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

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Comments

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    I think that puckered front-end works well on the fastback, but not so much on the notchback, 4-door, or wagon versions of the Torino. Cheaper models used a full-width bumper, and grille that had the headlights worked into it, and looked a bit anonymous. It almost looked like they found a way to work the 1971 Torino's grille into the new design, yet make it look a bit more anonymous.

    I know I'm in the minority on this one, but I actually like that more formal, bulkier front-end they started using on the '73 Gran Torino, and that I believe they made standard on the full range for '75-76. But, on the fastback model, it looks oddly proportioned, like it was meant for a much bigger car. For example...



    From this angle, it almost looks to me like they managed to graft the front clip of a big car onto a Pinto!
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,276
    I remember reading/hearing at the time that in '73, the Torino and Cutlass outsold Chevelle, which set heads spinning at Chevrolet. I don't know if they were adding the Supreme into the Cutlass numbers or not; if so, the Monte Carlo should be added to the Chevelle's sales. But that ended up in the '74 having the luxury model Malibu Classic, the Malibu Classic coupes having the opera windows, and the front bumper being massaged to look much-less 'battering ram'.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 14,909
    edited October 2020
    During those early years of the 5mph bumper mandate, I thought Ford overall did the worst job of integrating them into their designs, as their battering rams seemed to stand prouder of the body than the other makes. I remember our '74 Maverick had a rear bumper that not only seemed to stick way out but also had a license plate pocket that had the plate mount hanging below the bumper, so that if you went into or out of a moderately steep driveway it bent the entire thing at the lower edge, just bad design. GM was a close second though, with the front end of the Chevelle/Malibu being a prime bad example. I thought Chrysler did it best.

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

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,276
    edited October 2020
    Movie "Gran Torino"--took me about 45 mins. in to start enjoying it. The acting before that was...well, amateurish. Really, I can't think of a single name in there beside Clint I'd ever seen or heard of before. But it redeemed itself to me further in.

    I think Clint was influenced by the father on "The Wonder Years" in doing his slow-burn guttural growl.
  • omarmanomarman Posts: 2,693
    Base 1972 Torino 4 door pillared hardtop looked like this
    image
    The "anonymous" look was good for police duty and the Edmonton Journal mistakenly identifies this police vehicle as a "1970 Ford Torino."
    image

    Kansas Highway Patrol had a '72 Torino 2 door hardtop (formal roof)
    image
    I like to think this one had the 429 police interceptor "mystery engine." Ford didn't release hp ratings for the 429 PI in '72, but it had lower compression and open chamber heads than the previous year 429 PI which had 11:1 compression and was rated at 375 gross hp in '71.
    A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    I think it's those peaked fender fronts on the base '72 Torino, that really tie in the styling with the '70-71 model for me, as well as the headlights seem to "float" in the grille pattern. Here's a '70 Fairlane, for comparison...


  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 14,909
    I liked the '70/'71 Torino fastback although it needed bigger/rounder wheel openings to take away from that fat-hipped look in the rear. But a lot of '70s Fords suffered from that. It seemed Gene Bordinat who was in charge of Ford design back then liked that for some reason.

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

  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 14,909
    This just popped up on BaT. I love these, and this one is very, very nice:

    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1977-oldsmobile-ninety-eight/#comment-5251937

    image

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

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,276
    edited October 2020
    I liked the Ninety-Eight's roofline better than the Delta 88 coupe's.

    What is the benefit of the aftermarket metal things at the top of the side windows? I've seen them before but I never got the purpose. Is it for additional rain guttering if the window is opened a bit?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478

    I liked the Ninety-Eight's roofline better than the Delta 88 coupe's.

    What is the benefit of the aftermarket metal things at the top of the side windows? I've seen them before but I never got the purpose. Is it for additional rain guttering if the window is opened a bit?

    Same here. I think the problem with the Delta 88 is that the quarter window is just too vertical, and it makes the C-pillar look too thick. I guess they did that so it would be different from the Catalina/Bonneville/LeSabre coupe roofline, but to me it just doesn't flow. Even if they had made it slightly more triangular, like the Electra/Ninety Eight, I think it would have flowed better.

    And yeah, those silver things were meant to deflect the rain, so that you could open the window a bit more. The rain gutters they built into cars in those days would help deflect runoff from the roof, when the car was parked, but but when you're moving rain is still going to blow in, although not quite as much as newer cars with more flush-mounted windows, where you have less roof/door window frame overhang. Those deflectors would let you roll the window down a bit more.

    When I was a teen, the wife of the guy who owned a local towing company/junkyard had big '75-76 Pontiac 4-door hardtop, either a Bonneville or Grand Ville. I remember commenting that I liked it, being a pillarless hardtop. She said that she'd rather have a car with a center pillar and window frames on the doors, so she could put those rain deflectors on!

    That black Olds Ninety-Eight IS nice. If I had my garage finished and the space for it, I think I might be tempted. A 403 would be cooler, but let's face it, I'm not buying something like that to do street racing in!
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,276
    To expound on previous conversations here, while I like the downsized intermediates from GM, seems like almost everyone can agree that the General did an overall nice job on the very first round of downsizing in the industry with the big cars.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 14,909

    I liked the Ninety-Eight's roofline better than the Delta 88 coupe's.

    What is the benefit of the aftermarket metal things at the top of the side windows? I've seen them before but I never got the purpose. Is it for additional rain guttering if the window is opened a bit?

    I always assumed that those were usually installed by smokers who wanted to be able to crack the window an inch or two without getting wet in the rain. I don't like the look myself. And I suspect from the look of this particular car that probably wasn't the reason in this case.

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

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    I don't think GM's downsized intermediates were quite the success that the big cars the year before were, but they were still pretty good. I think part of the problem is that, when they downsized, they were placed in an increasingly competitive market.

    When the big cars were downsized, they were about the size of the existing intermediates on the market, but they were roomier, a bit more fuel efficient, and with the right suspension setups, handled better. At the same time, they could also do most of what a pre-downsized big car could do, such as carrying six passengers, give a good ride, provide good cargo space, etc. About the only thing they really gave up was some towing capacity. I think the '71-76 models could be equipped for up to 7,000 lb, while the downsized cars were more like 5,000.

    But, in the case of midsized cars it was different. Most of the cars marketed as "compact" were really pushing the upper end of the "compact" size spectrum. In the case of the Aspen/Volare sedans, they were actually intermediates according to the EPA. I think the Fairmont/Zephyr was also, barely, an intermediate. So, I don't think something like a '78 Malibu gave you as much of an advantage over the existing range of compacts, that, say, a '77 Impala did over that year's range of intermediates.

    And, I know we've discussed it before, but GM almost went a bit too far in the weight reduction and downsizing of the intermediates, versus the big cars. I think they were trying to out-do the gains they made with the big cars, but to make a car that lightweight and space-efficient, but in that size, some quality was compromised, such as the thinner, more rust-prone frames, the stationary rear door windows, the increased likelihood of the under-sized transmission, etc.

    One thing that always bugged me about them was the use of the tiny 3.3/200 Chevy and 3.2/196 Buick V6es the first couple years. They just seem too small and weak. But, to be fair, I'm sure a '78 Malibu with the 3.3 has got to be faster than a '77 with the old 250 inline-6! And, I also might have a bias against those tiny engines because my 1980 Malibu had the 229/3.8. It actually seemed adequate, at the time, so I think in my mind, that was a baseline, how it "should" be, and that anything smaller in a car like this was just wrong.

    In retrospect, I have a feeling the 229 didn't improve performance much, if any, over the 200, at least with the standard axle ratio. The 200 used a 2.73:1, but the 229 used a 2.41:1, so that probably offset much of the advantage of the larger engine.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,276
    edited October 2020
    I had experience with Chevy's 3.8 in my parents' '80 Monte Carlo and in my '82 Monte Carlo. I remember really slow and sounds that didn't seem like they should emanate from a Monte Carlo! That is one reason I looked for a 267 when I shopped for an '81 Monte Carlo new. That car was stolen and I needed a car quickly so I settled for a 3.8 in my '82.

    I could never imagine an engine smaller in those cars, but I know they had them.

    At Chevy, and I assume the other divisions, the mid-size cars had a long list of optional interiors and such that could make the difference between a 'meh' car or a pretty nice car.

    Too, if I could find a clean, original '77 Caprice Classic coupe in black, no body side moldings, Sport wheel covers, F-41, the related tires with the pinstripe whitewalls, no vinyl top, gold pinstriping, goldish Custom interior, round instrumentation, 350 engine, I'd be a happy guy.

    In the Pontiac world, my find would be a black '79 Bonneville coupe with the goldish bucket seats, snowflake wheels, no side moldings, no pinstripe (that super-wide rocker molding is enough for me), no vinyl top and the biggest engine.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,276
    The other day I mentioned here remembering a bail bondsman in my hometown who had a new '74 Fleetwood Talisman. That one year, leather was offered, although his wasn't leather. I found these pics today of the interior of one with leather. Talk about excess...but boy I'd like to see one in person:



  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 14,909
    andre1969 said:


    But, in the case of midsized cars it was different. Most of the cars marketed as "compact" were really pushing the upper end of the "compact" size spectrum. In the case of the Aspen/Volare sedans, they were actually intermediates according to the EPA. I think the Fairmont/Zephyr was also, barely, an intermediate. So, I don't think something like a '78 Malibu gave you as much of an advantage over the existing range of compacts, that, say, a '77 Impala did over that year's range of intermediates.

    The difference was, though, that the downsized A-bodies drove and felt like a smaller big car, while the Aspen/Volare and especially the Fairmont drove like compacts. The Fairmont was not a great car unless you really optioned it up, and even at that it still felt light, tinny and unless you spent big money to get a 302, underpowered. The Mopar twins ran the gamut from plain to fancy but they had their own issues and even by the fall of '77 had a bad reputation. I think the GM versions did OK despite being badly affected by cost-cutting and build/materials quality over time. You have to keep in mind that the overall market was rapidly shifting in favor of imports, especially those from Toyota, Datsun and Honda. Their cars might not have driven as smoothly or been as luxe as some domestics but trounced them on fuel economy, build quality and reliability.

    I think GM's engine choices back then probably cost them some sales too. Building smaller versions of the same old carbureted pushrod designs that could barely get out of their own way was how they chose to meet CAFE mandates, but they were awful. Things got even worse in the early '80s.

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

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    edited October 2020
    If I could have my pick of those downsized GM cars, mine would be somewhat modest, but a bit oddball I guess. I really LOVE the style of the '77 Catalina. The front-end almost looks sporty, with a crosshair grille the slightly recalls the '64 GTO, if you blur your vision a bit :p . Unfortunately, you couldn't get them with a ritzy interior, although I don't have a problem with the standard interior. I could be really happy with one of those, as a coupe, with either the 400 or 403. And, as fully-loaded as you could get a Catalina...power windows/locks, and I'd presume you could get a power seat with them? Not sure if you could get a split bench with the Catalina, or if you had to go with the Bonneville for that?

    Anyway, something like this...


    Preferably, without the vinyl roof!

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,276
    I know guys like us here aren't the typical buying public, but I've always thought I wouldn't buy a car I just didn't like very much, solely for its reputed reliability. I know most buyers would though.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,276
    edited October 2020
    That is a pretty car. Seems in my mind most Catalinas of that era I've seen are that light-to-medium green.

    Pretty certain you couldn't get a split seat in a Catalina.

    I was thinking the Catalina had a rocker molding, but maybe that one has one and I just can't see it because of the photography angle.

    I'm not a fan of the skirts on the Bonneville or that rocker trim that seems like it's almost a third of the body side, LOL, but love the bucket seat interior. I even have to admire that striped interior on some of them....have you seen that?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 53,058
    I like the style of that Pontiac too, the big "downsized" coupes were handsome, really wore the angularity well. I can even deal with the vinyl top, so long as it isn't a padded landau style like on that pristine Olds.

    Sightings yesterday - an absolutely pristine new looking PT Cruiser (will be rare, eventually), and a clean W126 300SD in the metallic gold/"champagne" that was extremely popular on early 80s MBs.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 14,909
    andre1969 said:


    Same here. I think the problem with the Delta 88 is that the quarter window is just too vertical, and it makes the C-pillar look too thick. I guess they did that so it would be different from the Catalina/Bonneville/LeSabre coupe roofline, but to me it just doesn't flow. Even if they had made it slightly more triangular, like the Electra/Ninety Eight, I think it would have flowed better.

    Well, apparently this is what was supposed to be produced before getting scrubbed at the last minute.

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

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    edited October 2020
    Yeah, that striped interior was the "Valencia" option on the Bonneville Brougham. I think they're pretty cool.

    I know guys like us here aren't the typical buying public, but I've always thought I wouldn't buy a car I just didn't like very much, solely for its reputed reliability.

    True...after all, I bought a '57 DeSoto, one of the cars from the year that helped coin the acronym "Mostly Old Parts And Rust" :p

    I think my Mom's '86 Monte Carlo was also rated at "Much worse than average" by CR, when it was new. But, in those days, GM cars were often like a fine wine, becoming better with age. What's that old line..."Old GM cars run bad longer than most cars run at all?"

    When it comes to classic/antique cars, I'm not really concerned about whatever quality reputation the car had when it was new. If it's lasted this long, chances are it's either been well-maintained, was one of the better built examples, or a combination. Although, I guess I'd still be a bit worried about certain engines I might have a fear of (rational or not), such as the early 231, the Pontiac 301, etc.

    With buying a newer car, reliability will certainly come into play, but it won't be the deciding factor. But, honestly, with newer cars, there's really nothing out there that has me all excited, about wanting to own. I want to nurse my '03 Regal along for as long as I can. And when replacement time comes, tentatively I have either an Impala or Charger in mind, but that's not set in stone. I haven't checked reliability ratings lately, but I don't think the current Charger is exactly a poster child for it.

    I've only bought two vehicles brand new: a 2000 Intrepid and my 2012 Ram. I didn't even bother to look at reliability stats when I bought the Intrepid. I think CR usually rated the second generation "average" over the years. I've heard the 2.7 DOHC V6 was also prone to sludging, and was expensive to replace. Supposedly it was cheaper to swap in a 3.2 or 3.5, but resale value on those cars was so bad that when the engine failed, they were probably just junked. Still, mine was a pretty good car. I remember having a few sensors fail here and there, and the a/c compressor going bad, but nothing truly catastrophic. The a/c was about the worst of it, because the whole system got contaminated, and it was about $1300 to fix it all. I don't even know how CR rates the Ram...never bothered to check.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    Oh, on the subject of cars I don't care for, but are fairly reliable, here's an old review of the '88 Tempo/Topaz...



    I'll admit, I don't mind the looks of the sedans, after the '88 restyle, but I just could not stand my stepdad's '84 Tempo coupe.

    The road test actually gives me a new respect for them, though. They liked its handling, and seemed to like the interior for the most part. They weren't impressed with the acceleration, which was 0-60 in 12.4 seconds. I guess compared to some of the dogs I've had, that actually doesn't sound bad. And, I always remember the 15.9 second 0-60 run that Consumer Guide did with an '85 Topaz. The reviewer also griped about the back windows only rolling down about half way. I thought that was amusing...because it's something I used to gripe about, until I finally got used to it.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 53,058
    The Tempo/Topaz coupes suffer from that syndrome where the greenhouse might be a little too big for the proportions of the rest of the body, I think. I remember the rear door glass only went halfway down on our 85 sedan, too.

    Maybe rose-colored glasses of nostalgia taint my view, but I don't hate the cars, probably because we had one and it wasn't too bad, for a domestic smaller car of the era. Had 190K on it when my mom finally let it go, still running strong, although by then suffering from some cosmetic and suspension wear, it was 14 years old at the time. It was a high feature car for the price when new (ours was a loaded GLX), ours was also a good color combo, and the design aged well enough, not looking ancient as it got older.

    MW also has an interesting video showing an AWD Tempo, probably qualifies as a special interest car now:

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,276
    I thought my Dad's '84 Monte Carlo was well-assembled. I am pretty confident that he never took it back for a single thing. It was built in Arlington, TX I recall, when our three previous Montes all came from Baltimore.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    Thanks for posting that pic, AB348, of the proposed '77 Delta. It's funny, but as much as I'm not crazy about the roofline they ultimately went with, for some reason that Pontiac/LeSabre roof doesn't seem like it quite works, either. Maybe, it's because the Delta 88 in general was more squared-off than the LeSabre, or Catalina/Bonneville?

    Looking at the pic now, it seems so "off" that if it wasn't real, I'd think it was photoshopped!
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 14,909
    edited October 2020

    I thought my Dad's '84 Monte Carlo was well-assembled. I am pretty confident that he never took it back for a single thing. It was built in Arlington, TX I recall, when our three previous Montes all came from Baltimore.

    Our '78 Grand LeMans Safari, very early production and bought on introduction day, was built in Baltimore and was a real mess. Some parts just didn't fit - it had crank windows and I remember the splined shaft for the window cranks had them standing proud of the door panel by about 3/4", and various interior trim pieces didn't fit properly either. Early on, the fresh air vents in the dash didn't work at all, the drivers door window fell into the door twice, and from time to time when you started it, the engine would immediately race up to about 3000 rpm and you had to shut it off. The place on the roof where the roof rack screwed in rusted through in about 18 months as well, and the 2-piece tailgate had more rattles than a baby nursery. It was a real shame as it was a nice-looking car inside and out.

    image

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

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,276
    edited October 2020
    Dad's '80 had a beautiful paint job and was well-assembled. My '81 was built in August '80, and the hood stuck up a bit on one side and the tape pinstripe (two-tone paint) actually went over part of the chrome outside mirror, LOL! I still loved that car. My '82 had what the next year would be called the CL interior, and there was a broken zipper in the side of the upholstery near the center armrest, that I had the dealer repair. Dad's '84 was probably the best-assembled of all of ours.

    His '80 I recall at some point, seemed to be making a louder-than-normal rumble. It was determined that it had an incorrect flywheel (?). It was outside of warranty but the district guy OK'd the dealer to replace for free. I remember my Dad saying he was at the parts counter when the old flywheel was given to the parts guy to order a new one. Dad said the guy wrote down the number from the old part and Dad said "If that's the wrong one, don't you think you should look in the book?". Why my Dad would've been in the Parts Dept. is a mystery to me but he was a longtime customer and knew a lot of people in our small town.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,276
    edited October 2020
    ab, your Dad bought a new '78 on introduction day? Pretty progressive....really!

    Closest we ever came was our '73 Nova was delivered to us on Oct. 6, 1972, but it's not like that was an all-new car.

    What engine did that wagon have?
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 14,909

    ab, your Dad bought a new '78 on introduction day? Pretty progressive....really!

    Closest we ever came was our '73 Nova was delivered to us on Oct. 6, 1972, but it's not like that was an all-new car.

    What engine did that wagon have?

    He actually bought it a week or so previous, trading in his '75 AMC Sportabout. All of a sudden a week or so prior to that he decided it had to go and I never knew why. His timing was bad as the '78s weren't quite out yet. We test drove a new '77 LTDII wagon (nice car but too big); a '77 Aspen SE wagon (I liked it although it seemed to understeer pretty badly, and the parents didn't care for it, blue inside and out plus woodgrain might have turned them off), and then he went to the Pontiac dealer and the salesman showed him the '78 brochure and said they had 2 of the wagons coming in soon exactly in the colors pictured in the brochure. Somehow they agreed upon the price and he bought it without even seeing it or driving it. It had the Chevy 305 which seemed pretty zippy compared to the 6 in the Hornet.

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

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    That's a cool pic, too, especially with the Dart in the background, and the two Oldsmobiles. Oh, for the good old days when you could bring home a brand-new car and it would make the rest of the block look old!
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,276
    Like they said on "The Wonder Years", "The day you brought home a new car, you were 'king of the neighborhood' for a day".
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    Funny, I was actually thinking about that episode of "The Wonder Years"! I don't think I've seen that episode since it first aired, but didn't it start off with the neighbors buying a '68 or so Dodge Dart hardtop coupe? I seem to recall they ended up with a somewhat mundane, base level '69 or so Ford 4-door, in that light sage green that seemed so popular around that time?

    I do remember, the day I bought my 2000 Intrepid, it was a bit of a euphoric feeling. And, one of my friends made an interesting comment. As I had bought the car on November 6, 1999, he said this would probably be the only time we would get a chance to sit in a car from another millennium. Okay, so it was a bit of a technicality, buying a 2000 MY car in 1999, but it was still kind of a nerdy-cool sort of thing. And, an opportunity that none of us will ever experience again (unless someone discovers how to be immortal).
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 14,909
    edited October 2020
    Funny how cars make you feel good like that. When the ATS was serviced on Monday it was returned to me with what the work order called a "Premium Cadillac wash", complimentary. All I know that they do more than just run it through the wash, as it always looks like they give it a coat of spray detailer and dress the tires, so it looks showroom.

    Today I went to Walmart to pick up some things. As I came out of the store I was behind another couple about my age by 15 feet or so. When the man came upon my car he turned his head and kept looking at it as he went past. Turned out his car was 2 stalls over and the one in between was empty. When he saw me pop the trunk he started commenting on how good it looked, what good care I must take with it, and how much he liked the paint color. Felt great (even though it wasn't my doing!).

    Pic for attention (taken yesterday):



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

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 41,482
    I do love that color.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,276
    That is a nice-looking Caddy....and no mistaking it for anything other than a Caddy. I like that.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 14,533
    andre1969 said:

    Oh, on the subject of cars I don't care for, but are fairly reliable, here's an old review of the '88 Tempo/Topaz...



    I'll admit, I don't mind the looks of the sedans, after the '88 restyle, but I just could not stand my stepdad's '84 Tempo coupe.

    The road test actually gives me a new respect for them, though. They liked its handling, and seemed to like the interior for the most part. They weren't impressed with the acceleration, which was 0-60 in 12.4 seconds. I guess compared to some of the dogs I've had, that actually doesn't sound bad. And, I always remember the 15.9 second 0-60 run that Consumer Guide did with an '85 Topaz. The reviewer also griped about the back windows only rolling down about half way. I thought that was amusing...because it's something I used to gripe about, until I finally got used to it.

    As I've said, I had to drive my mom's 1984 Topaz coupe a few times. Automotive purgatory. In contrast, I liked my 1984 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe a lot.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,276
    edited October 2020
    Back to "The Wonder Years"--they really played loose with the years of cars there. I remember in some shows they had a '63 Impala, and in others a '67 Dodge Polara wagon, which was referred to as a '61 in the show where they bought the new '69 Ford Custom 500.

    I haven't seen the episode in a long time, but I remember the family being smitten with the '69 Mustang in the showroom, until Dad says "Got any Falcon wagons?".

    I was a big fan of that show. Underrated I think. "Cheers" got all of the buzz around that time.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    I just looked it up on the IMCDB and yep, looks like that car at the beginning was a Dart...'68 Dart GT convertible.


    It's funny, the stuff that can stick in your memory after all those years. I used to watch "The Wonder Years" when it was new, but not religiously. I was in college back then, and also working part time in the evenings, so I didn't devote that much time to watching tv. And, I never watched it in reruns. I dunno if anyone even shows it in reruns these days. You'd think with all the channels available these days, it would be out there. But I swear, the more channels there are, the less there is to watch. I'm starting to understand why Elvis shot his tv :p

  • fintailfintail Posts: 53,058
    I remember the Wonder Years, when they got the 69 Ford when the big Dodge wagon supposedly died, and reminisced like it was a 50s model, showing Kevin in it as a little kid etc.

    IMCDB has a good Wonder Years page

    A Custom 500, bottom of the line big car, I think:

    image

    Here's the Mustang at the dealer:

    image

    And from one of my movie location trips, here's the Arnold family home in modern times, virtually identical to as it looked in the show (and probably how it looked in 1968):


  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,276
    edited October 2020
    The Custom 500 was next-to-the-bottom in the Ford lineup then. The 'Custom' was the bottom. The Custom 500 was where the Bel Air was in the Chevy lineup at the same time.

    If I were in LA, I'd like to see where the house from "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" is. The movie house I'd like to tour most--and it is open for tours, as it is well-known from things other than this movie--is Houmas House, where much of "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" was filmed, in Louisiana. In the movie it was called "Hollis House".
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    edited October 2020
    Wait...is this the wagon from "The Wonder Years" that died, and predicated the need for a new car?


    So, they killed a '68 Dodge Polara, around the same timeframe the neighbors bought a new '68 Dart that everyone was fawning over?! Oops :p

    In reading around though, it looks like they referred to it as a "1963".


    I guess, if we want to pretend that car's an early '63, maybe it's somewhat plausible. Perhaps the neighbors bought that '68 Dart on an end of the model year clearance, and the Arnolds bought the Ford at the beginning of the '69 model year? So, we could pretend that it was 6 years old, and had lived a hard life.

    In all fairness, my Mom got rid of a '66 Catalina in '72, a '68 Impala in '75, and a '75 LeMans in '80. Dad had ragged out the Catalina, and Mom didn't like the idea of driving me around in a convertible when I was a baby. So, she swapped cars with Grandmom and Granddad, getting their '68 Impala, and they used the Catalina as a trade on their new '72 Impala. I think the rear end was starting to go bad on the '68, and that's why she got the LeMans. In retrospect, it might have been a better idea to just fix the '68, but in those days there really was no badge of honor in keeping an old car running. And by '75, Mom was only 26, so driving around in her parents' old 4-door Impala (even if it was a hardtop) probably wasn't the coolest thing in the world. The '75 LeMans was pretty beat by 1980, but in its early years, Dad was pretty rough with it, and wrecked it once, and I remember Mom saying it never ran right after that. Gas was also getting expensive and a bit scarce by 1980, so she also wanted something more economical.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,276
    As soon as I saw this pic, I thought, "Sheesh, that's a '68 Dodge!". I remembered a '67. Boy, that thing was shot in a year, LOL.

    For some reason, I think (accent on 'think') that in the story line, 'Dad' got a good deal on the Custom 500 as it was the end of the model year. I could be hallucinating though.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,276
    It seems like I remember seeing the green '63 Impala more in the show than the '68 Dodge wagon, but I don't remember any show events moving from the one to the other, LOL.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    edited October 2020
    For some reason, there's just something about the style of the '69-70 big Fords that makes them look smallish, to me. And the '68, as well. There's been times when I'd see them out in the wild, at a quick glance I'd mistake them for a Fairlane.

    But, looking at the specs, they're in range of the competition at the time. For instance:

    1969 Impala: 119" wb, ~216" long
    1969 Fury: 120" wb, ~214" long
    1969 Galaxie: 121" wb, ~214" long

    A '69 Fairlane was on a 116" wb, and about 201" long, so in reality, there was a pretty big difference between it and a full-size. But, for some reason, those big Fords would play tricks with my vision.

    It also seems like they've been comparatively rare, in my memory, both out on the streets as used cars, and at car shows. The '65-67 and '71-72 always seemed like they were a lot more popular.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 41,482
    well, to me they always looked like barges!

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  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 14,909
    I used to see several '68 Fords at shows locally on a semi-regular basis. But almost never see any '69-'70 models with that unique dash design. For a while I would see a '72 (I think) convertible locally but I have not spotted it recently. The problem is that most of them after 1970 were more plebian designs, largely 4-doors, no fastbacks and only a handful of convertibles, so less likely to be seen at shows.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,276
    edited October 2020
    I'm not sure where this started, maybe 1970, but at some point the LTD model seemed to get pushed downmarket some and the Galaxie 500 almost squeezed out completely. It seemed at that time that for every Chevy model there was a commensurate Ford model. But the LTD came in a 'post' sedan before the Caprice did, and some LTD interiors had front seating that to my eyes was no more luxurious than an Impala (in a four-door, lacked that all-important front-seat center armrest). This might be because the LTD Brougham came out sometime around then, and the name 'LTD' did well-enough for Ford that they applied the name to the more mainstream sedans and coupes, who knows.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,478
    That's one thing I always liked about the Caprice, is that Chevy kept it uplevel for awhile, rather than try to turn it into a broad range like the Fury or the LTD. At least, until the 73 Caprice convertible came out, which seemed cheapened by using the Impala seats and door panels. By that time though, Ford and Mopar were out of the big convertible market. I guess it was '86, when the Caprice went full-range, with the base sedan replacing the old Impala, and then Brougham and Brougham LS models sort of trying to fill in for the market vacated by the RWD LeSabre/Delta 88 and, perhaps to a degree, even the Electra and Ninety Eight.

    It's funny how, sometimes it's just some little detail that stands out as a separator between a more plebian trim level and an upscale one. And yep, for years, it was that pull down center armrest!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 185,569
    My first car was a '70 Galaxie 2-door. It was decidedly down market..

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