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



  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Two things strike me about the Herald. One is the transverse leaf spring rear suspension that sounds a lot like what the Spitfire was blessed with. The other is the obvious pride with which they mention the modern telescopic (as opposed to lever action I guess) "dampers". And in 1960 too! That's pushing the envelope.

    I'm with Bill (wherever he is) on post-war British sedan styling--I love it.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    Let me put that Herald up against my Volvo 850! (j/k)
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    As I recall the front hood of the Triumph Herald unlatched at the 2 sides by the doors and the whole hood pivoted forward. The engine and the front wheels were completely exposed. Which is good, because I had to spend a lot of time in the engine area. Here is a link to a page that has a newer Herald with it's hood opened.

  • dgraves1dgraves1 Posts: 414
    Nice write up on the original and newer Mangusta:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Someone restored a Herald?!! I really have to shake my head on that one. Well, hopefully he did it on the cheap.

    I used to own a special bodied car that was built on a Herald chassis, called a Bond Equipe GT, and like the Herald, it was awful to drive. It was a kind of frog-like fiberglas body with typical British Jurassic-level quality to the glaswork. Coupled to the thrashing Herald engine and grinding-marbles gearbox and baby-buggy suspension, it wa a thrill a minute at speed.

    To think that the same country produced the E-Type and the Herald at the same time. What an eccentric Island People!
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    Yes, the Triumph Herald was better than new. It was red and white and absolutely a perfect paint job. On the back the state tag read "HERALD". I won't tell you what state it was from, but if you see a red and white Herald with a tag "HERALD", chances are it is the same one.

    This has to be one of the rarest cars I have seen, I may see a TR2, 3, 4 or 5, but I haven't seen a Herald in over 20 years. It was a good trip down memory lane.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Ah, the beauty of human diversity. It would have been a very unpleasant trip down my memory lane--LOL!

    I have 4 large books on Triumph and none even mention the Herald. Some things are best forgotten.
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    Yes, it was good seeing a car you have owned and haven't seen in years. It is also GOOD I no longer own the car and that goes for my 59 Jaguar MKII 3.4.

    Now I wouldn't mind owning a Borgward again, but that of course is another story.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Borgward was a little odd-looking but a very well built, quality car (unlike a Herald) and a respectable performer.Old man Borgward was a stubborn old coot though and I guess he drove the company right into the ground, sort of "It's mine and I'll do what I want with it!"

    No reason Borgward could not have been BMW. They were about equal in size and product in the late 50s, but obviously not in visions for the future.
  • jeberjeber Posts: 91
    saw an early '70's chevy vega at the hardware store today...unusual as they usually had a life span of about, oh, 5 years! lol

    OK have to confess, although it didn't look, at first glance, like a hot rod, with super wide rear tires or anything, & it was fairly plain looking, but at closer look you could see it had about 1500 bucks worth of tires & wheels...owner was coming out when I was loading up, I commented "you don't see many vegas around these days" turns out he has hundreds of hours of labor, many thousands of $, and now has a vega with a 327, nearly 400 h.p., does a 1/4 mile in low 10's. I told the guy I ran around with a guy in highschool in early 80's with a vega that woulda taken about 10 MINUTES to go 1/4 mile!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well the guy is smart. The best thing you can do with a Vega (which isn't a bad looking car) is to turn it into something else.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Tonight I'm stopped at a traffic light and just happen to look over at the car in the next lane. There sits a gor-ge-ous 300 SL roadster, silver with black top, looking like it's out of a show.

    He takes off fairly aggressively and I notice that the engine doesn't sound old-timey like an American six or V8 from the late '50s would. It sounds surprisingly modern and very German, with a hint of whirring mechanical overtones that might have been the timing chain. Very entertaining in a subtle way.

    The deck seems incredibly long and the car looks a little like those Gran Prix streamliners Germany built during the '30s. Maybe it was just the beautiful silver body.

    He works his way into third and I notice that the ratios are pretty close. It's not the sound of a really close-ratio box--like you're shifting into the same gear each time--but with minimal rpm drop.

    He leaves behind the smell of unburned hydrocarbons, something every old car seems to do regardless of condition.

    When I was very young I had a metal model of a gullwing and the 300 has always been one of those mythic cars that are larger than life to me (and to lots of people I guess). It's the second one I've seen on the street this year but the closest I've been to one in many years.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    They are fairly plentiful as collectible cars go. They made a fair number of 300SLs so you are likely to see one on the road now and then. The roadster, which you saw, is by far the more enjoyable car to drive, as the Gullwing is a bit of a hothouse.

    The 300SL is one of the very few collectible cars in which the coupe is worth considerably more than the roadster. The only other one that comes to mind is the 1963 Corvette Split Window coupe.
  • A Volvo 740 wagon- with altezza tail lights!
  • What most of us in the US don't realize is that Triumph produced much more than sports cars. They always produced a line of what we would call family sedans. These sedan or saloon cars were very popular in the UK and Commonwealth countries but never did well in the US. The Herald was a fairly advanced car for its day. Introduced in 1958 it had four wheel independent suspension, rack and pinion, four speed gearbox and within a year or two, front disc brakes. In 1962 a six cylinder was offered in the Vitesse model. The Herald range is very popular in the UK as a starter collectible with the Vitesse looked at much the way we look at a 65 Mustang. The Spitfire was derived from the Herald and the GT6 from the Spitfire with the Vitesse 2 litre 6.

    The Heralds biggest contribution was its front suspension. Triumph designed a beautiful unequal length double a-arm suspension with a coil over tube shock. Lotus lifted this suspension for the Elan and pieces of it were used on many small sports racers.

    Heralds have a small following among Triumph people in the US and the Sports 6 (the US model Vitesse) is actually sought after. One very nice Sports 6 went for over $17k a few years ago. Silly money I know but someone paid it.

    I must confess, I am one of the afflicted. I have 4 Triumphs including a Sports 6 convertible. Don't ask how many run.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    A Vitesse isn't even on the radar screen in the collector car world, but I guess everybody is somebody's baby. Maybe appealing to curiousity collectors, like Rickenbackers or Skodas.

  • Skodas have become more collectible lately in Europe because of the new VW-owned resurgence. Would you believe that the Skoda Octavia was ranked like #5 or so out of 300 cars for reliability and satisfaction?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    But Americans don't know them, that's why they are such curiosities here. Buy a Skoda, take first prize every time in the Skoda division of your local car show! Or compete against the one surviving Vitesse in the Mystery Car competition!

    Ah, I like to make fun of obscure cars but--- They're like the sad puppies people drop off at the pound---deep down I really like them and feel sorry for them.
  • idletaskidletask Posts: 171
    There is a Skoda Octavia wagon down the street where I live. On the same street, someone owns a Citroën C4 (1932). Cables for braking, manual wipers, leaf springs, solid axles, etc etc but the engine is mounted on its own cradle. The car is in great shape.
  • Today I saw a Lincoln Versailles, probably a mid to late 70's car. It looked like a four door Ford Granada with the Continental front grill and fake spare tire bulge on the trunk. The car had wire wheels with a vinyl top. Amazing that a mid 70's Ford is still on the road.
  • I'm not well versed in the history of Porsche, so maybe someone can tell me if I'm currently parked next to an obscure model.

    When I pulled into the parking garage at work this morning there was a white 911E in the stall next to mine. What does the "E" stand for and is it a rare model?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    It means "injection" and no, it's not particularly rare. They made around 10,000 of them and aside from the injection system it's pretty much the same as all the early 911s, which are even more numerous. They came in "T" for touring, the low horsepower model, L with some extra equipment fitted, E for injection rather than Webers and the much desired "S" model, which had a hot engine. The "S" is worth consideraby more than the others and is the one to have.
  • Thanks, Shiftright. This particular model isn't in the greatest shape (looked like someone took a paint brush to parts of it), but it also looked quite clean and very well cared for.

    I'm still trying to figure out why this guy chose a 15 degree day to break out his toy. He usually drives a mid-90s Taurus to work.
  • Yeah, Ive always heard that the 911E was one of the most problematic of the 70's models. Wasnt it based off the 2.7?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well, if it's a hand painted 911E in good solid shape, it's just a $5,000 car. Not being worth very much, it allows the owner to be liberated from "classic" car disease and he can drive it in winter if he wants and enjoy the car every day. He will probably freeze to death if his heater boxes aren't up to snuff, but that's another matter.

    The E suffered from two major problems that I'm aware of offhand. One, the hydropneumatic struts that were supposed to take the place of both shocks and springs. Good in theory, not so good in reality. Very expensive to fix, and you're better off converting to the standard suspension (shock + torsion bar) from the T models

    The other problem was the injection system, which gives terrible gas mileage and is very difficult to get just right.

    If you want a 69-71 type 911 (they have a longer wheelbase than the earlier ones, so that's good for comfort and handling), and you can't afford an "S", then buy a 70-71 "T" model, which avoids the two major problems of the "E"---all you lose is some power, but the early 911sare not particulary fast by modern standards anyway, so......
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,496 early '80's Mercury Capri. Basically a Ford Mustang with a bubble hatch and a more squared-off front-end.

    Actually, I kinda liked the front-end on these. It gave the car an almost tough, menacing look. A comparable 'Stang looked wussy in comparison! Of course, the primer-black paint on this particular example might have helped that image!
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    ...was Lincoln's hasty reply to the Cadillac Seville. I once read an article about the Versailles in "Collectible Automobile" and it seems it was a very well-made car. Trouble is, it too closely resembled the Mercury Monarch with which it shared a showroom and with a $7K mark-up.
  • ndancendance Posts: 323
    The only model I can see bothering with is the '72/'73 911S (funny thing is, it's the only model I've ever gotten to drive). Since the basically all cost the same amount to fix, I'd definitely go collectible/pre-smog/actually runs pretty good.

    Having said that, I'd probably never go to the trouble to learn enough about them to really keep one up. There seems to be a fair amount of reasonably specialized knowledge that I'm to lazy to pick up.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 20,368
    which is the home of reasonable looking old 70s and 80s cars (no rust).

    Also seen during my recent week in Arizona (Phoenix/Tempe/Mesa/Gold Canyon/Sedona):

    -70s Ford Maverick

    -55-59? Hudson with body work like an old Ambassador.

    -Sundry old Brit cars seen at an MG Club show. Most interesting were the big Healeys. The desert sun plays havoc on those wood dashes.

    Happy Thanksgiving

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

  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    I saw a Seat Toledo on Rte 50 in Annapolis, MD. It was heading for the Eastern Shore. I wasn't aware that they were imported into the US.

    (I tried searching on SEAT to see if this was already covered, I got more on heated seats than I wanted to know.)
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