We spotted this 1970 Plymouth Cuda nicknamed “Hellfish” on display at SEMA 2014, mere steps away from its cousin, the 1968 Charger. Like the Charger, this car was also built by The Roadster Shop, who seem to be up to their ears in vintage Mopars lately.
On the south shore of Long Island, New York lies the village of West Islip. It was here that William Dzus invented the Dzus fastener in 1932. This unique fastener locks down with a quarter-turn, making it ideal for use in airplanes and hot rods.
William’s son Ted Dzus took the helm in 1964 and ran the company for 23 years before retiring. But Ted isn’t wasting his retirement on the golf course – he’s an active member of the hot rodding community. I had the chance to check out Ted’s insane 1951 Henry J at the 2013 SEMA Show.
One of the forgotten names of the American car business is DeSoto. First launched by Chrysler in 1928, DeSoto was an all-new brand that would compete with Buick and Studebaker in the mid-market segment.
Due to their affordable price, DeSotos were popular right from the start. The 1929 models set a first-year sales record that stood for 31 years! DeSoto hit the peak of their popularity in 1956, when they had grown to become the 11th largest US automaker.
One of the cars that propelled DeSoto up the sales charts was this 1955 DeSoto Fireflite. It caught my eye on a recent visit to the Martin Auto Museum in Phoenix.
I’m sure you remember the television commercials that ran a few years back with the Gomer Pyle-esque main character asking if the owner of the other character’s Chrysler-brand vehicle was powered by a Hemi engine. It’s a bit of a misnomer though, as the head shares more in common in combustion chamber shape with the older poly-spherical (or “Poly”) heads than the traditional “true” hemi-spherical (or “Hemi”) heads. Somehow I don’t think “That thing got a Poly in it?” would sell as many vehicles though. Continue reading