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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.

Four Garages, Large and Small, Added to National Register of Historic Places

Posted October 19, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic auto history repair

A curmudgeon’s repair shop. A block-wide maintenance garage for intercity buses that became an FBI crime lab. A small neighborhood gas station. A radiator man’s small complex servicing Route 66 travelers. Rural and urban, abandoned and under renovation, four early-20th-century garages from across the country made the National Register of Historic Places this month, all for their own distinctive reasons.

While the register includes a wide variety of buildings, monuments, entire districts, and even shipwrecks, garages on the list tend to be either large-scale metropolitan parking garages or the birthplaces of some non-automotive innovation. Not often does it turn its spotlight on the smaller mom-n-pop garages that sprang up along and near highways as the automobile became the preferred mode of transportation. As Edson Beall of the National Park Service noted, that’s likely due to the fact that many smaller garages that conduct largely unheralded work (and which usually sit on land of increasing value to developers) tend not to retain much of their original integrity over the years.

“That’s why they’re significant – because they’re still around,” Beall said, noting that the addition of four to the register at once is more of a coincidence than anything. “They’re usually submitted for their architectural value, sometimes for their association with a historical event like the advent of the automobile.”

Garages need national historical recognition too, and we may be seeing even more in coming years.

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The $5,000 Challenge, Lap of Luxury Edition

Posted October 18, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic auto classified luxury

For years, the family car was a sure-fire way to inform the neighbors of a change in status. A tired Rambler may have been tucked away in the garage, out of sight, but the new Buick, Lincoln, or Imperial was proudly displayed in the driveway for all to see. Perhaps it was keeping up with–or one-upping–the Joneses, but for many, maintaining vehicular appearances was a postwar ritual in suburban America.

This $5,000 Challenge focuses on luxury cars–or, in some cases, near-luxury cars, from a range of manufacturers and decades. It isn’t likely that any will outshine the neighbor’s new Lincoln Continental, Cadillac CTS-V, or Lexus GS, but all are decidedly more affordable. Chances are good they’ll attract more attention at the local car show, too, and isn’t admiration an important component of status?

Five luxury classic cars that can be yours for $5K or less, and pristine with a little elbow grease.

1 comments; last comment on 10/19/2017
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Holden to Convert its Last Factory into Heritage Museum

Posted October 17, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl

As Holden prepares to end production in Australia for good later this month, the GM subsidiary has planned a number of ways to remind Australians of all the good times they had, including a Holden-only cruise and the conversion of part of the company’s last factory into a museum.

The Australian carmaker has set October 20 as the last day of production at the company’s Elizabeth, South Australia, factory, after which it will continue to sell re-badged cars built overseas. While the company has decided to forego any public events that day, it will trot out one of its first cars, the 48-215, for the Holden Dream Cruise and a “celebration of Holden’s past, present and future” five days prior to the event.

Patterned loosely after the Woodward Dream Cruise, the Holden event will include a six-mile parade of cars past the Elizabeth factory, entertainment, and a car show. “The Holden Dream Cruise is a chance to celebrate and honour the achievements of Holden’s Australian manufacturing history,” according to the event website.

Less passengers cars are built in Australia today than in the 1960s.

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R.E. Olds Museum Offered Chance to Buy Its Building from Lansing for $2

Posted October 16, 2017 10:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: michigan museum oldsmobile Reo

Kristi Schwartzly still recalls the morning she came to work at the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum to find that a roof leak had flooded the executive director’s office. Nothing in the museum’s collections got soaked, but the incident may very well not have happened if the museum owned the building, something the city may soon arrange for the museum.

“It is a setback to us that the city owns the building,” she said.

However, as the Lansing State Journal reported last week, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero has agreed to sell the building to the museum for $2. The sale is currently pending approval from the city council as well as a 30-day public comment period.

Since its creation in 1979, the museum has leased — for $1 per year — the 25,000-square-foot building on the Grand River from the city. What once served as a municipal bus garage and later fell into a state of “complete disrepair” has since been turned into a space that not only exhibits Oldsmobile and REO vehicles but also celebrates the contributions Ransom Eli Olds has made to the city of Lansing.

Well this namesake auto museum has a generous offer to buy its current homestead, ensuring a future for the beleaguered piece of history.

2 comments; last comment on 10/17/2017
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Petition Aims to Make the Pickup the National Vehicle of the United States

Posted October 12, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl

Here in America, we count the bald eagle as our national bird and baseball as our national pastime. The slot for national vehicle — if there were a slot for national vehicle to begin with — remains unfilled, however, so the backers of a new petition have proposed sanctifying the pickup truck as our national vehicle.

While clearly part of a marketing campaign, the Shell-backed petition started on We the People aims to provide official recognition to all pickups — not just those from a particular brand or even, apparently, those produced in the United States.

“The pickup truck exemplifies America’s resilience and the work it takes to continue to build our communities and support our farms, both which deserve to be recognized,” Megan Pino, a Shell brand manager, said in a press release announcing the petition.

Does the United States need an official vehicle? And if so, is it a Ford, Chevy or Dodge?

11 comments; last comment on 10/16/2017
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