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I spotted an (insert obscure car name here) classic car today!

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  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 2,346
    The Fox-based 1980-82 Thunderbird qualifies in my book as one of the worst-styled American cars ever. They shrunk the previous generation but kept all the same styling cues and it looked terrible. I can never get past the fat-hipped look of the rear quarters and the narrow rear track under it. But that is only one of many sins with that design. Just awful overall, so the '83 aero look was badly needed.

    2014 Cadillac ATS4 2.0T, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,293
    I was going to say, I wish large windows were still "modern" in terms of being contemporary.

    Regarding malaisey Birds, I will somewhat ashamedly admit that I don't mind the 77-79 style, it has a certain angular downsized late disco era panache.
  • magnettemagnette London UKPosts: 1,952
    edited October 2013
    Went out a couple of times in the Magnette at the weekend - it still looks terrible with rusty bits, the awful colour etc, but is booked in for bodywork in February so it should start to look a bit more presentable by about April. I have been buying a few repair sections for the rusty rear wheel arches, and the offside front wing which is pretty bad at the bottom, although quite good on top except a half inch round the headlight which is like a lace curtain. Funnily enough the other side is good. The rear wings need some work too - the bottom four inches from the rear of the wheel arch round to the point where the main lower rear panel fits is all filler on both sides - although its been like that for about forty years now so it is really cosmetic rather than essential as my view is I want it all done properly once and for all and then it should see me out.
    Another problem is storage - we are lucky as we own a garage round the corner from our house but it is in a block of about a dozen, and a few nights ago someone broke in to a few neighbours garages. They didn't touch ours luckily but I am going to improve the security by fitting a proper bar lock gadget that stops the door being forced open - it involves cementing an anchorage into the concrete though so I've got my local builder coming to do that tomorrow morning and until then our Alfa is parked across the garage to secure it (and the one next to it where a 1952 Fiat 500c resides as that guy is away for a few days). He's lucky as no-one touched his garage either but he told me he has engine troubles so no doubt he will be off the road for a while anyway. It's always a problem with a garage remote from the house - I don't think people will break in to get the car - its just as likely they are looking for tools or all the crap people put in storage - one of the garages was used for storing furniture as someone who owns it is mid-divorce and she told me she lost some non-car stuff apparently.

    Anyway when out and about this weekend I saw a couple of old cars - an Austin Allegro - in the original period ochre brown colour which is not very pretty, but still it looked in better shape than most cars from 1975.

    Also saw a sixties VW camper, a Morris Minor which looked really ratty and a Ford Capri III which is quite tidy but has some damage on the rear.

    Some time last week I saw a Humber Sceptre - the early version with the oval back lights - I've seen the car before but only when driving along so I've never had a close look at it.

    Will see less old cars now for the next few months as winter approaches - once we salt the roads it becomes a problem but in London that isn't frequent so it is really just that the weather isn't always the best to enjoy a car with lousy heating and ventilation.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,524
    edited October 2013
    I think the '83 Thunderbird still seems fairly contemporary by today's standards. At the time, I remember thinking it seemed smaller in the back seat than GM's squarish 'personal luxury coupes', but even though I could still enjoy an '83 or later GM RWD midsize coupe, the T-Bird has stood the test of time better.

    One thing I never understood about Ford...and I'm including T-Birds up through '71 or so, then '80 and later, was...they seemed to offer a lot of cars with buckets and console, but often paired a console with a column shift.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    I found this gem of a Volvo on Ebay not too long ago:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=390683486216

    I know you like 122s, more so than P1800s so I thought I'd send this one along. I recently got to drive a '68 122 and found that it was more fun to toss around than the '70 144 I drove last year.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    They probably kept the column shift to save money. One shift lineage, column etc. typical cost cutting for the times.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,621
    wow, that is nice. and if I had one, just about exactly what I would do to it (upgrade wise). Except for a set of minilites. I think they look real good on a 122.

    313K on it? Pretty nice for that miles. And while I know this might be the best example in the country, bids over 36K already? yowza.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,136
    Oh, GM's Monte Carlo, Grand Prix, et al of that era were definitely bigger inside, in almost every dimension, than the '83-88 T-bird and Cougar. Larger trunks, as well. I also remember my buddy's '86 T-bird having a much nicer interior than any Monte Carlo of the time, although to be fair, it was one of those designer editions like an Elan or Fila, so it was probably a lot more expensive.

    I'm not sure how the '80-82 T-bird stacked up for interior room, though. I can't remember ever being in one, or a similar-vintage Cougar XR-7. The EPA lists them at only 93 cubic feet of passenger volume and an 18 cubic foot trunk, in comparison to 92/15 for the '83, so apparently the earlier Fox-based ones were still pretty small inside. In comparison, something like a Monte Carlo, Grand Prix, etc, was around 97/16, and the 1980-83 Dodge Mirada/Chrysler Cordoba were rated at 100/17.

    I wish the EPA showed the interior volumes on earlier cars, but their online records only go back to 1978. Didn't the EPA start testing cars in 1975 though?
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    I always though the 83+ Tbird/Cougar seemed more upscale than they were. They were available with just about every option the Mark VII could have. The only thing is I don't think they got the HO V8 until the body style change in 89 but i could be mistaken.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,136
    I seem to recall that when the '89 T-bird came out, you couldn't get a V-8 at all, just a 140 hp 3.8 V-6 as the base engine, or a supercharged V-6 with something like 230? I think the 302 did come back after a couple years, and then a couple years after that was replaced by the 4.6?
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,524
    That's my memory as well, andre. The '89 Thunderbird was on a much longer wheelbase than the previous year, with a roomier backseat, but I remember hearing they came in overbudget in both weight and cost. I never liked them nearly as well as I liked the '87-88. My friend and coworker who has owned nothing but Fords and has the '13 Escape now, had a charcoaly-blue '87 Turbo Coupe with navy blue cloth interior. I thought it was striking.

    Back to the '86 Monte Carlo--I'm all for 'piano black' trim on the dash, like the '81 Malibu Classic had, but what they used on the '86 was a flatter black that didn't look nearly as nice I don't think. I hated how in '85 the glovebox knob and lock went from chrome-finish to black, also. I will say I did like the '87 and '88 CL interior--it was a loose-pillow look in velour (of course).
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,293
    edited October 2013
    The Toronado that parks in the same garage with my fintail and a few other old cars has a new partner:

    image

    Decent driver condition, has spinner style hubcaps with 80s style raised letter tires:

    image

    Speaking of Toros, today I saw the white XS that I see a few times a year in my area.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,621
    I give up. how can you open the monster doors on either one of those beasts to get in without caving in the side of the other?

    Well, the Pancho is just a big car. That era toro was a monstrosity of a tank. I had no problem driving a 26'box Frieghtliner ryder truck in traffic, and it would terrify me trying to maneuver that Olds. Just way too much hood I guess.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,293
    edited October 2013
    I was thinking about that. I'd wager the same person owns both cars. I guess move the Toro out, back the Bonneville in, exit passenger door, back Toro in, exit passenger door, and hope nobody is parked on the other side (if that also isn't his car). Very large cars, parked close together.

    My fintail is parked in a spot like the Pontiac, apparently with a stuck parking brake.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,524
    edited October 2013
    That Bonneville is a '64. You'll have to check next time, if it might have buckets and console, neat and desirable in a Bonneville I think.

    Stickguy mentioned the hood on the Toronado--the Bonnevilles of the early '60's actually seemed to have short-hood/long-deck styling, which seems a tad weird to me now. I love the interiors though, and think the '65-68 Bonnevilles are gorgeous in and out. Not a fan of the big Bonneville 'flying saucer' emblem which is on the front fenders of the car in the pic...glad they dropped that for '66.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,204
    Would be a nice companion for my Brougham if I ever get it back.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,204
    I know. My Dad had a 1981 T-Bird. He was so proud of it, though. Thought that he had "arrived."
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,524
    Well, to be fair to the '80 Thunderbird, I was pretty horrified when I first saw a new '78 Monte Carlo. It tried to keep a lot of the same styling cues but not very successfully IMHO. I mind it a lot less now but then and now, I'd prefer a well-equiped Malibu Classic to a Monte. Olds did that downsize in the specialty coupe segment best in '78 IMHO.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,136
    I agree, that the Cutlass Supreme coupe came off the best, when those personal luxury coupes downsized for 1978, although I don't mind the Monte Carlo, Grand Prix, or Regal. The only thing I don't like about the Grand Prix is the headlight treatment, with the turn signal in between the headlights. I never did like that. It wasn't too bad on the bigger '77, but on the narrower '78, it just didn't work, IMO. It made the grille too narrow. And I did think the Cutlass, Regal, and Monte Carlo seemed to lose a bit of status in going from quad headlights to singles.

    I guess the biggest losers in that '78 downsizing were the "aeroback" Century and Cutlass Salon sedans and coupes. Those things were very poor sellers. Thankfully GM saw fit to revise the rooflines of the sedans for 1980, which revived sales. Century Cutlass Salon coupe sales were so non-existent though, that they simply let those die off after 1980.

    My favorite downsized personal luxury coupe from that dark era is the 1980 Cordoba/Mirada. I thought those had very nice lines overall, and I actually prefer them, slightly, to the 1979 Cordoba/Magnum. Chrysler's cars were the least-downsized, though. The 1979's were on a 115" wb and around 215" long, while the 1980-83 were on a 112.7" wb and around 209-210" long.

    In comparison, I think the T-bird went from around 114" wb and 215" length to around 108.4" wb and 202" long. I believe the Monte Carlo/Grand Prix went from a 116" wb and around 215" long, to 108.1" and around 200-202. The Cutlass Supreme and Regal had been on a slightly shorter 112" wb and I think were around 208" long, and the downsizing put them to the same size as the Monte/Grand Prix.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,926
    Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks the Volvo 122 was the best car ever made in the world. But I rather doubt I'd pay $36K for one. I'd be more inclined to rebuild one the way I wanted to be used as an everyday car, with fuel injection, vintage AC, better seats and probably a Tremec 5 speed. I really don't want to deal with delicate 60s era British overdrives anymore. They are a devil to repair on an otherwise simple, rugged, easy to fix car.

    I often wondered if a BMW 6 cylinder motor would fit in one of those.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,204
    I don't know if you've ever watched "King of the Hill," but Peggy Hill's car appears to be an early 1980s Buick Century sedan:

    image
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,136
    I always thought that, too, Lemko. If you look at it in the opening credits, the way the rear slopes off really makes me think of a midsized Buick. I had always though maybe an '80-81 Century. But, judging from that pic you posted with the quad headlights, it would be an '82-84 Regal.

    I think there actually was an episode or two where they referred to the car as a Buick.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,293
    Funny, I have noticed that too. Definitely one of the "formal" middle GM sedans from that era.

    My friend with the 83 and 85 Monte Carlos would say his 83 was a car that Peggy Hill would drive.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,261
    "it would terrify me trying to maneuver that Olds. Just way too much hood I guess. "

    Heck Stick, you just gotta go back to the day. A couple of martini's and a cigar - no problem!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,136
    Well, the Pancho is just a big car. That era toro was a monstrosity of a tank. I had no problem driving a 26'box Frieghtliner ryder truck in traffic, and it would terrify me trying to maneuver that Olds.

    Believe it or not, that '64 Bonneville and early 70's Toronado are very close in size. The Bonneville is on a 123" wheelbase, and 220" long. The Toro is on a 122" wb, and around 220-221" long.

    The Toronado is mostly hood though, so that might make it a bit more intimidating than the Bonneville to drive. But it would probably handle better, thanks to a more modern suspension, quicker steering, smaller steering wheel, disc brakes, larger radial tires, etc.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,524
    I've long thought that the car Peggy Hill drove was a Buick Century 4-door--it's almost a dead ringer for a real car! I don't remember two or four headlights, though.

    I know Hank drove a Ranger. I remember one time they showed him crossing into Arkansas, where the sign said "Home of President Bill Clinton". They then showed Hank hitting the power door lock button on the inner door panel of the Ranger! LOL
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,293
    Yep, in early episodes Hank had a 1993 style Ranger, which was sometimes an anachronism, as it would be talked about like he had it since the 80s. Around the year 2000, there was an episode where the old truck died, and was replaced with an F250 style model.

    I think I watched too much TV ;)
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 2,346
    On the '78/'79, I liked the Regal styling best, because the front end was a bit more distinctive than the Cutlass. Didn't mind the GP, hated the Monte those years.

    In '80 when GM grafted quad headlights on those front ends that previously had duals I didn't think any of them came off very well, but again preferred the Regal.

    For '81 and up I liked the Cutlass best, with the Regal a close second.

    2014 Cadillac ATS4 2.0T, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,136
    In '80 when GM grafted quad headlights on those front ends that previously had duals I didn't think any of them came off very well, but again preferred the Regal.

    I had forgotten that the Regal went to quads for '80 as well as the Cutlass and Monte. Had to google some pics to refresh my memory. And yeah, I agree, it's about the most tasteful of the bunch. Actually, I think it's a slight improvement over 1978-79. As for the Cutlass, I don't mind either way. I think the Monte is a step down, but I think part of the problem is that eggcrate grille they went to the same year.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,136
    Yeah, I remember that episode. I think Bobby wandered off and got lost in the wilderness, in the rain, and Hank went and rescued him in the F250, taking it places that the old Ranger couldn't go because of the higher clearance, 4wd, etc.

    Did Peggy ever get a new car, or did she keep that Buick til the end?

    I also remember Hank's father, or was it Peggy's, who drove an '86-90 style Eldorado?
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