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Comments

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,370
    For me, I think the Versailles' biggest sin might be the price disparity. A '77 Versailles started at $11,500. The Granada was $4118 for the base sedan, $4548 for the Ghia.

    A '77 Seville was $13,359, which admittedly is a hefty bump over a Versailles. But people in this price bracket aren't necessarily looking for value. That's why high-end Kias and Hyundai Genesis models, while nice cars, don't seem to have much of an impact on Mercedes Benz and BMW. A '77 Nova was only $3532 for the cheapest 4-door sedan, while the nicer Concours was $4066.

    So, the Seville was actually a bigger price jump than the Versailles. But, to be honest, the base Nova was really pretty cheap inside. Nowadays, I tend to think of a Nova, Granada, and Volare as more or less on par with each other, and a Maverick as a definite step down. But, at the time, the Maverick, Nova, and Volare were closer in price, with the Granada being a step up. For comparison, a '77 Volare started at $3619 for the cheapest 4-door sedan. The mid-range Custom was $3801, and the ritzy Premier was $4354. The Maverick was $3395 for the 4-door.

    In 1977, the Nova Concours was a pretty nice car, but no matter how fully-loaded it was, nobody was going to mistake it for a Seville. The Granada, however, started off nicer than the base Nova, and fully-equipped, was almost like a little luxury car. I think you could even get leather in them. So I think most buyers saw how obvious it was that the Versailles was related to the Granada and Monarch, and just didn't think it was worth the price jump.

    When it comes to the Cavalier versus the Cimarron, the price jump doesn't seem as bad to me, as a Granada versus Versailles. The Cavalier came in three trim levels that year: $6433 Cadet sedan, which almost nobody bought. Regular sedan at $7137, which was the most popular trim level. And CL sedan, at $8137, which was also a somewhat slow seller. The Cimarron was $12,131, so only a ~$4000, or 50% increase, over the Cavalier CL. In contrast, the Versailles was more like 150% more than a Granada Ghia.

    Interestingly, in 1982, the Cimarron, with about 25,000 units, actually outsold the Cavalier CL, which was around 15,000. The regular Cav was around 50,000 for the 4-door sedan, while the stripper Cadet 4-door was around 9,000.

    The Cimarron, while a slap in the face to Cadillac, doesn't bother me all that much. Partly because it wasn't passed off as their most prestigious car, and probably wasn't a huge jump over a Cavalier, once the two were equipped comparably. But the Versailles was positioned to be Lincoln's most prestigious car. In 1977, it was slightly higher than a Mark V!

    I'm sure dealers also had to discount the Versailles heavily to get it to sell. Still, considering it was done on the cheap, compared to the Seville, I wonder if it was still a fairly profitable car for Ford?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,370
    edited November 2020
    That Caprice is nice, and trimmed nicer than some Pontiacs, Chevies, and Oldsmobiles, but it's still easily identifiable as a Chevy. I think to make it more akin to the Versailles, or Cimarron, would be if GM simply took the Caprice, and did the bare minimum to alter the front and rear to make it look a bit more Cadillac-ish, and maybe alter some of the easy-swap trim pieces on the inside.

    I guess about the best example I can think of, although a bit extreme, is when people used to put those aftermarket Rolls Royce grills on VW Bugs. You can tell what it's trying to emulate, but it's still just a Bug. And that's kind of how the Cimarron and Versailles came off.

    As the old saying goes, "You can put a tuxedo on a goat. But it's still just a goat!" (okay, that's from "2 and a Half Men", so not exactly an ancient proverb! :p )
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,034
    edited November 2020
    andre, did you happen to make the 'Hershey' sort-of-replacement-AACA show last weekend in Gettysburg? I would've loved that to death--old cars, and Gettysburg! And it was supposedly beautiful weather.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,034
    I have a lifelong personal attachment to a lot of Chevys, but I could never understand where they put the optional gauges in the '66 Impala SS and Caprice with bucket seats--waaaayyy down below the dash! Same with some Camaros, and Novas even into the seventies. They do look nice, but sheesh.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,370
    Thinking back on it, I'm actually more impressed at the changes Ford made to come up with the Granada/Monarch, compared to the humble Maverick/Comet, than the difference between a Granada/Monarch and a Versailles. They almost seem like two totally different cars.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,370
    edited November 2020
    Nah, I had forgotten about that "substitute Hershey" show. I wonder how it went? And, if it was just this past weekend then yeah, the weather was gorgeous. I was out in the yard on Sunday, planting some of the bushes the county wants me to install to mitigate water runoff from the garage I want to build. What a workout! Who ever thought I'd be worrying about heat stroke in November!

    Oh, also just realized, I missed an anniversary. On November 6, it was the 21st anniversary of me buying my 2000 Intrepid, which was my first new car. Thinking back, my first old car, a 1969 Dart GT, was 21 model years old when I bought it in September 1989. That car seemed like it was from a whole different era. Yet suddenly now, 21 years doesn't seem that long ago.

    Heck, I'm watching an episode of "Hazel" right now, where Hazel is drooling over a used '59 Fury convertible on the sales lot. Mr. Kimball from "Green Acres" is the salesman. At this point, the car was only 7 model years old, but by '66 standards, those 7 years seem like eons.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,034
    My Riviera buddy didn't go as he was having master cylinder problems.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 14,544
    We bought out '74 Maverick LDO in late summer of '74, just before the Granada was introduced. I was pushing the parents to hold off until the Granada came out because it was "all new" but I remember the sales guy said that it would be significantly more expensive so they bought the Maverick. When it finally did arrive although it looked different and was much nicer than the Maverick inside, it was still a Maverick under the skin, which disappointed me. They seemed to sell well up here at first but they were getting expensive once optioned up, especially if you wanted a V-8. I never could understand how Ford thought they could take that, make it into a Versailles, and change almost twice as much for a car whose bones dated back to the '60 Falcon.

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

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,034
    RE.: Hazel--I think she and Mr. B played so well off each other. As good as any other comedy pairing. I think by '66, which you mentioned, she worked for Mr. B's younger brother or something; not quite the same!

    Nice to always see new Fords in color in the earlier episodes.

    Funny that I also remember new car purchase "anniversaries". I remember our new '73 Nova on 10/6/72; our '74 Impala Sport Coupe on 8/28/74 (right around when Nixon resigned), and my own first new car, '81 Monte Carlo, on 1/17/81.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,370
    I think the Granada's heyday was pretty much '75-77, when a lot of buyers who wanted a "big car feel" (or what they tried to pass off for it) in a smaller package bought one. GM and Mopar tried to respond with more upscale versions of the Dart/Valiant and the Nova and its clones, but by and large, buyers didn't fall for it. When the Aspen/Volare came out for '76, I don't think it put much pressure on the Granada at first. IIRC though, the Aspen/Volare came out mid-model year? 1977 was a banner year all around, so there were plenty of buyers for just about every car. But, in '78, GM's downsized intermediates probably put a lot of pressure on the Granada. And even the Fairmont/Zephyr, while they were more of a Maverick/Comet replacement, were still enough of a step up from the cars they replaced, that they most likely stole some sales.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,633
    One of the most underrated movies of the 80s. Great car spotting movie, too.
    tjc78 said:

    Moving violations, what a great stupid humor movie.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,633
    That makes me think of all the engine and trim variants of a single platform/body the Germans have liked to make, for many years, especially for Euro market.

    We can go back 30 years or so, where 35K might have bought you this W124 200D - cloth interior, hubcaps, manual windows, maybe even a manual transmission, etc - a lovely car, but could be spartan as everything was optional:

    image

    And based on the same platform/body, you could have this 500E which would have cost maybe 90K:

    image





    I always hated when a model that was available in the 'lower' lines was gussied up as the top-line brand....a la Versailles, and worst of all, Cimarron from Cavalier. I always thought when I saw one, "That buyer must not be all that smart", LOL.

  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 3,943
    I liked the Ghia model of the Granada. I thought it to be a handsome car. Mercury had a top level Grand Monarch in 76. It had an interior that probably ended up being the starting point for the Versailles. The Grand Monarch was discontinued when the Versailles was introduced. A friend's parents had a 76 and 77 Granada. I liked the 76 more as it was better equipped but the 77 drove better. Boy did they wander the road. And the 250 six was an absolute dog. Quiet, but s-l-o-w. A/C that will chill you to the bone.

    2018 VW Passat SE w/tech, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium Plus w/tech, 2006 Acura TL w/nav

  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 14,544
    fintail said:

    That makes me think of all the engine and trim variants of a single platform/body the Germans have liked to make, for many years, especially for Euro market.

    Funny you bring that up today. Yesterday I went down a rabbit hole after listening to a podcast from the UK with Mike Brewer of Wheeler Dealers fame as the guest. He was talking about how COVID has changed the car-buying market and how his used car chain, Mike Brewer Motors, does most of its business now remotely, with the buyer not even stepping onto the lot or sitting in/driving the car.

    That sent me to the Mike Brewer Motors website to look at what they had. It's quite odd, most of them seeming to be short-term lease returns, which they will re-lease to a new buyer, though you can buy them outright too. Most of them are BMWs and M-Bs, but largely not models we get here. Small Benzes with 1.3L turbo engines, BMW 1-series cars, all sorts of unusual things for North America. Lots of diesels too, though he said that he expects that they will only have any value at all for the next 3 to 5 years, at which time the new Euro enviro regs will make them virtually unsaleable.

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

  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,633
    Would a Granada ESS, like this one, have outranked a Ghia?

    I remember seeing one of these when I was a teenager, black on red, it had a sunroof, and I think either mag wheels or body color mesh or turbine style wheels. Even in the 90s I knew it was something unusual.


    sda said:

    I liked the Ghia model of the Granada. I thought it to be a handsome car. Mercury had a top level Grand Monarch in 76. It had an interior that probably ended up being the starting point for the Versailles. The Grand Monarch was discontinued when the Versailles was introduced. A friend's parents had a 76 and 77 Granada. I liked the 76 more as it was better equipped but the 77 drove better. Boy did they wander the road. And the 250 six was an absolute dog. Quiet, but s-l-o-w. A/C that will chill you to the bone.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,633
    Yeah, things like BMW 1 series and MB A/B class sell pretty well there. I think the rep/company car benefit is also still a thing (although not like in the past), which drives a lot of short term leases and probably dampens very late model used prices.

    No doubt the unsellable cars will be shipped off to points south and/or east.
    ab348 said:



    Funny you bring that up today. Yesterday I went down a rabbit hole after listening to a podcast from the UK with Mike Brewer of Wheeler Dealers fame as the guest. He was talking about how COVID has changed the car-buying market and how his used car chain, Mike Brewer Motors, does most of its business now remotely, with the buyer not even stepping onto the lot or sitting in/driving the car.

    That sent me to the Mike Brewer Motors website to look at what they had. It's quite odd, most of them seeming to be short-term lease returns, which they will re-lease to a new buyer, though you can buy them outright too. Most of them are BMWs and M-Bs, but largely not models we get here. Small Benzes with 1.3L turbo engines, BMW 1-series cars, all sorts of unusual things for North America. Lots of diesels too, though he said that he expects that they will only have any value at all for the next 3 to 5 years, at which time the new Euro enviro regs will make them virtually unsaleable.

  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 3,943


    I had a 82 Cimarron that I bought in early 85 for $5200. It had 48k on it, fully loaded, 4sp manual. If it wasn't so underpowered it would have been a very nice car. Fourth gear was overdrive. There was a huge gap between 3-4. On an incline it wouldn't carry 4th gear and required a downshift to 3 where it would scream up hill. Not very refined.

    2018 VW Passat SE w/tech, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium Plus w/tech, 2006 Acura TL w/nav

  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 3,943
    edited November 2020

    I thought it had a very nice interior. Had I kept it longer I was going to have the awful added on hood ornament removed and was going to reverse the whitewalls to blackwalls. The were top of the line tires, however. Funny thing, I sold the car in May 85 for $6000. It is the last car I've made money on!

    2018 VW Passat SE w/tech, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium Plus w/tech, 2006 Acura TL w/nav

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,370
    Yep, for the 5th season of Hazel, they re-worked the show. Hazel went to work for the younger brother, Steve, and his good looking wife who I thought bore a faint resemblance to Elizabeth Montgomery. Apparently they also lost their Ford sponsorship, because a wider variety of cars started showing up. There was one episode where Hazel is driving a '65 or so Skylark hardtop, and gets into a parking space argument over a woman with a Rolls Royce.

    As for the Granada, I think it was Consumer Guide that once said something like "Almost overnight, the Granada became a smash hit and achieved nationwide acceptance just like a model that had been around for 20 years. And in many ways it was, notably in handling and fuel economy".

    I always thought it was a bit odd that when GM restyled the Nova and its siblings for '75, that sales dropped sharply. I thought it was a great looking car...trim looking (although heavy), nice proportions, modern looking, and even a bit sporty in the coupe version. But, by that time I think "sporty" was becoming a bit of a dirty word, and luxury, or at least the pretense of it, was becoming all the rage. And that was something the Granada did pretty well.

    I dated a girl back in the early 90's, who drove a '77 Granada with a 302. With the V8, it okay, but you still weren't going to win too many drag races with it. Road & Track tested a '75 with the 302 and got 0-60 in 12.0 seconds, with an automatic and 3.00:1 axle. I have a feeling that by '77 though, they weren't that fast...probably slipping in taller axle ratios and such.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,370
    edited November 2020
    sda said:


    I thought it had a very nice interior. Had I kept it longer I was going to have the awful added on hood ornament removed and was going to reverse the whitewalls to blackwalls. The were top of the line tires, however. Funny thing, I sold the car in May 85 for $6000. It is the last car I've made money on!

    I always thought the Cimarron had a pretty nice interior. And even though that looks like the Cavalier dashboard, the padding looks like it's a higher quality material. Softer looking, and less plasticky.

    And, it wasn't a bad looking car, overall. I think part of the problem was that when the Cavalier went to quad headlights and the eggcrate grille for 1984, it and the Cimarron really started looking too much alike.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,034
    RE.: The '82 J-cars including Cimarron--a lousy launch and I remember reading that the '83 model year's 2.0 liter was a notable improvement.

    Those cars were built at Lordstown. When I heard they were coming out, but prior to introduction, my buddy and I drove the 40 or so miles from where we lived at the time, just to drive around the lot on a Sunday. I spied my first Cavalier. My first impression of the rear of the car was that they copied the TR-7 rear lighting display. I still feel that way.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 14,339
    I remember Car and Driver’s test of the original Versailles; it was subtitled “A Granada Goes to JC Whitney.”

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 3,943
    I liked the Nova LN a lot as well as the Omega Salon. Both would need the 305 or 350. I was disappointed in the carryover dash board that was already tired looking. What surprised me is how little leg room they had in the rear.
    I also thought the Volare Premiere was a very handsome car and more modern in a lot of ways over the GM Novas. Too bad so many had rust or other issues. They were comfortable and decent driving cars. A friend's dad had a new 76 Volare Premeire 2dr. The split bench seat with reclining seat backs were very comfortable.

    2018 VW Passat SE w/tech, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium Plus w/tech, 2006 Acura TL w/nav

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,034
    I remember the Granada and Monarchs being hot sellers. Really, the rest of Detroit didn't have anything like it---while I love the Nova LN, it was still a Nova. This is a situation where Ford bested the others in differentiating the exterior and interior styling and trim quality from the cars those two were based on.

    Remember the ads, showing parking or traffic tickets where the LEO wrote, "Mercedes" as make? :)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,370
    fintail said:

    Would a Granada ESS, like this one, have outranked a Ghia?

    I remember seeing one of these when I was a teenager, black on red, it had a sunroof, and I think either mag wheels or body color mesh or turbine style wheels. Even in the 90s I knew it was something unusual.

    According to my old car book, the ESS did slightly outrank the Ghia, price-wise. The ESS came out for '78. That year pricing for the 4-door was:
    $4390: base
    $4776: Ghia
    $4962: ESS
    Coupes were about $90 less.

    In 1980, the gap was less...
    $5664: base
    $6065: Ghia
    $6154: ESS
    But the coupe was now $123 less.

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,370
    On the subject of sunroofs, on "Barnaby Jones", Lee Merriweather drives a red Pinto with a black vinyl top that has what looks like a retractable (versus just a cheap pop-up) sunroof! I'd imagine that was a pretty rare option, for a Pinto.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,034
    edited November 2020
    RE.: The '75 Nova and B-O-P instrument panels--they were a basic carryover from the prior year, but I always liked how the pad above the right 2/3 of the panel was changed to slope towards the windshield on the '75, instead of closer to the passenger at the top. I also liked the LN's shiny smoked cover over a good part of the instrument cluster. But as mentioned previously, no place in the panel for instruments. If you wanted them, they were in the floor console looking up at you, ugh.
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 3,943
    If I remember correctly the ESS was only a dress up option, no change to the suspension, steering or drive train. Perhaps it had larger tires.

    2018 VW Passat SE w/tech, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium Plus w/tech, 2006 Acura TL w/nav

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,370

    I remember the Granada and Monarchs being hot sellers. Really, the rest of Detroit didn't have anything like it---while I love the Nova LN, it was still a Nova. This is a situation where Ford bested the others in differentiating the exterior and interior styling and trim quality from the cars those two were based on.

    Remember the ads, showing parking or traffic tickets where the LEO wrote, "Mercedes" as make? :)

    I think the Aspen/Volare were somewhat of a response to the Granada, in trying to be more of a luxury compact, and initially some people made the comparison of the Aspen/Volare being upscale from a Dart/Valiant, along the lines of the Granada/Monarch versus the Maverick/Comet. But, the Dart/Valiant went away, and the Aspen/Volare really weren't that much more expensive. The Granada was still a fairly hefty step up in price. And while Mopar did offer nice trim levels, such as the Aspen S/E and Volare Premier, they were still along the lines of a Nova LN/Concours, Omega Brougham, etc...just fancier trim levels of a mass-market compact.

    When the LeBaron and Diplomat came out, they were more of a step-up "luxury" compact. You could still tell they were based on the Aspen and Volare, but the interiors tended to be nicer, the dash, while similar, was higher quality, and the sheetmetal and even some of the roof structure was even different. They were also longer overall, and just looked like more car than an Aspen or Volare. But, they were also noticeably pricier. A '77 Diplomat 4-door started at $5101, compared to the Granada's $4118 for a base 4-door. The Diplomat did have a standard 318 and automatic, though, that first year, which accounted for some of that price jump. In '78, that was reduced to a 2-bbl version of the slant six, and I think a manual shift was technically standard, but probably rarely ordered.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,370
    Here's a blast from the past y'all might get a kick out of, that I found on my computer. A few years back, I was going through an old box, of dishes or something, that had been packed up back in the 70's. Typical of the era, my relatives wrapped them in old newspaper to try and protect them. One of the pages was this, which I scanned in, because I thought it was a neat little time capsule...


  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,370
    Here's another page I had scanned...

  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 3,943
    I preferred the styling of the Volare. I didn't care for the fussy scroll work on the Aspen's trim and thought the tail light treatment to be overdone. At first I liked the Diplomat's styling better as I found the headlight treatment on the LeBaron to be odd. I think a reference to the early 60s LeBarons? Now as time has passed I have taken a liking to the LeBaron. If you got the leather interior in either the Diplomat or LeBaron, that was a very nice interior. I always liked how soft the leather was that Chrysler used.

    2018 VW Passat SE w/tech, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium Plus w/tech, 2006 Acura TL w/nav

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,370
    And another page...


    Sorry for the shredded parts here and there...rodents.

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 40,813
    Those used cars. 63 split window 4 speed Vette, $3,300. And a 64 convertible, immaculate, $2850. Ain’t paying that today!

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,034
    RE.: The LeBaron and Diplomat--those coupes were handsome IMHO. Beautiful interiors. And they had a wheel, or wheelcover, I'm not sure now, that was a simple, scooped-out look that was chromed. I always liked that.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,370
    Uplander, is this the type of wheel you're thinking of?


    The '78 brochure refers to it as "New forged aluminum road wheel," but that sucker looks chrome to me! I always thought the Diplomat/LeBaron (and later Gran Fury) had a nice, stable, well-planted look. As far as I know, they always had 15" wheels standard. And often, it was the extra-wide 15x7 wheel.

    My '89 Gran Fury was an ex-police car, so it had those slotted 15x7 copcar wheels with the little dog dish hubcaps, and they stuck out even more than the civilian 15x7's, giving the car a nice, wide stance.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,034
    That must be it, now that I've also looked at photos online. I thought I remembered more of a scooped-out look, and I don't recall the black in the center, but I can't find what I thought I was remembering! That is a good looking wheel. In fact, that maroon coupe looks great to my eyes, all-around. I generally didn't like the sculptured decklid of the '73-77 Grand Prix, but I don't mind it at all on the LeBaron and Diplomat. That's one of those cars that's pleasing from every direction and inside and out I think. Wasn't the Medallion the entry-level Diplomat? Going from memory here. Looking at that pic--it can't be the entry-level car! It must be the top-tier Diplomat!
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 14,544
    I noted that ‘64 Corvette convertible also. Sign me up!

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

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,370
    edited November 2020
    Medallion was the top level. They played around with trim levels from year to year, though. In '77 there as just Diplomat and Diplomat Medallion. In '78, there was a Diplomat S, Diplomat, and Diplomat Medallion. The S was a very slow seller.

    In '79 it was Diplomat, Diplomat Salon, Diplomat Medallion. Same for '80-81, although in '80 they also offered a Special Sport Coupe" that was about $50 less than a regular Diplomat coupe. I don't know much about it, and they don't list production figures for it. So either it was a 1-off, or its production was lumped with another trim level.

    Coupes and wagons were dumped after '81, and for '82-83 they went with just a sedan in Salon or Medallion trim level. The Salon only came with a solid bench seat in either cloth or vinyl, although it at least had a center armrest up front. The Medallion had a standard cloth split bench seat, with a more ritzy fabric pattern and nicer door panels. For '84-89, the Medallion was replaced by the Diplomat S/E. This was the model that had the 5th-Ave front end, upside-down headlights and all, just with a crosshair grille instead of the 5th Avenue's vertical pattern. Looks like it had the same interior that the '82-83 Medallion had.

    I really liked the '77-79 LeBaron/Diplomat coupes. They were on the same 112.7" wheelbase as the sedans, and around 206-207" long, overall. I didn't care for the '80-81 as much, though. They shortened the coupes to the same 108.7" wheelbase as the Aspen/Volare coupes, to make more room for the Cordoba/Mirada, which downsized in '80. They were more boxy and formal, but the way the B-pillar slanted seemed a bit more curvy, and out of place. And they were really cramped when it came to back seat legroom.



    Oh, and when it comes to downsizing, I have the feeling the '80 Cordoba/Mirada were probably about the least-downsized of any car out there. They were on a 112.7" wb, and around 210" long. In contrast, the '79 Cordoba/Magnum was on a 115" wb, and I think around 215".

    For comparison, I think the T-bird went from around 215" to 200" overall, and from a 114" wb to 108.4, when it downsized for '80.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 40,813
    I still can't believe anyone thinks that 210" is small (though I guess downsized is technically correct if the prior one was bigger!)

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,633
    edited November 2020
    Those old car ads are great. I think 75 was a pretty bad year for cars in general, no matter the make. Hard to pick what would be the best new car in the lot. Might pick the $5397 Country Squire or the Coronet or Monaco - something big and solid without some of the small domestic quirks - $3300+ for a Pinto, don't think I'd do it.

    For used cars, aside from the Corvettes, the $400 "excellent" 60 Chevy wagon might be good, and I notice a 68 Cadillac convertible is already being touted as a "classic".

    I have a Diplomat memory - when I was a little kid, we lived in a subdivision where a few houses didn't have grass lawns (which seems odd to me now, as the houses were not brand new, but it was eastern WA). Someone up the street had one of the newer larger Diplomats (my memory is from maybe 1983-84), and they'd park it in the yard close to the house, even though the street had curbs etc - something I now associate with those cars.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,034
    edited November 2020
    Thanks for the primer, andre. I didn't look too often at Mopars at dealers growing up, and I have had a harder time keeping up with model changes and such. It seems Dodge, anyway, tended to shuffle model names around more than Chevy.

    On Facebook a couple days ago, I saw a '65 Chrysler 300, which was always my favorite Chrysler. Even with the buckets and console, I thought the interior disappointed--door panels and instrument panel. I've been so smitten with the '65 Pontiac Grand Prix panel for so long, anything else that year disappoints I think--including Buick and Oldsmobile.

    I always liked how the '65 New Yorker had red taillight bulbs and clear lenses. Funny, in vehicles this millenium that have those, I don't like them--think it looks like the red lenses were broken out.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,370
    stickguy said:

    I still can't believe anyone thinks that 210" is small (though I guess downsized is technically correct if the prior one was bigger!)

    Oh, I never really thought of the '80-83 Mirada and Cordoba as "small". They're actually slightly longer than my '76 LeMans (but a lot lighter). Smaller than the '75-79 models, yes, but not exactly "small"!

    Then again, the 70's was responsible for this type of advertising hyperbole...


    "Small". All 213.8 inches of it. 217.9 if you bought the 4-door. And the wagon was 225.6".

    For comparison, the full-sized Gran Fury was 221.9" for the 2/4 door models, and 225.9" for the wagon.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,034
    edited November 2020
    That was a good-looking car. I'd have opted for the Coronet, mostly just because the name is an old, traditional mid-size name. When it was the Monaco, I didn't care for it as much. :)
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 14,544
    edited November 2020
    I never understood how Chrysler could have believed changing the name from Satellite to Fury would make anyone believe that it was anything than what it was, which was an intermediate. I disliked it then, dislike it still. I wasn't crazy about the front-end design on the '75 Coronet/Fury, with going to just dual headlights. They were probably following what GM did with their Colonnade cars, just in time for GM to change back to quads.

    I quite liked the first-gen Diplomat coupe and the style of the rear-quarter window. I didn't mind the "upside-down" headlights on the LeBaron either (though I liked the Dip better), and liked how the top outer edge of the door had vinyl trim covering it on those. I remember reading in Consumer Reports when they first were introduced that Chrysler apparently said they were being built at a plant that had better quality control than the one where the Volare/Aspen was produced. Given the abysmal quality of those, I suppose that wouldn't have taken much.

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

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,034
    edited November 2020
    That first newspaper ad--I must be a masochist, but I'd buy a new Vega for $2,666. You still got the things the mags liked about the car, but the rustproofing and engine woes were fixed. Actually, that ad shows me that the 5 year/60K mile engine warranty, by-far the longest in the industry then, applied to late '75's as well although I never saw it mentioned until the '76 brochure. The '76 non-wagons had yellow taillights which I've always detested.

    At $2,666 you're probably getting the frumpy 'notchback coupe', but I will say those had surprising rear seat headroom, legroom, and also trunk capacity, for a car on a 97-inch wheelbase. I'd choose one over the Chevette that year, any day of the week.

    I belonged to a Vega Facebook page, but the moderator was a bigger fan than me and shamed me on a tiny bit of shade I threw about the cars once. That was enough for me.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,370
    I didn't care for those "small" Furys and Coronet/Monaco models when they were new. Probably because I usually saw them as police cars and taxis. And, I don't really care that much for the front-end. It's hard to say why...It's really not *that* different from, say, a '73-75 Chevelle. Single headlights and large, rectangular grille in the middle. But there's just something about the details, I guess, that strike me as less attractive.

    I do like the overall body and proportions, though. And they look good from the rear. In fact, the rear almost looks to me like it belongs on a more expensive car.



    I think I would have gone for a Coronet as well, though. Even though they're practically clones of each other, the Coronet has a split grille that makes it look a bit more attractive to me. I don't really care for either of these cars, once they went to stacked quad headlights for '77-78.

    I do think it's amusing, too, how close in size they really were to the genuine full-sized cars. I think Ford had that same problem with the Torino coming within a few inches of the LTD in terms of overall length. GM did a better job, I think, of keeping the midsized cars in check. I just checked the '76 Chevelle brochure, and the coupe was only 205.3", and 209.3" for the sedan. That surprised me a bit, as I thought they were a *little* longer, like maybe 208"/212"? That might be the specs for the '76-77 LeMans I'm thinking of, though. And GM had a little more freedom than Ford and Mopar, when it came to differentiating their midsized cars, including making changes in details like the bumpers, that could alter the length a few inches here and there.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 14,544
    edited November 2020
    Seeing that rear-end shot of the Plymouth reminded me of the last one of those I used to see in the wild, a blue "Small Fury" two-door, driven by an old lady back in the mid-late '90s. I saw it several times at the supermarket where I used to buy my groceries back then. I was impressed that it was still running and not particularly rusty, though it was well-worn and the paint was very tired. But at some point she either had an accident or the rear bumper rusted off it, so someone bolted on a large piece of lumber, probably a 2"x6".

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

  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 14,544
    edited November 2020


    On Facebook a couple days ago, I saw a '65 Chrysler 300, which was always my favorite Chrysler. Even with the buckets and console, I thought the interior disappointed--door panels and instrument panel. I've been so smitten with the '65 Pontiac Grand Prix panel for so long, anything else that year disappoints I think--including Buick and Oldsmobile.

    I dunno, the '65 and '66 Chrysler was always a favorite of mine and I don't think the interior looks bad:

    image

    I do think on this one the painted bottom area of the dash could have been handled better, though that sort of thing was pretty common on all cars back then.

    The one thing that nowadays bugs me about them, though, is the chrome trim across the top of the instrument cluster. Why they put a seam near (but not exactly at!) the top center drives me crazy. Even worse, the two pieces usually don't line up right, so not only do you have an off-center break, but it is misaligned.

    image

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

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,370
    If there's one Mopar intermediate from the '75-79 era that I'd really lust after, it would be this...

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