Archive for the ‘detroit’ Tag

1950 Dodge Coronet Diplomat

In 1949-50, a hot new fad was sweeping through the auto industry: the hardtop convertible. Here’s Dodge’s contribution to the styling trend, the 1950 Coronet Diplomat.

When first you hear it, the term “hardtop convertible” sounds like an oxymoron—like “constant variable” or “jumbo shrimp.” Hold on, and we’ll make some sense of it. In the late ’40s, industry product planners discovered that many new car buyers, especially young people, purchased convertibles but then seldom if ever took down the tops. Perplexed by this curious fact—convertibles were significantly more expensive than sedans—they investigated further.

Through interviews, they learned that many owners simply preferred the convertible’s sporty styling and its lower, sleeker roof. Buyers also appreciated the lack of a fixed pillar between the front and rear side glasses. With both windows rolled down, the long, open expanse created the fresh-air feel of a convertible without the exposure to sun and wind that resulted when the top was folded down.

Armed with this knowledge, the automakers quickly responded with a new body style called the hardtop convertible: It had a low roofline and roll-down windows with no center post, but with a fixed steel roof replacing the folding fabric top. This new two-door body type offered both a price savings for customers and a tidy profit for carmakers. The public quickly shortened the awkward term “hardtop convertible” to simply “hardtop,” and a popular Detroit body style took root.

Dodge’s version of the hardtop, the handsome 1950 Coronet Diplomat, matched the traditional soft-top convertible in sales in its very first year. The hardtop model was renamed Sport in 1954, then rebadged again in 1955 as the Lancer. While they no longer refer strictly to hardtop body styles, the Diplomat, Sport and Lancer nameplates have appeared and reappeared on various Dodge models throughout the brand’s history. The most recent Lancer and Diplomat models were offered in 1989.


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Presenting the Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition

Chrysler has partnered with award-winning designer and Detroit native John Varvatos to create a new Chrysler 300 with strong design cues, high-end finishes and emboldened performance. It’s the Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition. We can’t wait for you to see it.

From the outside in, it reflects the renowned designer’s hard-edged style with muted metallic details, hand-stitched accents and textured metals. And beneath it all is the exceptionally engineered Chrysler 300 — the brand’s flagship sedan.

The hardcore style of John Varvatos meets Chrysler pedigree to give this Chrysler 300C an edge that can only come from Detroit. Find out more about the world of John Varvatos at

To see this fashion-forward vehicle and learn more about the partnership between Chrysler and John Varvatos, click HERE to Sign Up for Updates.

Who will win game 4 tonight of the ALDS?

The Yankees need to save their season, and, lo and behold, A.J. Burnett is the one who will try to ensure that happens.

It took an interesting turn of events — perhaps Yankees fans would call it a cruel twist of fate — but with the Yanks needing to win Game 4 of the American League Division Series on Tuesday to force a Game 5 at Yankee Stadium, it’ll be the enigmatic Burnett trying to come through against young-but-tenured Tigers starter Rick Porcello.

Burnett knows about all the criticism, all the insecurities and all the doubt surrounding whether he can continue to be a productive member of the Yanks’ rotation.

Apparently, he listens to none of it.

“Believe it or not, I’ve got pretty good confidence every start,” said Burnett, who’s 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in six postseason starts. “I try to go out and believe I can throw a no-hitter. Even last year, when I couldn’t get out of the first inning, I still took the mound with belief, and I did so this year.”

Burnett has put up a 5.20 ERA the last two seasons, and in 2011, he set career highs in homers and wild pitches, all while contributing just 10 quality starts in 32 appearances.

For that, Burnett initially found himself out of the playoff rotation — before Friday’s suspended game forced manager Joe Girardi to go with four starters — and for that, Yankees fans are holding their collective breath with Burnett getting ready to take the mound in a big start.

He gets all that.

But he has a message.

“You can’t count me out,” Burnett said on Monday. “I’m going to bring everything I’ve got and just let A.J. loose out there.”

In Detroit manager Jim Leyland’s words, the man he’ll be letting loose is “Jekyll and Hyde.”

That’s what Porcello and his heavy sinker were throughout the regular season.

The 22-year-old right-hander went 5-0 with a 3.06 ERA in July, struggled toward a 6.82 ERA in August, then finished the season going 4-1 with a 3.55 ERA in September.

“What you have to remember about Rick Porcello is he’s still a very, very young pitcher,” Leyland said. “I think he’s won 38 games in the Major Leagues already, but he’s still a young pitcher. So those things are going to happen. There’s no question about that. Figuring out big league hitters, figuring out how to calm down, figuring out how to have just enough adrenaline and not too much adrenaline. He’s figuring it all out in the process.”

Porcello, who tied his a career-high in wins (14) and set a new one in innings (182) in his third full season, is a New Jersey kid who grew up a Mets fan. His parents, however, always cheered on the Yankees.

“Mom loves Derek Jeter,” Porcello said. “Might like him more than me.”

Now Porcello has a chance to finish off those Yankees.

Yankees: Big bats still cold
The middle of the Bombers’ order went 0-for-10 in Monday’s 5-4 Game 2 loss. Robinson Cano finished 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-2 with two walks and Mark Teixeira went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

For A-Rod and Teixeira, the two hitters counted on to ensure Cano doesn’t get pitched around too much, perhaps it’s especially troubling. The two are a combined 1-for-21 in the series.

But Girardi didn’t echo any concerns following Game 2.

Regarding A-Rod, Girardi said: “He had an RBI and two walks tonight. He was on base twice and drove in a run. I know he didn’t hit a home run, but he was on base, and that’s what you want guys to do, is get on.”

Regarding Teixeira, he said: “He lined out to left. … You’re facing good pitchers. Teams don’t get to this point by having not good staffs. They make good pitches. [Tigers ace Justin] Verlander, it’s not like you’re facing a guy that they pulled out of the stands tonight.”

Tigers: Valverde conquers adventures
In the end, it’s simple: Closer Jose Valverde has held on to both ninth-inning leads he’s been given in this series.

But his adventurous ninth innings have been anything but simple.

Valverde gave up two earned runs on two hits and two walks in Sunday’s outing. On Monday, he put the tying run in scoring position and had to strike out Derek Jeter to end it.

Valverde went 49-for-49 in saves this season. But tough predicaments are nothing new.

“He does get into problems,” Leyland said. “We know they’re going to run on him in certain situations. You can’t do much better than what he’s done up to this point. So we feel comfortable with him.”

Worth noting
• Monday’s crowd of 43,581 marked the largest in postseason history at Comerica Park.

• Opposing right-handed batters hit .248 against Porcello this season, while opposing lefties hit .321.

• Brett Gardner, who went 2-for-3 with two RBIs on Monday, has appeared in 26 of the Yanks’ 27 postseason games since 2009

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2WordStory Campaign Spreads to Northville

More than 500 interdenominational churches have joined the campaign to uplift Metro Detroit.

Ken Skinner knew he had a story to tell.  He just wasn’t sure people wanted to hear it.

Still, he began sharing it—with friends, with his pastor, with members of his Bible study group.

“I told it to a bunch of people,” said Skinner, 31, of Livonia. “I would tell my story, and then I would try to figure out what word or what idea or concept really came out as I told my story.”

With prayer, he said he found it: His story was about confidence—how he lacked it without Jesus, and, he says, how he gained it when he returned to the church four years ago. In two words, his story is: “Confident? Confident.”

Skinner joins 18 other metro Detroiters at who have shared their stories—all the same word repeated, first as a question, and again as an answer—as part of an unprecedented, multidenominational, 530-church campaign aimed at injecting faith and hope into Detroit and its suburbs.

The campaign originated in Novi but quickly expanded: Churches include dozens in Dearborn, Detroit, Livonia, Farmington, Warren and beyond. They span from Flat Rock to Port Huron and from Lake St. Clair to Brighton.

One participating church in Northville is the First Baptist Church on Wing St.

2WordStory has garnered attention for its catchy repetition, meant to symbolize the uncertainty that the storyteller had without Jesus, and how his or her life has changed with Him.

Joy? Joy. Valued? Valued. Empowered? Empowered. Rescued? Rescued.

“The second word isn’t a question anymore,” explained Ron Rischer, 54, of Northville, one of the campaign’s organizers. “The second word is, ‘I’ve come to know Christ, so I have hope, I have purpose.’ There’s no question.”

An Idea Born in Novi
2WordStory was borne of another campaign called EACH, or Everyone a Chance to Hear. That was the brainchild of Pastor Bob Shirock of Oak Pointe Church in Novi, said Rischer, EACH’s executive director.

Shirock got the idea after seeing missionaries at work in the Phillipines and India, said Oak Pointe’s Executive Director Jim Bahbah.

“After interacting with those believers that were having such a great impact in their countries, he came back here and said he was driving from his house to his church, about three miles, looking at the homes and thinking of all the people who didn’t know what’s going on inside the four walls of our church, let alone know anything about Jesus,” said Bahbah, of Novi.

The initial idea was for the church to reach out to residents living in a 12-mile radius to spread the gospel, but that soon blossomed into reaching out to other churches.

Shirock contacted First Baptist Church of Northville, among others, said Keith Bushey, 64, of Redford Township, an elder and a Sunday school teacher there.

“At first we were probably like other people, thinking, ‘What is this? What are they trying to do?’ But when we looked into it and saw it was an outreach program for people in our community, we really enjoyed it,” Bushey said.

Bahbah, also of Novi, said the church had seven other churches on board in January 2010; by April 2011, more than 500 had joined, including many in Detroit.

After all, Rischer said, “We’re all Detroiters.…We believe that Detroit still is the epicenter here. If Detroit can get turned around, so can the rest of the region.”

Giving Back to Detroit
2WordStory has piqued region-wide interest with its stark and enigmatic T-shirts and yard signs, but EACH is about more than one publicity campaign, said volunteer Mark Besh, 55, of West Bloomfield. It’s about reaching out to people in need, especially those hardest hit by the economy’s downswing.

Several churches contacted by Patch said that Time magazine’s recent description of Detroit as a disaster area was one impetus for the campaign.

Pastor Jeremy Gyorke, who founded the Wyandotte Family Church with his wife Julie in September, said he learned about the budding coalition in the fall and was immediately on board.

“It’s always neat to see churches of all different denominations come together,” said Gyorke, 32, of Wyandotte. “What we believe in together far outweighs how we differ.”

Some churches were more leery than others, especially those in Detroit—“probably because of the scars of the past,” Rischer said. “The Detroit reaction was, ‘Who are you, what is this about, what are you trying to get accomplished.’ It took time to get started.”

A steering committee was formed that included members of churches from across the region, a cross-section of denominations, races and geography. EACH began sponsoring job fairs and providing medical treatment. The goals were both micro—such as feeding the homeless for an afternoon—and macro—such as backing Life Remodeled, an endeavor inspired by Extreme Makeover: Home Edition that provided a needy family with a new home, as well as financial and psychological counseling.

But it has been 2WordStory that’s had most people talking so far, said Skinner, a member of Ekklesia in Westland. Congregants were asked to wear their two-word story on T-shirts while doing good deeds for a 40-day span beginning on Easter Sunday.

The good deeds were appreciated, and the T-shirts always seemed to spark a conversation, Skinner said.

“2Word lets us be Jesus in our community, really,” he said. “When Jesus walked into a colony, he did good deeds and he shared what he knew to be true.”

Paul Kwasniewski, minister of discipleship at Dearborn Free Methodist Church, said that one congregant likened EACH to a woman in her second trimester of pregnancy: “She will begin to show soon,” he said in an email to Patch. “Our hope and prayer is that God will use the efforts of the 500-plus churches involved in EACH to see our area turn from a dim candle to a beacon of light for our area and the country.”

As for 2WordStory, he said it’s a tool meant to provoke questions. The T-shirts, bus ads and banners are meant to work service projects, such as food distribution and medical assistance.

The ultimate goal, Gyorke said, is to uplift Detroit and the rest of the region. Even though the 40 days after Easter have passed, the campaign seems to be maintaining momentum. As of Tuesday, a Facebook fan page had 3,800 followers and counting.

“Christ is hope and light and healing and salvation and freedom,” Gyorke said. “He’s what a lot of people are looking for right now, and it’s been phenomenal.”

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