The Car Interior

car-1458722_1920

Sometimes we buy a car for speed, sometimes for convenience, sometimes it’s a project to do up and sell. But there are many who buy a car because they look of the interior. Well, you only see the outside of the car now and then but the majority of the day will be spent seeing the interior, especially if you use it to commute. But interiors do not stay the same.

Some Changes Come in the form of Updates on the Same Theme

In the 1980s, for instance, the in thing was Mercedes with wood trim, leather upholstery and a superfluity of buttons. Having more buttons seemed a common selling point back then. They needed to be the right type of button though, the Audi V8, to give one example, had buttons which were too small to press.

Some exotic hardwoods, like mahogany, are banned, so current models from BMW or Aston Martin use color patterns which suggest a wood finish.

porsche-1583750_1920The selling point of the BMWi3’s interior is the car seats made of “active wool” which consists of various recycled materials such as plastic bottles. They are not exactly unique though, as other big names like Honda and Toyota use recycled materials in their seats as well as glove compartments. Whatever its origin it remains a good pitch for BMW.

Buttons have also gone out of fashion a bit, perhaps not for the better. The modern sleek look has inspired companies like Tesla to put as many things on sticks affixed to the steering column its hard to tell if you’re engaging the autopilot of adjusting the wheel tilt.

Other Changes are more Innovative:

Until recently you’ve been pretty much stuck with a couple seats and a dashboard, but there are ways around this too. Instead of the normal looking Sat Nav the Lincoln Navigator and the Bentley Continental has a center console located between the driver and the passenger. The Audi A8L operates by means of the two touchscreens and a gauge cluster.

It’s hard to create the truly original design but Carlex a car interior design company focuses on sleek images and the noticeable stitching in the car seats, which may lead the passengers to think of high-grade black denim jeans? There may be a problem here with sliding off the seats but presumably, they took that into consideration.

Some things don’t Change Regarding Interiors:

Other than adding or subtracting buttons or various control sticks, the basic design of the steering wheel hasn’t changed much since the first vehicles were built. So far technology has altered the dashboard mostly, but that may soon be changing.

With the introduction of Lidar systems (which use lasers to guide driving) and other connected vehicle technology, the way we drive may be altered forever, getting rid of the steering wheel entirely.

Can you Refurbish Your Car Interior?

Generally speaking, cars depreciate faster than say houses, so we don’t see a big market in people trying to restore of improving car interiors.

mercedes-benz-2498264_1920.jpgIt is not, however, unheard of. Some wealthier car owners have had their vehicle reupholstered because they liked everything else about the car except the feel of the seats. Vintage and classic car owners may restore the seat material as well, as part of the whole car makeover.

If you’re pondering doing it to improve resale value, check out the numbers first. It is hit and miss finding a buyer willing to pay that much more for a vehicle with a slightly improved interior. A car interior upholsterer is quite a niche market so an upholstery kit costs $800 and the professional to install it costs $750. If the total value of your car would go up more than $2,000 it could be an option. There’s probably a reason used car dealers just swap in new factor seats to handle such issues.

 

 

Advertisements

Best of the Web: Honda Ridgeline wins for safety record.

p-ridge

The Honda Ridgeline is the only pickup to earn a Top Safety Pick designation in the latest Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash test ratings, thanks in part to the performance of its headlights and collision avoidance technology.

The Ridgeline is also the only pickup that employs a car-like unibody chassis rather than body-on-frame construction.

https://video.foxnews.com/v/embed.js?id=5161157786001&w=466&h=263Watch the latest video at foxnews.com

Link to Original Story

Lego mustang

jvtav08ysll9lnmz7qpe

Lego seems hesitant to nail down an exact model year its 1,471-piece replica is based on (although the license plate says 1967) but there’s little doubt the company’s model makers took at least some inspiration from the iconic 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback that Steve McQueen drove through San Francisco in Bullitt. Lego’s chosen a blue paint job for its Mustang instead of green, finished with a pair of white racing stripes, but builders can further customize their tiny ride to match their muscle car tastes.

Original Story Link

hpgljvzenmymnukutrk2

Available starting on March 1 for $150, Lego’s Creator Expert series models have become a great alternative for collectors who don’t necessarily want to spend hours on a traditional model kit that requires lots of intricate glue and paint work.

How the Car Economy Began

ford-3777615_1920.jpg

It makes sense that the US is a car-based economy. The bulk of the continent is rural and everyone needs to use them to get from town to town. Unlike Europe with large population centers a small distance apart where public transport is more economical privately owned vehicles are baked into Americana. But when did it start and were there people trying to defy the rise?

Despite the latter days of the nineteenth century being a steam driven age, the biggest form of transport was actually the horse and carriage. It was such a slow method of being transported that people often got out and walk overland to avoid crowded, windy roads, and easily outran a horse-drawn wagon. Horses also added to the amount of manure in big cities. It seems that things were ripe for a change.

While steam travel rose sharply it had its own problem; the smoke from a steam train was a great deal more polluting than the early cars.

The idea of cycling could have taken off, but in many ways, it is harder to cycle than use one of these early cars. Consider the size of a wagon or horse compared to a bicycle for starters. Remember they didn’t have crosswalks, traffic lights, or for the most parts paved roads. Ever ride a bike on cobblestones? Not easy.

The first big issue with cars was the price. Every part of a car had to be scratch built and that is a highly expensive way of building autos. There were no plastic parts either, so you built everything out of steel, brass, or wood—even the dashboard. All that medal and labor were costly. A car cost $1,000, about $30,000 today.

A side effect of all that metal is weight, and with no power steering, it’s no wonder cars were difficult to operate which brings us to the second big difficulty with cars. They broke down a lot, requiring anyone who drove one to also be a mechanic. And fairly intrepid, as they occasionally blew up. The early internal combustion engine wasn’t as perfected as they are now and maintenance wasn’t an exact science.

Although mechanics were in great demand it was not until the Ford assembly line factories that they would get anything like $5 a day, about $130 today. It was not until the process became slick that car builders were paid anything like their true worth.

Since the price already put cars in the luxury category, makers tried to help sell the car with interior trim, giving it a plush look. This was an unfamiliar environment for those accustomed to buckboard, but it allowed cars to compete with the railway carriage for first class travelers.

The other problem for the early car driver was the lack of infrastructure, in other words, the roads. Although tarmac was invented in 1902 it took a long time for it to be the mainstay of roads, in America, the longest roads resembled trails for a long time. Even when the cities had tarmac it would take decades for interstate highways to be created.

It was an industry finding its feet. The fact that the automobile pushed through to success is a function of the American dream, families all searching for freedom and the ability to travel. By no coincidence, it was during the great era the 1950s that the car completely replaced horse and steam as the main form of transportation for most Americans.

 

Best of the Web: Tesla pushes out update, increases range.

tesla-3984107_1920Tesla started remotely increasing the power output of all Model 3 vehicles through a software update over a year after starting production.

Link to Original Story

When the US E.V. maker pushed out their new Model 3 with its shorter range and lower price they promised upgrades were in the works. The first of which pushed out for free via a remote software upgrade.

The automaker also promised to increase Model 3 range with a Long Range battery pack and rear-wheel-drive motor as well as a peak power increase for all Model 3’s.

Now Tesla is starting to roll out the peak power increase update – through its firmware version 2019.8.2.

In the release notes, Tesla writes about the Peak Power Increase:

“Your vehicle’s peak power has been increased by approximately 5%, improving acceleration and Performance.”

Tesla previously said that this increase in peak power output should result in an increase top speed to 162 mph for Model 3 Performance, but all Model 3 vehicles should feel a little more powerful.

Best of the Web: Buick Y

15328ac90

Why the ‘Y-Job’ — Harley Earl and the Buick Dream Car

by the fully retractable Albert Mroz

 

Perhaps the real question you might be asking is, “Who was Harley Earl?” Well, this well-crafted post by Albert Mroz is truly an expose of a creative genius which does eventually answer the question in the title. It’s a fun read and it’s worthy of our best of the web series.

For complete story read the original at the link below.

http://www.prewarbuick.com/features/why_the_y_job

The Rise and Fall of the Motor Town

detroit-406894_1920

When you think of motors and motor manufacture you think of Detroit. Nowadays though it is like a ghost town with many abandoned factories. The Big Three factories were all based here, namely General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, but the place is full of so many remains of old car factories that it is hard to chronicle properly. But let’s start at the beginning.

The very earliest factory in Detroit was in 1899 and was called the Detroit Automobile Company. It only lasted two years and the cars and trucks weren’t that impressive, especially as the cars manufactured looked like they were made with baby-buggy wheels. At that point, cars weren’t thought to replace the horse and carriage and no one was looking at them as economically viable.

Only slightly later the Packard Automotive Plant was built in Detroit; 1903. Based on the East Grand Boulevard it still stands as a huge urban sprawl of concrete. Although it closed in 1953 businesses were still using the space up to the 1990s.

Although everyone associates the Ford Motor Company with the Model T Ford these were built in Highland Park, Michigan in 1908. Having said that he did have a factory in Detroit also in 1903 in Mack Avenue but it took some time to be as large as the Packard factory. Ford had put money into the Detroit Automobile Company too but the Model T would be a real turning point for him.

The biggest Ford factory in Detroit was the Rouge Factory or Rouge Complex built between 1917 and 1928. To date, this is the largest factory in the world and went on to inspire car factories all around the globe. It is currently a museum to the history of car manufacture and innovation in general. It is not unremarkable that Detroit still holds their automobile heritage in high esteem.

The Chrysler factory was also known as the Dodge Main Plant. To be technical, the Dodge brothers owned the factory before Chrysler but that’s just the story of car manufacturers, takeovers and more takeovers. The Dodge brand was originally about working cars, vans and trucks such as the Texaco tanker. In about 1939 it became a more luxurious brand (although all cars from this point look rather stylish).

The factory closed in 1979 and became the site of a General Motors factory building cars like the Cadillac, though it looks like even the GM factory will be demolished this year. Chrysler had been merged with Daimler in 1998. In 2014 Fiat went into partnership with Chrysler to create further Dodges, such as the Dodge Dart. It’s sad that they are no longer associated with Detroit.

There are plans for a new car factory in Detroit building the Grand Cherokee and the Jeep, ironically on the site of Ford’s Mack Avenue car factory. Of course, the SUVs won’t be ready until next year, but the investment in Detroit is the main thing. So maybe Detroit’s love affair with the car will remain.