Earlier this week, we reported about the birth of the Historic Vehicle Association and its participation in the Federation Interantionale des Vehicules Anciens, the global group working to preserve collector cars and the culture that has grown around them.
Since then, we’ve received word that FIVA has added three more member nations — Nepal, Namibia and Bosnia & Herzegovina.
“Up till now, Nepal, Bosnia and Namibia might not have been the first countries to spring to mind when thinking of the classic vehicle movement,” FIVA noted in its news release. “Yet each is a nation with a strong ethos of historic vehicle ownership and enjoyment – and a unique history of extraordinary cars.”
“Each of these countries embodies a distinctive car culture, and our existing members from 65 nations will be enriched by association with three such vibrant new members,” added Howared Danino, FIVA’s director for membership.
“It’s clear that the passion for historic vehicles we all share is becoming an increasingly global phenomenon. This can only be good news for the future of the movement.”
Joining FIVA from Nepal is the Vintage & Classic Motor group, which includes 131 members and 26 vehicles, the oldest a 1928 Ford Model A Standard Phaeton 35A. The Namibia representative is the Old Wheels Club, which includes more than 500 members and is about to start work on The National Motoring Museum in the African nation.
Numbering 145 members and 45 vehicles, dating to a 1929 Mercedes SSK, the Oldtimer Club of Mostar hopes to draw in additional members from Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Japanese automakers celebrate 35th anniversary of car assembly in the U.S.
It was about this time of year back in 1982 that Honda opened a vehicle assembly plant in Marysville, Ohio.
“Japanese-brane automakers now operate 24 manufacturing plants and 43 R&D/design centers in 20 U.S. states,” the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association said in a pdf celebrating 35 years of such work in America.
Those automakers have spent a combined $45.6 billion in their U.S. facilities, and last year alone spent $69.9 billion on U.S.-produced parts from American-based suppliers.
Not only do those plants and research & development centers employ nearly 70,000 people, another 20,000 work in headquarters and sales, and in addition to vehicles sold within the U.S., those Japanese-brand plants exported more than 400,000 vehicles — cars and trucks — to other nations in 2016.
Chevy trucks also celebrating an anniversary
The 2018 model year marks the Chevrolet’s centennial as a truck producer. As part of the celebration, online music provider Pandora has added a Chevy Truck 100 station that focuses on country music, especially songs that reference pickup trucks.
“At its most basic level, every song tells a story, while the very best songs also make an emotional connection with the audience,” five-time Academy of Country Music award-winner Frank Rogers said in a news release. “For artists, many of us grew up riding in a Chevy truck, making it a natural way to tell the story of our experiences. For our fans, a reference to a Chevy truck is something they can instantly relate to, helping make the story relevant to their life as well.”
Shameless self-promotion alert!
As part of the Chevy truck centennial celebration, I was commissioned by Motorbooks to write a history of the Chevrolet pickup. The book — Chevrolet Trucks: 100 Years of Building the Future — is available at amazon.com.
Fire extinguisher recall
You probably carry a fire extinguisher in your classic vehicle. If so, you need to know that Kidde United Technologies has recalled more than 40 million such devices in the U.S. and Canada because plastic-handled or push-button units, of which it produces more than 140 versions, because of clogging and failure to activate. Nozzles also can detach and cause injury, the company said in its recall notice.
The passing of Peter Schutz
We were attending the annual SEMA Show when word arrived recently of the death of Peter Schutz. If you own a Porsche 911 produced in the last couple of decades, you owe his passing a moment of contemplation.
Schutz, the only American to head the German sports car producer, was responsible for keeping the 911 in production.
Schutz became president and chief executive of Porsche AG in January 1981. The company had posted its first ever financial losses the previous year and had decided to halt production of the iconic 911. Schutz not only kept the car in the Porsche lineup, but took Porsche back to Le Mans, added a cabriolet version, added Turbo, S and S2 versions of the 944, and ordered up the 959 all-wheel-drive supercar before departing the company in 1987.
“Peter Schutz was the right man at the right place at the right time,” Amelia Island concours founder Bill Warner said in a statement.
Aston Martin joining Porsche with Miami residential tower
It used to be that “dealer row” in many cities comprised a string of new car dealerships. In Miami, that idea is evolving into residential towers with automotive design themes.
First came the Porsche Design Tower with its 60-story, glass-enclosed elevator so you can drive your car right into your condo.
Recently, ground was broken at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way for the Aston Martin Residences, which will stand 66 stories in height and include 391 condominiums, topped by eight penthouses which will have private swimming pools.
Design cues in the building will include Aston Martin-style door hardware and carbon fiber reception desks.