Check out this video where you see a Tesla P100D take on a modified Dodge Challenger hellcat. Which do you think will win?
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Pete Chapouris, the prolific California hot rodder and aftermarket industry legend, has died. His passing is sudden, the result of complications after suffering a stroke this earlier week. He was 76.
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Your choices are rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. The only thing these layouts have in common is the word "drive." Which type of driveline layout is best for winter driving?
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With so many choices for cars, trucks and suvs, where do you start when shopping for a new vehicle? Kelsey Mays calls out the winners of each 2016 challenge in this week's segment of Driving Smart.
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The Impala broke the all-time industry yearly sales record in 1965 with more than one million units going out the showroom doors. The ‘65 sales record remains unbeaten to this day. The fourth generation is revised bottom to top featuring a full coil spring suspension to support the new full width perimeter chassis. The green house glass windshield has a sharper angle, no-draft windows reshaped, and the side windows are now frame-less in the hard top versions. Mid-year ’65 the newly introduced Caprice is in show rooms as an option package for the four door hard top. The Caprice “Halo” model has tufted upholstery, simulated wood grain vinyl accented interior, with unique hand pulls on the door. The Caprice exterior sports SS “spinner” wheel covers with the bow tie logo in place of the SS emblem and also borrows the SS black-out strip below the tail lights minus the SS emblem.
The 1966 model year sees the Impala takes a back seat with the Chevrolet Caprice as the uptown full size luxury model. The inline six cylinder engine is still available but most opted for one of the V8 choices. There is finally a new three speed automatic back in ’66 after a four year hiatus, reinvented as a Turbo Hydra-Matic, and it is readily acquired by purchasing the new big block 396 cu in Mark IV V8 engine. The 396 replaces the deleted 409 early in the ’65 model year but a few 409 engines did make it out of the showroom. The two speed Power glide automatic is still available as well as a four speed and the three speed transmissions are there to be chosen but this year both synchro-meshed gears. The Impala line-up is flashing a lot of chrome on the exterior this year. With interiors looking good featuring pleated-tufted seating and door panels which is set off with an abundance of chrome trim strips. The Chevy Impala convertible had 38,000 happy new owners in ’66; it was second bestselling unit in North America and chosen by double the number of customers that purchased a Mustang rag top.
The sheet metal is revised on the Impala in 1967; the front and rear fenders now have a bulge following the Corvettes example. Both this year and next the smooth lines are tending more towards the coke bottle shaped body. In order to comply with federal safety regulations this year the complete GM lineup comes equipped with impact absorbing steering column, marker lights on either side, and have a shoulder harness.
The Impala models have a revised front fascia for 1968 and the triple tail light configuration is the shape of a horse-shoe and nestled in the bumper this year. The Custom coupe is new for ‘68 with the same conventional roof line as the Caprice Coupe.
The 1969 Impala has shed the sinewy coke bottle look; radically revised the side panels are flat with up swept rear quarter windows give the car a more refined look. The automobile is still on the same wheelbase but the size is emphasized the designers are trying to make the car appear larger with the new wrap-around bumpers front and rear and it does look wider. The old style no draft worked well but added wind noise so for ’69 the vent windows are scrapped and all models of Impala have a basic flow through ventilation system with bringing fresh air into the cabin through dash mounted adjustable ports. This supplies lots of fresh air and save the company some cash as well with the ports also serving as the delivery system for the optional air conditioning units. All models have the ignition switch on the steering column which is now a locking design as is the shift lever. A notch back roof line is now featured on the hard top sport coupe. The 1970 Impala is the end of the 4th generation is altered minimally with the front bumper now under the grill and the rear tail lights are now vertically configured and mounted in the bumper. The Canadian customers have an added Sport Coupe model available in the body of the Bel-Air for the budget minded sport fans.
Porche and VW formed an alliance to develop, manufacture and market the "914" roadster. This mid-engine mounted two seater was produced from 1969 through '76. The original marketing plan of the VW/Porche 914 for N. American markets was to sell the identical vehicle as a VW with a flat four engine and as a Porsche 914 with the higher powered flat six. The plan was dropped due to a fear that the American market would be affected in a negative way, so both engine designs were released here branded as a Porche .
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Last year the Torino got a new impact absorbing bumper in front, the 1974 model gets a matching 5 mph (8 km/h) rear to match, as well, the sheet metal roll pan under the bumper is gone. The rear bumper is larger, more squared up, and sits a lot lower on the vehicle. The tail lights are also more rectangular and shorter-they wrap around each fender eliminating the need for side maker lights. The fuel tank filler tube is relocated to above the bumper directly below the trunk lock and no longer hidden by the license plate.
Gran Torino versions have a similar shaped grill to last year but a bit larger and divided into eight equal sized sections with a finer mesh pattern. The parking lights are vertically mounted behind each outer grill edge and a new revised logo is now on the left side of side of the grill. The impact absorbing front bumper is more pointed in ’74 while the front bumper guards are moved closer to the center and the Gran Torino front plate is now mounted on the driver’s side. Other Torino versions have the same front fascia as ’73 models although the bumper is upgraded like the Gran although the plate in front remains in the center for the balance of the fleet. The Gran Torino Brougham retains the full width rear tail lights with the non-functional center portion while both the Brougham and the Squire wagon are now sporting a stand-up hood ornament logo rather than the grill mounted one.
A newly available option is opera windows for any two door Gran Torino although they are basic for the Brougham version-any ’74 two door Torino has fixed rear side windows. You can also choose fender skirts for the wheel wells if you want to give the car a sporty lower look. The Brougham and Sport models have a chromed strip on the lower fender running from the front wheel well to the front bumper. The Torino can be very uptown this year with a leather covered steering wheel, wheel mounted cruise control, split bench seat, and a power sun roof are all on the table as options this year. A one year only seat belt interlock system is mandated by the US government although it is scrapped at the year’s end.
Slight changes in the ’74 line up are the elimination of the fast back and the addition of the Gran Torino Elite two door hard top marketed as a personal luxury with midsized economy. The Elite has unique front end sheet metal, large rectangular but arched grill, twin headlights with chromed bezels, and the parking lights are mounted on the edges of the pointed front fenders. The body line of the Elite are different from the other Torino models but the tail lights are full width similar to the Brougham. The basic Elite is equipped with a two barrel for the 351 CID V8 bolted to an automatic and comes with radial tires. Basic luxury items include vinyl roof, opera windows, split bench with cloth upholstery, wood grain trim and a full complement of gauges.
The bumpers have added 5 inches to the Torino length as well as a lot more weight. Original sales brochures say there is no more 250 six cylinder engine available but some left the assembly line so equipped –one of them was used in the 2004 Starsky and Hutch movie. The base engine is the 302 with a three speed standard transmission. There is a 460 CID engine available with low horse power and a lot of torque but the only high performance option is the 351 CJ with a higher horse power rating and this is also the last year for the four speed standard transmission. There is no more competition suspension offered although a revised heavy duty package is a choice for all models but the Elite. The Gran Torino sport is not what it used to be and the days off the muscle car are numbered.