1955-1957 Pontiac Star Chief Safari

By 1955, Pontiac was trying to redefine its dull-but-dependable image with the 1955-1957 Pontiac Star Chief Safari. What better way to do that than with a “dream car”?
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Safari — the word has a lovely ring to it. The mind conjures up an expedition with the hunting party dressed in khaki suits topped off in pith helmets. An African setting: large animals

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, large guns, fine cameras. A couple of Land Rovers, steamy heat, a trace of an English accent.
Wrong! For General Motors’ Pontiac Division in 1955 “Safari” represented the fanciest and sportiest of all station wagons ever manufactured, the Star Chief Custom Safari — an expedition into the unknown, marketing-wise. The car was to be low in production, high in cost, striking inside and out, and it would enjoy a life span of only three years (though the Safari name would carry on at Pontiac and/or GMC).
Paul Gillan, who directed the Pontiac Styling Studio in the 1950s, came up with that wonderful name. The Pontiac Star Chief Safari’s closest relative at General Motors was its near twin, the Bel Air Nomad, over at Chevrolet Division — which is where the whole idea started. A great many people felt then, and still do, that these were two of the prettiest station wagons designed in the post World War II era.
Station wagons. Their heritage was an interesting one, dating back to early Cantrell-bodied “depot hacks” and 1923 Star wagons. Originally, these were meant to be high-volume haulers that really transported people to depots and stations to meet trains.
It was not happenstance that Pontiac’s Safari wagon was such a remarkably striking design. Consider Safari’s lineage as a General Motors Motorama show car

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. Remember seeing or hearing about those styling extravaganzas produced in the 1950s, which traveled major U.S. cities showing off flashy and elaborate automotive designs of tomorrow? Dream cars! Well, this styling dream came true in the form of 9,094 Pontiac Star Chief Safaris and 22,375 Chevrolet Nomads.
Several thousand people went down to their local Pontiac and Chevrolet dealerships from 1955-1957 and purchased those handsome station wagons. Little did they know that later both cars would later be awarded “Milestone” car status by The Milestone Car Society.
For more on General Motors Motorama show cars, see the next page.
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1945-1948 Jaguar Mark IV

Appearance was marked by a long hood, upright radiator capped by the Jaguar mascot, large freestanding headlamps, flowing separate front fenders, and a narrow, close-coupled body. An archaic — even by the late ’40s — leaf-spring/live-axle suspension was used both front and rear.?
High-quality interior furnishings included a traditional British wood dash with large, plainly marked dials. Top speed for the 1.5 Litre was about 70 mph; the 3.5 Litre could reach a bit over 90 mph. Most Mark IVs were built with right-hand drive for the British market as Jaguar’s export drive didn’t begin in earnest until a few years later. Pluses of the 1945-1948 Jaguar Mark IV:
Minuses of the 1945-1948 Jaguar Mark IV:
Production of the 1945-1948 Jaguar Mark IV:
Specifications of the 1945-1948 Jaguar Mark IV: Length, inches: 173.0 (1.5), 186.0 (2.5/3

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.5) Wheelbase, inches: 112.5 (1.5), 120.0 (2.5/3.5) Weight, pounds: 2,970 (1.5), 3

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,585 (2.5), 3,670 (3.5) Price, new: N/A Engines for the 1945-1948 Jaguar Mark IV:

Years

1990 Aston Martin Virage

The Virage had a sleeker body, still aluminum-paneled

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, with integral spoilers at each end, plus flush headlamps and side glass — all for a lower drag coefficient, down to a claimed 0.34. It also featured a modernized dash and even more luxury features than late AM V-8s, including a heated windshield, rear window, and front seats; trip computer; and remote infrared alarm system.
The 1990 Aston Martin Virage was very expensive but the company planned for low production — 300 yearly at most.
Pluses of the 1990 Aston Martin Virage:
Minuses of the 1990 Aston Martin Virage:
Production of the 1990 Aston Martin Virage: NA
Specifications of the 1990 Aston Martin Virage: Wheelbase, inches: 102.8 Length, inches: 186.4 Weight, pounds: 3,950 Price, new: $150,000-$258

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,648 (U.S.)
Engines for the 1990 Aston Martin Virage:

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1969 Mercury Cougar

Mercury raised its muscle car profile with the introduction of the 1969 Mercury Cougar Eliminator. Taking its cue from such rivals as Z28 and SS Camaros, as well as Ford’s own Boss 302 and Mach 1 Mustangs, Ford introduced the Eliminator in April 1969. The Eliminator came with a range of engines, from the Trans Am-inspired solid-lifter 302-cid small block to the 428-cid Cobra Jet big block.
Muscle Car Image Gallery

Mercury had introduced its sporty coupe in 1967 as a luxury-touring alternative to the pony-car herd. It had mature styling and upscale interior appointments and was built on a Mustang chassis stretched by three inches to provide a longer, ride-enhancing wheelbase.
Mercury in these years was deeply involved in racing. It backed a variety of record-setting Comet and Cougar drag specials, as well as NASCAR-winning Cyclones

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. Its street image was tamer

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, though not for lack of trying. Cougar contributed with the ’68 GT-E, which like the Mustang, opened the year with an available 390-horsepower 427-cid V-8, then switched to the 428 Cobra Jet. The image was still more Euro luxury touring car than American muscle, though. It wasn’t until the release of the 1969 Mercury Cougar Eliminator that Mercury was able earn a reputation for muscular Detroit iron.
Not all 1969 Mercury Cougar Eliminators were that powerful. In all-out acceleration, the available 290-horsepower 302 was overmatched by the Cougar’s weight, but the 428 Cobra Jet benefited from the relatively generous wheelbase. Grip was slightly better off the line than in the shorter Mustang, and quarter-mile times were every bit as good.
Like Mustang, the Eliminator offered the 428-cid CJ with and without Ram Air, as well as in Drag Pak guise with an oil cooler and a 4.30:1 gear-ratio Detroit Locker rear axle. The Eliminator didn’t use the shaker hood; its standard scoop was functional only when Ram Air was ordered. A blacked-out grille, side stripe, and front and rear spoilers enhanced the muscular look, and Mercury offered the Eliminator in a palette of “high-impact” blue, orange, and yellow exterior colors.
More impact could be obtained over dealer parts counters, which offered not only headers and dual-quad carburetors, but such exotic hop-up components as deep-sump oil pans and quadruple Weber carburetor setups. From the factory, or with these available parts, the 1969 Mercury Cougar Eliminator was true American muscle.

Return to Classic Muscle Cars Library.

These muscle car profiles include photos and specifications for each model:

The Best Men’s Watches for a Man With Small Wrists & Hands

As any avid watch collector understands, choosing a watch is as much about your physical features as it is about the watch itself. For men with smaller wrists and hands, it is crucial to choose a watch that isn’t overpowering, ill-fitting or poorly shaped. Although your wrists and hands may make it difficult to choose a suitable watch

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, many top watchmakers offer non-traditional styles that will complement them.
A watch should fit snugly enough to stay in place as your wrist moves normally, but not tight enough to leave a mark or dig into your skin. Depending on your wrist size, this may limit the straps and bracelets available to you. For smaller wrists, bands with removable links may not be able to fit your wrist properly, as only a few links can be removed. This can limit your choices to watches with leather or nylon straps.
Although round-face watches are the most popular, watch connoisseurs recognize that square, rectangle and oval watches are a staple in any collection. If your wrists or hands are slightly thinner than the norm, a square or oval face often fits snugly and compliments your wrist shape. Rectangular and ellipse watches are best suited to bonier wrists, because the face is often thinner and able to fit beside wrist bumps instead of directly on top. If you have smaller hands, a classic round watch with a narrow band should fit just right.
A 2011 New York Times article pointed out a burgeoning trend in the watch world — the gradual size increase in popular men’s watches. Although many notable watchmakers are prone to producing watches with massive faces and thick straps, a bigger watch isn’t necessarily more stylish than a smaller design. Thin styles from many respected watchmakers incorporate minimalist faces with emphasis placed instead on the quality of the movement; other styles focus on unique faces with maximum metallic shine from a gold, bronze or stainless steel casing.
The guts of your watch can affect the look and feel as much as the exterior qualities. A mechanical movement relies on movement of a rotor, and is wound either manually or by your wrist movement. Mechanical movements are perfect for those with slim wrists, as these movements can be quite compact, creating a thinner watch altogether. A quartz movement is also a solid option, especially for buyers on a budget. Quartz movements are light and durable, relying on a battery for power, and come in all shapes and sizes. Don’t let your wrist size limit your style, get the watch you’ve always wanted by keeping fit, face, size and movement in mind.

Weight Loss Retreats for Women

Many women struggle with the day-to-day pressures of losing weight. Between work, raising children, keeping house

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, social engagements and the other business of being a busy woman, healthy eating and regular exercise can fall by the wayside as your weight creeps up. One solution for many women trying to kick-start a healthy living program is to take a vacation at a weight-loss retreat.
Many spas or retreats let you tailor your daily activities to suit how strenuous — or easy — you want your retreat to be. Choose anything from classroom lessons on how to read nutrition labels to fitness classes, from long hikes to massages to melt away tension and sore muscles. Even unusual offerings such as life coaching, horseback riding and tarot readings are available at some spas.
According to “USA Today,” the expensive, luxury weight-loss spas that used to be the norm are facing stiff competition. Affordable spas that favor fitness education over white-glove treatment are on the rise. While typical weight-loss retreats for women used to average $400 per day, the newer options can cost $200 to $249, including accommodations, all meals and most activities. Long-term options, with stays of up to 12 weeks, are available for women who want to make significant lifestyle changes. These programs, however, can cost up to $25,000.
In addition to dropping a few pounds, which all of these vacations are designed to do, they offer other benefits. Women report returning home more relaxed and feeling like they have new skills to aid them in the battle of the bulge. Through a weight-loss retreat, some women have switched to a vegetarian or other diet, taken up yoga or daily meditation, or learned how better to deal with stress.
Though a week or two at a weight-loss retreat can jump-start a new or stalled diet and exercise plan, it is not a replacement for living a healthy lifestyle. Work healthy foods and fitness into your daily life for long-lasting fitness results. Dedicating a short time each day to your health and diet goals can help you to win the weight-loss race. If this is an ongoing concern for you, investigate programs that offer real-life education, taking women to grocery stores and restaurants and showing them how to make healthy choices a habit.