1969 Chrysler Three Hundred

The creation of the 1969 Chrysler Three Hundred was due to the new “fuselage styled” models, which the Division proudly described in advertising as “Your Next Car.” Years before, Virgil Exner had pioneered the idea of combining the bumper and the grille on his XNR show car, in which the bumper surrounded the radiator opening and lights. But unlike the XNR, the bodylines on the new Chryslers were free of creases

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, wrinkles, tailfins, and asymmetrical humps, making them appear very smooth and sleek. It looked as though 1969 would be a very good year.
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At the corporate level, chairman Lynn Townsend was laboring to maintain the profit picture. On the production line, quality control became an end in itself for the first time in Chrysler history, and judging by road tests of mid-1960s models, it was truly needed. Production had been setting records (1968 was an all-time high at 263,266), but high volume was often achieved by compromising build quality.
The Chrysler 300 (non-letter) line of coupes, sedans, and convertibles had been introduced in 1962 to replace the Windsor, and capitalize on the sporting image of the “letter series” 300s. In market position, the 300 largely filled the gap left by the DeSoto, which breathed its last in 1961: an upmarket car just short of the New Yorker, square in the middle of the Chrysler range.
Since 1965 it had shared the New Yorker’s long, 124-inch wheelbase, but it was carefully positioned about $300-$400 short of the New Yorker’s price. For this

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, the buyer got a big engine (the reliable 440 from 1967), luxurious trim, and clean styling that traced its influence to the letter series. The 300 also featured the most expensive convertible in the volume line, since there had not been a New Yorker convertible since 1961.
Keep reading to learn about the styling and sales of the 1969 Chrysler Three Hundred.

How Steak Works

For the backyard chef and the experienced foodie alike, nothing means luxury like a fine steak, with melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and rich flavor.
Although “steak” can designate the meat of several different animals, in the U.S. it almost invariably means beefsteak. Steak comes in a variety of cuts and grades, and it also offers a surprising range of flavors and textures. Some of these qualities depend on preparation; others depend on how the cow was raised and when it was slaughtered.
Typically to make a steak

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, the meat is butchered in cross-section — the cut is perpendicular to the muscle fibers, or grain [source: Oklahoma State University]. The meat is marbled — that is, it contains a certain amount of fat. In many cases, marbling leads to tenderness and flavor [source: Chu]. There is some debate about the quality of marbling, as well as the relationship between marbling and the diet of the cow [source: Time].
For anyone who used to struggle with the spelling difference between “stake” and “steak,” it should come as a comfort to learn that the words are actually related. “Steak” comes from a root meaning “to roast on a stake” [source: Merriam-Webster]. That’s not the only way to cook a steak any more, but there’s still something a bit primal about a perfect cut of beef. We do tend to associate steak with cowboys and manly men, and indeed, the United States leads the world in beef consumption — just under 70 pounds (31.75 kg) per person, per year [source: Cattle Network]. By contrast, the figure is about 19 pounds (8.7 kg) in Japan — less than one-third as much [source: AsiaKan]!
In this article, we’ll look at the different varieties and cuts of steak on the market today. You’ll also learn some facts and opinions on the all-important topic of cooking steak. But first, let’s head over to the farm, for a look at how cattle-raising methods affect flavor

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.

The Ultimate Concrete or Granite Countertop Quiz

If you think kitchen counter tops are just for chopping vegetables, you’re mistaken. Today’s countertops are not only a critical design element of any new kitchen, but also a status symbol. If you’re in the market for new countertops

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, take our quiz to see which countertop material is right for your image: concrete or granite.

1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964 Chevrolet Corvair Monza

It is often said that the 1960-1964 Chevrolet Corvair Monza started the sporty car boom in America. Many would argue that it began long before the Monza was even a gleam in Chevrolet’s eye

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, giving the honor instead to early Corvettes, Thunderbirds, and Studebaker Hawks.
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While certainly a valid argument, these were comparatively expensive vehicles, and the modern interpretation is that a “sporty car” leans toward the more affordable end of the price spectrum.
But whether a pioneer of the concept or simply a follower, it can be accurately said the Monza saved the Corvair — and incidentally introduced the marketing ploy of sticking vinyl buckets and a floor-mounted shifter into a compact and calling it a sports car.
Ironically, the Monza is perhaps more noted for what it led to (the Mustang) than what it did for the Corvair. As it turned out, GM’s unique rear-engine compact proved one of the corporation’s major albatrosses; it was the subject of endless litigation, and played the lead villain in the book that launched Ralph Nader. (That book, Unsafe at Any Speed

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, conclusively proved that the inattentive should not drive early Corvairs.)
Though the 1960-1961 Corvairs could indeed be a bit tricky to handle, later models were much improved, and by 1965 the Corvair sported a superb suspension that made it one of the most imaginative, efficient, and progressive cars of the decade.
The first Monza arrived late in the 1960 model year as a “spring special” to shore up the Corvair’s disappointing sales. Against the plug-ordinary Falcon and Rambler, and the unique-looking but technically mundane Plymouth Valiant, the Corvair was doing much poorer than expected.
Indeed, the Monza was barely on the market when GM Styling was hard at work on what would become the 1962 Chevy II, later the Chevy Nova — a conventional compact that would, finally, outgun the Falcon. But then an unknown product planner got the idea of dolling up a Corvair coupe with a colorful vinyl interior, carpets, and other luxurious widgets, and Chevrolet dealers finally had something to cheer about.
Go to the next page to find out about the engineering and sales performance of the 1960-1964 Chevrolet Corvair Monza.

1920 Harley-Davidson 20-J

The 1920 Harley-Davidson 20-J sported the olive paint Harley switched to with its 1917 models. Styling changes were few during those years, the most notable occurring in 1920 when the headlight and horn switched places. V-twins still displaced the same 61 cubic inches (1,000-cc) as before, though a 74-cubic-inch (1,200-cc) model joined the line for 1921.
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Introduced in 1919 was the Sport, a 35.6 cubic-inch twin with horizontally opposed “fore and aft” cylinders. It was intended to compete with Indian’s highly successful V-twin Scout, but it failed to win over many customers and was dropped in 1923.
During this same period Harley-Davidson sponsored an extremely successful racing team, which become known as the “wrecking crew” for the way it demolished its opponents. Racing models were devoid of such luxuries as sprung seats and even brakes, and some boasted special overhead-valve engines with two or four valves per cylinder. The 1922 JD racer was fitted with a conventional F-head engine

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, and like most Harley competition bikes of the era, carried bolder tank lettering for promotional purposes.

How to Figure Out the Cost of Taxes on Your Car

So, let’s say that you’ve made the decision to ditch the clunker you’re driving and get a new (or new to you) vehicle. You’ve done the math and used the online payment calculators, and you know what you can afford. You’ve got your down payment ready, and you know how to haggle the price down to a number that won’t make your wallet burst into flames.
Oh, but wait! What’s this extra couple of thousand dollars on the final price? In addition to paying for tags and registration, you’ll also have to pay taxes on that new car. And depending on the state and local tax rates where you live

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, it can add a noticeable amount to your purchase price. The taxes can often be folded into your monthly payment, but you definitely don’t want to be surprised by them when it’s time to sign the paperwork.
Tax rates for vehicles can vary widely between states, and even by a few percentage points within a state

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. Sales tax usually starts with a state-wide figure that everyone pays. Some counties or municipalities add their own sales tax to the state tax, making it a little higher in some areas than others. There are also excise taxes on certain vehicles, like “gas guzzler” taxes for passenger cars that fall short of U.S. fuel economy standards. At times, the United States also imposes a “luxury tax” on cars with a higher than average purchase price.
Next, find out which taxes you can rely on paying at the time of purchase and how much these taxes might add to your final bill.

1962-1964 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk

As part of the plan to keep Studebaker in the auto business, Sherwood Egbert called on Brooks Stevens to update the Hawk. With little time and less money, Stevens created the stunning Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk.
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An enraged Raymond Loewy rushed to a phone when he first saw the new Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk at the 1961 Paris Auto Show. He couldn’t understand how Studebaker could have allowed Brooks Stevens to modify his firm’s 1953 Studebaker Starliner design so extensively. Fortune magazine had called it “one of the hundred best designs of modern times.” In his transatlantic call to South Bend, he demanded to know what had happened and how.
Studebaker executives, however, realized the wisdom of their decision and stood by Brooks Stevens’ new design. Loewy, busy with the Avanti project for Studebaker, dropped the matter.
Only infrequently has a face-lift not destroyed the purity of an original concept. Stevens’ heroic restyling of the Starliner is an example of the rare exception (“heroic” because Stevens accomplished the task on a shoestring budget and in very limited time). His 1962-1964 Gran Turismo Hawk emerged as a refreshing, timeless design that looks as good today as when it first debuted almost 50 years ago. And Stevens’ design took nothing away from the Starliner, for when parked side by side both cars still look “right.”
When Stevens was called to South Bend

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, Studebaker — the oldest vehicle manufacturer in the U.S. — was on the ropes. It had made wagons since before the Civil War, but now pressures were mounting, from within and without, to abandon automobile production. Some say Studebaker had been slowly dying ever since its brush with bankruptcy in the 1930s. But material production had brought in a lot of capital during World War II, and the future looked promising in 1946.
The challenges and opportunities were there. The problem was that management consistently took the wrong turn at every crossroad. In some ways, the company was ahead of its time, as with its late Forties and early Fifties association with Loewy. In other aspects, it seemed woefully out of date, especially in some areas of engineering.
Ford is generally given credit for creating the sporty “personal-luxury” market with the 1958 Thunderbird, or “Squarebird.” Its basic dimensions seem to have been borrowed from General Motors’ Autorama dream cars of the mid-Fifties, but GM didn’t enter this segment until Pontiac fielded the 1962 Grand Prix — or mid-1961, when Olds debuted the Starfire.
In fact, Studebaker beat both Ford and GM to market in 1956 with the sporty

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, well-trimmed Hawk. Although really a makeover of the 1953 Starliner, the Hawk was both a good performer and a good looker, particularly the top-of-the-line Golden Hawk.
Studebaker called it “a sports car…that restores the fun and excitement to luxury motoring.” Only later did others invade that market niche — 1958 T-Bird, 1963 Riviera, 1966 Olds Toronado, 1967 Cadillac Eldorado, and others — but Studebaker could lay claim to being the first of this lineage.
Studebaker was in financial trouble as the Hawk was being developed. Learn how Egbert kept the ball rolling during difficult times on the next page.
For more information on cars, see:

The World’s Most Legendary Shindigs

Whether we’re talking about the decadent parties of the Ancient Greeks, the lavish costume balls of the Gilded Age or Paris Hilton’s $75

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,000-per-guest 21st birthday party, one thing’s for sure: The world’s been throwing legendary shindigs for ages. How much do you know about big bashes

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?