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1966 Batmobile - Auto News and Events

Gearhead News

Photography by Courtesy Of The NHRA

Bet you were expecting us to whip out some snide remark about that purple tie, weren't you?

One Million Kilos on the Street
Very few cars will last a full million miles, and so far Rodney Baron's '96 Lincoln Town car hasn't hit that mark either. However, since Baron is Canadian, he can take a small bit of pride in his car passing the million-kilometer mark. That's about 621,400 miles to those of us with the good sense to live in the bottom half of North America. Most of this Town Car's mileage was racked up during the car's service with Airline Limousine (which employs Baron as a driver) around Toronto before it was retired to the Baron family's personal use. It retains the original engine, transmission, and paint and underwent its 161st oil change just as it reached the million-kilo mileage.

We've got plenty of cars down here that have passed the grueling million-inch mark.

Holy Cola Cow
On June 26th, artist Peter Max presented "Cindy" the Coca-Cola cow. A bovine in fiberglass, Cindy was created for the CowParade Atlanta that features 150 artist-painted cows on display around the Georgia city that is Coke's hometown.

Top 10List

Lousiest Years for the Corvette
With the 50th anniversary year of the Corvette now winding down, you may be a bit exhausted by the constant (and mostly deserved) praise for Chevy's plastic wonder car. So, only in the interest of perspective, we offer the 10 worst years for the Corvette. And frankly, some of the worst years for the Corvette are better than the best years of other cars.

1. 1980-The Corvette was mildly restyled for 1980 and lost about 250 pounds through the elimination of some structure, lighter doors and hood, and thinner glass. But the worst news was in California where the only available engine was the 180hp 305ci, and the only transmission was a TH350. That made for a floppy-feeling Corvette that was dog slow. Sure, the L48 and L82 350 small-blocks were still available in the rest of the country, but Chevy shouldn't be forgiven easily for those California cars.

2. 1983-The Corvette was so bad they didn't even make it.

3. 1981-Just as lame as the '80 model, but Chevy eliminated the L48 and L82 altogether in favor of just one "L81" 350 rated at a pathetic 190 hp.

4. 1982-See 1980 and 1981, add the stillborn Cross-Fire fuel-injection system, and eliminate manual transmissions.

5. 1953-This was the first Corvette, but it was also saddled with a mundane 150hp six and a mandatory two-speed Powerglide automatic. An inauspicious start for a car that would go on to greatness. But hey, didn't Abraham Lincoln start out in a log cabin?

6. 1954-Just slightly better than the '53.

7. 1984-The first C4 Corvette rode as if its shocks were made of granite, the Cross-Fire injected engine was flabby, and the 4+3 manual trans was questionable. The C4 improved markedly with the '85 model year and the introduction of the L98 Tuned Port Injection small-block.

8. 1975-The big-block was gone, and the base engine was a small-block 350 making a lame 165 hp (the optional L82 brought just 205 hp). The saving grace was that this was the last year for the C3 convertible. Perhaps it was not a coincidence that Zora Arkus-Duntov retired this same year.

9. 1974-The last big-block 454 only made 270 hp and the new rear bumper cover had a misguided split through its center.

10. 1958-After the utterly gorgeous, nearly perfect '57, Chevy mucked up the '58 with four chrome-ringed headlights, big ugly teeth in the grille, and a phony vent on the hood. Still a solid car mechanically, the '58 was a styling disaster.

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