Auto News for July 6

66 caddy

It was broad and it was sweeping. It was showroom. The huge light blue 60’s vintage Cadillac with the top down and driven through my town by a white haired gentlemen smoking a pipe and wearing a checkerboard cap.

First impression: Did we really make cars that big?

And it was huge. The ’66 Caddy was 224 inches long, or 20 inches longer than any current Cadillac on the market. The current Ram 1500 pickup is only five inches longer, but it lacks tail fins.

The Caddy weighed in at something like 48-hundred pounds, or about where the bigger SUV’s are today. A 7-liter V8 was under the hood matched to a 3-speed (!) automatic transmission. Gas mileage? No one cared back then! Well okay, about 10 mpg.

But the big Caddy made a statement or two, and still does – That here was an owner who had made it and was not afraid of emphatically saying so in an era when Detroit’s Big Three cranked out huge, over styled automobiles with fins and chrome, plush seats and pillow soft ride. Excess was very IN back then.

My overwhelming feeling when the topless Caddy glided by was, “I am so glad that someone restored it, and is taking good care of it. May it last forever!”

Now back to the present!

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it has received 154 complaints from owners of 2011-15 Ford Explorers of interior exhaust odors. Owners said this occurs when the vehicle is at full throttle or the HVAC system is in recirculation mode. One minor accident has been reported as a result. NHTSA said it is opening an investigation. Not disclosed was how many Explorers are might be involved.

Baseball just announced its All-Star teams, and the auto industry sort of did the same thing. A total of 43 vehicles made the early list to compete for North American Car, Truck/Utility and SUV of the Year awards. A jury of auto journalists in the U.S. and Canada will announce the winners at the Detroit Auto Show in January. This will be the first year that SUV’s will be judged in a separate category. Among the new models in the running are the Bentley Bentayga, GMC Acadia and the Chrysler Pacifica van.

 

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