Electric cars such as the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf are all the rage these days. These sexy cars offer zero emissions, good fuel economy, and near-silent operation. But there was a time not long ago when electric vehicles were not sexy or cool.
Early electric vehicles were converted from gasoline-powered vehicles using primitive chargers and batteries. They were a novelty item, mostly reserved for hippies and fringe-thinkers. They lacked the mass-market appeal of today’s sophisticated alt-fuel vehicles. Let’s revisit those times for a moment to take a look at once such vehicle: the Electravan.
If there’s one thing you don’t see a whole lot of in America, it’s French cars. I’ve crossed paths with a few Citroens before including the Traction Avant and the Chevrolet V8-swapped DS that formerly belonged to Alice Cooper. Today I present another of Citroen’s automotive oddities: the 1973-1973 SM coupe.
The SM was Citroen’s attempt at making a sporty 2-door car based on the popular DS. Though it was sold in Europe and the rest of the world, the SM was only available in the U.S. for two years, making this a very rare car. Sales in the United States totaled 1,250 in 1972 and 1,150 in 1973, for a grand total of just 2,400 vehicles. The car was not imported after that because it did not meet the newly-enacted 5 mph safety bumper standards passed by the NHTSA.
Kit cars are a particularly interesting niche of the automotive world, and we write about them often here on Generation High Output. At a local car show, I spotted a car that I’d never seen before – a Burton!
A quick Internet search revealed that Burton is an automobile manufacturer in the Netherlands. The company was founded in 1993 by Dimitri and Iwan Göbel – brothers with a shared passion for automobiles. Their main product is a two-seat, two-door roadster based on the Citroen 2CV. The 2CV is one of the most-produced cars of all time and is renowned and beloved for its utter simplicity and reliability.
I could have gone over the top with a Luby’s trim level of this car but decided to go with the safer bet Bing Cruiser. Don’t get me wrong, I like Lincoln. In fact, I drive a Lincoln. But let’s face it, they have a long way to go to shed the geezer image, if that’s what they are even planning to do? Continue reading
I’m pretty open to a lot of things in the automotive world and very rarely, if ever, would I suggest 28 inch wheels to improve the look of a car.. but I think this is one of those cases. Actually, this is the first time that thought has ever popped into my head but with as outlandish as this car looks I would highly recommend it. When you are 2/3s of the way towards going big why bother going home? Continue reading
The Mercury Cougar had a very strange 5th generation. Only being around for the 1980-1982 model years it was short lived but included a sedan and for a its last year a wagon (spotted one a while back). The car as a whole along with the 94hp I6 six on this XR7 pleased no one. Ford knew this and abandoned the whole situation by dumping this setup for another design also on the Fox platform. The next Cougars and Thunderbirds launched the Ford aero models. Continue reading
Having written about nearly every other type of neoclassic car, I was excited to see my first Zimmer at the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction. Like other neoclassic cars, the Zimmer combines the reliability of a modern, fuel-injected powertrain with classic styling. The prominent waterfall grille, exposed headlamps, full-length running boards, and bustleback style rear end are all design characteristics of pre-war American cars.
While there have been many companies that produced cars in this style, Zimmer was one of the most successful. Founded in Florida, the company built over 1,500 cars during their peak years of 1978-1988.
Just take one look at the Barrett-Jackson catalog and you’ll notice that there are plenty of Mustangs, Thunderbirds, Camaros, Corvettes, Chevelles, and Impalas in lovingly restored condition. That’s great if you like mass-produced cars, but does little to tickle the fancy of hot rodders.
If you are of the “built not bought” mindset, you will appreciate the ingenuity of cobbling together a car from whatever parts can be sourced or scavenged. With that in mind, I present 3 awesome hot rods that I saw at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2015.
1932 Ford Custom Roadster “Dicey Duce” – Lot #376.1
Sold for $25,300
The Dicey Duce is exactly what you want in a period-correct hot rod! This 1932 Ford is powered by a Grancor Flathead V8 engine coupled to a Granatelli 3-speed manual gearbox. It has a Grancor intake manifold, MSD ignition, and an electric cooling fan. A few other upgrades make this nice to drive such as a rear coilover suspension, steel braided brake lines, and a dual exit exhaust system with muffler bypass outlets.