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July 12, 1933 – The Dymaxion car
Features, This Day

July 12, 1933 – The Dymaxion car

With a name that rings of bully characters in ‘80s coming of age movies, Buckminster Fuller, born in 1895, was quite the opposite. The Massachusetts raised philosopher, engineer and architect lived his life as, well, as he put it, “an experiment to find what a single individual can contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity.” His way of living resulted in a number of inventions, among them the Dymaxion car, a name that combines  dynamic, maximum, and tension. The first prototype of the unique vehicle rolled out of a Bridgeport, Connecticut, factory on this day in 1933. Above: The Dymaxion car, c. 1933. Top: The Dymaxion. By Starysatyr - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 The car came three years after the completion of his Dymaxion house. Fuller’s house (see what I did the...
5 Cars Worth Big Bucks that are Waiting to be Found
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5 Cars Worth Big Bucks that are Waiting to be Found

Treasure hunting is often associated with sunken ships, buried chests and X's on maps, but that's not necessarily the case if you've got gasoline running through your veins. You've heard the tales, true and false, about automotive archeologists finding the industry equivalent of Tut's tomb, right? Well, it could still happen to you. The following five automotive icons have no final record of meeting the wrecker, which means they may be out there, just waiting to be found and cherished once again. 1956 Oldsmobile Golden Rocket From 1949 to 1961 the General Motors Motorama was the must-attend auto event of the year. Held annually in conjunction with the New York International Auto Show, these massive productions were a mix of show, entertainment and business for GM's design ...
July 8, 1969 – Dodge strike rocks Detroit; adds focus to civil rights movement
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July 8, 1969 – Dodge strike rocks Detroit; adds focus to civil rights movement

On this day in 1968 the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement (DRUM), which consisted of black auto workers, went on a wildcat strike to protest working conditions at Dodge’s Hamtramck assembly plant. A wildcat strike is one that is supported or endorsed by the leadership of the Union of which the workers are members of, in this case the United Auto Workers.  At the time of the strike it was estimated that 70 percent of the workers at the plant were black, yet it was exceedingly rare for black men or women to rise to any sort of management position or higher within the auto industry.  The strike was observed by some 4,000 workers, lasted two and half days and prevented the production of 3,000 cars. In the subsequent Local 3 union election, DRUM ran as an alternative slate, but it did ...
June 27, 1985 – Route 66 is decertified
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June 27, 1985 – Route 66 is decertified

The “Main Street of America,” U.S. Route 66, was officially decertified on this day in 1985 when the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials voted to remove all of its highway signs. The road, which was completed and given a highway designation in 1926, stretched from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California, over the course of roughly 2,200 miles.  The road was originally constructed along a path forged in 1857 by U.S. Navy Lieutenant Edward Beale and his pack of camels. Before Route 66 became a highway the path had grown popular as a passageway for people heading west in the growing country. Over the years, horses and wagons gave way to cars and trucks. By the 1950s, new multi-lane highways were being built all across the country as part of a...
The Mystery Tucker 48s
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The Mystery Tucker 48s

Burned. Boxed. Buried. Warning, this story may make your stomach churn. While I've long been a fan of the Tucker story and the cars, this installment of that Tucker tale has evaded me. The rabbit hole opened up as soon as I laid eyes on pictures of a crispy 1948 Tucker 48 floating around the web. It wasn't long before I learned this Tucker, one of 51 completed at the factory , ended up buried in someone's yard and others may still be waiting to be found. Tucker 1023 before the fire Above & top: 1023 after the fire On September 29, 1978, as Tucker 1023 was awaiting restoration in a Florida warehouse, a fire broke out. The devastation was fast and fierce. What was left of the car sat outside for another two years, at which point Richard Jones, a Tucker historian, inspected it a...
Roadside Sighting – 1966 Shelby GT 350H – is it real?
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Roadside Sighting – 1966 Shelby GT 350H – is it real?

I'm not big on breaking traffic law, but when this black and gold Mustang caught the corner of my eye, doing a U-turn across four lanes of traffic for a better look didn't seem like a problem. At first glance, one could understand why any gear head or auto historian might get excited here -- just look at that letter and number combo behind the front tires. G.T. 350H. The stuff of legend. Could this dusty, rusty, Mustang, that my fiancée says has been there for years, be the real deal? Could it be one of 1,000 1966 Shelby GT 350 sent to Hertz as part of the rent-a-racer program? 1966 Shelby GT350H replica Unfortunately, no, I don't think it is my dream barn find, so to speak. There's a few key indicators that say this is a replica, if you can even call it that. The most damning ev...
5 sweet vans for sale on Craigslist under $4K – that run!
Cheap Classics, Classifieds, Dusty & Rusty, Features, Videos

5 sweet vans for sale on Craigslist under $4K – that run!

The first car I bought myself to actually daily drive (first bought a 1949 Plymouth as a project), was a 1983 Chevy G20 van. It's beautiful shades of brown inside and out led me to name it the Kangaroo Pouch. My friends and I soon dubbed ourselves the Kangaroo Pouch Kids. Without a doubt, it was the best $500 I ever spent on a vehicle and selling it was nothing short of regrettable. Although, I did double my money. Anyway, as I sit here reminiscing about the days gone by, I find myself cruising Craigslist in search of my past, hoping to find my future. Let's see if anything I've come across scrambles memories of road trips, concerts or young love for you. That said, I'm going to take a wild guess that some of you may have lost those memories in a hazy fog. OK, enough, let's check out thes...
February 1, 1901 – American poet and road tripper Langston Hughes is born
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February 1, 1901 – American poet and road tripper Langston Hughes is born

Happy Black History Month! This blog will make an effort to share Black history stories related to automotive history every day through the month of February. Some days, perhaps most, it may take a stretch to connect the two topics, but the stories and lessons shared will hopefully prove educational and entertaining nonetheless. Let's hit the road, shall we? Born in Missouri on this day in 1901, Langston Hughes would grow up to be a prominent poet, novelist, activist and an important social figure of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s. What he wasn't known for, was his driving skills, which were apparently non-existent, at least up to around 1930. Despite this, writer and cultural archivist Zora Neale Hurston had no qualms inviting Hughes to join her on an road trip of great importanc...
January 22, 1990 – Cord & Duesenberg designer Gordon Buehrig dies
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January 22, 1990 – Cord & Duesenberg designer Gordon Buehrig dies

Legend has it that Gordon Buehrig was expelled from his design college for drawing cars on textbooks. While the punishment may not fit the crime, if true, he didn't let it affect his day dreams. Those sketches soon, quite soon really, became reality. Instead of trying to finish college, he left his Illinois home headed for the Motor City. After arriving in Detroit he found work at Packard and then General Motors. For young Buehrig, born in 1904, designing the Le Mans competing 1929 Black Hawk couldn't be a better job. That is, until his artistic approach to car design caught the eye of E.L. Cord, who had purchased Duesenberg just three years earlier. Courted by Cord, Gordon Buehrig found himself as Duesenberg's chief designer at the tender age of 25. Among his first tasks: designing ...
October 15, 1924 – Lee Iacocca is born
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October 15, 1924 – Lee Iacocca is born

On this day in 1924 Lido Anthony “Lee” Iacocca was born. He would become one of the most influential men in modern American automotive history. In his career he would achieve many incredible feats throughout the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s at Ford and Chrysler.  Due to a childhood illness, Lee was barred from service during WWII. Though this may have saved his life, Lee recalled wanting nothing more than to fly a bomber over Nazi Germany. Unable to join the fight, Lee took the opportunity to study engineering at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. He would later attend Princeton before joining Ford’s own educational engineering program. Following his graduation from the Ford institution he became an engineer with the company. He soon found a better fit in sales and marketing after bei...