The Chrysler Imperial was designed “for the man who doesn’t seek prestige because he already has it.” I really don’t think there is anybody in the world more appropriate to present this 1967 Chrysler Imperial than Jay Leno. It’s one of the amazing cars that found its way to him just because he’s the world’s most famous car guy. He bought it from a 93 year old movie producer who bought the car brand new along with 2 spares of every conceivable part on the car. It’s an amazing piece of automotive history from an era when the Imperial was the pinnacle of luxury and sophistication.
Popular Mechanics gives us an inside look at LCW Automotive Corporation as they add a 120 inch stretch to a Lincoln MKT Towncar to turn it into a Premiere Limousine. Think of it as a 20 minute episode of How It’s Made. They go pretty in-depth talking about how they get the cars from Ford ready to be cut and stretched. The new floor is steel, the side panels are bolted on aircraft aluminum and the roof is a fiberglass and foam composite. The whole process takes 45 days, adds 800 pounds of steel and 4,000 feet of wiring to the original car.
This is Jay Leno’s original and unrestored 1918 Cadillac Type 57 Victoria model. Jay likens this car to the CTS-V of 1918 because it’s a luxury model powered by the first ever mass produced V8 engine. Cadillac pioneered precision machining here in America back when the rest of the world was still handcrafting unique individual cars. These Type 57’s were designed to have interchangeable parts for easy servicing and production. Jay tells the story where six of these were brought to England and disassembled. The parts were then thrown into a giant pile and mixed up. Six new cars were then reassembled from the pile of parts that all started on the first try and went on to win an endurance race. That level of precision manufacturing was unheard of at the time. This Type 57 is the crown achievement of an era of American automobiles.
It’s time again for the annual Power Wheelstand World Championship at the Byron Dragway. Conceptually, it’s one of my favorite motorsports events. There’s a little bit of cheesy video editing, but this was the best coverage of the event that I could find. Check out coverage of last year’s event for more power wheelstand insanity.
I’m a big fan of the stuff that they build at ICON. They take a lot of awesome nostalgic cars and trucks and put modern running gear under them. Muscle car guys would call these “Resto-Mod” except ICON likes to work with old 4×4’s like the Toyota Landcruiser and Ford Bronco. The owner of ICON, Jonathan Ward, started this Derelict product line after coming across some old American cars with perfect patina. The first Derelict is this Chrysler Town and Country wagon with a Desoto front end that Ward built for himself. There’s a complete modern chassis under the body and a new 6.4 liter Hemi V8 under the hood. It could be due to the fact that I also own a rusty car, but I think what they did with the wagon is just fantastic.