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

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,074
    I would guess a taxi in a big city wouldn't need a very big engine. I heard that back in the old days, one reason DeSoto Suburbans were so popular as taxis was because the cabbie could just put the semi-automatic in high gear and could get through the whole day without having to shift. Guess if you're stuck in gridlock all day, high performance is pretty useless. So maybe those smaller engines would serve okay.

    I've also heard that sometimes, local police forces would specify a smaller V-8 or even a 6-cyl car, if the car was just going to be used for routine patrol duty, and not have to chase anything.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 10,105
    Lemko, the 267 V8 was nothing to write home about in the Monte Carlos of that era, either. I had the dealer look for one, when most were V6's, based on the roughness and sound of my parents' V6 Monte. At least the 267 idled smoothly and sounded like a V8!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,074
    I wonder how one of those Monte Carlos would have performed with the later 4.3/262 CID V-6? IIRC it had 130 hp in 1985 and 140 for 1986-88. Hardly a powerhouse, but I imagine it split the difference pretty well between the old 110 hp 229 and the 150 hp 305.

    I can't remember...did the 4.3/262 ever go in any of the B-O-P intermediates, or did they simply stick it out with that 110 hp Buick 231 through the end? For some reason, I'm thinking that the Regal, and possibly the Bonneville G and Grand Prix offered the 262 for a little while, at least.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 10,105
    edited October 2013
    I'm thinking the B-O-P cars stuck with the 3.8 V6. I think the Chevy was the only one with the 4.3. Didn't Lemko own a Caprice with that engine? I don't know anybody who had one, but I don't remember hearing/reading anything bad about that engine, either.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,074
    Yeah, Lemko's first brand-new car, I believe, was a 1987 Caprice with the 4.3, before he bought his Brougham. My 1985 Consumer Guide has a test of a Caprice with the 130 hp 4.3/4-speed automatic. They didn't list an actual 0-60 time, but gave it a "3" for acceleration. In contrast, the Delta 88 307 that did 0-60 in 12.0 seconds got a "4", and for the most part I think you had to beat around 9.5 seconds to get a "5". There was a Mercury Topaz in that guide that was rated a "2", and the time listed was something like 15.9 seconds, IIRC.

    As for other uses of the 4.3, I just checked the EPA's website, and I don't know how accurate it truly is, but they do list a 4.3 being offered on the Regal for 1985, on the Bonneville/Grand Prix for 1986, and the Grand Prix for 1987. But, I can't say that I've ever seen one in person, or ever remember mention of it anywhere else.

    I just found a Canadian brochure for the 1985 Regal, and it lists the Olds Diesel 4.3 V-6 as an option, but says nothing of the Chevy 4.3. It does list a Chevy 305 V-8 as being optional though. Maybe Canadian options were still a bit different at that time? I thought the Regal stopped offering V-8's after 1980, and didn't start again until 1986-87 when they began putting Olds 307's in them?

    I always thought it was a shame that they kept the 110 hp 231 in these cars up until the end. IMO, they should have upgraded it with fuel injection, like they did with the FWD version. I think the Cutlass Supreme might have gone V-8 only for the abbreviated 1988 model year, but can't remember for sure.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    I recall seeing a black 1973 Chevrolet Bel Air at Carlisle with a 250 inline six in it. I can't imagine how slow that car must've been. I bet a glacier could pass it up in a drag race. I can't imagine what owner could've been masochistic enough to own such a beast. Maybe there was a bunch of BDSM gear in the trunk?
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 10,105
    I believe that car was on eBay a year or two ago and we discussed it here. It was a stick and sold new at a small-town Chevy dealer in south-central PA. The 250 six was rated at 100 net hp in '73...that was a lot of car! I'm sure it was an old-timer who liked a full-size Chevy but didn't want to spend much $$. That car is interesting to me, though--I like the offbeat stuff.

    I'd like a '71 or '72 Biscayne, full wheelcovers and whitewalls, just because I bet I haven't seen a total of five in my lifetime! ;)
  • jljacjljac Posts: 649
    edited October 2013
    I was not aware that Chevrolet sold Bel Airs with six cylinder motors until I read posts at this site. How common was that? Could you get an Impala with a six too? :-(
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,060
    Early '60s you could get an Impala SS with a 6...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 59,607
    Even the late 60s, you could get 155 angry horsepower in a full-size Chevy, with the 250 cid engine.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 44,036
    That's more than my fintail has - of course, it weighs probably 1000+ lbs less, and doesn't mind revving or working hard.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 10,105
    edited October 2013
    Our '67 Chevelle, bought new, was a 250 with 155 gross hp. I remember once our neighbor borrowed it and said he was surprised how peppy it was, "for a six". At the time, he drove a '63 Mercury Monterey Breezeway.

    Into the '70's, you could get a six on Biscayne and Bel Air sedans, and only on Impala 4-door sedans and Sport Coupes. The six wasn't offered on Impala Custom Coupes, convertibles, or Sport Sedans. This is through '72 I believe and probably '73. I'd have to look at a '73 Chevrolet brochure on the Old Car Manuals Project site. I do know the bodystyles that were excluded from six-cylinder availability in the Impala line though.

    BTW, the 250 in our '67 was a $26 option. The 230 was the standard six. It had 140 gross horsepower.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 10,105
    edited October 2013
    The '73 full-size brochure says the six was available only on the Bel Air. The '72 shows availability on the Impala Sport Coupe and 4-door sedan also.
  • berriberri Posts: 8,228
    I don't have any breakout numbers, but as a kid I remember it wasn't all that unusual to see Biscaynes and Bel Airs through around 62, but 63 and after Impala's seemed to rule big time. Saw some Impala's (and Galaxie's) with 6 cylinders (and I'm not counting the few younger people who would buy a 409 and replace it's engine badge with a 6 banger emblem - like they were fooling their competition!)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,074
    BTW, the 250 in our '67 was a $26 option. The 230 was the standard six. It had 140 gross horsepower.

    Damn inflation is a cruel [non-permissible content removed]. I was thinking that $26 didn't sound like a whole lot of money, even back then. But just put it into an inflation calculator, and it's $182 by today's standards! Still, I guess that's not *too* much money, considering the added power.

    Mopar also had two versions of their slant six around that timeframe, but in their case it was the tiny 170 CID, with around 115 hp, and the more common 225, with 145. The 170 was only used in Darts and Valiants, and seriously, should have been dropped by then. Those cars were just too big for an engine that small. But, maybe not, as Chevy was putting 4-cyl engines in the Chevy II, and I think Ford was still pushing 170's in the Falcon, unless they had gone to a 200 as the base by then?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,074
    Saw some Impala's (and Galaxie's) with 6 cylinders (and I'm not counting the few younger people who would buy a 409 and replace it's engine badge with a 6 banger emblem - like they were fooling their competition!)

    My father did that with his '63 Impala SS409. Dunno if he did it to fool people though, or be sarcastic.
  • berriberri Posts: 8,228
    I remember that a 4 was standard on the early Chevy II. I wonder how many were actually so equipped? I never saw or heard of any with that engine. I'm thinking the original Tempest also offered a 4, but I might be wrong.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 44,036
    I remember going through specs on an old friend's 69 Nova (his car had a 307/powerglide) and being shocked to see that a 4cyl was mentioned then, too. Do any exist?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,074
    edited October 2013
    The original 1961-63 Tempest used what was referred to as a "slant 4", essentially, half of a 389 V-8. Its displacement was 194.5 CID. I think it put out around 120 hp in base form, but there were higher performance versions available, I believe.

    As for the Chevy II's 4-cyl engine, it was offered from 1962-1970. It was a 153 CID unit and had the same bore and stroke as the 230-6cyl. I don't think I've ever seen a Chevy II with the 4-cyl. I'm sure they were pretty rare.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 10,105
    I have seen exactly one 4-cylinder Nova, that I was aware of.

    I remember looking at a light green (color Dad liked) Nova 4-door with optional window frame moldings, which dressed it up a bit. It was new and at our local dealer. Even my uber-thrifty Dad wanted nothing to do with it when he saw it was a four.

    I also remember my Dad getting a Chevy flyer in the mail from Detroit, and on the back page it said "Nova 4 Sale". They must have had inventory they couldn't get rid of.

    Chevy, back then, used to say that Nova had a 'standard four, six, and eight'. But the base prices changed...window sticker would say "Nova 4", "Nova L6" or "Nova V8". The six and eight were higher than the four, and the eight was higher than both. Chevy did this with Chevelles and up, also.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 7,376
    My older (by 14 years) brother was married in 1966. Just before that, he bought a car for him and his bride, a 1963 Impala convertible. Pretty thing, black with a red vinyl interior. Looked good in the wedding pictures. It had the 230/Powerglide. Not a road burner, but It worked OK.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • berriberri Posts: 8,228
    I remember back from around maybe 6th grade that there was a bouffant redhead divorcee in our neighborhood who tooled around in a 59 black Impala convertible with a red interior. Quite flashy - the car and the driver! Your brother's 63 sounds pretty nice and a bit more sedate. One I thing I always wondered back in those days was why GM convertible tops seemed to puff up a bit at highway speeds while Ford's seemed to stay more taught? I dunno, maybe it was just my imagination?
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 10,105
    edited November 2013
    Here's a '72 Impala Sport Coupe, six with stick--light green--click on fifth picture in the horizontal scroll, and the owner's story can be seen by paging down:

    http://www.hemmings.com/hcc/stories/2010/04/01/hmn_feature12.html

    I like the '72's grille and interior, but they decontented the exterior trim so much in '72...you got no rocker trim (even the Biscayne had that) and I'd have just had to pay for the optional wheel-opening trim and bodyside molding with vinyl insert.

    Still, an interesting car for sure.

    The owner said that tinted glass was the only option, but the car has whitewalls and full wheel covers as well. '72 Chevys built with dog dish hubcaps had body-colored wheels; full wheelcovers got you black wheels. This car has black wheels which makes me think it was delivered with the optional wheelcovers.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 10,105
    That Nova 4 was a '70, BTW.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 44,036
    So the same style of the one my friend had. Can't imagine that thing with a 4, especially what was probably an unrefined not-revvy no-fun 4.

    On the odd cars front, saw a C43 AMG today, along with an E30 M3 (or clone) and a maybe 74 Chevy pickup in local survivor condition (first traces of minor rust after 40 years).
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 27,295
    I believe that 4 cyl was what lived on as the "iron duke". My friend had a Chevy Monza (or what replaced the Monza?) in the late 70s and that seemed to do fine with that engine. Even though it had a whopping 85 or 90 HP out of 2.5l (jumped five HP for 1979!)

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • fintailfintail Posts: 44,036
    edited November 2013
    It might have worked in a little Monza, but in something like a 69 Nova sedan that felt like it was made out of cast lead - I bet the acceleration was glacial and overall performance tortuous.

    I think in the family tree heirarchy, the Monza would have given way to the Cavalier.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 27,295
    actually, the Nova only weighed about 200#s more. 2,900 vs. 2,700.

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • omarmanomarman Posts: 1,057
    edited November 2013
    I think the old Chevy Nova 153 engine lived on as the GM Vortec 3000 marine and industrial engine. Here's a link I found to the Vortec 3.0 which was bored and stroked up to 181 cubic inches.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 27,295
    I got curious enough to look up the Iron Duke history. I really thought for some reason it was a resurrection of some engine from the 60s. In a way, I guess it was, since it was created by slicing a Pontiac 301 V8 in half.

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

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