The Rise of the Electric Car – Tesla Tops GM and Cracks into the Top 5 Auto Companies

JohnCool CarsApril 12, 20170 Comment

tesla gets a spot in the top 5 auto companies list

Tesla Leaps Above GM as America’s Most Valuable Automaker and Gets on the Top 5 Auto Companies List

As a classic and muscle car restoration shop - we love our horsepower and the sound of an engine at Palm Beach Customs, but we can appreciate the rising popularity of electric cars as well.

For the first time in the history of the modern car, the most valuable Top 5 U.S. car company doesn't have Detroit roots...

Silicon Valley's Tesla leapt over General Motorson Monday to become the U.S. car maker with the largest market capitalization.

tesla beats GM

This historic milestone is likely to be on the minds of Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk and GM Chief Executive Mary Barra as they head over to visit the White House on Tuesday.

Tesla rose 3.26% to a record high of $312.39 this past Monday (April 10 2017) when its market value of $50.887 billion beat GM's by about $1 million.

Over the past month, the electric car maker has surged 35% as investors bet that Musk will forever revolutionize both the automobile and the energy industries.

That compares to a declining share performance by GM in recent years that recently led billionaire investor David Einhorn to propose splitting the stock into two classes to help boost its price.

model 3 tesla 2017 top 5 auto companies

The Palo Alto, California company is pushing to launch its mass-market Model 3 sedan in  2017 and with a goal to reach a production target around 500,000 cars a year in 2018.

Last year Tesla sold only 76,230 cars. This is really a win for the underdogs!

GM sold 10 million cars and Ford  sold 6.7 million for a comparison.

Down nearly 20% since 2013 in the stocks, GM scaled back operations outside the United States while moving to increase its profitability.

Some argue that Tesla's, which they believe is not profitable, stock price is based on long-term expectations for Tesla 's growth.

They also point to  Tesla 's acquisition last year of money-losing solar panel installer SolarCity and also Tesla 's  battery cell plant in Nevada aimed to drive down manufacturing costs....

Will Tesla Stay on the Top 5 Auto Companies List?

After driving a Tesla for seven months, analyst Alexander Potter described Tesla's products as "captivating."

In a report, Potter wrote: "Tesla isn't just another company...Tesla engenders optimism, freedom, defiance, and a host of other emotions that, in our view, other companies cannot replicate."

Jeffrey Gundlach, who oversees over assets at  DoubleLine Capital, said to Reuters last week: "As a car company alone, Tesla is crazy high valuation. As a battery company - one that expands and innovates substantially - maybe the valuation can work."




Skeptics believe Tesla 's company is at risk of being overtaken by GM, Ford and manufacturers working to bring on their own electric-vehicle offerings.

Still, nothing beats a classic Chevy Bel Air, right?!



Read about those here.... 

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Not Your Typical Barn Find – The Million Dollar 1950 Ferrari 166MM Barchetta

JohnCool CarsApril 11, 20170 Comment

rare barn finds 166M ferrari barchetta

A MILLION-DOLLAR BARN FIND: 1950 Ferrari 166M Barchetta

Only 25 Ferrari 166MM Barchettas were made and they are nearly all accounted for or still in existance, so how did this one gather desert dust in a barn for decades?





When you typically hear of a barn find - the phrase conjures up an image of a dusty old car scored for a deal from an original owner in their 80's looking to get rid of their car. A barn find is a creeky classic or muscle car that you can flip for good profits with little work needed to clean it up and start the engine.


Barn Finds a million dollar 1950 166M Ferrari Barchettas




That's for your typical find... But the story of Manny Del Arroz's Ferrari barn find is far from ordinary - the owners were asking a high price.



This Was Not Just Any Barn Find...



The car is a 1950 Ferrari 166MM Barchetta. According to Michael T. Lynch, an automotive historian who specializes in Ferraris, "This was the car that made Ferrari."


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The Story Behind the 166M Ferrari


Lynch believes that possibly 50 years ago, a  guy living in Europe, maybe serving in the U.S. military, found the 166MM in a used car showroom in Lausanne, Switzerland.


He then contacted his friend, Reg Lee Litton, in Scottsdale, Ariz., who was familiar with Ferraris.



Litton had his friend buy it and ship it. The Ferrari went for maybe $5,000 to $8,000.


Litton got it running and would meet with friends to race all over the Arizona valley before going home to talk about it over a few beers. Eventually the Ferrari needed work.... And this is when the now iconic race car was put away in the back yard, covered with some rugs and black plastic.



Over time, the coverings were removed and the car was left to open sky. Sadly, this is how the Ferrari remained until Litton died.



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Left with a 6-figure car, Litton's children put it up for sale... but not on Craigslist.

Litton's family was asking for a little over a million for the rare car and the word was put out to catch the attention of Ferrari seekers world wide.



Del Arroz said that he was first tipped off about the car's availability by a Swiss Ferrari historian named Marcel Massini.

"I saw photographs of the car, and I was very intrigued because of its originality," Del Arroz said. "You just don't see these things."


He bought it sight unseen.


Classic Race Car Driven by the Best...


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Adding to this already incredible story, Del Arroz and Massini found out that his 166M Ferrari had raced at some of the famous races of the day, such as Le Mans, Silverstone, Targa Florio and was driven by none other than Juan Manuel Fangio.



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What an awesome story, huh?



If you liked "Not Your Typical Barn Find - The Million Dollar 1950 Ferrari 166MM Barchetta" you might also like to check out a related post:



American Classic Car Icons: The Tri-Five Chevrolet

JohnCool CarsApril 5, 20170 Comment

Tri-Five Chevrolet 57 Chevy Classic Cars in Florida

There is no doubt that the Tri-Five Chevrolet is the most iconic American car.


It has long the favorite with the hot rod and collector crowd and John Russo at Palm Beach Custom’s first car was a ’57 Chevy (learn more about us here).


This classic car has recently attained automotive immortality status. How do we know?


Well, they’re making brand new tri-five chevrolets from scratch!



See an All New Steel Body for a Tri-Five Chevrolet Being Built...


For a little over $180,000 you can buy new 1957 Bel Air 2-Door Sedan, Hardtop, or Convertible assembled from GM licensed reproduction steel bodies and parts. We’re building them at Palm Beach Customs in Florida at our shop – see our Tri-Five Chevy Build Here if you’re curious.


Order your Tri Five Chevrolet



The history behind the ’57 Chevy (and its ’55 – ’56 predecessors) really cool (we think) and worth know if you’re interested in these American icons.


Beginning with the 1955 Chevy


The ’55 Chevy model was completely new in every way when it was first introduced to the public. Especially if you think about the soon-to-be legendary small-block V8 engine it came with.


The ’55 – ’57 was surprisingly compact, especially compared to its successors in later years. At 196 inches long and 72 inches wide and weighing in at a light 3150lbs this size car was what many Americans at the time (and today) prefer.


With the Chevy’s upright-style seating, there was room for about 6 people. Unfortunately by today’s standards, the 1955 Chevy might seem a bit small for 6 people.


This balanced package of size, weight and dimensions paired with good performance, efficiency and easy handling was never again replicated. The Big Three (Ford, Chevy, and Chrysler) were determined to churn out lower, longer, wider and heavier models.

tri-five cherolet 1955 chevy original ad american classic cars in florida


Tri-Chevrolet Small Block V8 Engine Stood Above the Rest


Chevy’s all-new small block V8 is an important player the Tri-Five Chevy history. It was the most advanced American engine produced during this time due to the compact size, light weight (from new thin-wall casting techniques) and its efficient cylinder head design.


This Chevy small block engine becomed the most produced engine in history - over 90 million! In 1955, in the ’55 Chevy, its lively performance, smoothness and efficiency were appreciated at the start.


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Further, compared to the competition produced by Ford and Chrysler, the ‘55 Chevy just looked clean, sophisticated and upscale. Sales jumped almost 50% and eager buyers got their hands on 1.7 million of these cars.


Introducing the 1957 Chevy...


By 1957, the small block V8 grew to 283 cubic inches. The fuel-injected version cranked-out up to 283 horsepower. With a power-to-weight ratio comparable to today’s WRX, these cars hauled ass to say it simply!


Check out this old 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Commerical...



The tri-five Chevy quickly replaced the ’32 Ford and the flathead V8 as the iconic generational car and the hot-rod legend was born.


The Race Between Ford, Chevy, and Chrysler – the end of the Tri-Five Chevy Era


Ford and Chrysler were determined to beat GM and they rolled out completely different cars that were longer-lower-wider 1957 models. Because the Chevy had been all-new in 1955, GM decided to simply tack on a face-lift to the 55-56 Chevy. But no one was fooled that this was a new car, the ’57 Chevy was just a ’56 that sported fins.


However, this inability to beat Ford and Chrysler became a critical step to the eventual beatification of the ’57 Chevy.


Tri-Five Chevrolet 57 Chevy Classic Cars in Florida



Sure enough, the Chevrolet got clobbered as Ford went for the gold for the first time since 1929.


But the all-new Fords, and the “Suddenly it’s 1960” 1957 Plymouths and Dodges were horribly built. Doors sagged, windows didn’t seal, and water leaks were characteristic - especially in the Chrysler models.


Meanwhile, the little Chevy, now in its third year of production remained as solid as a brick house.


1955 Chevrolet Production Line...




The huge Chrysler cars drove GM to replace their all-new ’58 models with the batwing look.


In just two years’ time, Chevys became huge barges like their competitors, sufficiently losing the excellent build quality and performance.



The race between the Big Three to build oversized vehicles resulted in cars that were no match in quality compared to the tri-five chevys.


The Start of the Tri-Five Chevrolet as an Iconic American Classic Car


Soon, the new winged land-yachts were being avoided by customers looking for a quality vehicle. Used tri-five Chevys were suddenly prized for their quality, trim size and good handling..


It’s surprising that Chevrolet has yet to bring back the set of classic ingredients that made the Tri-Five Chevys winners to this day.





Hope you liked this Post American Classic Car Icons: The Tri-Five Chevrolet. 


You might also like to read about another American Classic - the Lincoln Zephyr 


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