Ford posts a 40 percent March gain in U.S. sales

For the month of March, US sales for Ford Motor Co. rose by 40% and for April, it intends to extend its sales momentum by launching a full marketing campaign. Starting April 6, Ford will aim to step up its marketing for its new set of products that will be arriving.

At a conference call, Ken Czubay, Ford’s vice president of US sales and marketing, said that Ford will launch a campaign that’s focused on its products and product strength. Czubay said that what Ford seeks to emphasize are its products, and not on clearance and discounts.

Ford said that more details will be available next week about this campaign that will focus on Ford’s four product pillars — safety, quality, technology and fuel economy.

Ford also announced that consumers should expect the restyled and re-engineered 2011 Super Duty pickup and the 2011 Mustang coupe with a new V-6 engine to arrive in dealerships next month. By this summer, the Fiesta compact car is also expected to be launched.

The 40% gain in March is actually the sixth straight month that Ford had been able to record a sales gain. This figure follows Ford’s first annual increase in US market share since 1995. Ford also intends to keep its incentive spending stable.

Edmunds said that Ford’s average incentive was $3,304 per vehicle in March, down from $3,673 a year earlier. However, heavy incentives have been the norm across the industry. In comparison, Toyota’s average incentive was $2,256 per vehicle in March, a marked increase from $1,565 a year earlier.

[via autonews – sub. required]

Time to finish your winter projects.

Spring has sprung and it is time to get those winter projects done and out of the way.

Soon the cruise ins and car shows will hit the frozen north. The project needs to be done so you can display all of your hard work and determination.

So get busy before “jobs” and other work get in the way and the project gets put off until next winter.

With sitting for another year more problems usually show and the project becomes an never ending story

1934-1957 Citroen ‘Traction avant’

An excellent write up on this car was done by the editors of Consumer Guide. I am posting it below.

1934-1957 Citroen ‘Traction avant’

by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

The 1934-1957 Citroën “Traction avant” was the product of the French mass-production pioneer of front drive and all-steel unit construction, the latter encouraged — and tooled — by America’s Budd Body Company. It boasted many advances, including pushrod ohv engines, removable wet cylinder liners, independent front suspension, and four-wheel torsion-bar springing.

The driveline put a three-speed manual gearbox ahead of the differential and engine. This layout influenced the U.S. Cord 810/812. The shifter poked through the dash and worked “backwards,” an artifact of Andre Citroën’s aborted plan for automatic transmission.

Styling, now long world-famous, was low-slung — just 60 inches high, some 18 inches below the contemporary norm — emphasized by omitting running boards. Wheels at the extreme corners made for exceptional interior space, a smooth ride, and — with fairly broad track dimensions — high stability.

There were progressive improvements and more powerful four-cylinder engines, plus a six-cylinder alternative from 1938. Mainstay models were four-door sedans: four-seat legere (“light”), stretched five/six-seat normale, and longer seven/nine-passenger familiale. The last had a lift-up rear-end panel — an early hatchback — and was also sold with removable seats as a commerciale. A 2+2 coupe and convertible were built for a time, as was a low-volume five-seat coupe de ville.

The 1934-1957 Citroën “Traction avant” was not fundamentally changed postwar, but it saw further improvements and, from 1953, “trunkback” styling. Starting in 1954, some 3000 Sixes received the radical new oleopneumatic suspension system from the forthcoming 1955 DS19, though Traction assemblies didn’t stop until July 1957.

Pluses of the 1934-1957 Citroën “Traction avant:”

* History-makers all
* Great character
* Unmistakable “French connection” styling
* Roomy and smooth-riding

Minuses of the 1934-1957 Citroën “Traction avant:”

* Not that common in U.S.
* Ditto parts/service/restoration expertise
* Ditto club support
* Leisurely performance
* Established Citroën’s reputation for quirkiness

Production of the 1934-1957 Citroën “Traction avant:”
4-cylinder: 708,339
6-cylinder: 50,518
(includes prewar British-built models)

Specifications of the 1934-1957 Citroën “Traction avant:”
Wheelbase, inches: 114.5 (7CV, 11 legere); 121.5 (15/Six and 11 normale); 129.0 (11 familiale/commerciale)
Length, inches: 184 (7CV/11 legere); 191 (15/Six and 11 normale); 198.5 (11 familiale/commerciale)
Weight, pounds: 2650-2950
Price, new: $1,798-2,686 (1955 U.S. POE)

Engines for the 1934-1957 Citroën “Traction avant:”

Type Size Horsepower Years
ohv I-4 79.5 cc 32 1934
ohv I-4 93.3 cc 35 1934
ohv I-4 99.3 cc 36 1934-1941
ohv I-4 116.6 cc 45/56 1934-1957
ohv I-6 175.0 cc 77 1938-1957

1951 Delahaye Type 235 Saoutchik

The Delahaye 235 was the last attempt by Delahaye to produce a successful sports car after the war. This example has a unique Saoutchik body, first exhibited at the 1951 Paris Auto Show. With a 3.5-liter, 6-cylinder engine and a Cotal pre-selector gearbox the Delahaye 235 was a modernized descendant of Delahaye’s pre-war 135 with revised suspension. Far from cheap, it cost double the price of the rival Jaguar XK120 or about the same as a Bentley Mark VI. This car led a busy life in Europe, being shown at several concours, until 1964 when, with 80,382 kilometers on the clock, it was put away in a garage in France. During the last 45 years that car has been driven less than 100 kilometers; and it is complete and original in every respect.
The 235 was a modern vehicle introduced in 1951, just after the close of World War II. It was powered by a 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine capable of producing just over 150 horsepower and could reach speeds of 100 mph, or more. The 235 replaced the 135 and was Delahaye’s only model offered for sale during this time.

Delahaye produced the rolling chassis and left the creation of the bodies up to coachbuilders, such as Letourneur & Marchand, Chapron, Ghia, and Vanden Plas.

51-Delahaye_235-Saoutchik_Cabrio_DV-07-PB_01

51-Delahaye_235-Saoutchik_Cabrio_DV-07-PB_i01

51-Delahaye_235_Saoutchik_Cabrlt_DV-07-PB_01

51-Delahaye_235-Saoutchik_Cabrio_DV-07-PB_03

51-Delahaye_235-Saoutchik_Cabrio_DV-07-PB_02

Jowett Jupiter

An prime example of eccentric British design and execution.

Who would expect to find this engine in a British car?

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eng_in

The engine was was Gerry Palmer’s (he of the Jowett Javelin design, and later the MG Magnette, Wolseley 4/44 and variants) first and last engine design. It is a horizontally opposed four cylinder unit bored 72.5mm x stroke 90mm swept volume 1486cc. (90.6cu-in). Compression ratio was 7.6:1 or 8:1 depending on the destination country’s gasoline.

The car had rack and pinion steering which was rare for that time.

Jupiters had what was probably the most advanced chassis of their time on a British car.

RACE RESULTS for the JOWETT JUPITER car

Le Mans 24-hour International sports car race
1950 class win (Standard Mk1) – Tom Wisdom, Tommy Wise (The Sagacious Two)
1951 class win (Standard Mk1) – Marcel Becquart, Gordon Wilkins
1952 class win (R1) – Marcel Becquart, Gordon Wilkins

RAC-TT International race for standard sports cars, Dundrod Northern Ireland
1951 Class win (Standard Mk1) – Bert Hadley
1951 Class 2nd (Standard Mk1) – Tommy Wise
During the race Tommy Wise was timed at 92.90mph through the measured kilometre

SCCA National Meet at the Thompson Speedway.

July 1951 The 1500cc race for production sports cars was won by a Jupiter

Swiss National race for standard sports cars, Bremgarten
1951 class win (Standard Mk1) – Gurzeler

Queen Catharine Montour Cup for 1.5 litre sports cars, Watkins Glen USA
1951 Cup Winner (R1) – George Weaver

International British Empire Trophy, Isle of Man

May 1952 a Standard Mk1 Jupiter was the first true production car home in the 1500cc class, at 7th overall.

Governor’s Cup, Arizona day of Races USA

May 1953 Standard Mk1 Jupiters first and second in 1500cc class

For more race results, read the books…

HILLCLIMB RESULTS for the JOWETT JUPITER

SCCA Burke Mountain Hillclimb, USA

June 1951 Class win by a standard Jupiter

Rheineck-Walzenhausen Hillclimb, Switzerland

June 1951 Class win by a standard Jupiter

RALLY RESULTS for the JOWETT JUPITER

Monte Carlo International Rally
1951 Class win, 6th overall (Standard Mk1) – Ellison/Robinson
1951 Class 2nd, 10th overall (Standard Mk1) – Wilkins/Baxter
1952 Class 2nd, 5th overall (Farina FHC Jupiter) – Becquart/Ziegler
1953 Class 4th, 36th overall (Grounds FHC Jupiter) – Grounds/Hay

International Rally of Portugal (Lisbon Rally)
1951 Outright winner (Standard Mk1) – Joaquim Filipe Nogueira

Rallye de l’Iseran

1951 National Rallye de l’Iseran. Outright winner Jean Armangaud (Standard Mk1)

Jupiters tried hard in the International Criterion des Alps 1951, 1952 and 1953. In 1951 Armangaud won his class in the Monza speed test on the first day, and on the third day Wise class-won the Falzarego ascent with Armangaud second. On the fifth day Wise class-won the Stelvio ascent with Armangaud third this time.
In 1952 Robinson lost no marks on the first two days before being forced out with brake problems.

Lake Tahoe Rally

August 1952. FCCA National Rally in the Californian high sierras. Outright win by a Standard Mk1 Jupiter

sc dash

sc rear view

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Ghia 1500 GT

Ghia 1500 GT

Less then 1000 of these beautiful cars were built from 1962 to 1967.

Monocoque construction with a shortening of the rear overhang combined with a lengthening of the hood made a sports car out of this:

Fiat 1500

The converted 1,481 cc Fiat four cylinder engine provided the power with 84 bhp on tap at 5,200 rpm, feeding through a 4 speed manual gearbox. A top speed of 170 kph was possible.

1500 GT engine bay

The chassis is a creation of Gilco, the famed Italian frame manufacturer.

Interior