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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,552
    I'd never heard of "Mischief" before, but kinda curious to see it now. FWIW, there are some action shots of that Stude tango'ing with the Chevy here: Just scroll down toward the bottom.

    Makes me a '55 Chevy really that fragile compared to a Studebaker, or was the Stude beefed up and the Chevy weakened, for those scenes?

    I'm surprised that they'd trash out a '55 Bel Air convertible in a movie...even back in 1985, I'd think a car like that would be worth a lot of money. But then again, in those days, there probably were still a lot of old cars to choose from, and perhaps that one was already in poor shape, and they just did the "lipstick on a pig" routine to pretty it up for the big screen?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    yeah, you can skin an old rust bucket for the movies and it'll look pretty good on camera.

    Most 55 cars were body on frame types, so one wouldn't be particularly stronger than another. It's like in demo derby--it's not the size of the car as much as how you hit the other one.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,552
    edited November 2013
    Another thing that could be going on, is that it looks like the Studebaker sits up a bit higher than the Chevy, so every hit seems to be getting the Chevy above the bumpers, frame rails, etc. So it's sort of like when my '85 Silverado got rear-ended by a 2000 Infiniti I30 a few years back. The Infiniti went up under my bumper, and I wouldn't be surprised if it got totaled.

    As for my truck? $350 worth of damage...
    It didn't even seem to damage the bumper, but the brackets holding it to the frame were bent. However, the shop replaced the brackets, bumper, and backup lights, and put the hitch in the new bumper. If nothing else, at least it got rid of that damned Crime Solvers bumper sticker my stepdad had put on the truck years before...

    In a similar vein, back in college I rear-ended an '82 or so Cavalier with my '80 Malibu coupe...I nosedived under the Cav's bumper, and my car took the worst of the damage, by a long shot. I'm sure if they hit bumper-to-bumper, the Cav would have suffered a lot worse.
  • omarmanomarman Posts: 1,807
    Ha! I've never actually seen that movie either but it was shot in 1984 in Nelsonville, home to my alma mater. Your screen shot of the town square required a bit of Hollywood magic makeover to recreate the 50's feel. My own memories of the square involve sending people out to feed the meters to avoid the parking tickets. Athens was even worse for parking tickets, but I did appear once to dispute the violation and it was dismissed.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,082
    Could be lipstick on a pig, also maybe a cut down coupe? I know that's how they made Biff's 46 Ford convertible in BTTF - it's actually a chopped coupe.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,082
    This morning saw a few of the same cars that I see on the road here now and then - a red Volvo 544, a red 560SL with wire wheels, and a DeLorean.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 10,881
    When I was a teenager we had two shoebox Volvos, a '68 and a '73 144. My dad loved his '68 which resembled this car. The interior was very similar with that rather strange dash and IP, which included just a single indicator for turn signals (no left or right indicator) and the odd ribbon speedometer. It had very little power with the automatic transmission it had. But it served Dad well, even protecting him when a 40-foot shipping container fell off a truck onto the roof of the Volvo. It did very little damage, surprisingly, but it earned the car a respray. He used the opportunity to have the insurance-funded paint job change the color from the original butterscotch color to the yellow they offered on early '70s Volvos. Eventually everything started to go wrong with it all at once and he ditched it after about 4 years.

    I was the primary driver of the '73 and it was an awful car, with very poor build quality. That was the first year for the revised dash, which was the best part of the car. But everything else about it was a disaster. Would not start in the wet, would not idle properly, loads of electrical problems, you name it. We only kept it less than 3 years.

    I suppose early '70s 142s are rare now, which might explain the price, but I doubt I would want one.

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

  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 2,036
    My dad loved his '68 which resembled this car. The interior was very similar with that rather strange dash and IP, which included just a single indicator for turn signals (no left or right indicator) and the odd ribbon speedometer. It had very little power with the automatic transmission it had.

    Oh sweet Jesus. My dad had one of those '68's with the automatic. I truly believe that a drag race between that car and a MB 240D would have been a dead heat.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv. (RIP 2001 Jaguar XK8 cnv and 1985 MB 380SE [the best of the lot])

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Those older shoebox Volvos had pretty sturdy mechanicals (front end suspension was particularly rugged) but yes, build quality, especially interior, was pretty shabby--certainly not the equal of a BMW 2002 by any stretch. A cacophany of squeaks and rattles await you. The B20 engine thrashes like a washing machine, but it, too, is tough, aside from the fiber timing gear. U-joints break all the time, and the muffler hanging system is a cruel joke. Steering is very heavy, handling marginal, visibility and interior room quite good. With proper maintenance, they can run a long time if you are pro-active.

    The 242 was a better car all 'round, but still cheesy interiors and very bad leather and the typical Volvo clumsiness and heaviness.

    The P1800 series was a better built car but shared the same primitive driveline.

    Certainly they all had much better heaters than anything British and compared to early 70s Saabs, they were more American than foreign.

    Would I want to own one and drive it everyday? No way, unless perhaps I would spend another $5,000 to make it handle and go faster.

    Overdrive is a necessity because the racket at highway speeds would drive most people to weariness.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 11,277
    I've heard of that movie "Mischief" but have never seen it. One of my favorite-year Chevys (throws out my 'I like different stuff' mantra, I know) and one of my absolute-least-favorite Studes--although they're my wife's favorite.

    I did like how those Studes had a one-piece curved windshield. My Stude-Packard-MB dealer friend said his '51 V8 Commander 'went, but it would barely stop'!

    I don't know if this could be any of it, but it seemed to me that Studes starting rusting more seriously in '53, and Chevys with the '55 (above the headlights particularly, where we lived), with the advent of curvier and more-stylish sheetmetal. Could the clunky Stude be heavier in the sheetmetal department? Who knows at this point.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306 1963 Ford Thunderbird travelling north on Rising Sun at Tyson in NE Philly.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,552
    edited November 2013
    I don't know if this could be any of it, but it seemed to me that Studes starting rusting more seriously in '53, and Chevys with the '55 (above the headlights particularly, where we lived), with the advent of curvier and more-stylish sheetmetal. Could the clunky Stude be heavier in the sheetmetal department?

    That could be. Cars in general, had to be sturdier and beefier back in the old days, simply because the roads weren't as good. Some of those old cars, IMO, are more truck than car, anyway. And when you think about it, once upon a time, a pickup was just another body style of car. But, as the roads got nicer and more of the country got paved, cars didn't need the ground clearance and the truck-like stance, so they got lower, and softer riding.

    I know in Chrysler's case, the 1955-56 models weren't built as sturdy as the 1949-54 models, which were almost tank-like. And the '57 models were even worse. '57 Fords were also pretty flimsy, compared to their '52-56 forebears.

    Back in the early 80's, I remember going to a demolition derby, and someone entered a 1953 or so Chevy, and another Chevy, of the '48 and earlier style. I remember thinking those cars would do well because I thought they were sturdier than the more modern cars. Needless to say, they both got creamed pretty early on, and I remember the older Chevy almost got tipped over. But, even though sheetmetal may have been thicker, that doesn't necessarily mean those old cars were still put together all that sturdy.

    IIRC, the two finalists in that demolition derby were a '66-67 Coronet, and a 1971 or so Caddy DeVille. And, believe it or not, the Coronet ended up being the winner! In the final hit, with both of them running backwards into each other, I think the Caddy simply quit running. I also remember something catching on fire, but don't remember what. I'm going on a 30 year old memory here.

    I also remember one car that was painted up like a brick wall, and had "The Wall" painted on it in big letters. It was something smaller, like a midsized 60's Rambler, but I can't remember for sure. I also keep getting a mental image of a first-gen Chevy II, but I can't imagine someone putting something that small in a demolition derby, unless it was in a compact class or something. It wouldn't have stood a chance against some of those big bruisers. I do remember "The Wall" lasting a fairly long time though, but towards the end, the rear-end was practically pointing upward.
  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyPosts: 8,863
    If I were entering a demo derby, I'd have to go with a 70s LTD wagon or a Panther based (79-91) wagon. Those are pretty stout especially in the rear. I would guess any GM or Chrysler large wagon would be equally as good too.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra (for a little longer) / 2019 Volvo S60 T6 Inscription

  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    Is it true that Imperials were banned from demolition derbies because they were too well built giving them an unfair advantage?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    sounds like an urban myth to me. Demo Derby is a lot about the skill of the driver
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 11,277
    Re.: Imperials banned from demo derbies:

    Lemko, I grew up about as far away from you as possible and still be in Pennsylvania, but I had heard that back then too. I heard it about the '64-66 Imperials, primarily. Seems like I heard they were built sturdy enough for unibody but also had a frame--I think the last Chryslers to be body-on-frame.

    I do remember watching one demo derby my whole life--a '64-66 Imperial did very well. ;)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,552
    I've heard that the biggest problem with wagons, body-on-frame ones at least, is that if they get hit the right way in the rear, the whole rump-end drops down.

    As for Imperials in demolition derbies, I've heard that too, mainly about the 1960-66 Imperial. It was the same basic car as the 1957-59 Imperial, which was body-on-frame, while the rest of the Chrysler lineup went Unibody for 1960. However, Chrysler did employ a lot of Unibody techniques on the 1960, which made it especially stout. It was sort of a hybrid of Unibody and body-on-frame.

    Back in the late 1990's, I remember hearing about an all-Imperial demolition derby that was being staged by some country music cable station, but there was enough outcry from car enthusiasts that it was canceled.

    Some Mopar buff rag, back in the late 80's or early 90's tried to take an old '65 or so Imperial, and cut as much off of the car as possible, in order to lighten it, to see how it would affect performance. They were inspired by some GM rag that did a similar trick with a '71 or so Sedan DeVille. Apparently, the Imperial was a LOT harder to pull apart than the Caddy had been...thicker sheetmetal, more welds, bolts, etc.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well there might be something to the Imperial ban at least on a local level. This is from the rule book in one particular Demo Derby

    it's talking about what you can run, and says: "with the exception of pre-1989 Chrysler Imperials, and all 4 x 4s, T-tops, Camaros, Firebirds and El Caminos of ANY weight are NOT permitted"

    But it doesn't actually say why exactly.
  • berriberri Posts: 10,140
    I remember as a little kid, my grandpa was driving out from the city to the burbs to visit us in his old 37 Nash Lafayette and collided with a 55 Chevy. The Chevy was totaled, the old Nash had a couple of big fender dents. Pretty thick iron on that beast I guess!
  • berriberri Posts: 10,140
    I can recall way back when that in the Chicago area there seemed to be a ban on big station wagons and convertibles at demolition derby's. I think Imperials and 58-60 Lincoln's were also banned, but I could be wrong on that.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    1949 hit anything with that car, and you'll only realize you were in an accident when you get an e-mail about it later in the day.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 11,277
    "The Pregnant Elephant" as it was lovingly called. ;)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,552
    "with the exception of pre-1989 Chrysler Imperials, and all 4 x 4s, T-tops, Camaros, Firebirds and El Caminos of ANY weight are NOT permitted"

    I'd love to know some of those rationales. For instance, why ban ALL Imperials? I wonder if there was anything in particular about the '81-83 that would give it an unfair advantage? They were based on the Cordoba/Mirada, which in turn were based on the Aspen/Volare. But, they were pretty heavy, around 4000 lb I think, whereas a Cordoba/Mirada probably started around 3200-3300 I'd guess. A lot of that is simply because they were fully optioned, and a V-8 and air conditioning, and power everything is going to add some noticeable weight compared to a stripper with a slant six.

    Going back a bit further, there is precious little difference between a 1974-75 Imperial or a '74-78 New Yorker. Or Newport, for that matter. In fact, what had been the '75 Imperial pretty much became the '76 New Yorker Brougham! So if you're banning '74-75 Imperials, I'd think that generation of NY'er and Newport should be included too. There was also the '74-77 full-sized Fury/Gran Fury and Monaco/Royal Monaco, but those were noticeably smaller and lighter.

    The '67-68 and '69-73 Imperials had a lot of commonality with the lesser C-body Mopars, although they were still noticeably larger and heavier, and probably still beefed up in comparison to a lesser Newport or New Yorker.

    The '57-66 Imperial was the one that was completely unique, beefed up for 1960, and apparently even moreso for '64, so I'd think that one would have the best rationale for banning.

    The '55-56 Imperial was really just a New Yorker with a 300 grille, and a slight stretch in wheelbase at the rear. IIRC the wb was 130" for 1955 and 133" for 1956, compared to 126" for the regular Chrysler/DeSoto models. But, perhaps they were beefed up as well, to account for that added length?

    I could see the rationale for a Camaro/Firebird, because they're small and low-slung. But wouldn't that apply to a Mustang as well?

    If a T-top is banned, I wonder if a convertible would be, as well? One rationale I could see here is that convertibles usually have structures that are beefed up to compensate for the lack of a roof. But while a T-top will also weaken the structure, maybe they don't always beef up the rest of the structure, and that makes them more dangerous?

    As for El Caminos, the earlier models were simply modified two-door wagons, while the 1968 and later ones were sort of a combination of coupe, with wagon parts used to form the bed. So I dunno if entering a '76 El Camino in a derby would be any different from me entering my '76 LeMans coupe?
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    ...was in the early '80s. I recall seeing a lot of full-size mid-late 60s Mopar hardtops with that distinctive reverse-slant C-pillar. I think there may have been a 1958 Ford in it as well.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    edited November 2013
    ...Joie Chitwood's Thrill Shows?

  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,082
    I last attended one in 1985 I think it was...for some reason, I remember having a Matchbox toy Ford Sierra with me, maybe having bought it that way.

    In the derby I remember seeing a 60 Cadillac, and a fuselage Chrysler, nothing else sticks in my mind.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well you got the "obscure" part right.

    You know, some cars are best left to die.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 11,277
    Geez, I still like '49-51 Fords. Everything else seemed old-fashioned at the time.

    I'm pretty sure that later, Chitwood went to using all Chevys.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    edited November 2013
    A compilation of my trip to Hartford yesterday:

    a Lotus Elise
    a late 60's Galaxie 500
    two MV-1's being used as taxis
    the LL Bean bootmobile in all it's Red Sox glory.
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