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Episode 77 – Panthers, Cars & Coffee and Ice-T

Welcome to the automotive podcast that didn’t find the cats on the last show…. but we did find a 1977 Panther. More on that later in the show.

On this episode of Throwin’ Wrenches…  

  • The year…  Was 1977
  • The Chevrolet Caprice outsells the F150?  We’ll explain!  
  • Elon has a Chat GPT alternative

Remember, you can always email us at info@throwinwrenches.com or post a review on Apple Podcasts to be heard around the world!


Fort’s Toyota of Pekin



This show is named in honor of one of the worst cars ever…

Presenting The 1977 Panther 6

Base price: $52,000 / Engine: 8.2L twin-turbocharged V8 / Power: 600 hp
From Supercars.net

Ha! Just when you thought that you’d seen it all when it came to six-wheelers (see Covini C6W ), think again. The British-born Panther 6 is earlier (and therefore more original) take on the more-is-more school of thought and was believed to be a sign of future things to come at the time.

Clearly, the idea of driving a car with 4 wheels over the front axle didn’t really end up picking up steam, despite the Panther 6 – having been equipped with a formidable 8.2L twin-turbocharged Cadillac V8 which produced over 600 hp – putting in a good word for it. Only two were ever made, further underlining the ultimate failure of both the car and its message had any resonance.

Historical Headlines

USA 1977: Chevrolet Impala/Caprice takes the lead, Ford F-Series now best-selling truck

After two years of Oldsmobile domination, the Chevrolet Impala/Caprice takes advantage of its downsizing to become America’s best-selling vehicle and passenger car with a whopping 657,151 sales, up 45% on 1976. The Oldsmobile Cutlass is now #2 with sales still up year-on-year, but at a shyer 6% to 527,939 units.

In the trucks ranking, the Ford F-Series climbs onto the pole position, and has never looked back since, holding the title of America’s best-selling truck for 34 consecutive years!

Back to passenger cars to salute the 3rd place of the Ford LTD, up 5% on last year to reach 380,499 sales, followed by the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, down one spot to #4. There are 3 newcomers in the Top 10: the Ford Granada directly to 5th place with 355,186 sales, the Ford Thunderbird at #6 and 325,153 units and the Buick Century in 10th position with 279,657 sales.

World News

Porsche 356: 75th Anniversary” Celebrates the Sports Car’s Diamond Jubilee and Doesn’t Shy Away from the Model’s Dark Wartime Past

Source: Car & Driver

Gordon Maltby bought his first Porsche 50 years ago and his latest just this year. Between those two purchases, he has owned around three dozen cars from the sporting German marque. But he has always been fond of the 356.

In fact, he wrote one of the first comprehensive books on the model, Porsche 356 and RS Spyders, in 1991, and for decades acted as the editor-in-chief of 356 Registry, the official magazine of the 356 owners’ club. “The 356, of course, is the original Porsche,” he says.

Now, Maltby has taken that longtime love of the brand and nameplate and assembled it all into a fascinating, well-written, and beautifully illustrated coffee table book, Porsche 356: 75th Anniversary (Motorbooks, $75). And it’s coming out just in time for the bathtub-shaped sports car’s diamond jubilee.

The book’s strength lies in its straightforward writing dosed with just the right amount of technical detail. It also benefits from comprehensive storytelling with plenty of insider anecdotes and delves deeply into the complex history of the manufacturing of the 356, an area that has not been substantially covered in previous accounts of the model’s 17-year lifespan.

“The book specifically is focused on the relationship between Reutter and Porsche,” Maltby says, naming the local German coachbuilder (karosserie) that was responsible for constructing bodies for the 356 and executing the complex and innovative aluminum and/or steel forms.

The book is also an excellent resource on the vehicles designed and engineered in the early years of the Porsche consultancy, in the decades before 1948 when Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche released the first car to bear their last name. “I think a modern Porsche enthusiast maybe doesn’t have a very good idea of the fact that Ferdinand Porsche worked in the automotive industry for 50 years before the 356 was built.”

Ford’s Oakville plant in Canada will build EVs starting in 2024

Source: Automotive News

Ford Motor Co. on Tuesday said the previously announced $1.3 billion transformation of its Oakville Assembly Plant for electric vehicle manufacturing will begin in the second quarter of next year and take about six months to complete. During that time some of the 3,000 workers at the Ontario, Canada, site will be furloughed, although the company expects to retain virtually all of the employees when the plant comes back online at the end of 2024.

Furious drivers resort to stealing traffic cameras ahead of £12.50 daily charge

Source: The Mirror

Sadiq Khan’s Ultra Low Emission Zone scheme is already estimated to have raked in almost £250 million since it was first implemented in 2019 and more protests have been staged over its expansion. Seething Londoners have been reduced to stealing Ultra-Low Emission Zone cameras and cutting wires as fury mounts over the government’s controversial expansion.

Major Sadiq Khan is facing more backlash over his plan to include all 32 London boroughs in the idea dubbed a ‘pure money-making scheme’ by angry protestors. He yesterday defended his detested ULEZ project by claiming it will give men higher sperm counts because of the reduction in air pollution. From August 29, the enlargement will be rolled out meaning an estimated 700,000 more car owners must pay £12.50 daily charge to travel around the capital.

ULEZ cameras are reported to have been ripped from their bases and damaged with claims some of the registration detection devices have had their wires cut. City Hall said in a statement: “As of 21 March 2023, there had been 31 instances of vandalism or theft to ULEZ cameras within the expansion zone. Within the existing zone, there had been 12 instances of vandalism or theft.

National News

Why Leasing an EV Might Be the Smarter Choice Right Now

Source: NADA

Federal tax credits for electric vehicle (EV) purchases are about to disappear for many models under newly released IRS rules, but savvy shoppers are finding a workaround by leasing, rather than buying, their new car. Why it matters: President Biden’s effort to expand EV adoption through newly revised tax credits is proving to be unworkable for many of today’s models, creating confusion and frustration for automakers, dealers and consumers.

Local News

Central Illinois Cars and Coffee

Eric and Daryl break down the recent venue change for Central Illinois Cars & Coffee and the social media drama that unfolded. Tearing down one another isn’t what we need to be doing in this hobby. The moral of the story is people should be more supportive when it comes to local events. If you’ve got a better idea, get involved or start your own event.

Grinding the Gears

What do Ice T, Allen Iverson, and Rick Flair have in common?

They all pitch Car Shield!

Imagine the scene: It’s a barber shop anywhere in the United States. A barber needs advice on a repair for his car, so he asks his customer in the chair… Known automotive expert or acting as one…  ICE T!   What should he do?

Thankfully, ICE T has the answer (not the answer answer. )The Answer must have been Allan Iverson’s nickname.  Do You remember Iverson? The guy who couldn’t show up for “practice”.  Suddenly, he now knows a lot about car warranties.

If this commercial didn’t go far enough into the d level celebrity ditch,  another customer in chair chimes in… It’s a crazy-eyed Rick Flair doing his best impression of former Democratic leader Howard Dean. YEAHHHHHHHH!

Chris Berman is driving around the nation like he’s the poor mans John Madden in his CarShield MegaBus doing the worst city tour since Wesley Snipes was a spokesman for H&R Block.

OK… Eric made that part up.  It would have been better than the Berman Bus!

Cars of the Weak

Eric: Porsche 911

Source: Facebook Marketplace

Daryl: 1986 Dodge Aires LE Station Wagon – $6,999

Source: Riverside Chevrolet

You can’t go wrong with the classics! This vintage beauty is in mint condition with only 98k miles. Take a trip back in time with this wood-paneled station wagon. It will certainly have everyone talking!

This car was on BaT and sold for $4,100.

Catch you on the flipside! 

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