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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.

Mo’s Junkyard Curse

Posted June 21, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic auto junkyard memories

[Editor’s Note: Jim Van Orden, Richardson, Texas, who brought us the story of Arlington FryBarger’s Pan-American Highway trip a couple months ago, recently reached into his bag of memories for this account of the junkyards he frequented as a New Jersey youth.]

Junkyards were my heaven as a boy.

Practically nothing else sparked my imagination or entertained me more than 1950s junkyards. I loved their smells: old oil and grease, gasoline, putrid water and anti-freeze…mixed with rusting metal and rotting fabrics from seats, headliners, carpets and floor mats etched lasting memories.

Vehicles of every description stacked like 10-foot monoliths in long rows, teetering threateningly, demanded attention and study. Non-stop conversations ran through my brain: “Is that a 1941 Caddy at the top of that heap?”…“Wonder who owned that ’39 Lincoln Continental?”

Heaps of extra-old abandoned autos from the perspective of a classic auto veteran.

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When You Sell Your Goat and Your New Charger is a Lemon

Posted June 20, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: charger classic auto GTO Mopar

In the August 2017 issue of Hemmings Muscle Machines, 1966 Pontiac GTO owner Jim Zievel discusses the events that led to him trading his GTO convertible for something that, in the end, was far more unreliable.

Jim Zievel bought a 1966 Pontiac GTO convertible brand new in the spring of 1966. It was optioned right: Tri-Power, four-speed, 3.55 Safe-T-Track rear, console, power steering and brakes. You can read all about it in Issue #168. (Buy this issue here.)

He loved it. But Jim swears that he was hit by the “new car bug,” and fell under the influence of a Mopar. “I was going to school, and a guy that parked near me had a ’68 B5 Blue Road Runner. I liked it. One day the family went for a ride, and we somehow ended up at a Dodge dealership. They had a ’69 Charger there—B5 blue, automatic transmission, and Sure Grip … it was incredibly fast! I don’t know if that car was a freak or what, but I could take on 440s and eat ’em alive.”

How a lust for Mopar muscle backfired for this classic GTO owner.

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Could Route 66 Be Saved By Recommissioning It?

Posted June 20, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl

With a couple proposals already on the table to preserve Route 66 ahead of the planned defunding of a critical federal program, another option floated some years ago calls for the reversal of the road’s decommissioning and for adding it back to the country’s numbered highway system.

Primarily intended to enhance signage along the existing sections of Route 66, the idea was floated as early as 2003 by Fred Cain, who formed the U.S. Route 66 Recommissioning Initiative to promote the idea. After watching the signs for the road come down as early as the 1970s, and then witnessing a re-awakening of interest in the road in the 1990s, he began to believe that Route 66 could be reinstated to its former status – and he said the process of recommissioning is much simpler than most people believe.

“U.S. Highways and to a large extent even our Interstate Highways, are managed at the state level rather than the federal level,” he wrote at BringBackRoute66.com. “State highway departments report to their state capitals, which in return report to their voters. If the state legislatures in the 8 states once served by Route 66 begin hearing from their constituents that they would like to see U.S. 66 re-commissioned, then it can and will happen.”

Is a recommissioning going to save Route 66? Or is this classic auto memory best left as a memory?

11 comments; last comment on 06/22/2017
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Reborn TVR Set to Reveal New Model at Goodwood Revival

Posted June 15, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: automaker classic auto revival TVR

In 2006, boutique British sports car manufacturer TVR produced its last automobile, entering receivership under then-owner Nikolay Smolensky. Despite later attempts by Smolensky and others to revive the brand, it wasn’t until 2013 that TVR received a new lifeline, under now-owner TVR Automotive Limited, which began working on a new model in early 2014. Three and a half years later, an all-new TVR will make its public debut at the Goodwood Revival in Chichester, England, on September 8.

TVR’s 2013 purchase was likely met with scorn by those loyal to the brand, as too many empty promises had been made in the past. Under the guidance of Les Edgar and John Chasey, the new TVR immediately established credibility by sorting out the mess that spare parts for past models had become. After acquiring inventories and licenses from a variety of dealers, TVR brought spare parts under one roof in 2014. A year later, the company announced that the new car was already under development with partner Gordon Murray Design. If that name sounds familiar, it should – after designing Formula 1 cars for Brabham, Gordon Murray was one of the driving forces behind McLaren’s road-going F1 supercar.

A famed British automaker is one step closer to reviving their legacy with a new sport car.

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One-of-Two Senate Tunnel Studebakers to Make its First Voyage Under Its Own Power in Decades

Posted June 14, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl

Back and forth, all day long, 225 times per day, shuttling 100 of the most powerful men in the country. At least the drivers of the two electric Studebakers in the Congressional tunnels – one of which is scheduled to make its first voyage under its own power since the Eisenhower administration this weekend – didn’t have to contend with the D.C. weather.

With the pending completion of the Russell Senate Office Building and the Cannon House Office Building near the U.S. Capitol in 1908, Congressmen worried not so much about terrorist threats or intrepid newspapermen on their walks among the buildings but more the weather. The city offers humid, 100-degree summers and snowy, sub-freezing winters, both of which Congressmen found as hindrances to their duties.

This 100-year-old electric buggy ferried some of the most powerful men in the nation to and fro, and is set to run again quite soon.

3 comments; last comment on 06/22/2017
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