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  • Motorcities Story of the Week

    by Published on 08-16-2010 01:07 PM
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    Zuchettos 57 -example of "Baby Bird" (1955-57)

    When car cruising begins each summer, the heads still turn to see the classic Ford Thunderbirds. Over their history from 1955 to the present day, they underwent many changes of size and styling, but always have kept a unique, iconic look.

    The Thunderbird was introduced in 1955 with the intention of competing against the Chevrolet Corvette. The Bird was a classy looking two seater with clean styling, creature comforts and V8 refinements—more of a personal luxury car than a racy sports car. And that theme, of being a personal luxury car, permeated most of its 50 years of production.

    The Thunderbird surpassed easily the sales of the Corvette in those first years of production. However, Ford saw early on that a two-seater would not continue its popularity in the long run—this was a small niche. People wanted the convenience of more passenger and cargo room. Thus the 1958 to 1960 model of the Thunderbird was transformed into a four-seat car. This first transformation of the Thunderbird had boxy lines, a wide pillar roof for the hard top, but the fine interior definitely said it was a personal luxury car indeed. This revamping of the Thunderbird was an instant success. It was named Motor Trend Magazine’s Car of the Year.
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    by Published on 08-09-2010 11:59 AM
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    The Spanish Conqueror
    By: Margery Krevsky

    One of the most successful car launches in automotive history was the entry of the DeSoto in 1929. The vehicles were built until 1961. Produced by Chrysler as a mid-priced vehicle it entered the market at a highly competitive time and helped lay claim to an empire. GM had the slogan a “car for every purse and purpose”. The Chevrolet to Cadillac philosophy helped establish GM as the world’s largest and most successful auto company. So Walter P. Chrysler, head of Chrysler, conceived the DeSoto to add to its nameplate “ladder”. It is possible the creation of this vehicle also propelled the Dodge Brothers and their bankers to sell the Dodge Company to Chrysler. After the introduction of the DeSoto the Chrysler/ Dodge sale took place giving the newly formed company two mid-priced vehicles. Thus, with the stroke of a pen Walter P. Chrysler purchased Dodge Brothers and created a sibling rival for the Desoto.
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    by Published on 08-02-2010 12:38 PM
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    The Ultimate Auto Tour
    By: Margery Krevsky

    The creation of the Rouge River Plant began when Henry Ford started buying marshland along the Rouge River in 1915 eventually acquiring over 2,000 acres. Groundbreaking occurred in 1917 for the first Rouge building. Construction was completed in 1928 when it attained the distinction as the largest integrated factory in the world. The first product produced was the World War I Eagle Boat warship designed to hunt down German submarines. These were produced in Building B. This original Building B, a three story structure, is part of the legendary Dearborn, MI assembly plant’s history, famous for its Model A production line.
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    by Published on 07-27-2010 07:21 AM
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    Motorcities Story of the Week
    By: Margery Krevsky

    What do fire bombings, dead race horses, rental cars and Checker Cabs have in common?

    Our saga of the great American taxi begins at the start of the automotive business in the early 1900’s with an entrepreneur in the tailoring and clothier business named Morris Markin. He was a Russian immigrant transplanted to Chicago, Illinois. As a crafty business man in search of profits he also handled a money lending operation which was well known and respected in the state. When a financial reversal for the owner of Commonwealth Motors in Joliet, Illinois made it impossible to repay a $15,000 loan to Markin he added auto manufacturer to his list of business credits. Taking over the business in 1921 Markin learned Commonwealth Motors was unique,
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