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Route 66 Rambler

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Posted
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#64142 (In Topic #13837)
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Fan in action

Automotive history site and discussion forum

Route 66 Rambler

My site is about the history of American Motors/Rambler. Most people don't realize the importance this company had in the development of the American automobile industry. Although AMC/Rambler was small for a car company, especially when compared to the Big Three, the fact remains that hundreds of thousands of these cars were produced yearly up through 1988. There are a lot of owners and fans that don't really have the type of resources available to restore, repair or study the history on these cars that is available to the average Ford, GM or Chrysler enthusiast.

A few years ago there was a lot of fighting going on in this branch of the hobby, and I felt it would help to bring the various clubs back together if they understood the long and proud history of our favorite car company. I started a website that was encyclopedic in nature, and later that developed an offshoot discussion forum, The AMC Heritage Forum. The problem has always been to find a way and combine all the information stored on the main site, with the discussions ongoing in the forum. The forum helps to gather a lot of information, and it would be helpful if it was integrated with the main site.

On the main site I have evolved from HTML to a wiki, to various permutations of WordPress, TinyPortal and other systems, and the last couple of years I have been running TikiWiki in an attempt to combine the forum into the main site. The forum, however, has been running on SMF, a great forum software, but incompatible with the TikiWiki's forum software. This meant the forum was being copied over one post and one member at a time. And I was growing increasingly frustrated with the inevitable down time every time the software was updated. The last time, a couple of weeks ago, was the straw that broke the camel's back, and I began investigating once more into the various CMS systems available. Somewhere in there I came across OCPortal, and was VERY intrigued by the fact that SMF forums can be imported into the system.

The site is under way with OCPortal now, after importing the forum, and I couldn't be happier. There is still a huge amount of work to do transferring pictures, articles and all the other stuff from the TikiWiki, and of course to configure and theme the OCPortal installation. If you visit the site, please keep that part in mind. My membership has been most understanding with the changes over the years, but the one thing they insisted on was that they wanted SMF-like operation and appearance out of the forum. Now we finally have integrated our information-gathering engine, The AMC Heritage Forum, with the encyclopedic front end to the site, and I'm looking forward to what is yet to come.

One of the single biggest factors for the decision to use OCPortal besides the forum compatibility, is the excellent responses and the good work I see coming from the support system here. Add to that the backing of a an actual software company rather than a group of hobbyists and professors, and I'm sold big time.

Congratulations, OCProducts, you have met some very demanding criteria to be chosen as the basis for this particular web site. I have other projects that will also be receiving the OCPortal treatment. Another project is similar in scope to Route 66 Rambler, but will be covering Americana and nostalgia from the 1890s until 1980(the period before the interstate highway system).

But Route 66 Rambler is my main baby, and I finally feel that I have roped in the project concept with this particular software, after a very intensive six year search.
-mike
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Posted
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#64144
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Community saint

I read your fascinating backdrop story with great interest and I'm sure glad you finally found a home for your Route 66 Rambler, Mike!

I remember years back driving a Gremlin and being proud of its fastback sports-car appearance.

I'm looking forward to see your site mature into the ocPortal engine!

Welcome to this friendly community and do not hesitate to ask for anything that can help make your transition as smooth as possible.

Have a nice trip!:)
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Posted
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#64145
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Community saint

Welcome, Mike.

Visited your site. Looks like you're already a veteran of ocPortal design.

Good job!

 :thumbs:

Take my advice. I'm not using it!

View my working ocPortal site (version 9.x.x) at Anglo-Indian Portal
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Posted
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#64151
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Community saint

Jean said

I read your fascinating backdrop story with great interest and I'm sure glad you finally found a home for your Route 66 Rambler, Mike!

I second that!  :thumbs:
Was a nice read.

Another welcome to ocPortal. Not much of a motor/rambler hobbyist, but those who are will definetly enjoy your site. Keep up the good work!

Eric DeMars . com
My electronic portfolio and personal site. Uses ocPortal!
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Posted
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#64155
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Fan in action

Thanks for the kind words, guys.  I am curious about the use of catalogues for the next phase of this site's installation.

That involves two features, one is the "Lost Dealership Project", of which various galleries are featured on the main page.

In that one, we are cataloguing all the dealerships of various companies in the Rambler lineage, it will total thousands in the end and already has hundreds of dealerships listed, most of them include pictures in various categories that show the dealer name or the building.

The other is an original feature of the site that has earned it a reputation for importance in our hobby.  It is an archival library of magazine, newspaper and original stories, sales brochures, corporate papers, technical manuals, wiring diagrams and the like, indexed by type and date.

This has so far been best realized by the TikiWiki and by WordPress combined with Gallery2.

It strikes me that the catalogue concept could be applied to either concept, but I'm not sure how I would apply a framework and rules to the catalogue pages to achieve a couple of reference libraries.

I have thousands of pictures and hundreds of articles and books, ads, etc. already online and needing to be linked into the site in an orderly and accessible manner, to make it easy to look up a part number, news article, famous ad, or a paint color for a '39 Nash, for example.

I realize this isn't the support area for this stuff, but a point to a good area of the site where I can get a grasp of it would be appreciated.
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