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.

Recovered After Four-Plus Decades, Stolen 1972 Corvette May Not Return to its Original Owner

Posted February 27, 2015 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: car theft classic auto corvette

In 1972, a young Terry Dietrich of DeKalb County, Georgia, purchased a new Corvette coupe, a car she still refers to as her first love. It was blue, with a T-top roof, and just six months after bringing the car home from the dealer, it was stolen from the parking lot of her employer. Forty-two-plus years later, the car has been recovered by police, but there's still a good chance it won't find its way back to Terry's driveway.

When police arrived to take her statement in 1972, investigating officers told Terry to prepare for the worst. Her Corvette, they advised, had probably been parted out already, its frame dumped unceremoniously in the Chattahoochee River. For over 40 years the car's disappearance remained an unsolved mystery, though Terry's insurer, Allstate, had long since paid the claim for the car's theft.

After 40 years abroad, why can't this classic 'Vette go home?

2 comments; last comment on 02/28/2015
View/add comments

One-Off Buick Blackhawk Show Car Could Fetch Up to $450,000 at Auction

Posted February 26, 2015 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: auction buick classic auto unique

Any resemblance to the Y-Job is purely intentional. Yet while the original Buick dream car will likely remain in GM's possession as long as there's a GM to possess it, the 2003 Buick Blackhawk show car that took general inspiration, if not specific styling cues, from the Y-Job will come up for auction later this year.

Conceived to celebrate Buick's centennial, the Blackhawk showcases an amalgam of parts from throughout Buick's history, all blended together in a 2+2 convertible body. Michael E. Doble, then Buick's special vehicles manager, came up with the idea of a centennial car, but he didn't have it done in house. Instead, he turned to Steven Pasteiner, a consulting designer with Advanced Automotive Technologies in Rochester Hills, Michigan, as well as a former Buick designer. According to Gizmag, Pasteiner's association with Buick stretched back to the 1960s and included designs for the production GS as well as for several concept cars.

This super rare Buick is quite a concept.

Add a comment

The Chevrolet Camaro's Horsepower History

Posted February 25, 2015 9:30 AM by dstrohl

Excluding its seven-year absence from 2003 through 2009, the Chevrolet Camaro has been a muscle car staple since its debut in 1967. It's not uncommon to hear how today's production cars can't hold a candle to the muscle cars of yore, but a new chart from GM, graphing the production Camaro's horsepower across the generations paints something of a different story, while illustrating the evolution of technology (and consumer tastes) over five decades.

When the Camaro debuted in 1967, its base inline six-cylinder engine produced 140 horsepower while the best available 396-cu.in. V-8 version made 375 horsepower. Both figures are rated in SAE gross horsepower, which was, perhaps, a bit misleading to consumers. Measured under laboratory conditions, with ideal tuning and no parasitic loss (from features like power steering pumps, A/C compressors, water pumps, alternators and fan clutches), SAE gross ratings may have portrayed what an engine was capable of, but certainly not what it actually produced in the real world.

How does your Camaro's hp rank against its brethren?

Add a comment

Remember When Oldsmobile Embraced the Diesel Engine?

Posted February 24, 2015 10:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: diesel fuel economy oldsmobile

As the 1970s came to a close, automakers were faced with ever-stricter emission regulations on gasoline engines. Thinking outside the box, GM tasked its Oldsmobile division with creating a range of diesel engines that would be immune from gasoline emission standards, while delivering the performance and fuel economy that consumers wanted. On paper, it seemed brilliant; in execution, however, it was anything but.

The first Oldsmobile diesels arrived for the 1978 model year, and they carried a modified version of the brand's 5.7-liter (350-cu.in.) V-8. By 1979, the year of this magazine ad, the division had increased its oil-burning options to include the 4.3-liter (261-cu.in.) V-8 as well, offering diesel engines in a whopping 19 Oldsmobile models.

See for yourself, diesel engines in passenger autos isn't a new idea.

11 comments; last comment on 02/26/2015
View/add comments

Rats! Chevrolet’s Mark IV Big-Block V-8 Turns 50

Posted February 23, 2015 10:45 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: big block chevrolet classic auto V8

Larger automobile engines have been built. Smaller engines have made more horsepower. A variety of other engines have won more races. Yet few V-8s have offered massive displacement to performance-hungry hordes and taken on such legendary status like the Chevrolet Mark IV big-block V-8 has. Fifty years after its introduction, the big-block remains as well respected as ever and worth a look at what made it more than just a supersized version of the ubiquitous small-block.

Used to seeing 409s and their distinctive rocker arm covers power Chevrolets around stock-car racing tracks for the previous few years, everybody in attendance at the 1963 Daytona 500 had to wonder just what Junior Johnson and a few other Chevrolet racers had under their hoods, propelling them to speeds of up to 165 MPH. It didn't help much that the Chevrolet racers called it a Mystery Motor and left it at that. As it turned out, though the engine looked nothing like a 409 or any other W-series V-8, it shared a basic bottom-end design and bore centers (though not the overall block design) with the first-generation Chevrolet big-block and had been designed as an evolution of the she's-so-fine engine. Dubbed the Mark II, it came in at 427 cubic inches and introduced a canted-valve cylinder head that helped the engine breathe better and that moved the wedge-shaped combustion chamber from the cylinder chamber (as in the 409) to the cylinder head. It also did away with the angled deck of the W-series V-8 and made the deck perpendicular to the bores.

This Big Block still has it. See it on Hemmings.

2 comments; last comment on 02/26/2015
View/add comments

Frank Sinatra Gave a 1986 Chrysler K-Limo to His Housekeeper, Who’s Now Putting it Up for Auction

Posted February 12, 2015 9:30 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: auction Chrysler limo Sinatra

It's no Dual Ghia, but it'll do. In 1995, at 80 years old, Frank Sinatra had finally retired. He played his last public concert the year before, released his last album the year before that, and Hollywood was falling all over itself to laud him. And with his health failing and his family gearing up for a fight over his fortune, he made sure that his long-time housekeeper at least got something for her service: a 1986 Chrysler Executive limousine that will head to auction later this month.

Though he owned a variety of cars over the years, Sinatra seemed to always return to Chrysler - or, at least, Chrysler-powered - products. Such was the case in 1980, when he accepted Lee Iacocca's invitation to not only help launch the resurrected Imperial with an ad campaign and even some new songs written just for the campaign, but also a special FS edition of the Imperial, one that featured special blue paint and a leather-upholstered carrying case for the 16 Sinatra cassettes that came with the car. Iacocca reportedly gifted Sinatra with the first of the FS edition Imperials as well as a 1982 Imperial limousine.

Why did Sinatra have a thing for Chrysler?

Add a comment


Previous in Blog: Oldsmobile’s Complimentary Cassette Tape: a 99-Cent Time Machine  
Show all Blog Entries in this Blog

Advertisement