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

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  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,330
    Parked near the road in a driveway, with a 'For Sale' sign. Looked to be in pretty good shape. Memories of my white '61 Corvair 700 sedan came to mind and I was fleetingly tempted to look into it. Then more memories of my '61 Corvair 700 sedan came to mind and I kept driving.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv, 2001 Jaguar XK cnv, 1985 MB 380SE (the best of the lot)

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    edited September 2013
    Yesterday I took a college friend and her husband for a ride down Route 5 just slightly west of Erie, PA (we were at the lake for our annual college friends reunion at one who owns a lakeside house), and saw three Corvairs, in two different places...a black '63 Monza coupe 4-speed, and in the other place a '63 convertible and a '64 convertible. The black car was in the best shape. After Studebakers, I'd want Corvairs next, but I bet I'd even have more trouble finding a place to work on a Corvair than a Studebaker, unfortunately.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,116
    White 1977-78 Lincoln Versailles with blue top and trim in a Pep Boys parking lot in Willow Grove, PA.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,620
    So.. that's where the last one is...

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,846
    Nah, there's a really nice one that shows up every year at the car show Lemko, Keystonecarfan, and I hit out in Macungie PA every year.

    image

    Even though the similar-vintage Seville was probably a superior car in just about every respect, I kinda like the Versaille, in a weird sort of way. I think they're decent looking, but the problem is that it's just so blatantly obvious what it's based on. GM did a much better job of hiding the Seville's Nova underpinnings.

    In a similar vein, I think Ford had a problem with the more recent Zephyr/Mark Z. Nice looking car, but there's no hiding the fact that it was just a tarted up Fusion. I do think they're doing a better job with the latest iteration, though.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    " I do think they're doing a better job with the latest iteration, though. "

    Yeah, that's a pretty sharp car IMO.

    I've never been a fan of the Versailles, although for the times the interior wasn't too bad.

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

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,146
    out driving around this AM, a Volare. 2 door, with spoilers, etc. Did not see the badging, but some version of an RT or Roadrunner sports model. actually kind of liked it!

    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: 33,499
    In 1988, a flighty female relative of mine was gifted a pristine 78 Versailles by a family member. I remember going with her to pick it up (as she knew I liked cars) - as an 11 year old, I thought it was amazingly nice, it was also loaded - had moonroof, stereo, etc. I remember the ride home in it, listening to the radio and enjoying the cushy leather seats. Sadly, she ruined it within a year, I can't remember if she crashed it or killed the transmission. I want to say it was a silver and dark grey two tone.

    And now she is a settled down grandma who drives a Suburban.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,846
    Back in late 1994 or early 1995, I drove a '79 Volare with a 360-4bbl that a guy was trying to sell. It wasn't a Roadrunner, but it still had that hot engine, and did have a spoiler on it. He only wanted $500 for it. It was in fairly good shape for the most part, but the ignition was messed up, where you could start it with anything that you could stick in there, and it had a big dent in one of the rear quarters.

    However, it didn't impress me all that much, because it didn't feel any quicker than the '68 Dart I was driving at the time, which just had a 318-2bbl. But, for 1979 standards it was about as musclecar-esque as you could get, most likely. By that time, GM wouldn't let you get anything bigger than a 301/305 in their downsized intermediates, with the exception of something like ~2499 Olds 350's that they slipped into the Cutlass Supreme to make the Hurst one year. And Ford wasn't doing anything hot with their Fairmont, although as light as they were, I imagine a 302-equipped model was pretty decent for the era.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,138
    "Lincoln Versailles"

    Ah, a Granada with lipstick. Maybe a small step up from a Cadillac Cimmaron Cavalier. Detroit took on a BMW 3 - Not!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,499
    80s day this morning - saw an immaculate 85 Ciera, an 86 (it said so on the plate) 560SL with real wire wheels (not my taste), and an 87-88 DeVille with alloy wheels rather than wire caps.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    True in a way, but the Versailles was more luxurious than the Cimmaron; cushier ride, more upscale interior. Although I never rode in a Versailles, my perception, based on a few Granada V8s I drove, was that the Versailles was a decent Sunday cruiser, and didn't pretend to be a BMW alternative. It was marketed to folks who sought domestic luxury in a trimmer package. The Versailles achieved that modest goal better than the Cimarron, though probably not as well as the Seville.

    I think that Cadillac aimed the Seville at luxury import buyers, whereas Lincoln's marketing goal was more modest.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I still very-much like those '70's Sevilles, in and out. I remember Betty White's pastel light green with white vinyl top one being for sale a couple years ago...a distinctive color combination.

    GM did a far-better job (IMHO) differentiating the Seville from its humble origins. I'd be surprised if a single piece of glass or sheetmetal of a Seville interchanged with a Nova. On the other hand, a Versailles WAS a Granada--even the instrument panel if I recall correctly. I did like the screaming turquoise metallic offered on the Versailles. I seem to remember a similar color on '79 Cadillacs.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,499
    edited September 2013
    The Versailles was pretty shameless as a Granada spinoff (and the Granada itself was shamelessly marketed as some kind of affordable Mercedes), but it was much nicer trimmed than a Cimarron, from what I have seen. I think the Lincoln was seen as more of a "right size" car for the same people who would buy a larger car, whereas the Seville was definitely influenced by more trim and less glitzy European cars. Maybe the first admission that MB and BMW were taking a bite out of premium sales.

    Funny thing, the bustleback Seville that replaced the clean 75-79 piled on the ostentation again, trying to mimic a 1940s Rolls Royce. I'll admit I like the bustlebacks though, at least one that is properly optioned.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,846
    I thought at first perhaps the windshield, A-pillars, and basic structure of the front doors was the same as a Nova and Seville, but upon closer inspection, even those details seem different. While the Nova was more angular than in the past, the Seville seems a bit more, still. I imagine the cowl and B-pillar are in the same spot though, with the Seville's extra ~3.3" going in aft of the B.

    Unfortunately, the one area where the Nova's roots showed through in the Seville, to me at least, was the seating position. Not enough legroom, windshield, dash, and steering wheel too close for my comfort, etc.

    It's been ages since I've sat in a Granada though, so I can't remember how it, and the Versailles, would compare. I still had my '89 Gran Fury when I did though, and I do remember the Gran Fury seemed a lot bigger inside.

    Judging just on looks, I think the Seville has it all over the Versailles. And of course Chrysler didn't have anything in that prestige class at the time. But, if I was going to choose one of those "small" luxury cars from that era, I think I would've gone with a fully-loaded '77-79 LeBaron or Diplomat, and just pocketed the savings. For being a guzzied up Volare, those suckers could be optioned up VERY nicely inside, with leather and whatnot. Even a regular Volare or Aspen could be pretty nice, if you opted for the Premier and S/E models. But the LeBaron/Diplomat looked much more "important".
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,846
    If I had to drive the car on a regular basis, I'd take a Bustleback over the Nova-based Seville any day, mainly because of the aforementioned seat comfort issue. As nice as the first Seville is, it still feels like a compact to me. But the Bustleback feels more like a full-sized car, just narrowed down to a roomy 4-seater. But it still has thick, plush, comfy seats, good legroom, etc.

    And if you get the 1980, they're actually somewhat quick with the Caddy 368. MT tested one and got 0-60 in around 10.6 seconds. The first-gen was more like 12-13, according to most tests I've seen.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,499
    edited September 2013
    I remember seeing a pic of an old lady driving a Nova Seville, and thinking the same thing - it wasn't particularly roomy. They are fairly attractive from outside anyway.

    A 1980 Seville with metallic paint in a light/medium blue, or blue two tone (I suppose some silvers and greys would be ok too), grey, dark blue or maybe beige/tan/creme leather, moonroof, no vinyl top, no faux Rolls grille or junk on the back, alloy style wheels instead of wires or caps, etc, would be a fairly cool car.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,510
    edited September 2013
    Nevermind, need to up my reading comprehension...
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,735
    edited September 2013
    I imagine the cowl and B-pillar are in the same spot though, with the Seville's extra ~3.3" going in aft of the B.

    I'd say that would be correct. According to wiki, the 75-76 models had a mandatory vinyl roof as the roof was made of two stampings: the X body front and then a special C pillar for the Seville.

    Also interesting - the first 2000 Sevilles were all exactly the same in color and equipment so workers could ramp up their skills.

    Personally, I'd take a non bustle back, black and silver two tone. Although, I lover the bustle back back then, I think the RWD Gen 1 is better looking today.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    Yeah, the bustleback Sevilles were neat, in their way. However, they were also a marketing and image continuity mistake, in my opinion. That's because they sent a confusing message regarding what the Seville stood for. It's one thing to offer a domestic alternative to the premium German brands, and quite another to do a cheap imitation of a super premium marque. To be clear, by super premium I'm referring to RR's price, not engineering and quality.

    One of the cardinal rules of marketing and product positioning is to not confuse the buyer. To me, the bustleback Seville was Cadillac's equivalent to the Granada/Monarch, albeit in different ways. Although each of these models were cheap imitations, I think that most Granada/Monarch buyers knew they weren't getting Mercedes engineering and refinement, but the huge sales made them very successful. There was similarity in that the Granada/Monarch and Seville were short-term shots in the arm, then suffered setbacks.

    Had Cadillac put its resources into refining and improving the original Seville in its second iteration, it probably would have improved its long-term prospects. Also, Cadillac should have differentiated itself from the lower priced GM brands by remaining RWD. In fact, the Olds 98/Aurora and Buick Electra/Park Avenue/Riviera should also have remained RWD. In fairness, though, I'll readily acknowledge that it's much easier to make these observations in hindsight than when tasked with doing product planning years in advance, as auto industry engineers and execs must do.

    Circling back to the Versailles, I don't think it damaged the Lincoln brand too much, especially compared with what the Cimarron did to Cadillac. The Versailles was soon forgotten, but the Cimarron is still ridiculed as Cadillac's folly, much as the Vega was Chevy's folly and the Aztek was Pontiac's.
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