VIRTUAL CAR SHOW

WHM x AutomotiveMap Virtual Car Show: April 4, 2020

Owner Chris Pulley regularly shows off this slammed Ford Short Bus at auto shows in Texas.

Photo courtesy of Chris Pulley

We're just getting started with this whole quarantine situation and if you're like the AutomotiveMap team, you're really starting to miss heading to your local car show.

The WHM x AutomotiveMap Virtual Car Show brings the best parts of the car show to your phone, tablet, and computer during this trying time. We have shared pictures of a wide variety of vehicles, submitted by car show fans across the country, below and told you the stories of the cars and their owners.

We limited this week's round to 10 entries. Click here to see last week's show.

The only thing missing is the comroaderie. Hop on over to the AutomotiveMap or WHM Facebook page and tell us what cars you loved, tag someone who would enjoy seeing the cars, and tell your friends to submit their own cars.

Click here to register your car for next week's Virtual Car Show.

1972 Chevrolet El Camino SS

Photo courtesy of Jim Meader

Jim Meader spend $6,500 for his El Camino in 2008 because, "[I] got too old to ride fast motorcycles and wanted a El Camino like I bought when I got out of the Army." That was 1972. Today, El Caminos are far less common than they were then.

Since he's owned it, he's done two frame off restorations that include powder coating the frame; adding C6 Corvette brakes, an aftermarket powder-coated suspension, 600-horsepower ZZ502 engine, 400 Turbo transmission, and a 12- bolt differential. The model has all ARP stainless hardware and wears a 1969 Hugger Orange paint job.

This car has won over 90 awards including twice winning its class at the Houston Autorama.

1962 Chevrolet C10

Photo courtesy of Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl, the personality behind the Pickup Truck + SUV Talk YouTube channel, was sold his 1962 Chevy C10 in 2017 for the high price of $1.00. The truck was in rough condition when he bought it, having served many years as a farm truck for Esterdahl's extended family. Since then, he's installed a new engine, brakes, and seat cover.

2017 Jeep Wrangler Big Bear

Photo courtesy of Isaac Gutierrez

Isaac Gutierrrz bought his Wrangler in 2019 and immediately set about upgrading it. He gave the car a Dv8 hood front and back bumper, 2.5-inch lift, Dv8 fender liners and fenders, Fuel Wheels wheels, KC HiLiTES off-road lights, Xkglow rock lights, a Rockford Fosgate sound system, and a TrailFX Winches winch. The Jeep has earned the nickname "Black Widow".

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Photo courtesy of Ted Fontenot

Ted Fontenot purchased this Mustang from a restoration shop in 2017. Like much of America, he's a big fan of the model. "The '69 Mach 1 is one of the coolest cars [it] looks fast standing still," he said.

Though it may be hard to believe, the Mustang is all original, except its paint job. It was repainted over 10 years ago its original Wimbledon White hue.

The car was practically destined to find a home at the Fontenot household in Houston, Texas, but it almost passed them by. Fontenot's neighbor when he was growing up had a red '70 Mach 1and when his wife was a child, her mom had a '69 Mach 1. He saw this car for sale twice before he finally purchased it. The first time, he missed it by two days. The second time, he was out of work due to the Obama-era recession and couldn't justify the purchase. The third time was the charm and Fontenot jumped on it.

1968 Dodge Dart GTS

Photo courtesy of Larry McGee

Larry McGee of Katy, Texas plunked down $30,000 for the Dart, which he calls a "Mr. Norm Tribute". He bought the car as a daily driver rather than a show car and hasn't modified it yet, but has the intention of adding new cooling, air conditioning, and a larger carburetor.

McGee's first car was '68 Charger. He claims to always having been a "Mopar guy". He had a '67 Barracuda that he wanted to restore when he retired but it ended up having too much rust for his budget.

1957 Ford B500 Short Bus

Photo courtesy of Chris Pulley

In 2015, Chris Pulley acquired this relic of the past. The Richmond, Texas resident bought the bus, "to be a marketing tool for non-profits around getting people with disabilities out doing activities." Pulled continued, "I am in a wheelchair and I thought what is cooler than a guy in a wheelchair owning a short bus."

The overall aesthetic gives the bus a hotrod feel, while maintaining the functionality of a short bus. It's a fully handicap accessible bus has an air ride suspension, 7.3-liter Diesel engine, 24-inch dually wheels, a custom interior, and unique paint job.

1966 Chevrolet Nova II

Photo courtesy of Jose de Leon

Owner Jose de Leon is very clear, "My car is not a trailer queen." He traded for the car in 2011 after learning that it took two years to build. Since he purchased it, de Leon has added disc brakes, Cal-Tracs, and a carburetor. He adds that he, "drive[s] it and it still shows great. It has several trophies even though it's not a $150k restoration."

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Photo courtesy of West Houston Muscle

This is a Mustang Mach 1 with a slightly different flavor than the one we showed up top this week. Owner Bill Mehling of Richmond, Texas purchased the car used online for $27,000. He tells the story:

"I was ready for a hobby car and always thought the '69 Mach1 was the best looking car ever! It looked great in pictures, but the car was in Minnesota. I had a pro car inspector check it out for me. He supplied a report and dozens of additional pictures. Turned out that the entire undercarriage was new and as clean as the motor! He gave it a thumbs up and the deal was done."

Mehling has modified the car a bit since it arrived in Texas. It has had its interior refreshed with new seat covers, seat foam, door panels, and interior trim pieces. He had air conditioning re-installed (the car was originally equipped with it but had its parts removed).

1997 Dodge Viper GTS

Photo courtesy of Travis Warden

Travis Warden from Houston, Texas, bought his 1997 Viper in 2017, a decade after it rolled off an assembly line in Michigan. It's an Exchange Heads and Cams Car that Warden bought because it's his "dream car". He says that the model has a a Moton suspension, full bolt-ons, and a road racing set up.

1972 Oldsmobile Cutless Supreme

Photo courtesy of Tom Tannahill

Tom Tannahill paid $20,000 for this Olds in 2017. Tannahill's cousin was the original owner of the car, buying it new from Loveless Oldsmobile in Galveston, Texas. She kept it in excellent condition over the years and it now has 184,000 actual miles on it.

Since he purchased the car, the only thing Tannahill has done to the model is install a new convertible top. Its powertrain was rebuilt in 2008.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Ford has listened and will be making its Bronco available with a manual transmission and the Sasquatch Package.

Photo courtesy of Twitter/@MrLevine

It's safe to say that enthusiasm for the 2021 Ford Bronco is high. The voices of the enthusiasts are loud too. So loud, that the powers that be at Ford Motor Company headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan heard them when they shouted all over social media that they wanted the Bronco to be available with a manual transmission and the Sasquatch Package - a combination not announced at the product's debut.

"The Bronco community spoke and we heard them," said Mark Grueber, Ford Bronco consumer marketing manager. "Our team moved quickly to add Sasquatch with a manual transmission – another example of our focus on giving customers the best possible off-road vehicles and accessories that we can."

2021 Ford Bronco four-door Many orders have already been placed for the 2021 Bronco.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Previously, the Sasquatch Package was only available on select trim levels of the two- and four-door Bronco with the available 10-speed automatic transmission.

The Sasquatch Package gives the model 35-inch Goodyear mud-terrain tires that are mounted to 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels, Dana front and rear electronic locking axles with 4.7:1 final drive ratio, and a high-clearance suspension with a nearly two-inch wider track, position-sensitive Bilstein shocks, and wider fender flares.

The change makes the Bronco the only 4x4 with a seven-speed manual and 35-inch off-road tires in its class, giving it one more boasting point in the Bronco vs. Wrangler throwdown for off-road supremacy.

The Sasquatch Package will now be available across the Ford Bronco lineup including the Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outerbanks, and Badlands grades. It is standard on the Bronco Wildtrak and First Edition models. Exterior paint job options vary by trim level.

"Capability is always a priority, and pairing Sasquatch with a manual transmission and available advanced 4x4 system gives it a maximum crawl ratio of 94.75:1, providing even more off-road capability across the line-up," said Dave Pericak, Ford icons global director.

The manual transmission with Sasquatch package is targeted to be available in late 2021. But, you may have to wait 15 months to get yours.

Earlier this year, AutomotiveMap rode in a Bronco with a manual transmission as well as the Bronco Sport.

The Bronco build and price module on Ford.com will go live in October. How can you get a deal on your preferred model? There's one thing you need to know.

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The first all-electric Karma Automotive model is set to debut next year.

Photo courtesy of Karma Automotive

Karma Automotive is promising to debut its first all-electric car in 2021. To understand how we got here, it's important to look back a decade.

Fisker Automotive was founded by heralded car designer Henrik Fisker in 2007. For a brief moment in history, it produced the Fisker Karma, one of the world's first production luxury plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The first Karma was delivered in 2011 but by 2014, the company was staring down liquidation.

That year, Fisker Automotive's Karma vehicle design, tooling, and manufacturing facility were purchased by Wanxiang Group, the largest China-based automotive components company by revenue. Henrik Fisker retried the Fisker trademarks and rights to the Fisker brand. He went on to launch Fisker Inc., a separate company that has big plans for all-electric vehicles, in 2016. Wanxiang Group renamed its vehicle company Karma Automotive.

And now here we are.

Karma Automotive has released an image of the GS as a teaser.

Karma Automotive says that the 2021 debut will be the first public step in a full line, which includes electrification options and leans on technological advancements to set itself apart. The GS Series model will be Karma's first-ever battery electric luxury sedan.

The new models will retain much of the same design as the Revero.

"We are pleased to announce that Karma will now offer our first all-electric vehicle next year as part of the GS series," said Dr. Lance Zhou, Karma's CEO. "Cost reductions in the BOM, streamlining our supply chain and standardized production methods also allowed for a new, more attainable pricing structure for the GS lineup allowing for higher market penetration, opening up the market to a larger group of entry level luxury buyers."

Though its looks, range, pricing, and options aren't yet public knowledge, customers can currently reserve their model at http://www.karmaautomotive.com/reserve. All reservations require a fully-refundable $100 deposit.

For years Chinese brands have been looking to break into the U.S. market without much success. Though there are a growing number of Karma dealerships in the U.S., sales of the vehicles are few and far between.

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