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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

1963 Ford Falcon Sprint V8 Convertible

Before there was a Mustang, if you wanted a sporty small car there was a great choice in the Falcon Sprint. With Fords legendary 260 V8 and later the 289 available in either a Coupe or a Convertible. There were the usual option choices and it shows you how people though of this car by the number of 4 speed cars sold. In case you do not know the 64 Mustangs underpinnings came from the Falcon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

2013 Hyundai Sonata In Detail

Published on Jul 25, 2012 by Miguel Caparros Many of you are not aware that Hyundai first came to the US market in 1986 with a model named the Exel. It was not. The only car worse was the Yugo. Both the Yugo and the Hyundai were aimed at the bottom of the market, first time buyers, people with little or no credit, buyers that for the first time wanted to buy a new car instead of a 7 year old used car. Some think that they would have been better off with the used car. With a price of $4,995 and not looking cheap while on the showroom floor, the cars were flying out the door, The closest Made In the USA car was the Chevrolet Chevette at $5,645. The unfortunate thing was that the brand became synonymous as a poor persons car. Lets face it, no matter how inexpensive the labor was then in Korea, to build a product and send it 1/2 way around the globe and sell it for $600.00 less than the least expensive North American car, something has to give. That is enough on the history. In 2009 Hyundai opened up the wallet and hired key European BMW people to turn the image of reliable but boring, to the cars that are now at the top of style and reliability. What should make the competition even more nervous is the fact that with Hyundai's growth, they are attracting top designers such as Chris Chapman. Chris has been in the industry for 22 years and after leaving BMW, now stands to lead Hyundai's design center in Irvine, California to bold new heights. The Sonata was the first product of the reformatted Hyundai line up. The new Sonata SE $23,345 MSRP does not have to make any apologies. This is now a world class car, the direction that Hyundai is taking has served notice that even Mercedes better pay attention. We had the Sonata for a 5 day weekend that found us driving to Florida to visit friends and family. The 198 HP engine felt a little soft on take off but it came alive the higher it revved. The 6-speed automatic transmission gives you the option of manual shifting when you are enjoying your favorite twisty road, The SE Sonata comes with everything you need. Here is the equipment list for the SE 198-hp 2.4L GDI 4-cylinder engine 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC® Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control System (TCS) and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Brake Assist (BA) Daytime running lights Power door locks, windows and outside mirrors Remote keyless entry and alarm Six airbags - includes driver and front passenger, front seat side-mounted and front and rear curtain airbags Tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel with audio and cruise control functions Blue Link® telematics system Bluetooth® hands-free phone system Pod® / USB and MP3 auxiliary input jacks Advanced trip computer with custom settings On the highway the tall 6th gear gave relaxed cruising by providing relaxed engine RPM's. The slippery shape contributed to low wind noise and fantastic gas mileage. One leg of I 75 for 200 miles we averaged 40 mpg! The 1500 mile trip including cruising South Beach and dealing with Atlanta traffic returned and average of 33 mpg Category: Autos & Vehicles License: Standard YouTube License

1956 Studebaker SkyHawk

Studebaker buyers were different. Early on to appease their customers Studebaker added features such as the over head valve V8 in 1947, padded dash, seat belts, at the same time they took a very aero look to their cars including a very spacy bullet nose. In 1953 they stunned the automotive world with Studebaker Commander Coupe. Maybe too shocking for the average buyer. The low and wide cars were a generation ahead of the rest of the industry  The low swooping nose with twin snorkels was unlike anything else, the roof line was a  good 8 inches lower than everyone else. The performance abilities of the Lowey designed car was amazing for a, first 239 CID engine and got more so when they opened it up to 289 cid..The big cast iron block was wide and heavy but extremely durable As they found out when they made the Paxton Supercharger an option.

The Hawk series was an interesting departure of the ultimate coupe the 1955 President Coupe ( See the Video ). The stand up Mercedes grill of the Hawk is due to Studebakers marketing partnership with Mercedes Benz, with the hope that they could sell more cars. The Hawk line was almost a complete separate brand. Starting with Golden Hawk - Sky Hawk - Power Hawk - Flight Hawk - Silver Hawk  - Hawk - GT Hawk and the Packard Hawk that was powered by a completely different 352 CID V8.

The Studebaker Sky Hawk was a pillarless two-door hardtop coupe for the 1956 model year only. The Sky Hawk was considered part of the Studebaker President series. One of four models of Hawks available that year, the Sky Hawk was positioned between the flagship Golden Hawk and Power Hawk pillared coupe. Sky Hawks differed from Golden Hawks in that they had less chrome trim and lacked the Golden Hawk's fins. They also had slightly less luxurious interiors, and were powered by the President's 289 cubic inch V-8 with 210 HP standard and 225 horsepower optional instead of the Packard 352 of the Golden Hawk. Only 3,050 were produced that year. The Sky Hawk was discontinued for the 1957 model year. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

1958 Corvette, Chevrolets 56 T bird That Hauled Ass.

By Miguel Caparros

Before you send me a nasty note please read this. I was never much of a TBird fan. I was much more of a Corvette kind of guy.. I bought a basket case 58 Corvette, much like the one in this video. I hot rodded it with factory parts, Duntov cam and lifters ported fuelly heads,M22 tans etc. I replaced every bushing and bearing, Put in big sway bars front and rear, New hand rubbed paint polished all the stainless steel parts and rechromed all the rest of the shiny bits. All new proper interior. Those of you that know the cars I build understand it was with out compromise to quality. The interior was the last thing done and when the car came back from the upholstery shop  I reached in to push the seat back and found that was as far as it went. I wormed my way in and I was miserable.The steering was to close even with it all the way forward the back of the seats was bolt upright and my size 12 EE's were not happy either.  I could drive it but I could not live with it.  Fast forward to 7 years ago when my friend Rick asked me to help him with a 1956 T Bird survivor with 54,000 original miles. We spent 2 years doing a preservation to keep as much of the original car but still make it so it could serve as a standard and win shows.

The first time I got in to drive it I flashed back to the 58 Corvette, another car I do not fit in. When I stopped and thought about it, the things that it had in common were the styling touches even thought they are completely different, The 58 Corvette had more chrome and polished stainless that any Corvette before or after. The 56 Tbird was the same it had more than the 55 or the 57. Hopefully this will give you some insight into my twisted mind. If you want to see the video of the 56 Tbird here is the link. The 1956 T bird

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Morgan Three Wheeler

Story Photos and Video by Miguel Caparros

The company was founded in 1910 by Harry Frederick Stanley Morgan, generally known as "HFS" and was run by him until he died in 1959. Then Peter Morgan, son of H.F.S., ran the company until a few years before his death in 2003. The company is currently run by Charles Morgan, the son of Peter Morgan. 

 The Three-Wheeler. One of the first mass market vehicles at the start of the 20th Century, this Morgan Three-wheeler was by far the best and most successful of what was a separate category of motor vehicle, the "Cyclecar". Morgan's simple and well designed and brilliantly engineered vehicle was the one to have. 

This was a car that is completely , and screams British! Who needs weather protection in Europe's wettest climate.  At first there was not much in the way of a transmission, the three speed transmission driving the one rear wheel of this 1932 example was known as the "Cats Whiskers".