Thursday, December 19, 2019

This Broken Ford F-150 Shows Why You Should Never Overload Your Truck

Just because someone can pass their driver's test it doesn't mean they should be trusted on public roads. Such is the case with this Ford F-150 owner who decided to sit an entirely-too-large camper shell on the back of their pickup, bending the bed and nearly snapping the frame in half. As we know, when something like that happens, you wind up here. On the internet.
This poor, victimized truck is an 11th-generation F-150 in King Ranch trim, made between 2004 and 2008. At the time, it was cream of the crop: saddle leather seats, a power sunroof, and even a Sony surround sound system. It came standard with a 5.4-liter V-8 making 300 horsepower and 365-pound-feet, proving it to be an exceptional performer in the towing and hauling departments.
Still, though, this slide-in camper is too much. First, it's clearly intended for a long-bed truck and this—as you can see—is a short-bed model. Secondly, a quick Google search shows that the topper weighs around 2,800 pounds; this particular F-150 only touts a payload capacity of around 2,000 pounds in crew cab, four-wheel-drive configuration.
This is a recipe for disaster as one Reddit user pointed out on the original thread.
“That camper weight is probably dry. Once you add passenger, liquids, and luggage, that truck is toast," said one commenter.
Others think that while the bed is clearly toast, and the frame itself may be OK.
“It’s probably just bed damage and not the frame but still,” mentioned one user.
“You can see the straight frame below it in the shadows. There are a handful of bed bolts between this and catastrophe,” added another. 
The teensy strap that's been lobbed from one side of the bed to the other isn't doing much for load security, either.
Hopefully, the driver knew better than to hit the road once they parked and saw the damage to their truck. Then again, who would think they'd ever see something like this in public to start with?

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade Is Mercifully Inoffensive Looking

Image shared with permission, rotated and contrast-boosted by the author to show detail
Photo: allcarnews (Instagram)
I happen to like the restyled look of the 2021 Chevy Suburban and Tahoe SUVs. I dare say it’s the best application yet of GM’s insistence on stretch-face styling for everything. Many commenters disagreed though, so perhaps the more stately jaw of this apparently leaked 2021 Cadillac Escalade will suit you better.
Spy shots of the ’Slade have been rolling around for months, and early pics of the multi-layered dashboard, in particular, have been somewhat interesting. But I do believe these photos from @allcarnews on Instagram, shared with us by the site’s rep Justin, are the first fairly clear images of the redesigned Escalade’s exterior without camouflage.
Based on the proportions and size of the vehicle, there really is nothing else the SUV in these pictures could be besides an Escalade. Unless Cadillac is planning on changing the name to “XT10” or something.
As a side note, GM isn’t going to confirm or deny that powertrain or horsepower figure in that Instagram caption so, while a carryover 6.2-liter V8 is likely, take that piece of information with a grain of salt.
What we can see for sure though is that the grille is large, the headlights are (relatively) small, and it looks like the C-pillar has got a little more swoop than it has had in previous iterations of the Escalade. Other than that, it seems, fine?
Of course, we’re looking at the vehicle in the most unflattering factory floor lighting through a grainy iPotato camera lens, but you can get a pretty decent sense of what the shapes all look like. It’s not bad. I’m a lot more interested in what that two-tiered gauge cluster looks like when it’s working, though.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

🎄 Christmas Silent Jazz Playlist - Smooth Winter Jazz Music with Fireplace

Massive Barn-Find Collection! Cadillac Series 62, AMC Marlin, Pontiac GTO, and More

“This is all I’ve ever done,” Jonathan Ponulak says when we asked how he came about fixing, restoring, selling, and collecting vintage cars over the last 40-odd years. Through their automotive careers, Jonathan and his partner (and brother) Stan have ended up with an inventory of over 200 mostly vintage vehicles, scattered between several garages in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. “My brother and I owned Main Street Motors in Somerville, New Jersey. We started buying cars right out of high school and selling them to clients across America and the world,” Jonathan says. Their favorite hobby quickly turned into their perpetual passion, as the guys searched out and stored slumbering vintage cars all over the East Coast. The twosome were defining the term “barn find” back in the 1980s, way before it became a popular catchphrase in the world of classic cars today.
The Ponulak brothers certainly did well with their garage over the years. “One year we sold over 300 cars. Business was good—very good—and it’s been a great run,” Jonathan says. These cars you see here are the ones at their main garage located just outside of Jersey in Bangor, Pennsylvania. “These were some of the ones we held onto. The first car I restored is here. It’s a six-cylinder Falcon I did for my then girlfriend [now wife] back in high school. I also have my first car, a LeMans, and the GTOs that replaced it,” Jonathan says. Those are some favorites, but he also has a few others that are near and dear to his heart, such as a 1966 Emberglo Mustang GT convertible, and his parents’ 1969 Firebird 350 drop-top with 70,000 miles. There are plenty more here, and also 6,000 square feet of assorted auto parts in the basement that will be sold off in the future. “We are getting ready to retire and will definitely unload the majority of cars and all the parts stash at a major auction or in individual sales, so stay tuned,” Jonathan says. (You can reach the guys at for more info.)


This Mustang is a rare one indeed. “It’s a factory A-code, four-speed car with air, and it’s never been restored,” Jonathan says. To boot, it’s basted in the one-year-only “Emberglo” paint scheme with a matching-color Pony interior. It also has some interesting options with rocker moldings and stripes all listed on the build sheet. The car looks basically brand new without a spec of rust or issue with the paint; a rarity on the East Coast. “I bought it from a 93-year-old man who had the Mustang and nine other vintage cars he was selling. I had to buy them all to get this one. It’s a favorite of mine and it’s a fun car that drives perfectly. I love taking it out on the road,” Jonathan says.


The rare ride is the last hurrah for the GTO lineage. “It’s basically a souped-up Ventura. This one is the trunk version, as some came with a hatch,” Jonathan says. This particular example is decked-out with a 350 small-block, four-speed, and factory sway bars. It shows only 22,000 miles on the odometer and is another very original car, basically untouched since new and still wearing its original tires. “It’s one of 2,100 made and I bought it from the original owner in 1982. We held onto it,” Jonathan says.


The 1963 Ford Falcon convertible is near and dear to Jonathan’s heart. “It’s the first car I ever restored, and I did it for my then girlfriend who is now my wife,” he says. It’s nothing special, with no power anything and a six-cylinder basted in Wimbledon White with a red gut. It’s a neat little cruiser whose value is all sentimental.”


This immaculate original car is a favorite. “It’s an AMC 327-powered ride with 27,000 miles on the odometer. It’s another car that hasn’t been touched over the years, still wearing its original paint. It has power steering and brakes and was always garaged. The interior of this 1966 AMC Marlin hardtop looks brand new as well.


This sweet 1966 GTO convertible was one of Jonathan’s cars over the years. The automatic ride features power steering and power brakes and is skinned in Candlelight Cream. “This was one of my high school cars. It has its original paint, drivetrain, and interior. The only things that were changed on the car are the Cragars,” Jonathan says.


This full-size Poncho is a 389/four-barrel car with power steering, power windows, and power brakes. Upgraded add-ons include heavy-duty suspension, posi rear, and cool eight-lug wheels. But it’s the paint that’s the kicker: it says “Special” on the data plate, which shows it is not a stock Pontiac hue. This particular 1964 Pontiac Bonneville convertible went down the Cadillac assembly line, which is denoted in the paperwork. This is how Pontiacs were sprayed custom colors,” Jonathan says.


This beautiful bubbletop 1961 Cadillac Series 62 shows the early 1960s styling and the reduced fin size prevalent on these rides. It’s motivated by a 390 and has the typical power steering and power brakes. It’s a very original car with just 42,000 miles on the odometer.


Though this 1978 Cadillac Coupe De Ville convertible was wedged in tight and hard to get a good shot of, it is worth noting. This is 1 of 100 convertible conversions made by Hess & Eisenhardt for Cadillac back in the 1970s. This particular one cost about $25,000 new—more than twice the asking price for a stock version. These custom beauties were sold through Cadillac. This particular one was used in a Charlie perfume commercial featuring Shelley Hack of Charlie’s Angels fame. It’s a neat and rare ride that the guys bought from the original owner.


There are very few Mopars in the Ponulak collection, but this 1967 Dodge Coronet 500 convertible is a good one. This drop-top is blessed with a 383/four-barrel big-block Wedge and is rowed by a 727 automatic transmission. It has power steering and brakes and a nice set of Magnums at the corners. Story is that the parents wanted to hand it down to their son, who was not interested. He opted for a station wagon instead. Crazy?!