Tag "auto reviews"
MI Tests the 1950 Studebaker (Nov, 1949)

MI Tests the 1950 Studebaker

“One of the best dollar values today,” says Tom McCahill. They’re not the fastest cars on the road but they’re tops in comfort and quality.

THE new, needle-nose Studebaker gives the boys of the Big Three something to shoot at. Back in ’46, with the introduction of the 1947 Studebaker designed by Raymond Loewy, this first real post-war auto stirred up the populace. And now, once again, Loewy has set the pace with the 1950 Studebaker.

The Mercedes-Benz 190 SL (Apr, 1956)

The Mercedes-Benz 190 SL

Fine workmanship and splendid roadability are the top features of this sports rig, says Uncle Tom.

By Tom McCahill

THE NAME Mercedes-Benz, like Tiffany, Morgan & Company and Diamond Jim Brady is known from pole-to-pole and over the border and into Finland. Mercedes-Benz has had only one rival through the years for the title of Prestige Car Of The World—and that is Rolls-Royce. Actually, from a quality standpoint and longevity, Rolls gets the nod, but from a performance and accomplishment standpoint no one can touch Mercedes.

MI Tests The Triumph TR-2 (Aug, 1954)

MI Tests The Triumph TR-2

“A hairy-chested, flame-spiffing wildcat” is how Tom describes this 104-mph import. By Tom McCahill THE fastest automobile in the world selling for under $2,500 is one way of summing up the TR-2 Triumph sports car. In its price class, the new Triumph is a hairy-chested, flame-spitting wildcat. With this uninhibited rig you can pass a flat-out MG with enough extra speed in hand to give the MG driver double pneumonia in addition to dust in his eye and a slight eardrum concussion.

McCahill Drives The Austin Healey (Nov, 1953)

McCahill Drives The Austin Healey

Uncle Tom test-drives the most talked-about sports car of the year and finds very few faults to criticize, many virtues to praise.

NOT since the day Neville Chamberlin showed up at 10 Downing Street with his umbrella incorrectly rolled, has a more sensational shocker taken place than that caused by the birth of the new Austin Healey 100. The windscreen and bonnet boys of England’s motordom were outrageously amazed at the reception accorded this upstart at Mr. Herbert Shriner’s Second Annual International Motor Sports Show in New York. At this prime American exhibit, the sales people of some of Britain’s oldest and most traditional concerns never put a mark on an order blank whilst Mr. Donald Healey’s creation was causing a near-riot. In two words, Donald Healey and associates “had It” whilst their fellow Britons “Had it.”

MI Tests the New Crosley (Jul, 1947)

MI Tests the New Crosley

Tom McCahill, Mi’s auto expert, puts the new Crosley through its automotive paces.

EVER since I started on Mi’s automobile test series in 1946 hundreds of letters have come in asking about the Crosley and other miniature pieces of transportation. So here is the dope on the Crosley. To get it I came to Florida, where they seem to be the most popular—and here I am writing this in Palm Beach.

MI Tests The Studillac (Nov, 1953)

Studillac is the best car name ever.

MI Tests The Studillac

RAYMOND Loewy, Studebaker designer and chief stylist, proved once again in 1953 that he’s the guy the rest of the country’s designers wish they were. Back 1n 1946 he inspired the industry to steal his notchback Studie designs and in 1953 he came out with a car that made the typical monsters of Detroit look as modern as Ben Hur’s chariot in a stock car race. The engine of these showroom Studebakers is the same V-8 they had in 1952, a competent power plant which has proven responsive to hopping-up treatment. And now, the sporty lines of the 1953 models have inspired Bill Frick to create the “Studillac,” a real hydrogen bomb in spades and about which I propose to tell you more forthwith.

McCAHILL REPORTS ON The 1960 Cars (Nov, 1959)


New models, new styles and new engines are featured in this most exciting automotive year!

THE wildest alleycat fight since Finnegan needled the beer is about to take place in the American automobile world for 1960. Not since the first post-war models of ’46 has the guessing board been so active in “The world’s biggest poker game,” as Pontiacs Bunkie Knudsen recently described the car industry to me.

Naturally, the Big Gamble is centered around the so-called compact cars of the Big Three. Just how big a market this will amount to is what General Motors, Chrysler and Ford would gladly pay several million dollars to know right now. Top brass at GM have told me they figure the market to be between 18-20 per cent of the total new car sales. Some Ford men think it may reach almost 25 per cent. Bill Newberg of Chrysler just says he doesn’t know, but adds, “We’ll all know a year from now.”

McCahill Drives the ’53 Volkswagen (Apr, 1953)

McCahill Drives the ’53 Volkswagen

It’s no raving beauty and it will only do 66 mph wide open—but this little German bucket really puts out when the going gets rough, says Tom.

NOT since Ben Hur whipped his chariot into a broad slide with a hopped-up horse has a more surprising vehicle been developed in Europe than the 1953 Volkswagen. Now, before you start accusing your Uncle Tom of blowing his bald stack, let me qualify the statement.

The Volkswagen, which hits a top speed of around 66 only after you’ve held it wide open for several complete turns of a stop watch, is no sports car by the weirdest definition. But gamboling around in two snow storms during my long test, I had more sport with this paperweight than you could have with a Cunningham.



Here are the fabulous hits and the colossal flops of Uncle Tom’s first decade as America’s “Mr. Car Test.”

By Tom McCahill

LAST MONTH we completed ten years of car-testing. More than 250 tests ago, in the February 1946 issue, Mechanix Illustrated published the first automobile test articles ever seen in America. Selling this series was tougher than trying to juggle pyramids as no other publication had ever had the guts to write both the good and the bad about Detroit. Since we started this controversial hassel, imitators have risen up like, mosquitoes in a tropical swamp and more guys have stolen our car-testing idea than you could find in all the Federal pens.



Epitomizing the pinnacle of motoring luxury, the 1936 Packard sedan (above) will add new laurels to Packard craftsmanship. It features independent front wheel suspension, automatic chassis lubrication, and cool mixture carburetion.

Here is a cut-away photo of the Packard carburetion system. Raw gasoline cannot flood the motor as it drops into the vaporizing chamber where hot manifold converts it into gas.

Upholding Buick’s reputation for dependability and exceptional performance will be this sleek sport coupe (above) of Buick Series 40. It is powered by a 93-horsepower straight eight engine of valve-in-head design. One of its features is the new light-pressure clutch, shown at left. To provide additional smoothness when the clutch takes hold, individual cushioning springs are inserted between the fabric facing and metal base.