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Buying American Cars What Does It Mean?

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,266

    Oh I meant $20K for paint and bodywork and chrome.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,962

    Is it original paint? Originality and patina are huge right now - if it waxes up nice enough, I'd leave it be. Body and paintwork are ridiculously expensive anyway.

    @andre1969 said:

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,386

    $20k in a sit would vetch on the open market.......?

  • berriberri Posts: 4,234

    I'm a big fan of 55-58 Mopars and I'm particularly fond of the Desoto's back then. I think they just really carried the designs well.

    On another subject, I was stuck in a big traffic jam today immediately behind two white cars next to each other. One was a new Malibu, the other a new Fusion. Like the cover of an auto magazine! I think that Malibu looks kind of sharp in the rear. The Fusion seemed to kind of have a dowdy rear end. Hadn't really noticed that before. Made it look narrow and tipsy. I think they should put the current Focus rear on it instead of those dinky tail lights it currently has. OTOH, I like the Fusion front end better and I think the side profile is sort of a draw depending on whether you prefer 4 or 6 window sedan design. One rear end I really don't care for is the current Camry. Those tail lights look like it's someone in a Halloween costume.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,266

    I have seen careful color sanding bring paint back to an amazing standard--but it has to be "intact" of course.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,051

    @berri said: I'm a big fan of 55-58 Mopars and I'm particularly fond of the Desoto's back then. I think they just really carried the designs well.

    I tended to prefer the DeSotos to the Chryslers as well. I don't know though, if I'm simply biased because of the '53 Firedome sedan my Granddad got back in the late 70's, but for the most part, year for year I just tend to prefer the styling details of the DeSoto.

    @berri said: On another subject, I was stuck in a big traffic jam today immediately behind two white cars next to each other. One was a new Malibu, the other a new Fusion. Like the cover of an auto magazine! I think that Malibu looks kind of sharp in the rear. The Fusion seemed to kind of have a dowdy rear end. Hadn't really noticed that before. Made it look narrow and tipsy. I think they should put the current Focus rear on it instead of those dinky tail lights it currently has. OTOH, I like the Fusion front end better and I think the side profile is sort of a draw depending on whether you prefer 4 or 6 window sedan design. One rear end I really don't care for is the current Camry. Those tail lights look like it's someone in a Halloween costume.

    When I first started seeing pics of the new Fusion, I liked it alot, while I wasn't impressed at all with the Malibu. But, over time, I've found I'm liking the Malibu more and the Fusion less. I agree on your assessment of the Fusion's rear-end...I think that's its weakest point, whereas I think the Malibu's rump is one of its stronger features! I think the Fusion has a more youthful look to it, whereas the Malibu is more conservative, and a bit more upscale in profile.

    As for the Camry, IMO its taillights look to me like two designs got stuck together. I think they should gone one of two ways: 1) keep it off the trunk lid entirely or 2) keep the part on the trunk lid, but then get rid of the part on the rear quarter that drops below the part on the trunk.

  • berriberri Posts: 4,234

    My dad had a 54 Desoto Firedome, but I don't think that really influenced me. That car was actually a bit of a lemon. I always thought the 55 Desoto and Dodge were just nice designs. I liked the full tail lights on the 56 and 57 Chrysler, but not the partial tail lights on the 58. But maybe I like those Desoto's because they had the 3 tail lamps vertically like Impala had horizontally. I think those lights just filled the tail space very nicely. Formal, yet sporty too.

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,051

    I didn't like the shrunken taillights on the '58 Chrysler, either, but I like its front-end. In fact, to me it looks like they tried to make the Chrysler look more like a DeSoto up front in '58...perhaps they did this to try and distinguish it a bit more from Imperial?

    Maybe that was also one reason DeSoto sales fell off more in '58 than Chrysler did as well, because the cars looked more alike, so people just went for the prestige of the Chrysler name? DeSoto dropped from around 117,500 units in '57 to about 49,000 in '58. Chrysler fell from around 125,000 to about 63,000.

    I'm not sure, but I think DeSoto also raised prices a bit faster than Chrysler did around that timeframe, so that may have put the cars closer, price wise. For instance, I think the Firedome sedan went from around $2958 in 1957 to $3234 for 1959, a 9+% increase in just two years, but I'll have to look up and see if an equivalent Chrysler went up as much.

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,051
    edited May 19

    Going back to the comparison of the Malibu versus the Fusion, I was just thinking...in terms of mainstream midsized cars, I don't think there's anything out there that really gets me excited, when it comes to style. Maybe the Mazda6? I also saw one of those new, Dart-based 200C's up on a turntable at the DC auto show, and it looked pretty good in person. Better than I thought it would.

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,386

    Too bad you couldn't take the front end of a Fusion and the rear of the Malibu. That's where their strengths are, but I can't imagine the finished product would be too good.

    The other day, there was this all polished up black Fusion sneaking up on my left. I'm really digging the front. Looked great. When he passed me and I got a look at the tail talk about a disappointment. Of course I've seen that before but somehow this really stuck out.

    Andre - our 57 Custom Suburban had those giant turn signals to give the quad light effect.

  • berriberri Posts: 4,234

    Those 57 Mopar wagons were pretty sleek, particularly the roll down tailgate window. I'm not sure, but I think Rambler was the only other model that year with that rear window style, although maybe Mercury had it, can't really remember now? Made the lift tailgates look obsolete and clunky. But when I think back to those days as a little kid, the 57 wagon that seemed almost ubiquitous, at least around my Chicago suburban area, was the Ford, especially the Country Sedan (although I kind of liked the 2dr Ranch Wagon, along with the Studebaker Conestoga models that year). Oh, can't forget it was the last year for the chromed up Nomad's too. I think in general '57 and '65 are my two favorite model years for all cars.

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,386

    Yeah, I loved most all 57s. The amazing thing was that by 58 everything turned awful.

  • berriberri Posts: 4,234

    Unfortunately, too true Fezo! At least after the 65's, the 66's stayed nice.

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,386

    Good point. The 66's were nice. A lot of the 67's as well.

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,051

    I have mixed feelings about 1958. While that year takes a bad rap because of the recession, and a growing backlash against American extravagance, I actually prefer some '58 cars to their '57 counterparts.

    For instance, the entire '58 Mopar lineup is just a copy of '57, just with standard quad headlights and minor trim changes. I thought the Plymouth and Dodge were actually an improvement, partly because of the standard quads, but also because the Dodge's front-end was less hulking, while the Plymouth matched the lower stone shield to the upper grille, so it no longer looked like it was swallowing a Jeep. The DeSoto was a wash for the most part, IMO. I thought the Firesweep looked better with the standard quads, although the grilles and side trims in general were a bit busier. Chryslers still looked good IMO, despite the shrunken taillights. And Imperials looked about the same.

    With Ford, I actually prefer the '58 to the '57, because I never liked the jutting, bug-eyed look of the '57's headlights. Mercury is a wash pretty much. I don't like the looks of the '57, but I don't like the '58 either. I think Lincoln was a big step down though...the '57 was pretty attractive I thought, and managed to look trim despite its 227" length, longest of any domestic '57 production car, short of a limo. Now, the Edsel sort of speaks for itself, but my main issue with it is the center spot of the grille. The rest of the car doesn't seem too bad.

    At GM, I'm probably one of the few that prefers the '58 Chevy to the '57. Partly, perhaps, because the '57 Chevy has just had TOO much exposure and has been overplayed in our culture, but I just think the '58 has a nice, upscale look to it. Even as a little kid I preferred them. I don't think the '58 Pontiac is too bad looking, other than the headlights seeming to jut out a bit too far. But I like the '57 Pontiac as well, so it's hard for me to pick a favorite here. Buick and especially Olds, IMO, took a big step down for '58. And the Caddy got a bit garish for '58. I still like it, in its own way, but prefer the '57.

    With Rambler, I think the '58 was an improvement, with the quad headlights. At Studebaker/Packard, the poorly done quad headlights were pretty bad, but I liked the addition of the "Starlight" hardtop coupes. Packard's version of the Studebaker Hawk is pretty bad, though.

    I agree though, going into the 60's, things stayed pretty good into '66. Even '67, although by that time, the big cars started plumping up a bit. Even my ex-wife, who wasn't really into cars, took notice one day when we were at the repair shop, and there was a picture of a '66 Catalina convertible on a wall calendar. She looked at it and then asked something like "Why does ours look so fat?"

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,962

    I like the tacked on "limited edition" badge - must be a dealer installed thing, right? Even though the bordello interior is plush, I'd think that's a base car with the hubcaps and no leather.

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,778

    "Limited Edition" I always get a kick out of that. Every car ever built is a Limited Edition since at some point they won't make any more of them.

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673

    "Limited" is usually an apt description of the cars that wear that particular badge...

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,286

    My '97 Outback is a Limited. Leather, heated seats. And a fake hood scoop. Oh, and gold pinstriping!

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  • berriberri Posts: 4,234

    Wasn't there a "Frank Sinatra" version of that gen Imperial as well?

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,766

    @fintail said: I like the tacked on "limited edition" badge - must be a dealer installed thing, right? Even though the bordello interior is plush, I'd think that's a base car with the hubcaps and no leather.

    Your humor is in full swing fintail! Too funny...

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,902

    I found that car on another forum. A poster there saw the "Limited Edition" badge and correctly identified it as a stick on sold at Wal-Mart.

    Check out the Carfax - only 2,000 miles put on it in the last 10-1/2 years.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,962

    What can I say, it comes easy :smile:

    Wal Mart badges, not a good sign. Car looks nice, but is priced at least twice real world value. I don't think people line up for these things, especially basic models.

    And yes, there was a Sinatra edition. Maybe not the pinnacle of American cars - nice color anyway:

    image

    @tlong said: Your humor is in full swing fintail! Too funny...

  • berriberri Posts: 4,234

    Personally, I'm not that into bustle back styling, but I don't think Chrysler did a bad job with that design technique on this Imperial. And yeah, I much prefer the Sinatra blue to all of the ink or silver blue that is on cars these days.

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673

    The Sinatra edition also came with the complete Sinatra catalog on cassette.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,051

    That is a pretty Imperial, and I've always liked that style. It's interesting how Ford, GM, and Mopar all did their own take on the bustleback theme. I thought the Seville had sort of a neoclassic/pimpy thing going on, while the '82-87 Continental was more conservative/stuffed shirt/old fogey. But somehow, the Imperial managed to come off sleek and futuristic.

    As for trim levels, according to my old car book, all '81-83 Imperials were just "Imperial". There were no model designations such as "Limited" or whatever...at least nothing that they kept enough track of to break out sales figures. So things like a leather interior, nicer wheels, the Frank Sinatra package, etc, were all just individual options.

    Last year, a local lot had an '81 or '82 Imperial for sale, asking $3995. It was painted FS blue, but wasn't an FS Edition. Can't remember which wheels it had. It looked like a nice car. And, I think it only had about 30,000 miles on it. However, it had a little rust in one of the lower rear quarters, and had been repainted. But, it was a nice paint job, and I didn't notice the rust at first. These cars also originally came with fuel injection, which was troublesome, and most were converted to 2-bbl carburetors at some point, which was the case with this one.

    It ultimately sold apparently, because it stopped showing up on their website. But the last time I drove past the dealer, it was back on their lot.

  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175

    Little humor for the day, never heard of this guy before this.

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490

    He was a staple on the Daily Show for years. He's been around for a long time.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,962

    Good observation on the bustleback styling differences. Chrysler probably pulled it off best. I always thought the Imperial looks like a big fancy R-body coupe, which isn't being said as a bad thing, especially if one likes angular cars. The Lincoln is kind of dowdy, and the Seville is ostentatious.

    Regarding the humor, that memo from GM was hilarious. The best part is that all of those terms had likely been used. Brakes like an X-car!

    @andre1969 said: That is a pretty Imperial, and I've always liked that style

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