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

1107110721074107610771100

Comments

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,378
    edited February 15
    I liked the '65 full-size Ford, but I remember some mag supposedly saying "it looks like the box the Chevy came in". I know the '66 Ford is the same body, but I could never pinpoint what they did to change it. I know the two-door hardtop roofline is more fast-back on the '66, but elsewhere the car looks a bit 'puffed up' compared to the '65. Even the taillights are wider. The car just generally seems a little bit chunkier.

    Very nice interior on the 7-Liter ("Litre"?) model.

    I like the '66 Impala too, but not as much as the '65. Supposedly it has a beefier frame, but to lose those bullet taillights, to have a side molding put smack down the middle of the side, it loses the super-cleanness of the '65 IMHO.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,148
    I never liked the '65 Ford. I think both the front end and rear end styling turned me off a bit. But the '66 rectified all that for me and it is my favorite '60s Ford, with the '64 coming in 2nd place.

    I agree that the '66 Chevy design was a step back from the '65.

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

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,513
    66 Ford has a lot of subtle curves and bowed/arched features, and of course the concave rear window on hardtops. I like the 66 more, too - 65 is too angular.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,513
    TPiR, December 1977. First, a nice Regal, MSRP in the 5600s:



    This must be a rerun, I think this is the car @uplanderguy noticed carried a too-low stated price, this uplanderguy dream car nicely equipped Malibu in maybe the best color combo, MSRP claimed to be 4980:



    And in the showcase, something with a more typical color for the era:






  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,514
    That '78 Malibu Classic is nice. According to my old car book, a V6 Landau MSRP'ed for $4684, while the V8 was $4874. So, I'd think at $4980, that one on The Price is Right would actually be pretty basic?

    One thing I've wondered, though...considering how high inflation was in that timeframe, did the manufacturers sometimes raise their prices several times, throughout the year? For instance, perhaps the Malibu was cheap enough at the beginning of 1978 that you could get a nicely-equipped Landau for $4980, but later in the year, the MSRP was raised considerably? And perhaps the numbers my auto encyclopedia printed were from later in the year?

    As a rough reference point, my Mom's new 1980 Malibu coupe was something like $6500-$6700 out the door I think, with tax and everything. Its base price was something like $5502, but stuff like automatic, a/c, am/fm radio, tint at the top of the windshield, whitewalls, etc jacked that price. It also had the all-vinyl interior, which was extra-cost from the cloth.

    When I first learned that vinyl was often the extra-cost upgrade, I used to find that pretty amusing, because I always thought that vinyl was the lowest of the low, and cloth was an improvement because it wouldn't burn you in the hot summer. But then, they sometimes had some seriously cheap grades of cloth, in those days.

    I think these Malibu coupes look better without a vinyl or landau roof, but it actually does wear the landau roof rather well.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 191,434
    That Regal must be a stripper at $5600. Though, who knows how old the episode is, by the time it airs.

    Edmunds Price Checker
    Edmunds Lease Calculator
    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,378
    edited February 15
    I sincerely doubt the MSRP's, of the cars shown, both the Regal and Malibu Classic, at the prices shown.

    RE.: The Regal--our '77 Impala coupe, 305, no air, full wheelcovers and whitewalls, AM radio, bumper guards, tined glass, Exterior Decor Group, and that's it, stickered for $5,503.00. The Regal has chrome wheels and a vinyl top.

    That Malibu Classic--the interior shot shows A/C and the 50/50 seats and the special instrumentation. What $4,800 in a '78 Malibu got you was a 3.3 wagon with 3-speed and no power anything but an AM radio and blackwalls.

    That Malibu Classic as shown is a $7,000 car new. I know this as my friend's parents' '78 Malibu Classic sedan, not as well-equipped, stickered at $6,600. The 'Deluxe Bumpers' and bumper guards as shown on the Malibu were optional as well.

    I would confidently bet a grand that there is absolutely no way in hell that Malibu stickered for under $5k. I seem to remember Johnny's description, too, said "Malibu", not "Malibu Classic". I was looking at these cars new, constantly then.

    I believe this must have been an era where the car given away is not the actual car shown, which to me is bad.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,378
    BTW, our 1980 Monte Carlo, V6, no air, automatic, Rally Wheels, whitewalls, Exterior Decor group, AM/FM radio, all vinyl trim, tinted glass, and rear seat speaker, stickered for $7,070.00.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,514
    According to my old car book, a Regal started at only $4713 in 1977. But that was with a V6, no a/c, etc. Basically, equipped the way nobody who was in the market for a Regal would actually want one.

    Actually, compared to similar cars, the Regal was downright cheap. That same year, the Century Special coupe was $4170, while the regular coupe was $4304. The Century Custom coupe was $4628. Not surprisingly, with such a small price premium, the Regal outsold them all, by a pretty large margin.

    That year, they sold:
    52,864 of the coupe/Special coupe (this book combines sales of the two)
    20,834 of the Custom coupe
    174,560 of the Regal.

    When these cars downsized for '78, in many cases sales were off slightly compared to '77. Or even if there was some improvement, they still weren't considered the downsizing success that the big car had been. However, the '78 Regal was pretty popular, jumping to 236,652 sales. However, I wonder if part of that is because of the clumsy Aeroback Century? Whereas the '77 Century and Regal had a strong family resemblance, and even the cheapest cars looked good, the Aerobacks put off a lot of buyers with their style. Sales slumped to 10,818 Century Special coupes, and 12,434 Century Custom coupes. There's also a Limited listed, but no sales, so I think they lumped them in with the Custom.

    A Century Custom coupe was $4,658, while the Regal started at $4,885. A Century Limited coupe was $5,017, while the Regal Limited was $5,268
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,378
    I've long-questioned base prices in the general books, just because I remember some from over the years that were wrong according to the window stickers we still had for the cars. That said, in that era of inflation, prices did go up through the model year. I think finding a Malibu Classic or a Regal in California without A/C , to show, would've been nearly impossible.

    I can remember seeing a new '78 Monte Carlo stickering at $7,200-odd, and it had neither t-tops nor an electric sunroof, but the optional heavy-velour interior.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,378
    edited February 15
    I knew a girl in college, a year behind me, who had a '78 Malibu Classic Landau that looked exactly like that blue one, except that it had white bucket seats with console. I was very envious. I saw it when I went back up to school to visit friends younger than me. It had 16K miles and she got it when it was three years old.

    I always wanted a new one with those same wheelcovers, not a Landau, but black with gold pinstripe and the matching (Camel?) cloth 50/50 split front seat with dual center armrests.

    That Camaro was looking long-in-the-tooth by then, but then I never even wanted a Camaro in '71 or 72.
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 4,365
    As a freshman in college I sold educational books from the Southwestern Co based outside of Nashville, TN during the summer of 79. My sales manager, also a college student, had a 77 Regal, white, red landau top, plush red interior. It had the 231 V6. That car was super comfortable but horribly slow. Mark had to floor it on a regular basis just to get up to speed, hills were long and drawn out. I don’t think that car lasted but a few years.

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

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,514
    One of the worst transgressions of the 1970s was probably when Buick tried putting the 231 V6 in the '76 LeSabre. But, in a masochistic sort of way, I kinda want to drive one, just to see how bad it was.

    Consumer Reports tested a 1977 Cutlass Supreme 4-door with a 260, and I think 0-60 came up in around 21.6 seconds. According to automobile-catalog.com it used a 2.73:1 axle. They do mathematical calculations to estimate their 0-60 times, and came up with a more optimistic 16.8 seconds.

    Their estimated 0-60 for the LeSabre was 18.8 seconds. It used a more aggressive 3.23:1, but in the real world, I wonder if it was as bad as 25 or so? :o
  • omarmanomarman Member Posts: 2,702
    A friend in HS had a '65 Chevy Impala sedan with a 283/powerglide in really good condition with about 80K miles. But it probably wasn't much different than that '77 Olds Cutlass 260 test car. There was a long hill leading up to the street where my friend lived and the Impala just crawled along whether he had the gas pedal floored or not.
    A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,513
    I wonder if it was kind of a bait and switch for the contestant, or a dumb understatement of MSRP to get people into a showroom? I can imagine someone watching that, seeing the pretty Malibu for a claimed 5K - going down to the showroom to check it out, and not being pleased at the 7K sticker.

    Another 70s episode played in the background yesterday when I was working on something, and they had a Vega Kammback - a late run car, this was a 76 or 77. MSRP was a little over 4K. I know if I could spend $800 and go from a Vega to that Malibu, it would be a no-brainer. But of course, it wasn't quite so simple.

    I'd wager many base MSRPs exist only in theory - you'd never find a total base car on the lot, you'd have to special order it.

    I sincerely doubt the MSRP's, of the cars shown, both the Regal and Malibu Classic, at the prices shown.


    I believe this must have been an era where the car given away is not the actual car shown, which to me is bad.

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,514
    Something else I just thought of, would the base MSRP on a car in California back then have been a little higher, because of all the extra emissions crap they put on them? Also, using the '78 Malibu as a reference point, in the 49 states, a Chevy 200 V6/manual shift was standard, but in California, a Buick 231/3-speed auto was standard. The 200, apparently, couldn't pass California emissions, and neither could the manual. FWIW, Chevy didn't offer the 305 with a manual in Cali, either.

    So, while my book shows the '78 Classic Landau coupe starting at $4684, which would be with the 200/manual, maybe $4980 just represented the additional price of making the bigger 231 and an automatic standard?

    So, in the case of the Malibu at least, maybe they were quoting the base MSRP, but the base for a California car, versus the base for a 49-state car, which is most likely what my book is quoting?
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 4,365
    edited February 15
    Hard to believe as late as 78 a 3 speed manual was standard instead of a 4 or 5 speed. I guess you could say a 3 speed manual was equivalent to a 3 speed auto overall. The manual probably had a less economical rear end which made it rev higher and less quieter at cruising speed.

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

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,378
    edited February 16
    The 3-speed was rare, but not totally. I can remember two '78 Malibu wagons at our hometown dealer with it. Coming with a floor shift was sorta cool. I've seen a Monte Carlo or two of that year online with the 3-speed but don't recall ever seeing a real one.

    4-and 5-speeds were available with four-cylinders in the Vega and Monza lines in that time period.

    I still would enjoy a '76 or '77 Vega Kammback--it's what the car should've been when introduced. Easy to forget they were the absolute darlings of the car press then. I'd still like a Cosworth too.

    4-speeds were available in the '78 Malibu and Monte Carlo V8's, but I've never seen a real one. I believe they were available in Pontiac mid-sizes then too. Olds offered a 5-speed with their 260 in the Cutlass lineup then.

    I could actually enjoy a '78 or '79 two-door Cutlass Salon Brougham in a dark color, with factory wheels. I like it better than the Buick Century with its yellow taillights. You just don't see the cars. At this point I'd prefer one to the formal coupes. Those '78 GM midsizes were arrogant in some of the design and engineering, and are much harder to find in nice, original condition than a Colonnade-era car, but I did always really admire the packaging of interior space versus exterior size. Almost a responsible old-car choice now, LOL. Most Malibus have been rodded up; for some reason are a darling of that set now.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,514
    Here's a Cutlass Salon Brougham 4-door sedan that was for sale. It's sold, but there's still a bunch of pics here...

    https://www.streetsideclassics.com/vehicles/2098-tpa/1978-oldsmobile-cutlass-salon-brougham

    I'd imagine a 260 with the 5-speed was especially rare in the sedan. What was the story with those 260/5-speed setups anyway? Did GM lose a bet, or something, and was forced to take delivery of them? I've heard the transmissions weren't beefy enough to mate up to larger engines, so that's why they used the 260.

    Pontiac offered the combination on the LeMans in 1976, but not '77. I can't imagine there were many takers.
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 4,365
    As you know I had the 5sp in my 76 Sunbird 231 V6. It had a very tight shift gate, was a noisy and unfortunately fragile transmission. Until one got used to that transmission it was all too easy to shift from 1 to 4 or even grind gears. The Olds 260 V8 was about 110 hp, similar to the 231 V6 of 105-110hp and a little better torque. Not many takers on the Olds 5sp set up. I understand they didn’t offer the 5sp with anything more powerful because it couldn’t handle it.

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

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,378
    edited February 16
    Something that always bugs me, is when a body shop is lazy about replacing nameplates and emblems where they belong. The "Cutlass Salon" nameplate and flags belong below the bodyside molding, not above it. Those are aftermarket moldings too. Too lazy to check the brochure, but I feel fairly certain those bucket seats were never offered in a four-door GM product. I believe (though not certain) that only the Grand Am sedan could be had with buckets in that late seventies iteration.

    That 5-speed shifter does look like it sits pretty far back; maybe you had to get the buckets to get the 5-speed.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,378
    edited February 16
    Totally off-subject, but I binge-watched Stephen King's '11.22.63' last night. About seven hours. As you might imagine, tons of old cars, and the only one I remember seeing that was newer than the date of the scene, was a '64 Studebaker Wagonaire in '62.

    Overall, I liked the series. Sort-of a dramatic 'Back To The Future'.

    The main character saved JFK, but when he returned to 2016, things in the U.S. were not well at all. The JFK storyline was almost a subplot in the whole thing.

    A tagline throughout the series was "When you try and change the past, the past pushes back".
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,514
    I'm not a huge fan of the Aerobacks in general, but I do think the Cutlass Salon carried it off much better than the Century. I'm just not a huge fan of the Century front-end. Something about the way it slopes for '78-79, and the way the headlights and turn signals are all worked into the design, it just seems generic. I think it looks even worse for '79. It looks like they tried to flatten out the slight prow shape of the front, but I don't know if they actually did, or if it's just a visual trick carried out by the texture of the grille.

    I do like the '80, though. I think having the grille be a bit more upright, and being sloped back in the headlight area helps the look immensely. Although now, it looks a bit out of place on an Aeroback coupe because it seems a bit too upscale, and out of place. The car is now sort of an automotive mullet...business up front, party out back! :p Now, if you get the turbo coupe in any of those years, I think it definitely looks sharper, with the black-out on the grille, and the spoiler.

    I think I still prefer the Cutlass Salon, in any given year, though. I think the front-end was versatile enough that it worked well on a personal luxury coupe, a car with musclecar aspirations, the Aerobacks, and the notchback sedans of '80-81.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,378
    edited February 16
    Yeah, the Cutlass Salon Brougham in coupe version, with the Super Stock Wheels (I think they were called), looked pretty nice, all-things considered. I liked the wide rocker trim that I believe you got with the Brougham.

    A friend of mine and I drove from NW PA to St. Louis to visit a school chum of ours, in 1978, in my friends' parents new Cutlass Salon Brougham 4-door, 260, in that copper color like a new penny (sort of). At the time I was impressed at how plush, smooth, and quiet a car that size could be.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,378
    edited February 16
    Thinking back on my negative Camaro comment a few lines above--I haven't verified this number, but even as a teenager I think I remember reading that the Camaro's trunk was 6.7 cu.ft. and thinking how ridiculous that was. Like a second glove compartment, LOL.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,378
    edited February 16
    Thinking back to that '76 Regal above--I thought I remembered those Regals having a V6 emblem on the front-fender if so equipped. This link confirms that:

    https://barnfinds.com/1976-buick-regal-585-original-miles/

    So that car on the show was a V8.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,514
    In their defense, most of those ponycars had really small trunks. I doubt that a Mustang/Cougar, or Challenger/Barracuda, was much better. I think cars like that are the reason that those compact spares that were stored flat and came with a can of compressed air were invented!

    And, I was thinking the same thing about the Regal, that if you got a V6, it had a badge. That Barn Finds Regal is kind of interesting, in that it looks somewhat nicely equipped, with power windows and a/c, but still just having the 231. I had wondered, on occasion, if in a car this heavy if they made you get a bigger engine if you wanted a/c, but I guess this one answers that question!

    It's interesting, too, that the GVWR on that V6 Regal is only listed at 5266 lb. My '76 LeMans is rated at 5622. I wouldn't think the engine choice would make that much difference...isn't GVWR usually tied more to the beefiness of the body and suspension? I guess the transmission would make some difference as well. But in '76, the 231 used the THM350, just like the 350 in my LeMans does. GM hadn't learned how to slip under-sized transmissions into over-sized cars just yet. Give 'em a year or two :p

    Or, I wonder if that Regal really was 5622, and the writer of that article just had momentary dyslexia and wrote 5266?

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,378
    edited February 16
    I think these Malibu coupes look better without a vinyl or landau roof, but it actually does wear the landau roof rather well.

    Agreed. As was often the case, it wasn't a puffy padded roof with the quarter window notably reduced in size.

    I always liked this black '78 Malibu Classic coupe, although it has a full-vinyl top and power sunroof. It stickered at $7552, and the sunroof was $499 so even without it, the car stickered at $7053.

    https://www.curbsideclassic.com/automotive-histories/vintage-review-1978-chevrolet-malibu-classic-car-and-driver-goes-crazy-for-f41/
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,717
    Didn't the 231 cu in V6 end up as the 3800? I wouldn't think the 3800 was too small for those cars, is it?
    Of course those had a 3-speed tranmission while the 3800's I've driven had 4-speed transmissions.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,378
    edited February 16
    As far as I know, the 231 did indeed become the "3800".

    Only the California Chevys got the 231 for '78 and '79. Maybe later years too; I'd have to look at the brochures.

    The Regals and especially the LeSabres for '76 strike me as porky for the 231.

    EDIT: The '78 Monte Carlo came standard with the 231 across the U.S., now that I think about it. Earlier Monte Carlos came standard with V8 power.
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 4,365

    Something that always bugs me, is when a body shop is lazy about replacing nameplates and emblems where they belong. The "Cutlass Salon" nameplate and flags belong below the bodyside molding, not above it. Those are aftermarket moldings too. Too lazy to check the brochure, but I feel fairly certain those bucket seats were never offered in a four-door GM product. I believe (though not certain) that only the Grand Am sedan could be had with buckets in that late seventies iteration.

    That 5-speed shifter does look like it sits pretty far back; maybe you had to get the buckets to get the 5-speed.

    You are correct, the emblems on the fenders are not correct. That always bothers me as well. I remember seeing that Cutlass for sale. I thought it was sparsely equipped, no tilt wheel, am radio, no gauges (gages?) i.e. tach to compliment the manual transmission.

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

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,513
    January 1976. First up, a Skylark, maybe not too loaded, MSRP 4221. Johnny's ad copy mentioned more than once about the economy of the car - not sure about that, but I suppose compared to a 455 LeSabre or something:




    Then everyone's fave, a Vega. At least it's Kammback in a nice color, the ad copy mentioned both the new rust-resistance and improved engine. MSRP 3940:



    And in the showcase, a Nova:




    Speaking of Aerobacks, when I was a kid, there was a pristine 442 version in town - I thought it was a cool enough car. Don't see those much anymore.





  • omarmanomarman Member Posts: 2,702
    Current Bid: $6,700 Ends In 1 day

    That Skylark made me think of this '74 Apollo I saw on BaT a couple days ago. It's the "halo" style vinyl top that caught my eye.
    A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,378
    edited February 16
    You could give me that Vega, although it has the standard cheapo interior. The Custom Interior option (i.e., Camaro buckets) always totally transformed the interiors of Vegas I thought. The Kammback has long-been my favorite bodystyle of the four the car was introduced with.

    That era Nova/Omega/Phoenix/Skylark looked nice in an upper-trim level in four-door version I think. I was always reminded of BMW in the shape and cut of the rear door, and that little extractor vent in the C-pillar.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,378
    You are correct, the emblems on the fenders are not correct. That always bothers me as well.

    Perhaps my biggest single automotive pet peeve!

    That would actually keep me from buying a car. It would just slap me in the face every time I climbed in.

    Body shops think no one will notice--wrong-o.

    It's easy to get right, and very, very difficult to correct.

    I have a buddy who rolls his eyes at me about that, but...come on!
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,513
    I noticed the Vega had a plaid/checkered interior.

    I too have always seen that Nova as having a Hofmeister kink in the C-pillar. Here's a BMW that debuted a few years prior:

    image

    I've seen many a MB with misplaced trunk badges, too.

    You could give me that Vega, although it has the standard cheapo interior. The Custom Interior option (i.e., Camaro buckets) always totally transformed the interiors of Vegas I thought. The Kammback has long-been my favorite bodystyle of the four the car was introduced with.

    That era Nova/Omega/Phoenix/Skylark looked nice in an upper-trim level in four-door version I think. I was always reminded of BMW in the shape and cut of the rear door, and that little extractor vent in the C-pillar.

  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 4,365
    edited February 16


    I found this very interesting. Note the 1st year 350 diesel with 120 hp. Hp decreased to 105 in subsequent years. Also note the relative small difference between the 231 and 260, with the main difference being torque.

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

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,514
    One comment that's interesting about that '78 Malibu review... it says "You sit more upright in this Malibu than in past models, but the seating is not as chair-like as a Volvo's" So maybe there was something into Uplanderguy's earlier mentioning that it seemed like the seats in GM's Colonades were a bit more reclined than "normal". I don't think I ever noticed it in my '76 LeMans, but it has a power seat, that I have set with the front as high as it will go, and the back dropped a bit, so that I have good thigh support, but my head clears the ceiling.

    Maybe they did recline the seats in these cars a bit more than most other cars of the time, because there really isn't a lot of headroom. For me it's just enough, but there's not an over-abundance of it.

    That review reminded me of something else that I had forgotten. I had it in my mind that the 305-4bbl didn't come out until 1979, and was thinking they did it mainly for emissions reasons. In '79, the 2-bbl was choked from 145 hp to 130, and then dropped totally for 1980. But, the other day I was looking in a Buick brochure, and did notice mention of a 305-4bbl in the Century/Regal and the Cutlass. And with the same 160 hp that it had in '79. I wonder, if they only offered the 4-bbl in the Buick and Olds, but not the Chevy that first year, to try and give Buick/Olds a bit of cachet, a little extra something you couldn't get in a Chevy?
  • omarmanomarman Member Posts: 2,702
    That Chevy 350 LM1 rated at 160 hp was used in everything from the Z/28 Camaro to 9C1 police vehicles. In the 80's I had a '78 Nova with the (LG3) 305/145 hp and it was probably the best engine option for that car.

    I wonder what difference in real world MPG there would be between the 231 and 260 if any at all.
    A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,148
    The odd thing about that engine listings page is that the Olds 260 is the same physical size and pretty much the same weight at the 403 since by then all Oldsmobile V-8s were made off the same basic block.

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

  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 4,365
    The 403 was still producing decent torque, 320 @2000. The 350 diesel which I would associate with torque was only 220 though at a low 1600.

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

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,378
    edited February 16
    I wonder, if they only offered the 4-bbl in the Buick and Olds, but not the Chevy that first year, to try and give Buick/Olds a bit of cachet, a little extra something you couldn't get in a Chevy?

    Could be. Where I lived, Pontiacs had the 301 and most of the Oldses I were aware of had the 260. Buicks seemed to mostly have the V6. I felt glad at the time that Chevy didn't use a 'baby' V8 in the '78 mid-sizes, but of course that changed starting for '79.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,514
    One thing I never understood, is why is it that sometimes with a 4-bbl carb, you end up with less torque than a 2-bbl? I've heard it has something to do with backpressure, or something like that? Anyway, could someone explain it to me in layman's terms?

    I also tend to associate Diesels with low hp for their displacement, but still lots of torque, even if it's in a limited rpm range. So when the Olds 350 Diesel showed such low torque numbers, that always perplexed me, too. I wonder if it's because they started with a gasoline engine? And even though they beefed up the block, they still did something to it so that it didn't put out that much torque, so it wouldn't put too much strain on the block and other engine components.

    Supposedly, when they redesigned the Diesel for 1980, and hp dropped to 105, it was much more reliable than the 120 hp version. I think the torque dropped even further to 205 ft-lb?
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,514
    edited February 16
    The 160 hp Chevy 350 actually confused me at first, because I was always accustomed to the 350-4bbl having 170 hp, from 1977 until whenever it finally went to TBI. But then it hit me, and it says right there in the print, that's the high altitude version. Here's the chart that shows EPA estimates, and engine/transmission availability...



    Good lord, it must have been a pain to sell cars in California, and some high altitude areas!

    It's interesting, that the Delta 88 left a big gap in engine choices, with nothing available between 260 and 350 CID. I think they did that in '77 as well, but in '79 I believe they used Pontiac 301s, and then the Olds 307 for 1980.
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 4,365
    edited February 17
    The gas mileage for the 231 manual Starfire is close to what I experienced with the Sunbird, though it would get 30 mpg on long drives going a steady 60-62. Mom would have been delighted to get the EPA estimates. 12 mpg, 15 mpg highway is what that car typically delivered. Dad’s 79 Eldorado diesel typically got 20 mpg city and 30 highway, so again pretty close to the Olds estimates.

    I meant to indicate mom's car was a 78 Olds 98 with the 403.

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

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,514
    The closest car I had that fit into that chart would be my '82 Cutlass Supreme coupe, I guess. It had a 231/3-speed automatic. They're showing a somewhat optimistic 19/27. I usually got around 15-16 driving locally, and out on a highway run, maybe 21-22. Of course, a highway run for me often meant pegging the 85 mph odometer. I don't think the EPA did that in their laboratory testing :p

    It was also 11 years old, and had about 61,000 miles on it when I bought it.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,514
    One other vehicle from that rough era that I thought was surprisingly economical, when it was new at least, was my Granddad's '85 Silverado. It had a 305-4bbl, but only had a 3-speed automatic. It had a pretty tall axle ratio too, the 2.56:1 I think. I just looked up its numbers on a text file at the EPA website ( https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/epadata/85guide.txt )

    If I'm reading it right, it looks like it was only rated 14/16 on the window sticker, but if you used the old, raw, unadjusted 1977-84 numbers, it was 15/21. When it was new, it could easily break 15/21. Now, by the time it got handed down to me, in 2002 I think, it wasn't exactly showroom new. By then, in most local driving, I was lucky to get 10-11. I think the best I ever got out of it, was one time I drove it up to Pennsylvania on one of my car show trips, to give it a run. I tried to drive it as gently as I could, and I think I got about 18 mpg.

  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 4,365
    edited February 17
    andre1969 said:

    One other vehicle from that rough era that I thought was surprisingly economical, when it was new at least, was my Granddad's '85 Silverado. It had a 305-4bbl, but only had a 3-speed automatic. It had a pretty tall axle ratio too, the 2.56:1 I think. I just looked up its numbers on a text file at the EPA website ( https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/epadata/85guide.txt )

    If I'm reading it right, it looks like it was only rated 14/16 on the window sticker, but if you used the old, raw, unadjusted 1977-84 numbers, it was 15/21. When it was new, it could easily break 15/21. Now, by the time it got handed down to me, in 2002 I think, it wasn't exactly showroom new. By then, in most local driving, I was lucky to get 10-11. I think the best I ever got out of it, was one time I drove it up to Pennsylvania on one of my car show trips, to give it a run. I tried to drive it as gently as I could, and I think I got about 18 mpg.

    How does the mpg compare to your Ram? When we lived in VA (76-78) we had a farm and dad had a 76 GMC Sierra 15 full time 4wd, 350 4bbl. 9-10 mpg was the norm, on the road 13ish.

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

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 14,962
    I get a rather consistent 11 mpg with my '69 C20. It has a 307 V8 with "4-speed" (3 + ultra low gear) manual. However, I let a friend borrow it for about a week one time, and he was careful not to drive it over 55... He managed a solid 15! When I try the same, which I normally cannot manage to do, I can also achieve that fantastical feat. I had no idea that a few miles per hour could make such a difference, because even 60-65 speeds will net a result of around 11 mpg.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,513
    edited February 17
    Fintail can attain maybe 21-22 mpg at lower speed (~60 mph) cruising, not bad for its age, I suppose smallish displacement helps in that case. In the city, 15 mpg range is the norm. I wonder what the sweet spot is for mpg in that car, which has unusual gearing (shifts into 4th at around 25 mph, and from there winds up at speed, but it likes to rev).

    I remember our 66 Galaxie with the 390 seemed to average 10-12 mpg no matter the speed. I think the 68 Fairlane with a 289/3 on the tree could get over 20 in gentle highway cruising, too. I don't remember what the 60 would do, but with a 352 maybe not an economy champ.
Sign In or Register to comment.