Tuesday, December 12, 2017
AutoLink

My First Car: 1955 Ford Thunderbird, Wayne Gleaton, 68, Thonotosassa

’55 Ford Thunderbird

My first car was a 1955 Ford Thunderbird. In 1964, a childhood friend of mine told me about the car, which was for sale at Mason’s Motors on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa. (I’ve pretty much lived in Tampa all my life.) My dad, who was a big T-Bird fan, and I went down to look at it. My dad ended up buying the car for $1,400. We had it repainted and reupholstered and I had to wait two long years before I could drive it by myself without someone over 18 in the vehicle. I drove it for two years in high school and when I went on to FSU my brother drove it in high school. It then sat in my dad’s garage for more than 30 years. That same childhood friend and I, with my dad’s permission, decided to do a frame-off restoration (taking the body off the frame and rebuilding the vehicle from the tires up), restoring it to the way it was in high school. That T-Bird is now in my garage, so it has been in my family for more than 50 years. I still get a kick out of driving it occasionally.

Comments
Major auto manufacturer offers longer hours, incentives to fix airbags

Major auto manufacturer offers longer hours, incentives to fix airbags

TAMPA — With nearly 200,000 people around Tampa Bay still driving around with defective airbags that could kill them, a major automaker is trying to dramatically cut that number down this week.Fiat Chrystler Automobiles U.S. has launched Airbag Recal...
Published: 12/11/17
The Daily Drivers: A look back at some 2017 SUV models

The Daily Drivers: A look back at some 2017 SUV models

Across the auto industry, the popularity of trucks and SUVs continue to soar. We’ve had an opportunity to drive several 2017 SUVs — many of them premium models — and came away mostly impressed by the state-of-the-art when it comes to Sport Utility Ve...
Published: 12/05/17
GM unveils its driverless cars, aiming to lead the pack

GM unveils its driverless cars, aiming to lead the pack

SAN FRANCISCO — For more than a year, General Motors has tantalized investors with plans to build its future around self-driving cars.It has regularly announced big investments and progress reports, but the company has kept its prototype vehicles lar...
Published: 11/29/17
Updated: 11/30/17
’57 Ford Fairlane 500 convertible, Walter Bradway, 75, Inverness

’57 Ford Fairlane 500 convertible, Walter Bradway, 75, Inverness

In 1963, I was stationed in Germany. I spent off-duty hours in the base hobby shop. There I noticed the car in the storage lot, and for a few months it was looking neglected. It had been shipped to Germany from the United States during winter without...
Updated one month ago
Indian automaker plant is latest sign of Detroit comeback

Indian automaker plant is latest sign of Detroit comeback

It has been years since Detroit, birthplace of the American auto industry, was a steady producer of the manufacturing jobs that defined it as the Motor City. But its comeback is entering a new phase.The latest milestone came this week, with the annou...
Updated one month ago
Give thanks: Florida’s higher gas prices starting to dip again for holiday

Give thanks: Florida’s higher gas prices starting to dip again for holiday

TAMPA — As 5.5 million Americans hit the road this week, gas prices will be the highest for the Thanksgiving holiday in three years though they are starting to dip. The average for regular gasoline in Florida is $2.50, 40 cents more than a year ago,...
Updated one month ago
Electric, autonomous vehicles featured at Tampa auto show

Electric, autonomous vehicles featured at Tampa auto show

TAMPA — The two biggest trends in the automotive space are ones you’ve likely heard of: electric vehicles and autonomous cars. Both will feature prominently at the Tampa Bay International Auto Show today through Sunday. The event at the ...
Updated one month ago
Nearly 2.6 million Floridians expected to travel for Thanksgiving

Nearly 2.6 million Floridians expected to travel for Thanksgiving

TAMPA — Thanksgiving is predicted to bring out the highest number of travelers since 2005. According to AAA, The Auto Club Group, 50.9 million Americans — 3.3 percent more than 2016 — are expected to travel 50 miles or more for the holiday, including...
Updated one month ago
Tampa Bay residents have second-lowest amount of disposable income

Tampa Bay residents have second-lowest amount of disposable income

Tampa Bay residents have a mixed bag when it comes to disposable income. According to a recent income study by Trove Technologies, a California-based storage company, Florida residents have the highest amount of discretionary income in the southeast....
Updated one month ago