The Scottsdale Pavilions Car Show (also called the McDonald's Rock and Roll Car Show) is the longest continuously-held car show in the United States. For over 30 years, cars, motorcycles, and everything else have been cruising in every Saturday night. You never know what you might see here!
Back in the 1900s, an Austrian psychotherapist by the name of Alfred Adler came up with an interesting idea. Adler believe that one’s birth order was a major influence on the personality of a person.
For example, Adler believed that in a family with three children, the oldest and youngest children received the most attention from the parents with the middle child often being “forgotten.” Although Adler didn’t have any scientific research to support his theory, the idea of birth order is still well-known today.
So what does all this have to do with cars? Well for a long time, the Ford Motor Company was a family of 3 brands: Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury. Ford was the original and the oldest brand with the largest offering of cars, including entry-level vehicles. Lincoln was positioned as the luxury brand, maker of the finest vehicles that Ford had to offer. Then there was Mercury, the brand caught in the middle. Continue reading →
When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Thunderbird in 1955, they created a market for a brand new type of vehicle: the personal luxury car. From the very beginning, the Thunderbird was a big hit that broke sales records and earned high praise from customers.
Over at General Motors, VP of Styling Bill Mitchell wasn’t about to let Ford hog the spotlight. He decided that General Motors needed a personal luxury car of their own. Mitchell asked designer Ned Nickles to come up with a rival to Ford’s 2-door, 4-seater Thunderbird. Continue reading →
When I visit a classic car show, there is never a shortage of Fords, Chevrolets, Chryslers, and other American muscle cars. However, it’s rare to see a Studebaker at the local cruise-in night. Why is that? The simple answer is that Studebaker just didn’t build a whole lot of cars.
Take this 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk for example. It is one of just 4,009 produced in 1963. In that same year, Ford sold 63,313 Thunerbirds and Pontiac sold 72,959 Grand Prixs. As you can tell, this car was definitely not a big seller, which makes it all the more special to have spotted this GT Hawk at the Scottsdale Pavilions.
One might assume, that since the Ford Ranger came from the factory with the 2.3 “Pinto” engine, and the turbocharged SVO Mustang also used a 2.3, that it ought to be a simple matter to just scrape all the turbo stuff off of a Mustang or Thunderbird Turbo Coupe (or Cougar XR7 or Merkur XR4Ti), slap it onto a Ranger and be done with it.
The Lincoln Continental has been around for a long time, but I would say that the fourth-generation (1961-1969) Continentals are the ones that come to mind when most people hear the name. The car’s slab-sided design and suicide rear doors are signature design elements that people instantly recognize as “Continental.”
At the Scottsdale Pavilions car show, I ran across a 1968 Lincoln Continental sedan that’s been customized in a pretty cool way. First, the roof has been completely cut off. There is no top at all! That’s a pretty bold move to make, and I like it.
My friends and family often ask me why I go to the Scottsdale Pavilions car show so often. “Don’t you get tired of looking at the same cars all the time?” they inquire. While you do see a few of the same cars, it’s different enough to be interesting. You just never know what might roll its way into the Pavilions, and today’s post is a perfect example of what I am talking about.
This car is a 1947 Studebaker Commander Starlight Coupe. I’ve never seen one before and with only 13,299 ever produced (and far less than that surviving today), I doubt I’ll see very many more of these things around.
In previous articles, I’ve owned up to the fact that I don’t know as much about pre-1960s stuff as I probably should, and usually it doesn’t bother me very much. Most of that stuff looks the same to me anyways. The cars are generally kept in one of two conditions: original and slow (boring), or 1996-era Super Chevy’d out with a small-block and tweed and billet everything (lame).
What is the fastest American sedan you can buy today?
You might be surprised to learn that it’s not the twin-turbo Lincoln MK-S, the Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee, or even the mighty Cadillac CTS-V. The fastest American-made sedan is none other than the Tesla Model S – and it shuts these other cars down without using a drop of gasoline.
Just how quick is this car? Take a look at these figures:
2012 Tesla Model S P85
0-60: 3.9 seconds
1/4 Mile: 12.5 @ 110.9 mph1