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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.

Petition asks the Federal Government to Drop 25-year Import Rule to 10 Years

Posted December 08, 2016 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: auto classic auto import Petition

With every passing year, another crop of 25-year-old cars becomes eligible for unrestricted import into the United States, but a petition started earlier this week aims to change that cutoff to allow far more cars never sold here to set tire on our shores.

The petition on the White House’s We The People site asks the government to reduce the rolling model year cutoff down to 10 years, though the petition’s creator, B.R., offered only a breezy rationale for the request. “Instead of buying a new car which is a waste of materials we can use older cars and have fun driving which is a form of recycling that is fun,” B.R. wrote.

The request is not without precedent, however. Similar petitions have been floated in 2011, 2013, and 2014, though those have requested the rule be reduced to 15 years, not 10. None of those previous petitions gathered the required number of signatures.

Is 2017 the year the import ban length gets shortened?

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This or That: 1966 Mercury Comet Cyclone GT Versus 1967 Mercury Comet 202

Posted December 07, 2016 9:00 AM by dstrohl

Thus far we’ve paired cars from opposing brands. However, this week we thought we would mix things up a bit by putting a 1966 Mercury Comet Cyclone GT up against a 1967 Mercury Comet 202. Why a muscle car versus a base model your cheap uncle would have bought?

Let’s first take a brief look at the 1966 Cyclone GT. The Cyclone moniker made its debut in 1964 as the performance trim level of the Comet. At the time, the chassis was still based on the Falcon design, although Comet’s extra length gave the body more visual presence. Flash forward to 1966, when the Comet’s redesign adopted true intermediate proportions borrowed from the Ford Fairlane, including its basic body shell. The Cyclone continued as Comet’s performance sub-series, complete with chromed wheels, checkered flag badges, its own grille and dual pinstripes, as well as a 200-hp 289 under the hood (which could have been swapped for a 265- or 275-hp 390). But for those who wanted better performance from their upscale FoMoCo division, there was the new-for-1966 Cyclone GT, available only in hardtop or convertible body styles. The $452 GT package provided — as standard equipment — a 335-hp four-barrel carbureted 390, non-functioning twin-scoop fiberglass GT hood, dual exhaust system, engine dress-up kit, heavy-duty suspension and front disc brakes, “console transmission controls” (three-speed manual was standard; a four-speed manual and an automatic were optional), and GT side stripes. Chrome wheels were included, too (our former feature car wore aftermarket wheels at the time of the photo shoot).

So, what are the superlatives of the Mercury Comet 202?

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Calamity Jane’s Baby Sister – 1957 S-120 International Civil Defense Rescue Vehicle

Posted December 06, 2016 9:00 AM by dstrohl

After Tim Havens brought his 1957 S-120 International Civil Defense Rescue Vehicle to our August 18 Cruise-In and drove off with Favorite Truck honors, we had to know more. So we tracked him down in Hudson Falls and got him to give us all the details, complete with photos of this carefully restored Cold War relic, inside and out.

“The Cold War is kind of a mysterious part of my life,” Tim told us. “The Air Raid Warnings and Duck and Cover are very interesting to me because I lived through it. It was a very scary time – when one of those Emergency Broadcasting things came on the television, I would be scared to death.”

Tim, now 54, grew up and built Falls Farm and Garden Equipment Inc. where he sells and services John Deere machinery, among other things. His knowledge and passion for agricultural equipment and trucks runs deep, so it’s not surprising that he still holds a candle for that American Independent that once built both — International Harvester.

This Cold War-era civil defense vehicle gets the Hemmings seal of approval.

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Ethanol-Free Gasoline Spared in Latest EPA Ruling, Though Its Days May Be Numbered

Posted December 05, 2016 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: EPA ethanol gasoline legislation

Despite worries that the Environmental Protection Agency would put an end to ethanol-free gasoline sales with its Renewable Fuels Standard ruling for 2017, the agency permitted E0 a reprieve at the same time it declared its intention to transition the entire nation’s fuel supply to E10 and above.

While the EPA has no say on the exact proportions of E0, E10, E15, E85, and other ethanol-blended fuels that make up the country’s fuel supply, it does set forth the total amounts of ethanol to be blended into the fuel supply, and in its final numbers for 2017, released last week, the agency increased that total amount to 19.28 billion gallons.

Part of the agency’s reasoning for that total amount came from its expectation that demand for ethanol-free gasoline in the coming year would amount to just 200 million gallons, largely driven by recreational boaters. While the EPA made no direct reference to the concerns of old car enthusiasts in its ruling, it did address those concerns in its official response to public comments on its ethanol policies.

The EPA-ethanol fight drags on...

9 comments; last comment on 12/08/2016
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Beyond El Malecon, Part 3: a Car Show in Cuba

Posted December 01, 2016 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic autos Cuba gallery

Over the last couple of years, the AACA has organized at least a couple “Taillight Diplomacy” trips to Cuba with pretty much the same aim as the posts we’ve been assembling that show Cuba’s current automotive landscape: To document the cars as they have evolved over the last 50-plus years in the absence of restoration and maintenance parts from the United States. Reader Gordon Rinschler took part in one of those trips earlier this year and brought back this set of photos.

“One of the highlights was judging a local car show!” Gordon wrote. “The car show (Amigos de Fangio) was a regular affair in downtown Havana, across from the iconic Hotel Nacional. It honors Juan Fangio. There were cars, motorcycles, and Whizzers.”

See the photos of the few of Cuban classic cars that are unblemished and showorthy.

1 comments; last comment on 12/01/2016
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