible to run outside just before a rain storm and soap up a car. Wait for the downpour and as he would say “Let God wash it off”. Things like brakes,inspection stickers and tires that hold air are for sissies..Cruising you Benz diesel while listening to German marching band songs was indeed normal. The “E” on the gas gauge stood for “enough” Mostly that there was never a vehicle built that Ole One Punch couldn’t turn ito a mobile kennel..We still miss you Dad.
Once considered royality of American cars this car for the rich was spoken in the same terms as Packard and Pierce Arrow. First starting as a maker of bicycles and clothes wringers they would make superb vehicles from 1900 till 1931 when the Great Depression sent it into grave yard of great cars. Based in Cleveland Ohio this inovative car company would be the first American car to use a front mounted engine with a driveshaft powering the rear wheels. Sure sure of the quality of their product they used the slogan “All that the name implies” The ritzy interiors were described in glowing terms as “”An interior resembling a cozy and luxuriously furnished drawing room.” With all the hoopla about luxury they also bragged about the robust mechanic. Engines featured a durable dual plane crankshaft with full oil pressure. Famous race driver car driver Barney Oldfield would be hired to drive these amazing cars to speed and durability records. Even before The Great Depression sales were starting to slip. They tried to venture into the lower price markets. The new slogan would be “Now There’s a …….. for Everyone.” Introduced in 1929 the new “Six” cylinder models were much more advanced than the offerings from Buick or Nash. When to bottom fell out in 1930 the end was only a few months away. In last ditch effort to peak interest they made a handfull of super luxury v16 models in 1931 beating Cadillac’s super classic to market by almost a full year. The doors would close in in late 1931. A few cars were sold as 1932 models but this once proud american icon would fall into the automotive wasteland known as the Great Depression. What Auto is This??
This car was only produced between 1923-1927. It was the mid price division of another car company.Its founder produced it as direct competition to Buick and Nash.Its flamboyant founder was known as the father GM and as a man who would win big and lose even bigger.As usual overspending and poor planning would lead to the demise of this quality make in 1927. Its parent company would bear the name of its owner. The origins of the cars engine can be traced back to Willys who was working on a prototype when money ran out..Being known for gobbling up strapped for cash situations its founder purchased the rights to the engine for a bargin price. Known as one on the inventors of part interchanging with other makes this car would share 80% of its parts with its sister make. Its robust six cyinder had 7 main bearings and full pressure oil system.This would be unusual for a mid price automobile in its day.Only three body type were available. A four door phaeton,a two door Town Sedan and four door Town Regal. Due to the cars odd pricing and slow sales it would be buried by 1927.Its parent make would suffer the ravages of the Great Depression and close its doors in 1931. Its “take a chance” founder would die almost broke in 1947 in Flint Michigan as a bowling alley manager. What Auto is This??
Ushering out the decade of wild tail fins and chrome decadence was the 1959 Chevrolet Impala. A radical new model compared to the semi-conservative 1958 Chevy it replaced. The 59 Impala was everything good and bad about the 1950s. Sharing body shells and platforms with the lower priced Buicks,Olds and Pontiacs it was part of GMs effort to keep cost down while giving each division its own unique styling.
Bill Mitchel and his styling crew gave them all their own chrome ladden “Fin-a-fied” look. Riding on a new for 1959 X-Frame it had much improved ride and handling over the 1958 model. The roof was three inches lower and bodies measured two inches wider than its 1958 brother. Another innovation was the “flying wing” roof line and “panoramic view” rear glass.
The huge trunk was offset by “batwing” rear tail fins and “cats eye” taillights. Auto writer Tom McCahill of Mechanix Illustrated joked that the trunk was “Big enough to land a Piper Cub” on. Rumors at the time were at high speed the batwings would make the rear of the car rise like a plane taking off. Something Chevy never confirmed or denied.
Perhaps the best way to keep the lift down was to fill the “4 body trunk”.. Body styles ranged from a two door sedan,hardtop and convertible. Four door models came in four door sedan and pillar-less hardtop. Backing up the range was a nine passenger station wagon. Engines ranged from the thrifty 235 cubic inch 6 cylinder. The V8s started with the tried and true 283 cubic inch small block with power ranging from 190 to 290 horsepower.
Topping off the V8s was the 348 Big Block(new in 1958) with power options up to 315 horsepower. Choices of transmissions were 3 or 4 speed manuals. The famous “Slushbox” or “Powerglide”was the only automatic available. In 1959 you could purchase a nicely optioned Impala Convertible with a 190 horsepower 283 V8 and a “Slushbox” for $2967.00.. The featured Port Jefferson Cars 1959 Impala Sport Coupe would of set you back $2580.00 with the 283-V8. Ahhh how times have changed. The featured 59 Impala made it up the hill with no problems during the PJ Hill Climb. Its V8 dual exhaust rumbling the entire trip. We just hope the “batwings” didnt lift at high speeds..