Drive Type: -
Model: Model A
Sun City, California, United States
The changes happening at the Petersen Museum have been making the rounds in major press, but it probably won't be until August 18, during Pebble Beach, when we get the full story on what's happening; that's where and when museum reps plan on announcing the way forward for the SoCal institution. In the meantime, the museum is still reorganizing its collection, and that means auctioning some of its showpieces at this weekend's Auctions America event in Burbank.
Three of the stars are a 1964 Shelby Cobra 289, one of less than 20 produced with a three-speed C-4 automatic transmission, a 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL owned by actor Robert Stack and the last 1948 Ford Sportsman 'Woodie' ever produced. The Cobra, now restored to its original white exterior and red leather interior, was a factory demonstrator that first sold for $5,250. Showing just 38,950 miles on the odometer, its pre-sale estimate is $800,000 to $1 million.
The 300SL is actually a 1957 model but wasn't titled until Robert Stack took possession in 1960. The lead actor in the The Untouchables TV series used to drive by the Sunset Boulevard Mercedes dealership to ogle the car, but couldn't justify spending the money to buy it. When he and the producer of The Untouchables won Emmys for the show, the producer, who happened to be Desi Arnaz, bought the car for Stack. He owned it his whole life, it has been left as Stack drove it and still bears the California license plate "UNTCHBL."
With a new boss at the helm, Ford is looking at new ways to improve its vehicle launches in North America to prevent recent issues that have popped up with models like the Lincoln MKZ, Ford Escape and Ford Fusion. Speaking with Automotive News, Ford's new president of the Americas, Joe Hinrichs, revealed a few ways the automaker plans to avoid early build issues such as the engine fires on certain 2013 Escape and Fusion models and months-long delays for customers to receive their MKZs.
It sounds like the root of the problems may have been Ford's relationship with suppliers compounded by the fact that the product surge came on the heels of the recent industry-crippling recession, and in the AN article, Hinrichs says improvements are being made to reduce problems during the launch of new or redesigned models. Three such improvements that were implemented during the first quarter of this year including more rigorous quality comparisons, better use of computer technology to catch major problems sooner and hiring engineers to work closer with suppliers.
I was more than a year removed from my last experience with the Mustang GT and its delicious 5.0 V8 when this new 2014 example rolled up to my driveway recently. Good weather and a planned road trip across the state meant that I would get plenty of seat time in this conservatively specified example, too. In total, I logged about 400 miles in a week of driving - not a lot for some of you super commuters out there, but quite a lot for this work-from-home journalist.
The basic formula of the 5.0 has stayed the same for 2014. The 2013 model year saw a number of updates to keep the Mustang fresh until it's replaced with an all-new generation for 2015. So, for its bon voyage tour, the fifth-generation Pony Car has seen only a few modifications: a couple of new paint colors (Oxford White and Ruby Read Metallic), trim and wheel revisions and, sadly, the deletion of the Boss 302 from the Ford lineup. However, while the limited-edition Boss is likely to reappear sometime after the gen-six Mustang makes its debut in 2015, the GT Track Package cars like the one I tested provide at least a partial solution for those looking for hot laps.