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ThisCarMatters (@thiscarmatters) — Cars and trucks with cool history. See also at drivehistory.org and youtube ThisCarMattersFilms from the Historic Vehicle Assoc. (HVA)
actually ... "this truck matters" because it's a rare all stock, as delivered 1991 GMC Syclone with only 5,315 miles clocked when we saw it this morning at Katie's Cars and Coffee in Great Falls, VA. If you don't know about these trucks your in for a treat. The Syclone was arguably the first "super truck" - a truck with super car performance specs that literally blew the doors off everything sold in the US back in 1991. Ferrari 348 - toast. 911 C2 - toast. Zero to 60 in under 5 seconds ... some said 4.3 others 4.5 ... but that's splitting hairs - it was fast - crazy fast. Under the hood is a 4.3 liter, 32 valve V6 turbo that puts out 280 hp with full-time four-wheel wheel and ABS (the 1st time in a truck). The tranny is the same 4-speed automatic 700R4 used on the C4 Corvette. What's cool about this Syclone is that it is pure stock - just the way it left Capital GMC in Richmond (VA) when its first owner, famed hot rodder, Willie Glass took delivery. Willie had it until he passed away (may he rest in peace) in 2012. The current owner purchased it from his estate and has been a true steward maintaining it just as it was. It even has its original (and ultra rare) Firestone Firehawk SVX tires! So if didn't know much about these trucks have some fun finding out more. If you need a bit more encouragement you should know Leno bought one new and used it as his daily driver - and still loves it. Only 2995 were made in 1991 - with not many left. #thistruckmatters#thiscarmatters#historicvehicle#syclone#leno#GMCtruck#GMCSonoma#typhoon#katiescarsandcoffee
because it's a 1982 Subaru BRAT (Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transport). These cars where designed specifically for the US market. Cars? ... That's right, the two jump seats in the back enabled Subaru to claim this sporty 4x4 pickup was a "car" to avoid stiff import tariffs on trucks from Japan. The BRAT model was introduced in 1978. This is a second generation model. It features a 1.8 liter flat-4 engine that stock puts out 73 hp. The BRAT has some unusual standard features including the carpeted bed, concealed step on each side behind the 4wheel drive trap door, well designed no leak T-top, a concealed pop-open headlamp in the middle of the grille. This particular example has a mild lift and rare 14" period after-market rims. The roll-bar is genuine Subaru and topped with period type KC smiley HiLites. The extra bumper bars where created by the first owner and installed in period. It's a beautiful rust free example that recently received fresh paint in its period color. A second gold color decal will be added soon to complete the look. Reagan owned a first generation model for use on his ranch near Santa Barbara. Great built for America story and wonderful to see such a rare authentic example out at Katie's Cars & Coffee in Great Falls Virginia this morning. Best of all this BRAT is 227,000 miles young and one of the most unusual "cars" of all time. #historicvehicle#thiscarmatters
because in 2016 FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) celebrates the Jeep 75th Anniversary. We know what your saying - "Hey, wait a minute wasn't there a Jeep 75th anniversary celebration last year - in 2015?" Here's the story ... American Bantam built the first "jeep" pilot (prototype) for the US Army in September 1940 and started a production of 70 later in the year. The 75th anniversary of the Bantam was celebrated in Butler, PA last year (2015). Willys and Ford built their pilot (prototype) models for the US Army in late 1940 (Nov). The photo above is of the Ford "Pygmy" pilot (G.P. - No. 1) being tested in December 1940 ... it's still around and is America's oldest "jeep." The Bantam and Willys prototypes did not survive. Willys started "production" of their version of the "jeep" in 1941. Willys (pronounced "willis" btw) trademarked the Jeep name after WWII and developed the brand. The Jeep brand celebrates the "production" of the Willys (not the creation of their pilot model). Today the Jeep brand is owned by FCA. So Happy New Year and Happy 75th to Jeep and FCA! The Historic Vehicle Association documented the Ford "Pygmy" Pilot G.P. - No. 1 "America's oldest jeep" as the eighth vehicle on the National Historic Vehicle Register and Historic American Engineering Record archived in the Library of Congress on December 7, 2015. G.P. - No. 1 is owned by the U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum in Huntsville, AL. #historicvehicle#thiscarmatters
because it is the 1915 Ford Model T Touring that the we will start driving today from Detroit to San Francisco for the HVA Road Trip Century celebration. This trip follows the route of Edsel Ford's epic 1915 journey to the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition (PPIE). The photo was taken yesterday at the Henry Ford Estate at Fair Lane in Dearborn, Mich. which was the historic departure point for Edsel Ford's 1915 road trip. Today we will travel from Ford Product Development Truck and Car Show in Dearborn, Mich. to Auburn, Ind. Weather conditions call for rain all day. Tomorrow, Saturday, July 18th we will host a Cars & Coffee event starting at 9:00 am at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum and National Auto and Truck Museum parking lot in Auburn, Ind. Follow us at DriveHistory.org. #drivehistory#roadtripcentury#historicvehicle#ppie100#eefordhouse#ford
because its the 1940 Futurliner No. 10 on the National Mall for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. This was the first time a Futurliner was ever in Washington or at the Capitol. Today is the National Cherry Blossom Parade and GM's Parade of Progress was there to catch the sunrise before heading back to Michigan. In January, Futurliner No. 10 became the first truck on the National Historic Vehicle Register. Thanks to all the Futurliner team, the National Automotive and Truck Museum in Auburn, IN, General Motors Heritage Center, Hagerty, the Washington Auto Show and Douglas Development for making this historic trek possible. #thistruckmatters Historic Vehicle Assoc. (HVA) #drivehistory#gm#generalmotors#futurliner#douglasdevelopment#hva#washingtonmonument#dc#natmus#historicvehicle
because it is the first "Super-Sport" ... an "SS" ... produced by General Motors. This 1922 Oldsmobile Model 47 Super-Sport was the first car (domestic or foreign) to ever to carry the "super sport" model designation. It features a 233 CID (3.8L) V8, 4 aluminum step plates (instead of running boards), cut glass wind reflectors, spot light and bumpers front and rear. This is the only remaining complete example known to exist. It is now back at the HVA after 4 months of work and running well for the first time in many, many years. She started right up even in 6° temperature. Back in 1922, Ty Cobb (Detroit Tiger HOF) and other sport stars (including a Washington Senator) promoted the Olds Super-Sport. Oldsmobile broke several endurance records with the model. We can't wait until the weather warms up for a long run on some country roads with one of the earliest sports cars made in America. #drivehistory Historic Vehicle Assoc.
because it is the one of the two 1918 Locomobile Series 48 Special Limousines prepared for General Pershing. It features a narrower than typical body and double wides on the rear axle to improve traction on rough terrain. The V-shaped windshield was used because untempered glass on flat windshields cracked at the high speeds achieved by the Locomobile. This was an early adoption of the V-windshield. While the current configuration of the vehicle (restored in the 1970s) shows wire wheels, disc wheels were used in-period to avoid gathering mud in the spokes (according to contemporary reports and photos). A photo of General Pershing is in the upper right panel. He successfully commanded the American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F.) in France in WWI. He was the only U.S. Army officer authorized by Congress to wear six stars, although he never wore more than four. This particular Locomobile is believed to have remained in the U.S. during the war. Our research notes that a Pershing war limousine was displayed extensively in 1920 throughout the U.S. At that time, the recollections of General Pershing's chauffeur Sargent Cesar Santini (lower left) were also published in newspapers and magazines. The vehicle is located at the U.S. Army Center for Military History at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Yesterday, the HVA met with the director and chief curator for the U.S. Army and toured the three year old state-of-the-art facility that is home for over 165,000 smaller artifacts (uniforms, firearms, flags, paintings, etc.) dating back to the 1700s. Larger (macro) artifacts (e.g., vehicles) are at other facilities throughout the United States. The U.S. Army is the only branch of the military without a dedicated museum. A public private partnership is raising the funds to build the U.S. Army museum at Fort Belvoir. Any information on the whereabouts of any other automobiles related to General Pershing would be most appreciated for our National Historic Vehicle Register efforts. Thanks! #drivehistory Historic Vehicle Assoc.
because it is an unrestored one owner 1986 Pontiac Fiero 2m4. This is the 2.5 liter "iron duke" L4 cylinder base model engine with a 5 speed transmission. 1986 was the second model year in a five year run (1984-89). This US Marine bought the car new in Indiana. He drove it just 84,000 miles. It was his first new car. The paint is original and amazingly unblemished. The owner explained that since the body was plastic that it has been essentially "door ding proof" for over 30 years. GM's term for the body panel material was "Enduroflex" which is actually several different types of molded urethane. The engine compartment showed mild patina consistent with its age and good care. Aside from one lost hub cap its all there just as it was delivered new in 1986. According to the owner the car tops out at about 90 mph. With its new tires it cruises comfortably at 70 mph. Of course back in the mid 1980s 55 mph was the top highway speed. Only 9,143 of this model were produced in 1986, probably only very few remain in this well preserved state and even fewer with the priceless memories of a "first new car" owner. We met up yesterday at a cold Katie's Cars & Coffee in Great Falls, Virginia. #drivehistory Historic Vehicle Assoc.
because yesterday we honored Futurliner No. 10 as the first truck documented for the National Historic Vehicle Register and Historic American Engineering Record archived in the Library of Congress. 2015 is the 75th Anniversary of the 1940 construction of the 12 Futurliners. This was the first Futurliner to have been restored to its authentic 1953 - 1956 configuration. The restoration was led by Don Mayton and group of volunteers and supported in part by General Motors. This is the first time a Futurliner ever visited Washington DC. This was also the first press conference held from inside a Futurliner! Presenters were (L to R) Mark Gessler, President, Historic Vehicle Assoc.;Dr. Richard O'Connor, Chief, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service, Heritage Documentation Programs; C. Ford Peatross, Founding Director, Prints and Photography Division, Library of Congress; John Pontius, President, National Automotive & Truck Museum of the United States (owners of the Futurliner No. 10); Greg Wallace, GM Heritage Center and Kevin Reilly, Chairman of the Washington Auto Show. Futurliner No. 10 is on display at the Washington (DC) Auto Show until February 1, 2015. Included in the display are period personal photographs from the Parade of Progress staff members and two Motorama show cars (more on this in our next post). #drivehistory Historic Vehicle Assoc.
because it is the 1940 Futurliner No. 10 that will be recognized as the first truck on the National Historic Vehicle Register during the HVA press conference on Thursday January 22nd at the Washington (DC) Auto Show . Last evening Futurliner No. 10 traveled through the DC streets and arrived at the convention center. The Futureliner is now positioned in place for a week of activities. #drivehistory Historic Vehicle Assoc.
because it is the 1937 A.C. 16/80 Competition Sports that was owned by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1950s. Yesterday we were at FLW's Taliesen West in Scottsdale Arizona to photograph the car for the National Historic Vehicle Register. On Sunday January 11th the HVA recognized its historic significance with a THIS CAR MATTERS award at the Arizona Concours. #drivehistory Historic Vehicle Assoc.
because this is the very last 4 cam Porsche 356 of the more than 700 produced between 1955 and 1965. It is s/n 131753 a 1965 356 C Carrera 2 GS 2000 4 cam Reutter coupé with black leather interior. It was brought to the US in the early 1970s and recently rediscovered and revived in northern Virginia. We were delighted to see it out at Katie's cars and coffee (Great Falls, VA) on a cold December 2014 morning. #drivehistory Historic Vehicle Assoc.
because it's the 1947 Tucker '48 Prototype (Tin Goose). The driver's side rear hub broke on the way to be displayed for the National Historic Vehicle Register and Historic American Engineering Record archived in the Library of Congress. It was within 150 yards of the display area when an old weld on the hub broke. The wheel was tucked up under the fender. This car actually has a habit of creating drama around important presentations. Hours before it's debut in 1947 the rear suspension failed and took heroics to get it back in shape to drive on stage. While not quite as dramatic here it was to be the star if the evening and the 5th car on the National Historic Vehicle Register. It made it with out the unveiling. We gathered in the hotel, spoke about the car, presented the plaque to the Swigart Automobile Museum then went to take a look as the sun was setting. At this point the axel is on a dolly and will be eventually put on the trailer. Crazy Tucker night. #drivehistory Historic Vehicle Assoc. (HVA)
because later today we will recognize the 1947 Tucker '48 Prototype (Tin Goose) as the 5th entry into the National Historic Vehicle Register. It is also recorded for the Historic American Engineering Record archived by the Library of Congress. We have just finished up the THIS CAR MATTERS video with John Tucker, grandson of Preston T. Tucker (photo). That will be shown today and released next week. The engine is the 331 CID 6 cylinder type that was installed in the Tin Goose. These engines were built by Aircooled Motors of Syracuse, NY which was acquired by Tucker Corporation. The "Franklin" engine was originally designed for use in helicopters and was adapted for automotive use with liquid cooling. It is a boxer format with horizontally opposed cylinders. It sits low in the chassis creating a low center of gravity for this innovative automobile. This type engine replaced the in-house designed 589 CID behemoth that required far more time to develop than the company had anticipated. The event today will take place in conjunction with the kick-off of our 3rd National Automotive Heritage Summit outside Washington DC. We're looking forward to spending time over the next several days with the 75 national experts in-town for the event. #drivehistory Historic Vehicle Assoc. (HVA)
because these are the original 1959 Firebird III Experimental (closest) and 1956 Motorama Firebird II Experimental cars. Amazingly futuristic for their time and still seem other-worldly today. The Firebird II was gas-turbine propelled and driven autonomously by a guide wire imbedded in the GM test track. The Firebird III had brakes, steering and throttle controlled by a joystick. This was use of "drive-by-wire" technology decades ahead of today's use in production cars. What we don't get is how these ultra-modern, turbine-propelled space cars got such a cartoonish "firebird." Of course, the second generation Pontiac Firebird hood logo was fierce, seriously fierce! How did the original firebird logo end up so wimpy ... with a flame in its belly that appears to be more like a bad case of indigestion? The Firebirds are on display at the GM Heritage Center. Unfortunately it is not open to the public. #drivehistory Historic Vehicle Assoc. (HVA)
because it's the 1947 Tucker '48 Prototype known as the "Tin Goose." We spent time with this epic automobile earlier this week. It set the world afire when it was unveiled in 1947 and decades later is still stunning. The HVA is documenting this amazing piece of America's automotive heritage for the National Historic Vehicle Register. #drivehistory Historic Vehicle Assoc. (HVA)