Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Author: Brian Corey

November 16, 1904 – The history of auto theft in Los Angeles begins with first recorded stolen car in the city
This Day

November 16, 1904 – The history of auto theft in Los Angeles begins with first recorded stolen car in the city

1905 White steam car. Not the first stolen car, but similar. This one is known as Black Bess and was driven by Los Angeles resident H.D. Ryus to victory in multiple races. He owned the White Garage in LA, meaning he likely sold or serviced that first stolen car at some point. The greater Los Angeles area has long been a hot bed for auto theft. The wild police chases that fill the evening news are as common now as they were in the 1980s. Even as far back as 1988, LA residents had a 1 in 93 chance of having their vehicle stolen. When did this all begin? Well, it's taken nearly 120 years for auto theft in the City of Angels to become so rampant. In fact, the first reported automobile theft in Los Angeles occurred on this day in 1904. The stolen car, a White steam car, was taken from in fr...
November 14 – Alvis is bombed, the Brickyard is sold & GM rolls out the EV-1
This Day

November 14 – Alvis is bombed, the Brickyard is sold & GM rolls out the EV-1

Good Morning, or afternoon, or whenever you’re reading this. It’s November 14th and you’re reading This Day in Automotive History. Today we’re covering a few pivotal events that take us from across the pond, over to Indianapolis and then up to Michigan where we’ll get into GM’s first attempt at building a production electric car, way before you ever heard of Elon Musk.  1940 - The Alvis car plant in Coventry, England is bombed during a Nazi air raid The aftermath of a September 1940 bombing raid on London by the Nazis But first, we’ve got to talk about a little car company from Great Britain that just won’t quit, even after their factory was bombed by Nazis on this day in 1940. Alvis Car Company was originally founded as an engine and carburetor and engine maker under the na...
November 3, 1911 – Chevrolet is founded
This Day

November 3, 1911 – Chevrolet is founded

1912 Chevrolet Classic Six. By Trainguy1 CC BY-SA 3.0 William Durant and Louis Chevrolet officially found the Chevrolet Motor Company on this day in 1911. Those also involved with the creation of the company include William Little, James Whiting and Louis' brother Arthur Chevrolet. The following year the Chevrolet Classic Six started rolling our of the their Flint, Michigan factory, priced at a whopping $2,500 each. In the early years, Durant and Chevrolet disagreed about the types of vehicles the brand should make, sporty cars versus luxury cars. This argument pushed Louis to sell his share of the company in 1914 to return to racing. That same year Chevrolet began production of the Royal Mail roadster that sold for a more reasonable $750. They also offered the Baby Grand touring car w...
October 27, 1937 – Second generation Cadillac V-16 is introduced
This Day

October 27, 1937 – Second generation Cadillac V-16 is introduced

1940 Cadillac V16 90 Town Car To build the ultimate automobile, Cadillac began development of a new "multi-cylinder" car in 1926 that could prove to be more powerful and smoother than any luxury vehicle on the market. Engineers worked in secrecy, while design Cadillac chief Larry Fisher and GM's stylist Harley Earl toured Europe in search of inspiration. Their efforts led to the introduction of the 452 cubic inch, V-16 powered Cadillac chassis in 1930. Each Cadillac Sixteen chassis received custom coachwork chosen by the buyer and included coupe, convertible, sedan and limousine bodywork. While most chassis had bodies by GM-owned Fisher or Fleetwood installed, a customer could order a rolling chassis and send it to a coachbuilder of their choice, if they so desired. Very few chose this...
70s Shaggin’ Wagon – 1974 Dodge Tradesman Shorty Van
Cheap Classic Cars

70s Shaggin’ Wagon – 1974 Dodge Tradesman Shorty Van

Are you looking to live that van life? Perhaps this 1974 Dodge Tradesman is the ride you've been dreaming of. No, it's not a Sprinter Van. It's better! And Cheaper! And fuzzier! Just look at all that shag carpet. ALL OF IT. And it can be ALL yours. This 1970s van for sale on Craigslist (link below) is located near Winston-Salem, NC for just $7,500, a small sum to pay for such a vehicle. This being a shorty van, it lands on my short list of want, want, want. While there is plenty left out of the description by the seller, this old van for sale deserves a closer look. Dodge introduced the full size Sportsman and Tradesman in 1970, identical other than the latter lacked seating. The name itself offers insight into its purpose, as these vans were favored by tradesman of all sorts. ...
The Family Racer – 1953 Hudson Hornet
Cheap Classic Cars

The Family Racer – 1953 Hudson Hornet

In October of 1951 Hudson introduced an all new car that would become an instant hit on the young NASCAR circuit. The Hudson Hornet, powered by a beastly inline six, would dominate the track and many credit its success with the birth of the saying, "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday." Well, it may be Friday when this post goes up, but this 1953 Hudson Hornet for sale is still selling. This four-door model presents well in its original form, but is ready for restoration (and then racing!). Although it's not currently running, what's impressive about this family race car is its price. This Craigslist classic car is currently listed for just $4,500 just northwest of Milwaukee. Find the link below. Is it worth it? Yeah. Oh, yeah. 1953 Hudson Hornet Exterior First impression: stance! Tha...
October 17, 1969 – The first Plymouth Superbird is completed
This Day

October 17, 1969 – The first Plymouth Superbird is completed

Workers at Chrysler's Clairpointe Pre-Production facility completed the first Plymouth Superbird on this day in 1969, initiating a historic run of iconic NASCAR inspired muscle cars. Superbirds, which began life as 1970 Plymouth Road Runners, underwent most of their assembly at Lynch Road, about five miles away. Final assembly, including installing the nose cone and wing, occurred at Clairpointe so as not to disrupt an entire production line for a small run of parts. The build process of the Superbird is quite fascinating, as told below by Mopar historian and author David J. Patik, who sadly passed away in 2020. Thanks to David, we are able to imagine traveling down the Superbird assembly line... The following article contains rare history of the Plymouth Superbird: LYNCH ROAD ...
September 18, 1970 – Jimi Hendrix dies and his Corvette goes missing
This Day

September 18, 1970 – Jimi Hendrix dies and his Corvette goes missing

Hendrix in his silver 1969 Corvette More than 50 years after his passing on this day in 1970, Jimi Hendrix remains one of the most influential rock and roll musicians to have ever shredded the six string. His licks, literally, given he'd play with his teeth from time to time, are as mesmerizing as a sexy sports car. Perhaps that is why he purchased a Chevrolet Corvette as soon as his musical talents began to pay off. The story goes that he ordered a International Blue Corvette from a Cleveland dealership in 1968, at a time when he didn't even have a driver's license. Well, his skills behind the wheel proved subpar compared to his abilities with an axe, and he ultimately crashed it after a night of partying. While the Jimi Hendrix Corvette wreck may be the most memorable, let's not forg...
September 13, 2004 – Oprah gives away 276 free cars
Business

September 13, 2004 – Oprah gives away 276 free cars

(Oprah/Motor1) "You get a car! And you get a car! Everybody gets a car!" The moment Oprah gave away 276 Pontiac G6 sedans to her studio audience on this day in 2004 certainly ranks among the most memorable TV moments in history, but it's not all it's cracked up to be. Yes, the announcement solicited real screams and cheers, but when the dust settled, recipients found themselves stuck with a tax bill totaling about $6,000. So, while Oprah had asked producers to fill the audience with people who really needed a new ride, more than a handful couldn't afford to keep the car. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pviYWzu0dzk Furthermore, it was certainly charitable, but the giveaway didn't come out of Oprah's pocket. Pontiac footed the bill for the whole event. The automaker donated the ...
Rare Air – 1925 Franklin barn find
Cheap Classic Cars

Rare Air – 1925 Franklin barn find

Despite wearing a radiator like grille, this 1925 Franklin for sale in Huntsville, Alabama doesn't have a water-cooled system. Yep, it's fake. That's what makes Franklin automobiles especially unique. From the first Franklin car in 1902, until the last one rolled off the line in 1934, each had an air-cooled engine. However, in 1925, at the demand of dealers, Franklin made an effort to build cars with more traditional styling. The faux radiator being a key element. At $5,500 this Franklin project car on Craigslist would make a fantastic restoration project. It appears relatively complete and is fitted with a rare body style. Based on the two door design of the body, the Internet tells me this is either a Franklin Series 11a Coupe or a Model 9-B. Of course it could be something compl...

If you learned something today,

please buy me a beer!