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

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  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 14,617
    I remember the '71 Dodge Monaco dad bought new was the first car we had that came with an inside hood release. But it was a bit of a problem because it was the same size and shape as the emergency brake release and was positioned right next to it. Confusion reigned for a while.

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

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 40,905
    cool nova. If it had a stick, would be like the stuff I had back in my school days (though that was a Plymouth and some AMCs) with a straight 6 and 3 speed stick. And not much else.

    I did briefly have a Nova. Maybe a 1970? Did not have it long and never registered it. That was a V8 (no clue what one) and of course, 3 speed stick. Actually that was my one and only car with a V8 (out of 40+ cars over the years).

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,395
    About 30 years ago, My Mom and I went on a trip to Delaware to see some relatives. Back then there was a little dealership on Route 404, just on the Maryland side of the border, that sold antique cars. On the way back, I talked her into stopping, so I could look at them. I remember one of them, a 1960 Dodge Dart, of all things, having an inside hood release! I don't know if it was optional, aftermarket, or what, but I was surprised that it had it. I remember it being a low-rent version of the Dart too, with just a slant six. I think it was a 2-door sedan, but not positive; might have been a 4-door. I know it wasn't a hardtop. I remember, at the time, they wanted $2,000 for it.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,395
    I kinda like that green '73 Nova. Although on closer inspection, not so enamored with that door panel. If it had some kind of indentation in the armrest, to pull the door shut, it would be fine, but I don't like relying on that pull strap. Plus, the strap is located a bit too far forward on the door, where it's going to require more effort to pull it closed. So, it's probably more likely to break, than if it was positioned further back.

    Even though the seats on that car are pretty low-rent looking, I still find the overall pattern fairly pleasing to the eye. Part of it might be the color, though. Green interiors can really be hit or miss, but I think this one's a fairly nice hue.

    The door panel would definitely look nicer with the little wood strip aft of the pull strap. I think the Custom got you that little detail?

    It's also funny too, how sometimes you can just look at a color, and it immediately makes you think of the year. This is kind of a morbid memory, but back in 2015, when my family was at the funeral home planning Grandmom's funeral, we were in the coffin "showroom" which was on the second level. I remember looking out the window, to a fenced in lot across the street, that had an old Catalina hardtop in it. Judging from the light green, my first thought was, "1973!" Oddly, one of the caskets they had in the funeral home, for those on more of a budget, was a painted metal one that was a light shade of green, that would have complemented that '73 Catalina quite nicely.

    And, just to show that some things never change, I just did a Google street view of that place. Looks like that '73 is still there, as of August 2019, at least...



    Looks like this body shop, or whatever it is, has a 2nd-gen Corvair, as well...


  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,092
    I'm a huge fan of the second-gen Corvair. The 500 model was a cheapie, but if you loaded it up, I could tolerate the interior. It was a true six-passenger two-door hardtop, flat floors and all.

    That '73 Catalina reminds me of the gentleman maybe three or four years back who was buried in his '73 Catalina two-door hardtop. I'm thinking it was that bright green metallic. There was video of the burial online; him apparently strapped upright in the driver's seat with a hat on.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,395
    edited November 2020
    I just googled it and yup, here it is:

    Elderly Man buried in his 1973 Catalina

    It almost doesn't look like an original color, but according to the paint charts, there was a "Verdant Green" that looks like it might have been that shade.

    I used to joke, back in the day, that I was going to be buried in my '57 DeSoto. But too many people threatened to dig me up :p
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 40,905
    don't worry. If you live to a normal lifespan age, by then, nobody left will want a 57 Desoto!

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  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 3,970
    edited November 2020
    Dad’s 71 Catalina coupe had Rallye wheels like that 73. I thought the 71 was the better looking car. His was dark metallic brown with a dark brown vinyl top. It looked rather sporty. Too bad it only had the 350 2bbl. His 73 Catalina was a sedan with standard wheel covers, vinyl top and the 400 2bbl. It had the rather rare AM/FM 4 speaker stereo. Most had AM or AM/FM mono. Both were leased company cars.

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 181,001
    My mother had a '71 Grand Ville. Earth tones were big then.. Hers was kind of a tan/gold. I don't remember the interior, but likely white leather.

    That was her 3rd straight Pontiac, but she hated it, for some reason. I don't remember why. Kept it for one year, and traded it on a Lincoln Coupe.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,092
    edited November 2020
    I liked the '71 and '72 Grand Ville for looks, although I sort-of thought at the time that the two round instrument pods was very un-GM-full-size car then.

    The '72, especially, had a nice Custom Interior option in a luxurious brocade pattern that also gave you a center armrest in the rear seat, only if you bought the four-door. Very, very nice.

    In '73 IMHO, they tried to ladle on a lot of luxury 'extras' onto the Grand Ville which made me not like it anymore. Skirts, round instrument pods changed to square, fussy seat pattern with a bunch of connected diamonds, woodgrain on the doors that reminded me of the stalk of a 'Ricochet' air rifle, etc.

    The Grand Villes used a good-quality vinyl, but were never available with leather.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,728
    Out yesterday also saw an early Fiero, 2nd gen MR2, wacky 60s custom style 46-48 Ford coupe - riding high, 4 diagonal headlights, bright blue paint, etc, ~71 Ford convertible, downsized Eldo with a faux Rolls-Royce grille.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,395
    By the time 1971 rolled around, if I wanted a mid-priced car, I think I would've gone with an Olds or Buick, rather than a Pontiac. I thought the '71 Buicks had a good looking, clean, smooth look to them. Even the big Electras looked about as youthful and sporty as you could expect a Buick of that size to be. The Oldsmobiles were more conservative, and I'm not a huge fan of peaked headlights, but I still thought they were reasonably attractive.

    But the Pontiacs just seemed a bit over-the-top in their styling. They were trying for a little of that Grand Prix magic, I guess, and dabbling in "retro" styling several decades before retro became cool, but the effect just comes off as a bit pimpy to me. I also didn't like the way Pontiac was trying to become "all things to all people", where the Catalina seemed to go downscale a bit, while at the upper end they were aiming the Grand Ville at the Electra and Ninety Eight. But, their range was pretty popular from '71-73, so I guess they were doing something right.

    Pontiac seemed to get hit harder in the 1974 recession/oil embargo than the other GM divisions did, though, and its big cars never really recovered, the way they did at Chevy, Olds, and Buick.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,395
    I saw this beast, in a facebook forum...



    In a twisted, Mad-Max, post-apocalyptic sort of way, it kind of works!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 14,518
    What is it?! Maybe a Nissan/Oldsmobile mashup?
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 15,428
    Looks like all Oldsmobile except for topper.
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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,395
    edited November 2020
    I think it's just an '85-86 Olds Ninety-Eight, jacked up, with a compact pickup/SUV frame slid underneath, and a fiberglass pickup shell cut up and modified to fit. I have no idea what those bumpers came off of, though. And the raised-scoop hood certainly wasn't something you got with the Brougham edition! Maybe the LSS :p
  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,728
    Like the XL version of an 80s Tercel 4x4 wagon.
  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyPosts: 11,728
    It’s got Jeep wheels on it, so maybe a Cherokee frame.

    I would paint it flat black and scare people at the grocery with it.

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  • stickguystickguy Posts: 40,905
    and name it the "Deathmobile?"

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  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyPosts: 11,728
    Exactly.

    There is some part of me that misses having a true beater. Years ago when I had the 79 Continental people really were scared of that thing. No one tried to merge in front and would move out of the way if I was barreling down the left lane.

    Maybe that wouldn't happen today since there are so many more SUV's and monster pickups on the road, but in the early 2000s it certainly stood out as a beast.

    Speaking of those boats in a show we were watching the other night a drug cartel guy burned a really nice 78 Continental 4 door. It upset me that the show would have ruined such a nice example.





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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,395
    Wow, that is a shame that they'd torch that car. I wonder if they did some kind of quick sleight-of-hand, and substituted in one that was rattier, for the burning?

    But then, what's the going price for a Lincoln like that? I'm sure pristine low-mileage examples are now fetching a lot of money, but I guess you can still find a pretty nice example that photographs well for $6-10K?

    I tend to wince any time I see an old car get smashed up anymore, though. My first thought is usually HEY, somebody could have used that for parts!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,728
    Such cars are still of such relatively low value that even a low budget movie can afford to ruin some, I think. Same thing happens to old MBs.

    Reminds me of a car a friend's mom cleared after her dad passed. 77 or 78 Town Coupe, 25K miles. It had sat outside, covered (either under a tarp or in a shed), but in Seattle, so while the paint was aged and probably needed replacement, the interior was immaculate, the car was light grey on matching leather. It ran and drove without issue, but doubt needed some recommissioning. She struggled to sell it, and finally let it go for something like $1500.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 14,518
    Hey, the good news is that every time a studio does something like that, the value of the rest of them go up (even if ever so slightly!). :p
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyPosts: 11,728
    Yeah, not a super valuable car. I think your value for a clean under 100K example is pretty close. A low mile 79 Collector's Series could easily be run up to 20K.

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  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 3,970
    I liked the Collector's Series, especially if they had a moonroof. Too bad they were limited to the 400 instead of the 460. The 460 in dad's 77 Grand Marquis was no rocket, though it did swill gas.

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

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 14,364
    edited November 2020
    tjc78 said:


    There is some part of me that misses having a true beater.

    As I've mentioned elsewhere, I have trouble keeping a beater; I've fixed a few cosmetic issues on the Clubman because I hate to look at cracked or faded trim- I even bought a used ISOFIX cover on eBay to replace a missing door on one of the mounts. Then there's the speaker upgrade I found on sale at Bavsound and the incredibly cheap navigation update DVDs I found on eBay. And just recently I spent a couple of hours restoring the headlamp lenses.
    It's a sickness.

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  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 14,518

    tjc78 said:


    There is some part of me that misses having a true beater.

    As I've mentioned elsewhere, I have trouble keeping a beater; I've fixed a few cosmetic issues on the Clubman because I hate to look at cracked or faded trim- I even bought a used ISOFIX cover on eBay to replace a missing door on one of the mounts. Then there's the speaker upgrade I found on sale at Bavsound and the incredibly cheap navigation update DVDs I found on eBay. And just recently I spent a couple of hours restoring the headlamp lenses.
    It's a sickness.

    Recognizing it is the first step! :D
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyPosts: 11,728
    Yeah even my beater had some upgrades. No cats with true dual exhaust and a cobbled together but great stereo.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,092
    We miss our PT Cruiser beater, believe-it-or-not.

    There's something relaxing about having a car where you don't care where you park it.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,395
    That's one thing I miss, about not having my old '85 Silverado any more. That thing was getting pretty ratty, but it was also strong enough that if somebody bumped into it in a parking lot, it was most likely going to do more damage to them, than me.

    The '03 Regal I inherited from my Dad is in much better shape, but still a beater. It has a dent on one of the front fenders, and on one of the rear quarters. And it has no hubcaps. I'm not sure how it got the dents, but do remember my Dad saying that an uninsured motorist hit him. I also don't know the story behind its lack of hubcaps. I know it had them, when he bought the car! I wonder if he tried to pry one off, and broke it, not realizing you have to actually take the lug nuts off. At least, that's how it was with my 2000 Intrepid, so I'd guess most plastic wheelcovers were that way by this time?

    He bought some cheap Wal-Mart quality hubcaps, but never put them on. I have them, packed away somewhere. They're so cheap and ugly though that I refuse to put them on the car...I think it actually looks better with the plain black steel wheels!
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 3,970
    I bought an 82 Buick Skylark back in 90 to be my commuter car and beater. I could not bring myself not to take care of it. It was kept clean, whitewalls bright and mechanically maintained. I even replaced 2 wheel covers that had lost the Buick emblem. I actually liked that car.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,092
    edited November 2020
    We've talked about it before here, but I think really nobody else was offering a car like those X-cars, exterior size versus interior size, luxury available, utility, variety of choice, etc..--but I'd want one at least two or three years in.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,395
    edited November 2020
    In my opinion, the X-car pretty much laid the template for the domestic midsized car, one that's only deviated a bit in the past few years. FWD/transverse engine layout, seating for 5, unitized construction, fairly space-efficient, and 4- or V6 engine choices. The only real deviation, of late, is V6 engines dropping from the choices in more recent years. Oh, and the market shift from midsized cars to compact and midsized crossovers as the family vehicle of choice, which has caused a once broad lineup of cars to wither away considerably.

    Of the whole X-car batch, I always liked the Skylark the best. I thought they looked good in 2- or 4-door versions, and the interiors were pretty nice. With the Omega, I just didn't care for the front-end, which seemed a bit flat and featureless. I mean, you could tell it was an Oldsmobile, but it seemed like they still didn't go through a whole lot of effort to make the distinction.

    I wasn't a fan of the hatchback body styles, but kind of liked the Phoenix coupe. Some versions had a grille that seemed a bit too ornate, but there were some later trim levels, like this '83 LJ, that I liked. I think the simpler grille looks nice on the car...


  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,092
    edited November 2020
    The Skylark had the best instrument panel of all of them IMHO--like a scaled-down LeSabre. I didn't care all that much for the Phoenix dash, with its prominent center section, which is also a reason I didn't care for the '77-later Cadillac instrument panels.

    I had a coworker and friend who bought a year old '80 Citation Club Coupe, 4-speed, which he rolled on icy roads, and replaced it with a new '82 Phoenix coupe (can't recall the transmission). He liked it. He bought two or three Grand Ams new over the years after that. I've lost track of him some since.

    Purely for styling, my favorite X-car is an '80 X-11 Club Coupe, but not the best one of all to buy over the production run, LOL. Rear end resembles '78 Malibu Classic.

    I seriously considered buying a new '85 X-11, but bought the mechanically identical Celebrity Eurosport instead, worried about three-year trade-in value. The X-11 was cheaper to buy new and when I ordered my Celebrity the news about the discontinuation of the X-cars was already out there. While I was in the dealership ordering, the owner, probably about 40 or so, came to say 'hello' and I said "So they've discontinued the Citation". He smiled and clapped his hands, LOL.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,092
    edited November 2020
    The pic of the front seat of that Phoenix reminds me--when the X-cars were introduced, people were putting six passengers in them. I think GM didn't want that to happen so later made the front center position a little cubby hole/receptacle, which is visible in the ad.
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 3,970
    Initially I liked the Phoenix SJ coupe, with buckets, full gauges, 4sp, V6, ac, sunroof, rallye wheels. Buick did a better job overall and it’s styling aged better. The Skylark was a very practical, comfortable car that rode and drove well (for that time period).

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,395
    I don't mind the Phoenix dash from certain angles. For instance, straight-on, like this I think it's okay...

    Although, perhaps the circular theme in that center stack is a bit much. And so are the little exposed screws, rivets, or whatever. Knowing GM, they're probably screws, but those annoying little "star drive" or whatever they called them, where you had to have just the right tip to take them out!

    But then, from this angle, I don't like it at all...

    The cluster right in front of the driver, above the steering wheel, looks like it's just stuck on. And I don't like how the center cluster is at a different angle from it. I know I'm being nitpicky, but it just seems clashy.

    If you got the right interior though, these did have nice seats and door trim.


  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,728
    I know I've told this one before, but oh well. Picture it: summer 1996, twin boys who were best friends with my brother are now old enough to drive, dad buys them a car, probably to prevent them from tearing up his beloved pristine late 70s Ford supercab truck. Likely from an estate, he finds an 81 Skylark sedan, dark blue with matching plush interior, and loaded - power everything, stereo, etc. The car had like 20K miles on it, and looked brand new. I remember seeing 'Twister' at a drive in with them in that car. Even then it made me cringe that a couple of hellion kids were given this thing, as they were going to ruin it. I don't know exactly when it was done, as I was living away from home by then, but I don't think it made it out of 1997.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 14,617
    I suspect those screws in the Pontiac dash are fake, a design feature to make you think they are real screws. But that would involve way too much assembly labor if they were real. Most GM dash pieces in this era generally used a couple of hidden screws and mostly push-in clips to hold the plastic covers.

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

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,395
    Hmm, Lemko just reminded me, in a text...today is the anniversary of a death. It was on this day, November 18, 1961, the the official end of DeSoto division was announced.

    Oh, and on this day, November 18, 2009, my 2000 Intrepid was dealt a totaling blow, when someone hit-and-runned on it while it was unattended in a parking lot.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 181,001
    andre1969 said:

    Hmm, Lemko just reminded me, in a text...today is the anniversary of a death. It was on this day, November 18, 1961, the the official end of DeSoto division was announced.

    Oh, and on this day, November 18, 2009, my 2000 Intrepid was dealt a totaling blow, when someone hit-and-runned on it while it was unattended in a parking lot.

    I'm sorry for your loss

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,092
    I think you might mean '1960' as the year of the final DeSoto (model year 1961).
  • omarmanomarman Posts: 2,638
    andre1969 said:

    Hmm, Lemko just reminded me, in a text...today is the anniversary of a death. It was on this day, November 18, 1961, the the official end of DeSoto division was announced.

    Oh, and on this day, November 18, 2009, my 2000 Intrepid was dealt a totaling blow, when someone hit-and-runned on it while it was unattended in a parking lot.

    "Mrs. Hogwallop up and R-U-N-N-O-F-T." - Washington Hogwallop
    A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,395
    Oops...yeah, November 18, 1960. My goof!
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,092
    edited November 2020
    Spotted at the BP station this morning--'63 1/2 Ford Galaxie 500 (not 'XL')--with 406!

    I have seen this car passing by a few times over the past couple years, but I never was able to get up close to it until now. I had no idea it was a 406. It looks pretty original to me.

    The owner (younger than me) came out and jumped in while I was taking a pic of the '406' emblem. I asked him if that was OK and he said 'Sure, today's the last day I'll have it out this year'. Note low LR tire. It sounded like a race car when he started it and left....loud, lumpy idle.

    I have to say, I have always rather liked the '63 Fords. I remember my Dad saying once, "I like the big taillights on those cars. Safe". A lifelong Studebaker man friend of mine, feels these were probably the best-built postwar Ford.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,092
    edited November 2020



  • stickguystickguy Posts: 40,905
    Big dash top tach and traction bars are a clue that it has something serious under the hood.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,395
    The '63 is my favorite big Ford of that decade. I think the styling strikes a really good balance between the '61-62 models, which seemed more conservative, and the '64, which was getting a bit intricate and fussy in its style. I think the concave grille, with its slight forward thrust, looks really good. And just nice proportioning, overall.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,092
    My Stude friend who is a fan of these cars tells me this is a pretty rare piece as he says the 406 was being phased out about the time the '63 1/2 fastback roof was being phased in.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,092
    edited November 2020
    You know me, I'm so used to Studes that full-size domestics then strike me funny with the short hood/long deck styling, but that said, it's a nice car. Really unusual at the time that a manufacturer would make such a large change (adding the fastback roof) mid-year. I never knew if they continued to make the formal-top hardtop last half of the year, too, or not.

    I like it better than the '64 too. Almost unequivocally, I don't like cars with body side moldings that run the full length of the side of the car, over the front wheel openings, especially when the trim nearly touches the wheel opening.

    I always thought they sold a ton of '64's and that they must've been pretty good cars, as it seemed I'd still see a handful of them between where I live and 37 miles down the road, where I worked, into the late '90's.

    A '61 Starliner is my favorite big Ford of that era, but as I've posted before, I get tired of Ford's 'tomato red' as I call it (and this car is a faded version of that). The XL cars of the '62-64 era had great, durable interiors too I think.

    I casually knew a guy with a deep burgundy '63 1/2 XL with black vinyl roof, and in fact my uncle owns a medium blue '63 500XL four-door hardtop, an unusual beast, although I've never seen the car in person.
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