Automotive History

Chevrolet film demonstrates safety of new Corvair in 1960

(March 16, 2020) When Chevrolet introduced the rear-engine Corvair for the 1960 model year, General Motors also began a campaign to convince skeptical new car buyers that it was a safe vehicle. This film was produced to demonstrate the economy car’s handling, braking, reliability, structural strength. Chevrolet tagged it “the compact car that people could count on.”

Photos show production of Kaiser-Frazer prototypes in 1946

(January 29, 2020) The Kaiser-Frazer Corporation (1946–1951) was the result of a partnership between automobile executive Joseph W. Frazer and industrialist Henry J. Kaiser. In 1947, the company acquired the automotive assets of Graham-Paige, of which Frazer had become president near the end of World War II.

Remembering the radically designed AMC Pacer

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(December 4, 2019) On Dec. 3,1979, the last American Motors Pacer rolled off the assembly line. Now, before you say "Party on! Excellent!" in your best Wayne and Garth imitation, spare a thought for what the auto industry was facing, and what AMC was trying to do with its meager resources.

Maserati celebrates 60th anniversary of the 5000 GT 2+2 Coupe

(December 3, 2019) Sixty years ago, the Maserati 5000 GT, a 2+2 coupé, was presented at the Turin Motor Show and was the undisputed star of the event. Maserati now celebrates the anniversary of this extraordinary car, built to the specific request of the Shah of Persia, Reza Pahlavi. Just 34 cars of this model were built at the Viale Ciro Menotti plant in Modena, with bodywork added by Italy's top coachbuilders of the period.

Historic Aston Martin Cloverleaf runs up Aston Hill to mark 95th anniversary

(October 22, 2019) It was 95 years ago that the car which came to be known as "Cloverleaf," XR 1981, lined up at the bottom of Aston Hill. One of just eight customer cars built in late 1923, this very early Aston Martin was competing against two Bugattis and two other Aston Martins — one of which had been entered by the company’s founder, Lionel Martin, who won the trophy on the day.

History lesson — How plaid became part of Volkswagen Golf GTI

(October 16, 2019) No car has a claim to fame to celebrate all things plaid quite like the Volkswagen Golf GTI – thanks to one woman’s pioneering choices that over the past four decades have become a symbol of driving enthusiasts worldwide.

Bentley re-creates long-lost 1939 Corniche

(August 9, 2019) CREWE, England — Bentley has re-created a long-lost car from its illustrious past that provides a crucial link in the history of its most important models. The ground-up rebuild of the only 1939 Corniche ever made highlights the marque’s pedigree of design and technological innovation, the breadth of skills within Mulliner’s bespoking division, and connects the fabled Embiricos 4.25—liter and R Type Continental.

Honda restores 1961 Chevy pickup as part of 60th anniversary


An original 1961 Chevrolet pickup used as a delivery truck by Honda in the 1960s

(June 19, 2019) Shortly after American Honda Motor Co. (AHM) first opened for business in 1959, the company purchased a small fleet of Chevy pickups to deliver motorcycles to its fledgling dealers across Southern California. One of these trucks is depicted in an iconic photo circa 1961 in front of AHM's original office at 4077 Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles.

Fisher no-draft ventilation system revolutionizes car comfort

From The Old Motor

(June 6, 2019) General Motors introduced one of the most important innovations in closed car passenger comfort, its new “No Draft I.C.V Ventilation” window system to car buyers in 1933. GM’s unique new vent window system led the way by offering this new individualized comfort to all passengers who rode in its Fischer-bodied cars.

Two videos highlight city driving in the late 1930s and 1940s


Street scene in San Francisco in the 1940s

(May 25, 2019) Here are two interesting videos depicting city street driving in the 1940s. The first video was filmed in Portland, Ore., in 1939 and the second — some of it filmed in color — was shot in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Mexico City.

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