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

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  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,459
    Christmas 1991. First, a then all-new Eldo, I guess these are pre-Northstar so maybe not high risk. MSRP just over 37K:



    Then something familiar, MSRP barely higher at $8730:



    And in the showcase, an OJ special, this one with the MY 1992 facelift. Eddie Bauer model, nicely equipped, I'd guess these were in maybe the upper 20s:





  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,459
    edited February 25
    I recall when I was maybe 18 or 19, a local used car lot that always had oddballs had a 64 Galaxie XL hardtop like that on the lot. White on blue, it appeared immaculate at least to my eyes, which then were maybe not as critical. I remember it was $3995, seemed like a fair price as it looked nice. I don't think I've ever seen a 63 XL 4 door, or at least none I remember as being badged XL.


    sda said:



    Much better looking than the frumpy 61/62.

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,459
    Not the most flattering pic, but I recall this vividly for obvious reasons - the red 63 Galaxie in the background was a 406/4 speed car:




    omarman said:

    I saw the poverty caps on that viking blue '62 Galaxie 500/XL Sunliner and figured there was more to that story. Sure enough under the hood is a 406 tri power backed up by a 4 speed. I never saw that combo out in the wild before but in the 70s my oldest brother had a 406/4bbl. Probably more tri power FE block Fords now than were ever ordered back in the day.

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,503
    I used to think that Ford did so

    I'd take a '61 Ford Starliner in any color but their tomato red, bone-stock--it's my favorite Ford after the '56 and maybe the '58. I also like the '57 even with its headlights--outsold Chevrolet that year although I think that's lost on most people, LOL.

    I think it's amusing that you like the '58 Ford. I thought I was the only one! :p

    When it comes to the '61-64 generation, my favorite is actually the '63, style-wise, but I could be happy with any of them, I guess. Now, when I was a kid, I had an aversion to the '64, but I think I got that from my Dad. He had a bad habit of driving Mom's car, and he was hard on cars. Granddad (Mom's Dad) got tired of that, so he found us a light bluish green '64 Galaxie 4-door, for Dad to use. However, Dad hated Fords. So, he tended to still drive Mom's car (a '68 Impala 4-door hardtop and then a '75 LeMans coupe), and go out partying and such, and Mom would get stuck with the Ford. So I think it was the whole "Like Father like Son" thing, where since my Dad hated the car, so did I!

    And the odd thing...my Dad's first car was a 1964 Ford Galaxie XL hardtop coupe, with a 390 and an automatic. He bought it off some guy that just got drafted. In retrospect, Dad said that was a really nice car and he should have held on to it, but he just hated Fords! His dream car was a '63 Impala SS hardtop coupe with a 409 and a stick. He ended up finding one for sale. He told me it had the 425 hp setup. Years later, a mechanic told me there was no such thing in '63. But, I just looked up the brochure, sure enough, there it is!



    My Dad ended up selling it, when he got drafted.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 190,899
    TPIR


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  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,459
    Needs more wood trim, to become a Gran Detroit Farm and Country convertible.

    This showed up as an odd car spot in a group I read, never seen one like this before:

    image
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    edited February 27
    I think it's amusing that you like the '58 Ford. I thought I was
    the only one! :p


    My favorite, widowed aunt had a cocoa brown '58 Fairlane two-door sedan with white cove and top. I always liked it, and the reverse-opening hood I thought was cool when I was a kid.

    I could like up to a Fairlane 500 two-door Victoria. Not crazy about the looks of the Skyliner and not much of a convertible guy in general.

    Pretty reasonable proportions and lines for a '58 car I think. But you couldn't give me a Mercury of that year! Edsel in the lower ranges, yes!

    The two-door sedans in Ford's Fairlane lines in '57 and '58 almost looked like two-door hardtops--thin door and window frames covered in bright metal. I remember a really nice '57 in red and black at Hershey some years back.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,503
    That's one thing I did like about the '57 Fords. In the Fairlane series at least, they went through the effort to make even the more mundane 2- and 4-door pillared models look more upscale and well-proportioned. Usually a sedan is designed with practicality first, and style second, whereas a coupe (and a 4-door hardtop) usually focuses on style first.

    Still, it wasn't without its faults. Consumer Reports noted that the cheaper Custom line was roomier inside than the Fairlane line, despite being on a shorter wheelbase. Another thing about the '57 Fords, is they had just the slightest hint of a perimeter frame, and the advantages you get from one. It didn't flare out to the edges of a car in the way that the perimeter frames of later years did, but it angled out just enough, that they were able to give a slightly recessed footwell in the back seat area.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,459
    If I had a 58 Ford I'd see about making the hood scoop functional, just because.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,124
    andre1969 said:


    Still, it wasn't without its faults. Consumer Reports noted that the cheaper Custom line was roomier inside than the Fairlane line, despite being on a shorter wheelbase. Another thing about the '57 Fords, is they had just the slightest hint of a perimeter frame, and the advantages you get from one. It didn't flare out to the edges of a car in the way that the perimeter frames of later years did, but it angled out just enough, that they were able to give a slightly recessed footwell in the back seat area.

    I always loved how they called that frame design the "cowbelly" frame. Used it through the 1964 models.

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

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    edited February 27
    RE.: That '92 model Eldorado on TPIR--I so-wanted to like those, but I just thought they seemed very plain. First year probably ever I preferred the four-door variant, Seville, much-much better. That year Seville was handsome from most angles outside I think, and the interior was reasonably nice I thought although not enough bright trim on door panels and instrument panel for my tastes, LOL.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    edited February 27
    The cowbelly frame allowed the car to sit low, of course, the styling trend of the day. Studebaker could never afford to do something like that but turned it around by bragging about their flat floors and small transmission humps, LOL. (Hawks did have recessed footwells in rear.)

    I'll say that putting my mother in either my old Cavalier coupe or my van required 1) helping her up and out of the Cavalier and 2) lifting her into the van. One time I drove my '63 Lark Daytona over to see her at the nursing home and took her for a ride. Stude advertised chair-high seating and my Mom could slide right in and slide right out with no assistance and no ducking. :)

    That general concept finally became mainstream again with the '77 full-size GM cars and '78 mid-sizes.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    edited February 27
    Seen yesterday here in Kent, OH--a later Aztek in probably the best color for them, and after they no longer had the plastic garbage-can trim along the bottom, and an '87 or '88 Mercury Cougar. Sorry, it's super salty everywhere still; this is as 'classic' as they get.

  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,124
    TPIR from August 15, 1973. The Gremlin was won, priced at $2990.




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

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    Looks like a badge on the front fender--Levi's?
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,124
    It looked for alll the world like a strip of blue tape. The description didn’t mention Levi’s.

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

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    That stickered at $365 more than our '73 Nova, which was a stick with no power steering or brakes.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,124
    The Gremlin price struck me as high for the era. Johnny did read off a long list of options, but the contestant asked if it had A/C and he said it did not.

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

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,503
    According to my old car book, a V8 Gremlin started at $2252. At a quick glance, you'd think something like that would almost be a musclecar, with a 150 hp 304 under the hood. But, you just know they found a way to muck it up. It was 1973, after all!

    It was also heavier than that small size would suggest. A base weight of 2867 lb for the V8. A 2-door Hornet with a V8 wasn't that much heavier, at only 2990 lb. Considering how much shorter a Gremlin is than a Hornet, it seems odd to me that the weight savings was only about 123 lb.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    edited February 28
    I used to goof on AMC products at the time, mostly for the interiors. But I'll say I always thought the '73 Hornet hatchback had nice lines. I know it's a love-it-or-hate-it car, but I've also always liked the '74 Matador coupe. In one model year it went from the tallest intermediate coupe to the lowest, LOL.

    When I think about it, I think in general I always have liked fastback cars with big quarter windows, LOL.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,503
    Agreed, I do think the Hornet hatchback has nice lines. The Matador coupe strikes me as something that could have been a cool car, if more thought had been put into it. But, as-is, it looks to me like they took a show car prototype, and rushed it into production without thinking about the steps they would have to take to make it street-legal. For instance, the 5 mph crash bumpers are horribly tacked on. And the front-end looks to me like it would have been cool if it had hidden headlights. Just get rid of the current headlights and their openings as they are, and either make them hidden behind drop-down covers in the grille, or make them pop up above the grille. That second option might have made them too high, though.

    Out back, the taillights look too big. If they made them smaller, closer together, and more outboard, I think it would look nicer. And that car was definitely NOT designed with a vinyl roof in mind! And, once personal luxury coupes was where it was at, the design was definitely not suited to that type of treatment! Seems to me they might have almost done better just keeping the 1973 hardtop in production, and then once the opera window look because in vogue, just slap a landau treatment up in there like Mopar tended to do. GM did it as well in '74...at least, I've seen Toronados and Electras from that year in both true hardtop, and fixed opera window form. And, if Buick did it, I'm sure Olds offered it on the Ninety-Eight that year as well.

    AMC was usually pretty hit or miss, and later in their life it seemed to be more misses than hits. But, I guess you gotta give them credit for trying.
  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyMember Posts: 12,103
    edited February 28
    My Grandfather had an 80 or 81 AMC Spirit to go back and forth to work (he worked at Campbell’s soup in Camden NJ). Even as a kid it was a dreadful thing to ride in. His was as base as you could get and burnt orange/brown. I don’t know how he put up with it considering the other car was an 81 Mark VI Givenchy and later an 85 Town Car.

    He said it was perfect for its purpose and he didn’t have to worry about parking it in Camden.

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  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyMember Posts: 12,103
    Looked similar to this one.


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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    andre, you know me, not a fan of hideaway headlights, but agree totally on the Matador's bumpers. At the time I was aghast that you could see the unfinished inside of the bumpers--bits of surface rust and the like.

    In my mind I used to think they took the '73 Chevelle concept and pushed it to the limit, with the big quarter windows and quad round taillights. Have to give AMC credit for making those quarter windows roll down.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,459
    My grandpa was also still working when I was a kid, and had company cars. His personal car was usually a Chrysler or Olds, but always had small relatively basic company cars - I recall a Tercel, Chevette, and when I was really little a Beetle, which would have been several years old then, but he apparently got a kick out of it, thought it was fun. In the PNW then, I'd wager none had AC. When he retired, he bought a surplus company car and gave my grandma his personal car - he bought a NUMMI Nova that was kept in the garage until he passed, although he stopped driving a few years beforehand.
    tjc78 said:

    My Grandfather had an 80 or 81 AMC Spirit to go back and forth to work (he worked at Campbell’s soup in Camden NJ). Even as a kid it was a dreadful thing to ride in. His was as base as you could get and burnt orange/brown. I don’t know how he put up with it considering the other car was an 81 Mark VI Givenchy and later an 85 Town Car.

    He said it was perfect for its purpose and he didn’t have to worry about parking it in Camden.

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,503
    I always thought the Gremlin was kind of a grubby looking little thing, but when they turned it into the Spirit, I thought it was actually pretty attractive looking. Considering what they had to work with, I think AMC did a good job at cleaning it up.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,124
    andre1969 said:

    The Matador coupe strikes me as something that could have been a cool car, if more thought had been put into it. But, as-is, it looks to me like they took a show car prototype, and rushed it into production without thinking about the steps they would have to take to make it street-legal. For instance, the 5 mph crash bumpers are horribly tacked on. And the front-end looks to me like it would have been cool if it had hidden headlights. Just get rid of the current headlights and their openings as they are, and either make them hidden behind drop-down covers in the grille, or make them pop up above the grille. That second option might have made them too high, though.

    I wasn't a drug user in the '70s but I have a memory that could convince me otherwise. Up until a few years ago I was convinced that in the last year or two of Matador production, that they switched from the single round sealed-beam headlights to rectangular sealed beams. A couple of years ago I tried to find a picture and discovered that none existed. Where that idea came from I do not know.

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

  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 42,030
    back in my hooptie days, I had a hornet hatchback. It was a nice looking car, and quite roomy and practical inside. Better than the Gremlin I also had.

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  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,459
    September 1975. Started off on a high note with the end of an era, big red, a Delta 88 "Royal" per Johnny. AC and AM/FM were mentioned among others. MSRP $7010:



    Then the staple of mid 70s TPiR, a Nova. AT and trim options mentioned, MSRP $4215



    And in the showcase (alongside a groovy TV/speaker set), a decent looking Vega GT (with a "140 dash 2 engine"):






  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,124
    Nobody could say "A new CAR!" quite as well as Johnny Olsen.

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

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    He was a weird looking guy, that Johnny, with his shoeleather black hair in his 70's or whatever.

    Although, he was a tasteful dresser next to his successor, Rod Roddy!
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,503
    edited February 28
    ab348 said:

    I wasn't a drug user in the '70s but I have a memory that could convince me otherwise. Up until a few years ago I was convinced that in the last year or two of Matador production, that they switched from the single round sealed-beam headlights to rectangular sealed beams. A couple of years ago I tried to find a picture and discovered that none existed. Where that idea came from I do not know.

    Well, someone, drug user or not, saw the need to do this to a Matador sedan...



    At first I thought it was a photoshop job, but I've seen pics of it, from several different angles. So if it is photoshopped, they've done it to at least three different pictures!

    It's awkward, but let's face it, there's only so much you can do with that front-end, on the cheap. To really make it work you'd have to modify the bumper and hood. But I gotta say, I don't think it's any worse than the stock.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    edited February 28
    My uncle had a new burgundy '74 Matador Brougham sedan with black cloth split front seats. That coffin-nose--yeesh. Did any domestic have front vent windows for longer than the Matador?

    I think I remember full-size Mopars had them optionally after that, but every single Matador sedan from '74 to the end had them.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,503
    Yeah, Mopar did offer them, as an option, on the '74-78 big cars. I don't know if they were an option for the entire run, though. Ford offered an option on some cars where you had a little vent window at the front, but it rolled down, rather than pivot. That gave for a cleaner look overall, but I doubt it forced fresh air in as well as the pivoting vents.

    And, I always thought the coffin-nose was odd. I don't know what effect they were going for, but I don't see why they thought for a moment, that it would look good. A bizarre combination of too much overhang in the grille area, but not enough in the headlight/turn signal areas. At a quick glance, it makes me think a bit of a swollen '75 or so Dodge Dart.

    One good thing about the Matador, in sedan form at least, was that it was fairly space efficient. Once the EPA started publishing interior volumes, it was rated at 110 cubic feet of interior volume and a 20 cubic foot trunk. However, I saw a brochure for a Matador that mentioned a 19.1 cubic foot trunk. However, it was a slightly older model, so the difference there could have been a full-sized spare, versus a compact.

    For comparison, once GM downsized, their B/C body sedans were rated around 109-111 cubic feet, with trunks around 20-21 cubic feet. And oddly, the larger C-bodies weren't necessarily larger inside. For instance, an Electra and LeSabre are both rated at 111, and a Sedan Deville is only 109! The difference could be that the C-bodies had thicker, plusher door panels that cut shoulder room, which offset the gain in rear legroom. And perhaps a DeVille was even plusher than an Electra? Ford's Panthers were rated at 111 cubic feet, with a 23 cubic foot trunk, in '79. Mopar's R-bodies came up a bit short, at 108/21. They were more low-slung and had less headroom, and the rear legroom dimension came up a bit short, as well.

    So the Matador, an old-school intermediate from a less-efficient era, managed to actually compete pretty well with the downsized full-sizers from the Big Three. It's a shame they didn't have the money to re-skin the car and square it off to make it look more modern, similar to what Ford did with the LTD II/Cougar/T-bird versus the Torino/Montego/Cougar/Elite of '76. Or Mopar with their R-bodies versus the intermediates the were created from. But, I guess in the end it would have been the engines that killed them, unless they could have bought them from someone else. The AMC 360 was down to 12/17 by 1978. In contrast, just about anything Olds put a 403 in was rated at 14/20. The worst rating I can find for a 403 is a Toronado equipped for California, at 12/17. Meanwhile, in Cali, the AMC 360 got choked to 10/16.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,503
    I wonder if that vent window on the Mopars was only offered on the 4-door models? Here's a '78 New Yorker showing them...


    I can't find a pic of a 2-door model with them, though.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 15,822
    Here's a great version of the song 409.
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  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 4,345
    andre1969 said:

    I wonder if that vent window on the Mopars was only offered on the 4-door models? Here's a '78 New Yorker showing them...


    I can't find a pic of a 2-door model with them, though.

    That body style was originally the Imperial and then later the New Yorker. I always thought it was a looker, and love the front end styling. Elegant, clean, strong.

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  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 15,822
    The front of that car looks a lot like a Lincoln.
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  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,459
    Didn't the Town Car have vent windows until 89?

    And power, just like a Mark V:

  • omarmanomarman Member Posts: 2,702
    edited February 28
    I liked the '76 Olds Cutlass Supreme waterfall grill too.


    Cutlass S slant back grill from the same year. 442 option had same grill treatment.


    "RARE 77" 442

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    edited March 1
    I was under the impression that the '77 Cutlasses, all of them, had the flat/waterfall front end.

    I like the Cutlass S, except that slanty front end.
  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyMember Posts: 12,103
    fintail said:

    Didn't the Town Car have vent windows until 89?

    And power, just like a Mark V:

    Yep through 89. Very convenient.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    edited March 1
    This newspaper clip was posted this weekend on my hometown's Facebook memories page. I had heard that about that time, Chrysler was mixing around what makes got sold with what other Mopar makes, but this says that Plymouth was being sold by three dealers in my hometown (population 8,800 in 1960 census) for the '59 model year. Seems crazy to me! And two of those dealers were back-to-back, and the third a three-minute walk from the other two. N.W. Moyer was owned by the grandfather of a classmate and longtime friend of mine.

    Only J.W. Wolfe lasted into my adulthood. Ristvey-Charles I've heard of and know the building but I have zero memories of it. Moyer's closed sometime in the '61 model year.


  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,503
    Prior to 1960, there were few stand-alone Plymouth dealers. They tended to group them with Dodge, DeSoto, or Chrysler/Imperial, as sort of a loss leader to get you in the showroom, and then upsold to a nicer car. I could see this strategy working with DeSoto and Chrysler, but with Dodge, it seems to me that there would be too much overlap. Especially in some years where the cars were practically clones of each other, like 1953-54.

    In 1960, Chrysler Corp reorganized, into Dodge division, and Chrysler/Imperial/DeSoto/Plymouth division. That's why Dodge got the Dart, on the 118" wheelbase, because their dealers were losing Plymouth.

    As for DeSoto/Plymouth dealers, I don't know what tended to happen to them, once DeSoto went away. I guess some of them started selling Chryslers? If they were too close to an existing Chrysler/Plymouth dealer, that could have been a problem though.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    I would not have believed three Plymouth dealerships in a 1/4 mile radius if I hadn't seen the article.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 15,822
    @andre1969,
    Nice Desoto walkaround and drive.
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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    Didn't watch the video, but is it supposed to be body-colored inside the rear wheel openings? I always wonder about that when I see it on any old restored car.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,503
    I'm almost positive that's incorrect, unless they changed it for '58. Here's a pic of my '57 Firedome, back when I had it towed to the mechanic in late 2009...



    If the wheel well was body-color, it would show up in this pic. Funny thing though, I can't remember what color it is. I'm picturing a dark gray. I don't think it's black, but I could be wrong.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 15,822
    The owner said the car was restored to 11, so over restored.
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  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,124
    Here's a TPIR from summer of 1975 with a somewhat unusual car as a prize:



    Johnny said it was a 1974 model, so by August of '75 it was over a year old unless there were some shenanigans underway at Jaguar. He said 1974 was the last of the V-12s. Price was $10,2xx and it wasn't awarded.



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

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