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.
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.
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.Read More
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.
Ah, the irony. At the dawn of the 60’s, American Motors had the third best-selling car line in the industry. They got there by building frugal economy cars, and wagging their fingers at the excesses of Detroit’s Big Three, builders of all those gas guzzlers. Then, as the decade drew to a close, there was AMC shamelessly rolling out a gas swilling, tire burning, eye-popping muscle car of its own. The change of heart seemed completely out of character; like a miser suddenly taking off on a Vegas spending spree.
The early Seventies were a transitional time for American automakers. No make was spared, as manufacturers scrambled to toe the regulatory line, while still fielding marketable products. Insurance and energy mandates were tightening the screws on the automaking process, and as a result, most things high performance were either going or already gone. Hardly the best of time to be selling sports cars, but Corvette had no choice, and went about the business of selling more and more sizzle, with as much steak as they could still get approval for.
The return of Camaro in 2010 was noteworthy, because the car had been on hiatus since 2002. Forty years earlier, when the 1970 Camaro arrived, it was news for a different reason. That was year one of generation two for Chevy’s pony car, and it had a tough act to follow.