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The First Muscle Car


The First Muscle Car

When Oldsmobile introduced the first mass-produced overhead-valve high-compression V8 engine for the 1949 model year, it was said to be the first muscle car. With 135 horsepower it out-powered the flathead Ford V8 by 35% and had the lightest, smallest body of any higher powered V8 cars. Others argue that the 1951 Chrysler Hemi was the first muscle car, with 180 horsepower, but its moderate price and two year jump give the title to Oldsmobile.

Imagine a person's surprise and delight at approaching a local Aldi's and finding this extremely well kept example in a handicapped parking spot.

1950 Oldsmobile 88

One of the first cars to offer an automatic transmission (standard equipment), the Hydramatic was actually a four-speed automatic, when other early automatics mostly had two speeds and even almost all manual transmissions had three. The 88 was also equipped with the Rocket V8 engine as standard. This two-door example shows full wheel covers and dual exterior spotlights, popular options in the day. Air-conditioning was not yet offered.

1950 Oldsmobile 88 Front Quarter

Don't worry too much about its driver enduring the hot Missouri Summer, notice the "wind-wings" integral with the front windows: those corner windows can be angled out to scoop in air, or angled in to scoop it out (great for smokers with finicky family members back in the day). That's just the easily visible extra ventilation feature that older cars had. Foot vents, a dashboard fan, the ventilation fan and a high roof are other design features that helped keep driver and passengers cool in the days before air-conditioning was standard.

1950 Oldsmobile Rear Quarter

The Rocket V8, the 88's signature feature, would grow in horsepower to as much as 400 horsepower in big-block 455 CID versions and Oldsmobile would continue to make its own V8 engines through 1990. Oldsmobile itself would shut down in 2004, six years before sister divisions Pontiac, Hummer and Saturn.


1957 Aston Martin DBR2 Sighted at Sarasota Monthly Car Show

Driving around Florida's Sun Coast, one shouldn't be surprised to find expensive automobiles used as daily drivers.  But once in a while, you come across something that just makes you stop in your tracks and go over and check it out.  That's what I found this week in passing Harry's Sports Bar & Grille in Sarasota hosting their monthly car show - a rare 1957 Aston Martin DBR2 Roadster meticulously restored and on display in all its glory.

1957 Aston Martin DBR2

1957 Aston Martin DBR2

1957 Aston Martin DBR2

There's more photos of this beautifully restored classic from The Last Detail in suburban Chicago, IL:



New Orleans Lakefront Cruiser - Opel GT Convertible


It's rare to see an Opel GT on the streets these days, but it's even more remarkable to see an Opel GT convertible, aptly dubbed "Spyder". This little gem was spotted at the New Orleans Lakefront on Sunday afternoon, soaking up the sun and the cool breeze off Lake Pontchartrain.

Opel GT Spyder Covertible

Opel didn't make a factory roadster during the vehicle's 1968-1973 production run. However, this one-off custom beauty was very well done and took some unique styling cues from the modern Corvette roadsters.

Opel GT Spyder Convertible  

Seems like the perfect way to enjoy the first weekend of Spring! 

Opel GT Convertible


Cool Cars We've Spotted in the Wild

Here is where we'll post pictures and descriptions of cool vehicles we see on the street or at a gas station or wherever.

September 2015

Downtown St. Louis, is a family reunion taking place? 2005 and 1966 Thunderbirds are parked next to each other. The 1955 Thunderbird was created to compete with the Corvette, but quickly migrated over to personal luxury. The 2002 reboot used the chassis from the Lincoln LS and Jaguar S-Type that would become the next generation Mustang's bones a few years later. Thunderbirds

August 2015

Downtown St. Louis, a 1960 Dodge Dart Pioneer. Fancy! Fins were still riding high in 1960, and the new Dart got them. This Dart was not a compact, or twin of the Valiant. This was a shorter-wheelbase, bargain version of the Dodge full-size. The tell on this model is the rear fin. Longer full-size Dodge sedans in 1960 have fins that start on the rear door. The Dart's fin starts right after the rear door. 1960 Dodge Dart Pioneer Four Door Sedan 1960 Dodge Dart Pioneer[/caption] Cool trait: The transparent speedo [caption id="attachment_1688" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]Dart Speedometer front Dart Speedometer front meter mounted on top of the dash.1960 Dodge Dart Speedometer Rear Dart Speedometer Rear

July 2015

1981 Citroen 2CV, a front-wheel drive French car produced after World War II for the people. It uses a BMW motorcycle engine. This one was imported after it was 25-years old. Otherwise they were not legal to bring to the U.S. 1981 Citroen 2CV

Outside of Kansas City we spotted a 1981 Citroen 2CV, a front-wheel drive French car produced after World War II for the masses. It uses a BMW motorcycle engine. This one was imported after it was 25-years old. Otherwise they were not legal to bring to the U.S. Manufactured from 1948 to 1990, its nickname deux chevaux means "two horses," which relates to its 2 taxable horsepower legal status, making it affordable to own in tax-happy France.


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