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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.

The King Midget Makes a Return, Sort Of, For Its 70th Anniversary

Posted July 28, 2016 12:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic auto DIY kit car

No factory has been constructed. No supplies stockpiled. No new engines developed, not even an LLC formed. Still, an effort to revive the two-seater King Midget will launch next month in conjunction with the American microcar’s 70th anniversary celebrations.

Three members of the International King Midget Car Club who are behind the revival – Bob Vahsholtz, Lee Seats, and Randy Chesnutt – decided to relaunch the Model 2 in a manner entirely consistent with the original ethos of the car: as a set of do-it-yourself plans that any handyman with a drill and a wrench should be able to follow.

A DIY King Midget is the model's only revival.

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Saving Sijan’s Jet

Posted July 27, 2016 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic auto corvette Stingray

Lance Sijan lived an All-American life. Raised in 1950s Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the young Boy Scout and athlete dreamed of one day becoming an Air Force fighter pilot. A star football player, he struggled with academics. But his determination took him to military prep school where he studied hard and was accepted to the Air Force Academy, with the end goal of receiving a commission as an Air Force officer. He would accomplish that, and so much more.

It was 1965, and General Motors had extended a special offer to all the seniors at the Air Force Academy to purchase a hot new Corvette Stingray at a discounted price. Maybe it was good marketing to have America’s finest behind the wheel of GM’s newest sports car – or maybe it was GM’s way of paying it forward, as the conflict in Vietnam loomed heavily in these cadets’ future. Either way, Lance plunked down $3,638.40 of his cadet salary and purchased a beautiful 1965 Roman Red roadster, accomplishing another milestone in every boy’s American Dream.

The story of a true war hero and his lovely ride, on Hemmings Daily.

1 comments; last comment on 07/27/2016
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Ford’s 4 x 4 Forever: 1972 Ford Bronco Brochure

Posted July 26, 2016 1:04 PM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: 4wd brochure classic auto Ford

It was a half-century ago, 1966, when Ford took a chance on creating an International Scout- or Jeep-like on/off road “all-purpose vehicle” that would quickly come to dominate the burgeoning 4 x 4/sport-utility category that took off in the 1970s. This truck was initially available in open-top, no-doors, folding windshield Roadster form, as a pickup-style Sports Utility with doors and roll-up windows, and as a Station Wagon, with a full-length steel roof and opening rear window. The roofs of both the Sport Utility and Station wagon could be removed.

It was powered by a 105 hp, straight-six mated to a three-speed manual with standard four wheel-drive. A 200 hp, V-8 became available in March 1966. The Sports Utility was renamed the Pickup for 1967, while the Station Wagon became the Wagon. A new instrument panel improved interior safety for 1968, the last year the Roadster was offered. Strengthened bodies were used in 1969, the year that upscale “Sport” trim levels were added, while only minor changes appeared in 1970. The famous Bill Stroppe and Associates “Baja Bronco” introduced in 1971 had numerous key modifications to improve its off-road prowess and appearance.

Even today, Ford Broncos remain famous.

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A Different Kind of Inline

Posted July 21, 2016 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic auto Ford modification

“Apple,” as the car was nicknamed by the previous owner, wears a 1960-’61 front fender because of accident damage decades ago. Owner Dillon Merkl retained it because he enjoys the “Frankenstein look.” Images courtesy Dillon Merkl.

You’ve seen that movie, right? Where the exiled American teenager makes his mark on the Tokyo drifting scene with a ‘60s Ford stuffed full of Nissan Skyline engine? Well, this isn’t that Ford and it isn’t that Skyline engine, but it’s the same kind of thing and definitely unusual enough in reality or on the screen that it’s worth taking a closer look at.

Dillon Merkl of Brooks, Alberta, Canada occasionally likes to exhibit photos of this well patina’d 1962 Ford Falcon Deluxe in the Ford Falcon Owners Group on Facebook. The intake protruding through the grille usually raises some eyebrows and questions ensue. Sadly, the presence of a Nissan engine instead of a 302 means a lot of interest drops off amongst the hardcore Fordophiles, but those with open minds never fail to be impressed by the swap from a 2.3-liter OHV six making 85 gross horsepower to a 2.5-liter DOHC six making 250 horsepower, net, in stock tune.

A Frankenstein patina gets its 15 minutes of fame.

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Sole (Known) Survivor – the 1973 Motion Manta Ray

Posted July 20, 2016 9:00 AM by dstrohl

By 1973, the golden age of the American muscle car had come to an inglorious end. On New York’s Long Island, Baldwin Chevrolet had changed hands and was largely out of the modified new car business, but Motion Performance soldiered on, creating one last radically styled Corvette in the form of the Motion Manta Ray. Just three examples were built in total, of which one was crashed when new and one was later lost to history. That makes the 1973 Motion Manta Ray seen here the last known example of its kind, and on Saturday, July 23, it will cross the auction stage in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Motion’s experience in modifying Corvettes began with the Phase III GT, which swapped the third-generation Corvette’s pop-up headlamps for exposed units, tucked into the fenders and fitted with aerodynamic covers a la classic Italian sports and racing cars. Other exterior changes included a revised front bumper and fascia, fender flares, side “gills” and new taillamps, but overall, the car’s appearance was subtle. Performance-wise, a customer was only limited by the size of the check he was willing to write.

A special edition of an already special car goes up for sale.

1 comments; last comment on 07/20/2016
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