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



  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,372
    There was a navy blue '64 2-door Chevelle wagon on eBay last year, that was beautiful and authentic (restored as original). We "discussed" how rare it was then! It was a 283 4-speed. Only 2,700-odd of those built (Chevelle 2-door wagons for '64, in total) IIRC--them's Studebaker numbers!

    We had a family friend who in the late '60's had a '64 Chevelle 2-door wagon, six with stick, and a '60 Lark VIII 4-door. Before my appreciation of Studebakers was fully-formed then (!), I kidded the owner about the Lark. I remember him saying, "That Lark will run rings around the Chevy".

    Not sure about numbers, but as posted above, the two-door Chevelle wagon continued into the '65 model run. I'd imagine it was even rarer then than in '64. Too bad it was only offered in the cheapo 300 series, as it had rather Nomad-like side window treatment. Handsome cars.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,424
    edited October 2012
    ...of this discussion that's a bit too restrictive. I know many posts here (mine included) are for cars that are neither 'obscure' nor 'classic'. More of mine are just pre-1980 cars I'm surprised to see on the road.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,372
    The whole discussion began with how "obscure" a 9,900 mile 1971 full-size Chevrolet with six-cylinder and three-speed on the column was. I think any old (I'm with you, pre'80 seems like a good starting point) car is worthy of discussion here, regardless of make, model, or units sold.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,699
    edited October 2012
    Well one reason some cars are "obscure" is that nobody wanted them when new. "Obscure" is not necessarily a complimentary term all by itself. Some of the worst, ugliest, worthless, most incompetent cars in the world are "obscure".

    Perhaps the actual flavor of this topic is the amazement of seeing some of these old clunkers still on the road.

    Naming "obscure" cars is easy, but actually seeing them running is another matter entirely.

    "Obscurity" in our case seems to be more a compliment to the car's endurance rather than it being anything special in itself---although the two can go hand in hand as well.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,943
    Maybe "obscure" can be defined as something like "not often seen on the road". As time goes on, once ordinary cars become unusual.

    A few odd cars this morning - late Porsche 944, Saab 9000, 300TD wagon, ~1989 Riviera, 85-88 Cressida.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    This is the only time I've seen the last generation Saab 9-5 on the road. This one was being driven. I don't know how many of these Saab made before the company shut down, but it must have been a small number. It looked larger and more upscale than the previous generation 9-5.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,017
    I never really thought of Seattle as a place to see old cars, but a couple of years ago while on vacation in Oregon I saw more than a few, so I guess it makes sense. People always think of LA or Arizona when you mention old cars and the West, and there are quite a few. But the town where I consistently noticed a lot of old cars being driven is actually around San Francisco. I'd have never equated that either until I saw it multiple times (but not so much in San Jose - go figure).
  • yeah that's what I keep telling people--some of the cars posted here I see on the streets all the time, just bangin' away in daily use. I really should take more photos of old beaters on the streets in San Francisco.

    I see a lot of Darts, old Volvo 122s and occasional 544s, VW bugs, VW vans, 70s wagons, lots of old pickups, fintail Benzes and plenty of W123s---that sort of thing.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,602
    the beauty of a land that never discovered road salt.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,943
    edited October 2012
    Seattle is similar - mild climate is wonderful for old cars. Cars will rust here, but it usually takes 30 or so years for anything to set in, and by then most uncared for cars will be worn out naturally.

    I too see some slant 6 era Mopars regularly, W123s are a daily sight, several W114/115/116 cars still running around, 70s and 80s Japanese stuff, W110 fintails aren't unknown, old VWs and Volvos have their cult, and any old domestics aren't unusual.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,372
    The old cars I see most regularly in rusty NE OH are B-body GM's from the '80's and '90's--mostly Caprices, but also Roadmasters, LeSabres, etc.
  • Another phenomenon of the west coast that's tough for "salt state" folks to get their heads around is that many of these 70s and 60s cars, especially the 4-doors, are still dirt cheap. Even some 50s cars are roaming the streets, or parked in alleys, and while hardly pristine, and often beat up, are still very restorable and complete and also dirt cheap.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,943
    And often, old material still ends up at the crusher here.

    Some odd things that might not survive in many places - a few random malaise era survivor oddballs picked from CL:

    Not many of these left

    Nor these

    Dreamer, but maybe the best survivor

    Longest ad ever

    And another

    This is "obscure" due to it being a weirdly optioned Euro model

    Once common, now hen's teeth

    Project car hell

    Glass house


    Period colors
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 1,552
    The Caprice is about the only interesting thing there. Nice car.

    Why would someone use "The Club" on a '79 Datsun 210? I would think a sign saying "Please steal this car" would be more appropriate.

    2011 Buick Regal Turbo, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,943
    Some kind of hipster irony, maybe.

    Not much of interest in the list, yes, but stuff that mostly didn't survive in harsher climates.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,372
    edited October 2012
    That is a very nice Caprice, although the Rally Wheels aren't period-correct and it has the typical dash pad cracks. Rest of the interior looks great though...that's the optional Custom interior and doesn't appear to have the usual color fading. I wonder if the dash pads are being reproduced.

    At the time, those cars drove beautifully, especially with the F41 suspension. Smooth but taut, and incredibly quiet inside.

    One would think the dealer would've removed the $1,995 stickers from the car before advertising it online for $3,000!

    The four-door Cutlass Salon is sort-of interesting to me. Good suspension pieces for the time. I think two things about it are unusual: vinyl interior instead of the usually-seen corduroy, and column shift. The body side molding, outside, appears added later as factory moldings that year weren't that wide. I always thought it was odd that GM would offer you bucket seats but make you take the console and floor shift as a separate option from the buckets. When I see a '60's or '70's GM with buckets and column shift, it always makes me think that whomever ordered the car thought the console came with the bucket seats and the salesman wasn't any smarter.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,424
    I love that Saab ad: "I have a 79 99 gl saloon that is a good running car just needs the clutch replaced which I have and paid $200.The water pump leaks a little water (Cant be driven far because of this, but I can trailer it to your house )."

    So "a good running car" that "just needs the clutch replaced" and "cant be driven far" because of a bad water pump... :sick:
  • Well it's okay if all of them go to the crusher. These aren't precious works of art after all. We can't save every car made just because it's old. If the old car is still useful, I hope someone buys it and uses it up, as intended. What better fate for a faithful old car, but to expire while in service?

    There's no sense storing or restoring any of these cars, that I can see. None have any particular historical significance worth mentioning.
  • michaellmichaell Posts: 4,300
    None have any particular historical significance

    I think that is the crux of the argument. Most old cars are restored not because of their potential historical significance but rather for emotional reasons.

    For example, I would love to get hold of a 1967 Mercury Monterey coupe, because that's what I remember my grandmother driving when I was younger. I was able to drive it on a few occasions and have fond memories.

    Was it a great car? Probably not. Historical significance? Hardly. It was a boat, equipped with a 390 ci V8 and a 3 speed auto.

    Just would be cool to have one to drive on warm summer evenings.
  • Well in that case better to find a running survivor--you'll end up paying less and enjoying it more, than if you went through an expensive restoration where you'd be bottom-up for life.
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