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Chevy Impala – It Has the Claim to Fame

Cars July 3, 2017

Chevy Impala

The Chevy Impala may not be on many impressive lists concerning unique design, economical considerations, or racetrack records, but it does have a few claims to fame: it’s the best-selling vehicle in the United States, and it’s the car made famous by the longest running science fiction television series in America, “Supernatural”. (Amy Ratcliffe at Nerdist has a fun rundown of her visit to set and seeing the car in person, which you can read about here)

Impalas started rolling off the production line in 1957, and apart from a few hiccups here and there, has maintained a steady output, and in 2014, it was ranked as the most affordable large car in the U.S.

While the Chevy Impala has gone through several changes over the years (both redesigns and parts), ten generations later it still manages to garner recognition, like in 2012 when it became the first American sedan in twenty years to earn a top score (95/100) from Consumer Reports.

Despite its main use as a full-size car for the average consumer, the Chevy Impala has worn plenty of different hats during its entire career, including a brief time on the NASCAR track (mid-2000’s), several appearances on the small screen (most notably on “Supernatural” of course but it can also be seen on “The Following”, “X-Men: Apocalypse”, “Imperium”, “Longmire”, and “Psych”), and as a staple in government fleets.

In 2015, the Chevy Impala became the only full-sized vehicle manufactured in North America that runs on CNG and gasoline, and one of two such bi-fuel vehicles (with the Honda Civic) to be offered to both fleet and retail consumers by a major automaker. It placed as one of the top five finalists in the 2015 Green Car of the Year Awards at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

By Kaitlin Cone

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Ford Thunderbird, the Original Personal Luxury Car

Cars July 3, 2017

Spanning over eleven generations and almost fifty years, the Ford Thunderbird is responsible for carrying thousands of people over hundreds of miles in both comfort and style. Often credited with the creation of the “personal luxury car” niche, the Thunderbird has undergone several changes throughout the years but retained its original purpose as the perfect road trip vehicle.

Almost four and a half million vehicles later, the Ford Thunderbird is still beloved by many Americans who want a less pretentious (and less expensive) convertible or hard top for Sunday afternoon drives, weekend car trips, and the occasional jaunt across country. It has also done well in racing, particularly for NASCAR drivers Bobby Allison, Bill Elliott and Davey Allison, and Alan Kulwicki. The Thunderbird even set a record – during a 1980’s qualifying session at the Talladega Speedway, the vehicle created a new record for the fastest lap in stock car history (over 200 mph), a record which still stands today.

Unfortunately for the Ford Thunderbird, nothing lives forever, no matter how classic and beloved. As time goes by and people live at faster and faster paces, the vehicle simply can’t keep up with the need for more seats, more space, and more economical choices. In 2005, the last Ford Thunderbird rolled off the line.

The good news is that with almost five million Thunderbirds made, there are vehicles available for those who still dream of seeing American in one of these beauties. And who knows? The Thunderbird has been put on hiatus before and been brought back to life. With all the interest in a return to the past for a glimpse into a simpler time, there may yet be another iteration of the Thunderbird for future car lovers. At the very least, it will continue to inspire designers for many years to come.

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