In what appears to be an act of protest against Tesla, a bunch of pickup truck drivers used their trucks to block access to a Supercharger station and reportedly yelled profanities about Tesla until they were removed from the premises.
The incident happened in Hickory, North Carolina last weekend.
A Tesla owner and Reddit user Leicina stopped to charge at the local Supercharger station located next to a Sheetz, but all the stalls were blocked by 3 large pickup trucks.
This is not exactly uncommon and it is referred to in EV community as ‘Icing’ a charging station – when ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles are occupying a space for an EV.
Most often than not, it’s a mistake from the driver or someone who simply doesn’t care, but the situation in Hickory appeared to be different:
It was certainly not a mistake and the pickup truck drivers actually appeared to be targeting Tesla in protest.
“I’ve never had a supercharging experience like this one. These trucks blocked all the chargers, chanted “F” Tesla, and were kicked out by a Sheetz employee.”
An employee from Sheetz, who is in charge of the parking lot, ended making them leave at the request of the Tesla owner.
Leicina said that it “took them 10 minutes or so and one of them did that ‘I’m going to hit you’ maneuver after circling the parking lot.”
ICEd charging stations are certainly nothing new, but this is a particularly extreme case of it.
99% of my interactions with strangers related to my Tesla vehicles have been positive and I think that has mostly been the case for other owners so I wouldn’t want anyone to think that this is normal, but it’s still worrying.
I guess it also depends on where you live.
Leilani Münter, a racecar driver, environmental activist, and Tesla owner, also lives in North Carolina and reported truck drivers coal rolling, basically spewing black sooty exhaust fumes, on her when she is driving her Tesla.
@LeilaniMunter careful charging in Hickory. The ignorant people are aware of us https://www.reddit.com/r/teslamotors/comments/a8rl0a/ive_never_had_a_supercharging_experience_like/?st=JQ0DQJLU&sh=73d632fe …
It’s hard to imagine the reasoning behind doing something like that or hating Tesla in general.
Even if you love gas-guzzling trucks, that doesn’t mean you should hate Tesla. I don’t know if something like this has ever happened to another car brand at some point.
I know that some American were insulting and shaming people who drove foreign vehicles back in the day, but I don’t know if it ever got to that point.
Speaking of that, what some of these morons forget sometimes is that Tesla is actually an American brand, creating a lot of American jobs.
I feel that the reason they hate Tesla is probably due to years of listening to the media back when they were attacking Tesla for taking subsidies from the government.
Of course, if there was any good logic behind their thinking they would go against pickup truck making brands like GM and Chrysler who not only took subsidies from the government but also took bailout money from them.
Toyota Camry has been the best selling car in America for more than two decades. In the last few years the Honda Accord was the second best selling car in America. Last year, Toyota and Honda introduced all new versions of the Camry and Accord and while the cars two remain the best selling cars in America. Sales of the two cars are substantially lower than 2017.
Its not just Toyota and Honda, most passengers cars are crawling off dealer lots. With one exception, nearly every automaker is offering incentives to move passenger cars off the lots as American tastes have shifted to SUV’s.
Kelly Blue Book says passenger cars sales are down 12% this year. Autodata says passengers cars represented 32% of all vehicles sold this year. This is a major drop from 2015 when passenger cars represented 51%.
General Motors has spent billions in developing new fuel efficient cars. The newest generation Chevrolet Impala and the Chevy Cruise received some of the best reviews for the brand in decades. Consumer Reports said the Impala was the best in class. And despite the good reviews both models are under preforming, selling fewer cars than the previous generation.
General Motors revamped its stodgy Buick and Cadillac divisions with Cadillac building cars that can out maneuver Germany’s best. The problem is no one wants the relatively new Buick Lacrosse and the Cadillac’s CT6.
General Motors recently announced they were closing down five plants in North America. The Lordstown Ohio plant that builds the Chevrolet Cruze. The Hamtramck Plant in Detroit that builds the Chevrolet Volt, Buick Lacrosse and the Cadillac CT6. Transmission plants in Michigan and Maryland and the plant in Oshawa, Ontario that builds the Chevrolet Impala. An estimated 14,000 workers will be affected.
Donald Trump is outraged. During his candidacy he promised to increase auto manufacturing jobs. To punish GM, he’s threaten to cut all subsidies. The President is particularly angry about the closing of the Lordstown Ohio plant,in state that overwhelmingly supported him in 2016. It was a foolhardy promise, as no one can predict changes in the marketplace.
While our president was tweeting, the auto industry changed. Automakers like Volkswagen, Hyundai Kia and General Motors underestimated the popularity of the SUV’s and no one predicted the popularity of Tesla and Electric Car.
Preparing for a New World
Some believe in the next few years fewer people in urban areas will purchase cars. A new generation is embracing ride sharing and other modes of transportation. Technology is allowing millions to work from the home and the growing demand for Electric Cars may, require a different type of auto worker.
For years, domestic automakers ignored changes in the marketplace. In the early 70’s Americans were attracted to the low prices and quality of the Japanese automakers. The Ford, Chrysler and General Motors (The Big 3) responded with mediocre small cars. The profits for the Big 3, was in large cars with V8 engines and trucks
In 1973, (OPEC) The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries stopped sending oil to the US. Resulting in fuel shortages and higher prices. Buyers, of fuel efficient small cars, abandon Ford, Chrysler and General Motors for small cars at Toyota, Datsun (Nissan) Honda and Volkswagen. Many of them continued buying cars from the Japanese Automakers.
When Gas Prices increased again in the early 2000′ American Automakers heavenly invested in SUV’s Despite slowing sales American Automakers continued to build over saturating the market. The industry was to slow to react to changes in the industry, the demand for more fuel efficient cars and trucks.
General Motors one of the largest automakers in the world and Chrysler needed a bailout loan from the government to remain in business.
General Motors Positioning Itself for the Future
If the Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had their way, GM would continue to build unprofitable vehicles to keep their constituents employed.
To avoid a catastrophic 2008 meltdown, General Motors and other automakers are being proactive.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra is implementing billions of dollars in cost-cutting measures in preparation for the next economic downturn. Shifting the company’s focus toward costly, emerging technologies such as autonomous and fully electric vehicles.
Shrinking its employee ranks is part of the plan, especially on the manufacturing side of its business, but GM also is sending a message that it’s working to change the makeup of the work force that remains.
“We are going to continue to hire, because when we look at the skill sets that we need for the future, the vehicle has become much more software-oriented, when you think about the hundreds of millions of lines of code that are in a vehicle that operates today,” “That’s only going to increase.” Mary Barra
Just the first round……….
This is just first round of layoffs and plant closures. Ford Motor Company is planning to stop building every sedan except the Mustang, and the Focus which will be built in China. Unlike General Motors, Ford doesn’t plan to close any plants, however some shifts may be eliminated. Most of Fords sedans are assembled in Mexico.
Tesla and the new world order
A few years ago the California Air Resources Board required 15 percent of cars sold in California to be all-electric, plug-in hybrid electric or hydrogen vehicles. This requirement would cost the industry billions in an untested market. Billions more to build a hydrogen car. Initially most of the industry converted gas engines for short range electric engines in existing models. In 2010, GM Introduced one of the first plug in hybrids, the Chevrolet Volt, which allow the car to drive on pure electric power for up to 60 miles and then the car combustion engine powered the car and recharged the battery.
Enter the California Fuel Cell Partnership: In January 1999, two state government agencies—California Air Resources Board and California Energy Commission joined with six private sector companies—Ballard Power Systems, DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company, BP, Shell Hydrogen and ChevronTexaco—to form the California Fuel Cell Partnership. Headquartered in West Sacrmamento. The goal was to demonstrate and promote the potential for fuel cell vehicles as a clean, safe, and practical alternative to vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. Within a very short time, other government agencies and private businesses became members. Today, the members include Hyundai, Volkswagen, Nissan, Toyota, Honda and General Motors. Today there are three hydrogen fuel cell cars for sale in selected markets. Honda Clarity, Hyundai Nexo and the Toyota Mirai. The challenge for hydrogen vehicles is suppliers of hydrogen and a network of fueling stations.
In 2010 Nissan introduced the Leaf, one of the first all electric cars sold in several countries including the United States. Nearly 400,000 Leafs has been sold globally. Most of the Leafs sold in the US were sold in California. Initially the Leaf had a range of less than 80 miles. The newest models have a range of 151 miles.
In 2012, Tesla Inc. A small company in Northern California. Introduced the first full size luxury, all electric car called the Model S. The standard Model S had a driving range of 208 miles, more than double the Leaf . Buyers could increase the driving range to over 300 miles by opting for a larger battery. By 2016 the Model S was the second best selling electric vehicle in the world.
While sales of nearly all combustion engines passengers cars are down. Sales for Tesla’s Model 3 us up over 400% It was the sixth best selling sedan last month in the United States.
American and Domestic automakers are investing more than 100 billion dollars to bring more electric and hydrogen vehicles to the marketplace.
The transition in the Auto Industry is troublesome for Donald Trump as some workers will not survive. The proactive measures taken by Ford and General Motors to avoid a repeat of the 2008 meltdown may not be good for the President, however it is good for America.
Actually Hyundai’s Kona is already here and is being sold all over the United States and Canada. However, the Kona EV (Electric Vehicle) initially will only be sold in the Golden State. The New Hyundai’s funky looking subcompact SUV was introduced last spring.
Subcompact SUV’s are on fire and the Kona is what the struggling car maker needed. Hyundai, Kia, Genesis group is car rich and SUV poor at a time when more people are buying SUV’s
Hyundai’s Kona is the first vehicle sold with a combustion engine and an all electric engine. Hyundai says the Kona will have an electric range of 258 miles, which is higher than Nissan, the new Jaguar, the future Audi E tron and Chevy’s Bolt. The only electric vehicle has a longer range, is Tesla.
Pricing for the Kona EV starts at $37,000 before the $7500 Federal Tax Credit (for purchasers of an electric car ). The Electric Kona should be on sales early next year, however only in California and eventually to the rest of the country.
Tesla’s Model 3 is a bonafide hit. Out selling established players like, the Ford Fusion and the Nissan Altima. As a result, by the time the Kona hits the market Tesla buyers tax credit will be cut in half. Tesla says they plan to sell a basic Model 3, at $35,000 base price, however this model with have a range of 220 miles.
Yes Matilda, an Electic Car is in your future
Like the Model 3, Kona EV is a hit before it hits showrooms. Hyundai says, there is currently a 10 month wait for the electric vehicle. While there isn’t much of a demand for cars these days there is a huge demand for electric vehicles.
Tesla’s Model 3, sold more cars than the entire brand of Mercedes, BMW, and Audi. The Model 3, is the fifth bestselling car in the US, only the Toyota Camry, Honda Civic, Honda Accord, and the Toyota Corolla is out selling the Model 3 and the average price of the Model 3 is more than double of those makes.
Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have committed billions to the Electric market. Mercedes Benz may jointly build electric cars with Tesla. Volkswagen and Ford are talking about jointly building electric cars.
Big Man Rides
While I haven’t completed a full test of the combustion Kona, I like the funkyness of the car But it is a subcompact. Leg room for this 6.4 giant was just ok, and its a narrow vehicle . It was tolerable but only for small jonts. It put together well and rides well for a subcompact . For big people the nice driving yet homely Chevy Bolt has more room and the price for the two are nearly the same , however the driving range on the Hyundai is a little longer. Average sized people wont have issue with the Kona.
As for SUV’s the Hyundai Kona is exceptional. Its the only Subcompact SUV that offers two engine choices, and the only Subcompact that offers 4 wheel drive* *The Kona EV will is only offered as a two wheel drive car.
So if you live in the other 49 states and want a Hyundai Kona EV you’ll have to wait. and if you live in the Golden State and want a Hyundai Kona EV, you’ll need to zip on down to your nearest Hyundai dealer and leave your deposit. What we learned from the Tesla, the line will only grow longer.
All new could be all wrong if your buying a new car. Buyers of the latest and greatest are more often than not, are The unofficial guinea pigs for Automakers If often takes a few years to get the bugs out of all new car. Last week, Consumer Reports released their annual new-car reliability ranking. The culprit in some of the newer models seems to be the infotainment systems, the complex nine and ten speed automatic transmissions and the new Turbo Charged engines.
In this report there seems to be a trend. Some Vehicles with new technology: engines, transmission, infotainment systems have dropped in reliability. Highly rated brands like Buick, Honda, Tesla, and other reliable name plates have seen steep drops from 2017. Older lower rated cars like the Dodge Charger and the Chrysler 300 with designs that date back to 2006 have risen in reliability. In some cars, like the Tesla nearly every function is handled via the infotainment system. In those cars, some owners complained about freezing screens, preventing them from changing station, to adjusting the temperature. Some systems like Chrysler’s give you the option of using knobs or the screen.
The Ford Fusion, one of the best built domestic vehicles, have seen its ratings fall due to problems with Ford’s new Sync 3 system. The second generation Buick LaCrosse enjoyed a good repair history. The third generation introduced in 2017 was all new with a new 8 speed transmission, buyers of the third generation complained about a rough transmission.
Each year, Consumer Reports sends a questionnaire to its members to learn about issues that they’ve had with their cars over the past year, and the severity of those issues. In their latest survey , CR got info on over 500,000 vehicles from model years 2000 to 2018, gathering information bout problems that owners have had in twelve key areas, including engine internals, accessory drive, cooling system, transmission internals, drive train, fuel system, electrical system, brakes, climate control, exhaust, in-car electronics, and others.
Consumer Reports Most Reliable Brands for 2018
LEXUS-(Best Model-GX\ Worst-IS)
TOYOTA (Best Model PriusC\Worst-Tacoma)
MAZDA (Best Model-Miata\Worst-CX-3)
SUBARU (Best Model-Crosstrek\Worst WRX)
KIA (Best Model-Sedona\Worst Cadenza)
INFINITI (Best Model-Q60\Worst Q50)
AUDI (Best Model-Q5\Worst-A3)
BMW (Best Model i3\Worst X1)
MINI (Best Model Countryman\Worst Cooper)
HYUNDAI (Best Model Santa Fe XL\ Worst Ioniq)
PORSCHE (Best Model 911\ Worst-Cayenne)
GENESIS (Best Model G80\Worst G90)
ACURA (Best Model ILC\Worst MDX)
NISSAN (Best Model Maxima\Worst Versa Note)
HONDA (Best Model Fix\Worst Clarity)
VOLKSWAGEN(Best Model Passat\ Worst Atlas)
MERCEDES-BENZ (Best Model GLS\ Worst E-Class)
FORD (Best Model Taurus\Worst Mustang)
BUICK (Best Model Encore\Worst Enclave)]
LINCOLN (Best Model Continental\Worst MKZ )
DODGE (Best Model Charger\Worst Journey)
JEEP (Best Model Renegade\Worst Compass)
CHEVROLET (Best Model Impala\Worst Traverse)
CHRYSLER (Best Model 300\Worst Pacifica)
GMC (Best Model Yukon\Worst Sierra 2500 HD)
RAM (Best Model 2500\Worst 3500)
TESLA (Best Model Model 3\Worst Model X)
CADILLAC (Best Model XTS\ Worst Model ATS)
VOLVO (Best Model XC60\ Worst Model S90)
A Mighty Fall
In a quest to build lighter, more fuel efficient cars. Automakers have turned to smaller turbo charged four cylinder engines and complex 8, 9 and 10 speed transmissions. Four cylinder engines that are as powerful as the old mighty V8 engines. Ford has replaced large displacement V8 for smaller displacement engines in their trucks and large SUV’s. The massive 5800 pound Ford Expedition Max is powered by 3.5 (213 cubic inch) turbo charged six cylinder engine generating 400 horsepower and 480 pound feet or Torque. Chrysler’s, 5.7-liter (345 cubic inch) HEMI V8 engine produces 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. To give you a sense of size, the first Ford Mustang was a six cylinder was 200 cubic inches.
Nearly all manufactures foreign and domestic has made major changes with all new engines, transmissions, infotainment systems. To put things in perspective, for nearly twenty years most of the automatic transmissions built were four speed transmissions . Twelve years ago, six speed transmissions were common. Four years ago, eight speed transmissions came to market. In the last few years 9 and 10 speed transmissions have come to market. Every manufacturer is now building smaller displacement turbo charged cars for the first time. Longevity for the most part is unknown.
According to Consumer Reports, this new technology has damaged the reliability of some brands. Buick, the most reliable American brand fell 11 spots from 2017 to 2018. Tesla also dropped sharply.
Honda, a brand known for its reliability also dropped sharply in Consumer Reports Ratings . Honda, added turbo charge engines to some of its current generation Civics. The new Accords has new 9 and 10 speed transmissions, all new turbo charged engines and new infotainment systems. As a result the all new Accord, one of the most reliable cars was down graded to average.
Honda’s Odyssey minivan is no longer recommended and Consumer Reports says, the Clarity line of cars apparently has “electronic glitches” that bring it to “much-worse-than-average.
Consumer complaints about the 1.5 Turbocharged engine in Honda’s best selling CR-V to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could lead to major recall. Honda says ,A fix will be issued by dealers by mid-November and will be covered under the vehicle’s warranty. Honda will also preemptively fix 2019 CR-V models before they go on sale, although it does not yet say what exactly the fix entails.
Toyota’s to my eye aren’t necessarily sexy, they aren’t exciting to drive. But they sure are reliable. There are more twenty, and thirty year old Toyota’s on the road than nearly any other car.
Unlike Honda, most of Toyota engines are naturally aspirated. The company hasn’t rushed to turbos. The company still build 6 speed transmissions. Last year it added 8 speed transmissions to the Camry and Avalon.
The magic started early on. On auto production lines in Europe and American the lines buzzed on. If there was a defect, it was handled after the car rolled off the line. At Toyota, workers could stop the entire production line if they realized anything was wrong. Management could fix the problem before it was an issue down the line.
Slow and Steady
One of the first infotainment system came from Ford,designed by Microsoft it was called Ford Sync. In 2008, it was optional on nearly every Ford or Lincoln vehicle. With a push of a button, one could make a phone call, change a radio station, change a CD track by a voice command.
By 2010,a more complex system was introduced called “My Ford Touch” This system allowed the user with the aid of touch screen to read text messages and more. While it was very profitable for Ford, it was an utter failure, with owners saying that it crashed and was unreliable. There were several attempts by Ford to repair the system but they were not successful. JD Power said “My Ford Touch” had a negative effect on Ford’s overall reliability. Consumer Reports suggested buyers avoid the system entirely. Despite all the negative press, the public wanted this expensive option.
Automaker went all in adopting this new technology. Toyota didn’t. It was one of the last carmakers to adopt the technology.
And that is the theme or secret sauce to Toyota. While the other automakers rush new technologies to market. Toyota and Lexus (Toyota’s luxury division) is slow and conservative. Unlike other automakers adding new engines and other technology to all models across the line, they gradually add new engines, electronics and transmissions to the product line. The trade off is superior reliability.
Brand Recommendations for 2019
If your buying a new car you may just want to keep it simple and stay clear of the infotainment systems. All of the cars will have Bluetooth, that will allow hands free calling. You may even consider installing an after market stereo from establish brand like Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood and JVC. This would require some modification to your car. They all have bluetooth and the trade off is in most cases superior sound, and better electronics. Many of these units have back up cameras, navigation and your steering wheel controls will control these units.
If you must have a infotainment, the best are from Audi, BMW, Hyundai/Kia/Genesis, and Mercedes Benz. Chrysler has a conditional recommendation. Prior to 2018, their U-connect system was considered one of the best in the industry. However, some software additions has made the system buggy with occasional screen freezing. We suspect they will work the bugs out in 2019. The worst of the worst, is Volvo. The company has built award winning and compelling cars with some of the BEST interiors in the industry . However, like many luxury cars infotainment system if you want a Volvo you do not have any other option.
Other vehicles on the caution list includes the Honda Accord and Civic. Honda has a solid reputation. With new turbo engines and transmissions, have resulted in a decline in ratings. However, in a couple of years we think they will have worked out of these issues. Tesla’s Gull wing Model X has been an disaster,doors, rattles and electronic issues. The Model S air suspension and door handles has problematic for the company. The popular Model 3 isn’t as complex as the other models two and more expensive models and so far its most reliable vehicle.
When you are a large person, your always aware of space. Can I fit in that chair is it strong? When it comes to size the rule of thumb, is a large exterior equals a large interior. In the past, I would typically rent a full size car or larger. One year, a rental car company substituted the last generation Toyota Corolla. It was torture, even with the seat reclined so far back I could reach into the trunk.
If this your first time reading Big Man Rides, I’m 6.4 and 350 pounds. Big man, Right!
My introduction to then First Generation (2011) Chevrolet Cruze was at the San Francisco Auto Show. After pushing the seat back as far as it go I squeezed in and escaped before I lost consciousness .
A friend and auto blogger told me to test drive the Cruze, he thought it was roomy. (of course, he did, he’s 5.10 and one hundred seventy pounds) . I went to a local dealership who lent me a top of the line Cruze LTZ. Where I discovered the seat could be lowered.
It was a Game Changer, with the seat lowered, it was a different car. With acres of big man room. The Cruze was the only vehicle, I could actually fully extends my legs. A feat couldn’t be duplicated by Escalade, F-150 and other large vehicles. I became a fan, back then I called the Cruze “The Caddy of small cars”
This is the second generation of the Chevy Cruze, introduced in 2016. I liked the squared body style of the first generation of the Cruze. The second generation is larger and lighter and it has more rear legroom than the first. The 1.4 turbocharged engine at 153hp and 177 lb-ft or torque is more powerful than the first generation and General Motors continues to give us (horns blowing) a traditional six speed transmission. The Cruze is the only small car in America that offers a diesel engine 52mpg.
Please GM, PLEASE, don’t give us one of those noise producing, Continuously Variable Transmissions,that most automakers (Honda, Toyota, Nissan )are putting into their cars for fuel economy.
The Cruze comes in a sedan and a handsome hatchback.
Unlike, the first generation, every Cruze comes with a touchscreen and has Apple Carplay and Android Auto standard.
Pairing my phone with Chevy’s My Link infotainment system was easy, however, I struggled with Android Auto. The overall sound was just okay. Note: GM, like many car companies do not offer CD players. As in other GM cars the Cruze can be optioned with 4G Wi Fi hot spot.
3800 Miles in the Chevrolet Cruze
Round trip from Sacramento to Central Texas and beyond. Like the first generation, I still have to pinch myself, that this an “American” car? I love the Ford Focus, its fun to drive and the hatchback has aged well. What hasn’t is Ford’s Automatic Transmission, its been a disaster and after 7 years they haven’t worked the bugs out of the tranny and after 7 years, they only offer a 5 speed stick.
The interior of the Cruze remains a nice place to be and the front seat comfort is as good or better than the last generation. Inside there weren’t any gaps or squeaks or rattles.
I left Sacramento at 11pm to avoid LA’s notorious rush hour traffic, my first stop was Phoenix. At 75 miles an hour, my mpg was 43. It took a while to adjust to the front and rear controls on the steering wheel.
While the fit and finish inside, seemed perfect. In the light of the day in Phoenix, the Cruze’s build quality wasn’t close, body panels were misaligned. At 14 cubic feet the trunk is average for the class.
Through the mountains and some rough roads in New Mexico, the Cruze never lost its composure. It was quiet and rode like a much bigger car.
Red car or bad luck
On the Interstate 10 between between Phoenix and El Paso. In New Mexico, I was stopped for speeding (87 in an 85 mph) and again in Texas three miles over the speed limit in Texas In Texas or at least West Texas, few people drove over the speed limit.
If I had one nagging complaint about the Cruze it be the ingress. (at least for me) With the seats positioned for me, I had to lower the seats to get out or the car. I didn’t notice this with the first generation Cruze. I’m not fan of the auto stop feature,found in many cars where the engine shuts off at a stop light or anytime the car is not moving to save fuel. Its effective, but I’m not a fan.
Handling was good Cruze. Not once did it run out of steam in the mountains. Or lose its composure in the worse of thunder storms. The Cruze isn’t as fun to drive as the Honda Civic, Mazda 3 or Ford Focus. It never embarrasses itself The Hyundai Elantra sedan and the Toyota Corolla have more room overall, but neither has the power or can match the quiet and ride of the Cruze.
The Chevrolet Cruze may be the car for a small family, a commuter or an urban dweller.
If you are a tall or extra large, the Chevy Cruze is worth a look. The 2018 models are available with a six speed manual. (the six speed is not offered in the 2019 model year)
Sales for nearly all sedans are down. The Cruze’s sales are down over 30% from 2017. Deep discounts are available. As of this date GM is offering a $3200 rebate.
A vintage 1955 Buick Century Cailfornia Highway Patrol Car
These cars were specificly built for the CHP.
They had the Special 48 coupe body, Century engines and Roadmaster brakes (This was back in the day when GM built different engines and parts for each divison) They were among the first cars (Code name: Century 68) built specifically for police use. The half of cars were equipped with a three speed column shift manual transmission. The other half was built with a less reliable Dynaflow automatic transmisson.
Like all, 1955 Buicks, the (Century 68) featured updated styling with “tower” tailights and a large “widescreen” front grile. Century models carried, like the top-of-the-line Roadmaster, four portholes alongside their front fenders to denote the high-output of their V-8s. The Century series was Buick’s performer, combining the Special’s lightweight bodies with the Roadmaster’s 322-cubic-inch OHV V-8. The 9.0:1-compression-ratio engine inhaled through a Carter four-barrel carburetor and produced a gross-rated 236 horsepower at 4600 rpm.
According to the April 1955 issue of Highway Patrolman Magazine, “During dynamometer tests, the car developed 148 horsepower at the rear wheels and reached a wheel speed if 108 mph against the 4-horsepower drag of the machine. At this point, the test was terminated abruptly when the rubber tread spun off the tires of one of the rear wheels that was being tested.
A Star is Born!
The Cailfornia Highway Patrol wanted to be featured in a TV series. The show, creative by Ziv World Television thought the show needed to have a broader police scope than the real CHP. The generic show name ” Highway Patrol” was adopted.
Episode were filmed in black and white over a two-day shoot on a small budget of less than $25,000 per episode and the shows had to be done on time. To keep cost down, “Highway Parol” was filmed almost entirety in then rural San Fernando Valley. This was decades before the malls,Calabasas and the Kardashians. The ads clained the stories were based on the experiences of highway patrol officers in all 48 states.
In the first two seasons the series received technical assistance from the California Highway Patrol. The patrol cars in early episodes are actual CHP vehicles with the show’s car door emblem covering the CHP emblem (sometimes a real CHP star is briefly visible). For instance, the 1955 Buick Century two-door patrol car seen in early episodes was built exclusively for CHP.
Unlike the California Highway Patrol, the agency featured in the TV series was more concerned with chasing criminals than enforcing driving laws. Local and county police officers were seldom if ever in evidence, only the Highway Patrol. With such a limited budget, there were very few car chases, crashes, and other motor mayhem that is more common in modern police dramas; scenes were often filmed on rural two-lane paved or dirt roads to save money and because Crawford’s own driver’s license was suspended for drunk driving. Excitement was mainly generated by Crawford’s own rapid-fire, staccato delivery of his lines, frequent shootouts, and numerous plot contrivances in which time was a critical factor, such as a hostage death threat, the escape of a violent criminal, a train derailment, or other imminent catastrophe.
“Highway Patrol” was on the air for four seasons from 1955 to 1959. It still airs in syndication.
It is said, there are only a couple of the Century 68 on the road, one wonders if the car spotted in Saramento is one of the two?
This Episode “Lady Bandit’s doesn’t feature the Century’s with the exception of the opening.