Throwback Thursday

On this day in 1902 Theodore Roosevelt became the first sitting US President to ride in an automobile. The occasion was part of a tour through New England; the car was a Columbia electric automobile and the location was Hartford, Connecticut. As far as I can tell, Columbia was the first US company to manufacture at least 1,000 cars and led the US in auto production in 1899-1900. I would have liked to show a photo of the occasion, but the one used on the New York Times website is very small and I could not find the original one that supposedly exists in the Library of Congress archives, even though that probably wouldn’t have been any larger. From a “generic” photo of Theodore Roosevelt:


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On this day in 1967 the AMC Javelin debuted as a 1968 model year car. The Javelin was either AMC’s late entry into the ponycar market or second attempt after the less than successful Marlin. How unsuccessful? How about these production numbers:


1965  10,327

1966    4,547

1967    2,545


Both my wonderful wife and I are big fans of the first-generation Javelin. The car was in her Ultimate Garage and was among the cars that just missed the cut for Ultimate Garage 2.0 for me.

The Javelin was much more popular than the Marlin had been with 1968 model production of more than 56,000 and contributed to a 16% increase in AMC/Rambler sales compared to 1967. The standard Javelin engine was actually a 232 cubic-inch inline 6-cylinder that produced 145 HP/215 LB-FT of torque. However, by the end of the model year production run the Javelin was available with any of the three AMC V-8 engines including the 390 cubic-inch displacement variant that produced 315 HP/425 LB-FT.

See the source image

From a picture of a 1968 Javelin with SST badging on the front fender. From Encyclopedia of American Cars by the Auto Editors of Consumer GuideĀ®, “Its styling was arguably the cleanest of the lot [ponycars].” As much as I like the looks of the first-generation Camaro and Firebird I’m not sure I would argue with that assessment.






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Monday Musings

Yet another photo of an AMC Javelin, this one a 1969 model. I took this picture yesterday at a local Cars & Coffee gathering. A photo from the rear actually looks a little better, but I didn’t want to show this car’s license plate. It wasn’t profane, but who knows who’s reading this. I really think this car is among the best looking American cars ever although I prefer the 1968 since that year doesn’t have the hood scoops.

Even if many of the cars were “excessively” customized for me, I was heartened by the large turnout and by the age of many of the people in attendance. I have never been to such a gathering and seen so many people in their 20s and 30s. I also don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Japanese cars in one place other than at an event dedicated to Japanese cars. Here’s one that always catches my eye:

Of course, that’s a Nissan GT-R, which has already been the subject of a post here. ( I am quite curious as to what Nissan will do to “replace” this car. They can’t produce it forever in its current form. Perish the thought that cars like this go away; it’s bad enough that sedans are facing extinction under the onslaught of SUVs and pickup trucks.

My wonderful wife and I attended two Cars & Coffee events this weekend; in the one from which the pictures are shown here we were accompanied by her parents. One should never wish time away, but I am looking forward to my wonderful wife and I reaching the age where we can tap into our retirement money without penalty.