Welcome to Lyons On Wheels

I’m Dan Lyons – a writer/photographer, with a specialty in automobiles, new and old.  I write new car reviews, a classic car column and a classic car blog for the Times Union newspaper.  I've penned six books on classic cars, and photographed over 150 calendars to date. 

As you browse through my site, you can preview all of my latest columns here.  Click on the links, and they’ll take you to the complete articles on the Times Union’s site.  We’ll also be archiving older articles, so you can catch up on any classic car pieces that you might have missed, or check out a review of a past year's car.  If you're shopping for a new car, my Links page gives you one-stop access to all of the automaker's websites, for more information. 

You’ll also find some samples of my photography here, as well as news of any new projects that I’m working on (calendars, books, etc.).   Thanks for stopping by. 


New Car Reviews

2015 Ford Edge


2015 Volvo S60 T5 Drive-E


2015 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab V6 4x4


2015 Porsche Macan Turbo


Featured Classic

1957 Dodge D-100 Sweptside

Dodge had a problem.  They were a day late and a dollar short.  Late, because Chevy was already out of the gate with the dressy, upscale Cameo Carrier pickup (and Ford was soon to follow, with their half car/half truck Ranchero).  Short, because there wasn’t enough money on hand for anything more than a modest makeover.
 

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1963 Chrysler New Yorker Salon hardtop sedan

Wrapping something old in something new is a time-honored practice for marketing.  That’s certainly true for automakers, where the economics of manufacturing simply don’t allow for all new products, every year.  True now, true then, and the lineup that Chrysler rolled out fifty years ago was a case in point.  The chiseled, conservative styling for 1963 was new, courtesy of designer Elwood Engel.  Beneath the skin, though, the cars were largely unchanged from 1962.  However, Chrysler showed uncommon  confidence in the carry-over.  At a time when extended warranties were largely unheard of, the company announced a five year/50,000 mile plan for their 1963 models, and in the process, caught the competition napping.

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What’s New


I'm happy to announce that my Classic Car blog on Timesunion.com won the Best of Internet award at the International Automotive Media Awards this year.


Recent Blog Posts

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Rear View Mirror: 1954 Chevy Bel Air

Chevy’s 1954 models were the last of the first. The company’s first post-war designs made their début in 1949, but by ’54, it was the end of the line.  An all-new Chevy would appear in 1955, and the splash that these cars made would forever turn the spotlight towards the end of the decade, and away from the beginning.  Too bad, because this post-’55 popularity kept a lot of people from realizing what a tidy package Chevy had put together one year earlier.
 


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Rear View Mirror: 1955 Ford Thunderbird

These days, Corvette is Chevy’s flagship, and Thunderbird is in dry-dock – a victim of slow sales.  Sixty years ago, it was a different story.  When Thunderbird made its début in 1955, Corvette was teetering on the brink of extinction.


Monday, May 04, 2015

Rear View Mirror: 1957 Ford Ranchero

Half car, half truck – the idea seems logical enough.  In these days of sport utes/station wagon hybrids, we’re used to mixed breeds.  In the Fifties, though, this was radical stuff.  Ranchero wasn’t the first to plow this ground in the states; Hudson and Studebaker had done so decades before.  But, buyers weren’t ready then, and the concept crumbled.  When Ford revisited the idea in 1957, people listened with open ears – and wallets.
 




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