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Media post: The First SUV – the International Harvester Travellall

Want to start a spirited discussion among car enthusiasts? Ask which American car manufacturer made the first muscle car. With a little luck, the discussion will stay civil as the Chevy, Ford and Chrysler people battle it out. On the other hand, ask the same group who made the first SUV and things should be far quieter; the first SUV, or “4×4 truck-based passenger wagon” was the 1956 International Travellall, a company almost unheard of today.

The International story

The International company was founded by Cyrus McCormick in 1831. Producing a large assortment of farm implements, including buggies and carts designed for passenger use, International became a major supplier of equipment to America’s farmers during the 1800s. By the late 1800s, the demand for passenger vehicles was well recognized and in the early 1900s, International began working on motorized versions. By 1907, the company began production of their first motorized passenger car called the Auto Buggy. Before long, International was producing the Auto Wagon from the same basic structure, complete with a bed that could haul an 800-pound load. Over the next several decades, International became a major producer of pickup trucks.

The Travelall

In the early 1950s, International Harvester infused the DNA of its rugged, commercial trucks into a passenger vehicle. Called the Travelall, this vehicle started out as a modified R-Series commercial panel truck with side windows and a new tailgate design. Roughly comparable in size to today’s Chevy Suburbans, the first Travelalls were two-door models. In 1957-61, they had an interesting third door on the passenger side. Later, all Travelalls came with four doors. Travelalls quickly became popular: Ansel Adams used one to travel the United States, often photographing his famous black-and-white landscapes from a custom-built platform on the roof. International’s successful Travelall model was followed by the smaller Scout in 1961. The Scout came only with two doors in various hardtop and soft-top configurations.

The first SUV

Technically, the first SUV was 1956 Travelall with optional 4×4 drive. True, the Chevrolet Suburban had a similar body layout, but the Suburban didn’t acquire four-wheel drive until 1960 and Reed Chrysler of St. Joseph, MO says Dodge’s large Town Wagon wasn’t offered with four-wheel drive until 1957. International was the first with what we consider today as an SUV: a “4×4 truck-based passenger wagon.” A common question that arises is “what happened?” How did International Harvester lose out on SUV boom that struck just a few years later? The answer might be a simple matter of distribution.

Advertising and distribution

With advertising campaigns that emphasized four-wheel-drive practicality, early International marketing campaigns were directed at suburban families rather than at farmers or tradesmen. However, Travelalls were sold alongside commercial trucks through International Harvester’s dealers, most of which were in rural areas rather than in the urban and suburban markets.

Leaving before the party started

This mismatch between advertising and distribution led to sluggish sales and a departure from the consumer truck market in 1980. Had it been able to hold out a while longer, International, a company with a real heritage and a history in rugged commercial trucks, would probably still be a player in an SUV market successfully populated by Ford, Chevrolet and Chrysler, along with such unlikely truck makers as Porsche and BMW.

Media post: Dodge’s Historic Charger

For some, the utterance of “Dodge Charger” stirs up images of the bright orange sedan launching off ramps in “The Dukes of Hazzard.” The car, called the “General Lee,” was a second-generation charger and this generation is now considered by some to be the best muscle cars ever made. In this article, let’s take a look at the journey that the Charger has traveled – from its origins as a concept car to today as a highly sought-after modern muscle cars.

The First One

In 1946, the first Charger was simply a concept car built by Dodge with the new 426 HEMI engine installed. While this hot rod did get noticed by the press, it didn’t grab the public’s imagination.

The First Generation

In 1964, the Ford Mustang was released and it was a big success. Even though Plymouth had introduced the Valiant-based Barracuda just weeks before the Mustang was released, the industry shockwaves produced by the Mustang stunned everyone. Mustangs were flying out the doors of Ford dealerships nation-wide. Going to work quickly, in 1966, Dodge had their answer to the Mustang: the new Charger. Based on a Dodge Coronet frame, the Charger came out of the gate with four different V8 engine options, including the new 426 Street Hemi. It was a muscle car with attitude.

The Second Generation

Although they retained all the mechanics of the first-generation Chargers, the second generation, released in 1968, was a complete redesign with a more sculpted body and an integrated trunk spoiler. The design was a huge success. By 1968, muscle cars were in hot demand and Dodge provided plenty of choice for all buyers. Chargers could now be optioned with no less than four different big block V8s, ranging from the two-barrel 383, to the 426 “Elephant” Hemi. Plus a wide variety of paints and trims.

The Charger Softens

With the early 1970s rising gas prices and slow economy, sales of performance cars began to get sluggish. By 1975, the Charger had been repositioned as a luxury car, available with just two low-performance engines: either a two-barrel or four-barrel 360ci V8. After 1977, Dodge decided to pull the plug on the Charger brand altogether.

The Charger Resurfaces

In 1981, Dodge sought to inject some juice into the Omni economy car by reviving the Charger name as a performance package. Called the Charger 2.2, the package included special gear ratios and a new 84 horsepower four-cylinder motor along with a handful of trim enhancements. Despite this, the Charger nameplate would once again go blank after 1987.

The Sixth Generation – A New Hope

Nineteen years after putting the nameplate to rest, Dodge reintroduced the Charger as an all-new model for the 2006 model year. This rear-drive, full-sized sedan offered excellent performance with the debut of the Charger SRT8. Powered by a 6.1-liter Hemi V8 putting out 425 horsepower, the SRT model boasted forged aluminum wheels, Brembo brakes, upgraded interior appointments, and aggressive bodywork.

The Amazing Seventh Generation

When the seventh generation Charger was introduced in 2011, things started to turn around.  First big change: The Seventh Gen Chargers features body style borrowing styling cues from the second-generation Chargers. This was a smart marketing move and is said to be driven from considerable feedback from dealers like our friends at Fred Martin Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram of Barberton, OH.

In 2015, the automotive world was shaken when the Charger SRT Hellcat was released. Powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 that cranked out 707 horsepower, the Hellcat was declared as the fastest sedan money could buy when it debuted. The performance car buying market was stunned and sales were massive.

For model-year 2018, the Dodge Charger has nine trims to its name. A wide spectrum of engines and 2018 model year Chargers could be ordered in spectrum of paint colors, some of which are from the original late 60s High-Impact Paint (HIP) collection – Plum Crazy, Go Mango, Yellow Jacket, Top Banana, Hemi Orange and Citron Yella.

Media post: The First Challenger

Mention the words “Dodge Challenger” to any car enthusiast and they will likely gush about the awesome Dodge Hellcat Challengers built in just the last few years. Ask them when the first Challenger appeared, however, and you will probably get a blank stare.  This is because its not common knowledge that the first Challenger was merely a Dodge Coronet with a fancy paint job. Well, maybe a little more than that, but we got the story from our friends at Rouen Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram of Woodville, OH.

The Challenger in the 1960s

The first-generation Challengers were “pony cars” made by Chrysler Corporation. Made between 1970 and 1974, these cars were based on modified Barracuda chassis. For engines, buyers could choose between a 335HP 383, a 375HP 440, a 390HP 440 and the big guy in town, the 425HP 426 Hemi. It’s true that Chrysler joined the pony car party a bit late (1970), but when they finally got there, they made quite an entrance. The party lasted about half a decade (until 1975) and then Chrysler pulled the plug.

The Challenger in the 2010s

Fast forward to 2011 when the Challenger name resurrected and once again applied to Chrysler cars. These seventh-generation Challengers borrowed styling cues from the classic second-generation models and they boasted outlandishly powerful engines. In particular, the SRT Hellcat. Released in 2015, this sedan was powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 that cranked out 707 horsepower.

The Silver Challenger

The Challenger name was first used on a promotional model of the Dodge Coronet.  Introduced on May 1, 1959, it was called the Silver Challenger and was offered only as a two-door Club Sedan, and as the name suggests, only in a new silver paint. It was simply a special Coronet spruced up to move some product during the slow summer months.

Even so, the Silver Challenger was a good-looking automobile. It featured a distinctive all silver metallic “Lustre-Bond” paint -a high-baked enamel that could go two or three years before waxing. The 1959 summer promotional package also included black carpeting, silver vinyl and black brocade interior fabrics, whitewall tires, and full wheel covers.

There were two engine choices for the Silver Challenger. The 135HP 6-cylinder or 255 HP V-8 engine. Transmission choices included a three-speed manual with column shift or a two-speed Powerflite automatic.

Optional accessories that provide added driver comfort, convenience and control features, including swing-out swivel seats. Suggested prices at the factory were $2,530.50 for the 6-banger and $2,650.00 for the V-8.

Just 352 Made

Even though it was an attractive car, sales of the Silver Challenger were low. Chrysler records say that just 352 Silver Challengers built before the redesigned 1960 Dodges went into production in late August.

Conclusion

So, this case study is an interesting one. It represents the evolution of a car brand, an evolution that is not uncommon in the automotive world.

Media post: What’s the Deal with Car Crushers?

The swan song for almost every new car is a trip to the crusher – a massive machine whose purpose is to flatten a car into a slab of metal.  Car crushers are an important part of the automotive recycling industry and in this article, we’ll learn about how they work.

What car crushers are

A car crusher is a special kind of press used to compress the metal remains of a junked car.  This is generally done after the vehicle has been stripped of all useful parts.  The reason that cars are crushed is simple; they take up less space and are easier to transport to a recycling facility. Today, however, most car crushers are portable. They are mounted to a heavy-duty truck trailer so they can easily be towed to locations where they are needed.  This cuts costs for scrap yards because instead of buying a stationary machine, they can simply rent a portable crusher when needed.

How they work

Virtually all modern car crushers use massive hydraulic pistons to crush vehicles.  A large diesel motor powers a pump that pushes hydraulic fluid to drive the pistons. Using principles of force-multiplication, the typical crusher generates 2,000 psi and can impart more than 150 tons of crushing force onto a vehicle.

The different types of crushers

The standard crusher flattens a vehicle into a flat shape.  The hydraulic pistons drive a metal crushing plate down vertically reducing a car to a height of just 1-2 feet thick.  Ted Britt Chevrolet of Sterling, VA, when says this type of crusher is the most common one used. In a “bale” crusher, another set of pistons pushes another crushing plate from the sides after it is flattened vertically. This forms the junk car into a squarish shape that looks like a large metal cube. The last type of crusher is called a hammer crusher. These aren’t as much crushers as they are shredders. They use hammer-like objects connected to spinning wheels that simply smash the vehicle into smaller pieces.

Prepping a car

Before crushing a vehicle is stripped of all parts that can be resold.  For example, a car may come in because its rusty but most of the mechanic components operate fine. Salvage crews will pull these components out of the vehicle along with just about any other part that can be resold. Today, the reselling of car parts is a huge business with the internet connecting buyers and sellers worldwide. Before a car is stripped, all hazardous materials are removed. The battery is removed, the Freon in the AC system is recovered by a special machine and the gas tank is removed and drained.  If the engine is left in the car, the antifreeze and oil are drained.

The recycling ecosystem

The sale of crushed cars is only a small piece of the auto recycling . About 65 percent of a junked car is made from steel, the rest is made up of materials such as glass, rubber and plastic. Expanding economies, like those in Asia have led to greater demand for scrap steel.  Approximately 14 million tons of steel is recycled every year in North America.

Media post: The fascinating story behind Jeep

Jeep can be considered as a patriotic automaker that has developed into an iconic American brand today. Recognized as a vehicle that assisted in winning World War 11, Jeep has an interesting history that reveals that tenacity is the key to success.  Jeep Seattle has an interesting history of the Jeep. Although Jeep is a recognized iconic automotive brand, in reality, its development hung on a group of unsuccessful corporate owners. Jeep suffered several mishaps during its tenure because it passed from hand- to- hand of several automakers, resulting in a trail of extinct companies along the way. So much so, that even current owner, Fiat Chrysler appears to be displaying signs of instability.

Jeep came into being because the Army needed a vehicle that would fit into an all-purpose transportation situation.  A popular theory on the name “Jeep” is that it originated from the acronym for GP, “general purpose.”  Others say it originated with Popeye comic strip character, Eugene the Jeep. Interestingly, you can read here for more information on the originality of the acronym for GP.

How it all began

The American Bantam, a car company in Butler, Pennsylvania was the original designer of the Jeep. During the latter part of the 1930s, the Army needed a mode of transportation that could replace the horse and motorcycle. In 1940 when the government needed a small four-wheel drive vehicle, it contracted Willys Overland because of the concern that American Bantam couldn’t build the number of vehicles it needed.  Later, the Ford Company was included. Ford then, started out by branding “F”on many parts to distinguish its Jeeps from the ones Willys made.

After the war, however, Willys transformed its military Jeep, the MB into the CJ-2A. Willys continued to produce the CA (Civilian Jeep) into numerous unique generations for the next four decades. Eventually, the Wrangler replaced the CJ, and is still on the market today.

Undeterred, Willys began creating a complete collection of Jeep vehicles, which shaped the beginning of Jeep’s changeover into a unique brand. Willys rolled out several noticeable designs in the latter part of the 1940s; in 1946, the Jeep station wagon, in 1947, a Jeep pickup truck and the Jeepster; a mini convertible that looked more like a regular car.  Decades later, the Jeep would be designed to look more like cars, thus forming the first crossover of the Jeep. Click the following link for additional information: https://militaryhistorynow.com/2015/11/27/what-the-hell-is-a-jeep-how-did-americas-favourite-army-4×4-get-its-name/

In 1953, Kaiser bought Willys and the Jeep once more changed hands. At that time, Kaiser was responsible for the Liberty Ship, another World War 11 vehicle. Right after the war, Kaiser went into the business of car production. In 1963, it stopped using the Willys name completely and became Kaiser-Jeep.  It was in 1963 also that the Wagoneer came out; a more sophisticated substitute to the CJ.  The Wagoneer designed with a fully enclosed station wagon-like body is the initial forerunner of current SUVs.

The How and Why of AMC and Chrysler 

In 1969, AMC, a Wisconsin-based automaker, bought Kaiser-Jeep.  Under AMC’s ownership, the Jeep brand enjoyed a significant growth, but the other lineup in this automaker company declined significantly too. This resulted in an alliance between AMC and Renault, but this proved futile because partnership couldn’t save AMC.  In 1987, Chrysler, who had an interest in Jeep, bought the company.

In the 1980s, two important Jeep models were introduced on the market.  The XJ-generation Cherokee was the first one and it came out in 1984.  As Jeep’s first truly modern SUV, the XJ literally pushed the brand further creating more impact on the market.  Although the company continued to produce the XJ with some modifications up to 2001, it was replaced eventually by the Liberty in 2001.

While Chrysler’s was planning its takeover, Jeep on the other hand, was getting ready with a replacement for the CJ. This replacement was the YJ, the first-generation Wrangler. The YJ looked stood out with its look and off-road ability similar to the CJ along but with up-to-date features, but the Jeep traditionalists didn’t buy into it. They didn’t like the square lights of the YJ.  The result was replacement of round lights, which were designed in succeeding generations. Eventually, the Wrangler became one of the distinct features in the Jeep group. There is plan to roll out a version of a fourth–generation type  soon.

Prosperous SUV introduction

Chrysler no doubt made a smart choice when it bought Jeep. An explosive interest in the 1990s for SUVs, gave Jeep the push to maximize on the enthusiasm shown by the populace. In 1992, the first-generation Grand Cherokee was introduced, which gave Jeep the correct first-class model SUV vehicle. Things took on a different turn in the latter part of the 1990s. In 1998, Chrysler decided to merge with Daimler AG. This merge resulted in new focus directed on producing trucks and SUVs that were more costly in terms of fuel efficiency and quality. The Compass and Patriot were Jeep’s initial car-based crossovers.  These were criticized universally and the huge Commander received white elephant status due to 2008 recession that resulted in a rise in gas prices. Undaunted, by this event, Jeep launched the Grand Cherokee SRT, a model that favored on-road performance while ignoring off-road capability. Read Jeep development.

Daimler cut off Chrysler eventually and as the recession took its toll, Chrysler became a bankrupt company.  However, Fiat bought the company before it collapsed totally. The current new name is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).  The new owners made several divisive decisions such as the return of the Cherokee as a crossover and the introduction of mini Renegade. The 2017 New York Auto Show saw the introduction of a vehicle that American Bantam, the original designers could never have envisioned the 707- horsepower Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

Jeep enjoys robust sales on the market. While the automaker claims it has plans for an extensive lineup of models for the future, there could very well be a repeat in history. It is evident that Jeep is doing extremely well at the expense of several other Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) car-focus brands. The problem that this situation creates begs this question: How viable will this Italian –American company be in the long term? Jeep appears to have withstood the ever-changing flows of business prosperity. The Jeep seemed poised for whatever the future holds, and will remain on the market despite any future challenges within the auto world.

Media Post: How Many Cars on Planet Earth?

Ever driven over a bridge or overpass and seen a backup of cars below that goes on for miles? Does it seem a trifle scary how many cars there must be, well, on the entire planet? Do we have the natural resources to support all this? Well, not to be alarmist, the scary part isn’t just the number of cars that currently exist, it’s the velocity of increase. Here’s the details.

How many?

A few firms have given a shot at determining how many cars there are. According to Phil Smith Kia of Lighthouse, FL, who helped us with this article, the number is some 1.2 billion. They arrived at this figure by analyzing vehicle registrations in the US, and other countries that had electronic databases, and extrapolated them according to historical trends. It is important to note that this number includes passenger cars, trucks of all sizes but not off-road and other vehicles. Other firms have arrived at similar estimates.

The US leads the pack

In the US, there is approximately 1 car per 1.3 people, a ratio that has held for many years. If you take the total population, approximately 324 million, and do the math, you end up with about 250 million cars on the road. The next largest country is China. While the ratio of cars to population is less than what it is in the United States, 1 car per 17.2 people, there 1.3 billion people in China. Doing the math, 1.3 billion/17.2 yields about 76 million cars in the country. This is just a third of the United States, at least at the present time.

What are sales, though?

While the US has the largest number of cars on the road, it is not the largest marketplace for new car sales. That’s because the US is a mature market where car sales generally occur when an older vehicle is being replaced. Regardless of this, according to Edmunds approximately 17 million new cars were sold in the United States were sold in 2017. By contrast, the analysts at Edmunds feel the Chinese car market is on track to cross 30 million units sold, reaching as high as 40 million per year sold by 2020. That would more than twice the size of the U.S. market in just a few years.

More growth

While the possibility of such impressive sales numbers are exciting for the car manufacturers, environmentalists are concerned about the negative effects. And they have a good right to be concerned. At the present velocity, the number cars on the road is expected to double to 2.4 billion by 2025.  This obviously will provide opportunities and challenges for the industries involved in the automotive industry.

Media Post: EVs and Raw Material Ethical Issues 

The days of uncertainty involving the usefulness of electric vehicles for transportation and freight are definitely over. They are everywhere now and for good reason. Let’s start with the fact that electric vehicles are cheap in the long run and their operation is emission-free. Attributes like this are just some of the reasons that the demand for electric vehicles (EVs, Hybrids, etc.) is ramping up dramatically. Why not, with electric vehicles, there’s not a lot of negatives.

Raw materials

However, constructing electric vehicles brings another dimension to the arguement. Electric cars use many rare materials, especially in their battery packs. Metals such Cobalt, lithium, and nickel are just a few. According to Warsaw Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Warsaw, IN, these metals are needed to make the lithium-ion batteries in the Pacifica Hybrid, among other cars.  The problem is that with demand increasing rapidly, some side effects have occurred in the battery supply chain. For example, many of these raw materials come from third world countries where labor is cheap and children are used as workers. Even though the demand for these materials is through the roof, the money does trickle down. Let’s look at the supply chain of Cobalt.

Cobalt supply

Cobalt is a metal found in the Earth’s crust and is one of the critical raw materials to make lithium-ion batteries. Cobalt is mined all over the world, but much of the global supply comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to UNICEF, some 40,000 children are involved in cobalt mining in Democratic Republic of Congo where they make far less than the adults do performing the same tasks. And, the situation will only grow larger because the demand for cobalt has tripled in the past five years.

Making a difference

Since the demand for cobalt and other scarce metals is driven not only electric car manufacturers but many other electronics companies (specifically cell phone manufacturers), these companies should be held accountable for enforcing ethically-sourcing policies.  This is a top down approach, and it has been shown to be very effective.

Progress is being made

Thankfully, some companies are off to a good start. Let’s look at cobalt supply again. A few years ago, tech giants like Samsung, and Sony combined forces and created the Responsible Cobalt Initiative (RPI). Members of the RPI have pledged to follow guidelines for the cobalt supply chain.

The rest of the raw materials

In this article, we focused on just cobalt, but most of the other raw materials, in particular, the rare ones, are being overseen in a similar fashion. Thankfully, the days of child labor and other unethical practices are being addressed and being taken care of.

Media post: A Few Intriguing Car Tales

The 1957 Cadillac had a mini bar built into the glovebox

The 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham was commonly referred to as “the Frank Sinatra car” because Sinatra loved them. Perhaps one of the reasons was that the Eldorado Brougham had a factory-installed, magnetized minibar in the glovebox. That’s right storage for bottles and stainless cups. How can this be possible? Well, as www.kingbgmc.com reminds us, this was way before drinking and driving laws were enacted!  Back then, it certainly wasn’t suggested that one drink and drive but it wasn’t illegal either.

Obi-Wan Kenobi predicted James Dean’s death

The death of Hollywood actor James Dean occurred on September 30, 1955, in Cholame, CA.  Dean was an amateur racer who had previously competed in several racing events and was traveling with his mechanic in his new Porsche 550 to another competition when his car crashed at the junction of California Route 46 and Route 41. While his mechanic was thrown clear of the car and survived, Dean was crushed in the car and died shortly thereafter.

The eerie part of this story is that another Hollywood icon, Sir. Alec Guinness (also known as Obi-wan Kenobi), heard about the Dean’s purchase of a Porsche 550 and reportedly said that “He’ll be found dead within a week”. This, tragically, became the case.

Bond got a free Aston Martin

The Bond movie franchise is enormously popular and James Bond drives a highly customized Aston Martin sportscar in several of the films. In fact, Aston Martin cars are so intertwined with the Bond franchise that the company donated a free midnight-blue Aston Martin Vanquish (Serial Number #007) to Daniel Craig when he was playing the Bond character. Can you imagine, a free Aston Martin Vanquish!

BMW had to recall its GPS system because it had a female voice

Stereotypes are tricky stuff, especially when they involve genders. We all know that these stereotypes are wrong, but they unfortunately exist. Take the story about German male car owners and the female voice used in BMWs GPS systems. Reportedly, BMW had to recall thousands of their built-in GPS systems because their default voice was female. According to the phone calls that BMW received from thousands of German drivers, they found it annoying to take directions from a female voice. Of course, they were really taking directions from a machine, but that didn’t seem to matter; They didn’t like it.

The Dubai airport is loaded with abandoned supercars

Dubai is a nation stuffed with rich people and many of them they love their supercars. So much so that the police drive Lamborghinis. However, due to a quirk of Dubai law, it’s very difficult to declare bankruptcy in Dubai. So, what do the rich do when it all goes bust? They escape prosecution by leaving the country and when this happens, they often leave their cars behind them at the airport. Don’t believe us? Go Google it and you will find hundreds of photos of dusty, abandoned supercars at the Dubai airport. Wow.

BMW had to recall its GPS system because it had a female voice

Gender stereotypes are tricky stuff. We all know that they’re wrong, but unfortunately they exist. Take the story about German males and the female GPS voice. Stanford University’s communications professor Clifford Nass reported that BMW had to recall thousands of their built-in GPS systems. Why? Because their default voice was female. According to the phone calls the BMW help desk received from German drivers, men found it annoying to take directions from a female voice. Of course, they were actually taking directions from a machine, but that didn’t seem to matter.

Media post: Shopping for a New Vehicle? How to Pick the Sports Car of Your Dreams

Buying a new car can be an exciting, rewarding experience. If you’re like a lot of people, the fear of buying the wrong car, then being stuck with it for years and years, can weigh on you a bit. The good news is that you don’t have to be one of the unlucky shoppers dealing with buyer’s remorse as soon as they leave the dealership.

Rent Before You Buy

Deciding to rent a sports car can be a great way to have some fun for the weekend or impress friends, family, clients, or a date for an outing. Renting is also a smart way to test out a car for more than an hour – which is what you get with most test drive situations – to see if you really want to buy it.

Yes, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for a sports car rental, and fees for each day can be relatively steep. Still, compared to buying a car you don’t really like, renting a vehicle for a few days is a smart option.

If you decide to rent and you’re not sure what you really want, consider booking a package plan where you can try a few different cars. Sometimes you’ll save money by renting a car for a full week or more – even if they’re different cars on different days.

Splurge on a New Sports Car

Many people dream of walking onto a car lot, picking out their favorite model, and driving it off on the spot. If you’ve got an eye for sports cars, doing this is something that might actually be possible if you’ve got the cash. That doesn’t mean it’s the best way to shop for the car of your dreams.

Instead, take the time to visit a few dealerships – even if they sell the same cars! Why? Because dealerships can offer different prices at different times of the month or year. By doing your homework and shopping around, you can save a significant amount of money when buying a new car over simply paying the sticker price.

Remember, sports cars and luxury vehicles tend to depreciate in value as soon as they go off the lot, so spending as little as you can on a car you love is just smart business.

Scour Used Dealerships

Used car dealerships are an excellent place to find sports cars with limited miles at prices that are a little bit better than what you’ll get for a new model. You’ll also be able to find older sports cars and classic models this way, though pricing for classics may not be easy to swallow!

One of the best ways to do this is to visit used car dealerships and leave your name and number with somebody helpful if you’re looking for a particular model. Most used car dealerships rotate stock and have access to a variety of cars. Soon enough, they may have a line on the exact car you’re after. Do this at a few places around town that have a good reputation and you may be driving the car you’ve always wanted before you know it.

Check Online Classifieds

Online classifieds can be hit or miss, but finding a diamond in the rough is definitely possible. Check local classified sites in your area, as well as printed papers if they exist in your city, to find your ideal car.

Then make sure you thoroughly evaluate the vehicle before putting your hard-earned cash on the table.

Find a Good Mechanic

If you go the used sports car route, which can be a very good choice for your wallet, you’re going to want to have somebody take a look at your vehicle before you buy. That means finding a good mechanic who understands the model of car that you’re after.

Once you narrow down your search in terms of car type you can start making some calls to find a mechanic that seems reputable. They may charge a fee to go over a car you’re looking at buying, but in the end, that’s actually a good thing. It means that they’re not trying to up-sell you on parts – they’re just offering a service at a price they think is fair for the work involved.

Always get a used car checked before you buy, especially if it’s coming from an individual. You won’t have too much recourse once you buy, so getting a lemon can be disastrous.

 

Shopping for a sports car should be an exciting adventure, not an exercise in frustration. Utilize these tips and before you know it you’ll be behind the wheel of that dream car you’ve been fantasizing about since you got your license.

Media post: All About Presidential State Limousines

Early presidential limousines were mildly-modified Cadillacs and Lincolns but today’s presidential limousines are so heavily modified that only a tiny fraction of each vehicle comes from a car manufacturer. The rest is custom made by military contractors and other authorized suppliers. With the assistance of groganstownechryslerdodge.com, we put together an interesting list of presidential limo facts.

  • There are no keys or keyholes on the presidential limo. The Secret Service agents in are the only people who know how to open it.
  • It is 18 feet long and weighs an astonishing 14,000 lbs. By comparison, standard automobiles weigh in the 3000 to 4000 range.
  • Naturally, the presidential limousine has glass that is a multi-laminated matrix of glass and plastic and is a full 5 inches thick.
  • At all times, two pints of blood in the President’s type are inside the vehicle.
  • The present presidential limo has multiple rocket-propelled grenade launchers and a massive tear gas cannon under the hood.
  • A specially modified Chevrolet Suburban with a machine gun capable of firing 4,000 rounds per minute rides in the Presidential Motorcade.
  • The Limo goes everywhere the President goes. If the president goes to an international destination, the limo is often flown there by a massive C-17 Globemaster.
  • Heavy Kevlar mats line the underbelly of the presidential limo to protect the president and guests from IEDs.
  • The vehicles’ tires are a proprietary design that cannot go flat.
  • The driver’s window is the only window in the vehicle that opens, and it only opens just three inches.
  • The air inside the vehicle is sealed completely from the outside air.
  • The Presidential Limo travels with its own mechanic. This mechanic is an armed federal agent who carries a full set of tools.
  • The limo is equipped with a full complement of outside cameras that display to monitors inside the cabin.
  • As many as 12 Presidential State Cars exist and they are used in rotation.
  • Whenever the President is in the vehicle, his chief security officer is always in the front passenger seat.
  • The driver is highly-trained in evasive driving techniques.
  • The rear seats have reclining and massaging capabilities.
  • When a presidential limo is retired, the Secret Service destroys every part.
  • The motorcade always contains the communications equipment necessary to link the presidential limo directly to the Department of Defense.
  • The Presidential vehicle has a maximum speed of only 60 mph.
  • The Presidential Limo is powered by a supercharged 6.5 liter diesel engine, the same type of engine in a military Humvee.
  • Outside noise is pumped in through speakers inside the limo, This is because the President can’t hear anything outside once he’s inside.
  • Sometimes, there is a decoy. The President may travel in an armored bus referred to as “Ground Force One”.
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