When people think of a Chrysler with wood paneling, of course the Town and Country comes to mind. However, this particular body style rarely is brought up. Loren J. Hulber, however, bucks this trend and was happy to bring this pristine 1948 Sedan to the 2013 Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance. Only 1,175 wood-bodied sedans were produced for 1948 and this was the final year for that body style, making this Chrysler quite rare today. These cars needed hand assembly after the panels were fitted due to the difficulty of the curved frames of the wood. This Sumac Red example features a Highlander plaid finish interior, and won the American Classic Postwar class. Nick and I saw it yet again at the St. Michael’s Concours, where it also won its class. I was happy to see not only two different Town and Country models in the same place, but joyful that the rarer (and very striking) sedan was the award winner instead of the more often-seen convertible variant at this show. Note the unique wood roof rack as well. Enjoy the photos. Read the rest of this entry »
Chrysler’s SRT lineup screams for attention these days. The Challenger SRT appeals to the little kid inside of us, even if it’s not as dynamically capable as the competition. The SRT Viper has the bedroom poster market cornered for the company (even if sales aren’t great right now) and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is a screaming deal. Meanwhile, the sole Chrysler product to wear the badge, the 300, sits in the corner of the showroom and doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention. At Pebble Beach, the first car I took out on the Seventeen-Mile Drive was this icy black 300 SRT. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but after a lot of thinking, I believe I have an answer.
Of the muscle cars back in the 1960s-70s, I always find myself drawn to Mopars the most. Something about their cartoonish, yet badass nature. A bright green Challenger, a purple Plymouth Barracuda, and the roar of a 426 Hemi V8, that just defines the flavor of the era for me.
Back in 2008, Chrysler blessed the world with the reincarnation of the legendary Dodge Challenger. With its retro look, it seemed poised to reignite the muscle car wars with the Ford Mustang, and the soon-to-be-released Chevrolet Camaro. However, we are not in the 1960s anymore, and there are far more contenders than just the good old American boys these days.
My real question going into this drive was, where does the Challenger fit in today? Is it still a Muscle Car in the traditional sense, or has it adapted, like the Camaro SS has, to meet modern expectations of handling performance?
It’s rare to see a Hemi Cuda at a Concours, or for that matter, anywhere in public. In 1970, 666 of them rolled off the production line and it’s certain that there are far more fakes than originals, especially considering that so many were ridden hard and put away to rot. This one, however, has an amazing story which puts it in another realm of American Muscle and European racing history. I will openly admit, however, that I had no knowledge at all of these cars prior to witnessing this car.
On Labor Day weekend, Lead East held its 30th annual party in the Parsippany Hilton complex. Lead East is essentially a block party and a car show, as well as a 50′s revival, all rolled into one weekend. This year was the first time I have attended in quite some time (not since 2006) and this year, the caliber of automobiles was incredible. The vehicles in attendance were not quite concours quality but definitely represented a wide variety of American and a few foreign marques, with a heavy emphasis on muscle cars and vehicles from the 1950s and 60s, as well as some very offbeat rides. It rained, but the weather did little to dampen the spirit of the day–there was even one guy (the owner of an immaculate 1970.5 Ford Falcon two-door sedan) ripping around the parking lots in a golf cart for no apparent reason. Enjoy the photos, some features to come in the month to come.
-Albert S. Davis
This is the 3rd year in a row we have attended the Radnor Hunt Concours, and it continues to blow us away each time. For me this year was especially interesting because Ferraris and pre-war Cadillacs were being featured. What you see above was the view as we entered the show, a row of Ferraris worth tens of millions of dollars alone. Most of these cars will be getting their own specific features later on so just let this be a nice preview of things to come. Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry »
I was in attendance for this year’s Woodward Dream Cruise. This was my first time at the event, and it is by far the most epic traffic jam I have ever witnessed. The scale of the event is mind-boggling, with around a million people flocking to the Detroit area to see and show off cars of all types. I have a lot more material from the event, but this is a good overview of what was happening. Keep checking back for features on specific cars not shown here. Enjoy the gallery.
The new Dart is the first car to market that is truly a joint effort between Fiat and Chrysler. The chassis and mechanicals come straight from the European Alfa Romeo Giulietta, while the exterior, interior, and Tigershark engines are all American. This is a critical product for Chrysler, one that will serve as a first impression for their alliance with Fiat, and the things to come. I went in to find out for myself if this new car marked a positive beginning for “Second Half America”, or a fumbled, Frankenstein-like creation from two companies caught in their own financial struggles. In many ways I felt a lot was riding on this drive when I stepped into this hot blue Dart. Read the rest of this entry »
This is the fourth one I have seen cruising around, but the first one I have gotten solid photos of. It is a great looking car, very similar to the older Vipers in its appearance on the road. Enough so that it takes a sharp eye to distinguish one of these new ones from the scores of older Vipers running around during cruise nights. The LEDs give it away though. Enjoy the pics.
On January 3rd, all the sales results for each major car brand sold in the United States were made public for the month of December, and consequently, the entire previous year. For the most part, 2011 was an excellent year for sales in the auto industry, a big step in the right direction since the turmoil of 2009. There were of course, some nasty issues that clearly affected sales across the board, but this year, only a select few CEOs should really need a drink today. So, let’s take a look at these numbers and see what falls out of the tree. Read the rest of this entry »
Jeep has the reputation that a good many other brands dream of–durability, reliability, and timeless appeal. The Wrangler is probably their best-known product, and having never driven one before, I took a chance and grabbed the keys to a brand-new, 2011 Sport model, in red. While the Wrangler isn’t for everyone, I’ve been appreciative of it for a long time now, and its appeal has not dropped that much even in these times of higher fuel economy and a high demand for safer cars. Read the rest of this entry »
If there is one brand that does the best job of no longer resembling its roots, it is Lancia. Since the death of the Delta Integrale in the early Nineties, Lancia hasn’t really had a halo car, and has not been much more than a Fiat offshoot. Since Chrysler has come under the Fiat banner, Sergio Marchionne has announced a partnership between Chrysler and Lancia. Read the rest of this entry »