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Published: 11.25.2014
The Plymouth XNR: Concept Car of 1960
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/ Researcher
Images: Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection

The XNR was a remarkable show car that was introduced by the Chrysler Corporation in 1960. The name XNR was derived from the name of Mr. Virgil Exner, who was Chief Stylist of Chrysler design. Designed on a Plymouth Valiant chassis, the Plymouth XNR concept model was first introduced to the public on March 1, 1960.

Published: 11.18.2014
Richard Petty: Racing Legend
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images: The National Automotive History Collection

Richard Petty, a famous race car driver can be looked upon as the face of automotive racing in our history books and is considered to be a legend among racing fans. Born on July 2, 1937, Richard Petty was a second generation driver.

Published: 11.11.2014
General Motors of 1954: A Year to Remember
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/ Researcher
Images: Courtesy of Robert Tate's Collection

1954 was a good year for General Motors because of its new automotive products made available to American consumers. During this time both Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole’s hit songs were played in car radios everywhere. Also, during this time, car enthusiasts admired special automotive concept models on display at the GM Motorama in New York City. Perhaps you remember going to the movies at the popular Riviera Theater on Grand River and watching films like “On the Waterfront” featuring the legendary actor Mr. Marlon Brando.

Published: 11.04.2014
1971 Plymouth Barracuda, Great Style & Muscle
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images: Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection

Chrysler Corporation’s 1971 Plymouth Barracuda models were impressively-designed automobiles during the early part of the 1970's. At the beginning of this era, the Barracuda models also represented change offering exciting new designs and styling features. Mr. R. K. Brown (who was the Division General Manager) was quoted as saying, “Styling improvements and mechanical refinements for the coming year should make Barracuda a solid contender in its market segment”.

Published: 10.28.2014
Two Great Women of Automotive History
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images: Courtesy of The National Automotive History Collection

I wanted to take the time to write a feature about two great women who, in my opinion, should be remembered not only for their contributions but also for the successful leadership roles each of them played in supporting our auto heritage. It is most appropriate at this time to offer kind words in remembrance of both these women, Ms. Helen Earley (September 4, 1917- January 8, 2005) and Ms. Beverly Rae Kimes (August 13, 1939- May12, 2008).

Published: 10.22.2014
Sounds of the 1960's: Remembering great car music
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images: Courtesy of Billy D' s Record Collection.

The great music and the sensational singing groups of the 1960's remain as some of the most memorable moments in our American culture. These tunes often highlighted the popular Hot Rods and the car culture during that time period. Our society has always been fascinated with music and cars. Today, when I attend many car shows, you still can hear those great songs from the Beach Boys. You might even groove to the famous Rip Chords and their popular song “Hey Little Cobra”, which was one of the highest ranking hot rod songs of all time.

Published: 10.15.2014
Historical Snapshot: The Pierce-Arrow Automobiles
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher
Images: Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection

As we look back over the early days of our automotive heritage, we admire the Pierce-Arrow automo-bile as a unique and fascinating vehicle. The vehicles manufacturing dates back from 1901 through 1938 out of Buffalo, New York. Ironically, the Pierce-Arrow journey began with the production of bi-cycles in the late 1890's, followed by light cars produced and powered by Dion-Bouton engines shortly after.

Published: 10.08.2014
1964: A Great Year for Pontiac
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/ Researcher
Images: Courtesy of Robert Tate's Automotive Collection

The year 1964 was a great time for the Pontiac Motor Division. With the introduction of new Pontiac models, General Motors excitedly launched its state-of-the-art line of automobiles. Pontiac introduced all new styling with updated body types for its intermediate model lineup.

Published: 10.01.2014
1949 Ford: The Car, The Workers, & The Innovation
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/ Researcher
Images: Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection

In automotive history, 1949 is known as the year of big change. This story is about how it all began. With just a simple idea sketched out on a piece of paper, the developments that followed from factory to finish attribute to Ford Motor Company’s successful year. The men and women who helped with design and build these remarkable automobiles made automotive history.

Published: 09.23.2014
GMC Trucks of 1957
From Durability to Style: An Era of Innovation & Design
By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/ Researcher
Images: Courtesy of The National Automotive History Collection

The purpose of this story is to highlight the history of GMC trucks, specifically those introduced to the public in 1957. Looking back at GMC's very rich history of manufacturing influential products, the company became extremely popular among consumers who could appreciate the trucks’ functionality, performance, and design. GMC trucks are still popular to this day, with their new 2014 line of trucks, crossovers, and vans.

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