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

18808818838858861077

Comments

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    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: 5,539
    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: 7,494
    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.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    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.

    MODERATOR

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,594
    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: 4,193
    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: 4,159
    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).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    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.

    MODERATOR

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,298
    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: 33,594
    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: 7,494
    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.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    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.

    MODERATOR

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,594
    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

    Big

    Period colors
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 1,808
    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: 33,594
    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: 7,494
    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: 5,539
    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:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    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.

    MODERATOR

  • michaellnomichaellno 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.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    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.

    MODERATOR

  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    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.

    I have little skill to do a restoration, so I'd certainly find a nice one to clean up and drive.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    edited October 2012
    I actually had a driver, body-on restoration done on my '63 Lark. I was a little upside down in it, but not too much when I sold it last year. Of course, the fact that I didn't have over $900 in NOS bumpers and guards, door handles, headlight rims, doors, rear quarters, trunk lid, rear bumper panel, grille surround panel, plus another $300 in NOS soft interior trim didn't hurt. These were all things I found out after buying the car for purely emotional reasons. All that stuff is higher now, of course. I found a guy three hours away who specialized in Studebakers, had done several AACA Junior and Senior First cars as well as First Place S.D.C. award winners, and who at the time charged $21 an hour (early '90's). He did a beautiful paint job in Deltron, which isn't legal anymore, and did quite a bit of rust repair (mostly floors). I think I was lucky at that time.

    A full-size '67 Mercury coupe is a handsome car. I'd imagine nice ones are out there. Good luck!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,193
    NOS, NOS, I should know what it means and will probably give myself a dope slap when you tell me, but what does it mean?
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,769
    New Old Stock
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,338
    Did it strike anyone else that the list contained several mid to late '70s smaller model Japanese cars and all but one of them were automatics? An automatic transmission was not common in these cars. Perhaps an automatic resulted in less stress on the engine, making it more likely to survive. Of course, it is also possible that anyone who got an auto in one of those cars sure as heck wasn't going to drive it hard trying to extract maximum performance from it. It didn't have any performance to offer.

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

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,594
    edited October 2012
    To be fair, I didn't post those cars because they are cool or worthy of restoration - I posted them because they survived, and in 90% of the country, they were off the road 20 or more years ago. It was to show the stuff that survives here. Yes, nobody is going to miss a 79 Datsun sedan, but there are probably more still on the road within an hour of me than in the entire northeast or rust belt.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,594
    That's not a bad theory. And also, those autos were often not very durable - so that might make the cars even less common.
  • jljacjljac Posts: 649
    edited October 2012
    I gotta say, Stude somehow, in their Lark, Hawk, and Avanti, found ways to squeeze all the instruments in the cluster in front of the driver

    I always liked the Studebaker dashboard/ instrument panels, especially the 1955 Speedster panel I posted earlier. By comparison, here is the 1955 Thunderbird instrument panel
    image

    In defense of the T-Bird, they had bucket seats first. A neighbor had a 1958 or 59 T-bird and I thought the bucket seats were so cool.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I like two-seat 'Birds--who doesn't?!--but I think their instrument panels aped the big Fords. A panel I always liked was the '56 Ford--simple and elegant and functional. I like '56 Fords, overall, a lot too...'57 and '58's too (I know I'm alone on that last one!).
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