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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.

Eighties Icon: 1981 DMC De Lorean Brochure

Posted September 30, 2016 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: brochure classic auto delorean

Few cars are as strongly identified with the 1980s as is the stainless steel-skinned sports car from the De Lorean Motor Company. This Giugiaro-styled two-seater had a turbulent, short production run, and yet, its popularity remains high as ever, 35 years on, to the point that it will soon re-enter production in limited numbers. The DMC De Lorean -note, the production model was never called “De Lorean DMC-12!”- was only built for three model years (1981-’83), and just shy of 9,000 left the Dunmurry factory in Northern Irleand before John Z. DeLorean‘s eponymous company collapsed. This brochure, dating back to the car’s launch, is filled with the promise of a bright, shiny metallic future where beautiful people encounter this stylish wedge in various upscale and impressive settings.

Let this DeLorean brochure take you back in time to the '80s.

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A Three-Figure Muscle Car: Fact or Fiction?

Posted September 29, 2016 9:00 AM by dstrohl

All of us have seen a desirable and intact old car in a barn or, maybe, under an oak tree. Ever dreamed of then getting it for next to nothing?

This is what happened to Darrin Johnson of Goochland County, Virginia. For 10 years, he knew the location of a seemingly well preserved 1971 Plymouth Road Runner, parked under a large oak in another county. Darrin always loved the body style of the second-generation cars, and 1971 had been their first year.

Though the styling has long been controversial among the Mopar faithful, I think Darrin has a discerning eye. There is something undeniably brutal about the fuselage body, stance, and especially the 1971 and 1972 wrap-around chrome front end. The combination screams end-of-era Muscle, one last bong hit before the Malaise Era crept into our driveways. A friend who saw an early photo of the car in this story said that these Road Runners “look like they’re glaring out from under a unibrow.” I am sure that, in the mid-1970s, the Plymouth’s glowering-thug face intimidated many a boy racer when he glanced in the rear-view mirror of his new Camaro, then saw exactly what was riding his 5 MPH, federally mandated bumper.

How this Mopar beauty won over a member of the classic Ford faithful.

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Reminiscing – The Chevrolet Vega Engine Line

Posted September 28, 2016 9:00 AM by dstrohl

When I was 20 years old I was employed as an assembler at the Chevrolet Engine Plant in Tonawanda, New York. I started out working in Plant 1 on the Mark IV assembly line putting in crankshafts in 454-cubic inch V-8 engines. This was in late 1973.

I had been bumped by a higher seniority worker to Plant 4, which built the Chevrolet Vega engine. My first job there was as an inspector on the assembly line just before “hook-up”, which was the job where the pistons were put in the engine block. My second job on the Vega assembly was placing the small Vega engine blocks onto the assembly line. The aluminum blocks weighed only 37 pounds each, and were just picked up by hand off plastic liners on pallets and bolted to the assembly line with a 3/8-inch bolt that was about two inches long. I also learned a few other jobs there as well.

One such job was at the final end of the Vega assembly line where the engines were taken off the line and had to be hung onto an overhead chain line; this line then took the engines to the test area where they were fired up, the timing set and sound bars put against the blocks to listen for any knocks, etc. This end of the line job included screwing a quick disconnect pipe fitting into the block which filled the engines with oil in a very short amount of time – perhaps 15 to 20 seconds each.

This Hemmings reader has a truly unique appreciation for Chevy Vegas.

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From the Toolbox – A Reader-Submitted Parts Question

Posted September 27, 2016 9:30 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: toolbox Tools what is it

It’s been a while since our last From the Toolbox segment, and this one comes to us from reader Dave Wood. Dave is asking for help identifying something that’s more of a part than a tool, but still fits in with the spirit of this series. Dave writes:

"I have a mystery that perhaps you or your readers could solve. It is related to the video you published in your July 17 edition, entitled “Fuel Injection Systems Produced by Rochester Products.” My father worked at that plant during the 1950s & early 1960s on the fuel-injection project when it was being developed. I was a young boy at the time. Many nights he would bring home a handful or more of red aluminum caps for me to play with with my other toys. These caps are about 1/2″ in outside diameter and 5/8″ long. They have an internal thread that I cannot identify (close to imperial 3/8-24 or metric 9mm-1.00 but not quite these thread forms). I always wondered what part they played in the fuel-injection program. Possibly something a GM vendor had threaded on a component to protect it during shipping?"

Terry McGean, Hemmings editor-in-chief and editor of Hemmings Muscle Machines, suggested the caps could have been used on the Schrader valve found on the fuel rail assembly, which is a 4AN fitting. The red anodizing on the caps seems to confirm this as a possibility, though the smooth sides would make them difficult to tighten, and difficult to remove with greasy fingers.

Photographed with a pen to give a sense of scale.

What’s your take? Were they used to protect the Schrader valve during shipping and assembly, before being replaced by a knurled metal cap? Were they used on a different fitting relating to the Rochester fuel injection assembly? Are we completely off base on both theories?

This post originally appeared on Hemmings Daily.

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Hemmings Cinema: Ferrari on Ferrari, the First turbine Chrysler, Dying to be a Hero

Posted September 22, 2016 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: Chrysler Ferrari turbine video

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