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

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,961
    edited December 2022
    My '17 Cruze has the battery in the trunk, right side. I'm still on the original; the car was built six years ago this month.
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 50,236
    my truck has a battery. I am sure of that otherwise it wouldn't start...

    not sure where it is. I think I only opened the hood twice since I owned it so not quite sure where they stuck it.

    acura is under the hood someplace also easily accessible. But Honda is good about that kind of stuff.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD, 2023 Maverick hybrid Lariat luxury package.

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,602
    Now that I think about it, I don't know how old the battery was in my '03 Regal. I know it dates back before September 2016, because that's when my Dad really started going downhill, and the last time he drove. I inherited the car after he died in March of 2017. I've never put a battery in it, and Dad would have been too sick to put a battery in it during those last six months.

    I used to go check on him a couple times per week and bring him food and (I'm almost ashamed to say) cigarettes. I'd start the car every once in awhile, but eventually let it sit too long, and it died. When it came time to bring it over to my place, I had put it on a trickle charger for awhile.

    The Regal's battery, and the one in the Ram, both feel like they still crank nice and strong. No straining or sputtering. Sometimes, if they've been sitting too long, they might spin for a bit longer, but I'd guess that's because the fuel drained back into the tank and it just takes a moment to pump it back to the engine?
  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 17,249
    edited December 2022
    I replaced the OEM battery in the Club Sport at 10 years/101k miles. BMW batteries tend to fail without warning and I did not want to be caught out. Funny thing; the E36/5 Compact(ti) was the only E36 3 Series that had a battery located in the engine compartment.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2020 C43; 2021 Sahara 4xe 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,994
    My E55 had its original battery when I sold it at 11 years old, never had a problem. Fintail's battery is from 2014, I have a little jumper pack just in case - car has now been idle since November 6th, and I think I will start it and let it get up to operating temperature before the new year. It has been quite cold since, we'll see if that has any impacts.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 27,103
    edited December 2022
    For under 50$ IIRC I bought a handheld device on Amazon that
    measures several things about the electrical system of my cars
    including the % status of my battery.

    You have to know the CCA rating for the battery, which is on the top label.

    I had been checking the battery in my DIL Encore. It was about 60%.
    Then months later I checked it in their garage at 35%. It barely cranked
    over because it hadn't been started for a few days while she was
    not on duty at the vet clinic.

    It measures something about the status of the cells. Along with being
    able to measure cranking and charging.

    There's a 15% coupon in the current listing for $58.

    https://www.amazon.com/TOPDON-BT100-Automotive-Alternator-Motorcycle/dp/B07Z67MMGC/ref=dp_prsubs_1?pd_rd_w=rGAym&content-id=amzn1.sym.ec3cee7c-6bd8-496a-8166-4fdb6d51cad1&pf_rd_p=ec3cee7c-6bd8-496a-8166-4fdb6d51cad1&pf_rd_r=YKMZWT7WEZ52MP0MNDE1&pd_rd_wg=w3EbC&pd_rd_r=4eca6fb3-dd40-4833-8dcb-3bc454acabbd&pd_rd_i=B07Z67MMGC&psc=1

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5UIbI3gda8

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 50,236
    those are cool. some of the Youtube mechanics use one just like that to test batteries.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD, 2023 Maverick hybrid Lariat luxury package.

  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 17,249
    A couple of years ago the current BMW battery in the ti was acting up- everything electrical worked but no cranking- or even a click from the solenoid. At first I thought that it might be the EWS(anti-theft) system or posiibly the starter. I left it on the battery tender and it fired right up. Hmmm... I took the battery to AutoZone and had it load tested and it checked out fine. Now I was really perplexed> Finally figured out what the problem was; I had bought a BMW USB charger that fit in the lightersocket; it was illuminated with a fairly bright LED. Unlike modern BMWs, the lighter socket in the ti remains hot- it doesn't go to sleep 15 minutes after shutting down the engine. I removed the charger and the problem was solved.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2020 C43; 2021 Sahara 4xe 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,994
    edited December 2022
    That reminds me of a fun one. MBs didn't have factory installed radios until the end of the 60s I think - all dealer or owner installed. It was normal to have the radio operate independent of having a key in the ignition - just switch it on. The fintail is set up like this. Way back when I was a student, I apparently left the radio on when I parked the car, and didn't drive it again until several days later. That was enough to drain the battery. I've never done that again.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,602
    edited December 2022
    Once upon a time, power windows were "hot wired" in cars, so you didn't need to turn the key to operate them. I'm not sure what year they stopped that, but I'd imagine on a few occasions, kids left in the car probably drained the battery. Or one of them rolled up the window on another one's head, resulting in an emergency room visit!

    I'm not sure what year they changed them over to needing the key. My '69 Bonneville needed the key, and I saw a '59 DeSoto Fireflite where someone was sitting in the back seat, playing with a power window without a key in the ignition, so it was sometime between those years.

    I wonder if it was 1969 that they made the switch? There was that somewhat famous scene in the Brady Bunch pilot episode where they locked Tiger the dog in Mr. Brady's '68 Polara 500 convertible during the wedding, and he rolled the window down.Of course, this is just tv, and shouldn't be taken as the gospel!

    PS: Uplander, look at what's on the front fender of that Polara...I know you like that little detail :p
  • sdasda Member Posts: 6,884
    VWs were set up where the radio would work independently of the ignition for years. I know my 90 Passat was that way, can’t remember if my 95 Jetta GLX was that way. For a few years in the mid-late 60s Cadillac had a Emergency switch along with the other window switches. If you held the Emergency switch to one side you could at the same time operate a window switch and that window would go up or down without the need for a key in the ignition.

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

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,994
    Thinking back, I think the radio in my 89 MB was also independent of the ignition, but not in the 98 or later cars.

    When I was a little kid, I remember playing with the power accessories (esp seat) in my mom's T-Bird and draining the battery, I don't know if a key was needed to operate that stuff.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,961
    andre, I was thinking that before I even saw your comment!

    That piece of trim just turns that car into a total siren! :)

    I'm about 74% (LOL) sure, that my high school friend's '68 Bonneville Brougham power windows didn't work unless the key was in.

    This I am sure of--power windows used to go up and down a lot faster in the sixties than they did in the '80's and later.
  • tjc78tjc78 Member Posts: 15,737
    edited December 2022

    Kind of along these lines but most late 80s / 90s GMs you could press the volume knob while the car was off and the clock would pop on

    On this style radio…. They all did it.

    As for the windows, I’m sure as suggested it was for safety and I’d wager security. Would be pretty easy to stick a wire hanger in between the window and press the switch

    2023 Mercedes EQE 350 4Matic / 2022 Ram 1500 Bighorn, Built to Serve

  • sdasda Member Posts: 6,884
    tjc78 said:

    Kind of along these lines but most late 80s / 90s GMs you could press the volume knob while the car was off and the clock would pop off

    On this style radio…. They all did it.

    As for the windows, I’m sure as suggested it was for safety and I’d wager security. Would be pretty easy to stick a wire hanger in between the window and press the switch

    That is very similar if not identical to the radio that was in dad’s 95 Ciera. On first look it appears there are only 4 preset stations available yet more can be preset by simultaneously pressing two side by side buttons. That unit worked well, good FM reception and decent fidelity from the tape section. Certainly no match for current audio systems.

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

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,602
    My grandmother's '85 LeSabre had that radio. Unfortunately hers only had 4 presets. One of my friends had an '85 Cavalier, and he showed me the trick of programming the extra 3, by pressing two buttons at once, but that didn't work on Grandmom's car.

    I thought it was odd that the Cavalier had that feature, but not Grandmom's LeSabre. I wonder if it was a running change that they made during the 1985 model year?

    My '89 Gran Fury had 10 presets! There were only 5 buttons, but then there was another button you could press to cycle through "FM1" or "FM2". It also had, by default, 10 presets for AM, but I seriously doubt anybody needed more than one AM station by 1989!

    These days there's only three radio stations I tend to listen to. If I don't like what's playing on one, I can usually find something on one of the other two. Naturally though, they all go to commercial break around the same time!
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,994
    edited December 2022
    I wonder if everything from a Chevy Spr)int (or at the very least, a Cavalier to a Fleetwood Brougham could have that radio. I want to think my dad's S10 Blazer had it as well.
  • tjc78tjc78 Member Posts: 15,737

    That radio (and all its faceplate variants) must have been made in stupidly high numbers.

    This Chrysler one too in that similar 1.5 din size was in everything Mopar in the late 80s way into the 90s

    2023 Mercedes EQE 350 4Matic / 2022 Ram 1500 Bighorn, Built to Serve

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 19,105
    My wife grew up with some VW's in her family. To this day, she always turns off the radio in her car before getting out.
    2023 Ford Explorer ST, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • tjc78tjc78 Member Posts: 15,737

    Ford seemed to have more variety with their single din headunits, but this one was very popular in that timeframe too found in nearly every model except Lincoln

    2023 Mercedes EQE 350 4Matic / 2022 Ram 1500 Bighorn, Built to Serve

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,994
    I remember that Chrysler unit in my dad's 93 GC. I don't clearly recall the radio in my mom's 93 Taurus, but I don't remember it having knobs. I do remember the factory unit in the Tempo, which conked out around 1994, so I went to a junkyard for a replacement - of course, that one also was kaput within a few months, so it then got a 90s looking Sony unit.

    To be fair, it even happened a MB - you'd get the same radio in a 190E as a 560SEC.
  • tjc78tjc78 Member Posts: 15,737

    Most likely this one in the Taurus.

    2023 Mercedes EQE 350 4Matic / 2022 Ram 1500 Bighorn, Built to Serve

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 19,105
    My Mustang has the radio with the On/Off/Volume/Clock display knob in the lower left.
    2023 Ford Explorer ST, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 50,236
    I never had a radio that stayed on that I can recall. at least not a factory one (the DIY installs from my youth are too distant a memory to recall!)

    I still have to get used to having the radio stay on when you turn the car off, until you open the door. makes it harder to remember if you turned it off or not!

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD, 2023 Maverick hybrid Lariat luxury package.

  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 233,006
    My GTI is that way. The radio doesn't go off, until you open the door.

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  • tjc78tjc78 Member Posts: 15,737

    I think most cars today have the retained accessory power.

    2023 Mercedes EQE 350 4Matic / 2022 Ram 1500 Bighorn, Built to Serve

  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,641

    My ‘79 Scirocco kept power to to radio, I think my ‘83 GTI didn’t. Germany vs US I guess.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,961
    I wish all radios had knobs still. Sooooo much easier. My daughter's '15 Cruze has a knob for tuning; my '17 has the buttons; far-less convenient. Fords were the first cars I can remember renting that lost the knob for tuning back then.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,602
    Out driving yesterday, I saw an '87-93 era Mustang convertible, and an El Camino SS, the type with the Monte SS-esque front end. The Mustang had some slight body damage to the rear quarter panel, on the rear and over the top of the wheel arch. The Monte SS just had that "used truck" look about it, for lack of a better word. Still in fairly decent shape, but the look of something that gets used to haul stuff from time to time, and gets a nick and scratch here and there.
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 50,236
    I would love one of those El Caminos from that era. Always liked them. a nice mild resto mod platform (crate 350, 5 speed, better brakes and suspension, etc. )

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD, 2023 Maverick hybrid Lariat luxury package.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,961
    I always thought it was odd that in the '78 redesign, the El Camino's wheelbase actually went up an inch, to 117, unlike the rest of the Malibu line which shrunk in wheelbase pretty substantially.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,602
    Yeah, I thought that was interesting, too. I think some vehicles just can't be downsized if you want to maintain their functionality. At least, not downsized too radically. Trucks are one of these things. In my opinion wagons, convertibles, and hardtops are another. You can eliminate wasteful overhang, but if you want a certain amount of legroom, and cargo bed space between the front and rear axle, you can only go sho short.

    Still, it's interesting that the El Camino's wheelbase actually went UP in downsizing! I imagine there aren't too many instances in automotive history where a downsized car ended up on a longer wheelbase. I think the '89 T-bird was slightly shorter than that '83-87, while the wheelbase grew from something like 104.4 to 113". But I don't think anyone ever thought of the '89 T-bird as "downsized"! I believe the '57 Plymouth was slightly shorter than the '56, despite the wheelbase growing from 115" to 118". But again, downsizing wasn't the goal here.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,961
    I think the T-Bird was a good bit roomier with the '89 redesign. Interior space was a down point on the '83 redesign IMHO, but OTOH, the '89 didn't look as nice as the '87-88 IMHO. I know, some people are never satisfied! LOL
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,602
    Yep, the '89 T-bird was bigger inside, but I had forgotten just how much bigger. Here's a screen shot of some stats from the EPA website, where I pulled up the '88 and '89 T-birds for comparison. Just for kicks I threw in an '87 Monte Carlo and '87 Mark VII.
    It's interesting that the T-bird's trunk didn't really grow. As I recall, these cars were able to move the gas tank under the back seat, like an FWD car, and that allowed them to put the spare under the trunk floor, so I'd think the trunk would've grown a bit more than that. And then, adding the fact that the '89's rear didn't slope off like the '88's did. The EPA rounded to the nearest foot though. IIRC, the '83-88 trunk was 14.6 cubic feet. So in theory, the '89 could be as much as 15.49, and they'd still be rated 15.
  • tjc78tjc78 Member Posts: 15,737

    Over the weekend I saw an Olds Silhouette (2nd gen) and then no less than one minute later saw the Pontiac version. I can’t remember if it was still the Transsport by then or not. Montana maybe?

    Just weird to see both of those in such a short time frame. Most are long gone.

    2023 Mercedes EQE 350 4Matic / 2022 Ram 1500 Bighorn, Built to Serve

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,602
    The last time I saw one of those minivans was in a Domino's commercial. It got struck by lightning and transformed into a Chevy Volt or Bolt or Electro or whatever :p
  • sdasda Member Posts: 6,884
    @fintail, Roy Spencer on Utube did a road test of a very nice 66 230S, 4sp. I have to admit there are several times where he is driving in 3rd gear I would have shifted to 4th, unless, of course it would cause the engine labor.

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

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,994
    edited December 2022
    sda said:

    @fintail, Roy Spencer on Utube did a road test of a very nice 66 230S, 4sp. I have to admit there are several times where he is driving in 3rd gear I would have shifted to 4th, unless, of course it would cause the engine labor.

    Fun video, some of his sentiments ring true with why I like my car, the driving position and comfort, and how it drives newer than it looks. Surprised the car apparently lacks power steering, don't see that often. I agree the floor shift is probably a better experience than a column shift. I did notice he kind of wound it up too - maybe intentional, those engines love to rev, and they really need the 4th gear. My car is an automatic, and it too winds up and goes into 4th before 30 mph in normal driving, then loafs along, but will wind up again at highway speed. Apparently high rpms aren't bad for these I6s, and they are very smooth.

    That car is a second series fintail, the 230S replacing the 220S, which moved up to a W108 250S after 1965. That car has some minor trim differences (less wood and a few fewer chrome bits come to mind), but is functionally the same as my car.

    https://youtu.be/7bKeSrKIfGM

    It's on his site, too:

    https://mercedesheritage.com/free-classifieds-only-classic-mercedes/show-ad?id=1629
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,961
    edited December 2022
    Last assembly-line Studebaker (i.e., Lark-type or Hawk) built in the U.S. was built this day, Dec. 20, 1963. The car was shown on Huntley and Brinkley on NBC that night, and survives with 23.8 miles in the Studebaker National Museum. It's a compact Daytona Hardtop, with Avanti R1 engine, 4-speed, individual front seats (not buckets; 50/50), disc brakes, in-dash tach, and Twin Traction.

    Avantis were built on their own line, really much more hand-work involved, through Dec. 26, and trucks were built through Dec. 27.

    I always felt four headlights, full-radius rear wheel openings, and 15 inch wheels made these cars seem more like mid-sizes than compacts.



  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 19,105
    I saw that car when we went to the Studebaker Museum.
    2023 Ford Explorer ST, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,961
    edited December 2022
    Here's that car on a truck, before Studebaker decided to give it to the City of South Bend. Couple Hawks on the trucks. The tractor-trailer is also a Stude.One of the last shipments of Studebaker cars leaves the company's factory in South Bend, Ind., on Dec. 20, 1963.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,961
    Favorite Christmas toy of all time...the "Playmobile". I got it in '63 I think, bought at the A&P in town.



  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 50,236
    that is a nice looking car.

    and I would like one of those playmobiles today!

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD, 2023 Maverick hybrid Lariat luxury package.

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,994
    From my visit to the Stude museum a few years ago, that same red car:


  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,961
    edited December 2022
    It would never go to auction, but if it did, I think it would go into six figures due to its provenance, plus it's a model that Stude people tend to like anyway. The performance options help too.

    Built with no radio. Go figure.

    It hadn't always had the best storage in South Bend since day one. Glad it still looks this nice.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,961
    News articles of the day mention the "ironic 'Merry Christmas' scrawled across the windshield". Too bad that somehow, that couldn't have remained.
  • sdasda Member Posts: 6,884
    fintail said:

    sda said:

    @fintail, Roy Spencer on Utube did a road test of a very nice 66 230S, 4sp. I have to admit there are several times where he is driving in 3rd gear I would have shifted to 4th, unless, of course it would cause the engine labor.

    Fun video, some of his sentiments ring true with why I like my car, the driving position and comfort, and how it drives newer than it looks. Surprised the car apparently lacks power steering, don't see that often. I agree the floor shift is probably a better experience than a column shift. I did notice he kind of wound it up too - maybe intentional, those engines love to rev, and they really need the 4th gear. My car is an automatic, and it too winds up and goes into 4th before 30 mph in normal driving, then loafs along, but will wind up again at highway speed. Apparently high rpms aren't bad for these I6s, and they are very smooth.

    That car is a second series fintail, the 230S replacing the 220S, which moved up to a W108 250S after 1965. That car has some minor trim differences (less wood and a few fewer chrome bits come to mind), but is functionally the same as my car.

    https://youtu.be/7bKeSrKIfGM

    It's on his site, too:

    https://mercedesheritage.com/free-classifieds-only-classic-mercedes/show-ad?id=1629
    Clean, nice car. Does the wood trim look original or refinished?

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

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,994
    sda said:

    fintail said:

    sda said:

    @fintail, Roy Spencer on Utube did a road test of a very nice 66 230S, 4sp. I have to admit there are several times where he is driving in 3rd gear I would have shifted to 4th, unless, of course it would cause the engine labor.

    Fun video, some of his sentiments ring true with why I like my car, the driving position and comfort, and how it drives newer than it looks. Surprised the car apparently lacks power steering, don't see that often. I agree the floor shift is probably a better experience than a column shift. I did notice he kind of wound it up too - maybe intentional, those engines love to rev, and they really need the 4th gear. My car is an automatic, and it too winds up and goes into 4th before 30 mph in normal driving, then loafs along, but will wind up again at highway speed. Apparently high rpms aren't bad for these I6s, and they are very smooth.

    That car is a second series fintail, the 230S replacing the 220S, which moved up to a W108 250S after 1965. That car has some minor trim differences (less wood and a few fewer chrome bits come to mind), but is functionally the same as my car.

    https://youtu.be/7bKeSrKIfGM

    It's on his site, too:

    https://mercedesheritage.com/free-classifieds-only-classic-mercedes/show-ad?id=1629
    Clean, nice car. Does the wood trim look original or refinished?
    I'd wager a significant amount of money that it is original. I can't imagine someone faking patina for such a car.
  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 17,249

    Favorite Christmas toy of all time...the "Playmobile". I got it in '63 I think, bought at the A&P in town.



    I had one of those as well!

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2020 C43; 2021 Sahara 4xe 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,961
    Speaking earlier of radios, this is how my daughter's '15 Cruze LS XM radio shortened "I Believe In Father Christmas", LOL.




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