Throwback Thursday: 1952 Hudson Hornet


You may not have even heard of the Hudson Hornet – the make hasn’t even been around since the early 50s, and was crowded out of the market by the Big Three from Detroit. The Hornet, however, left a pretty significant mark on automotive design and performance in its day.

Starting with the ’48 models, the Hornet incorporated a “step-down” design, with a dropped floor pan and chassis that lowered the car’s center of gravity and enhanced handling dramatically (it was also the industry’s first true unibody design). The edge in handling  made the Hornet a natural for racing, and by ’51 the Hornet was available with the “7X” engine, a 308-cubic-inch flathead straight-six. The engine featured modifications like twin side-draft one-barrel carburetors, a split exha ...[more]

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Throwback Thursday: 1966 Chevelle SS396


In the 70s and 80s, many a hot-rodder’s first muscle car was a ragged-out old Chevelle SS396. It’s not surprising, when you consider that Chevy built over 70,000 copies of the SS396…of course now, they’re pretty scarce and super desirable, but that’s a different story.

Chevrolet introduced the 396 big-block V8 in ’65, as a replacement for the heavy, boat-anchor 409 V8. The 396 had big valves and a lumpy cam, with an odd valve configuration that provided better gas flow and more efficient exhaust scavenging. It paid off, with the base L35 engine producing 325 horsepower – the L34 built 360 horsepower, with the iron-head L78 building 375 horsepower.

Perhaps the most desirable of the Chevelle SS models for ’66 is the Z16, which featured the L78 engine and upgraded ...[more]

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When Should I Replace My Winter Tires?


If you live in an area that gets cold enough and sees enough winter precipitation to warrant buying winter tires, there’s no substitute for the traction they can provide. Winter tires have come a long way since the heavy-tread, noisy “snow tires” or “mud grips” that were on your dad’s station wagon a generation ago. Modern winter tires offer better ride, road manners and handling than they did in previous years. That doesn’t, however, mean that they are good year-round.

Winter tires are designed with a tread formulation that stays flexible at lower temperatures, which is their chief advantage over all-season tires. All-season tires tend to harden and stiffen at sub-freezing temps, compromising traction and control. The flip side ...[more]

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Throwback Thursday: 1968 Charger R/T


The Charger is one of the most recognizable silhouettes of all the muscle cars of the 60s (its roles in the movie “Bullitt” and the TV series “The Dukes of Hazzard” didn’t hurt), and it was also one of the biggest –selling muscle cars of the ’68 model year. Of the 100k or so Chargers sold for ’68, well over 17,000 of them were R/T models. So what makes a Charger an R/T? 

  • Front anti-roll bar
  • Heavy-duty front torsion bars
  • Heavy-duty shocks and rear leaf springs

But most importantly…the 440 V8.

The Charger was entirely restyled for ’68, with a slick coke-bottle profile and concealed headlights, and the 375-horsepower 440 Magnum V8 was also pretty f ...[more]

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How Different Tread Works


Surely you’ve noticed the wide range of tread patterns and styles available between different tire brands and models. Here’s a brief technical breakdown of how they all work: 

  • Tread patterns: Tires are commonly designed with symmetrical, asymmetrical and directional tread patterns. Symmetrical treads are the most common, with ribs or tread blocks where the inboard and outboard sections of the tire come together and match. Asymmetrical tread patterns vary the groove pattern of the tire to help deflect water and snow in all-season conditions, making them a good pick for year-round use. The grooves on directional tires form a V shape at the tire’s center, helping to displace water and avoid hydroplaning. The geometry of the tread blocks and tread pattern is designed to fulfill very dedicated, s ...[more]

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Throwback Thursday: 1969 Maserati Ghibli 4.7


The Sixties were a golden age for performance cars and sports cars, as technology blossomed and stylists were given free rein to come up with sexy-looking, sleek body styles. Maserati was no exception, with its V8-powered Ghibli two-seater. The Ghibli has since been named as one of the top ten sports cars of the Sixties (in the magazine Sports Car International), and outsold its contemporaries the Lamborghini Miura and Ferrari Daytona. Giugiaro designed the Ghibli’s body, with its low, shark-shaped nose and low profile; under the hood was a 330-horsepower  4.7 liter V8 engine.

The Ghibli could sprint to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds and top out at 154 mph – not so impressive by today’s standards, but remember that many of the mechanical features common on today’s cars were introduced 40-plus years ag ...[more]

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About All Terrain Tires


When you go shopping for all-terrain tires for your truck, SUV or crossover, you are typically going to be looking to split the difference between good off-road capability and decent road manners, such as handling, ride and noise suppression. Manufacturers know that many SUVs and trucks with all-terrain tires are never going to stray that far away from public roads, so they carefully compromise the tire’s off-road performance with a  slight bias toward road use. So what goes into an all-terrain tire? 

  • All terrain tread is designed to perform under a variety of off-road conditions, while still offering decent road qualities. An all-terrain tire typically has smaller voids (meaning the lugs are tighter together) than a mud tire’s more aggressive tread, meaning they don’t have the off-road ...[more]

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Classic Car Communities on FB


One of the great things about Facebook is the way it can bring communities of people together. Regardless of whether you’re interested in heavy metal music, politics, certain movies, certain authors, or if you want to reunite online with people from your hometown, FB has great resources to form these little tribes of people and let them share ideas, opinions and reminisces with each other. For classic car enthusiasts, here are three fantastic little communities: 

  • Classic Cars: Ford, Dodge, Pontiac, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile…regardless of what your preference is, you can find it here. FB’s Classic Cars page doesn’t go into the tech detail that many forums and brand-specific sites do; instead, it’s mo ...[more]

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Throwback Thursday: 3 Best James Bond Cars


Aston Martin Tires

Along with all the womanizing, drinking, fighting and spying that James Bond does, the other thing he’s always been really, really good at is driving. Bond’s been through a lot of cars over the years, including some ones you wouldn’t expect…like a Ford Galaxie and an AMC Hornet…but we picked out three of our favorites: 

  • Sunbeam Tiger – This one dates back to the ’62 film “Dr. No”; in the early 60s, Carroll Shelby took the cute, mild-mannered little Sunbeam Alpine roadster and jammed Ford’s 260 V8 into it. Bond put this little sleeper to good use, of course.
  • Toyota 2000 GT – Featured in ‘67’s “You Only Live Twice,” Toyo ...[more]

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Tire Warranty Ratings


Tire warranties and treadlife ratings are a popular marketing tool for tire manufacturers, and as tire technology and engineering has improved, 100,000 mile warranties are not uncommon. Of course, they do come with certain strings attached, considering the variety of weather conditions, usage and road conditions that tires might see – that’s why they’re always referred to as a “limited warranty.” Here’s  a quick breakdown of some common conditions of tire warranties, and how they are calculated: 

  • Treadlife and mileage warranties are only applicable to the original owner and original vehicle, meaning it’s crucial to retain the paperwork that certifies proof of purchase and original installation date and vehicle mileage. You may also be required to prove that tir ...[more]

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