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Entries in Chevrolet (69)


Chevrolet Impala

You constantly hear the term "muscle car" referring to a myriad of different cars usually with a dose of horsepower. This video will refresh your memory about what the original muscle cars were all about. Big motor, big body, tach on the steering column, huge shift lever, dog dish hub caps, no chrome, abbreviated exhaust system.

Yes...and the right stance to immediately convey the message.




Corvette's at Lemans in 1960

From 55 years ago...totally cool video.



Connecting Dots

This morning we have The Colonel with us, we are going to pick his knowledge base on "connecting dots" lets get going.

Q: Colonel Good Morning, you are looking invigorated this morning, how is the coffee.

A: Guys, good morning, the cappuccino is good, invigorated is complementary makes me feel a little younger.

Q: What is it with connecting dots.

A: Although the car business is about product, vehicles, and a bunch of other stuff, especially with the myriad of pundits that share their thoughts/opinions. Its also about connecting dots, especially if you have been in the business a few years/decades.

Q: Do you have some examples of connecting dots, and perhaps epiphanies too.

A: Decades ago on the 401 with a 5 cylinder diesel, I had an epiphany that diesel engines are good for trucks not cars. It endures to today, the VW thing flies under our radar.

Q: People...

A: You can connect a ton of dots, we are in the people business through cars. The dots still connect like decades ago, its all changed and nothing has changed. The change is that we focus on technology, instead of people. We should connect the same dots...resonating with 2015.

Q: Luxury...

A: Its a sedan with a V8...that simple. Connect all the dots you want for decades, its still a sedan with a V8 with waftability. An SUV is a truck.

Q: Utility...

A: Its the family kicker, everyone goes through a stage in life where you need a family kicker, very useful, gets kicked around, and with AWD is even more versatile.

Q: Performance...

A: If you are a gear head performance is paramount, and you have your own preference for what performance is all about. Its enduring through the decades.

Q: How do you understand performance...

A: In my case its a V8, its Chevrolet...

Q: Sounds old school...

A: It is old school performance that connects a ton of dots, memories, emotions, experiences, learning curves, bruised knuckles, drag racing, Trans Am and Can Am racing, to name a few. As well as mechanical cars...

Q: How about trucks...

A: Working trucks are performance machines, you quickly connect performance dots between a working truck and old school performance. Its a fascinating intellectual exercise.

Q: Technology...

A: Has made obscene horsepower possible in cars from a performance perspective. Vehicles are dramatically safer with technology. From punch cards to hand held smart devices...its truly impressive.

Q: Technology has democratized horsepower...connect more dots please.

A: Back in the day it was a wild camshaft, ported heads, a monster carburetor. The catalytic converter in the early 1970's killed all of that, the fun was gone. Technology enabled horsepower again. Back in the day performance cars were in their own way "lethal weapons" when used foolishly, not the case today.

Q: Massive horsepower is safe today...

A: Precisely, back in the day it was safe with select individuals, not the masses. The reason that back in the day everyone stopped at 425 HP. Its the same dots reconnected with technology.

Q: Connect dots with Chevrolet...

A: I grew up with GM, at a time when GM ruled the automotive world in North America. Its been a lasting, enduring influence. Chevrolet is the small block which is still around today, it was easy to get small blocks, and increase the power. Think about rodding still exists.

Q: The 1979 Camaro connects a bunch of dots for you...

A: Absolutely, its a mechanical car, warmed over small block, carburetor, 4 speed, a clutch pedal, positraction, miserable brakes. Its my own barn find that I have owned since new. It connects a gazillion dots from another time, and to today. The rumble from the small block is as timely today as in 1979.

Q: Care to connect a few dots with Mercedes-Benz...

A: By the early 1980's GM had absolutely lost its way, a ride in a 450SEL (116) was a complete revelation as to what a proper sedan should be back then. Experiencing a 6.9 for a few days was a mind altering experience. The cars had archaic features compared to a Cadillac, but the performance was on another level.

We will continue...




Chevrolet Impala

If you ever owned a 1964 Impala this video truly resonates...

The shifter for the 4 speed, the tachometer on the dash, and so on...

The exhaust system on the coupe is too long the reason for the "blat-blat" when shifting gears.




High Strength Steel

You have to love this commercial...




A Suburban With Adaptive Cruise Control

Adaptive cruise control has been around for over 10 years in one form or another on a variety of vehicles.

If you have experienced adaptive cruise control or have followed a vehicle on adaptive cruise control some aspects of "how it works" surely captured your attention. Especially compared to the classic "old school" cruise control.

In our case it was "You can set the cruise at xxx kph, and the vehicle will slow by itself, if the flow no longer permits the set speed".

With all the talk on self driving vehicles adaptive cruise control evolves into a different thought process as being a component of "self driving"....a different perspective. Its not just the cruise control, but how the vehicle would possibly drive itself with the cruise control as a component.

Some of the stuff we see on TV is perhaps slightly idealised.

Through the years we have always had unique and memorable experiences with Suburbans, this time was no different, we had a 2015 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ with adaptive cruise control, and a roas trip on the 401 heading east then west on the return.

We travelled at least 800 kilometers on with the adaptive cruise control dealing with a variety of traffic situations. As you probably know some of these systems are more refined than others.

From our perspective the system in the Suburban is leading hedge.

Our impressions in no particular order:

  • This Suburban is a supreme highway cruiser smooth, effortless, good passing power.
  • Fuel economy...not so bad considering the size and frontal area.
  • We set the cruise at xxx kph as expected the Suburban will scrub of speed, or accelerate.
  • It will brake quite aggressively if a vehicle pulls in to the space (distance).
  • Stepping of the gas overrides the braking feature.

How do you the driver and road reality interface with adaptive cruise control:

  • You set the speed and distance from the vehicle in front of you.
  • The vehicle in from will control your speed agenda...if you permit it to do so.
  • Passing must be done prior to reaching the set distance.
  • You will quickly scrub off speed and continue cursing at the speed of the vehicle in front.
  • You still have to make your way through lane congestion the cruise control has no understanding of alleviating lane congestion.
  • Accelerating with the gas pedal negates the braking feature.
  • If you accelerate to a higher rate of speed to improve your road position the cruise control will apply the brakes once you stop accelerating.

Its a new way of driving with the cruise control, once you grasp the operation of the adaptive cruise control in some ways its easier since the distance from the vehicle in front is set and the Suburban keeps the distance, even if a vehicle cuts in.

At the same time managing your speed requires constant attention, its very easy to scrub off speed due to the vehicle in front.

Are self driving vehicles around the corner:

  • From a technology perspective, yes they are.
  • Dealing with road reality still requires a good level of human involvement / intervention.
  • Self driving vehicles promote a higher level of distraction.




The Suburban

You certainly do the same, scanning the vehicle landscape when driving. We do it all the time, while vehicles grasp our attention for one reason or another. Having one form or another of a "cool factor" is helpful in catching our attention.

How often do you see a Suburban with the base steel wheels?

Here is the deal:

A couple of weeks ago driving on a 400 series highway we come up to a black Chevrolet Suburban with the base silver steel wheels in the middle lane.

First thought is who would acquire such a Suburban?

Its so plain looking that it attracts attention.

Agreed it takes all sorts of vehicles to enrich the diversity...but still such a plain full size Suburban is a rare sight.

By now we have passed the Suburban...and thats it...enough attention on a plain Suburban.

Until the Suburban changes to the left lane, and from the rear view mirror we notice the "hockey pucks" on the roof.

Now we know who acquired such a plain Suburban with steel wheels. The folks that have vehicles with hockey pucks on the roof.




427 Mystery Motor

If you are of a certain age you remember reading that in 1963 (over 50 years ago) Chevrolet had a big block mystery motor for the Daytona 500.

At the time, what we understand today as a big block Chevy intrigued a ton of people, Junior Johnson, and Smokey Yunick were involved with this mystery motor.

It was the engine that would replace the venerable 409.

Watch an epic dyno run of an original over 50 year old Smokey Yunick tweaked mystery motor. Notice the simplicity, the timing light, the age of the guys around the engine.





Looking Back

This week it struck us that if you have been on this planet long enough, and have been in the auto business long enough times looking back is influenced by a sense of nostalgia.

In no particular order:

409's: In the showroom it was the black Impala SS with the 409/425 chrome valve covers, huge air filter to cover the dual quads. The street reality was often a Biscayne coupe with a bench seat and rubber mats.

Big Block Corvette: The sidepipes, the sound, until you were in a roadster at a traffic light ingesting exhaust fumes. But the sound...

Duntov Cam: There is nothing like a small block Chevy with mechanical lifters, the lumpy idle, the iconic clacking, the streets creds...until you had to adjust the one side. Warm it up again do the other side.

Powerglides: Everybody wanted a Muncie rock crusher with a 2.20 first gear, and an 11 inch clutch, while everything had a powerglide...go figure.

Mercedes-Benz 6.9: Serious sedan, serious power, dry sump, hydrualic suspension, aluminum suspension arms...a wow car. Until you tried to resell one became a wow car for all the wrong reasons.

Porsche Turbo: The early 911 turbo's with the 4 speed and 2 OD gears, what a ride, red turbo, downshift to second, what an experience way back in the day. Most folks would fly off the road backwards with them.

Brakes: Back in the day, you could not stop most cars with drum was normal.

12 Cylinder: At some point in your life you need to own and enjoy a car with a V12, especially a twin turbo V12. Ideally one with tweaked computers, especially if you are a horsepower afficionado. You will also discover that nobody wants these cars once they are used. Somethings never change...

We could keep on going, but you surely grasp our meaning. For some reason stuff seems a little better when looking back...must be the nostalgia.




The Drag Race

Just watch and see who wins...its cool.