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January 2010 (Archived)

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Thursday, January 28, 2010 3:42:29 PM

On Tuesday, January 26, 2010 Automotive Mileposts was offline for approximately 9 hours. This was due to a server restart that resulted in a RAID array that was degraded and needed to be rebuilt. Services were stopped on the server during the rebuild period, which resulted in the site being unavailable during this time.

Our apologies for any inconvenience, as these things sometimes happen and can't always be avoided. Server maintenance is usually scheduled for early morning hours to minimize disruption to visitors, but servers often have other plans. We have a Site Status page [link opens in new window or tab] that you can check for known site issues. (Of course, the site must be available to view that page!) Again, we're sorry if the downtime was a problem for you, and we appreciate the time you spend at Automotive Mileposts.

Friday, January 22, 2010 11:13:35 AM

We're in the process of updating our navigational menu (see top of page). Due to recent changes in the latest browsers, we learned that the menu didn't appear at all for Firefox browser users, and sometimes the links didn't load for Internet Explorer users. So, we knew something had to be done about it, and the choices were to a) find a way to make the old one work in newer browsers; or b) replace it with a new menu.

We spent days looking at the options for new menus, everything from flash-based ones (which we know a lot of people don't like), to DHTML, CSS, or some combination of those. After much consideration, we decided to update the old menu for the time being. It has been tested in the latest versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox, and works in both. If you use Internet Explorer, the menu hovers at the top of the page, even as you scroll down, so it's always available when you need it. It just won't do that in Firefox, we're sorry to say.

For December, 2009, 73.3% of visitors to AM were using some version of Internet Explorer, and 16.5% were using Firefox. The other popular browsers, such as Netscape, Chrome, Safari, etc., together added up to around 10%, so the vast majority of our visitors will be able to use the menu now.

We're still working out a few bugs, and we'll also be rearranging some of the links in the menu over the next couple of weeks, so if something changes, that's probably why.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010 9:35:54 AM

Image: 1966 Thunderbird Highway Pilot controlWe've added a few new things on the 1966 Thunderbirds over the past couple of weeks, and we thought we should explain why that is. We've had requests from visitors for new articles on this particular car, and this is in response to those requests. Today, we've added a new page on the 1966 Ford Thunderbird Highway Pilot Speed Control Option. Originally planned for introduction on the T-bird in 1963, it was delayed for a year due to problems. It finally debuted for 1964, but still had problems that required Ford dealers to disable the system on cars with the option until a fix could be implemented. By 1965, the system was relatively trouble free.

For 1966, Ford moved most of the major controls to the spokes of the steering wheel, a first. This required a new steering wheel design, and while the system was simple to use, the myriad components could be difficult to work on and around. Nevertheless, it was indeed one of Ford's better ideas, and one of the options that dazzled Thunderbird buyers in 1966.

Monday, January 11, 2010 7:16:17 AM

Image: 1966 Thunderbird molded headliner panels and roof consoleThe latest installation in our Technical Articles section is 1966-1967 Ford Thunderbird Contoured Headliner Repair. For just two years, Ford chose to use molded fiberboard panels overhead on a few T-bird models. These panels were separated by a roof console and brought attention to the view overhead like never before. While this gave the cars a very elegant and distinctive look when new, it made them look old before their time as used T-birds on car lots suffered from droopy headliners long before their time.

It seems the original adhesive used to bond these panels didn't have much of a life expectancy. In a hurry to make repairs on the cheap, various things have been done over the years to eliminate the sagging vinyl, and as you might expect some of them were more attractive than others.

This article walks the 1966-1967 Thunderbird owner through the removal, repair, and installation process to restore these panels to an appearance as close as possible to original. It's not a fun job, and one that needs to be done right the first time to ensure you don't find yourself needing to do it again. It takes two people at times, and with drying time will take a few days start to finish, although not entire days.

Saturday, January 09, 2010 2:29:26 PM

Featured this month in The Showroom at Automotive Mileposts: A beautiful 1970 Ford Thunderbird Four Door Landau. This beautiful white car with dark blue Alligator grain vinyl roof and matching dark blue Brougham cloth interior is in very nice condition, a testament to its caring owners over the years. Nicely equipped, it includes factory air conditioning, split bench front seats, power windows, 6-way seat, power door locks, AM/FM stereo radio, deluxe seat belts and wheel covers, and more.

If you've never driven one of these, you will be surprised at how agile and powerful they are, and how well they hold corners and hug the road. At highway speeds, they are smooth and silent runners, and you would be hard pressed to find any new vehicle that would be more comfortable to take a long trip in. Did you know that the S-bars on the exterior roof sail panels also appear inside the car with a courtesy light in the center? Combined with the center-opening rear doors, this is a very cool car.

The four door Birds were only built for five years, making these collectibles that can be truly enjoyed because it will be the only one at the show or meet you attend. Many do not realize Ford ever made a four door T-bird, so it's fun talking to people about them. The long hood and short deck profile were all the rage at the time, and there was nothing more stylish or trend setting on the road at the time. Isn't it time you stopped being a Bird watcher, and became a Bird pilot? It's the only way to fly!

Saturday, January 02, 2010 12:28:47 PM

Image: 1966 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop1966 Ford Thunderbird Body Styles takes an in-depth look at what was (and what was not) available for 1966. Was there a Landau model in 1966? (Answer: technically, no.) What is the difference between a Hardtop and a Town Hardtop? Could either be ordered with a vinyl roof? And if so, did that make them something else? Did Ford make any special or limited editions in 1966? Which models had the overhead console?

Confused? You won't be after you spend a few moments looking at this page. The 1966 Thunderbirds are among the most popular of the classic era, and Ford took some unprecedented steps to give the cars a fresh new look in its third year of this styling cycle. The result was a look that many feel is the best of the era.

Friday, January 01, 2010 8:41:50 AM unique visitors up 146% in 2009! What exactly does this mean? Unique visitors is a measurement of a web site's popularity, or reach. A unique visitor is counted as one visit during the period of measurement. Typically, if you visit the site once a day, you are counted as a unique visitor each time. If you visit the site several times within a half hour, you are only counted once. (It is a bit confusing, and it's not a perfect measurement at this time since people who share computers or IP numbers can throw off the statistics.)

Last year, our page views were up 182% as well, which means more visitors also viewed more pages during their visits. We realize with each new classic car we publish, we gain new visitors because that is their favorite. Thank you for your support this past year, and thank you for supporting our advertisers by buying things from them when you click through from our site.

This year, we completed the basic cars in Phase One of the site, and have started publishing Phase Two. We still have lots to add to Phase One, so it certainly isn't completely finished, it likely never will be since we keep adding and updating all the time. Just yesterday, in fact, we updated the 1970 Continental Mark III Production/Specifications page, which has been online since 2000. So there's always something new to see when you visit.

Thank you again for your support, and we wish you a safe, happy, and prosperous 2010.

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