Monday, June 26, 2017

Malaise Era: Definition and Examples

Malaise Era: Definition and Examples

'74 Apollo Buick Malaise: This word comes from the combination of French words mal- and aise (which translates to ease). This word generally means a sense of being uneasy or feeling out of sorts. It usually involves the beginning of an illness or feeling less that healthy. The term “malaise” has come to designate the decade of cars produced between 1973 and 1983.

The Malaise Era is ironic and insulting at the same time. It defines the time when muscle cars were no longer muscular, because of gas rationing and environmental concerns. The era ends when cars became status symbols for the preppies who took control of the mid 1980s. While many of the Malaise Era cars were nothing like the beauties from the 1950s, the sleek space-age cars of the 1960s, and the cars of the later 80s, 90s, and 2000s that had not yet been imagined, there were a few winners.

But, first, the losers:

'77 Plymouth Volare

Cars that weren’t Chevy Novas, but looked like them. This included the little known Buick Apollo and the Pontiac Ventura. While the Ventura did look slightly different in the front end, the Buick Apollo required you to blink twice to see that it was not the Nova but was the forgettable Buick Apollo instead. The car’s eponymous Greek god would be insulted that something so dull wore his name.

Plymouth Volare. Did you say the last “e” or was it silent? It’s hard to believe that Motor Trend named the Volare and the Dodge Aspen as cars of the year in 1976. These snoozers were supposedly aerodynamic and extremely fuel efficient. The fuel efficiency probably came from the fact that no one wanted to be seen driving them.

The Ford Mustang II or the car that nearly made the Mustang extinct. It was not fast. It was not good looking. It just was.

Don’t even get me started on the Chevy Vega. This one almost killed an entire car empire.

1972 Chevy VegaThere were a few winners.

The biggest winner was the sexiest car of the 1970s, the Bandit, or the 1976 Pontiac Trans Am in black with gold trim. If it was good enough for Burt Reynolds, it was good enough for every other driver.

The same year Corvette was another winner. The 1976 Corvette had bold fenders and unique slotted wheels. The only downer was the cheap steering wheel. Otherwise, Chevy has not yet managed to ruin anything that proudly bears the Corvette name plate.

 

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Car Furniture: Hot or Not?

Car Furniture: Hot or Not?

'68 Ford MustangHaving a garage full of your favorite cars is one thing, but what about a house full of your favorite cars – as furniture? You no longer have to visit a 1950’s themed restaurant to find furniture made from car parts. Clever designers are turning every type of car and parts into useful furniture. Would you invite these cars into your home as furniture?

Ford Mustang Furniture

Ford Mustangs from the 1960s have that unmistakable grill and some people have been able to turn the front end into a bar. By chopping off the front and artfully placing a glass tabletop above it, you, too, could have a Ford Mustang bar in your home, too.

Photo Courtesy of: www.carfurniture.com

Photo Courtesy of: www.carfurniture.com

If you really do love the Ford Mustang, then you could also add a Mustang pool table to your rec room. Designers have been able to put a pool table top over the shortened and highly polished Ford Mustang. After you have your Mustang bar and pool table, why not take apart an engine and stick your wine bottles in the empty cylinders. Your friends will certainly envy your Ford-focused mancave.

Lamborghini Murciélago

You might not be able to afford the entire Lamborghini Murciélago, but you might be able to afford a Lamborghini Murciélago desk. For slightly more than $11,000, you can add a Lamborghini Murciélago front-end desk to your office. This desk is in the same style as the Ford Mustang bar, with a thick piece of glass placed stylishly over a front end that has been set at the perfect level for a desk. Add a Recaro desk chair and you will feel like you are working in a European automotive paradise.

'85 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa

Rear “End-ertainment” Center

Like the front ends of your favorite cars make perfect desks and bars, the rear ends can be used for entertainment centers. A Porsche Carrera 4 can be turned into an amazing entertainment center with the mechanism to lift and lower your television and to store your favorite game system.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Top Ten Causes of Automotive Fires

Top Ten Causes of Automotive Fires

No one wants to even think about their classic car or truck going up in flames. The sad truth is that it does happen to some unfortunate souls. Even if insurance covers all the costs, a precious piece of historical machinery will be lost. That is why we want to send a friendly reminder to...   Read More

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Monday, June 19, 2017

The World’s Largest Online Classic Car Marketplace, ClassicCars.com

The World’s Largest Online Classic Car Marketplace, ClassicCars.com

Just last week we wrote an article about a recent report from classiccars.com where they revealed what people are searching for on their website. The amount of traffic that this website is receiving is incredible! What started out as basic online platform for buyers and sellers of classics has now grown into a website with...   Read More

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Chevy Special De Luxe: Not a Household Name, but You Know the Car

Chevy Special De Luxe: Not a Household Name, but You Know the Car

1940 Chevrolet Special DeluxeThe Chevy Special De Luxe might not be as recognizable a name as the Chevy Corvette, Bel Air, or Camaro. You might not know the name, but you have seen the car, since it has appeared in many well-known television shows and movies.

1941 Chevrolet Special DeluxeFans of early superhero shows like The Batman and The Adventures of Superman often were treated to images of the Special De Luxe. The cars were often used in chases and main characters were often seen driving in the cars. In both early superhero shows, the convertible versions were used. These shows were on the air in the early to mid 1950s, so the Special De Luxe was still a viable car on the roads at the time.

In movies made in the 1990s and 21st century, the Special De Luxe was one of many different cars that were used to define a time period. Since these cars were made in the 1940s, they often appeared in movies set in the 30s, 40s, and early 50s. They were classic cars that families drove and they also were seen in the hands of gangsters. The film noir classic Sin City made in 2005 features a stylish white De Luxe. The car also frequently appeared in the wildly popular Mad Men drama series on AMC. The Special De Luxe also appears several times in the 1979 Steven Spielberg movie, 1941; it’s appropriate that the car appears in the film, since models were sold in 1940 and 1941 and both model years were top sellers for Chevy and General Motors. Finally, you can see a beautifully restored one in the Leonardo DiCaprio film, The Aviator.

1941 Chevy Special DeluxeThe car also appears in movies made in the Golden Age of Hollywood. You can see a beige De Luxe in a racing scene with James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. A black De Luxe does a two-wheel trick in the 1955 movie Blackboard Jungle. Another film with several De Luxe sightings is the 1948 movie Bodyguard.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

ClassicCars.com Reveals America’s Most Sought After Classic Cars

ClassicCars.com Reveals America’s Most Sought After Classic Cars

The iconic Ford Mustang is the most searched classic car, according to research recently done by ClassicCars.com, the world’s leading website for researching, buying and selling of classic cars and trucks. ClassicCars.com has over 330,000 daily searches on their site and more than 3 million unique visitors to their site each month. They looked at...   Read More

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356

356

1957 Porsche 356The Porsche 356 is a car that the legendary German manufacturer produced from 1948 to 1965. Today the 365 is a popular collectible, especially among those who revere the German brand. The 365 is notable for many reasons, but primarily for being the first production vehicle that Porsche ever made. The company began in the 1930s to do consulting and development work, including the government-directed design of the Volkswagen, the car for the people. The 356 is a rear-wheel drive, two-door sports car with a rear-engine configuration. Of the 76,000 units originally made, about half have been accounted for today.

1957 Porsche 356 Ferdinand Porsche, son of the company’s founder, is credited with creating the 356. In its original incarnation the model included a four-cylinder, rear-mounted engine with a newly-designed chassis. The body was designed to be smooth and aerodynamic. Made from lightweight aluminum, it was a unibody construction. This first incarnation of the 356 was a roadster with a two-piece, frameless windshield. At the time of its release in 1948, the first 356 was like no other car on the road. It had a unique look, was extremely aerodynamic, and was fast and sporty. The first racing win, of many for the 356, was in Innsbruck, Austria in 1948.

The early 356 is today referred to as the type 1 model. Variations on the original model are classified as the 356A, made from 1955 to 1959, the 356B, made from 1959 to 1963, and the 356C, which closed out the car’s run from 1963 to 1965. Over the years, Porsche made changes and updates to the 356. The body styles expanded to include a coupe and a cabriolet. The windshield merged into one framed piece. New engines were developed and used in the updated models.

Porsche also made special versions of the 356 throughout the model’s run. The Speedster sold in the U.S. in the 1950s and proved to be popular. It was a stripped down version of the cabriolet with a simple folding top and a lower price point. In the early 1960s, the lineup included a Karmann hardtop, also described as a notchback.

1957 Porsche 356 2The Porsche 356 has left an important legacy in car design, engineering, racing, and in collecting. On the racetrack, the model won in rally races, at the 24 hours of Le Mans, at Targa Florio, at the Carrera Panamerica, and at many other races. For collectors today, the 356 is highly desirable. The Speedster is one of the most popular, especially in the U.S., but any version of this legendary Porsche is considered a top-notch classic.

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