Is That a Big Block Under the Hood?

James Kraus

Plymouth 361 cubic inch (5.9 litre) SonoRamic Commando Big Block V8.

Pity the modern man. Increasingly put upon from seemingly every side, many seek solace in the days of yore when two adjectives in particular were highly prized; Muscular and BigContinue reading

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Fifties Dream Car Incarnate: The Mercury Turnpike Cruiser

James Kraus

1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser.

When the average Joe thinks about American cars most characteristic of the 1950s, three suspects usually come to mind; the ’59 Cadillac, the ’57 Chevrolet and the Edsel. With the exception of its jukebox-like front and rear grills and preposterous tailfins, the Cadillac was actually a fairly conservative design, and rather lacking in extraneous gadgets. The ’57 Chevrolet with its tall and short profile was woefully behind the times in the style department; so much so that it lost the first-place sales crown to Ford for the first time since before World War II.  Continue reading

Coral: 2019 Color Of The Year.

James Kraus

JK - 1 (9)

1964 Mercury Montclair Marauder in Bittersweet with White vinyl top at Duffield Lincoln-Mercury, Long Beach, CA.

The Pantone Color Institute has just announced that Living Coral is the 2019 Color Of The Year. In honor of this vibrant hue, I though it appropriate to look back to the era when coral roamed the streets. Continue reading

The Automobile in 1960s Lifestyle Magazine Illustration

James Kraus

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Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, Morgan Kane, 1960. Image © IPD. Note latch detail on open door.

Illustration as an art form somewhat fell from favour after the 1960s, increasingly being replaced by photography. This was apparent even in automotive print advertising, with Pontiac abandoning their decade-plus relationship with illustration masters Art Fitzpatrick and Van Kaufman.  Continue reading