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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.

AACA Museum’s Latest Exhibit Celebrates “Getting the Job Done: Vehicles that Earned Their Keep”

Posted November 16, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl

Without commercial vehicles, modern life would grind to a halt rather abruptly. Despite their importance, these workhorses are rarely embraced by collectors, and the likelihood of a 1913 Ford Model T C-cab or 1938 Autocar tanker truck taking Best of Show at Pebble Beach lies directly between “slim” and “none.” The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, however, is paying tribute to a broad array of commercial vehicles with a new exhibit, entitled Getting the Job Done: Vehicles that Earned Their Keep.

Scheduled to run from November 18, 2017, through April 23, 2018, the exhibit will include everything from delivery trucks through professional cars and even business coupes, once the transportation of choice for traveling salesmen. Police cars and fire engines will be represented, with the display including a 1966 Plymouth Fury II police cruiser finished in a Harrison, New Jersey livery; a 1970 Mercury Monterey sedan carrying the California Highway Patrol star; a 1992 Ford Mustang pursuit vehicle from the Florida Highway Patrol; and a pair of fire engines – the 1922 Brockway LaFrance and the 1938 Mack – from the museum’s permanent collection.

See more images of the workhorse vehicles from eras gone-by, on Hemmings.

3 comments; last comment on 11/17/2017
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SEMA Feature Cars, 2017: The Show Within a Show

Posted November 15, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic auto display gallery SEMA

Though it’s been held annually since 1967, the SEMA Convention was not always a haven for specially designed and built show cars. Even after coming to Las Vegas in 1977, custom display cars were sparse. But the last decade or so has seen an explosion of show cars, particularly since the areas outside the convention center were opened up for displays. Also during that time, the SEMA show has gained a much higher profile, thanks in no small part to the ever-evolving state of the digital world we live in. That means people from all over the world can now see in real time what was once reserved for industry insiders, and that’s made this event a hot spot for unveilings and debuts.

This year’s event, held last week, is said to have hosted something like 2,400 exhibiting companies and 170,000 people, and we can say, from being on the ground there for the entire week, that the crowds were as large as they’d ever been. Between the number of people attending and the vast array of new products on display, the automotive aftermarket and the enthusiast groups it serves would seem to be thriving.

Check out some of the coolest and most unique 'whips' from SEMA '17.

2 comments; last comment on 11/17/2017
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Japanese Celebrate 35 Years of Manufacturing in the U.S.

Posted November 14, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl

There was a time when buying an import, particularly a Japanese import, was seen as an affront to American workers. But since the early 1980s, Japanese automakers have become a significant force in American manufacturing, each year employing more and more Americans not only on the factory floor, but also in engineering, design, sales, marketing, distribution—just about any facet of the car business you can imagine. Chances are pretty high that buying a Japanese car today means buying a car made by American workers.

To collectors, that means there’s also a growing chance that, as long-lasting Japanese cars stop being used cars and enter the collectible/vintage market, more and more of them will have been created at these so-called “transplant” factories. Lest you think this notion sounds far off in the future, at the Bonhams Amelia Island auction this past March, the company sold an amazingly well-kept 1990 Toyota pickup truck. (Really, it was perfect—you should have seen it!) Expect to see more of that action.

What was once offensive to American workers and unions is now welcome competition that has made products better and less expensive.

2 comments; last comment on 11/15/2017
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Texas Begins Revoking Titles for Dune Buggies, Sand Rails, and Other Kit Cars

Posted November 13, 2017 12:00 PM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: DMV dune buggy legislation sand rail

While Texas state officials claim to be looking into the matter, the state’s DMV has outlawed any rebodied vehicles and has started to revoke titles and registrations for dune buggies in the state, a move that has provoked Texan kit car enthusiasts to start lobbying the state to re-legalize the vehicles.

As far back as 2013, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles put a halt to registrations of newly built dune buggies, grandfathering in previously built and registered dune buggies. While some owners of Volkswagen-based fiberglass-bodied beach cars reported success registering their kit cars under the donor vehicle’s identity, the state DMV in March 2015 adopted Texas Administrative Rule 217.3 (6), which explicitly made any vehicle “designed or determined by the department to be a dune buggy” ineligible for title “regardless of the vehicle’s previous title and/or registration.” The only other vehicles that, as a group, the Texas Administrative Code specifies as ineligible for title are race cars, off-road vehicles, and flooded cars.

Since the DMV sees these cars are solely for off-road use, and lacking in on-road safety, the vehicles exist in a current form of legal limbo.

18 comments; last comment on 11/16/2017
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Singin’ the Four-Barrel Carburetor Blues

Posted November 09, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic auto memories upgrade

“Where will you put that thing? There’s no room on my workbench!”

Dad was angry. This wasn’t the first time I appropriated his “sanctuary,” the only place in our house where he had any privacy or work space.

“It’s leaking gasoline!” he barked. “You’ll set the house on fire.”

My hands ached from holding the heavy, cast-iron intake manifold at waist level. It was for a 1956 Plymouth V8 engine. Bolted on top was my “pride and joy,” a four-barrel carburetor that promised to deliver 20 horsepower. In theory, it would transform my ride into a hotrod.

In practice, it resulted in hours of frustration and taught me a few things about life.

Reminiscing about automotive lessons learned the hard way, on Hemmings.

1 comments; last comment on 11/10/2017
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