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SPORTS CARS OF THE 60's

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,941
    edited May 2011
    Perhaps in some ways, but not to technical people, or to dreamers, since a '65 Mustang was about as advanced as a 1935 Buick underneath the body. It was in my opinion, praised for its "value", its affordability, its great looks, not for what it could do or how it was built (it was built rather cheesily, to say the least, but it looked *great*).

    I just don't see the two cars in the same universe much less the same showroom. It's not the same market, and lets' face it, what is less attainable is by definition more desirable to those who cannot afford a thing. The Mustang was easily bought by a secretary or the common man. So it's more Model A than E-Type.

    But yeah, people were camping out at dealerships to see the new Mustang. It certainly drummed up curiosity and a *lot* of buyers.

    But you weren't going to go 150 mph in one, get onto a race track, or go around corners really fast, and you certainly weren't going to attract a trophy wife (or husband I guess :P )

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,941
    We may have touched on this before, but in the 50s and 60s, the difference between a "sports car" and a regular passenger car in the USA was very dramatic, unlike today, when we have 4-door sport sedans that probably could have easily won LeMans in 1955!

    When you stepped out of dad's car into an MG or Jaguar or Alfa or ???, you stepped into an entirely different universe.....NOTHING was the same as in a regular passenger car, except a steering wheel and seats. The dash, the wheels, the engine, the body, everything was different, and solely dedicated to...well...sport.

    comfort? reliability? practicality? luggage space? BAH! simply "not the point of it all".

    The only reason it took a few years for Corvette to be called a "sports car" and why T-Bird and Mustang never were called that, was because Corvette didn't 'get it right' the first few years.

    The basics for a sports car were:

    bucket seats
    4-speed floor shift
    two seats or 2+2
    wire or fancy wheels
    light weight
    excellent performance and handling (for the time)

    So Corvette didn't sort all that out until (starting in) 1956 and gradually getting the braking and handling required to do something other than go fast in a straight line.

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  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,344
    Thus a '63 Fiat 1500 Spider would be a sports car while the 63 Fiat 1200 Spider would be an Italian T Bird?

    My '66 Ford Mustang GT Coupe devalues your opinion of 1st generation Stangs so we are not always in agreement. Shelbys?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,941
    edited May 2011
    Point taken but your very nice car is not a sports car (in stock form it would not be very happy on a race track) and a Shelby is not a '65 showroom Mustang. So really, the Mustang "buzz" wasn't about performance --it was a "bang for the buck" thing.

    I think the Shelby phenomenon edged closer to the sportscar crowd, but really the Shelby 350 was a rather brutal car---sophisticated, it was not. It's not like you put on your string gloves and leather Italian driving shoes. More like a cowboy hat and a cigar.

    Ah, the 1960s....when race drivers were fat and their tires were thin!

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    Crackpipe or not, this overpriced, failed attempt at greatness can be added to the list for purposes of this topic. I can't imagine who would even cough up 25 large for this one, but it'll be interesting to see what it actually sells for.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,941
    The Mangusta is an odd duck in the sports car world---it has a lot of eye appeal, so a person is drawn to it. Then the idea of not having to deal with an exotic, french-poodle foreign engine of the 60s is also attractive--"gee, I could rebuild that myself with parts from Home Depot!".

    But then comes the sobering cold shower of reality. Trim pieces? Wheels? A steering wheel?----where on earth is THAT coming from and how much will I have to pay for it?

    Then there's the problem of "do I really want to drive this thing?" Here we have a honkin' 300HP in the same chassis as a Detomaso Vallelunga---be afraid, be very afraid.

    Would I like to take this car out for a straight line burn? Yes! Would I like to own it? No!

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    edited September 2011
    In addition to the issues you mentioned, I think the other factor that makes the Mangusta virtually worthless is that very few people are aware of its existence. Whom are you going to impress with it? And let's be truthful about it, you wouldn't pay a premium price just to impress yourself.

    As for straight line acceleration, you can buy this level or performance for less elsewhere. This car does have an exotic sounding name, though.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,941
    Well it would have limited crowd appeal as in: "What IS that, anyway?" but honestly, you could get more attention with a Nash Metropolitan, and possibly better handling :P (that was a joke).

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,525
    It looked *great*, it went *fast*, and the rest is history, yep. I think it was the only car to ever be put in the Museum of Modern Art in NY

    There is a Studebaker Avanti in the Museum of Modern Art in Paris.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,941
    edited September 2011
    The Avanti isn't a sports car however. More typically a "GT" type of car.

    Loewy was born in Paris actually. The French are fond of him.

    Are you sure you don't mean the Industrial Design exhibit at the Louvre (temporary exhibit)?

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,525
    edited September 2011
    Here's a website with that reference, but it's not the one I looked at when I posted the earlier comment. For decades, the Studebaker Drivers' Club and Avanti Owners Association International have reported that an Avanti was the first modern automobile to be showcased in an art museum, and the historians in those clubs typically are guys who will shoot down hearsay and can back up stuff.

    http://www.route66-appraisals.com/home/1963_Studebaker_Avanti.html

    I think the XKE is the best-looking import, ever, although I hate the wide whites on that '61 above. Geez, it's not a Chrysler New Yorker, it's a Jaguar XKE! I would be leery of owning one due to the widely-reported English lack of reliability, and I'm assuming parts aren't real available but could be wrong on that.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,941
    I think what people mean is that the E-Type is in the *permanent* collection in New York and was placed there when it was first built. So I think the point was that its classic design was recognized immediately--which was true--the entire world went nuts when the car was introduced. i doubt if any car has had such an initial impact culturally or globally since then, I mean from the day it was born. Moreoever, unlike many designs, there seem to be no controversy over its styling---everyone pretty much agrees that it's top cat or one of 'em anyway.

    Yes, they are tough to restore. Like many old "classics" they can be made more reliable than when they were first built.

    Also the market for them seems to have peaked at the moment.

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  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,743
    2012 is the 50th anniversary of the introduction of three remarkable British sports cars:

    -The Shelby/AC Cobra, the Anglo-American hybrid that revolutionized production sports car racing by dethroning Ferrari and Chevrolet (Corvette)

    -The Lotus Elan, the little roadster that epitomized the philosophy of Colin Chapman: "Add lightness". It also became the styling template for the Mazd Miata perhaps the most popular two-seater in history.

    -The MG-B, it brought the small bore sports car to a new level by introducing unit bodies and roll-up windows and became the most popular two-seater of the era.

    The Italians were busy in 1962 as well. Ferrari introduced the 250GTO which dominated GT racing until Shelby put aerodynamic bodywork on the Cobras (Cobra Daytona Coupe). '62 also saw the introduction of the 250GT Lusso Berlinetta arguably the most beautiful GT car ever made.

    1962 was also the last year for production of the Mercedes 300SL.

    Besides these beauties the buyer of a new sports car or GT in 1962 could also choose a:

    Jaguar E-Type, Alfa-Romeo Giulietta, Maserati 3500GT, Austin-Healey 3000 MkII, Triumph TR4,
    Chevrolet Corvette (C1), Porsche 356B.

    I still have my Road & Track 1962 Road Test Annual, it's chock full of amazing cars. I don't think there's ever been a better year to buy a new two-seater.



    -

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • berriberri Posts: 4,261
    Loewy was born in Paris actually. The French are fond of him.

    Wasn't Loewy really more salesman than designer? I seem to have gotten the impression more than a few times that he mostly took credit for others work, but that he was also one hell of a salesman. Hmm, sounds a bit like Iaccoca maybe?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,294
    Really, it was a good year to buy most classes of cars. The Big 3 were pretty decent, the indies were still alive, foreign passenger cars were interesting, lots of choices.
  • ks55ks55 Posts: 8
    Wide whitewalls were popular around this era and have to be thought of of what was in vogue at that period. Wide Whitewall tires yes, even showed up on some imports such as an E Type. Silly looky oday for sure but back then they were the rage on Domestic and even some Imports.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,743
    The width of whitewalls began to shrink during the 60s. When the decade began most were fairly wide but by '65 they had become just a thin stripe.

    In the USA most foreign and sports cars were delivered sporting whites but not many imports had them after mid-decade when red-striped tires were offered as an alternative (mainly in the aftermarket).

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

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