Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

No Fooling: AMC Gremlin Is Officially 40. Something.

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

It’s April 1st, folks. Time to celebrate the birth of the AMC Gremlin on this day in 1970.

These fun facts about the Gremlin are no joke. Seriously …

British airmen during World War II used the term “gremlin” to describe pesky little creatures that like to mess up engines for grins. Doesn’t sound like the best choice for a car … with a motor … huh? The brain trust at AMC decided a gremlin was really “a pal to its friends and an ogre to its enemies.”

The Gremlin was an early response from an American carmaker to rising gas prices and the influx of imports. Yes, it blazed the trail that the Chevy Vega and the Ford Pinto were destined to follow.

The Gremlin is a rare, bipartisan creature. Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush drove Gremlins in their younger days.

The ‘Levi’s Trim’ upgrade introduced in 1973 was not, in fact, real denim. That would have been a fire hazard, apparently. But a denim-ish-looking interior with the hammered copper rivets and little red Levi tags? Imagine cruising around in that and listening to Foghat?

Motortopia has come cool Gremlins here and here. The former owner of one of these Gremlins seems to have made a James Bond-style short featuring his Gremlin and also featuring (!) Members Only jackets, zipper-head haircuts, and topsiders. View that gem here.

Gotta Have It!

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Bruce Springsteen’s ’57 Chevy  is the star lot in the online Rock & Roll Pop Culture Auction from GOTTA HAVE IT® Collectibles, Inc. which takes place from March 16-25, 2011.

This was Springsteen’s first owned car, purchased on May 21, 1975.

Other Springsteen lots include handwritten lyrics, posters, stage-used harmonicas and a Telecaster electric guitar played on stage in Ventura, California in June 1993.

There are 183 Elvis Presley lots in the auction, including film and stage-worn costumes from the 50s to 70s, jewellery. The highest estimate ($12,000) is for a pair of leopard mohair shoes worn by Elvis on stage in 1954.The Beatles are also well represented with 120 lots. The highest estimate is for handwritten “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” lyrics ($160,000 – $170,000).There are 40 Michael Jackson lots, including a stage worn sequin glove.Many signed guitars are featured in the Auction from artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Les Paul, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Neil Young, Alice Cooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bonnie Raitt.

Other stars featured in the auction include Bruce Lee, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Madonna, Prince, Jimi Hendrix, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Byrds, The Beach Boys and KISS.

You can view all the lots at gottahaverockandroll.com

Happy Bidding!!!!

Cool Ride of the Week (Mar 10, 2011)

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

First I want to welcome our new sponsor Create A Plate. Each week, CR8APL8 will give the winner a  custom Motortopia “Cool Ride of the Week” license plate. Be sure to check out their Very Cool site here. This is the very cool ride we chose for this week. Congratulations CrazyPete on having your 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A (R U Yella) chosen as the Cool Ride of the Week for Mar 10, 2011. You can view this very cool ride and CrazyPete’s garage here
Take care,
Jerry

Important Car Links To Save

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

There are commercials on television right now that make fun of the overload of information available on the Internet; it’s so true that most of that “information” is less than valuable. More often than not, the first few search results you get back on any subject lead you to fluff and not quality information.

That said, here are some important and very useful automotive links that you or someone you know will be able to use.

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/ – this site shows the fuel economy of cars, side by side; a feature article now lists the 2011 most efficient vehicles

http://www.semasan.com/main/main.aspx?id=62843#tag-title-toolbox-2011 – The Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association Action Network works with local and state legislators to promote the automotive hobby. At this part of their site, they have gathered the information you need by state to buy, sell, title or register a specialty car, including antiques, classics and muscle cars. Very convenient, go try to find this information on your state’s division of motor vehicles site and you’ll understand.

http://www.iihs.org/ – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety provides specific crash test data for every make and model tested. This site has much other interesting and useful highway safety information and news.

Similar is http://www.safercar.gov/ which lists vehicles with a 5 star safety rankings based on crash test results, a roll-up of the more specific information found at the IIHS site. Also included is information on child safety seats and other safety-related pre-purchase decision information.

http://www.autosafety.org/ – Provide comprehensive information on auto defects, ongoing legislation, lemon laws for each state, information for consumers who have auto safety, defect or manufacturing issues.

http://www.autorecalls.org/ – Just like the name says, this site lists automobile recalls by year starting with the year 1965 to present.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/index.htm Consumer Reports rates all types of products throughout the year; right now they are featuring their best cars for 2011 based on their criteria. Good info but it’s always good to use more than one source for making a car purchase decision.

Hope these links are helpful and will lead you directly to information you need.

What Color is Your Car?

Friday, February 18th, 2011


According to the well-known marketing research firm J.D. Power and Associates, black is now the most popular choice in new car colors. Almost 22% of cars sold or leased in 2010 were black. More than half of luxury sport models like the BMW 6 series, the Mercedes SL and the Cadillac CTS-V were sold in black, like the beautiful one shown above that is for sale at a Naples Florida dealer. Aside from the fact that black showcases a car’s design, this could also be because the range of color choices for these models is usually restricted to black, silver/gray, white/cream or other neutral shades.

The top six colors in car sales for 2010 were black, silver, white, gray, blue and red, in that order. For the past seven years, silver was the most popular color for new cars.

This information is important for car dealers because the color of a car on their lot can affect its retail turn rate. The retail return rate is the average number of days a particular model stays on the lot before being sold; for example, a black vehicle only stayed on the lot an average of 49 days last year. This is important information for car buyers because if your favorite car color is red, which has a less advantageous return rate for a dealer, you can negotiate a better price.

As a side note, color isn’t the only factor. A little over 37% of VW GTI models that were gray sold in an average of 45 days. An in-demand model could sell quickly regardless of exterior color. Vehicles like the Hummer sold well in black, gray and bright yellow.

According to the J.D. Power research, age is a factor in color choice, too. The average age of a person buying a black car was 45, which happens to be the youngest average age for any color last year. Silver cars were sold to buyers with an average age of 50; gray cars went to those around 48. Older buyers preferred beige (54) and gold (56).

It might be interesting to see what those color choices were in previous decades. In the 60s and 70s, were Plum Crazy, Matador Red and LeMans Blue in the Top 6? It seemed to me that every mid-sized car in America was gold/tan/beige in the late 90s.

You can see the full J.D. Power blog at this link:

http://www.jdpowercontent.com/globalauto/black-gains-ground-as-most-popular-vehicle-color-in-us-market/2011/02/09/

Featured Ride of the Day (Feb 15, 2011)

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Our Featured Ride of the Day is 95cam86roc’s 1986 Chevrolet Camaro Iroc-Z (Iroc) Check out this Featured Ride of the Day here Nice looking ride! If you have a minute say hello to the owner by leaving a comment. Who know’s your ride may be the next Featured Ride of the Day!

Take care,
Jerry

2013 Ford Focus Electric at Detroit Auto Show

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Go fuel-free with first zero-emissions passenger car from Ford

•    All-new Ford Focus Electric is the first fuel-free, rechargeable passenger car from Ford and one of five new electrified vehicles Ford will deliver by 2013 in North America and Europe

•    Focus Electric will offer a mile-per-gallon equivalent better than Chevrolet Volt and competitive with other battery electric vehicles

•    The all-electric Focus is capable of fully recharging in three to four hours at home using the available wall-mounted 240-volt charge station – charging in half the time of the Nissan Leaf

•    The new Focus Electric offers value charging, powered by Microsoft, to help owners to charge their vehicles at the cheapest utility rates, lowering the cost of ownership

•    Focus Electric provides a special version of MyFord Touch™ driver connect technology especially for electric customers and introduces MyFord Mobile, a smartphone app and website for monitoring key vehicle functions and charge settings while mobile
      
The zero-CO2-emissions, gasoline-free version of Ford’s popular small car is the flagship of the company’s growing fleet of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles coming to North America and Europe by 2013.

“Focus Electric is the flagship of our new family of electrified vehicles, showcasing our commitment to offer consumers choice when it comes to fuel-efficient or fuel-free vehicles,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president for Global Product Development. “Its advanced powertrain will deliver significant energy efficiency advantages and zero CO2 emissions without compromising driving enjoyment. And its suite of smart driver information technologies will transform the way customers think about energy usage and their transportation needs.”

The Focus Electric will launch in late 2011 and is designed to offer enough range to cover the majority of daily driving habits of Americans.

Revisited – 300 Horsepower, Under $10K

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Bargain Muscle Car for Sale

Back in November 2008, I posted a blog that described various American muscle-car era cars that boasted 300 horsepower from the factory and could be purchased for under $10,000. (Here’s the link to the original blog: http://www.motortopia.com/car-blogs/300-horsepower-under-10000-545) Recently there have been a lot of articles in car magazines and on car sites talking about the fluctuating price of muscle cars in the marketplace and at auctions, so I thought it would be interesting to see how the 300 hp/$10K list has changed in the past two years.

Here’s the list, with the 2008 NADA Classic Car Guide price first followed by the July 2010 price from the same guide. Option changes from the original list are show in italics:

1. 1969 Pontiac Tempest 2 dr coupe, 4 speed, 350 (330hp) $9349, $10,631
2. 1967 Ford Falcon, 2 dr, 4 speed 390 (335 hp) $5740, $5670 (excellent condition, $9240, $7560)
3. 1971 AMC Javelin 2 dr, 4 speed 401 (330 hp) $9665, $10,240
4. 1970 Mercury Marauder 2 dr 428 SCJ (335 hp) $9730, $10688
5. 1971 Chevelle 2 dr 402 (300 hp) $8033 454 big block $9533
6. 1969 Ford Thunderbird 390 (320 hp) $9563, $9315
7. 1968 Plymouth Belvedere 383 (325 hp) $6890, $6863 with 440 (375hp)
8. 1968 Dodge Coronet 2 dr, 4 speed 383 (325 hp) $8708, $7490 with 440 (375hp)
9. 1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass S 2 dr 350 (310 hp) $8965, $8596
10. 1969 Ford Fairlane 2 dr, 4 speed 428 (335 hp) $9488, $10,040

Note that the prices shown are for an “Average Retail” rating which is defined as good overall condition, an older restoration or well-maintained original vehicle with everything working or serviceable.

There aren’t any dramatic changes. Looks like you can get a bit more horsepower in a Mopar for less than a few years ago. While the Ford Fairlane went up some, the Falcon in excellent condition dropped.

The point of this exercise was to find a solid muscle car at a reasonable price without paying the outrageous prices for the most popular muscle cars, for example at ’71 Hemi any-model or a ’69 – ’71 Mustang. Good information for those of us who won’t be buying at the upcoming Barrett-Jackson or other high-end auctions.

Happy New Year

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Happy New Year Everyone!

Every New Year people make resolutions to change aspects of themselves they believe are negative. A majority of people revert back to how they were before and feel like failures. This year I challenge you to a new resolution. I challenge you to just be yourself.

Author Unknown

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Mary and I hope all our friends on Motortopia have a Merry Christmas, a prosperous, and Happy New Year! Love and peace to everyone!

Jerry and Mary