Tag Archives: chrysler

  • Any Of These Silly Features On Your Classic Car?

    Wouldn't a decapitated horse's head be "more" frightening to horses, not less?
    A "swamp cooler".

    Rob Sass of Hagerty.com wrote the following column about five of the silliest automotive features ever. (Courtesy of FoxNews.com)

    Occasionally, automakers get it right in the new feature department. Seat heaters? Good. Back-up camera? Good. Intermittent wipers? Really good. Self-parking? BMW’s iDrive and Ford’s Microsoft Sync? Let’s just say the jury’s still out. The market, however, decided quickly on the list below, which contains automotive gimmicks that range from not-very-useful to patently absurd.

    Record Player: Offered by Chrysler from 1956 to 1957, it was the auto industry’s first attempt at making pre-recorded music playable in a car. While engineered for the rather bumpy environment of a moving car, the player wasn’t immune to skipping and scratching the records, which weren’t the standard-size LPs or 45s but a smaller proprietary format that required owners to buy all of their music again. Those of a certain age who have owned Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” on 8-track, vinyl, cassette, CD and MP3 can sympathize.

    Front-Mounted Horse Head: This turn-of-the-century accessory was meant to make early internal combustion cars less frightening to horses. More than just a freakishly large hood ornament, it literally consisted of a not-very-convincing, life-size fake horse head that could be mounted on the front of the car. It could also be used as an additional fuel tank, pre-dating the Pinto (the other exploding equine) by some 70 years.

    Swamp Cooler: Numerous companies from the 1930s through the 1960s marketed these ungainly contraptions that looked like the offspring of a jet engine and a canister vacuum. The device attached to the window of the car and contained a few gallons of water, which used the ram air effect created while the car was moving to force humidified air inside. They were minimally effective in hot, dry areas. Practical and relatively inexpensive auto air conditioning put an end to their use. Occasionally, auto swamp coolers can still be seen as odd period accessories on classic cars.

    Rear-Facing Seats: Car sickness occurs when the brain receives conflicting signals about whether the body is in motion or not. Rear-facing seats were a common source of this type of cerebral confusion, yet they were standard as the “back, back” seats in so many of the classic station wagons that baby boomers grew up (and threw up) in.

    Semi-Automatic Transmission: Both Porsche and Volkswagen used this obscure bit of technology to allay the fears of clutch-o-phobes. It was essentially a conventional manual transmission without a clutch pedal. The device was actuated when the driver put his or her hand on the shift lever. Unlike today’s shiftable automatics, there was no fully automatic mode. You had to move the lever through each gear. Porsche called it “Sportomatic,” and VW called it “Automatic Stickshift,” even going so far as to advertise it with a chrome badge on the back of the car. They’re heartily disliked by collectors who often replace them with conventional manual transmissions.

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • SEMA 2012- Eastwood Company Part 4 Coverage

    Getting noticed at SEMA is very important. Show cars, trucks, and motorcycles are there for only a couple reasons. Either to show off products the company sells or to draw attention and get foot traffic through their booth (this is a trade show after all!). Whatever the reason is, everyone is trying to a different approach to draw attention. If you want to figure out which cars or booths are the best at the show, all you need to do is look for crowds around a booth. There you'll find either an exceptionl car, a celebrity, or an attractive model; regardless you won't be disappointed if you take a peak.

    Shooting pictures of some of the high profile cars at SEMA is really tough. There's always crowds surrounding the cars and often people are so excited about checking the car out, they're oblivious to the line of photographers waiting for that small window when they can fire off a few shots of the car. I can tell you from personal experience, it takes a mix of patience, skill and luck! The custom ford above is a perfect example. It had the performance of a super car and the looks of a classic muscle car all blended together to create what I'd call a "retro super car". The crowds were relentless around this car and we had to make our way into the show early just to check it out beforehand.

    Then there were cars and booths that were built just for shock value to get the attention of the thousands of cameras in attendance. The typical formula for a busy booth is to get a vehicle with some flashy/shiny paint, lots of chrome, some giant wheels, and a beautiful model standing next to the vehicle. Hyundai and an artist teamed up to take this idea to the next level and they built a Zombie support vehicle out of a new Hyundai. They then employed some attractive (is that possible?) zombies to pose with the car and show-goers! This idea was pretty cool and timely for the SEMA show taking place around the Halloween holiday each year.

    Aside from the gimmicks and crowds, there were some really nice classic cars at the show. We tried to catch some of our favorites shown below in the Mopar display. They put together one of the nicest selections of Dodge, Plymouth, and Chrysler classics we've seen in a while! Check the rest of our favorites from this portion of the show in the gallery below.

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Imperial Speedster Wins the Go For the Gold Award

    Murray Pfaff recently took home one of the largest prizes in the Hot Rod community. The Starbird's Go for the Gold award! He beat out the 2010 Riddler car "Gold Digger". Eastwood was happy to donate and sponsor this build along the way with many products including Rust Encapsulator, Underhood Black, Spray Gray, and many more! Obviously we are equally as thrilled!

    Check out this video where we caught up with Murray at SEMA 2011 in Las Vegas and found out a little back story on the car.

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • 50's Sedan Yard Find Gem

    This lonely sedan is sitting all alone behind what looks to be a rundown old farmhouse. My other half spotted it locally when getting lost driving some back roads in the area. What a great find it is! Looks to be missing some wheels and sitting on blocks, my first guess was that it is a 50's Plymouth of some sort, but now looking at the photos, I'm not too sure. No one was around the house, but I didn't want to go onto private property to investigate further. What's your guess?

      Click Here To Read Full Post...