Ford just officially announced what the industry has known for years. The Ford Flex has been discontinued following its eleven year run. 2019 is its last model year. I owned two Flex models. A 2009 Flex Limited and a 2011 Flex Limited with EcoBoost. While the 2009 was an outstanding vehicle, the EcoBoost powertrain in the 2011 transformed the product. It was extremely fun to drive. It was one of those vehicles that you could just think of where you wanted to be on the freeway and, voila, you were there.
The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering did not disappoint for 2016. Held at The Quail Lodge and Golf Club in Carmel,California, the event drew 5,000 attendees. Cars and motorsports are supposed to be the highlight of the event, but food, drink and people are even more interesting. The attendees were enthusiasts, collectors, owners and motorsports personalities.
There have been over 1,800 car brands in the United States auto industry since 1896. Entrepreneurs and enthusiasts saw the American auto industry as a way to make a name for themselves and, hopefully, a lot of money. This set off a wave of industrial Darwinism that continues today. Car brands came and went with startling regularity. Some brands launched and died quickly and are now just a faint memory if remembered at all. It would take a real automotive history buff to remember the Adria, or the Carhartt, or the Hackett. Some more recent brands are still fresh in our memory like Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Mercury, Plymouth, Hummer and Saturn. Today, there are 40 car brands on sale in the United States. Some names are so strong that they keep coming back in one form or another.
Stutz Sold 35,000 Cars Until Falling to the Great Depression
A once-storied name in the American luxury auto [...]
The Lincoln Continental was for years the flagship of the Lincoln brand. In the early 1980s, however, the name "Continental" was relegated to smaller, mid-sized Lincolns leaving the flagship to carry Town Car or Mark nomenclature. While Lincoln Motor Company is positioning the upcoming 2017 Continental against middle market competitors like the Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, Jaguar XF and Mercedes E-Class, it will become the brand's flagship (if you don't count the Navigator). Is Continental good enough to turn heads and get Americans and Chinese buying Lincolns again, check back in 2017.
A gaggle of automotive journalists and analysts was transported to Meadowbrook Hall north of Detroit and near Chrysler's headquarters in Auburn Hills. This event was to celebrate the Dodge 100th Anniversary. We were given a brief history of the brand and description of ten historic concept Dodges on display from the first Viper concept to the Dodge Demon concept from 2007. Following the presentation of these concepts we were given the opportunity to drive and/or ride in 26 Dodges from the past ranging from 1915 through 2008.
Big Bronco to Compete With Chevy's Popular Blazer In the late 1960s, Ford Motor Company was competing in the sport utility market with the first generation Bronco a hardcore vehicle designed to go off road in a big way. Today, these 1st Gen Broncos are coveted by off-roaders all across the nation. At the same time, General Motors was thumping Ford with its Chevrolet Blazer SUV. The Blazer was a two door derivative of the four door Chevrolet Suburban and sold in impressive numbers. Ford had nothing to match the Blazer, but in the early '70s began a program to develop a strong competitor to the Blazer.
For this last Holiday Card, I included a non-holiday photo of an vehicle I worked on in my youth at Ford - the Ford Carrousel concept and asked who could identify the vehicle. A few who were working at Ford at the time correctly identified it, but all misspelled it. The prototype used an unusual spelling of Carrousel with two "Rs". Many though it was Hal Sperlich's MiniMax concept from the late '70s at Ford, or a prototype of an early Chrysler minivan. Nope.
What better time to visit London than early September when the weather can be anything. The Owners’ Day of the Concours of Elegance (yes, Concours OFElegance – it is England, after all) was held on a blisteringly hot day. Blazing sunshine. Temperatures near 90-degrees. The owners and their ladies or gents were hard put to keep a dry upper lip. This was a three day event and the weather was different on each day. Following the hot, hot, hot Thursday, it rained on Friday. Not downpours exactly, but enough to keep the car polishers busy keeping the 60 or so vehicles as pristine as possible. Saturday was the public day and the weather dried and was overcast. The cooler weather made the public day better without the blazing heat of the Owners’ Day.
Luckily or unluckily, AutoPacific attended the Owners’ Day reserved [...]
Cadillac's Hollywood-designed Elmiraj coupe was dramatically unveiled at Clint Eastwood's Tahama Golf Resort during the 2013 Pebble Beach automotive week. Cadillac and General Motors management is coy when asked if they will build the Cadillac Elmiraj concept coupe. To a person, journalists who were at the unveiling want to believe Cadillac can find the means to build this car.
At this year's Pebble Beach automotive weekend, Lincoln announced its new top of the line - the Black Label editions. There will be four versions of the Black Label but only three were shown at Pebble Beach. Jim Farley, Ford's Group Vice President of Global Marketing and head of Lincoln Motor Company says these are the flagship cars of the brand. Unfortunately, Lincoln's flagships were completely upstaged later in the day when Cadillac showed its Elmiraj concept coupe at Clint Eastwood's Tahama Golf Resort. The Elmiraj was the talk of the town and Black Label became an asterisk.
The ultra-premium Black Label is a combination of product upgrades - primarily to the interior - and special customer service efforts like a personal concierge - to make the Black Label client feel that the premium they undoubtedly will spend is worth it.