classic-car-history.com

Classic Cars Through History

Engineering, politics, geography, and economics are major factors which have shaped automobiles throughout history.

There was an enormous amount of design talent during the 1950s. Raymond Loewy, Harley Earl, Elwood Engel - just a few who gave us styles and innovations that last to this day. The Chrysler 300, Ford Thunderbird, Chevy Impala and Corvette, all introduced in the fifties, are still with us, and the retractable hardtop has made a comeback.

classic cars through history

read: Cars of the Fifties

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At the start of the 20th century, most every form of transport was made of wood, including boats, planes, and horse-drawn carriages. When the automobile arrived, many early examples were wood-bodied. Steel-stamping techniques slowly improved, and steel gradually replaced hardwood over time. Designers, however, continued to use wood for styling. Although steel improved body strength and durability, car owners still liked the look and charm of wood.

classic cars through history

read: Woodie Wagons History

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Generally defined as a light-duty truck having an enclosed cab and an open cargo area, pickup truck history began as work vehicles with few creature comforts, generally found on farms, ranches, and construction sites. All that changed as the decades rolled on.

1956 Ford F100 pickup truck

read: Classic Trucks History

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A long-time favorite of hot-rodders, dry-lakes racers, and bootleggers alike, the flathead Ford V8 offered low cost, availability, and plenty of ways to improve performance. Produced from 1932 until 1953, the Ford Flathead V8 was offered in several displacements, but the basic design remained the same through the years.

classic cars through history

read: Flathead Ford V8

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Along with the growth of America's middle class, affordably-priced sports-cars started appearing after WW2. From 1946 to 1954, both big and small car companies introduced sports cars to the American public.

Nash-Healey

read: Sports Car History

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Speed, romance, beauty, and potentially a profit? No wonder classic car investing is more popular than ever! Are all those TV programs about finding and flipping old cars getting to you? Before you spend your money, read this article.

investing in classic cars

read: Investing In Classic Cars

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Sold at an affordable price, muscle cars were intended for street use and occasional drag racing. Although the origins of the muscle car can be debated, there is no question they ruled American streets from 1964 through 1970 (and a little beyond). Few people were concerned with gas prices when premium was 35 cents-a-gallon. Cheap gas and cheap horsepower was the order of the day and helped bring about the muscle car phenomenon of the sixties.

muscle car history

read: Muscle Car History

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Although the GTO is most often cited as the first muscle car, history shows that Pontiac wasn't the first car company to drop a big motor in a mid-sized car, but they were the first to market a mid-sized car with a big motor. The 1964 Tempest-based GTO was wildly successful, prompting other car companies to use the same formula.

Pontiac GTO image

read: First Muscle Car

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Coinciding with the high-octane fuel refining technology that was developed during WWII, both Cadillac and Oldsmobile pioneered the first high-compression V8 engines for General Motors in 1949. So began the production frenzy of who could build the biggest, fastest motor. From 303 cubic-inches all the way to 455 cubic-inches, these were the five greatest muscle car engines of all time.

top five muscle car engines

read: Top Five Muscle Car Engines

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Stylish, affordable, and performance-oriented, the American Pony car had a short but significant tenure in classic car history. After 1970, sales started falling. The 1973 U.S. Oil Crisis made the gas-thirsty Pony cars fall further in the marketplace. The Challenger, Cuda, and Javelin were gone after 1974. GM's Camaro and Firebird would continue, as would the Ford Mustang and Mercury Cougar.

1970 Dodge Challenger

read: Pony Car History

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It's all very nice wandering around show halls packed with perfectly-restored classic cars, but the Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show gives equal time to project cars and daily drivers.

2018 Practical Classic Cars Show

read: Practical Classic Cars Show

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Early electric cars didn't have any of the issues associated with steam or gasoline. They were quiet, easy to drive and didn't emit any pollutants. Read about the pioneering efforts of the E.V. from both big and small Automakers of the past.

electric car history

read: Electric Car History

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The smallest and lightest cars ever produced, micro cars were also less expensive and burn less fuel than conventional-sized cars. They were and still are a good choice for crowded cities where space is at a premium.

microcar history

read: Micro Car History

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When someone says to me "the Corvair was an unsafe car" I reply, "Oh, you owned one?" When they say no they hadn't, I ask "But you've driven one?" The usual answer is no, they hadn't. So where is their information coming from? Here's some facts.

Corvair Monza

read: Who Killed The Corvair?

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Although many early eighties sports cars were capable of 140+ mph, their speedometers only went up to 85 mph. It was part of a federally mandated attempt to slow cars down, and in doing so, save gas.

Porsche 928 with 85 mph speedo

read: 85 MPH Speedometer Law

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Corvettes have paced the Indy 500 race a grand total of eleven times, which is more than any other model car. The first Corvette pace car was seen in 1978. Pace cars are displayed in full force at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

classic cars through history

read: National Corvette Museum

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Born in Belgium on Christmas Day in 1909, Zora Arkus-Duntov graduated from the Institute of Charlottenburg in 1934, beginning a long and fascinating automotive career. Although the Corvette was the brainchild of Harley Earl, it was the efforts of Zora that made it a real sports car.

Zora Arkus Duntov and Corvette

read about: Zora Arkus-Duntov

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At the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, visitors are introduced to an eclectic collection of vehicles, including micro cars, three-wheeled cars, amphibious vehicles, alternative fuel vehicles, military vehicles, competition cars, and cars that run by propeller.

classic cars through history

read: Lane Motor Museum

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Many old car enthusiasts are realizing how much fun it is to find an old camper to tow behind their classic or vintage car. Cheaper than a second house and more comfortable than a tent (with amenities such as electricity and an actual bed), vintage campers are now more popular than ever!

classic cars through history

read: Vintage Camper History

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In November of 1973, Road and Track magazine featured a short story by Richard Foster called "A Nice Morning Drive". Neil Peart, drummer/lyrist of Rush, loosely based "Red Barchetta" around Foster's story. It's set in a time and place where the cars we know and love are completely illegal, but not completely gone.

classic cars through history

read: Top Ten Car Songs

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