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

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  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 15,300
    I saw a new(to me at any rate) magazine at the bookstore this weekend- Crankshaft. It's a quarterly magazine and I think the folks who hang out in this topic would like it.

    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: 2018 330i xDrive

  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,952


    New negatives were how new emission standards were in place by the time the car was put in production, and of course the selling price.

    I read an article about the development of the Cosworth Vega engine a while ago, and I gather that in its original form it put out prodigious power for its size. But as you say, cleaning it up to meet emissions really choked it down. I suspect someone today who knew what they were doing could bring back much of the HP lost.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,784
    edited October 10

    “Crankshaft” is Richard Lentinello’s new magazine. I saw an issue at B&N a month or so ago. It did look pretty nice.

  • lemko1968lemko1968 Philadelphia, PAMember Posts: 107

    1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL

  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,952

    “Crankshaft” is Richard Lentinello’s new magazine. I saw an issue at B&N a month or so ago. It did look pretty nice.

    Seems to be an odd time to be launching a hard-copy quarterly, but what do I know?

    It's priced well above Collectible Auto so I'll be interested to actually see a copy to get a sense of its quality and quantity of content. I'll need to browse newsstands and see if it made it up here.

    At least now the decline in content at Hemmings Classic Car has an explanation beyond Covid-related things. The new publication has Richard Lentinello, Jim Donnelly, David LaChance, Walt Gosden, and Milton Stern, all former HCC contributors/editors. I was never a fan of Lentinello during his time at HCC; when he was editor, his monthly column always managed to annoy me somehow. The others listed were OK though, and I always particularly enjoyed Milton Stern's work.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,784
    What struck me is the thickness of each page, when I held it in my hand.

    A friend of mine is a writer in a future issue of 'Crankshaft'. I'm thinking about subscribing.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,067
    This puppy passed me at 72 on I70. I then realized it might be rare.

    Datsun 2000 with DOT SUN as license! LOL


    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,227
    With bumpers that double as a seating area. I wonder if it's a 6.9, the top of the line back in the day, would have cost 40K+ new.
    lemko1968 said:

    1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,784
    andre's '67 pulling out of his driveway reminds me of Batman (Adam West) coming out of the BatCave in the Batmobile! Pretty concealed driveway!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 15,385

    andre's '67 pulling out of his driveway reminds me of Batman (Adam West) coming out of the BatCave in the Batmobile! Pretty concealed driveway!

    Indeed; and that Catalina sounds rather mean as it pulls away!
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 15,300

    This puppy passed me at 72 on I70. I then realized it might be rare.

    Datsun 2000 with DOT SUN as license! LOL


    I had a 1969 1600; my first and only(so far) "traditional" sports car.

    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: 2018 330i xDrive

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,784
    edited October 11
    This Facebook ad about made my jaw drop. I have not seen a car as close to my '81 Monte Carlo, my first new car, which was stolen in Sept. '82, in decades. That two-tone was not seen that often, especially with the standard full wheelcovers. Mine had those door panels inside as well, when most of the cars our dealer got in had the optional interior door panels. I know it's not the same car as mine didn't have A/C, had FM radio, and had cloth seats. But otherwise....wow.

    https://www.facebook.com/bobby.tyler.3975/videos/303928567776907
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,785
    edited October 11

    andre's '67 pulling out of his driveway reminds me of Batman (Adam West) coming out of the BatCave in the Batmobile! Pretty concealed driveway!

    That was actually kind of my intention. The yard used to be completely open to the road, for the entire right-of-way, except for some stockade fencing really close to the house, that makes it into a little courtyard. I planted a bunch of trees along the front of the yard, with the hopes of making the place more secluded. For comparison, here's an old Google street view from 2008:



    The driveway used to hit the road about 40-50 feet to the right of where it is currently. (basically just to the left of where that mailbox and utility pole are at the end of the Catalina video). The entrance where the Catalina came out of is just to the right of where that fence pole is, in the screen capture above. I had put that second entrance in around 2010 I guess. Eventually a sinkhole started forming at the edge of the road at the old entrance, so we just stopped using it. For awhile I had my blue '79 New Yorker parked there, blocking it, to keep people from using that entrance.

    One of my friends joked, years ago, that I would eventually get that yard exactly how I wanted it, with regards to seclusion to the road, and then that would be when I sold the house, and would have to start over again! And, damn if it didn't happen! Although with the new place, it's on 6.5 acres and the front of the house is about 340 feet off the road. It's also not as busy of a road. So while I don't have that total isolation like I used to, I think I'm still better off.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,952

    This Facebook ad about made my jaw drop. I have not seen a car as close to my '81 Monte Carlo, my first new car, which was stolen in Sept. '82, in decades. That two-tone was not seen that often, especially with the standard full wheelcovers. Mine had those door panels inside as well, when most of the cars our dealer got in had the optional interior door panels. I know it's not the same car as mine didn't have A/C, had FM radio, and had cloth seats. But otherwise....wow.

    https://www.facebook.com/bobby.tyler.3975/videos/303928567776907

    I can watch the video but I don't see any for sale info.

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  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 15,385
    @andre1969 .... You better get started on planting some new trees/shrubs!
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,784
    edited October 11
    The guy had recently posted a pic of it, asking people what they thought he should ask. Maybe he doesn't really (yet) have it for sale. This video is sure taking me back though.

    When I decided to have my local dealer go get the car, I was disappointed it didn't have Rally Wheels. After a bit it bothered me less. Seems like plastic wheelcovers were already starting to be in vogue at that time and these were still bright, steel covers. They didn't look bad IMHO.

    My parents had an '80 Monte Carlo, and other than the '81 no longer had the 205-70 tires and sway bar and stiffer suspension standard, I liked the '81 A LOT better. Taillights reminded me of the '74, and I liked that every one came with the wide bright trim along the bottom.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,227
    I have to agree with the comment on that video link, the keys hitting the car made me cringe B)

    I think the 78-80 was maybe too aggressively downsized for a personal luxury type car. The 81+ had better proportions IMO.

    The guy had recently posted a pic of it, asking people what they thought he should ask. Maybe he doesn't really (yet) have it for sale. This video is sure taking me back though.

    When I decided to have my local dealer go get the car, I was disappointed it didn't have Rally Wheels. After a bit it bothered me less. Seems like plastic wheelcovers were already starting to be in vogue at that time and these were still bright, steel covers. They didn't look bad IMHO.

    My parents had an '80 Monte Carlo, and other than the '81 no longer had the 205-70 tires and sway bar and stiffer suspension standard, I liked the '81 A LOT better. Taillights reminded me of the '74, and I liked that every one came with the wide bright trim along the bottom.

  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,952
    fintail said:


    I think the 78-80 was maybe too aggressively downsized for a personal luxury type car. The 81+ had better proportions IMO.

    I’ll never forget the description - I think from Car & Driver - that described the ‘78 Monte Carlo as a “steaming pile” left on GM Design’s doorstep by Bill Mitchell as he left the building on the occasion of his retirement.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,784
    edited October 11
    I mind the '78-80 less now than I did then. In fact, of the three, I'd pick a '78 now. At the time I thought the four headlights of the '80 was better. I don't now.

    One of the car magazines said of the '78, something along the lines of, "What do I know? The dark blue example on a turntable at O'Hare Airport is stopping businessmen in their tracks".

    As I always am, color, interior options, wheel choices, optional moldings made all the difference for me. I can detest a car without certain things, and like it a fair amount with the things.

    As I've posted here before though, in '78 I wanted a black Malibu Classic coupe with gold pinstripe, matching cloth interior, with the Monte Carlo instrument cluster. Simple styling. I'd still like one today--if I could find one.

    One of the mags said the Malibu Classic resembled the big Chevy, in the way a boy resembles his father. Pretty good analogy. You really couldn't point out a styling cue and say, "Same as the Caprice", but I know what they were getting at.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,227
    If it was 78, I think I would pick a Caprice "sport coupe" (rear bubble window) first, then a Malibu, then the Monte, if I just had to have a larger Chevy coupe. I think the 78+ Monte tried to include too many of the baroque styling cues of the prior model, and seems kind of squished. The style/size works much better for the Pontiac version, in my eyes, maybe as it is less cluttered.

    On the personal lux front, if I was cross shopping a Cordoba/Bird/Monte in 1978, I would have chosen the Ford.

    I mind the '78-80 less now than I did then. In fact, of the three, I'd pick a '78 now. At the time I thought the four headlights of the '80 was better. I don't now.

    One of the car magazines said of the '78, something along the lines of, "What do I know? The dark blue example on a turntable at O'Hare Airport is stopping businessmen in their tracks".

    As I always am, color, interior options, wheel choices, optional moldings made all the difference for me. I can detest a car without certain things, and like it a fair amount with the things.

    As I've posted here before though, in '78 I wanted a black Malibu Classic coupe with gold pinstripe, matching cloth interior, with the Monte Carlo instrument cluster. Simple styling. I'd still like one today--if I could find one.

    One of the mags said the Malibu Classic resembled the big Chevy, in the way a boy resembles his father. Pretty good analogy. You really couldn't point out a styling cue and say, "Same as the Caprice", but I know what they were getting at.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,784
    edited October 12
    At the time, I didn't like the Grand Prix either ('78). The Regal and Cutlass Supreme seemed to carry that downsizing the best of all of those 'personal luxury' GM coupes.

    Of course, now I could like an aeroback Cutlass Salon coupe, which I didn't like at all then!

    I will say my friend's parents bought a copper-colored new '78 Cutlass Salon Brougham four-door, 260. I rode in it to St. Louis with my friend when it was quite new. I remember thinking it had a nice interior and was solid and quiet for a car that small.

    When the '78 GM midsizes came out, generally, I was pretty shocked. They took the downsizing way-farther than the big cars the year before. The fixed rear sedan windows and mini-spare were hard pills to swallow at the time. I did like the frameless door glass on coupes. Though, I was 'all in' on the downsizing/roomy interior thing. I never looked back at older-style huge exterior/small interior cars after '76.

    I'd still like a Caprice Classic coupe of that '77-79 era, with particular options. Where I went to college, Clarion, PA, I used to drop in at the Chevy/Cadillac dealer there. A young guy who worked in the detail dept. got in a new '78 Caprice Classic Landau, dark blue, white top, and every single option I could think of--including electric sunroof. The sticker was $9,600. He said he ordered a '77 and it took so long to come in, it came in a '78. His also had the factory CB radio (LOL). It was a very sharp car and I always wondered how he could've afforded something like that.

    Which, in a roundabout way, reminds me of my 82-year old friend Ed, who is a lifetime Studebaker lover and as a young man worked in the office of a Studebaker dealer in Akron. He tells the story of the owner's wife, Mrs. Mack, who was stern but fair and didn't 'floorplan' any cars--bought them with cash. When the Gran Turismo Hawk came out for '62, Ed told her, "I sure want one of those". She humorlessly told him, "You can't afford one", LOL.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,784
    When the GM specialty coupes were revised for '81, I thought the Monte jumped to the head of the class for exterior styling, followed by the Regal, then Grand Prix, then Cutlass Supreme. Interior-wise, Grand Prix was my top, followed by Regal, then Cutlass Supreme, then Monte at the bottom.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,952

    When the GM specialty coupes were revised for '81, I thought the Monte jumped to the head of the class for exterior styling, followed by the Regal, then Grand Prix, then Cutlass Supreme. Interior-wise, Grand Prix was my top, followed by Regal, then Cutlass Supreme, then Monte at the bottom.

    I find that a little unusual. I can see someone picking the Monte as a favorite because it was distinctive from the others, though on my list it would be 4th of the 4. I find the Regal and the CS to look almost identical externally and would place them 1-2, with the GP third. Inside, I would put the GP and CS in a draw for #1, with the Regal #3 and the Monte #4.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,784
    edited October 12

    For me the ‘81 Monte has the simplest styling and the rear styling is a big nod to the ‘74. I don’t care for the Cutlass’ square wheel openings, wraparound trim in back, and a bit of an underbite in front. I also like the wide rocker trim on the Monte which I don’t think the others had. The Monte's side marker lights were semi-concealed, styling-wise, in that rocker trim (EDIT: Apparently the wide trim was optional on the others.) Plus, I’m a big fan of the checkerboard wheels although I probably haven’t seen ten cars with them in person. In ‘81 you could still get the Buick turbo in them but hardly anybody did.

    Here's the typical early '80's Cutlass Supreme, in my memory. Not bad, I just don't like the exterior as well as the others.

    Brochure photo of '81 Monte with wire covers. Cars are similar of course, just detail styling differences.

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,785
    edited October 12
    fintail said:

    On the personal lux front, if I was cross shopping a Cordoba/Bird/Monte in 1978, I would have chosen the Ford.

    As much of a Mopar fan as I am, I'll admit that, for 1978, I could see myself being lured into a Thunderbird, or Cougar XR-7.

    One thing I always liked about Ford intermediates was the dashboard. Even though they all pretty much used the same design from '72-79, it just seemed like a nice looking, upscale piece to me. It could dress up an otherwise basic looking interior. But with Mopar, it seemed like just the opposite, that the corporate '71-79 intermediate dash just didn't belong in an upscale car.

    Here's the two, for comparison...
    T-bird:

    Cordoba (or rather, Magnum):


    Part of it may be the thick padding and that "hooded" look across the whole top of the T-bird's dash, that makes it look nicer to me. But even little details, like the placement of the clock on the Cordoba/Magnum (looks thrown off as an afterthought) or ashtray placement (adds more obvious seams/gaps to the dash, make it look less attractive to me. Also, at a quick glance, it seems somewhat similar to the dash in my old '85 Silverado. So with having pickup truck aspirations, plus seeing this dash in so many police cars and taxis, might just give me a more utilitarian impression of it.

    On the plus side though, it looks like the Mopar dash is a bit slimmer, and less obtrusive than the Ford dash. It could just be an optical illusion/camera angle, and position of the seats, but if you needed 3 across seating up front on a regular basis, the Mopar looks like it would be a bit more accommodating. I'd imagine that 40/20/40 split bench seat on the Mopar isn't too comfortable for the center passenger, though.

  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 44,052
    I always hated that Ford steering wheel. And the cruise o matic transmission floor shift they used in stuff like pinto and mustang.

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  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 5,011
    The dash pictured in the T-bird is especially nice as it was in the top of the line model which included the leather wrapped dash pad. I do not care for the tacked on looking PRNDL of either. GM did a better job of incorporating the PRNDL into the instrument cluster, in or under the speedometer.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,784
    edited October 12
    I never liked that Ford steering wheel either, but as always, it's just whatever you were accustomed to.

    I always hated the tacked-on "PRNDL". Last Chevys I can think that had that were the '65 Chevelle and Chevy II. Pontiac resurrected it when they decided to make a bench seat and column shift available on the '69-72 Grand Prix.

    Those Grand Prixs also got a real glovebox in the dash, where there was plenty of space for one. When you got buckets, you didn't get a glovebox, just the compartment in the console. One of those "Why?" questions.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,785
    Here's a pic of a cheaper version of that Ford dash:


    This was out of a 1973 Gran Torino Sport. I still find it fairly attractive looking, even though it definitely looks downscale from that Thunderbird dash I posted earlier, with cheaper materials. The workmanship on this one does look a bit spotty, though, with that misaligned trim piece under the steering column, and the ill-fitting glovebox. That could be old age though, or just getting a bit sloppy on the restoration.
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 44,052
    That steering wheel is even worse!

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  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,785
    Just so we can get a little representation across the Big Three, here's a '73 Monte Carlo dash...


    I don't really care for this design in person, but here in the pic, I think it puts it in a more flattering light. I think having gauges instead of idiot lights helps fill out the instrument panel a bit better. And it's in nice shape. In person, I'm more accustomed to seeing that dash padding cracked.

    One detail I don't like about this dash though, is how it has that tiny little glove box, mounted low, but then all that wasted space high on the dash, between the HVAC ducts. Every other GM Colonade dash has the glovebox positioned much higher, so I wonder why there's that big empty spot on the Chevy?

    My grandmother's '85 LeSabre was like that, too. Nothing but a big void of a poor representation of woodgrain between the HVAC ducts on that side, and then a small glovebox, mounted low. I know they used to put the optional clock over on that side, before they started integrating it into the radio display, but it still just seems like there was a lot of space there that could have been put to use. Oh well...at least with the LeSabre, I thought that dash design was pretty tasteful looking, although a better facsimile of the woodgrain would have made it even nicer.
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 5,011
    The poor fit of glove box doors seemed to be common with Ford and GM cars. With fit and finish standards having improved significantly over the years, that really stands out to me.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,784
    edited October 12
    I never liked the '73-77 Chevelle and Monte Carlo dash, and the '73 was the worst IMHO, as no matter what color interior you got, the cluster around the smaller instruments was black plastic. In '74 and later, this was improved IMHO by making the cluster the same color as the rest of the interior, and their adding a bright metal 'chromed' bead as a border around that cluster. Also, they made that left A/C vent chromed plastic.

    When I saw my friend's parents' new '74 Monte Carlo, the glovebox lid was a total turnoff. Our Impala's was metal, which maybe wasn't very safe, but it seemed substantial. That Monte (and Chevelle) glovebox door was thin plastic, and had no detents at all. You could forget about putting any drive-in cups there....impossible!

    Here's a '71 Grand Prix instrument panel, with glovebox (bench seat car). Talk about plenty of room for a glovebox! Below is the bucket-seat instrument panel--no glovebox whatsoever. Why wouldn't they have put the glovebox in all cars once they started making them for bench seat cars? A great mystery to me. You can also see the column-mounted "PRNDL" in the top pic.



  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,784
    A couple small things that '73 Monte dash pic reminded of, that I liked about those cars, was two choices of standard cloth interior--a knit/nylon, or a velour-y cloth; also, the upper door panel had a map pocket that was diagonally cut at the front of the door panel.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,952
    edited October 12
    I have a theory about the Grand Prix glovebox mystery. When he '69 model came out, bucket seats were standard, so I suspect the geniuses at GM decided that they didn't need a glovebox in the dash since the take rate on buckets would be 100%. At some point though they decided to offer a bench, not sure when, which would need a glovebox since there wasn't one without a console, so a second dash design had to be conjured up. But that take rate would likely be very low, so no sense doing two gloveboxes (though every other car with a console storage bin had a glovebox in the dash too). The same holds true for the PRNDSL indicator; without a console, they had to mount in on the column.

    That GP had some other odd things inside. If you ordered the optional 8-track it could not be slung under the dash since there was no room there given the console design. So it was mounted on the rear of the console over the driveshaft hump in the rear seat area, but facing forward! So the rear seat passengers would have to lean forward and bend over to use it, while front seat occupants had to turn around. D'oh.

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  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,227
    edited October 12
    I know I have mentioned it before, that Ford corporate dash has so many early car memories for me, in my mom's big T-Bird. I especially remember the cruise control rocker switches on the steering wheel spokes.

    Ford used that unloved frowny wheel in everything from Pinto to Lincoln. I wonder if that was another MB-influenced idea at Ford (remember the Granada ads), as MB also used a corporate steering wheel on most models during the era, and has done so for a long time.

    Thinking back to the overly downsized Monte, a movie memory came to mind, as one was driven by Charles Grodin (I think) in the unusual wacky "The Incredible Shrinking Woman". The body colored rally wheels look good on this:

    image

    andre1969 said:


    As much of a Mopar fan as I am, I'll admit that, for 1978, I could see myself being lured into a Thunderbird, or Cougar XR-7.

    One thing I always liked about Ford intermediates was the dashboard. Even though they all pretty much used the same design from '72-79, it just seemed like a nice looking, upscale piece to me. It could dress up an otherwise basic looking interior. But with Mopar, it seemed like just the opposite, that the corporate '71-79 intermediate dash just didn't belong in an upscale car.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,784
    edited October 13
    I did like the '78 Monte Carlo (and optional Malibu Classic) instrument panel. Kind of a new-age design and absolutely zero use of fake woodgrain. Minor use of gloss black trim with gold pinstripe outline. Only decoration on right 2/3 of panel was a horizontal pleat in the pad. Very simple. In '80 they felt the need to add woodgrain which was not in keeping with the non-traditional style of the panel IMHO. In '81 they added that about three-foot long piece of woodgrain at the top of the panel. My '81 without A/C, that panel just snapped in and could be pulled out with two fingers around the center vents. As a gag when I'd have a girl in the car, I'd snap it out and say "Can you hold this?".

    Yeah, I didn't get married for eight years after I bought that car, LOL.

    I also liked on the '78 when you got bucket seats, the console met up with the instrument panel. Same gloss black trim and gold outline on the console.

    One thing I absolutely HATED about the '78-79 Monte Carlo standard interior, and even with the optional buckets, was that the door panels had the very-visible outline at the bottom for a carpet insert, but didn't have it! I thought back then that had I ever bought one, I would have to go into the Parts Dept. of the dealer and order the carpeting for there that the Custom Interior option had, and have an upholstery place glue it in.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,785

    One thing I absolutely HATED about the '78-79 Monte Carlo standard interior, and even with the optional buckets, was that the door panels had the very-visible outline at the bottom for a carpet insert, but didn't have it! I thought back then that had I ever bought one, I would have to go into the Parts Dept. of the dealer and order the carpeting for there that the Custom Interior option had, and have an upholstery place glue it in.

    My '80 Malibu coupe was like that, and so was the base LeMans. If you got a Malibu Classic/Grand LeMans, they put carpet in there. I can't remember with the Cutlass/Century, though. Sometimes they would at least throw a minimum of dress-up on their interiors to make them seem nicer than a Chevy or Pontiac.

    On the Colonades, the carpeting was simply glued into an outline, as well. However, the models with carpeting actually used a slightly separate lower door panel piece, that had that outline molded in. The non-carpeting models didn't have it.

    The '71-76 GM B-bodies also had that outline with the carpet glued on, but I think on the models without carpet, there was a horizontal ribbed pattern etched into that void, that made it look a bit better. It didn't seem so empty.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,784
    Back to the '81 GM specialty coupes for a minute....one thing I remember from before I bought my new Monte Carlo, was looking at what was standard versus optional on the GM cars. I think it's natural to think the, ahem, 'prestige' brands would include more standard stuff, but I remember both full wheelcovers and a clock were standard on a Monte Carlo but optional on a Grand Prix. Can you imagine an '81 Grand Prix with dog-dish hubcaps? Me neither!
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,785
    That is pretty wild, to think of a Grand Prix with dog-dish hubcaps! I wonder what the rationale would have been, for that? I know they were under a lot of pressure to cut corners everywhere they could, thanks to the rampant inflation of the time, to keep the base price down, but that wouldn't explain why they'd put more standard content in the Monte Carlo, versus the Grand Prix.

    Just to show how bad inflation was back then, here's the base MSRP listings from my auto encyclopedia, from '77-82. I figured I'd throw in '77, to show how the downsized cars compared to the Colonades. While the base prices actually dropped for '78, the Monte Carlo and Grand Prix had a standard V8 (305 or 301) and automatic, while the '78's went to a V6 and 3-on-the-tree (although the vast majority were equipped with an optional automatic)

    Monte Carlo:
    1977: $4968
    1978: $4785
    1979: $5333
    1980: $6524
    1981: $7299
    1982: $8177

    Grand Prix:
    1977: $5120
    1978: $4880
    1979: $5454
    1980: $6621
    1981: $7424
    1982: $8333

    For 1982, the automatic transmission became standard again, so that no doubt reflects part of the jump in base price, that year.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,784
    edited October 13
    Remember that those 3-speeds starting in '78's were floor shifts!

    I remember seeing a couple new '78 Malibu wagons at my hometown dealer with 3-speed floor shifts, but have only seen 3-speed Monte Carlos of that vintage in online pics. Not sure I ever saw even a pic of a '78 Grand Prix with 3-speed.

    A friend sent me the attached auction link for a '68 Impala Sport Coupe, low-mileage and original excellent condition, apparently.

    Now I'm the first to admit, I tend to not want to own a collector car that was mega-popular when new. I believe an Impala Sport Coupe that year was the best-selling model and bodystyle in the U.S. It's a 307/Powerglide, a very boring combination. But I almost always appreciate low mileage/original/authentic cars, and it does remind me of my grandparents' '67 (which I like better than a '68), and the interior, especially, looks very, very nice. The ad says "deluxe interior" but that's BS--that is the standard cloth interior any '68 Impala had/has. It is pretty upscale looking, as are the door panels and armrests IMHO.

    I guess a positive side effect of a car that was popular new, is a lot of people want them as a collector car. The bidding seems healthy so far, early-on.

    https://sullivanauctioneers.proxibid.com/1968-Chevrolet-Impala-2-door-fastback/lotInformation/64358927

    I have two pretty vivid memories of '68 Chevys from back then. My grandfather bought his new '67 Impala Sport Coupe, Madeira Maroon with matching cloth interior, in the summer. I went with him to our local dealer's '68 introduction night. I remember someone saying to him, "Clarence, do you wish you'd have waited?" and with no hint of irony, him saying, "No, not really". I also remember my Dad coming home from work before introduction day, and saying, "I just saw a truck load of '68 Chevys. The taillights are in the bumper! What a dumb idea!".
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,784
    Looking at that ad link again reminds me that '68 was the first year the Impala Sport Coupe no longer had the rear-seat speaker in the top center of the rear seat. I liked that on my grandparents' '67.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,785
    The first car I can remember my Mom having was a '68 Impala 4-door hardtop. I know I've mentioned it before, and posted a pic of my Granddad with the car in the background...it was that "Grecian Green" or whatever they called it. Granddad had bought it new, but then in '72 they got a new Impala 4-door hardtop, and gave Mom the '68, and used Mom's '66 Catalina convertible as a trade for the '72.

    I've heard several different versions of why, exactly, they made that trade. Mom told me that she didn't like the idea of driving around in a convertible, with a baby/toddler (me). But, I vaguely remember Granddad mentioning that the brakes on the Catalina were shot, as my Dad drove it a lot, and he tended to be rough on cars.

    Brake work doesn't seem to be enough of a reason to trade a car in, and I always thought that seemed odd. But then, fairly recently, my uncle and I were talking about the old days, and he mentioned that he thought the Catalina had a cracked block. So, I guess that would be enough to do it!

    As a kid I liked that car, but probably mostly because I liked the color. Mom traded it in '75, on a new LeMans coupe. Her memory's a bit vague now, but she said that she thought the rear end was starting to go out on it. Thinking on it through modern eyes, I'd rather have the Impala than the LeMans (especially factoring in the color...green versus persimmon/bronze/whatever they called it). But, at the time, Mom would've only been like 26, so there probably wasn't much pride in driving around in her parents' old hand-me-down 4-door family car.

    At the time, I'm sure she imagined a new midsized coupe would be more economical than a late 60's full-sized sedan, but I have a feeling it wasn't. I'm pretty sure the '68 had a 327-2bbl, but I don't know which transmission. Automatic, definitely, but I don't know if it was a Powerglide or THM. The '75 had a Pontiac 350-2bbl, THM. Probably weighed as much as the '68, if not more. And then, there's all that emissions crap.

    As for that '68 in the ad...it looks like it has carpeting on the lower door panels. I don't remember seeing carpeting on the Impalas back then, although I do seem to remember them having sort of a textured pattern in the vinyl that sort of resembled it. So maybe it still has some kind of upgrade?

    Those armrests definitely look nicer than the ones in my '67 Catalina. But I think that was a '67-68 change...I think the '68 Catalina used the same armrest as that Impala.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,784
    Yes, '67 and '68 Impalas had carpet on the lower door panels.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,952
    1981 probably wasn't the best year to buy a GP. Engine choices were grim: the 3.8 V6, a 4.3 V8, and a diesel. Though the brochure talks of a Pontiac-built V8 (I presume the 301? Maybe not) being available until January 1, 1981, after which it changes. They did introduce the Brougham model that year though, so there's that.

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  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoModerator Posts: 196,394
    ab348 said:

    1981 probably wasn't the best year to buy a GP. Engine choices were grim: the 3.8 V6, a 4.3 V8, and a diesel. Though the brochure talks of a Pontiac-built V8 (I presume the 301? Maybe not) being available until January 1, 1981, after which it changes. They did introduce the Brougham model that year though, so there's that.

    I had some second hand experiences with the A-bodies of that era.

    First was a college classmate of mine who sold his Triumph TR7 and bought a Grand Prix - he lived in the Bay Area before moving to Phoenix for school. I think it was an '81 or so (I met him in 1985), and it wasn't all that well equipped - in fact, it may have had the wheel covers that everyone is disparaging. We took it to CA on one of our breaks, and the car was comfortable enough.

    Second was my cousin, who got rid of his patched up Vega and bought a brown over tan Cutlass - I think this one was an '84, and he bought it to be more "mature" in the eyes of his then-girlfriend. I know the relationship didn't last much longer, and the Cutlass was replaced with a Ranger super cab 4x4.

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  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyMember Posts: 12,846
    edited October 13

    Never understood why the 78-81 were A-body…. Then the A-body became FWD and 82-88 were G-Body.

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  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 5,011
    A fraternity brother bought a new 81 Grand Prix Brougham fully loaded including T-tops. It was dark metallic blue, matching half padded vinyl top, dark blue velour interior, alloy wheels, V8. Not sure what size engine. I think it was a present from his folks for graduating with a law degree. He hated it. His previous car was a BMW 320. I was puzzled why he didn’t like the GP, I really liked it. Years later I saw he had another BMW, 5 series.

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  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,952
    For '82 the only engines available in the GP were a pair of V6s and the diesel V8. But for '83 GM finally wised up and began offering the 305 again.

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