Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Blue Oval

Ford Motor Company has been around for a very long time. Long enough to merit a post dedicated entirely to the carmaker's works. I could go on and on about what there is to love about Ford, but a picture's worth a thousand words. And I've got plenty of pictures. So, without further ado, I present some of Ford's many success stories.

We'll start with this, a 1934 Ford V8 Sedan. It's got looks, style, and come on, how many cars are available with red wheels? Not that many. It's a pity, really.

With Chevrolet's all new Corvette selling wildly, Ford needed a piece of the action. A few years later, the Thunderbird was born. This 1957 model is immaculate, and is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful T-Bird's ever built. I think I can agree to that. 

The Ford Econoline is one of the most common vans in America. However, the design has changed radically since it was first introduced. Originally part of the Falcon line-up, the Econoline's styling was similar to the Chevy Sport Van and the Dodge A100. Groovy.

The Ford Mustang is one of the most iconic cars ever built. From it's birth in 1964, to it's modern day reincarnations, the Mustang has always been a true American legend. The model above is a 1968 coupe. The vinyl top and grille mounted lights complement this car quite well.

Ford started in America, but it didn't take long for the company to develop a strong market in Europe. This 1972 Escort RS1600 is one of the most iconic European Fords. The Escort was also a very capable rally car, and seized many trophies from larger, more powerful cars.

The Mustang is still alive today, and it's here to stay. Revived classics like the 5.0 and the Boss 302 are attracting customers, and the new cars do a great job of recreating the style and character of the classics. Well done, Ford. Well done.

Ford's Focus is getting a redesign, and it looks absolutely marvelous. As an added bonus, we're getting the ST model in the U.S. The ST is the sports model, and it will be offered as a five door and as a European-only wagon. Good looking car, and those wheels look great!

Finally, we couldn't have a Ford round-up without a Ford truck. The Ford series of pickup trucks are an American icon. They're absolutely everywhere. Why? Because they just won't die. They're rugged and dependable, and in the case of the pictured truck above, they're also pretty attractive.

Ford has done many great things in it's history, and only a few are listed here. To name every great car Ford ever built would be nearly impossible. They've made so many, and they just keep making more. I can't help but wonder what Henry Ford himself would think if he could see how far his creation has come. Because I'm willing to bet he'd be very proud.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wagons Ho!

Nowadays, if you want to carry large amounts of people in your car, there are really only three options. The SUV is big and can carry an entire family and a full load of groceries. It's also gigantic and has an eternal thirst for gasoline. Then there's the minivan, but it's smaller size is sometimes a hassle. Plus it's association with soccer moms everywhere is a bit of a downside. Finally, the crossover is an oddball combination of the first two. So what if there was a vehicle that combined the perfect driveability of a normal car with the spaciousness of these vehicles? Believe it or not, it does exist.

It's known as the station wagon, the shooting brake, the estate wagon, and many other terms. But the formula is simple. Take a popular car, make it big enough to carry people and items in large quantities, but keep it car-like in handling and size. The result is a vehicle fit for any family.

 Wagons are generally longer than a minivan, but lower to the ground then most SUVs. They also have some other advantages. For one, they're typically better looking. And since they're based on cars, they can be equipped with car performance.

The wagon was big in the 60s, but these days they're mostly found in Europe. American carmakers have ditched them in favor of SUVs, minivans, and crossovers. Why? Just look at some of these great wagons.

First up is the Chevrolet Nomad. The Nomad was based on the same platform as the Bel-Air, and shared many components, as well as thaving the same bodystyle. The Nomad pictured is a 1956 Model. As you can see, you can customize wagons just like you can with a car.

Here we have a 1950s Ford Country Squire. It's got a flashy two tone paint scheme, and room for the whole family. This particular car is equipped with a trailer hitch, adding to it's usefulness.

This LTD wagon is a late 60s model, and it's seen many years of use and abuse. This car looks old and beaten, but the 428 cubic inch powerplant under the hood is still kicking. These wagons are durable.

This Ford Focus is a 2005 model, so it's relatively new compared to others on this list. This is one of the last station wagons to be sold in America. It's small, sporty, yet big enough to haul people and goods as far as you want to go.

So, the wagon is an effective means of transportation. That much is clear. The real question is, why don't car makers bring back the wagon? It's the perfect vehicle for so many scenarios. Only a select few companies still offer wagons. Could we be looking at a future extinction? Only time will tell.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Dream Team

     They say you can learn a lot about a woman by the contents of her purse. Well, you can also learn a lot about anybody by looking at their favorite cars. And that's what this post is about. My personal automotive dream team. There are a lot of cars I don't have room to include, but these are some of my top favorites.

The 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner is up first, and for good reason. Not only is this a great looking machine, but is was also one of the best muscle cars you could get on a budget. This bodystyle is one of the more attractive designs to come out of the '60's. It's simple, but it works so well.

Next on the list is the Jeep CJ. Considering how successful the CJ series was, it's hard not to like these little 4x4's. They're quick, nimble, and you can pick one up for a fairly decent price.

Here we have the 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1. This was one of three main performance Mustangs for 1969. The other two were the Boss 302 and Boss 429. The Mustang hit a high note in '69, and the immense 428 Cobra Jet powerplant was a factory option.

Lastly, we have a Bentley Continental Supersports. This is a perfect blend of style, luxury, and performance. With a 204 mph top speed, it's possibly one of the most iconic Bentleys ever produced.

So that's a taste of my personal favorites. There were plenty I didn't include, such as some trucks, various classic muscle cars, and a large amount of foreign sports cars. But these will all make an appearance sooner or later, so keep your eyes on this page. Things are just getting started.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The First Post

I suppose I have to start somewhere, and this seems like as good a place as any. So here goes. My name is James Craig, and I've loved cars for as long as I can remember. The goal I'm trying to achieve with this blog is simple. I want to share my automotive passion with the rest of the world.

This site will be filled with my own humble opinions, littered with occasional bits of factual news, and sometimes just pictures. If it's up to the minute auto reports you're looking for, you may be disappointed. But if you want some light hearted opinions about the auto world, you've come to the right place.

Basically, I want this site to reflect my various interests. So in addition to cars, don't be surprised to see the occasional aircraft, boat, or train. It can happen. As long as it's got an engine, it's got a spot on this blog. My home in Texas provides me with plenty of unique machines to experience, so variety is something you'll find plenty of. Whatever your tastes, I'm sure you'll find something that interests you.

Most of all, I want this blog to be fun. I want anyone who comes across it to enjoy it. Keep in mind that this is all mostly opinions and thoughts. I simply want to share the wonderful world of automobiles.