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Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage


Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage

Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage

Auto-Biography, Cont'd.

The Columbia Car: Reliable, Simple to Operate and Ready for Action

The Columbia Car: Reliable, Simple to Operate and Ready for Action

Auto Biography
In the late 1800s, as fewer bicycles were being sold, the Columbia Electric Car seemed like a good way for Albert Pope to keep his factories busy. …keep reading

HRG: A Gentleman's Racer

HRG: A Gentleman's Racer

Auto Biography
From 1936 to 1956 (with a gap for the War years), HRG made only 241 cars and it is thought that 225 survive. That's an unheard of 94% survival rate. (Of that number, about 25 are in the U.S.) Most of these cars are still in use, and some continue to compete. …keep reading

Rauch and Lang Electrics: Cars of Social Prestige

Rauch and Lang Electrics: Cars of Social Prestige

Auto Biography - By Llewellyn Hedgbeth
Rauch and Lang was one of the finest, most expensive, and longest lasting of the early electrics. It oozed luxury and was de rigueur of the social set. …keep reading

Cord: A Different Roadability

Cord: A Different Roadability

Auto Biography - By Llewellyn Hedgbeth
Its front-wheel drive was innovative; its design was low, sleek and daring; and many owners loved it. The Cord, both the L-29 and the later 810/812s, won speed race awards and design accolades. Even though the Cord was never a great commercial success, it's definitely a classic we'd all love to own. …keep reading

Earl Cars: Better Looking — Better Built

Earl Cars: Better Looking — Better Built

Auto Biography - By Llewellyn Hedgbeth
There were hundreds of different makes and models of American cars in the twenties. Among them was the Earl of Jackson, Michigan. …keep reading

Chrysler Royal

Chrysler Royal

Auto Biography - By Llewellyn Hedgbeth
Disappointed with the sales of the radical Chrysler Airflow, Chrysler was looking for a more traditional automobile. …keep reading

Winton: The King of Cars

Winton: The King of Cars

Auto Biography - By Llewellyn Hedgbeth
The Winton caught the public imagination, first when it was introduced in the late 1890s, again when it was featured on a 1995 US postage stamp, and yet again in 2003 when PBS aired "Horatio's Drive" about the car's famous trek across the US …keep reading

Waverley Electric

Waverley Electric

Auto Biography - By Llewellyn Hedgbeth
Clearly, electric vehicles are nothing new. Many of the early horseless carriage cars of the early 20th century were battery powered. Here's the story of one of them. …keep reading

Holsman Highwheeler Motor Buggy (1901-1911)

Holsman Highwheeler Motor Buggy (1901-1911)

Auto Biography - By Llewellyn Hedgbeth
In the early days of automobile production, folks were still wondering about how to use a horseless carriage. To answer this question, in 1901 Henry K. Holsman started the Holsman Automobile Company and built one of the most successful "highwheelers". …keep reading

The Chevrolet Masters

The Chevrolet Masters

Auto Biography - By Llewellyn Hedgbeth
The thirties and early forties were good and innovative years for the Chevrolet marque. From 1934 through 1942 Chevrolet "mastered" the market and captured the popular imagination. …keep reading

Hudson Terraplane

Hudson Terraplane

Auto Biography - By Llewellyn Hedgbeth
Introduced in the depths of the Great Depression, the Terraplane offered comfort, power, durability and reliability at a lower cost that the competition. …keep reading

DIVCO Delivery Truck

DIVCO Delivery Truck

Auto Biography - By Llewellyn Hedgbeth
Seen in every neighborhood in the 40s and 50s, this icon of suburbia still maintains its original charm. …keep reading

EX-122: The 1953 Motorama Corvette

EX-122: The 1953 Motorama Corvette

Auto Biography - By Tom Benford
This in-depth article traces the history of a very special car. …keep reading

The 1949 Willys-Overland Jeepster

The 1949 Willys-Overland Jeepster

Auto Biography - By Tom Benford
You wouldn't be entirely wrong if you said the Jeepster was the original "crossover" vehicle, since it was trying to be a passenger car while retaining it's "Jeepness". …keep reading

Lincoln Zephyr

Lincoln Zephyr

Auto Biography - By Llewellyn Hedgbeth
In 1951 the Museum of Modern Art selected the Lincoln Zephyr as one of the best pre-war automotive designs, calling it the first successful American streamlined car. …keep reading

The Saga of the Stainless Steel Fords

The Saga of the Stainless Steel Fords

Auto Biography - By Tom Benford
Very few people are aware that three Ford models were fabricated from stainless steel. Here's their story …keep reading

1935 Dodge DU Coupe

1935 Dodge DU Coupe

Auto Biography - By Tom Benford
Designed to appeal to well-to-do college students, the '35 Dodge DU is a real looker! …keep reading

1966 Oldsmobile 442

1966 Oldsmobile 442

Auto Biography - By Tom Benford
In the mid 1960s, Oldsmobile jumped on the muscle car bandwagon in a big way with it's beefed up F85 Cutlass, called the Oldsmobile 442. …keep reading

1975 Cosworth Vega

1975 Cosworth Vega

Auto Biography - By Tom Benford
John DeLorean was looking for a high-performance version of the Vega that would appeal to the youth market. Enter Keith Duckworth of Cosworth Engineering. …keep reading

1962 Buick Wildcat: Wouldn't You Rather Drive a Buick?

1962 Buick Wildcat: Wouldn't You Rather Drive a Buick?

Auto Biography
Buick was a marque with a grand tradition of value and features that appealed almost exclusively to upper middle class males. By 1961 Buick's management decided to go high-performance …keep reading

1958 Pontiac Bonneville

1958 Pontiac Bonneville

Auto Biography
It's hard to believe now, but in the mid 1950s the Pontiac brand was equated with older buyers. Much like Buick today, Pontiac was languishing in the GM stable and had the image of being a so-so vehicle that hardly anyone noticed. To solve the problem, GM executives brought in "Bunkie" Knudsen, the now-famous auto executive who was known to work miracles …keep reading

MGB: The Sports Car America Loved First

MGB: The Sports Car America Loved First

Auto Biography
Morris Garage, or MG, first advertised its sports to American audiences in 1947 by introducing the TC model. MG introduced the MGB in 1963. Widely considered one of the best true sports cars …keep reading

1960 Ford Sunliner - The Forgotten Ford

Auto Biography
It was the widest Ford ever produced and probably the widest passenger car ever sold in America. It was a half-inch wider than the gargantuan 1959 Cadillac, so we're talking big, big cars here …keep reading

Studebaker Avanti

Studebaker Avanti

Auto Biography
In 1961 the Studebaker company was in financial peril. The Board of Directors hired Sherwood Egbert to take over the struggling company and bring it into competition with the Big Three. Egbert loved fast cars …keep reading

1950 Ford

1950 Ford

Auto Biography
Although all Fords looked nearly identical during the 1949-1951 model years, there were drastic differences underneath. The 1950 Ford was a vast improvement over the 1949 version …keep reading

1967 Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider

1967 Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider

Auto Biography
Anyone who ever watched Dustin Hoffman in "The Graduate" knows what an Alfa Romeo is. Many hadn't heard of the marque before the movie, but Alfa Romeo goes back a long long way …keep reading

1960 Plymouth Valiant

Auto Biography
In 1957 Chrysler management heard about Ford's upcoming Ford Falcon and Chevrolet's planned Corvair. so plans were launched to produce a competitive "compact" car of their own …keep reading

1965 Chevelle SS 396

1965 Chevelle SS 396

Auto Biography
After the introduction of the GTO, Ford and Chrysler struggled to get out competitors to the Pontiac supercar as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, at GM's other divisions things were heating up …keep reading

The Corvair

Auto Biography
Much has been written about the Corvair. Ralph Nader's book had nothing to do with the demise of the car. GM cancelled the product line 18 months before his book came on the shelves. Here's the true story …keep reading

Ford Falcon

Ford Falcon

Auto Biography
Robert McNamara once was quoted as saying, "Everyone in America should be driving Falcons." Lee Iacocoa, however, had a different vision …keep reading

Porsche 356

Porsche 356

Auto Biography
Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, an Austrian, worked for Mercedes-Benz in the 1930s and was responsible for design and development of the KdF car for Nazi Germany's quite-mad rulers. The KdF (Kraft durch Freude, or Strength through Joy) car eventually became the Volkswagen and we all know where that led …keep reading

Oldsmobile at 100 - The Early Years

Oldsmobile at 100 - The Early Years

Auto Biography
The year 2001 marked the 100th (and, sadly, the last) anniversary of the Oldsmobile brand. The cars from Oldsmobile were always interesting, often innovative and proudly owned by millions. Before they go away entirely, we thought it would be a good idea to recall the early years of these great cars. …keep reading

The Kaiser

The Kaiser

Auto Biography
Henry J. Kaiser was a west-coast sand & gravel & cement magnate who had successfully handled the Hoover Dam project and went on to build Liberty ships during WWII. He also was a lover of cars …keep reading

Crosley's Mighty Midgets

Crosley's Mighty Midgets

Auto Biography
By the end of the 1930's, Powell Crosley Jr. had distinguished himself in the business world as a highly successful creater of radios and refrigerators, both bearing his name. For most of his business career, he wanted desparately to produce the "ideal all-purpose" car …keep reading

1959 Cadillac

Auto Biography
If there is one word to describe the automotive styling of the 1950's, the word would be "excess," excess chrome, excess gadgetry and excess use of fins! And when it comes to the biggest, tallest and most ornate fins, the hands-down winner of all time is the 1959 Cadillac …keep reading

AutoBiography Special - The 1954 Plymouth Belmont Concept Car

AutoBiography Special - The 1954 Plymouth Belmont Concept Car

Auto Biography - By Tom Benford
The Plymouth Belmont was one of the "Dream Cars" designed and produced for the 1954 show season. In all probability, Chevrolet's new Corvette and Ford's impending Thunderbird two-seater had a heavy influence on the design of this car …keep reading

1950 Nash Rambler Convertible

1950 Nash Rambler Convertible

Auto Biography
So what did Superman have to do with the Rambler? Well, very little, but Lois Lane drove one on the show. She was seen driving one and thousands of viewers saw it and had to have one! Do we know why the studio picked this car? …keep reading

Jaguar XKE - 1961-1974

Jaguar XKE - 1961-1974

Auto Biography
Sir William Lyons, president and co-founder of Jaguar, loved fast cars. He commited his company to the racing circuits immediately after World War II and by the mid-50's his engineers had achieved what few had done in so short a time- multiple wins at Le Mans. Read the story of one of the world's most-prized classics …keep reading

Jaguar XK 120

Jaguar XK 120

Auto Biography
After the devastation of World War II, William Lyons, founder and president of Jaguar Cars was faced with rebuiliding broken-down war-production factories and dreaming of building a high-performance car …keep reading

1965-1967 Sunbeam Tiger

1965-1967 Sunbeam Tiger

Auto Biography
A British car with a Ford V8, sold by Chrysler? Whose idea was this? …keep reading

The Bricklin - Scooters to Subaru's

The Bricklin - Scooters to Subaru's

Auto Biography
Malcolm Bricklin dropped out of college at the age of 19, his reasoning being that the time could be better spent. After all, he was determined to become a millionaire by the age of 25 …keep reading

1964 Pontiac GTO

1964 Pontiac GTO

Auto Biography
The famous "Bunkie" Knudsen arrived as Pontiac's General Manager in 1956. He was a lover of performance and speed and immediately set out to change Pontiac Division's personna. His engineers were given the green light to bolt multiple carburetors onto the V8 engines and to install hotter camshafts as well …keep reading

Mercedes Benz 230-280 SL

Mercedes Benz 230-280 SL

Auto Biography
During the 1950s, Mercedes Benz concentrated its engineering efforts on such things as braking, handling and body rigidity; things very much in vogue today. Then came the 300 SL but they realized that a $6,820 price tag (about $130,000 in today's dollars) would scare a lot of people away …keep reading

1951 Hudson Hornet

1951 Hudson Hornet

Auto Biography
In 1948, any prospective car purchaser who came into a Hudson showroom was immediately surprised at how low and wide the cars seemed compared to other makes. This was Hudson's "step-down" design, the first "living room" on wheels. …keep reading

1967 Austin Healey 3000

1967 Austin Healey 3000

Auto Biography
Donald Healey joined in partnership with the Austin Motor Company in 1952. His plans at the time were to produce a medium-high performance sports car that would be affordable to the masses …keep reading

The Chrysler Turbine Car

The Chrysler Turbine Car

Auto Biography
Early in 1962 Chrysler announced plans to build 50 to 75 turbine-powered cars which they would loan to "typical" motorists. The campaign was a stroke of genius, but the execution was a marketing disaster …keep reading

Nash Metropolitan - Before Its Time

Nash Metropolitan - Before Its Time

Auto Biography
Two months before the formation of AMC in 1954, the Nash company announced its production of what had been an experimental two-seater, fuel-efficient car, the Metropolitan. It was believed at Nash that the new phenomenon of the suburb would necessitate the purchase of a second automobile by most families …keep reading

1956-1958 Dual Ghia

1956-1958 Dual Ghia

Auto Biography
In the late '50s, the TV program "The Thin Man" opened each week with an incredibly exotic car gliding past the camera, its chrome grill sparkling as it went past...it was Chrysler's Dual Ghia …keep reading

Aston Martin DB4

Aston Martin DB4

Auto Biography
The racing versions of the DB4 won just about every victory attainable in the sports car field, including the 1959 Le Mans. James Bond would have been proud …keep reading

Datson 240Z

Datson 240Z

Auto Biography
By the early '60's, both Toyota and Nissan had decided that the American market was the key to selling large amounts of cars worldwide...Nissan was looking for some excitement and decided to compete against the MGB …keep reading

1932 Bugatti Royale

1932 Bugatti Royale

Auto Biography
Yeah, we know none of us can ever afford one, but why not tell about it …keep reading

1966 Oldsmobile Toronado

1966 Oldsmobile Toronado

Auto Biography
Oldsmobile Division engineers wanted a small car for their front-drive concept. GM wanted something more substantial to showcase such a unique drivetrain. (Guess who won!) …keep reading

1966 Griffith

1966 Griffith

Auto Biography
Introduced at the New York Automobile Show of 1964, the homely looking Griffith was only available for a short while...but boy what a ride! …keep reading

The Famous Duesenberg SSJ

The Famous Duesenberg SSJ

Auto Biography
The most prestigious car ever made in the US deserved its reputation. Here's the story of the Duesenberg …keep reading

1959 El Camino

1959 El Camino

Auto Biography
1959 was a strange year for Chevrolet. After the clean, crisp styling of the '57 Chevrolet, and the less-than-successful '58 styling, Chevrolet's management demanded that the '59 model fix the problem. The result was a very radical car …keep reading

1956 Continental Mark II

1956 Continental Mark II

Auto Biography
There was a Lincoln Continental model produced during the '40s, as almost any auto buff knows. It was elegant and expensive for its time...but nothing like the price tag put on the Mark II …keep reading

	1958 DeSoto: Fins and All

1958 DeSoto: Fins and All

Auto Biography
DeSoto's management had a lot riding on the 1959 model year, hoping that the company could stay solvent at least through their 30th anniversary as an automaker …keep reading