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OLD CARS -The truth .Owners tales.How they really were.

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Comments

  • The gravity feed fuel system did leave a lot to be desired, when going up a long hill. I also think that reverse had a lower gearing that would help when going up a steep hill.
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    It wasn't just by chance that the Model-A fuel tank was located in the cowl, was it?
  • I would guess not, by mounting it on the cowl it almost always was above the carburator. Other cars of that era had a vacuum fuel pump mounted on the cowl that included a small reservoir for those times (like climbing a hill) when not enough vacuum was being created to pull fuel from the tank in the back of the car.
    When I was in high school a couple of my Dad's toys were a 1925 Model T and a 1927 Pontiac. The difference between the two was really stark. It was easy to see why Henry had to replace the Model T. I one time drove the Model T across town to put it away and bring the Pontiac home, it was like day and night, the Pontiac seemed like a modern car, even though at the time it was almost 50 years old, with a three speed transmission, clutch, gas pedal and quiet.
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    Your Model-T comparison with the Pontiac is surely a good example of Ford's overdue need to step up from the '27 Model-T. The famed Ford V8 five years later was a bold step but wouldn't you agree that Mr. Ford's stubbornness continued in several areas, notably the use of the transverse "buggy" springs for both the front and rear suspension?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    ...at an all-GM car show. That sucker had an OHV engine in it, that actually didn't look too outdated. Must've been really advanced for the time.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Mr. Ford was both a genius and a nutcase it seems. Certainly a man of many contradictions and virtues/vices. It seems he was in many ways totally ignorant yet in other ways certainly a visionary. Always interesting to think about Mr. Ford.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    Ford held onto mechanical brakes long after everybody else had gone to hydraulics. Ford's transverse "buggy springs" lasted all the way through 1948!
  • Corvettes used a transverse spring.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Speaking of advanced, I saw a '30s Bugatti racer at a concours a few years ago. The owner fired it up and to me it sounded like a Cobra 289--a very crackly, cammy small block exhaust note--not at all what I expected a '30s straight eight to sound like.

    My wife knew the owner so I mentioned this to him. I don't think he was pleased.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    They really weren't all that bad. The 62's and newer had a habit of wearing out clutches which would cause them to slip between gears.

    I remember paying (in 1968) a whopping 200.00 to have mine overhauled. I remember the guy telling me he had put in heavy duty clutch plates and more of them. After that, I had a firmer shift and no more trouble.

    I loved that car...my 62 Impala SS 300 HP 327.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Old Bugattis are pretty fierce and they still get up and go on the track. Very eccentric, complicated cars. Built by a man who was much more a designer than an engineer.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    What was the typical 1st-gear ratio for a 2-speed automatic? Didn't they usually shorten the axle ratio on cars with 2-speed automatics, to make up for the loss of a truly short first gear?

    I'd guess the biggest problem with a 2-speed would be that the engine would be revving a lot faster out on the highway, resulting in worse fuel economy.
  • When asked about his cars reputation for weak brakes Ettore Bugatti replied:

    "I build them to go fast, not to stop fast."
  • The fuel economy was surprisingly good. I used to regularly get 20mpg on the Highway in both my '63 and '66 Impala, with 283's. Intown was more like 12-14, still not bad for what in retrospect was a rather large car. Now the '73 Caprice with the 454 wouldn't pass a gas station.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Bugattis - "Hey man your Bugatti sounds like a Mustang. Cool." That's basically what I said and that's why I'll probably never see his barnful of restored cars.

    Powerglides - Top gear is 1:1 so there's no difference at cruise. The difference is in the lack of a true passing gear. I think first was around 1.72:1 (lower for the sixes and higher for the big blocks) compared to the usual 1.5:1 second in a three speed, so you ran out of passing gear more quickly. Plus 1.72 was a lot taller than the usual first gear 2.5:1 so you lost a little off the line.

    Racers couldn't wait to replace the Powerglide with a Turbo 350 but they really weren't that bad. The 'glide in my parents' '66 Impala starting slipping around 100k but the 283 had been smoking for a while so it was a group effort--and I suspect neither the engine or transmission had much maintenance.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    ...I couldn't remember exactly what 1st gear was in a Powerglide. I remember you mentioned it some time before, and I looked in my DeSoto shop manual and found out that the old 2-speed Powerflite tranny had the same ratio, 1.72:1. I think the Torqueflite had 2.45:1 for first, 1.45:1 for 2nd, and 1:1 for direct drive. The manual also lists 2 different rear ends...a 3.54:1 for the Powerflite and a 3.36:1 for the Torqueflite (although for some reason I thought my '57 had a 2.94:1)
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    It could be a 2.94--maybe you ID'ed it from the data plate. Might be the optional freeway gears.

    I did a little research and found out that the small block Powerglide had a 1.82 first--also the Corvair PG. There was a heavy-duty PG with a 1.76 first used behind the 348/305, 409/340 and 396. The HD unit was supposed to shift at 5400 rpm instead of the usual 4700.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Never heard a Bugatti that sounded like a V8, what with the different firing order and all, but they are LOUD like a V8, I'd say that.

    You should have been more diplomatic you know :)
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    It was loud, with a hard sharp note, and it sounded pretty hip to me. Of course I haven't heard many straight eights.

    Hey at least I didn't ask him if it could burn rubber.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    My current daily driver is a 1987 Chevrolet Nova (Corolla) with just 66k original miles. It has the rare CL option package that gives it velour seats, deluxe wheel covers and carpeting, and a/c. The Nova has the indestructible 1.6-liter carbureted Toyota four hooked to a 3-speed auto. My father bought the car brand-new in Dec. 1987 and it has been in the family since. Sure, it's rusty, but it still fires up with one click in the morning. And nothing ever goes wrong with it, NOTHING. We will drive it until it blows up.
  • when I had my TH350 in my truck rebuilt, my grandpa said it was the original tranny, we asked the guy if it looked like it had 330,000 on it because thats what my grandpa said. Well he said looked that way to him, says doesn't see many TH350's making it up to the 200-300k but says he sees powerglides all the time with uper 200k miles.

    shove that honda and toyota fans.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    ..............went from the most stubborn, hard starting car ('38 Olds) to one that didn't want to move in cold weather, his '47 Chevrolet with vacuum shift.

    In the winter time he almost always left the car in neutral so that he could let it run for half-hour to warm up the transmission. Until the engine got pretty warm, you couldn't move that shift lever. Once, however, my brother-in-law borrowed his car. When he brought it back he left it in gear. When my Dad went to start it the next morning he was very upset to realize that he had to sit in the car with his foot depressing the clutch until it warmed.

    He traded the '47 in for a '50 Nash.

    Dusty
  • timz58timz58 Posts: 44
    My first "real" car was a 49 Chevy Deeeeeeeeluxe Two Door Sedan. Complete with babbit beater 216 CI six cylinder and torque tube driveline. My dad had an upholstery shop at the time so the interior was genuine imitation leather (hide of the elusive nauga) tuck and roll with a new 56 Dodge Royal Blue paint job, baby moons and 1 inch white walls. The original motor went away in second gear one night between stoplights and was replaced with I believe a "Hi Torque" 261 inch unit from a chevy truck. I added Fenton headers, glass pack mufflers, an early Corvette triple side draft set up and we were ready for those flathead fords. The time spent under the car, and with my [non-permissible content removed] hanging out of the hood were some of the happiest hours of my life, right after close encounters in the back seat at the local drive in movie theater. Loved the smell of that oil and grease and the sound of that six though the noisy exhaust. The car was slow and cumbersome compared to those of today but was fairly reliable and total investment was less than $1000 of hard earned money from paper routes, working for local farmers in the hayfields and harvest and any other job I could hustle. Wouldn't trade those experiences.
  • thecpathecpa Posts: 16
    I grew up working in a garage and cars have always been important to me. I've owned over 60 cars in my life, turning over a lot of them when I was young. Now my time has come and I'm the new owner of a 1938 Mercedes Cabriolet A. My days of speed are past, its a 170 with 38 hp. I drove it today with the wind in my hair and a smile on my face as other cars slowed and children stared and waved. Its too long of a story how an orginal running 1938 car made its way to me but hopefully I will be showing it in local shows after a couple months of getting it in order.
    some of the auto lore of yesteryears that has accompanyed it, is learning how the term Suicide Doors came to describe the front opening doors common to the early years. The term describes the door popping open, the frantic grab to save it from the wind force and then the weight of the door and wind pulling the occupant right out of the car.
    Anyway, I'm living my dream with this little car doing small repairs that have cropped up from years of sitting and supervising the more significant work. I hope to be a good caretaker of this piece of automotive history and share it with a lot of fellow car lovers in the years to come.
  • I had a '48 Chevy Fleetline 4 door sedan. The car was built like a tank. It had a 6 cylinder overhead valve with what was called a "dip and splash." In other words, it didn't have an oil pump. There were little cups on the crankshaft that pulled the oil out of the pan and threw in over the engine. Pretty basic. But, it seemed to work. The car would have a hard time going much over 65 for a long time, because of the oil thing. But, as long as you drove it 55 MPH or less, it would run for a long time. When I bought the car, it had 250,000 on it, and it had thrown a rod. I bought a rebuilt short block and had the head remilled. I drove it for a long time. I sold it a few years ago, and sometimes I miss it, except when it was time to find parts for it. Sometimes that was a problem.

    :)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    in the overall scheme of things, but my '79 NYer has qualified for historic tags for several years now, and before I know it, it'll be 30 years old!

    I had an interesting little experience with it recently. One of my headlights was out. Truth be told, it's been out for a long time, but I usually only drove the car during the day, and on the rare occasion that I had to drive at night, the one remaining headlight provided plenty of illumination. So basically I procrastinated. :blush:

    Coming back from the Mopar Nats in Carlisle, a cop pulled me over about halfway home for the light. He was cool about it, let me go with a warning, and just told me to get it fixed.

    Well, it turns out those old round quad headlights ain't so easy to find anymore. And when you figure most cars probably haven't used them in over 30 years, it's no wonder! I finally did find one, at the third store I went to, and when I took the old one out, two of the three prongs for it broke loose and stayed in the socket. Geeze, I know they cut corners in the 70's and made things cheap, but did they have to carry that philosophy over into things like light bulbs! :cry:

    It's amazing how fast the time goes by. I still keep thinking of a 30 year old car as something like my '57 DeSoto. When I first got fixated on Forward Look Mopars, they were less than 30 years old at the time, and mine was only 34 model years old when I bought it, in September 1990.

    But suddenly that's not a 30 year old car anymore, but a FIFTY year old car! And all of a sudden a 30 year old car is something I remember my Mom buying brand new, and a 20 year old car is something that was brand-new when I learned how to drive. Dang it sucks getting old! :cry:
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,238
    Maybe 5 or 6 years ago the fintail lost an ancient round sealed beam, and I went to find a replacement. I couldn't find anything that was non-halogen, so I had to replace both lights (as I can't stand mismatched brightness).

    I started feeling old when cars I remember being new were seen in junkyards from simply being worn out. And I'm not even 30. I remember when a 30 year old car was a 50s car, too.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    I remember! I was with grbeck and he noticed that light out and pulled over to tell you. You think those round sealed beams are hard to come by? My 1989 Cadillac Brougham has a special rectangular sealed beam unit where the back of the bulb has a clear spot and a special plastic attachment to allow for illumination the fiber-optic indicator atop the fenders. Both low-beam units have been replaced and they are available only from Cadillac. One went out in 1994 and was easily replaced. The other went out 10 years later and had to be specially ordered through the dealer at $40 a piece!

    Speaking of feeling old, my 1988 Buick Park Avenue is 18 years-old. I graduated from college a year earlier when that car was new! I remember when an 18 year-old car was a 1955 Chevrolet!
  • au1994au1994 GAPosts: 1,638
    My Dad bought what would become my '66 Mustang convertible as their "second car" in '75, I believe. I'll see him this weekend and ask him how much he paid for it. Probably just about market value for a 9 year old used car that needed A LOT of work.

    2019 Subaru Crosstrek Limited Venetian Red over Black
    2017 BMW X1 Jet Black over Mocha

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    bought a '64 GTO 2-door sedan with a 4-speed in 1973 for about $400. I was only 3 at the time so I don't really remember it, except that it was nighttime when he brought it home, and it scared the hell out of me. My Mom was following Dad in another car, and I was riding with her, watching as a shower of sparks kept constantly coming from under the car. It was just dragging the exhaust or something else, but as a small kid that really scared me!

    It was kind of a primer grayish black. About the only other thing I can remember is that one day Dad ran out of gas about a quarter-mile from the gas station, taking me to nursery school.

    My Granddad (Mom's side) put another used engine in one of Dad's cars, but I can't remember if it was the GTO or a '62 Corvette that Dad had around the same time, too. I do remember Granddad saying years later that it was a Chevy 400 he put in, and the car was a piece of junk. That would describe both of them, though. :blush:
  • rusierusie Posts: 3
    I bought this car brand new in 1972. It has 302 V8,C4 trans,power steering,air conditioning.It has 3.55 8 inch rear axle,P235/60R14 tires in front and P275/60R15 tires on rear. Im considering putting a 393 stroker Windsor and a beefed up AOD transmission. Anyone interested,tips,advice,buyers,gearheads please feel free to comment.
  • OK, I just thought I'd chime in with regards to what I remember. I know a lot of things I may mention have been mentioned before.

    I remember having to have to adjust points on distributors and adjusting push-rods and lifters. Valve adjustments were part of routine maintenance.

    Carburetor problems have already been mentioned, so I won't mention those, except that cars were very hard to start in the winter and took forever to warm up.

    I remember cars not having seat belts in the back seat sometimes. And, I know of certain cars that didn't have any seat belts at all.

    Cars seemed to rarely last beyond 100,000 miles, if they even lasted that long.

    OK, sorry if I repeated anything.
  • itochuitochu Posts: 107
    Ok - I'l chime in. Had a '68 Camaro SS/RS 396/350 HP Convert with TH 400 and 12 bolt Posi. Bought used in April 1969 for $2700 with 9800 miles on it.

    Fun to drive, but 4 piston front disc brakes did not apply pressure evenly - so one side of the pad would wear faster than the other. Had to look carefully at your pads or you would think you had a lot of pad left and on the other side you were down to the rivets and scoring your rotor!

    Bad engine mounts - kept getting a leak in the bottom of the upper radiator hose and could not figure out why. Tested the engine mounts - engine practically lept out of the engine compartment!!! The alternator fan was cutting into the hose when the engine was under load!

    Spark plugs - never lasted more than 5000 miles no matter what kind I bought.

    Cooling - the car was IMPOSSIBLE to keep cool on a hot summer day. Tried everything - had a 24 qt cross flow radiator and STILL could not keep that thing cool. Used STP Keep Cool to no avail. And when it got hot??? VAPOR LOCK! Don't try to race anyone or you would literally fall flat on your face - accelerate rapidly only to have the lock set in and the engine die completely!

    0-60?? 6.3 seconds, 14.3 quarter mile - the same as a 2008 Toyota Camry sedan today!!! 12 MPG in town, 19MPG on the highway

    Car had a penchant for blowing hoses - particularly the little 90 degree bypass hose between the water pump and the block. Once blew it in the lot of the largest Chevrolet dealer in Albany, NY in 1970. They did not have the part!!! Had to improvise with heater hose. Carried spare with me in trunk just in case.

    AT blew a pump at about 15, 000 miles, and then again at about 35,000 miles and would not shift out of second gear. All covered under 5/50K warranty.

    Power steering hose ruptured when parking the car leaking fluid onto the exhaust manifold and causing a fire requiring replacement of the wiring harness.

    '65 Corvair - not too much trouble. Regular maintenance to replace the clutch cable at 10,000 miles, and carry a tool kit and spare fan belt. Replace the pushrod tube seals periodically, although their leaking did not affect the operation of the car.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Yeesh, they don't build them like that anymore. :sick:
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    that Camaro sounds like it was more troublesome when new than my old cars have been at 20+ years of age! Although I'm actually impressed that something like that would get 12 mpg city/19 highway. I've had plenty of much less powerful cars that weren't nearly that economical.
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,940
    I remember some old C and D review of the hot 'pony cars' of 1970 or so, and they spent much of the time complaining about how poorly the cars ran except when floored. Would make for a LOUSY commute :surprise:
  • itochuitochu Posts: 107
    You know, by today's standards the car would have been a lemon. But back then? On Chevies anyway it was pretty routine to have to replace the water pump around 60K, and the alternator not long thereafter, and not unusual to have the "niggling" little things like water hoses, engine mounts, etc. to go wrong. The
    TH400 was the weak link in the drive train - the 12 bolt posi rear end bulletproof.

    The car was not atypical for its generation - and I cannot tell you how many 396/427 big blocks I saw when in the Chevy Service Department with cylinder heads removed and big holes in pistons from dropped valves.

    Guess that was my point - fun to drive, unbelievable driving at 35 and flooring it, the AT downshifting to 1st from 3rd, and the front end practically lifting off the ground. You could really startle and impress your friends. But you paid the price for the fun with frequent repair, and many annoyances and inconveniences. Chevy had a lot of trouble with the 396/427 engine trying to keep it cool - a little mentioned fact in any road tests. And the vapor lock? The fuel line ran up the side of the block! :confuse: You would have thought they would route it away from the heat! Most serious street racers or people on the track wrapped the line with insulation OR rerouted it.

    Chevy and GM got pretty decent mileage out of those cars equipped with the Rochester Quadra Jet carb - tiny primaries and HUGE scondaries. On the highway you were basically running a small 2 bbl carb but when you needed the power and got on it the secondaries would open up - and it sounded like the world was being sucked in! I was getting 19 on the highway with a 3.55 rear end and 7.75 x 14 Redline Wide tires.

    I didn't mention the steering which many today would find unacceptable, being used to rack and pinion - the old worm and roller system and incredibly unresponsive. You wuld think you were trying to steer a ship by comparison to today's cars.

    Most of those cars were "finished" when they hit 100K, without a MAJOR overhaul, unlike today's cars. Ah....the good ole' days! Yeah, right! :P
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    ...that back in the 1950s if you were looking at a used car with 50K miles on it, the response often was "That thing's got 50K miles on it! It's going to need this, this, and this! It's practically shot!"
  • luckinsluckins Posts: 63
    Yeah, I know what you mean about those other steering systems. My Granada had a recirculating ball steering system that had a bunch of tie-rod ends that needed replacing at one time. Boy, was that fun. And, there was always play in the wheel which was considered NORMAL as long as it wasn't more than an inch or so either way.
  • itochuitochu Posts: 107
    DUH!! :blush: recirculating ball is what I meant - NOT worm and roller!!!

    Oh yeah - the term land yacht meant more than their size! It also referred to their maneuverablility! They responded to input like a boat! :D
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    I'm curious, as someone who wasn't there to witness it firsthand...what were the major faults (and strengths) of the products of each of the four major automakers (GM, Ford, Chrysler and AMC) back in the 1960s?

    Were Chevys more durable than Fords and Plymouths, or did each have their own strengths and weaknesses?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    My impressions back then, from my own wrench-turning, and family members "in the business" was like this:

    1. Style -- GM was King from 1960 to about 67, then Mopar. Ford had Mustang but not much else.

    2. Build Quality -- GM all the way. No contest. Of course, this was relative. All 60s American cars were sort of slammed together on an assembly line, some makes better than others but none had anything to brag about. What changed as you bought a more $$$ car was not the build quality, but the quality of the materials used. A Cadillac was a richer, chromier Chevrolet but had no better paint, door fit, etc.

    3. Engineering -- GM early in the 60s, Mopar thereafter

    4. Reliability -- GM overall but Mopar had, if primitive, still very rugged drivelines.

    5. Performance -- GM early on, the Mopar became king of the streets at least--so they had the performance "image" if not the stats.

    Ford was also ran in everything except the Mustang and without Shelby it wouldn't shine so brightly today.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    with at least with the old GM and Mopar cars I've had from the 1960's, is that the Mopars just seemed thicker and more solid somehow. I wonder if they used a thicker gauge sheetmetal or something?

    GM also started using more plastic in their cars sooner than Mopar did. Stuff like switchgear, buttons, knobs, etc. Even with dashboards, GM seemed to have crash padding that was integrated with the design of the dash, where Mopar would just put a strip across the top of the dash and, if you were lucky, also across the bottom.

    From a safety standpoint, a plastic pull-out knob for the headlights is probably better than a metal one, but it sure feels flimsy in comparison!

    Usually, Mopars also seemed bigger inside, car for car, than their GM counterparts, so I guess you literally got more car for your money. However, one exceptions I noted was a '67 Newport I had. It was a 2-door hardtop. It didn't seem any bigger inside than my '67 Catalina, which is a convertible! It was a lot more noticeable with smaller cars, though. Especially Mopar's midsized cars. But that could be because what Mopar's midsizers were originally born as ill-fated downsized big cars, whereas GM's intermediates started off as compacts and then "grew up". And I remember CR once saying that a '68 Dart they tested actually had more legroom, both front and rear, than a '68 Impala they tested! But then a Dart sedan was really boxy, whereas the Impala was pretty swoopy, so styling probably had a big influence there.
  • itochuitochu Posts: 107
    Oh yeah - another thing about the Camaro! It had the gauges on the console - and the oil pressure gauge was NOT electronic- it had a line to the engine and measured real pressure. Well, I was cleaning the car and removed the floor mat on the passenger side and the carpet was all wet - with oil! Seems the hole in the firewall for the oil tube was too small - every time you started the car and the pressure came up it would chafe on the firewall and developed a leak. Had to enlarge the hole, put in rubber grommet, new line to the gauge and replace the carpet!!!!

    I would have to say this about quality - I was a GM man. I would say overall they were the best made cars - Fischer body, solid cars with doors that "thunked". Yeah you could get a Monday or a Friday car - not good, and a pre-strike car - even worse! But all in all they were the best of the big three - IMHO. :) But you will get Ford fans and MOPAR fans arguing their case. GM engines were pretty bullet proof provided you did not abuse them, and they could be their own enemy. The TH400 Camaro 396/350 in drive would not shift into 2nd until about 6500 RPM - the engine red line was 5500!!! So when I saw the holes in the pistons? Valve float was the cause of the dropped valves. The Chrysler torqueflie was probably the best AT, the Chevy 12 bolt Posi or the Ford 9" the best rear ends. But none lasted like today's cars - the Chevy would need a fuel pump before 50K.

    I preferred coil springs to overall handling and ride comfort but for the drag strip the leafs were the way to go with traction bars. The argument will be eternal as to which was better. Your preference really. :D
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,560
    GM engines were pretty bullet proof provided you did not abuse them, and they could be their own enemy. The TH400 Camaro 396/350 in drive would not shift into 2nd until about 6500 RPM - the engine red line was 5500!!!

    I have a TH400 in my '67 Catalina. It doesn't have a tach, so I have no idea how high the rpms get, but if I really floor it, it'll hold first on up to about 55 mph, and then actually chirp the rear tire when going into second. I used to think that was some cool stuff, until I realized that if I floor it, my '79 NYer with its choked down 360-2bbl will also hold first to about 55 mph. With a few notable differences. First, it won't chirp the tires. Second, it takes a lot longer to get to 55! :blush:
  • itochuitochu Posts: 107
    I shudder when I think of what I used to do with my father's '61 Pontiac Catalina when he was not in the car and left it running - would floor it and rev it up while parked just to hear the engine. Now that I know how low a red line that old 389 had (5000) RPM!!?? :surprise: YIKES!!!! I am SURE I must have over revved it a few times!

    And bulletproof? Once when I was acclerating in a '65 Corvair Corsa with the 4 carbs the linkage stuck wide open at full throttle when I went to shift into 2nd - the tach pegged at 7K (redline 5500) before I could shut it off. Coasted to the side of the road - fiddled with the linkage and freed it up - looked under the car - no oil dripping or parts hanging out! Turned the key with some apprehension - started up and purred like a kitten! Then there was the story of the Z28 with the 302 engine - driver came into the pits with the engine limping a bit - it had a tell tale tach but someone forgot to tell him it had a 2-1 reduction ratio - he thought he had revved it to 6500 RPM . Wrong - 13000 RPM!! :surprise: The only damage? A bent connecting rod!
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    Thank you for the feedback...but you say that, "A Cadillac was a richer, chromier Chevrolet but had no better paint, door fit, etc."

    There have been quite a few all-original GM cars at various Hershey and Carlisle events, and the Cadillacs, particularly the Fleetwood models, seem to have better panel and trim fit, and better applied paint (probably not longer lasting paint, but it looks better, without major runs or other flaws).

    At least through the late 1960s...things really started to decline with Cadillac's 1971 models.
  • itochuitochu Posts: 107
    Of course one MAJOR distinguishing feature between GM and its competitors - Ford and Chrysler? EACH division was an independent entity - the cars each had their own line of engines - there were no "corporate" engines like with Ford and Chrysler - nor any corporate transmissions. Chevy had the Powerfglide 2 speed and the other divisions various versions of the Hydramatic, the Buick dynaflow, etc.
    Our '61 Pontiac had a 3 speed hydramatic, but the Bonnevilles had 4 speed. I remember that '61 shifting from 1 st to 2nd - you thought the tranny was dropping out of the car - talk about a rough shift! Ford had the Cruise -O-Matic and Chrysler the Torqueflite - 3 speeds each. The distinction among GM divisions lead to the divisional NASCAR battles between the 409/427 Chevies and the 421 Super Duty Pontiacs. I still remember Pontian dropping the 421 SD into a '63 Tempest with IRS and racing that thing! I think Mickey Thompson was the driver or Marvin "Pancho" Panch. What a hoot! Now those cars REALLY put the STOCK in National Asssociation for STOCK Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). You raced what you sold in the showroom, with some mods. But you wanted a hemi - you could buy one. A 427 Galaxie 4 speed? Yup. A 427 "porcupine head" Biscayne Chevy with solid lifters and 4 speed? Yup. Now in that sense, those WERE the good old days!
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    The Z28 is about the only small-block that could get away with that, having a super-short (for a domestic V-8) 76 millimeter stroke.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Hard to say...no reason WHY the fit and finish should be any better. Same assembly techniques, same paint, same type of worker. Also many of those claimed "originals" really aren't, if you look closely. But the fabrics were better on Cadillacs....but better paint on a fully-optioned Impala than a base Cadillac?----I'm skeptical. On a Corvair, yeah, sure.

    Mopars had awful fit and finish. The overspray and sloppy undercoating is legendary--and actually DUPLICATED by restoration fanatics!!!

    But the Chrysler products were generally tough cars. You could beat the hell out of them, and I did, I did. :P
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