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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.

N.Y. Startup Breaks Ground with an Off-Roading EV

Posted August 16, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: electric vehicle ev off-road

In July, New York State-based Bollinger Motors revealed an all-electric sport utility vehicle that promises serious off-roading capabilities.

At first glance, the Bollinger B1 looks like a prototype for the first-generation International Scout or Land Rover Series 1, but below the exposed rivets there’s four-wheel independent hydro-pneumatic suspension offering 10 inches of wheel travel and adjustable ride height for up to 15.5 inches of ground clearance.

Could this be the first mainstream off-road EV?

5 comments; last comment on 08/16/2017
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Open Diff: What to Wear?

Posted August 15, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic auto clothing driving

A few weekends ago, when I got suited up to help campaign my club’s car on the beach at The Race of Gentlemen in Wildwood, New Jersey, I pulled on a vintage-style knit racing jersey; baggy pants; tall, lace-up leather boots of the kind worn in World War I by motorcyclists and aviators; and classic driving goggles.

On the beach, people kept coming up to ask me where I had gotten this or that item… The jersey was handmade by Jill Smith of Hometown Jersey of Joshua Tree, California; the boots, by Tom Mattimore of Mattimore Harness in Laramie, Wyoming; and not to sound too much like a red-carpet fashion plate, my goggles were made by the historic French eyewear manufacturer Jeantet.

Why for classic auto enthusiasts, its not a costume, rather is driving gear!

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Mazda Japan Enters the MX-5 Miata Restoration Business

Posted August 10, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: japan mazda Miata restoration

From its 1989 debut through its 1997 end of production, Mazda built over 400,000 first-generation (NA, in Mazda-speak) MX-5 Miatas. Japan, where the model is known as the Eunos Roadster (or simply Roadster), accounted for sales of around 120,000 NA Miatas, and of these, roughly 23,000 are still on the road. Thanks to the efforts of passionate owners, Mazda Motors Corporation in Japan will soon begin a restoration program for NA Miatas, and is also lobbying suppliers to put a variety of OEM parts back into production.

As Japanese Nostalgic Car reports, the OEM spares available initially will include the Bridgestone SF-325 tires in the stock 185/60R14 size, the Nardi wooden steering wheel and gearshift knob, and the original vinyl soft top. Other announcements on parts availability are expected to come before the program officially kicks off in early 2018, though it isn’t clear if these items will be available to export customers.

Mazda continues to be one of the most customer-focused automakers, even if they don't have the engineering of the big manufacturers.

3 comments; last comment on 08/16/2017
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Crackdown on Asbestos Essentially Halts Collector Car Exports to Australia

Posted August 09, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: Australia classic auto import

Renewed enforcement of Australia’s total ban on asbestos-containing imports has led to enhanced scrutiny of collector cars entering the country and reportedly caused collector car enthusiasts there to stop importing older cars altogether.

Issued last month, the Australian Border Force’s notice No. 2017/21 warns importers that the agency takes a hardline stance on enforcement of the country’s ban on manufacture, use, and importation of asbestos or asbestos-containing materials, enacted December 31, 2003. Specifically, the agency notes that it conducts risk assessment of everything imported into the country, regardless of whether the importer declares to customs that what they’re importing doesn’t contain asbestos, and that importers must know – “back to the point of manufacture” – whether their goods contain asbestos.

The move cripples the flow of classic autos into Australia and hurts a thriving culture down under.

11 comments; last comment on 08/15/2017
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Brooks Stevens’ Die Valkyrie Becomes Publicly Available for the First Time

Posted August 08, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: auction classic auto V8

No coincidence that the nose of Brooks Stevens’ Die Valkyrie concept car not only had the shape of a giant V but also a smaller V-8 emblem within the V: He wanted to make sure the first car he designed specifically for European car shows unmistakably announced its American V-8 powerplant. While it thoroughly impressed European showgoers, that big V and the car attached to it will soon get its first chance to impress the American collector car market as it heads to auction.

“He knew that one of the high points of the American market was its V-8s, as opposed to all the four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines in Europe at the time,” seller Joe Bortz said. “So he wanted to put it in their face.”

While Stevens considered himself a “self-styled aristocrat,” in the words of biographer Glenn Adamson, up until the mid-1950s the Milwaukee-based designer’s work almost exclusively focused on baseball-and-apple-pie American brands: Miller beer, Harley-Davidson, and the postwar Willys Jeep. However, according to Adamson’s “Industrial Strength Design: How Brooks Stevens Shaped Your World,” his work as a consultant for Alfa Romeo’s 1800 Sprint Series earlier in the decade got him to think beyond American shores.

Well that big V is now ready for the right person with the right money.

1 comments; last comment on 08/08/2017
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