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



  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,880're thinking pre-1981. GM re-skinned all their intermediate personal-luxury coupes for 1981, making them more aerodynamic and giving them flush-mounted opera window glass. The '81-88 Montes all looked pretty-much alike, except for the '86-88 LS model, which had composite headlights.

    The '78-80 Montes were still the same size, but a bit more curvaceous and over-styled.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,880
    ...seeing one of those early I-Marks. I could see the similarity to the Chevette around the windshield/cowl area, which is usually the most expensive area to differentiate on a car. Much, much nicer car than the Chevettes we got foisted upon us,though!
  • The sad thing is that the whole "similarities" game was not uncommon.

    The Euro Ford Granada and US Ford Granada looked a lot a like, except that the former was boxier (which pointed the way for the Fox-based Granada later). They shared nothing in common, different engines, different interiors, etc. but they looked similar and may have shared some parts.

    The Vauxhall Chevette looked a lot like a Chevy Chevette, but was a different car.

  • magnetophone-

    Yeah, the '78-80 Monte Carlos and '78-81 Buick Centurys (RWD) are becoming pretty rare. I kind of like that generation of Montes, though the '78-81 Centurys were one of the uglier versions of that nameplate in my opinion. The FWD Century came out for 1982. All of the FWD A-bodies are pretty rare in 2-door versions. I saw a 2-door 1984? Century recently, though it was in somewhat poor condition.

    As for Parisiennes and Caprices, well, I see a Parisienne almost every day :-) and I find that I still see a good number of all the '77-90 B-body wagons (though the Parisienne is the rarest). People keep them running, because they know you can't buy anything like them anymore.

    -Andrew L
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,880 the '77-81 Pontiac Catalina. Pontiac, and, to a lesser extent, Buick, didn't have nearly the success with the downsized B-bodies that Olds and Chevy did. Whereas Buick and Olds put all the trim levels under either the LeSabre or Delta 88 nameplate, Pontiac and Chevy still fielded two different models: Impala and Caprice for Chevy and Catalina and Bonneville for Pontiac.

    Traditionally, Impala and Catalina were the volume sellers, but as buyers demanded more upscale cars, the Caprice and Bonneville began outselling their cheaper counterparts starting in '77. The downsized Catalina peaked its first year, at about 46,000 units, and went downhill from there. In '81, they only moved about 10,000 or so, compared to around 90,000 Bonnevilles.

    '77-81 Catalina 2-door coupes are especially rare. Now that doesn't mean everybody go hoarding them, now! It just means they weren't popular when new. I'd love to have a '77 Catalina coupe with a 400 or 403, though!
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    ...had a 1977 Bonneville. It was quite an attractive car. He also had a rather beat 1972 Catalina. Boy, that car was huge!
  • I spotted a 2-door Chevy Vega wagon at lunch!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,880
    ...I knew a guy with a '72 Catalina hardtop coupe. At one point he needed to sell it, and was asking something like $800. He only paid $400 for it, and hadn't put any work into it.

    At one point he asked me if I'd be interested, since he knows I love old cars. I would've been, except for the fact I had too many already!

    Well, he ended up "trading" the car for 8 E-pills (which I think is a street value of $200). When I found out he did that, I reamed him out! Not only over the whole drug thing, but if I knew he was gonna let it go that cheap I would've bought it!!
  • E-pills? Ecstasy? Wow, Maryland must be a cheap place ;)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,880
    ...but what do they go for, in other locales?
  • I don't either, but that sounds cheaper compared to here.

    These are obscure cars, but I didn't spot them anywhere but on

    Go take a look folks... three new awesome Euro-market convertibles... the Ford StreetKa, the Peugeot 307 CC (hardtop roof), and the Citroen Pluriel.
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    ...though a friend's (now ex, understandably) boyfriend gave his car (an '88 Mazda 323 wagon, which are very hard to find) to a crack dealer over a $50 debt. Very depressing.

    Yesterday, I saw a '67 Chrysler 300 convertible (1594 produced). It's been sitting on various streets in my neighborhood lately.
  • Hey I know someone with a 5-door Mercury Tracer hatchback. It's actually very well-built and would have been a decent Golf alternative for the time,
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    My dad had a Tracer, it lasted about 250k miles, replaced by an Escort that went about 300k (my dad and stepmom are Engineers/Solar energy consultants, and thus travel a lot). Of course, both had Mazda engines.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    ...was a 1991 Tracer. She had it for 107,000 miles and then traded it for the Impala.
  • I saw an old subaru today...easily something from the 70's...possibly even 60's. When I first saw it I thought it was an old Austin. But I read the back and it said subaru. The model started with a 3, and was 3 digits, but I didnt get the rest.

    WHAT IS IT??
  • and spotted a Chrysler New Yorker from the mid-80's (I think). Looked like a stretched K-Car. It had the badge on the side for a turbo. It was in mint condition including the carriage lights and vinyl roof. The paint looked original and the body had no rust. Not the most attractive vehicle, but I was impressed it was in such good shape. My wife had a K-Car she inherited from her aunt during college and you had to put your foot over a hole in the wheel well during a rainstorm to keep the water from coming in. Unfortunately there were too many other holes to worry about!

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • Saw another Brat today, this time for sale in front of a farm house. Is brown with a with stripe...very interesting...
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 21,305
    If the Subie you saw was tiny (original Mini-sized)it was likely a Subaru 360, so called because they had a 360cc engine.

    They were imported into the US by Malcolm Bricklin who imagined they'd be the solution to the oil shock of 1973 (the first of several losers advocated by Bricklin).

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • Then came Yugo, then came ZMW!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,880
    ...what does that come out to, in cubic inches...about 20 CID or so?
  • I just took a walk around town and saw two weird cars:

    1976 Pontiac Astre: It was actually running, and looked to be in good original condition.

    1998 Nissan Sentra Base: This is the model with black bumpers and 13" steel wheels with no covers. As I recall, these also had no radio and no A/C. I can't imagine that more than a few hundred of them were ordered.

    -Andrew L
  • Today I saw a yellow Checker stretch limo(probably about 10 feet) with wrinklewalls in the back and a blower in the front!
  • tariktarik Posts: 344
    ...I witnessed a Neon doing the 1/4 mile in 6.94s @ 200.3 mph! Cute, I want one too, but maybe WITH mufflers... :-O

  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    What happened when it hit bottom after falling off the 1/4 mile high cliff?
  • I am spending the week in Juarez, Mexico. Every old car that anybody in the US ever had is alive and well traveling the streets of Juarez! I saw the 63 Fury III my dad made us ride to Florida in all through the 60s. I saw the 66 New Yorker. I saw the 70 Duece & a Quarter. I saw the mid 80s Omega. If you spend two weeks in it on vacation as a kid, IT IS HERE NOW! It almost makes it worth coming here.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Maybe when you were a kid. I'll need to go to Havana to see all the cruising '53 Buicks, etc. that I grew up with :-)

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Anyone ever see a Railton? Friends and I are working on a 1937.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,880
    ...wasn't the Railton a Hudson built for export markets? Something akin to what Chrysler did with the DeSoto Diplomat?
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306 Alfa-Romeo GTV6 2.5 parked at the edge of the parking lot at work today. When did Alfa-Romeo produce these cars?
  • I believe from like 1975 through the late 80's.
  • The V6 was sold in the US from 1980-87 I think...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Not quite Andy...the Railton was a hybrid mix of Hudson engine and chassis mated to a traditional British sports car body, usually a 3-position drophead (convertible) 4-seater.

    They were, by 1937 standards, pretty quick cars--you can imagine a wooden framed British open car powered by a huge stragiht-8 flathead of some 125HP. A few Railtons were tuned up to 160HP, and were officially clocked at 0-60 in 8.8 seconds, as fast as some modern cars today. Of course, they were trucks to drive and they were not terribly popular nor terribly attractive in their day...not bad, but not great.

    HOwever, obscure to be sure and hard to sell here in the US. You'd be lucky to get $20K for one, which isn't much for a classic 30s British open car if you think about it.
  • I saw a little (I am talking tiny!) green pickup truck, circa 60's or early 70's, with Austin written in letters on the hood. I mean bonnet.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    According to what I've read, the Alfa Romeo GTV-6 was sold here from 1981-85. Due to ridiculously low sales, Alfa stopped importing the cars in late '85 and sold a couple of leftovers as '86 models, once again leaving the aged Spider as its only volume U.S. model. The GTV-6 was based on the awfully unreliable Alfetta hatchbacks of the mid-'70s. Personally, I've never seen any of those; maybe they have all rusted away or got sent to the crusher.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 21,305
    I'm sure your tiny Brit pickup was one of the many variants of the original Austin Mini 850,
    If it was open, like a golf cart, it was a Mini-Moke, a cool little contraption of marginal utility.

    And Jrosmac, the Alfetta was a fairly good-looking car for the 70s, altho it bore no resemblance to the earlier Bertone GTVs/GTAs. I'm sure it wasn't any worse than any Euro car of the 70s as far as reliability was concerned (Shifty may think otherwise.) Don't confuse the Alfetta (rwd, DiDion transaxle) with the awful
    fwd Alfa Sud (so named caused it was made in Naples, not Milan.)

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • On my way to work I spotted a DeLorean sitting in a gas station parking lot. I didn't see too many of those in the 80's, let alone recently. I would've gotten a pretty good look at it because I was at a rather long red light, but an SUV a couple lanes over came and blocked my view 5 seconds after I spotted it.
  • I saw my second 350Z today, this time it was grey and for sale at a user car lot. (?)

    I also saw my first 2003 Honda Accord. Talk about an ugly car...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I don't really know very much about Alfettas.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    ...a woman driving a red Alfa Romeo 164 at the bank yesterday. The car was in excellent condition. I really liked the alloy wheels on it.
  • I saw two Espirits following each other a few days back. That was sort of a surprise. For a moment, I felt like I was in the 80s. Then I realized that it's 2002; it's just that the Espirit hasn't changed since the 1980s.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    I saw a guy early this morning driving a ratty green '65 Corvair Corsa convertible. The thing was, it was raining very heavily in my neck of the woods. I don't think it's advisable to drive any Corvair in heavy rain. And wasn't the Corsa the top-line model back in '65, also, with a different engine than the rest of the Corvairs?
  • I decided that there are so many obscure pictures of cars in my neighborhood, that I am going to take a picture of them all.

    More news later ;)
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    ...that when my bro returns from his tour and thus have his digital camera, I will be able to find that four-door El Camino and take a picture of it. If so, I'll post it here.
  • Bright yellow Hummer H2. Ugly as sin.
  • jrosas-

    My dad had a 1965 Corvair Corsa back when it was new. His wasn't a convertible, though. I believe '65 was the year they redesigned the suspension, so they weren't as hard to handle as the older ones.

    -Andrew L
  • magnetophone-

    Great pics! Unfortunately I got about 2/3 of the way through them, and I exceeded your daily data transfer :-P

    I love that AMC Pacer, and the '70s Buick wagon. Also, notice that the Focus in the first pic is already missing a wheel center cap. Those things fall off if you look at them funny!

    One of these days I'm going to take some pics of the weird cars in my college town...

    -Andrew L
  • alfoxalfox Posts: 716
    owns a tired looking white Alpha 164. The angled trim line down the side of that design always looked to me like the car was broken in the middle, like it had been dropped or something. Being a well worn example, this one looks even worse.
  • That's my Focus, andrew! The people at the tire center lost it. :(

    I am uploading a bunch more pictures. My homepage was temporarily down. I hope to have a few hundred photos eventually.
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