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60s-70s big Chevrolets vs. big Fords



  • jerrym3jerrym3 Posts: 202
    If I remember correctly, the roof was the only difference in the 63 1/2 Ford and Mercs.

    (Actually, Ford made some low roof line 1962 models for oval racing, but the style wasn't offered to the public. I also think that the roofs were removable.)

    I know that both makes around that time announced four door bucket seat models (500XL and S 55), but I'm not sure if that announcement was also considered a "63 1/2".

    Ford stopped offering the formal style 2 door hardtop after 63, but Mercury kept offering two different rooflines, one being the breezeway retracting rear window first found on the 57 Merc Turnpike Cruiser.

    Ford (and Merc) even experimented with a large model fastback 2 dr in 1968, but the car's proportions didn't look right.

    But, IMHO, I think they hit a home run with the fastback 1968 Torino and Montego/Cyclone fastback style.

    The Dodge Charger and AMC Marlin were first to offer the fastback style in a larger, non pony vehicle, but the Ford products seemed better proportioned and offered a wide variety of engines.

    You could get a 1968 mid size Ford/Merc with a 302 2v, 302 4v (Cyclone only), 390 2v, 390 4v, and 428 (although the CJ428 may have been a 1969 option along with 351).

    But, if you ever had to remove the gas tank from the 1968 Ford intermediates, you were surprised to learn that the gas tank was the floor of the trunk. You removed a series of large, self tapping screws from inside the trunk and then removed the gas tank which left a large opening in the floor of the trunk.

    When you consider the tendency for cars to rust in that era (doors, quarters, trunks, etc), makes you wonder just how safe that design was.
  • Chris,

    Very interested in your last post. I own a '68 Camaro RS in which has some rare and desirable options. I have been working diligently the past year trying to trace it back but I have not been too successful. I, unfortunately, am without a build sheet or window sticker. I would like to verify whether or not my car came from the factory with those options. I know if it were a Pontiac than I could contact PHS for help. Do you have more information or could you keep me informed as you get more info with a simiar type service for Chevy's as you mentioned? I am EXTREMELY interested in this service. Please advise.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,461
    Do you have the "Camaro Red Book"? This can be helpful. Look on Amazon.

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  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    There was also a mid-year change in engines, from the 406 to the 427.

    I once got a ride in a '63 with the 406. The salesman was driving it to warm it up before he'd let me drive (I was maybe 18 and had zero credibility). He goosed it leaving a stop sign, shifted into second and I heard this "boom"--he'd lost second. The car didn't have that many miles but the T-10 they were using then was a lot happier behind a 283 than a big block.

    But what a beautiful car, mint black over black, and it made great noises.
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    seeing pictures of a few 62s with that Starliner roof in magazines-made for the Nascar tracks.
    The 63 Fastbacks were a response to the oval track racing needs. Those pseudo Tbird roofs didn't move air very well at 180 mph.
    But those square Tbird roofs sure sold well, I guess. Heck Ford was putting them on everything-even Falcons and Comets to make 'em look like T-Birds.
    I remember when the 62 Ford Galaxie 500 XL came out-kind of a response to the Impala SS. Buckets seats, console, fancy interior, more chrome.
    Those were the days...
  • I have a copy of the 'Camaro White Book.' I think the latest edition was published in 1998 or so. Great reference book for anyone who owns a Camaro. It outlines the options and how many cars were produced with each option etc. It is categorized by year and is really easy to use. I believe these guides also exist for Corvette. Not sure though if they exist for any other models. Anyway ... I just would like to know if my particular Camaro left the factory as it exists today. I know that through the PHS ... documentation etc. can be provided to a Pontiac owner if interested. Thanks for the advise about the book though. I hope the historical search soon becomes a Chevy possibility
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,461
    Oh, yeah, I think it is called the "white book" My mistake.

    I kinda doubt that without a build sheet you'll be able to prove anything for certain but you can build a logical case for something being on your car--like for instance if the one option is part of a package, and if you can show one of the options are being original (original stamping or paint, etc.), then you've proved the package---that sort of thing.

    Also, if the option is rare it still might be "minor" and of no consequence to collectors or to the car's value. The Camaro with the only pink sun visors every recorded is no more valuable for it (that of course is an extreme and silly example but you know what I mean).

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  • ndancendance Posts: 323
    Hey, you never know. If it were a '69, you could be looking at the Liquid Tire Chain option. Maybe we're talkin' bench seat / column shift.

    Seriously...except for the high performance engines the only option that is meaningful might be 4 wheel disks...which were a dealer option that year ('68) in any case rather than factory (OK, OK, I suppose that dual quads on a 302 and/or that oddball cold air inlet which goes into the firewall might count).

    YMMV, as usual.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Anyone paying 5-6 million for a car, even a ferrari, deserves to be taken to the cleaners, laundered, dry cleaned, pressed and hung out to dry, IMO. I'm the kind of car guy who cries when he sees a trailer queen. I mean, the car is so over restored, with so much money in it that it can no longer be taken out on the open highway, and driven. And deep down inside, all cars want to be driven. I'd think the trailer queens would cry too, if they could. Want an investment? Buy real estate. Want some top-down wind in your hair 8 growling cylinders Chuck Berry on the in-dash record player fun? Buy an old car.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    Weren't the fast-roof 63 1/2 Galaxies part of a division-wide promotion? Didn't the Falcon Sprint, with the sleeker roofline, come out at the same time? And wasn't the XL version of the Fairlane Sport Coupe introduced at this time, as well? I think they also all featured bucket seats, which was a big deal in 1963.
  • Here's the official word.

    It is true that we are working on a project for Chevrolet to retrieve and organize the history files for Chevrolet Division. However, you are a bit premature to request information on a vehicle.

    My personal background is that I originally came from the Chevrolet Fleet & Special Order Group (the collector community calls it COPO) back in the late 60's and early 70's. I worked on the marketing side of many of the now collectible Chevrolets that were built during that time, plus I have collected cars myself for almost thirty years.

    This project is a major undertaking and will require quite some time to get things organized. I am sure that information will be published when the project is complete. Stay tuned!

    Jim Mattison
    Automotive Services, Inc.

    a.k.a. (Pontiac Historic Services)
  • Thanks for the updates Shiftright and Chris396. Here are the options on my '68 I am most interested in finding out whether they came from the factory:
    - Fiber Optic Light Monitor system - in my opinion - would be tough to add after the fact
    - Speed Warning
    - Head Rests
    - Power Windows
    - Rear Defroster
    - Power Front Disc Brakes
    There are 20 or so more yet what I listed are for the most part; the rarest. I think that a car with some rare and desirable options will put somewhat of a premium onto a vehicle, especially if they are uncommon. any thoughts?

    Anyway ... will be looking out to see whether the Chevy historical files will become available.

    Also ... have a title history back to '84 ... just having trouble reaching the 2 previous owners.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,461
    Well I think you could safely say that none of those options would be likely to be counterfeited except the power disk brakes, because none of them except the disk brakes would have any affect on value. Thus the motives for and against.

    Rarity of either a car or an option does not necessarily translate into value. The operative indicator of value of ANY car or ANY option is that "someone has to care that it's rare". A Kaiser is a very rare sedan. Try and give one away sometime. A GTO 3X2 with bench seat is probably rarer than one with buckets---but worth less.

    To me, anyway, I cannot see your car being summarily rejected, or, conversely, massively hunted by hundreds of collectors because it does or does not have those particular options.

    What collectors want in Camaros is provable authenticity, large engines, 4-speeds, and of course the SS/RS package. Whether it has the console or the special bumper guards is just icing on the cake, but not the cake itself, in my opinion.

    Nonetheless, some of these options are really neat and convenient or make the car a better car. So certainly it's good you have them, and tracking down any info on your car's history is always part of the fun of being a hobbyist. For that reason alone, well worth doing.

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  • Nothing like a continental spare tire kit on a car that should never ever have one.

    I wonder how much this reduces the value of this car?

  • jerrym3jerrym3 Posts: 202
    Yeah, those were the days....

    I can still remember going on Sundays to a town called Montgomery NY (I think) and watching the dragraces at Montgomery airport. (Dragracing was so popular back then that they had to run four cars at a time.)

    I remember one Sunday afternoon in 1960, I watched a Ford vs Chevy shootout.

    Chevy always had the upper hand, but on this particular afternoon, two 1960 Fords showed up with the "new" 352/360hp engines. One was a black convertible with writing on the side "built by Ford to beat Chevvie".

    Well, he lost, and on his return trip from the finish line, the crowd greeted him by throwing bottles at the car.

    But, there was one really plain jane two door sedan, red, three speed on the column that was beating the Chevvies until he missed a shift.

    Crowd applauded him.

    I remember seeing one of the first Plymouth 413 wedge motor cars run at Island Dragway, NJ. Since there was absolutely no competition for this car, they arranged a "fun" race.

    A Corvair was stationed half way down the track, while the 413 Plymouth started from the normal starting line.

    They both took off at the same time, and the Plymouth nipped the Corvair at the finish line.

    When Interstate rt 80 was nearing completion in Lodi, NJ (right by the Bada Bing Club, for you Soprano watchers), we used to remove the barriers and race on the still unopened interstate.

    Good times........
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    Good story. I remember my first trip to the drags. It was at Lions Dragstrip in Long Beach, CA, in 1962. I believe Mickey Thompson ran the strip then. The top fuel eliminator that night [and most nights in those days] was Don Prudhomme, driving that Keith Black and Greer built dragster with the blown Chrysler. A good time then was like 185, in 8.2 seconds. Now, Prudhomme is an owner [if you watch drag racing now] and Larry Dixon, his driver, runs like 320 in 4.65 seconds.
    That was 1200 HP then, and 6000 now! My how times have changed!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,814
    I remember Lions very well.

    My parents had a house on the hill in San Pedro. I can remember beaing able to actually hear the dragsters as they blasted off.

    And that was quite a ways from Lions.
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    That was a good part of it for me-the sounds of those engines.
    I bought a record of racing sounds in 1963. My Dad had a new stereo system, so I'd put that thing on, and man! It was the next best thing to being there.
    Had some great dragracing sounds-one of my favorites was a blown small block Chevy, running in B/Gas supercharged, I believe, winding out through a B&M 4speed hydro.
    Also Chris Karamisines, driving the "Chizler" to a then record run of 214 in 7.81 seconds-what a big deal that was then.
    One time, though, I put the record on after Thanksgiving dinner, with guests there. Got yelled at bigtime!
    Not everyone likes that stuff I guess!
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    ...that Galaxie is the 'over-restored' poster child. Tinted windows, fender skirts, body colored late '70s Thunderbird alloys with spinners, bad two-tone interior. Lovely.

    Mhansen and shiftright, I don't think there's any way to quantify an 'exact' dollar value on certain options. Obviously though, a 'loaded' car, in the end, is going to sell for more than a stripped one. On a car with as many available configurations as a '60s Camaro, the options help differentiate the car from others, and makes for a more 'interesting' car. That has to be worth something over a more basic car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,461
    Sure a loaded car will usually outsell a stripped or basic one, no argument there, butsmall options or peculiar ones don't carry much weight value-wise. You can put a dollar value on pink sun visors in the sense that there isn't a dollar value. Ditto say "just" the rear window defroster.

    You have to look at the entire car, not its parts, for an accurate market value.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,043
    ...possibly make the car sell faster, even if it's not for more money? For instance, I would think a rear window defroster would be a definite asset. This coming from one who had frost on his car this morning! While I may not pay more for a car with a rear window defroster, it might still make the decision if I were looking at two of the same car in the same condition, and only one had the defroster.

    Speaking of options, if a car has an option, but it doesn't work, is it worth more than that car withouth the option at all? For instance, my '67 Catalina 'vert has factory a/c. It doesn't work though. Would it be worth more though, than a '67 Catalina 'vert that didn't have a/c to begin with?
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Speaking of options and the purists who love them...

    My favorite purist story concerns a guy I knew back in my GTO days who was the very essence of the type. If you weren't running the correct AC Delco wiper blade refills you were less than human.

    Well, after a year of so of listening to him sneer about modifications and the sub-humans responsible for them I find him one day in his back yard replacing the original automatic in his mint original '66 with a non-original four speed.

    Maybe he was going to call it a dealer-installed option.
  • ndancendance Posts: 323
    This sort of thing probably has been discussed before (mea culpa) but I just love the whole deal with inspection marks. Little dabs of paint (replicating some sort of smudge potentially put there by some guy who just polished off a blunt in the parking lot in late 1969) on rear ends, etc. treated as some sort of holy relic. You also gotta love those stamps Camaro guys buy (jeez, what are the letter? P/S/B or something? none of my cars came with it) for the firewall.

    Sr. the Ferrari people have the equivalent of this sort of thing?
  • I bought a '69 Corvette tripower for my Camaro convertible. You should see the look of horror on some purist's faces when I tell them I'm putting it on.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,461
    No, collectors of "vintage Ferraris" are surprisingly free of this sort of hang up, the reason being a) many Ferraris were raced right off the showroom floor, and it is understood that they would have engine switches, new front clips, etc. It's a badge of honor in some cases and not thought to be a "defect".; and b) it was not uncommon for Ferraris of the same year and type to each be a bit different. They aren't mass produced cars so there was all kinds of variation, things added, things forgotten, etc.

    I'd say the most important thing to a Ferrari owner is "provenance"---where the car came from, who owned it, how long, where did it race if ever. The Italians are not above counterfeiting an entire rare Ferrari from scratch.


    Yes, in my opinion a non working a/c unit, if it were factory installed, would make a car more valuable than one without a/c at all. The option doesn't have to work or even be in good shape to count.

    And no, I can't imagine a rear defroster making a difference one way or the other to a collector, because no two used cars are ever that equal that a minor option would tip the scale. There are always other mitigating factors, not just one little one. At least that's how I see classic car deals go down.

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  • Still convinced that some of the options on my RS will still make it attractive and more desirable if I were to ever sell it (which will not happen by the way). The rarity quotient is there. For an example, only 1755 '68's were built with the Light System, 2234 with headrests, 2344 with Speed Warning, 3304 with Power Windows and 6181 with the Defroster. 20117 were built with the disc brakes. Now ... the sum of that onto one car makes it (in my opinion) more desirable. And ... we are not even talking about the 20 more on the car (what I listed were the rarest except for the brakes)
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 6,845
    In the old car world the #1 priority is condition when it comes to determining value. But other things being equal, a high-option car is always going to be worth more thanone without. For some people, part of the enjoyment is finding and adding those factory options. I have a friend who has a '71 Cutlass SX and he has added just about every option available from Olds in '71 to that car - all of them hunted down from original sources.

    I often zing him about how his car is "overrestored" (it is truly beautiful) but he has showed integrity in not trying to recreate something that wasn't there originally in terms of markings and documentation. In contrast, another acquaintance is a very skilled restorer who does this as a second income - buys a 60's/'70s car (usually muscle cars or convertibles), does a quickie restoration, and flips the car at Carlisle for a good profit.

    What this guy does that really bugs me is add all of the supposed factory production line markings, even ones that weren't there. He has a selection of different grease pencils, paint pens and stamps, and away he goes with marks all over the firewall, rad support, etc. I find it ridiculous and quite distasteful, if not downright fraudulent. But he and his customers seem to find it irresistable.

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

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,461
    If I may, I'd like to bounce this option question around a bit more since it is an ongoing problem in appraisal work and a thorn in everyone's side. It's an interesting issue to discuss.

    I don't think the rarity of small options matters in overall value, because we could come up with even rarer combinations on cars worth far less than your car. You could put every option known to man in your car, and prove that only 1 was built with all those options, and only take away the SS/RS stuff and put in a 6 cylinder engine and you have very little left to sell to anyone.

    What the rarer options will give you is something to talk about at swap meets!

    This is an argument (debate) I go through all the time in appraisal work, and from my own point of view it isn't a good argument because assigning small options extra value merely inflates the value of the car in the eyes of the owner, who then feels burned when it comes time for an insurance settlement.

    Your car has more than enough to guarantee its future value as time goes on. I think that coming up with combinations of small options and divising rarity quotients ultimately.obscures the true value of the car to all concerned.

    However, it is great and harmless historical research and I encourage you to pursue it. I have often done this myself with cars I've owned.

    Bottom line, it would be very difficult to show that anyone really cares (checkbook wise) if only 500 Mustangs came with BOTH the blue interior lights and the remote trunk release on the same car. To me these are more curiosities than significant determinants on Fair Market Value.

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  • ndancendance Posts: 323
    I think you can split (this is talking American iron from the '60s here) options into four categories....

    1) The obvious differentiators...models and engines, convertibles, etc...great thumping difference in value.

    2) Stuff no one cares about... speed warning, defroster stuff, slight differences in interior trim, vinyl roofs (probably a minus),AM/FM, power windows.

    3) Stuff that makes the car a bit more drivable (if bought to drive, you never can tell anymore), power steering, disk brakes, auto vs. manual, gauge package... might be a go/no-go decision for a buyer. I guess you could throw desirable colors in here (Pink Mopars, orange Boss 302's, etc.).

    4) Truly rare high performance stuff (usually Chevrolet)...dual quads on 302 + the fiberglass hood, 4 wheel disks on Camaro, aluminum heads, ummmm...I'm running out of stuff here....maybe the sports car package (ie. 15 inch wheels + handling junk) on Camaro....that goofy lightweight rear end thing on 442. All of this tends to be darned hard to document.

    As far as synthesizing rarity via rare combinations of setups, the Chrysler guys seem to have everybody beat. In general, I wouldn't even think about option rarity unless the car were a desirable (ie. high performance) model. OTOH, not being able to see through the floor is a big plus.
  • jerrym3jerrym3 Posts: 202
    So, is my 1964 Galaxie 500XL convertible worth a whole lot less because it started life as a Galaxie 500 and I added/installed all the pieces (buckets, console, door panels, interior/exterior trim, floor shift, rear speaker chrome housing, etc) to make it a 500XL?

    Also, the motor is still a 1964 Ford 352/250hp, but it's not the one that came with the car. Is that a problem also?

    Fortunately, since I purchased this car in 1969 with 46,000 miles, and it now has 207,000 miles, I don't think that I could ever sell it.

    Now, if anybody wants a rust free, 95% original, 1958 TBird with 60,000 miles, second owner, original papers (even found some vintage old maps in the glove compartment)........
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