Forward Look Fargo With Fins: 3D Photos

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Fargo was started by Walter Chrysler in 1928, the same year he formed the Chrysler Corp and bought the Dodge Brothers company. The brand was used to sell commercial trucks but eventually it was eclipsed by Dodge’s line of trucks, later to be revived as a Canada only brand. In 1958, the Fargo pickup, identical to the Dodge D100, received the “Sweptside” styling that its sibling received a year earlier to match the “Forward Look” cars that Virgil Exner had styled. This is a very rare vehicle, as only 11 were produced.

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1958 Dodge Sweptside Pickup: 3D Photos

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By 1957, not only had Ford and Chevy brought modern styling to their traditional pickup truck lines but Ford had also introduced the Ranchero car based pickup and Chevy featured the Cameo Carrier, a conventional pickup that sported many automobile styling trends. Dodge’s trucks, in comparison, were starting to look a bit dowdy. The solution was to create the Sweptside pickup, with tailfins that emulated Chrysler design chief Virgil Exner Sr’s “Forward Look”, which fully flowered in the ’57 model year. One could be forgiven for assuming that the Sweptside Dodge and the nearly identical Fargo trucks sold in Canada were the product of Exner’s design studio. That wasn’t the case. Supposedly “Ex” wasn’t even interested in restyling the  trucks. In fact the Sweptside pickups had nothing to do with Chrysler’s design team. They were the result of a parts-bin project of Joe Berr, the head of Dodge’s Special Equipment Group.

Read the rest at TTAC.

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Pinto Pilots Pack PDC : 3D Photos & Video

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Would you miss a parade of 50 Ford Pintos (well, 47 at least)? The cute little subcompact, oft demeaned as a fiery death trap due to lawsuits and controversy over how and where it mounted the fuel tank, does have its enthusiasts and for the past three years they’ve gathered for the Pinto Stampede, a car meet and fund raiser for the Wounded Warrior Project. This year the Stampede was held in Dearborn, Michigan and the proud Pinto pilots (alliteration is my friend) were reserved a special place of honor at the Ford Product Development Center employees’ annual car show on the lawn in front of the PDC.

Read the rest of the post over at TTAC.


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Virgil Exner’s Very Personal Plymouth XNR – 3D Photos

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When Chrysler brass told Virgil Exner that they wanted a concept for a personal sporting car, Exner took them at their word and designed the XNR, named after himself. After the car was retired from the show circuit, though Exner wanted to buy it from the company, the company had to ship it back to Italy, where Ghia had built it, or else it would have paid prohibitive customs fees. Ghia sold it and eventually it passed through the collection of the Shah of Iran and on to Lebanon, where it was hidden in an underground garage to protect it during Lebanon’s civil war. The owner, Karim Edde, had it restored a couple of years ago prior to putting it on the auction block and it sold for over $900 million in 2011.

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Look What I Found: It’s Not What You Think

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Rummaging around some of my photos from earlier this year, I stumbled on images of a car that was parked outside the hotel I was staying at in Dearborn during the Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise. I always had a soft spot for big Mercurys like this one but on closer inspection I discovered that it wasn’t a Mercury at all—well, not exactly.

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Ferraris Have A Prancing Horse, Bugattis Have a Dancing Elephant: 3D Photos

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The prancing horse that graces Ferraris was originally Enzo Ferrari’s effort to honor an Italian aviator who fought in the first world war. The dancing elephant mascot with which Ettore Bugatti chose to grace his most magnificent work, the Bugatti Royale, was also a tribute, though not to honor a military hero. The dancing elephant was originally sculpted by Rembrandt Bugatti, Ettore’s brother, who had made a name for himself in the art world as a sculptor of animals. A sensitive soul, Rembrandt Bugatti unfortunately committed suicide at the age of 32 in 1916, apparently tormented by the violence of WWI and the use of his rearing pachyderm was his brother’s form of memorializing him.

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1967 LeMans Winning Ford Mk IV Repaired, Back on Display @ THF – 3D Photos & 3D Video Walkaround

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One of the drawbacks for museums loaning out items in their collections is that in the real world stuff happens and now and then an artifact is damaged. That’s what happened a couple of years ago when the Henry Ford Museum sent the 1967 LeMans winning Ford GT40 Mk IV to the UK to help celebrate the Goodwood events.


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Apparently a shipping container holding the car was dropped and while the museum hasn’t publicized exactly what the damage was, the fall was substantial enough that engine mounts broke, a sill panel was damaged and there might even have been damage to the car’s innovative aluminum honeycomb superstructure. After a very sensitive repair and conservation in Dan Gurney’s All American Racers shop in California, the car that won the second of four LeMans victories in a row is back on display in Dearborn.

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Together For the First Time? Mustang I, Mustang II & Mustang III Concepts – 3D Photos

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We’ve featured the 1962 Mustang I and the 1963 Mustang II concepts here before, separately. I don’t know how often the two cars are displayed together, because they’re owned by different museums. However, it can’t be too frequently. There was a Mustang III concept as well, a show car built for Ford’s Custom Car Caravan by Dearborn Steel Tubing, one of the fabrication shops Ford used in the 1960s. It was a shortened, two seat fastback with custom fiberglass panels. It was so popular that Ford bought it, renamed it the Mustang III and put it on the show circuit. Bill Snyder, who has owned the car since the 1960s, restored it not long ago and only recently started showing the car so this is likely the first time all three original Mustang concept cars have appeared together.

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You Can Trust Your Car to the Man Who Wears the Star

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Brian Saylor collects Texaco memorabilia, including an old gasoline pump. He also says that he’s “addicted” to old trucks, so sooner or later he was bound to combine the two interests in this 1937 Ford dump truck that he restomodded into a vintage fuel oil delivery truck, and this 1967 Econoline pickup with which he brackets his display of Texaco stuff at Detroit area car shows. These photos were taken at the Packard Proving Grounds’ 2014 Cars R Stars summer show and the Ford Product Development Center employees’ car show on the grounds of the PDC.

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Survivor Series: Bruce Thompson’s Original Condition Model A: 3D Photos

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There are always some cool cars at Greenfield Village’s Old Car Festival, the oldest vintage car show in America, but I think the people who display their vehicles are even cooler. Bruce Thompson wasn’t hardly a senior citizen when he bought this car almost 50 years ago. When it was new to him, I’m sure it looked a bit anachronistic to see such a young man driving such an old car (and in 1968, a car made in 1930 seemed even older to contemporary eyes than a 38 year old car, something from 1976, does today). It’s said that as married couples age they begin to look alike. I don’t know how true that is but as Mr. Thompson has gotten on in years, he and his Model T have become more of a matching set.

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