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 |  Dec 28 2012, 8:01 AM

Attention history buffs and antique-auto aficionados: get your gristly haunches in gear because a landmark Detroit-area automotive attraction is closing its doors.

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 |  Dec 21 2012, 9:01 AM

1936 Ford Fordor sedan


 

It’s the sixth day of AutoGuide’s Dream Car Garage list. Now it’s Associate Editor Craig Cole’s turn to share his 10 favorite vehicles, an eclectic, unexpected rundown of cars and trucks.

Even though the 1936 Ford was a couple years too late to service gangsters like John Dillinger and the crime duet Bonnie and Clyde, it’s got the look of earlier models, with an upright grille, gracefully arching fenders and those all-important running boards. It’s a classic design from the most graceful period of automotive history.

Under the car’s double-hinged hood sits a 221-cubic-inch wonder, the world’s first mass-market V8 engine. Ford’s famous flathead delivered a full 85 horsepower and belted out the Depression-era’s greatest hit, a syncopated rhythm controlled directly by the driver’s right foot.

1936-Ford-Rear-Three-Quarter.jpgThat’s a laughably modest power rating by today’s standards, but Fords were the inexpensive performance cars of their era. Thanks to ample torque, low gearing and a curb weight that was considerably lighter than the competition, these cars were built to run. Advertised top speed was nearly 90 miles an hour. A terrifying figure for a car equipped with mechanically operated drum brakes.

When it comes to classic autos most people seem to prefer muscle cars. If they do have a soft spot for older iron they typically go for coupes or roadsters. Sedans – especially “Fordor” models – are almost sneered at, but I LOVE them, especially when equipped with suicide doors as this ’36. In fact I appreciate them so much I’m restoring one right now, so it’s mandatory to have an example in my dream garage.

Being an 80-year-old in a 28-year-old’s body goes a long way to explaining my affinity for ancient cars like this one, and you know something, it’s not always about performance…