Glamor Truck From Planet 8: The 1955 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier

Hard as it is now to envision, there was a time, still within living memory, when trucks were not readily accepted in American polite society. One of the most significant harbingers of the transition to our modern era of pampered, luxurious utility vehicles was this rare truck: the 1955 to 1958 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier (and its even rarer brother, the GMC Suburban Pickup).
Continue Reading Glamor Truck From Planet 8: The 1955 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier

New Content

If you were wondering, yes, that is a new article. Those of you who don’t share my fascination with the original Hydra-Matic transmission will not be cheered, but I thought the saga of the Rolls-Royce license-built versions (yes, versions, something I didn’t know until recently) deserved a more in-depth discussion than a side note in the original Hydra-Matic article.

ETA 10 September 2022: This also is a new article.

Don’t Call It Hydra-Matic: The Rolls-Royce and Bentley Automatic Gearbox

Although the Hydra-Matic transmission was first used by Oldsmobile and Cadillac, the final user was not a GM division, but Rolls-Royce, which used its own license-built versions of this highly successful GM transmission from 1953 to 1978. This included an unusual, short-lived variation for the early Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and Bentley T-Series — the last iteration of the original Hydra-Matic transmission. In this installment of Ate Up With Motor, we take a look at the upper-crust British career of this venerable American automatic transmission.
Continue Reading Don’t Call It Hydra-Matic: The Rolls-Royce and Bentley Automatic Gearbox

Hiding the Box

I’ve had to change the mechanism for hiding the “Support Ate Up With Motor” box and its embedded PayPal payment button, as the old option was no longer working correctly. The new option is available by clicking “Privacy Preferences” on the bottom banner when you first arrive, or clicking “Access Your Privacy and Cookie Preferences” button on the Privacy Tools page afterward. The “Consent Management” tab now includes a toggle switch for “Allow PayPal Button”; turning that off should prevent the “Support Ate Up With Motor” box from loading. No box, no embedded PayPal content.

If you turned the box off previously, your old setting will no longer work. (I apologize for that, but it was the only way I could get the option to work as intended, and the new approach should make it easier to find and adjust that setting.) As before, this setting is stored in a cookie — it’s now stored in the same cookie as the Privacy Policy consent — so if you clear your cookies or access the site from a different device or browser, you’ll need to set it again.

To Content or Not to Content

I have recently been working on some articles as possible new Ate Up With Motor content:

  1. 1955–1958 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier (which would be the first time I’ve dealt with anything truck-like since the Ranchero and El Camino)
  2. 1961–1963 Pontiac Tempest (the “rope-drive” senior compact).

I’m not yet sure what I’m going to do with these. The incentive for publishing new content here is limited at this point, and there are many compelling reasons not to, beginning with the fact that I don’t have ANY photos of either these vehicles and would have to find some (which might be enough to talk me out of it, frankly). However, I do have an actual draft of the Cameo Carrier article, and have started on the Tempest one. The latter has intrigued me for a while, since the rope-drive cars are such an odd interlude when it comes to American cars.

Twilight of the Analytics, Part 2

I have now discontinued my use of Google Analytics tracking on the Ate Up With Motor website, and I have initiated the process of deleting the existing analytics data. If you already have analytics cookies (and/or analytics consent cookies) on your device, they will remain until they expire (which may take some time) or until you delete them, but they will no longer function.

At this point, my intention is to retain only whatever bits of analytics data I may have included in past email messages. For example, if at some point I sent someone an email along the lines of “According to my Google Analytics data, the site had X unique visitors in June, up from Y in May,” or “Right now, the analytics data shows that these specific articles are the most frequently viewed,” I will likely retain such email unless I have some other outstanding reason to delete it. (Most or all the data of that kind is aggregate statistics, not individual visitor data.) I’ll also likely retain Google notification emails related to the analytics service.

The complete deletion of the rest of the analytics data could take a while. According to this help page, it takes 35 days for an analytics “property” to be permanently deleted. Other Google documentation indicates that the actual deletion of data from this and other Google services is performed via scheduled “deletion processes” that take place about every two months. As best I can determine, this means that while the deleted analytics data will no longer be recoverable by me after 35 days, it may take up to about 90 days (give or take) before it’s completely gone. (ETA: I confirmed on May 11 that the property was gone from the Trash, so I can no longer recover it.)

I’ve updated the “Online Tracking” section of the Privacy Policy to reflect all this, retaining the links to the various relevant Google documents. If you have questions, please let me know.

Comment housecleaning

As a gentle reminder, Ate Up With Motor is an automotive history and commentary site, NOT a marketplace, a restoration guide, or a forum for technical advice. Therefore, it bears repeating:

  • I am NOT a mechanic or an engineer; I CANNOT tell you how to fix, modify, or restore your car or truck, or provide any technical advice. (I’m not qualified to do that.)
  • I CANNOT provide any financial advice. I can’t help you appraise cars, trucks, parts, or automotive memorabilia; I can’t advise you on how much these things are worth or whether they’d be a good investment or not. (I’m not qualified to do that either.)
  • I am NOT in the business of buying or selling cars, trucks, parts, or automotive memorabilia.
  • I CANNOT help you buy or sell cars, trucks, parts, or automotive memorabilia; Ate Up With Motor doesn’t run classified ads and is NOT intended as a forum for connecting buyers and sellers.

I’ve been telling people that over and over again since the inception of Ate Up With Motor almost 15 years ago, but I still regularly get comments asking for repair advice, for help with valuation or authentication, or to buy or sell a particular car or part, no matter how frequently and emphatically I tell people I can’t help with those things and don’t want the legal liability.

Consequently, I’ve removed quite a few older comments along those lines, and if (when!) I receive more in the future, I’m strongly considering simply deleting them. (As noted in the Comment Policy section of the Terms of Use, I reserve the right to decline to publish, unpublish, or delete any comment on this website, with or without notice.)

More administrative business

I added yet another section to the Privacy Policy and Your California Privacy Rights pages containing a summary of CCPA requests I received in the previous calendar year. You can find the table in the “California Privacy Request Metrics (Record-Keeping Disclosures)” subsections of those pages. (Both versions of the table are identical; the Your California Privacy Rights page is intended as essentially a California-specific excerpt of the Privacy Policy.) Some additional considerations below the cut:
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A Thousand Reasons Why Not: On Automotive Counterfactuals

Many discussions of automotive history center around what historians call “counterfactuals”: trying to envision what might have happened if certain things had turned out differently than they did in actual fact. For automotive enthusiasts, this often boils down to a simple question: “Why didn’t they just … ?” The answers are often equally simple — and sometimes depressingly mundane. In this editorial, I’ll talk a little about the most common reasons enthusiasts’ favorite counterfactuals never came to pass, which also reveals some of the general lessons I’ve learned about the auto business through my years of doing Ate Up With Motor.
Continue Reading A Thousand Reasons Why Not: On Automotive Counterfactuals

The Defunct Facebook Page

As some visitors are aware, I used to have a Facebook Page for Ate Up With Motor, which was deactivated when I closed my Facebook account for good in December 2018. I had thought that I downloaded an offline copy of all the data from the Page along with the personal data from my account, but I recently discovered that I was mistaken, and in fact I actually retain very little of the content, comments, and messages from that Facebook Page. Since my account has long since been removed, it’s much too late for me to try to download that data again.

How that happened is a long, dumb story, but the bottom line is that if you sent me messages through the Facebook Page for Ate Up With Motor, left comments or posted on that Page, and/or shared media there, it is likely that I no longer retain or have access to that data. I retain a smattering of information in the form of old notification emails (and some bits and pieces of information that I saved or recorded separately for some specific reason, such as if someone provided research suggestions or article corrections), and I DO have an archive of comments and messages I sent or received directly (that is, as Aaron Severson rather than as Ate Up With Motor), but that’s about it. While people did sometimes share car photos and/or videos on the Facebook Page, I made a point of NOT downloading offline copies of that media unless the photographers had expressly authorized me to use their images on the Ate Up With Motor website (and I didn’t always get around to it even then, for which I’m now kicking myself).

It seems likely that Facebook still retains at least some of that information — for instance, if you are a Facebook user and left comments on the Facebook Page for Ate Up With Motor at some point in the past, those comments are probably still listed in your Activity History. Questions about what data Facebook retains and/or what options you may have for accessing or deleting it should be directed to Facebook, as that is beyond my control. (I almost certainly lack the legal standing to compel Facebook to delete someone else’s data.)

ETA: I have also discovered that the archive I’d made of the long-defunct Ate Up With Motor blog on the LiveJournal platform was no longer accessible. Again, I may retain certain related information in other forms (e.g., notification emails), but most of the data has now been deleted, and the blog itself was purged in 2014. I don’t know if LiveJournal retains information about comments or messages still-active users sent to blogs that have since been purged; I haven’t used that platform in many years because I refuse to accept their current TOS, the only binding version of which is in Russian.


Although I still don’t know what the future holds for me or Ate Up With Motor, I HAVE now renewed the domain registration for another year. Sometime in the next five weeks, I still need to renew the fictitious business name registration (which has to be done every five years and costs something in the vicinity of $40, including the fee to have the renewal form notarized) and shortly to renew the SSL certificate, but I have taken at least that step. [ETA, March 4: I’ve now renewed both the fictitious business name registration and the SSL certificate.]