CR4 - The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion®

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

Records are Meant to be Broken: 80.4 MPH on a Steam-Powered Motorcycle

Posted October 21, 2014 9:30 AM by dstrohl

Breaking land-speed records tends to be a fairly difficult proposition. The multitude of venues for doing so nowadays has opened up the opportunities for record breaking, but has also attracted more racers going after records, ratcheting the speeds up higher every year. So it'd probably make sense to find a fairly old, fairly obscure record to break. Something like the land-speed record for steam-powered motorcycles, which was last set 118 years ago.

Or thereabouts. According to Stanley historian Jim Merrick, steam-vehicle pioneer Sylvester Roper had been timed at record-setting speeds atop his Columbia bicycle fitted with a steam engine at least twice in 1896-once at 27.07 MPH and then later during the last lap of a race at Charles River Park in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at 32.4 MPH-and he claimed to have once hit 40 MPH with his motorcycle on a straightaway south of Boston. Roper died that year while atop his motorcycle during a race, apparently from a heart attack.

See the records of steam-powered cycles on Hemmings.

2 comments; last comment on 10/21/2014
View/add comments

Buying at Auctions

Posted October 20, 2014 10:00 AM by dstrohl

Believe it or not there are some truly great buys to be had at collector car auctions. While most of the more affordable prices are to be found at regional auctions, you can still discover some amazing deals at one of the big-name auctions.

The falsely circulated claim that you can't find any cheap cars at auctions anymore is absolutely untrue. Sure, all the big money cars always grab the spotlight and the media's attention, but that doesn't mean that there aren't any cars for the common man to be had for less than market value - there are, we've seen them cross the auction block many times.

In order to find that deal of your dream first you need to do your homework thoroughly and properly, otherwise you may get stuck with an overpriced lemon. So here are a few worthwhile tips on what to do, and not to do.

Learn how to buy a classic auto at auction, on Hemmings.

Add a comment

Billetproof: The World’s Least Important Car Show

Posted October 16, 2014 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: americana DIY hot rod rat rod

"Rat Rod." There are few monikers more polarizing than this one in the old car universe. Twenty-five years ago, it was used (sparingly) to describe a scene that began on the West Coast with kids who'd applied the DIY ethics of Punk Rock culture to hotrodding. Sort of a finger in the eye to the six-figure street rods that took over the magazines and car shows and wall calendars of the Eighties and Nineties. And back then, it was truly an underground movement, complete with its own language, art, music and style. The cars were raw, unfinished and beautiful in their disdain for an industry that had taken hot rods and customs out of backyard garages and far, far away from their roots in American folk culture.

Get a glimpse at current 'rat rod' culture on Hemmings.

Add a comment

In Our Garage: Bronze Silicon Welding a Galvanized Fuel Tank

Posted October 15, 2014 9:00 AM by dstrohl

I'm probably not the only one out there to begin a restoration or a full-on build and make a grand pronouncement like, "I'm going to do every part of it myself, and what I don't know how to do, I'm going to learn!"

That's just what I said three years ago, when I started constructing my 1931 Model A Ford-based speedster. But go easy on me. It wasn't because I was especially prideful of my abilities.

As a matter of fact, I had said it because-unlike my brother, Andrew, who earned a degree in automotive mechanics, or my dad, who was born with grease-stained hands-I knew I had just about everything to learn. I figured this would be a good way to go about doing that. Boldly announcing my intention was just my resolve's way of getting a running start.

A man's first attempts are bronze silicon welding...

1 comments; last comment on 10/21/2014
View/add comments

The Sun Sets on the Dodge Viper Endurance Racing Program

Posted October 14, 2014 9:30 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: dodge endurance racing viper

Here's a juxtaposition of circumstances for the ages: This past weekend, the Dodge Viper GTS-R team clinched the Tudor Sports Car Series' Le Mans GT championship during the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Barely 48 hours later, Dodge execs announced that SRT, the brand's performance subsidiary, would end its participation in the series, effective immediately, ending a tradition of the Viper and racing that stretched to the Sarthe and back to Chrysler's days as an independent American automaker.

Really, it wasn't hard to see coming. Sales of production Vipers have all but evaporated despite a $15,000 cut in the sports coupe's lofty MSRP. Not that long ago, Dodge withdrew from NASCAR Sprint Cup racing as its lead team, Penske, switched to Fords.

What's the future of the SRT racing program?

Add a comment

Could the Stillborn Messenger Concept Car Have Saved Mercury?

Posted October 13, 2014 10:30 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: Concept Ford manufacturing Mercury

Automotive history is replete with glimpses into Harry Turtledove-style what-if alternate scenarios. What if Edsel Ford hadn't died relatively young - would his leadership of the company have led to sportier postwar Fords? What if Chrysler was able to bring its Turbine car to market - would it have made the internal combustion engine obsolete? And what if Mercury produced its 2003 Messenger concept car - would it have saved the fleet-of-feet brand from cancellation?

Seven years before the axe fell on Mercury, Ford had pinned its hopes for the brand on the Messenger concept. Emerging from the Lincoln Mercury design studio then helmed by Gerry McGovern, the man that Ford hired in 1999 specifically to turn around Lincoln and Mercury's moribund design, (and built by the Stola Group in Rivoli, Italy) the Messenger debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit with McGovern's promise that "modern design will lead (Mercury's) rejuvenation."

Learn how Mercury was almost a brand reborn.

Add a comment


Previous in Blog: Nuts, Bolts and Washers; Which Ones to Use, and Why  
Show all Blog Entries in this Blog

Advertisement