The Colourful World of Mid-Century Motive Power

James Kraus

1964 Buick Riviera with optional 425 (7.0 litre) twin-carb Super Wildcat Nailhead V8 in aqua with black air cleaner accented in red. “465” was the torque output in ft/lbs.

Recently, Corvette fans have been excited by the appearance of red-painted valve covers on the new C8 Sting Ray; the first dash of colour in the Corvette engine compartment since the red plastic beauty covers of the 2013 C6 Z06. Unfortunately, GM chose a rather Ferrari-esque red rather than the traditional red-orange used on Chevrolet V8s since 1955 including such renowned versions as the fuel-injected 327, the 409, 396 and 427. Continue reading

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Has the Moon Lost its Luster?

James Kraus

“My goodness, Mr. Bigelow, you are inspired!” Playboy magazine; May, 1962.

Once upon a time, there were few things more romantic and alluring than the moon, that mysterious glowing orb seemingly just out of reach and occasionally rumored to contain copious amounts of fromage vert. Continue reading

1969: Année Érotique

James Kraus

Astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin walks on the moon.

This year’s look back at 1969 brings to a close Auto Universum’s ten year celebration of the 50thanniversary of the 1960s; the final year of an exciting, glamorous, stylish and ultimately tumultuous decade. An era that epitomized technological advancement, elegance and savoir-faire; tragically ending with the violence and mayhem of the Manson murders and the Altamont Free Concert. Continue reading

Image from the Past

JK - 1 (15)

Capturing a moment of 1966 America. Snapshot of Brian Wilson alongside his Sunfire Yellow ’66 Sting Ray with a ’66 Mustang and ’66 Lincoln Continental in the background. Just a few months after this photo was taken Brian’s Good Vibrations would be released and begin rising to the top of the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the Beach Boys’ third number one hit and their first million-selling single.

 

No, It Doesn’t Have Positraction

James Kraus

1964 Pontiac GTO Sports Coupe in Sunfire Red metallic. Equipped with optional triple dual-throat carburettors, four-speed all-synchromesh gearbox and Safe-T-Track.

Few things warm the hearts of Car Nutz like good punchy buzzwords. Favourites of American car fans include Muscle Car, Big Block, and today’s topic; Positraction. Continue reading

The 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado: General Motors’ FWD Debutant

James Kraus

1966 Toronado by Oldsmobile.

The 1960s were the final years of glory at General Motors. They had the lion’s share of the U.S. car sales, as well as a good portion of the European market via their Opel and Vauxhall brands. In the U.S, they built America’s only cars with four-wheel disc brakes, fuel injection, turbocharging and independent rear suspension. Before the decade was out, they would add another arrow to their quiver, the first American postwar car with front-wheel drive. Continue reading

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