Ford Thunderbird

Tuesday 25 July 2017
The Ford Thunderbird is a rear wheel drive automobile which was manufactured by Ford in the United States over eleven model generations from 1955 through 2005. The Thunderbird created a market niche that eventually became known as the personal luxury car.
The Thunderbird entered production for the 1955 model year as a sporty two-seat convertible. Unlike the Chevrolet Corvette, it was not marketed as a sports car. Ford positioned the Thunderbird as an upscale model and is credited in developing a new market segment, the personal luxury car. In 1958, the Thunderbird gained a second row of seats. Succeeding generations became larger until the line was downsized in 1977, again in 1980, and once again in 1983. Sales were good until the 1990s, when large 2-door coupes became unpopular; production ceased at the end of 1997. In 2002 production of the Thunderbird started again, a revived 2-seat model was launched, which was available through the end of the 2005 model year. From its introduction in 1955 to its phaseout in 2005, Ford produced over 4.4 million Thunderbirds.
The Second to Fourth Generation Thunderbird convertibles were similar in design to the Lincoln convertible of the time and borrowed from earlier Ford hardtop/convertible designs. While these Thunderbird models had a true convertible soft top, the top was lowered to stow in the forward trunk area. This design reduced available trunk space when the top was down.
The trunk lid was rear-hinged; raised and lowered via hydraulic cylinders during the top raising or lowering cycle. The forward end of the trunk lid contained a metal plate that extended upward to cover the area that the top is stowed in. With the top down and the trunk lid lowered, there is no sight of the soft top.
The overall appearance was a sleek look with no trace of a convertible top at all. No cover boot was needed.
However, this design could present a challenge to one who is troubleshooting a convertible top malfunction. The system consists of a spiderweb of solenoids, relays, limit switches, electric motors, a hydraulic pump/reservoir, hydraulic directional valves and cylinders. While the hydraulics are not often a cause for trouble, the electrical relays are known to fail. Failure of any of the relays, motors or limit switches will prevent the convertible system from completing the cycle.
Unlike hardtop models that utilized a conventional key-secured, forward hinged design, the convertibles combined the trunk opening and closing within the convertible top operating system. As a result of this design, the trunks of convertible models were notorious for leaking.
Although the 1955-57 Thunderbird was a success, Ford executives—particularly Robert McNamara – were concerned that the car's position as a two-seater limited its sales potential. As a result, the car was redesigned as a four-seater for 1958.
The new Thunderbird began a sales momentum previously unseen with the car, selling 200,000 units in three years, four times the result of the two seat model. This success spawned a new market segment, the personal luxury car. It was the first individual model line (as opposed to an entire company) to earn Motor Trend "Car of the Year" honors.
It was offered in both hardtop and convertible body styles, although the latter was not introduced until June 1958, five months after the release of the hardtop. The new Thunderbird was considerably larger than the previous generation, with a longer 113.0 inches (2,870 mm) wheelbase to accommodate the new back seat. The increased size also increased the car's weight significantly by close to 1,000 pounds (454 kg). Along with a new, more rigid unibody construction was new styling, including dual headlights (for a total of four), more prominent tailfins, a bolder chrome grille, and a larger, though non-functional, hood scoop. Powering the Thunderbird was a new, 300 horsepower (220 kW) 352 cu in (5.8 L) FE V8, available with a 3-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
In the part of model year 1958 that the car was available, sales were 37,892 units, outselling the previous model year 16,000 units.
For 1959, the car received a new grille and a newly optional, 350 horsepower (260 kW) 430 cu in (7.0 L) MEL V8 for 1959, sales climbed even higher to 67,456.
For 1960, the Thunderbird was given another new grille and other minor stylistic changes along with a newly optional manually operated sunroof for hardtop models. Dual-unit round taillights from 1958 to 1959 were changed to triple-units after the fashion of the Chevrolet Impala. Customers continued to approve of the car as it broke sales records yet again with 92,843 sold for 1960. Ford went ahead with a redesign for the Thunderbird to debut in 1961.

















Technical data:
- engine: V8
- capacity: 5700 cc
- horsepower: 180 HP
- gearbox: 5+1
- top speed: 170 km/h

Dodge 600 Convertible

Monday 23 July 2017
The Dodge 600 is a mid-size car that was built by Dodge. It was introduced in 1982, as a 1983 model, based on the Chrysler E platform and was discontinued after the 1988 model year. It was Chrysler's answer to the GM A-body, whereas the M-body Dodge Diplomat would compete with full-size cars. It replaced the 400. (Dodge 600 coupes and convertibles were, essentially, rebadged 400s.) Like the preceding 400, it was positioned between the Aries and Diplomat.
The 600 was intended to be Dodge's answer to the European sedans of the day. Its numerical name and rear-end styling was designed to evoke thoughts of Mercedes-Benz models, however it fell more in line with North American contemporaries such as the Chevrolet Celebrity, Pontiac 6000 and the Ford Fairmont (the 600 actually resembled the Dodge Mirada more than any European car). It debuted as a four-door sedan, available in two trims: Base and ES ("Euro Sport"). Power was provided by Chrysler's 2.2 L 4-cylinder engine, with the Mitsubishi-built 2.6 L 4-cylinder available as an option.
Sales of the 600 nearly doubled in its second year. This was in large part due to the addition of the former 400's coupe and convertible body styles to the 600's range (which continued to stay on the K platform). Like most midrange-to-upscale K-car derivatives, digital dashboards and the Electronic Voice Alert were options.
Several changes were made to the 600 in 1985. The 600 sedan was moved to a longer wheelbase and the former base and ES trims were dropped, replaced by a new SE trim. This was due in part to the new Lancer, which would have competed directly with the 600 (the 5-speed manual transmission was no longer offered as well, in an attempt to keep competition between the Lancer and 600 to a minimum). The coupe and convertible remained relatively unchanged except for minor trim and interior changes. The only significant advancement was the replacement of the 2.2 L engine's two-barrel Holley electronic feedback carburetor by an electronic throttle-body fuel injection system.
The sedan's base trim returned in 1986, while all 600s were given new, restyled front and rear fascias (the front in particular adopted the now familiar "crosshair" grille, dropping the Mirada-inspired horizontal slats). The 2.6 L engine was replaced by a larger 2.5 L version of the Chrysler 2.2 L.
The phase out of the 600 started in 1987 with the coupe and convertible versions being discontinued in that year. Production of the sedan ended in 1988. The 600 was replaced by the 1988 Dodge Dynasty (badged as a Chrysler in Canada, whereas the Canadian successor is the Dodge Spirit).
There were negotiations to build the car in China after production ended. Hongqi imported a couple of 600s and applied a new rear end and Hongqi badging, intending to sell them as the Hongqi CA750F in China. However, Volkswagen's long-term outlook convinced the Chinese otherwise and Hongqi chose to build the Audi 100 instead, albeit fitted with a locally built version of Chrysler's 2.2-liter inline-four.








Technical data:
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 2200 cc
- horsepower: 142 HP
- gearbox: 5+1
- top speed: 150 km/h

Buick Roadmaster

Sunday 23 July 2017
The Roadmaster is an automobile that was built by Buick from 1936 to 1958, and again from 1991 to 1996. Roadmasters produced between 1936 and 1958 were built on Buick's longest non-limousine wheelbase and shared their basic structure with entry-level Cadillac and, after 1940, senior Oldsmobiles. Between 1946 and 1957 the Roadmaster served as Buick's flagship, and when it was resurrected for the 1991 through 1996 model years it was the marque's largest vehicle.
The Roadmaster name returned to the Buick line for the 1991 model year after a 33-year absence, with the third generation Buick Estate wagon becoming the Roadmaster Estate. A four-door sedan was added to the Roadmaster line for the 1992 model year, the first rear-wheel drive Buick sedan since 1985. Combined sales showed an over tenfold increase over '91 thanks in part to an extended production run which had 1992 models going on sale in March 1991.
As with its precursor, the new Roadmaster Estate wagon was based on GM's full-size rear-wheel drive B platform, which was closely related to the GM C-body and D-body chassis reserved for top of the line Buicks and Cadillacs. It rode on the same 115.9-inch wheelbase in use since the wagon series was downsized from the C-body in 1977, yet was three inches shorter than the 1990 model.
The Roadmaster sedan, a C-body vehicle over its eight previous generations, shared the B-body for the first time in its history. Nonetheless, it stood not only as the largest Buick, a full 10" longer with a 5" greater wheelbase than the ostensible top-of-the-line C-bodied Buick Park Avenue, but larger both in wheelbase (2") and overall length (6") than the K-bodied Cadillac Sedan de Ville.
The standard engine for the 1991 wagon was a 170hp 5.0L small-block L03 V8. It was replaced a year later with a 180hp 5.7L small-block L05 V8 shared by both wagon and sedan. In 1994 both received a modified version of the advanced 5.7L sequential point fuel-injection LT1 V8, increasing output to 260hp and upping performance substantially.
Derived from the 300hp LT1 debuted in the 1992 Chevrolet Corvette, the Roadmaster version was shared both with other B-and D platform luxury and performance cars such as the Chevrolet Caprice Police Package and Cadillac Fleetwood and GM's specialty F-bodied Chevrolet Camaro Z28 and Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. It differed in the use of iron heads for durability, camshafts tuned for increased low-end torque, and intake silencers to decrease drive-by noise (only in engines used in luxury-brand cars).
While installed in part to better comply with emissions and fuel-economy standards, the LT1 V8 not only offered an 80hp power increase but raised rated fuel economy by 1 mpg, to 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway. As a result of this significantly boosted engine output General Motors limited the softer-riding Roadmaster (which ran on lower lower speed-rated tires than used on the Corvette) to a top speed of 108 mph. For 1996, the LT1 became OBD-II compliant.
All three V-8s were paired to a 4-speed automatic transmission. In 1994, the hydraulically-controlled 4L60 (700R4) transmission was replaced by the electronically-controlled 4L60E.
When ordered with the factory towing package, the 1994-1996 Roadmaster was rated to tow up to 5000 pounds. For the station wagon, this could be raised to 7000 pounds with the use of a weight-distributing hitch, dual sway controls, setting rear tire pressure to 35 PSI, and disabling the Electronic Level Control. The towing package added 2.93 rear-axle gears and a limited slip differential, heavy duty cooling system including oil and transmission coolers, and a factory installed self leveling rear suspension consisting of air shocks, a height sensor between the rear axle and body and an on-board air compressor. Most visibly, a pair of electric fans offset to the left under the hood was replaced by the combination of one conventional fan driven mechanically from the engine alongside one electric fan.
The Roadmaster Estate wagon shared its body with the Caprice Estate and Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser; common styling features included the Caprice's headlights and the Custom Cruiser's 2nd-row "Vista Roof" with sunroof. Simulated woodgrain sides were standard, though the treatment could be deleted for credit. All three wagons offered an optional rear-facing third-row seat, bringing seating capacity to eight.

The Roadmaster sedan had a distinct fascia, featuring its own grille and headlights stacked above running lights and blinkers. It shared a formal sedan roofline with the Cadillac Fleetwood, but rode on a wheelbase nearly six inches shorter.
Interiors received a redesign for the 1994 model year. New dual airbags moved some instrument panel gauges closer to the steering wheel, at the expense of the tachometer; radio and climate controls were also revised.
Folding sideview mirrors moved forward from their previous location in 1995-96. The '95 Roadmaster retained its skirted rear wheels (deleted from the Caprice/Impala SS), while the sedan was updated with new bodyside moldings. Station wagons saw a shade for the Vista Roof along with a cargo cover. In 1996 automatic climate control became standard, and the rear seatbelts were redesigned with a "cinching" feature.






Technical data:
- engine: V8
- capacity: 5700 cc
- horsepower: 180 HP
- gearbox: 5+1
- top speed: 170 km/h

Buick Electra

Saturday 22 July 2017
The Buick Electra is a full-size luxury car that was built by Buick from 1959 to 1990. Harlow H. Curtice, former president of the Buick division and later president of General Motors, named the car after his sister-in-law, Electra Waggoner Biggs.
During its more than 30-year run, Electra was offered in varying body styles including coupe, convertible, sedan, and station wagon. The Electra was replaced by the Buick Park Avenue in 1991.
In 1985, a redesigned front-wheel drive Electra debuted with the new C body which was further downsized compared to the previous generation. Despite its notably smaller exterior, interior dimensions remained largely the same as the prior generation. As part of the model redesign, Buick also discarded all V8 engines. Sales began in April 1984, alongside the previous rear-wheel-drive model, which had ceased production that month. It was initially powered by a carbureted 3.0 liter Buick V6 engine, a fuel injected 3.8 liter Buick V6 engine, or a 4.3 liter Oldsmobile diesel V6 engine. Each was mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission with a 0.70:1 overdrive gear. The 3.0 liter V6 and 4.3 liter diesel V6 were no longer offered after 1985.
The trim levels for the Electra originally included 300/380/430 (based on engine displacement), Park Avenue, and performance-oriented T-Type. Limited replaced the number designation starting in 1987 and a new top level Park Avenue Ultra was added in 1989.
One of the distinctly unusual features of this car was that unlike most other passenger cars, its hood was hinged in the front thus opening at the passenger compartment, opposite of the conventional setup.
Although the overall design remained largely unchanged from 1985 to 1990, the Electra did undergo some noticeable updates. The first significant change came in 1987 when the Electra lineup lost the four-lamp "quad" headlights used in 1985–86 models in favor of composite one-piece headlights.
In 1988, the Electra Park Avenue received what would later go on to become GM's flagship engine, the 3800 V-6. The original 3.8 L V-6 was still offered in some Electra models through the 1988 model year and was designated by the VIN code 3, while Electras with the 3800 V-6 were designated by the VIN code C. For 1989, the front seat belts became door-mounted, and back seat shoulder belts became standard.
The sixth generation Electras were initially offered in both 2-door coupe and 4-door sedan body styles but the 2-door coupe versions were eventually discontinued in 1986 (Electra 380) and 1987 (Electra Park Avenue).




Technical data:
- engine: V6
- capacity: 3000 cc
- horsepower: 110 HP
- gearbox: 5+1
- top speed: 150 km/h

Lamborghini Jarama Rally

Friday 21 July 2017

The Lamborghini Jarama is 2+2 grand tourer built by Italian car manufacturer Lamborghini between 1970 and 1976. It was designed by Bertone designer Marcello Gandini. Ferruccio Lamborghini was concerned the car would be thought to be named after the Jarama racing circuit near Madrid, while he meant the car to be named for the fighting bulls bred in Jarama river area in Spain.

In 1970, Lamborghini designed the Islero to meet the demand of the American market. Instead of just redesigning the Islero Lamborghini made the Jarama, a mark 2 Islero. Lamborghini made the Jarama with a shorter chassis to meet U.S. standards. The Jarama's chassis was shortened only by 10.7 inches. The Jarama was now built on a shortened version of the same platform as the Espada. Even though the Jarama was heavier than the Islero, it had the same top speed. Two different models were made, the original GT (1970–1973) model having 350 bhp (260 kW) V12, and the GTS (also known as Jarama S) (1972–1976) with its output upped to 365 bhp (272 kW). Also, with the GTS there were a few minor body modifications, redesigned interior dashboard, power assisted steering, removable roof panels, and an automatic transmission became available as options. A total of 328 Jaramas were built.

Ferruccio Lamborghini's personal Jarama GTS is on display at the official Lamborghini museum at the company's factory in Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy.

It is easy to confuse the Iso Lele and the Lamborghini Jarama as their external design is largely the same, as both were designed by Marcello Gandini.






Technical data:
- engine: V12
- capacity: 3900 cc
- horsepower: 365 HP
- gearbox: 5+1
- top speed: 280 km/h

Lamborghini Urraco Rally

Thursday 20 July 2017

The Lamborghini Urraco is a 2+2 sports car manufactured by Italian automaker Lamborghini. It was introduced at the Turin Auto Show in 1970 but was not put on sale until 1973; production ended in 1979. It was named after a breed of bulls.

The car is a 2+2 coupé with body designed by Marcello Gandini, at the time working for Carrozzeria Bertone. Rather than being another supercar, like the Lamborghini Miura, the Urraco was more affordable, an alternative to the contemporary Ferrari Dino and Maserati Merak.

When production ceased in 1979, 791 Urracos had been built. Twenty-one of these were Urraco P111 (P250 Tipo 111) for the American market. In order to comply with American regulations, these cars had larger front bumpers and emissions controls, the latter resulting in less horsepower for the American version. The other Urraco versions were the Urraco P200, Urraco P250 and Urraco P300 with 2 litre, 2.5 litre, and 3 litre V-8 respectively.

Both the Lamborghini Silhouette, with its detachable roof panel, and its successor Lamborghini Jalpa, with a 3.5 litre V-8 engine, were based upon the Urraco.






Technical data:
- engine: V8
- capacity: 2996 cc
- horsepower: 250 HP
- gearbox: 5+1
- top speed: 260 km/h

Scania V8

Thursday 20 July 2017

This truck used to be very popular all over Europe. I was expecting more comprehensive information on it available in the Internet. Unfortunately I could not find any in English. Please share if you have.




Technical data:
- engine: V8
- capacity: 14000 cc
- horsepower: 350 HP
- gearbox: 10+2
- top speed: 100 km/h