Tag Archives: Automobiles

Italian Racing Cars: 1957 Maserati 200 SI (Video)

Introduced in 1955, the Maserati 150, 200, and 250 series of sports racers were geared towards privateer owners, featuring a four-cylinder engine connected to a four-speed, and later five-speed, gearbox.

The 1957 Maserati 200 SI offered here, chassis 2423, was completed on June 13, 1957 and sent by Maserati Corporation of America to Houston. This example has been used sparingly on the road since then, and comes accompanied by an extensive history file and large cache of spare parts, including the original riveted fuel tank and two sets of Borrani wheels. An alluring choice for both collectors and racers alike, this rare and capable 200 SI is eminently eligible for a number of important road rallies, including the Mille Miglia, possibly the world’s greatest vintage motoring event. As an exceptionally desirable Maserati 200 SI with known history from new, 2423 represents a rare opportunity to buy a gorgeous, versatile, and potent 1950s Italian sports racer.

Automobiles: Decline Of The American Convertible

Rising in popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, the convertible car is an automotive American icon. It was a vehicle meant for leisure and fun. Some of the most iconic models throughout history were convertibles, such as the Chevrolet Corvette and the Ford Mustang. However, in the last few years, convertibles have been slowly declining in popularity. Along with rising prices, American car buyers, especially those with children, value practicality and functionality over looks and leisure, leading their interest towards SUV’s and midsize sedans. In 2021, convertibles make up only 0.46% of new car sales. Can the iconic design stand the test of time?

Analysis: Fixing The EV Charging Bottleneck

Electric-vehicle entrepreneurs are working on the industry’s biggest bottleneck: charging infrastructure. Companies are building more chargers, but it may not be enough to make EVs work for people who can’t plug in at home. Photo illustration: Carlos Waters/WSJ

Travel: The Rental Car Shortage Explained (WSJ)

This summer it’s harder than ever to rent a car in the U.S., especially at popular vacation destinations. To learn what’s behind the spike in rental car prices, WSJ speaks with an industry analyst and WSJ’s Nora Naughton. Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Los Angeles: Petersen Automotive Museum (4K)

The Petersen Automotive Museum is located on Wilshire Boulevard along Museum Row in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles. One of the world’s largest automotive museums, the Petersen Automotive Museum is a nonprofit organization specializing in automobile history and related educational programs.

Founded on June 11, 1994, by magazine publisher Robert E. Petersen and his wife Margie, the $40-million Petersen Automotive Museum is owned and operated by the Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation. The museum was originally located within the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and later moved to a historic department store designed by Welton Becket.

Opened in 1962, the building first served as a short-lived U.S. branch of Seibu Department Stores, before operating as an Ohrbach’s department store from 1965 to 1986. Six years after Ohrbach’s closed, Robert Petersen selected the largely windowless site as an ideal space for a museum—allowing artifacts to be displayed without harmful exposure to direct sunlight. In 2015, the museum underwent an extensive $125 million renovation.The building’s façade was redesigned by the architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox, and features a stainless-steel ribbon assembly made of 100 tons of 14-gauge type 304 steel in 308 sections, 25 supports and 140,000 custom stainless-steel screws.Designers at The Scenic Route configured interior spaces to accommodate changing exhibits.[4] The remodeled museum opened to the public on December 7, 2015.

Italian Design: 90 Years Of ‘Pininfarina’ Celebrated

The world’s most famous automotive design house, Pininfarina celebrates 90 years of style and innovation with a new exhibition at the MAUTO in Turin, open from May to September.

Founded in 1930, Pininfarina has evolved from an artisan concern to a global brand employing over 600 people. In those 90 years Pininfarina has given us some of the world’s most beautiful automobiles, but also demonstrated exciting innovation. Divided up in to six areas the exhibition will showcase the unique breadth of the brand from the gorgeous Cisitalia 2020, to the 1969 Sigma Grand Prix and off into the future with the exciting new Battista, electric hypercar concept.

Read more at Classic Driver

Analysis: The Future Of Driverless Vehicles (WSJ)

While Tesla and others already offer assisted-driving features, startups Waymo, Cruise, TuSimple and Aurora are betting their autonomous vehicles will make driving a thing of the past. WSJ asked them about safety and other challenges they face. Photo composite: George Downs

Analysis: The Microchip Shortage Limiting Autos

While the automotive industry was ravaged early on in the pandemic thanks to lockdown measures and a dramatic decrease in travel, it more recently has begun facing a new problem: a shortage of microchips.

Microchips are vital to much of a vehicle’s key functions, such as engine control, transmission, infotainment systems, and more. In the last half of 2020 and now in 2021, vehicle sales recovered fairly quickly, faster than automakers anticipated.

Suddenly, they were struggling to meet demand. At the same time, chipmakers were experiencing supply shortages and increased demand from other sectors, such as personal electronics. With the resulting lack of microchip supply, automakers have been forced to slow production, even on their most popular models. For several automakers, the shortage is expected to cost them $1 billion or more — and even still, the alternatives are worryingly few.

Analysis: The Politics Of Germany’s Auto Industry

The German automotive industry has long played a key role in the country’s prosperity. It employs hundreds of thousands and enjoys cozy relationships with politicians.

But the COVID-19 crisis threw a wrench in the works. What’s next? The prosperous German auto industry has long been lagging when it comes to innovating new automotive technologies. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the industry is turning to decision-makers for help. But just how far will policymakers go to help the car companies?

Arguing that the COVID-19 pandemic has hit them hard, the auto industry is demanding the postponement of stricter CO2 limits and a purchase premium for new vehicles. They maintain that nothing less than the prosperity of the whole country is at stake. But is Germany’s success really dependent on the auto industry? And how much blame does industrial policy bear for the failures of the automotive companies?

Classic French Cars: ‘1969 Renault 4L Plein Air’

Feel the freedom. the 1969 Renault 4 Plein Air, a roofless, doorless car for a liberating driving experience happy 60th anniversary to Renault 4.

The Plein Air was introduced in the spring of 1968. Plein Airs were converted by Renault group company Sinpar S.A. from regular 4 speed R1123’s produced by Renault. A R1123 selected for conversion entered Sinpar’s premises as a complete R4 Berline to undergo a complete make-over and leave without doors and roof to be delivered to clients who had ordered their Plein Air from one of Renault’s dealers worl-wide. Plein Airs were actually sold and delivered into France, Canada, United States, Mexico, Finland, Germany, UK and the Netherlands. In 1968 approx. 20 Plein Airs were exported to Canada to be used on the site of the 1968 Terre des Hommes World Exhibition in Montreal. Approximately 500 Plein Airs were produced by Sinpar until 1971, when it was succeeded by the R4 ACL Rodeo. After 1971 Renault continued to offer Plein Air conversion kits for self-made plein airs, but little is known about their number.