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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.

“The finest sports car the world was ever going to see,” McLaren’s F1 Celebrates its Silver Anniversary

Posted January 12, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl

It began as a conversation between McLaren’s Gordon Murray and Ron Dennis, awaiting a flight home after the 1988 Italian Grand Prix. Four years later, the company best known for building winning race cars produced a road car that Dennis, in William Taylor’s book McLaren – The Cars 1964-2008, described as “…the finest sports car the world had ever seen, but also the finest sports car the world was ever going to see.” Even today, on the eve of its 25th anniversary, the McLaren F1 remains among the most innovative and desirable supercars ever produced.

To call the McLaren team’s performance during the 1988 Formula 1 season “dominating” is something of an understatement. Of the 16 races that comprised the season, McLaren won 15, and likely would have won in Italy, too, had Alain Prost’s engine not developed a mis-fire, and had his teammate Ayrton Senna not been collected, two laps from the finish, by the Williams of Jean-Louis Schlesser. This single-race disappointment aside, McLaren was on a high after a losing 1987 season, making the idea of an ultra-high performance road car seem that much more viable.

The McLaren F1 turns old enough to rent a car...but why ever would it?

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Stanley Black & Decker to Buy Craftsman Brand, Increase Distribution and Domestic Manufacturing

Posted January 11, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: toolbox Tools

In a deal announced Thursday, January 5, Stanley Black & Decker has agreed to purchase the Craftsman brand from Sears Holdings for an initial payment of $525 million, an additional $250 million after three years, and annual payments based upon sales growth through non-Sears channels for the next 15 years. In addition to increasing retail distribution of the brand, Stanley Black & Decker predicts an expansion of domestic manufacturing in order to meet anticipated demand.

Trademarked by Sears in 1927, the Craftsman brand remained an exclusive of the Chicago retailer for decades, but today can be purchased at Kmart (technically, the owner of Sears under Sears Holdings), Ace Hardware, U.S. military exchange stores, Grainger, Orchard Supply Hardware, and other outlets. Renowned for its lifetime warranty on hand tools (with exclusions), the Craftsman brand earned a place in millions of tool chests across the country thanks to a unique blend of value and convenience. Sears itself never manufactured the tools, but instead relied upon a variety of suppliers (including Stanley) to meet its needs.

All we really care about his how this affects tool quality and availability.

14 comments; last comment on 01/12/2017
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UK Racers Claim Controversial EU Ruling Will Kill Motorsports Across Europe

Posted January 10, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: insurance legislation racing UK

A two-year-old European Union high court ruling became the center of controversy in the United Kingdom last month after racers there raised an alarm that the ruling’s unintended consequences could decimate motorsports there and across Europe.

Lambasted for potentially requiring owners and operators of every motorized vehicle from mobility scooters to bumper cars to race cars to obtain liability insurance for their vehicles, the European Court of Justice’s September 2014 ruling in the case of Vnuk v. Triglav (in which a farm worker, injured from a fall off a ladder caused by a tractor, initially found he could not collect an insurance payout from the tractor’s motor vehicle policy) found that the EU’s 2009 Motor Insurance Directive did not clearly distinguish between on-road and off-road use (partly as a result of inadequate translations) and therefore, any motor vehicle – regardless of its use on public or private property – must be insured.

The issue came to light last month after the UK’s Department for Transport initiated a process for merging the Vnuk ruling into UK law. That, in turn, set off a number of condemnations of the Vnuk ruling, including a widely distributed press release from the Motorcycle Industry Association and the Motorsport Industry Association, a petition asking the UK government to refuse to implement the ruling, and criticism from a number of UK officials.

Looks like ALL vehicles, even racecars, will need to be insured going forward.

3 comments; last comment on 01/13/2017
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Down to the Q-Tips and Epsom Salts: Fully Equipped Tempo Matador Reisemobil emerges after 40-plus years in storage

Posted December 29, 2016 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic auto Reisemobile RV

So-called barn finds seem to take place everywhere but a barn these days: Sheds, overstuffed garages, storage units, and even the odd basement have given up automotive treasures as of late. And as we see from the Tempo Matador Reisemobile headed to auction next month, even one of the country’s largest estates can offer up something of interest to the collector car world.

Hibernating in Newport, Rhode Island’s The Breakers New York since 1971, the Reisemobil emerged last year not only fully documented but also fully equipped, down to its original cutlery and curtains. According to the auction description for the Reisemobil, wealthy Hungarian Count Anton Carl Sylvester Szapary commissioned the RV from German coachbuilder and trailer manufacturer Mikafa after seeing another of the firm’s aluminum-bodied creations at the 1959 New York Auto Show.

This retro RV van is up for grabs and expected to fetch more than $100K.

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European Collectors Restricted From Buying Tanks, Other Vintage Military Vehicles

Posted December 28, 2016 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic auto collector military

Under new security measures passed this week in Europe, firearms collectors there – including collectors of tanks and other weapon-toting military vehicles – will face greater scrutiny from authorities in an attempt to crack down on terrorist activity.

The revised European Union’s Firearms Directive, which the European Commission, Parliament, and Council agreed to earlier in December, passed a majority of EU Member States earlier this week with only two countries, the Czech Republic and Luxembourg, opposing it. While the majority of the new regulations in the revised Firearms Directive dealt with tightening regulations on certain non-lethal weapons that could be made lethal, the revisions also explicitly address firearms collectors – previously exempted from the Firearms Directive – as well as deactivated weapons, such as those found on vintage military vehicles.

Specifically according to a European Commission fact sheet on the revisions, the new regulations treat collectors and museums like any other private citizen, which is to say they may not acquire military vehicles (which fall under the Directive’s Category A, the same category as fully automatic weapons) unless individually permitted by their country’s authorities. The new regulations also reclassify deactivated weapons as Category C firearms “subject to declaration to national authorities;” the Firearms Directive did not previously regulate deactivated firearms.

Such a ban will heavily increase the red tape for any classic military auto enthusiast.

7 comments; last comment on 12/30/2016
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