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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.

Original Originals

Posted November 27, 2014 8:00 AM by dstrohl

(Editor's note: This first appeared, in modified form, in the April 2007 issues of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car. It's still sound advice, which is why we're reprinting it here.)

There seems to be some real confusion among many people in the collector-car hobby as to what makes an original car original.

Webster's definition of the word original is, "An authentic work of art, literature, or the like, as distinguished from a copy or reproduction."

The key word there, of course, is authentic, which in and of itself means, "Having an undisputed origin; genuine."

Yet the definition of the word genuine sums it up best, "Actually possessing or produced by the alleged or apparent attribute, character, or source; not artificial."

The word artificial means, "Made in imitation of something natural."

Now that we have a clear understanding of the meaning of the word original and its associated terminology, let's apply it to old cars.

Read the rest of this entry on Hemmings Daily.

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“There’s a very fine line between unique and strange."

Posted November 26, 2014 8:30 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: amc design Marlin rambler

"I have a saying that I've stuck with as a designer," said retired AMC and Chrysler designer Vince Geraci. "There's a fine line between unique and strange. In the styling world, you want to be unique, but you don't want to cross over to strange. I think the Marlin, for its time, was unique."

Geraci would know. During his 28 years at AMC, he had a hand in designing both the Gremlin and Pacer - two vehicles that straddled, if not crossed, that fine line - as well as the fastback Marlin, a car that, despite some shortsighted decisions and meddling from AMC management, still caught the eye of a small legion of fans. Those fans are now planning a 50th birthday celebration for the unique Marlin, a celebration that will honor Geraci for his involvement in the car's development.

See what makes a Marlin on Hemmings.

2 comments; last comment on 11/26/2014
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What's That Smell?

Posted November 25, 2014 9:30 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: garage repair restoration smell

Over the last 29 years, it's happened more times than I can count. The second I spray degreaser, carburetor cleaner, primer, paint or anything else that has any real or perceived odor, my wife Linda is at the garage door saying, "What's that chemical smell?" I swear it's gotten to the point where she arrives before I pop off the cap, like she already read my mind and knows my intentions.

To her credit, when she makes the comment, I assure her I have proper ventilation and that it will dissipate soon and she is satisfied. These meetings were more infrequent when we lived in a house with no garage and I was doing everything outside, well away from the front door. But now the garage is part of the house (don't mistake this for complaining, as working in an attached garage after nearly 20 years of working outside on the ground is a dream come true), so those fragrant fumes from the aerosol cans reach the wife's nose in record time. As a result, I have to be even more careful than before.

So, what's that smell?

12 comments; last comment on 11/27/2014
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What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

Posted November 24, 2014 12:00 PM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic auto favorite preferences

All of us have our favorite cars-cars we've known, cars we've owned, cars we've loved, cars we wish we could own. But what were the most influential cars in your life, good or bad, and why? What cars shaped your outlook on things automotive? My list is below. What's yours?

See the list on Hemmings.

26 comments; last comment on 11/26/2014
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Wish You Could Buy a Modern Dodge Power Wagon? Wish No More.

Posted November 20, 2014 8:30 AM by dstrohl

Few trucks highlighted in our daily Find of the Day piece receive the same amount of commentary as vintage Dodge Power Wagons, which appear in our classifieds on a somewhat regular basis. Perhaps it's the rugged good looks of the WM series, which carried on with World War II styling from 1945 until safety and emission regulations killed the truck for good in 1968. Now, thanks to Legacy Classic Trucks in Driggs, Idaho, the Power Wagon has been reborn for a new age, and is available in two-door, four-door or Carryall (SUV) variants.

To be clear, Legacy isn't building new Power Wagons from the ground up, although given how much work goes into producing one of its trucks, it would be hard to tell the difference. Beginning with a clean Carryall WC-53 or pickup donor, (which can be sourced by Legacy or provided by a customer), the firm performs a body-off-frame restoration and then begins reassembling the truck with modern mechanicals and interior appointments, many of which can be chosen by prospective buyers during the ordering process.

See current Power Wagons in their prime on Hemmings.

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Did You Ever Buy a Vintage Car Part Without Even Knowing What Car it Came From?

Posted November 19, 2014 8:30 AM by dstrohl

If you answered "yes" to this question, then you've got it bad, my friend. And as you may have guessed, I wouldn't have asked had I not done it myself-more times than I care to admit.

Some vintage parts are so imaginatively designed that I like to have them just for display, which is good because they don't have to work. Even if they are primarily used as paperweights on my desk (remember when we actually used paper?) or are placed on a shelf, I still get to look at them on a daily basis and appreciate their craftsmanship. I call them UFOCPs: Unidentified Fascinating Old Car Parts.

My favorites include factory gauges. As some of you know from reading my past articles in HMN I have an affinity for vacuum/economy gauges, regardless of the year or model in which they were factory installed. Tachs and clocks are also fun to have and stare at, but the former have grown especially expensive.

What parts instigate buyer's remorse?

1 comments; last comment on 11/19/2014
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