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

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 26,803
    I was in a subsidiary of GM long ago. The product they produced for GM might have minor flaws in the quality that didn't affect the operation of the item. But I was told the perfect ones went to Cadillac plants, and the others to the other 4 divisions.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 16,551
    edited January 16
    In my opinion the downfall of GM began when every division wanted to sell a version of every platform; hence the Nova/Apollo/Omega/Ventura, and so on- the nadir being the Cimarron.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2020 C43; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,358
    I think all of that crap "back in the day" was more an issue of too much revenue without any long-term vision. In other words, they had the money, so they might as well spend it. How well they spent it was no more than an afterthought. THAT is what lead to their downfall.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,501
    edited January 17
    I think GM products sold themselves for a lot of years. But as we talk about downfall (and I'd have a hard time deciding what to buy at GM if I was going to today, probably a very specific Malibu), we are forgetting that GM overtook Toyota in 2022 as the U.S.'s largest automaker.

    GM overtakes Toyota as top automaker in U.S., auto industry accesses 2022 sales. Yahoo Finance's Pras Subramanian joins the Live show to discuss GM overtaking Toyota as the top automaker in the U.S., as well as the road ahead for the auto industry following a challenging 2022.Jan 4, 2023


    Today is the 42nd anniversary of me taking delivery of my first new car, my '81 Monte Carlo in two-tone Light Jade over Dark Jade, 267 V8, Positraction, intermittent wipers, and no A/C. It was a good-looking car in good colors I think, and I still think the '81 was a big styling improvement over the '80 which my parents had. They say you always remember your first! It was stolen in Oct. '82 and never recovered.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,501
    edited January 17
    I'm only going to touch on this here for obvious reasons, but I gotta say, the president's '67 Corvette is certainly the most eye-catching color that year IMHO, and while I'm generally not a fan of C2 styling, I always heard the '67 was the best for workmanship and other upgrades that made their way into the car by then. Most of the fake vents and some bright trim the '63 was introduced with, were gone by then. The five-slot Rally Wheels look great but with Chevy offering them on every line except Corvair, the appeal got watered down.

    The president's car is having the lower black paint below the molding come off on the driver's side. I'd have to get that taken care of ASAP, LOL.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 18,469
    I happened across a tv show at a Cuyahoga County car show.
    One guy had a Corvair with the baby cradle option.
    Just in front of the engine compartment and no window tint.

    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,393
    Yeah, it's funny how Chrysler and Ford were able to get away with corporate engines much earlier on, and it didn't really seem to hurt their image, but GM does it, and all hell broke loose.

    Of course, GM's divisions as a whole sold in greater volumes than Ford or Mopar, so that allowed for greater variation. And then, there's the way that GM was formed in the first place. GM didn't create those divisions. Rather it acquired independent companies that already existed, and brought them under the GM umbrella, gradually making them more and more alike as years went by. In contrast, Chrysler bought out the Dodge Brothers, and then created Plymouth and DeSoto on their own. And Imperial started as just a model of Chrysler, that they tried to let fly on its own.

    Now Lincoln was acquired by Ford, but then they created Mercury, and then Edsel
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,501
    edited January 17
    I read fairly recently online, posts talking about the GM engine thing, and several people said, and I agree, that GM itself, through Sloan's policy of moving one step up, promoted the increased quality, whether it was real or perceived, significant or not, and a lot of people did in fact buy into that.

    Merely anecdotally, I remember my aunt's husband saying their '67 LeSabre bought new, needed a valve job by '69 and they traded on a new '69 Ford Country Sedan. I also remember my friend's mother saying their '67 Pontiac Executive wagon, which was beautiful to me, was a 'lemon' and they traded on a new '71 Ford Custom Ranch Wagon.

    I have no memories of how both felt their Ford wagons held up. I do remember that that was the era where in my part of the woods, Ford tailgates rusted out pretty quickly but I don't remember that on these cars.
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,358

    I think GM products sold themselves for a lot of years. But as we talk about downfall (and I'd have a hard time deciding what to buy at GM if I was going to today, probably a very specific Malibu), we are forgetting that GM overtook Toyota in 2022 as the U.S.'s largest automaker.

    GM overtakes Toyota as top automaker in U.S., auto industry accesses 2022 sales. Yahoo Finance's Pras Subramanian joins the Live show to discuss GM overtaking Toyota as the top automaker in the U.S., as well as the road ahead for the auto industry following a challenging 2022.Jan 4, 2023


    Today is the 42nd anniversary of me taking delivery of my first new car, my '81 Monte Carlo in two-tone Light Jade over Dark Jade, 267 V8, Positraction, intermittent wipers, and no A/C. It was a good-looking car in good colors I think, and I still think the '81 was a big styling improvement over the '80 which my parents had. They say you always remember your first! It was stolen in Oct. '82 and never recovered.

    42 years! Congrats. How many have come and gone since that day?


    That's a great recovery milestone for GM, but probably would be better if it was a "normal" year in terms of accessibility (in other words, was it a flash in the pan?). That's what, twelve or thirteen years out from their collapse and bailout? My argument was only that it was wholly unnecessary if they would have had the vision to be a better company in the first place (they certainly had the resources).
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,501
    Since the '81, I've had fourteen other new Chevrolets between my wife and I. I've bought four used Chevrolets and one PT Cruiser for my daughters. All were worth the money. I've never once felt compelled to buy an extended warranty--yet. For looks, my '81 Monte was probably my favorite. But, I also liked the looks of my dark plum (not what they called it) '85 Celebrity Eurosport two-door with Goodyear Eagle tires and the same aluminum wheels Citation X-11's had. Much later, for looks, I thought our '11 Malibu LT in metallic black with polished aluminum wheels was a nice-looking car and wife agrees. Really, I think that generation Malibu looks better than the two generations after.

    I travelled with work constantly for years so I drove all makes as rentals, frequently.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,393
    ab348 said:

    The rust around the windshield and rear window was bad enough that the body man told him to find a replacement upper body from a parts car. He found one from a Chevelle that looked like they could use it, and he was surprised to see the inner sheet metal reinforcing structure was nowhere near as robust as what Olds used.

    I remember watching a YouTube training video for the '73 Pontiac LeMans, and even by that time, they mentioned one of the selling points, compared to the Chevelle, was that the radiator support on the Pontiac was beefier.

    It's interesting that GM had the resources to engineer improvements like that into the senior divisions, considering that the MSRP of an B-O-P car wasn't all that much more than its Chevy counterpart by then.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,501
    edited January 18
    I love low-mileage originals, and based on the correct seat trim, I believe the mileage. Not that I'd buy it.

    '68 Chevy II Nova four-door (unfortunately) with Torque-Drive and 14K miles. Torque-Drive was a semi-automatic (one shift, no clutch).

    Although I got sick of seeing the '68-72 style, I thought it was an enormous styling improvement over the '67. 80% of the looks of a Chevelle and a lot lower-priced. Of course the Chevelle was body-on-frame and had four-wheel coil suspension; the Nova didn't.

    I do like the '68 best of that run, with 'Nova' script on rear quarter instead of front fender (and a lot of later ones had a big fake-vent thing there), and I like that it's the last year they were called "Chevy II".

    It's amazing to me they offered a four-cylinder through 1970 in these cars. I remember my Dad getting a "Nova Four Sale" flyer in the mail once, and I also remember him looking at a new, light green metallic '70 Nova at our local dealer's, opening the hood, seeing the four, and walking away. And my Dad was a thrifty car buyer, but even that was too much (little) for him.

    In our town, in the late sixties and early '70's, the Chevy dealer was known as the best dealer in town, in business (one family) since 1936. They even had one original salesman, Virgil Mertz, still selling after 40 years. The Pontiac dealer changed hands several times in less than ten years in that mid-sixties to mid-seventies period (Lucas/Gault/Hazlett/Filer (my Stude dealer friend), then Godfrey), and the Buick/Olds dealer was known for not dealing, and had every new car he had in stock inside at all times.

    https://barnfinds.com/14k-mile-survivor-1968-chevrolet-nova/?fbclid=IwAR1_gD-MSZcSMQQ3bVZ0D1ZCXkj_NhEPOHXiPuD7VsAduJqSIKYjn3gKbz4
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,501
    edited January 18
    The '65-69 Chevy V8 motor mount fiasco was definitely something where the Chevy part was not satisfactory! I'm not sure how many customers would've noticed the other couple things mentioned here, pro or con. I always felt in that general time period, Chevy put their money where the customer could see it....exterior trim and interiors, usually. Widest model line in GM too, as the entry division. It's all personal of course, but I often think the Chevy's styling is the best/simplest of all the divisions. Not always of course. Any GM mainstream product is a high-volume car. Really, any Big Three car is. I do chuckle when I see some ads saying things like "only 10,000 built". That would be a good-selling '60's Studebaker, LOL.

    Chevy always bragged about repeat ownership, but I bet all of the divisions had that.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,501
    It appears that Toyota taking over the largest position from GM for 2021 was the anomaly, not the 2022 reversal of fortune. I find that interesting. I didn't know it, and I know it's not conventional wisdom.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/01/05/toyota-gm-us-sales-chip-shortage/
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,358
    Sorry; I misread that as total sales versus only the US.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,501
    Oh, no problem. I wouldn't have guessed it myself.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,393
    I wonder how slow one of those Novas was, with the 4-cyl engine? To me it seems ludicrous to offer something that size with a 4-cyl, but I guess there were still some takers, for them to keep offering it for so long. As long as you didn't have to take it on any highway trips, and do high-speed merges, it might not have been too bad?

    Chevy's inline sixes were getting a bit large by then, too, with 230 and 250 CID sizes. Meanwhile, Ford still had small 170 and 200s, and Mopar had their own 170 slant six, which was eventually replaced by a 198. So compared to those, maybe a 4-cyl Nova kind of made sense?

    IIRC, GM tried putting the 2.5 Iron Duke in the Pontiac Phoenix in the late 70's. I imagine that didn't go over too well, as the cars had only gotten heavier by then. But, the Phoenix would have used a 3-speed automatic rather than a 2-speed, and had around 90 hp net hp, whereas the old Chevy 4-cyl was around 90 gross. So maybe it wasn't that much worse, either?

    Ford got away with putting the Pinto's 4-cyl in the Fairmont, so maybe GM thought it was a good idea to try out a 4-cyl, themselves? I think the Fairmont managed to pull it off somewhat, because it was a much lighter car. That, and Ford's own 200 inline 6 was so weak, the 4-cyl was probably a good alternative.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,501
    edited January 19
    I'd bet one of those Nova fours were glacial, but who knows? Hard to believe any magazine would've tested one. By '69 I was hanging out at our hometown Chevy dealer, and not that I would've seen every one of course, but I remember only ever seeing one four-cylinder Nova, the one that turned my Dad off as soon as he opened the hood.

    I vaguely remember seeing in ads about the Nova, "Standard four, six, or V8!" but that was always very misleading, as the window sticker base price would show "Nova L4" or "Nova L6" or "Nova V8" and the base prices increased incrementally. The number of cylinders were part of the model.

    90 gross hp is about 65 net I'm thinking. Wow. In 1970! The 230 six was 140 gross; quite a jump up. The 307 V8 was 200 hp gross.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,501
    I definitely remember seeing Novas, and Vegas, with Torque-Drive. Never rode in one though. The whole idea seems pretty cheap to me.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,501
    edited January 19
    I always thought it was funny that Chevy had a 427, and Pontiac had a 428 at the same time. Similarly, Chevy had the 454 when the other divisions had 455's. I'm sure that was on purpose.

    They should've done that years later, when you could get a 305 4-barrel in a Chevy but only 4.1 liters in a Cadillac!

    Also cracked me up that GMC pickups used the number "15" when Chevy used "10". Guess the GMC was five better!
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,369
    andre1969 said:



    IIRC, GM tried putting the 2.5 Iron Duke in the Pontiac Phoenix in the late 70's. I imagine that didn't go over too well, as the cars had only gotten heavier by then. But, the Phoenix would have used a 3-speed automatic rather than a 2-speed, and had around 90 hp net hp, whereas the old Chevy 4-cyl was around 90 gross. So maybe it wasn't that much worse, either?

    It got worse, the Iron Duke was base engine for the Camaro and Firebird for '82-'85.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,393
    I think I read somewhere that if you do the math, the Pontiac 455 actually comes out to 456. Similarly, the Pontiac 350 comes out to a 353.8.

    I'm guessing marketing made Pontiac round them both down to 455 and 350, respectively. Otherwise, customers might whine about a Pontiac having a bigger engine than an Olds or Buick!

    Things certainly did get counter-intuitive in the 1980's, though. In 1985, you could start at the bottom with a stripped down Impala, equipped with a 165 hp 305-4bbl. Then move up to a Delta 88, LeSabre, or even a Ninety-Eight or Electra, and get a 140 hp 307-4-bbl in the process. Or, go all the way to the top, with a Fleetwood Brougham, and get a fuel-injected 249 V8 with 135 hp.

    On the subject of other engine disparities, I remember a Consumer Reports big car test that included an Impala with a 165 hp 350 and a Catalina with a 170 hp 400. The Impala was actually slightly quicker from 0-60. I think it was 12.0 seconds, vs 12.5.

    I also seem to recall reading that Pontiac got out of the police package business and left it to Chevrolet among GM makes, because the Chevy 350 performed better than the Pontiac 400. I think the Pontiac was better at lower ranges, like 0-60, but then it ran out of breath, so the Chevy did better at higher speeds. Oddly, Buick tried to do police cars a couple of years. At least, my one book that covers Michigan State Police tests from 1979-1994, had a LeSabre in it a couple times. I think one year they tried a Buick 350 and another, the 252 V6, of all things!
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 48,510
    Of course Buick did police cars!


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  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 16,551
    edited January 19

    I always thought it was funny that Chevy had a 427, and Pontiac had a 428 at the same time. Similarly, Chevy had the 454 when the other divisions had 455's. I'm sure that was on purpose.

    They should've done that years later, when you could get a 305 4-barrel in a Chevy but only 4.1 liters in a Cadillac!

    Also cracked me up that GMC pickups used the number "15" when Chevy used "10". Guess the GMC was five better!

    Before the insurance companies and polution standards cracked down on musclecars Ford was planning on offering a 460 CJ in 1971 or1972.

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  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 18,469
    In the late 80's CT, State Police had 25 or 50 Grand Nationals.
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  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,393
    edited January 19
    I remember hearing that the state of Maryland had one Grand National they used for police duty, but I think it was a seized drug dealer's car.

    At one point, I think it was the California Highway Patrol that had a wheelbase standard, where a car had to have a wheelbase of 120" or greater in order to be considered for police duty. And, where the CHP led, I believe a lot of other jurisdictions followed. As a result, Buicks, Oldsmobiles, Dodges, and Mercurys, and even the occasional Chrysler were pretty common as police cars, for the larger police forces.

    I seem to recall some police force using Plymouth Fury wagons, instead of the sedans, as police cars because of this. The Fury as a whole didn't get to 120" until 1969, but the wagons were on a 122" wb in 1957-61, and 121" for 1965-68, with '62-64 being those shrunken models.

    Interestingly, the show "Highway Patrol" back in the 50's stayed pretty true to form, using Oldsmobiles, Buicks, Mercurys, and Dodges for their police cars. I seem to recall reading that the Oldsmobiles and Buicks actually were police-spec vehicles, but the Dodges, possibly the Mercurys as well, were just civilian models dressed up as police cars.
  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 16,551
    andre1969 said:

    I remember hearing that the state of Maryland had one Grand National they used for police duty, but I think it was a seized drug dealer's car.

    At one point, I think it was the California Highway Patrol that had a wheelbase standard, where a car had to have a wheelbase of 120" or greater in order to be considered for police duty. And, where the CHP led, I believe a lot of other jurisdictions followed. As a result, Buicks, Oldsmobiles, Dodges, and Mercurys, and even the occasional Chrysler were pretty common as police cars, for the larger police forces.

    I seem to recall some police force using Plymouth Fury wagons, instead of the sedans, as police cars because of this. The Fury as a whole didn't get to 120" until 1969, but the wagons were on a 122" wb in 1957-61, and 121" for 1965-68, with '62-64 being those shrunken models.

    Interestingly, the show "Highway Patrol" back in the 50's stayed pretty true to form, using Oldsmobiles, Buicks, Mercurys, and Dodges for their police cars. I seem to recall reading that the Oldsmobiles and Buicks actually were police-spec vehicles, but the Dodges, possibly the Mercurys as well, were just civilian models dressed up as police cars.

    Louisville Metro had a few unmarked GNs back in the '80s. BMW gave the South Carolina Highway Patrol a new E34 M5 in the early '90s.

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 219,310
    KY state troopers had 5.0 Mustangs in the late ‘80s. Strictly for radar and pursuit. Pretty sure that was the 225 HP version.

    They didn’t keep them long, though. Too small.

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  • sdasda Member Posts: 6,527
    kyfdx said:

    KY state troopers had 5.0 Mustangs in the late ‘80s. Strictly for radar and pursuit. Pretty sure that was the 225 HP version.

    They didn’t keep them long, though. Too small.

    225 hp sounds so wimpy today, yet, then it was fairly impressive,

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,501
    edited January 19
    I don't think state troopers used these, but I seem to remember seeing, and reading a lot about, '75-79 Nova four-door sedans with the police package. "9C1" is ringing a bell.

    Regarding Mustang 5.0's--I liked the styling of the notchback coupe which is what I think most state troopers were using.
  • ab348ab348 Member Posts: 18,189
    I test-drove one of those police Novas. It was a civilian order (if you had a friendly dealer, GM didn’t mind if they ordered one for civilian customers) and that’s what this one was, a trade-in by the original owner who ordered it. I think it was a ‘77. It drove well enough though I was disappointed that it wasn’t faster. But the stark interior made it a no-sale. It was really bare-bones inside.

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  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 48,510
    lots of info here. and a picture of the comparison test. I still remember that thanks to the Volvo they included!

    https://www.curbsideclassic.com/automotive-histories/vintage-review-chevrolet-nova-9c1-super-nova/

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,501
    Greg, that would've been interesting had they offered that package on the LN, or at least the Nova Custom. I agree from the curbside classic article, those seats are awful....taxicab plain. Even a regular standard Nova was pretty grim inside. The Custom picked things up substantially.

    My friend's parents got a new '76 Nova loaner when their Malibu Classic was in the body shop after an accident. One thing my friend and I agreed on about it, was the plaid standard cloth upholstery felt warm/snuggly, like a blanket, but it looked awful.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 219,310
    sda said:

    kyfdx said:

    KY state troopers had 5.0 Mustangs in the late ‘80s. Strictly for radar and pursuit. Pretty sure that was the 225 HP version.

    They didn’t keep them long, though. Too small.

    225 hp sounds so wimpy today, yet, then it was fairly impressive,
    My '84 911 only had 200 HP. But, small cars were much lighter, then.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,393
    Uh-oh...this popped up on facebook marketplace, and I feel a bit of a tug...
    1978 New Yorker 4 door hardtop.

    From the pics and description it doesn't look bad, and the price doesn't seem too scary. Alas, I don't know where I put my bulletproof vest, and I don't know if I feel like fighting with the squeegee boyz in Baltimore to go look at it! :p

    It only has a 400 V8, rather than the 440, but by '78 I doubt if that really makes much difference, unless you want bragging rights. The 400 still had 190 hp, so I'd imagine it was still adequate. And it's not like I intend to take something like this to the drag strip.
  • ab348ab348 Member Posts: 18,189
    That one looks nice and I like the colors. One thing I learned is that for reasons known only to them, Chrysler made a number of changes to the '78 big cars despite it being their last year of production. Things that are virtually unobtainable now since only '78s have them, like the wiper linkage. How big a problem that is I do not know.

    I remember years ago (probably late 80s) driving one of these locally - I think it was a '76 or '77 - as a cheap used car. It actually drove quite well for what was a $2500 car at the time, and was still in decent shape. But man, it was just huge.

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  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 48,510

    Andre seems to cover that issue by having a few spare cars lying around!

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  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 48,510

    Nice color combo. And I love the big velour seats. But even by 70s barge standards that thing is a land yacht.

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  • tjc78tjc78 Member Posts: 14,939
    I like that New Yorker, would fit perfectly in your stable!

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  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,230
    Does that NYer have a digitally tuned radio? I know Mopar was ahead of the game in terms of digital clocks and radios.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,501
    edited January 22
    Pretty close to home too, andre! I knew that feeling when I saw my first Stude, in '88, an Avanti-powered sunroof Daytona HT in one of the two model years I like best, two hours away. :)

    Had it 23 years.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,393
    edited January 22
    fintail said:

    Does that NYer have a digitally tuned radio? I know Mopar was ahead of the game in terms of digital clocks and radios.

    Yep, looks like it does! I pulled this screen capture, from the '78 brochure...As for the bulk, I just looked up the specs. 123.9" wb, 231" overall length! And yeah, as for doing odd little changes in the final year, from 1974-77, these were on a 124" wb, so it's odd that they'd lose a tenth of an inch that last year. Unless they were really something like 123.95" and they rounded up in those earlier years, but for whatever reason rounded down in '78?
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,358
    Wow; it looks surprisingly good for a car that also looks like it has seen a little use. Of course, they don't really detail the exterior paint at all, but just having the interior look that decent, and even the top, of all things, I can't imagine the paint is too terrible.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Member Posts: 26,803
    kyfdx said:

    KY state troopers had 5.0 Mustangs in the late ‘80s. Strictly for radar and pursuit. Pretty sure that was the 225 HP version.

    They didn’t keep them long, though. Too small.

    kyfdx said:

    KY state troopers had 5.0 Mustangs in the late ‘80s. Strictly for radar and pursuit. Pretty sure that was the 225 HP version.

    They didn’t keep them long, though. Too small.

    They liked to hide in the shade under I275 overpass on I75 to catch those awful
    speeders on I75. They just looked like a broken down on the side of the road.
    Saw them several times while traveling thru.

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  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 48,510
    I remember in the 55 days MD state police took it to a new level, using oddball unmarked cars. One being some sort of El Camino with a haybale or some such in the back parked on the shoulder.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,393
    I think the main reason the Fox body Mustang became popular among police departments, is that the big cars just weren't powerful enough to catch the bad guys. So they'd use a Mustang 5.0 to catch the speeders and such, but then if they needed to haul them away, they'd call in for a big car, or the paddy wagon I guess.

    According to Michigan State Police testing, the last big police cars to make it from 0-60 in under 10 seconds were in 1978. The quickest was a 255 hp Dodge Monaco with a cop 440, and somewhat tall 2.73:1 axle. IIRC its 0-60 was around 9.3 seconds, and top speed was around 132 mph. I think the '78 Catalina 400 they tested eked by in 9.9 seconds. I don't know how the Impala 350 did. I think it was a bit slower from 0-60, but remember it definitely did better at higher ranges, making it from 0-100 a bit quicker, and having a slightly higher top speed.

    It wasn't until 1989 that a sedan-based police car broke that 10 second barrier again. It was a Caprice with the TBI 350, which managed 9.82 seconds. I thought that perhaps the Fox-based LTD V8 might have done it, but nope. In 1984, the MSP tested one, and got 10.29 seconds. The buff rags like MT or C&D probably got the civilian LTD LX down to 9.0 or so, but the MSP's testing was a bit more conservative. The MSP tested the LTD LX again in 1985 and got 10.53 seconds.

    For disclosure though, the MSP only tested big cars in 1979...St. Regis, Newport, Impala, LTD, and LTD-II. Some outfit called Police Product News tested a '79 Malibu with the 350 and Volare with a 360. The Malibu did 0-60 in 8.9 seconds, the Aspen in 8.7. The MSP did test a Malibu and Volare/Aspen in 1980, but by then they were kind of a dog. 10.9 seconds for an Aspen, 12.3 for the Malibu.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,369
    Back when 10 sec 0-60 was a big deal. Just saw another EV tested with sub-4 sec 0.-60...yawn...
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,501
    edited January 24
    Too lazy to check, but I think the brochure for my '85 Celebrity Eurosport 2.8MFI V6 showed a ten-second 0-60 time. It felt very snappy to me at the time, as did my Dad's '84 Monte Carlo 305 4-barrel. I'm guessing if I got in a properly-sorted-out one of either today, I probably wouldn't feel it so much.

    I always laugh how on old-car forums, there'll always be somebody saying how much better/faster a current model is than the classic. Wait, you mean technology has improved in some areas in fifty years? LOL. Don't get why people like that would post on an old-car forum.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,393
    I think some of those cars the MSP tested actually WOULD do 0-60 in under 10 seconds if MT or C&D got ahold of them. It's just that the MSP tested them differently. IIRC, they just put two big cops in the car, and had them drive one way down the test track, and then come back, to account for differences in the wind. And then they took the two-way average. They also didn't do things like manually holding the lower gears, power-braking to launch faster, etc.

    I just opened my police car book...the MSP actually tested two Celebrities in 1985! One was the 2.8 V6 with a 2-bbl carb, and it did 0-60 in 13.87 seconds, 0-100 in 55.31, and topped out at 116.1 mph. The other was a fuel injected 2.8, and it was good for 0-60 in 12.00 seconds, 0-100 in 42.26, and a top speed of 115.3.

    For comparison, the quickest police sedan in 1985 was the fox-based LTD with the 165 hp fuel injected 302. 0-60 in 10.53, 0-100 in 30.74, and a top speed of 120.6. With bigger cars, the Impala 350 was quickest from 0-60 (11.66 seconds), the Crown Vic with a 351-2bbl was quickest in 0-100 (39.78 seconds), but a Gran Fury had the highest top speed (119.4 mph).

    I have an old 1985 Consumer Guide that tested a Celebrity with the 112 hp 2.8 2-bbl V6, and they got 0-60 in 11.2 seconds. So I'm sure any of those cars the MSP tested were capable of better numbers, if some other source tested them.

    My Mom's 86 Monte Carlo, which had the 150 hp 305-4bbl, definitely had some pull to it. I remember when it first took off, for a moment you could actually feel yourself getting pinned back in the seat just a bit. But, I think a lot of older cars with big engines and good low-down torque are like that. They'll throw you back for a moment on takeoff, whereas a smaller engine has to wind up a bit, and even if it ends up being faster, it doesn't always feel like it.
  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 16,551
    texases said:

    Back when 10 sec 0-60 was a big deal. Just saw another EV tested with sub-4 sec 0.-60...yawn...

    Yes- my 1979 Arrow GT 2.6 ran 0-60 in 10 seconds flat- it was the fastest car sold by Chrysler in 1979.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2020 C43; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

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