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

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Comments

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,164
    Curbside Classic posted an old R&T review of a 1967 Peugeot 404 "Automatique", and it got me thinking...what would have been the slowest Big-Three domestic in 1967? Heck, throw Rambler into the mix, even. Here's the test results from the Peugeot...


    They got 0-60 in 20 seconds. At first, I was thinking something like a full-sized Ford, Chevy or Plymouth with a 6-cyl might be the worst, but then I remember old Consumer Reports tests where they still often managed to get them from 0-60 in around 16-17 seconds. Maybe a 4-cyl Chevy II, or a Falcon or Dart with the smallest 6-cyl? But would any of them take 20 seconds?

    Something else that seems odd, is that the quarter mile time was 21.5 seconds, at 58 mph. So, how did it get from 0-60 in 20 seconds, if it took 21.5 seconds to get to 58? :s

  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 6,176
    edited December 2021
    The early 60's Ford Falcons were notoriously slow. I think 25+ sec 0-60.

    2018 VW Passat SE w/tech, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium Plus w/tech, 2006 Acura TL w/nav

  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 211,920
    $3000 in '67, too. Oof!

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  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,164
    Yeah, $3,000 wasn't exactly chump change in those days. According to my old car book, the base MSRP of my '67 Catalina convertible was $3276, although an automatic transmission would have been optional, and I'm sure a whole slew of other stuff as well.

    I seem to recall an old road test of an early Comet with the 144-6cy and 2-speed automatic, and I think its 0-60 time was around 26 seconds! I think the slowest car I ever owned was my 1980 Malibu with its 229 V6. I've never actually seen a road test of one equipped that way, but from tests of somewhat comparable cars, I would guess 0-60 in around 15 seconds? It's funny how it didn't seem so slow back when I had it...heck I was grateful to just have a car, and many of my friends had cars that were much worse...either slower cars, crappier cars, or both! But I imagine if I had to drive it now, I'd hate it.



  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 14,997
    edited December 2021

    I’d place my bet on a 4 cyl. Chevy II, LOL.

    My dad was a thrifty guy. I remember him looking at a new ‘70 Nova. When he saw it was a four, even he lost interest, LOL.

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,164
    I wonder how common the 4-cyl was in those Chevy II/Novas? I don't think I've ever seen one. It's a shame they didn't have EPA ratings in those days. I'd be kind of curious if it really gave you much in the way of fuel savings. Sometimes if a car is TOO weak, it can be a bit of a guzzler because the little engine has to work its butt off just to move that much bulk.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,164
    Here's the facts & figures page from a Consumer Reports test of six compact cars from 1960. All I can say is, ouch!


    One thing that surprises me though, is that the Falcon is actually a bit heavier than the Comet, at 2500 lb versus 2475. Now the Comet was a 2-door sedan, versus the Falcon's 4-doors. And the Falcon had an automatic transmission, compared to a manual for the Comet. But still, the Comet had 4" of wheelbase and about 14" overall length on the Falcon!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 North Central OHMember Posts: 17,909
    What the heck kind of tires did the Comet and Falcon have?
    Only rated around 400 lbs more than the car!
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,164
    edited December 2021
    Yeah, sounds like those were definitely some crap tires. I'd always heard that bias-ply tires usually had a higher load rating than radials, and that's why tractor trailers still use them? (Or at least, as far as I know, still use them?) Still, I guess they did make them in varying levels of quality, and maybe what went on the Comet and Falcon was the cheapest you could get? But still, if you put two people my size, buck-naked in that Falcon, it would technically be overloaded!

    Out of curiosity, I looked up the tires that Coker sells, that are the stock size for my DeSoto...8.50-14. They're rated at 1740 lb apiece. Or 6940 lb for all four. So considering the car itself weighs roughly two tons I'm guessing, using this CR metric, that would be about a 2960 lb tire carrying capacity? Dunno if I'd be comfortable loading the car up like that, though...that sounds like it would be in the range of 3/4 ton pickups!

    Coker has a 6.00-13 tire available that has a load rating of 1010 lb...or 4040 lb total. So that sounds a lot more reasonable!
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 14,997
    edited December 2021

    I always heard the early Lark flathead six was slow, but yeesh! It was the only one of those cars available with a V8. The OHV six came out for ‘61, upping hp from 90 to 112.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 14,997

    I’m not sure I ever saw a 4-cyl. Chevy II in person besides the green ‘70 with Dad. I do remember getting a brochure in the mail in ‘69 or ‘70 that said “Nova 4 Sale.”

  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 6,176
    @andre1969 Is there a site where you access retro CU test drives and performance info? I remember reading issues from the 50’s and 60’s that were hard bound in the library at college when I should have been studying, cough, cough… One road test I remember reading was about the 68 Cadillac and they were amazed how quiet yet effortless the new 472 engine performed.

    2018 VW Passat SE w/tech, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium Plus w/tech, 2006 Acura TL w/nav

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,560
    Peugeot used the "Automatique" badge into the 80s I am pretty sure. When I was a kid, there was a 604 in the neighborhood with that badge, which to me made it seem pretty exotic. Now that I think of it, someone was incredibly brave to buy a Peugeot hours away from the dealer or likely any servicing options.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,560
    I expected the Stude to be faster than that :)

    Those early Falcons must have been really cheap - and not in a good way, that tire thing is funny. I still remember about 30 years ago when my dad got the 68 Fairlane, my grandpa saw it and said something like "oh good, I thought you said you found a Falcon, those are junk" or something similar.
    andre1969 said:

    Here's the facts & figures page from a Consumer Reports test of six compact cars from 1960. All I can say is, ouch!


    One thing that surprises me though, is that the Falcon is actually a bit heavier than the Comet, at 2500 lb versus 2475. Now the Comet was a 2-door sedan, versus the Falcon's 4-doors. And the Falcon had an automatic transmission, compared to a manual for the Comet. But still, the Comet had 4" of wheelbase and about 14" overall length on the Falcon!

  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,200

    I wish CR would publish a collection of car tests, say by decade.

  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 17,520
    fintail said:

    I expected the Stude to be faster than that :)

    Those early Falcons must have been really cheap - and not in a good way, that tire thing is funny. I still remember about 30 years ago when my dad got the 68 Fairlane, my grandpa saw it and said something like "oh good, I thought you said you found a Falcon, those are junk" or something similar.


    I may have told this story before (harumph) but when I was about 4 years old, someone rear-ended the family’s ‘59 Ford sedan when it was parked out front of our house. That was exciting enough, but then, a day or two later I was excited when Dad arrived home with a shiny new Falcon as a rental. I don’t believe I ever saw one in person previously. That evening we had to go somewhere so I piled into the back seat while Mom and Dad got into the front. She took a look around and before I could say anything she said “This thing is tinny”. That was that.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,164
    edited December 2021
    sda said:

    @andre1969 Is there a site where you access retro CU test drives and performance info? I remember reading issues from the 50’s and 60’s that were hard bound in the library at college when I should have been studying, cough, cough… One road test I remember reading was about the 68 Cadillac and they were amazed how quiet yet effortless the new 472 engine performed.

    Nah, I wish there was a site like that, though! I stumbled across those 1960 compact tests by googling "1960 compact road test." Ironically, I remembered Consumer Reports doing that test because, like you, I spent too much time in the library at college looking through those old CR issues! :p And Motortrend, Car & Driver, etc. I remember they had some other magazine, like "Consumer Advocate" or something like that, which also did road tests.

    As for this 1960 compact test, a website devoted to classic Mercurys had posted it. Here's the link to the entire article... https://www.mercomatic.com/?page_id=3053

    On the subject of the Falcon, one of my friends told me about an older relative of his who had a Falcon. I think it might have been a later 60's Falcon. They were stopped at a traffic light, and a fuselage Chrysler was behind them. A box truck rear-ended the Chrysler, and pushed it into the Falcon. The Falcon still got hit hard enough to breach the fuel tank. There was no fire or anything, and I don't think anybody even got hurt, although the Falcon was totaled. But, the times being what they were, nobody really got ruffled about it. It was just like eh, so the gas tank leaked, no big deal, fuggedaboudit!
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 14,997
    edited December 2021
    I, too, remember looking at old, bound Consumer Reports magazines in the college library!

    I remember them testing a '64 Studebaker after the U.S. shutdown. The U.S. shutdown was a big turnoff to them (as well as to most people). I remember them saying that a new U.S. versus new Canadian Studebaker were indistinguishable from each other when shopping. Even then, I remember thinking that the window sticker showed assembly point, and of course later learned Canadian cars serial nos. started with "C" at Studebaker and also that Canadian cars had all-white steering wheels. They didn't attempt very hard, to figure out how a consumer could tell the differences by sight.

    My Dad bought a '62 Fairlane in '64, after looking at a used Falcon. I was six and my sister was 13, but somehow even we knew that Falcons seemed cheap, LOL. We lobbied for the Fairlane. My Dad bit on the Fairlane, at the time saying because it had seat belts--which apparently had been added at some point.

    When I think back on that Fairlane, I think it looked dumpy. It still had fins, and as with most smaller cars then, looked underwheeled/tired to me. It also still had a manual choke, which I believe was unusual in '62.

    Ironically, I like the last compact Falcons--through '69 or early '70. Taut styling, no fat, long-hood/ short-deck styling, large rear wheel openings, cute quarter window on the two-doors. I'd take one all day long over a Maverick.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 14,997
    someone was incredibly brave to buy a Peugeot hours away from the dealer or likely any servicing options.

    An old college friend of mine, whom I was surprised to get a Christmas card from just the other day, bought a new Peugeot some time in the mid'80's I'm thinking.

    I remember him telling me he heard a big 'boom' in his house and he went out and his battery had exploded (the car was fairly new). It did do some damage to the hood but I don't remember how much.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,164
    I kind of like the later Falcons as well. On one hand, I think it's a shame that they dropped the hardtop coupe and convertible, and the car was pretty much relegated to bare-bones pauper status. But at the same time, it had sort of an honest, no-nonsense charm about it. Cheap cars could still get away with that sort of charm in the 1960's, but when the 70's rolled around a cheap car just seemed, well, cheap!
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 17,520
    You could tell that the 1970 Maverick was far cheaper for Ford to produce than the last Falcon even though the chassis and drivetrain were identical. The Falcons just seemed like a more substantial, more nicely trimmed, and better-built car. It's interesting in retrospect to argue that perhaps Ford would have been better served to keep and refresh the Falcon for '71, especially with the Mustang getting bloated, and introduce something a bit smaller than the Maverick but more substantial than the Pinto at the bottom of the market. But it is hard to argue with the sales success of the Maverick in that period.

    In the '70s, a neighbor had one of the last gen Falcon Sports Coupes, red with a black vinyl roof like many of them, that I always admired. I see one in identical colors around here locally in the summer, nicely restored. I wonder if it is the same car, since my recollection is that back in the day it seldom left their driveway.

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,595
    ab348 said:

    fintail said:

    I expected the Stude to be faster than that :)

    Those early Falcons must have been really cheap - and not in a good way, that tire thing is funny. I still remember about 30 years ago when my dad got the 68 Fairlane, my grandpa saw it and said something like "oh good, I thought you said you found a Falcon, those are junk" or something similar.


    I may have told this story before (harumph) but when I was about 4 years old, someone rear-ended the family’s ‘59 Ford sedan when it was parked out front of our house. That was exciting enough, but then, a day or two later I was excited when Dad arrived home with a shiny new Falcon as a rental. I don’t believe I ever saw one in person previously. That evening we had to go somewhere so I piled into the back seat while Mom and Dad got into the front. She took a look around and before I could say anything she said “This thing is tinny”. That was that.
    I rode in one when they were new that another kid's parents had. Tinny. Rattles.

    Other cars in that category I recall riding in are the Vega and a Chevy II that another
    graduate student at MU had. He was very proud of it, understandably, but I heard
    rattles and thin.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 6,176
    edited December 2021
    The Falcon name was relegated to the bottom tier of the 71 Torino midsize body. A friend had one, 2 dr post, dull olive green, black interior. I think the only options it had was automatic and am radio, smallest 6 (170?). Boy that thing was plain. It was rode hard and put up wet when he had it. I rode in it once or twice and was amazed how well it ran and rode, yet the suspension creaked and groaned over every bump, the seats were thinly padded and the rubber floor covering was torn up.

    Regarding the 60s compact test, the Valiant and Rambler blew the others in the weeds in the acceleration tests. The two speed automatics of the others really hampered the performance going up hill, though the Comet benefitted there by having a manual transmission.It was interesting to note the Valiant used a qt of oil every 1200 miles yet that engine probably outlasted the others. The Corvair liked sipping on oil as well. Just noticed the Lark was a manual but even so, painfully slow. It really needed a more modern 6 or V8.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,164
    edited December 2021
    I know I would have rather seen the Falcon stick around, rather than the Maverick replacement. But, to give Ford some credit, the Maverick certainly was popular for a few years. The Falcon was down to around 131,000 units in 1968. For 1969, it was down to around 92,000. IIRC the Maverick came out in April of 1969, so that probably put some pressure on it. For its extra-long 1970 model year, the Maverick slammed out 578,914 units, all of them 2-doors.

    For 1970 proper, the Falcon was down to around 15,000 units, while the 1970.5 moved around 67,000.

    Curiously, for 1971, the Maverick took a dive, with 159K base 2-doors, 39K Grabbers, and 73K 4-doors sold. I'm sure Mopar's Duster and Demon were putting the pressure on it by then, but even in Ford's own showroom, the Pinto probably took a lot of sales from the 2-door.

    Still, the Maverick sold pretty well, through 1974. Even in its final year, 1977, it managed around 98,000 units. When the Fairmont came out for '78 though, I thought it was more of a "proper" successor to the Falcon. Sure, the Fairmont was cheap, in its own way, but just didn't seem quite *as* cheap, to me.

    I used to see a later Falcon in one of the parking lots at work fairly regularly. It was a white 2-door, and the lower rear quarters had been cut off because of rust. Other than that, I don't remember it being too beat-up. I work from home now, but for all I know, it could still be around. I'm pretty sure I've seen it within the last five years. I probably took a pic of it at some point, even. That car seemed like the last holdout of a bygone era, the last really old car I used to see at work, that seemed like it was still being used as daily transportation, rather than something that was being preserved and only used as a fair weather car.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 North Central OHMember Posts: 17,909
    Nobody has mentioned that the Falcon was the basis for the Mustang, which was fairly successful. ;)
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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 14,997
    edited December 2021
    The Lark offered two-and-four-barrel V8's in 1960. I seem to remember reading that the economy was actually similar to the much-slower flathead six, which made dealers complain. Stude often won the Mobilgas Economy Runs in the day. Not related to performance of course, but there was a Lark convertible in '60.

    A quick online search pulled this up on 'Concept Carz' (a site I have probably made fun of before, LOL):
    "A Mobilgas Economy Run winner, the 1960 Lark V8 averaged 22 miles per gallon in the widely promoted contest."

    If the Comet was twice as fast as any other compact, those taillights would still make me not buy one, LOL.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 14,997
    edited December 2021
    Chevy II discontinued the convertible after '63, and started the '64 model year with no hardtop, although it was reintroduced in mid-year '64. That the Falcon soldiered on starting in '66 without a hardtop probably gave Chevy a reason to drop the Chevy II hardtop after '67.

    One of those "Why?" questions is, I seem to remember reading that Falcon and Fairlane wagons were the same wheelbase in the mid-and-late sixties; just that the doghouse (front clip) was different. Why bother?

    Which reminds me of "The Wonder Years" episode where they were looking for a new car, and Dad eventually bought a leftover '69 Ford Custom 500. The wife and kids were all spellbound by the Mustang in the showroom; then practical, grumpy Dad says to the salesman, "Got any Falcon wagons?". The family was crestfallen, LOL.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 14,997
    edited December 2021
    Falcon talk makes me think more about Chevy II's. Of that first body, I liked the '65 best, with the side-by-side taillights/backup lights (although a metal cover was on cars with no backup lights!), and slightly revised sedan rooflines and ever-so-slightly-revised front end.

    I know people who love the '66 and '67, but there is not one single styling thing of those that I like. You couldn't give me one.

    When the '68 came out, I liked it--it was smooth and seemed like about 85% of the two-door Chevelle, except that it was only a pillared sedan offering. I saw way too many '68-72's in my life but given the choice of a nice original car, I'd take a '68. Among some small other things, I like that it was the last one that had "Chevy II" written on it.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,164
    I wonder what Chevy's rationale for dropping the Chevy II convertible was? Ford dropped the hardtop and convertible body styles from the Falcon lineup so it didn't compete so much with the Mustang. And that's why the Chevy II/Nova finally lost the hardtop coupe, to clear some room for the Camaro (even if there was a bit of overlap in '67). Similarly, the Valiant lost its hardtop and convertible for '67, because of the Barracuda, although the Dart got to keep those models, as Dodge didn't get its own ponycar (yet). The Dart convertible did finally go away after 1969, most likely to make way for the 1970 Challenger convertible. But the hardtop remained popular...popular enough that the Valiant got their Scamp version for '71.

    Also kind of curious that they dropped the hardtop coupe for '64 initially. Oh...wait, maybe it was because of the Chevelle? Perhaps they figured a hardtop/convertible would be more popular in the midsized lineup than the compact, and they didn't want to dilute sales by offering those styles in both lines? Plus, Chevy also had the Corvair, which could fill the need for a small convertible (and small hardtop starting in '65).

    As for the Falcon and Fairlane wagons? Only rationale I can think of is that in 1966, there was more of a market for compact wagons, as the Chevy II, Dart, and Valiant still offered them. So perhaps Ford felt the Falcon needed a wagon? But then, the Dart/Valiant dropped their wagon for '67, and the Nova dropped its wagon for '68. But maybe it was established enough, they decided to just let the Falcon wagon keep going?

    It certainly made for a wide lineup, though. In 1968, there were five wagons...Falcon, Falcon Futura, Fairlane, Fairlane 500, and Torino Squire.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 14,997
    edited December 2021
    I think Chevy II dropped the two-door hardtop and convertible for '64 because of the Chevelle, as you surmised.

    I really like the '64 Chevelle two-door wagon. There was a navy blue 4-speed authentic one for sale a few years back. It went for about $30K IIRC. I may not though.

    Friends of my parents had a six-cylinder '64 Chevelle two-door wagon and '60 Lark VIII four-door sedan. In probably '68 or so I kidded the Dad about the Lark. I remember clearly him saying, "That Lark will run rings around that Chevy".
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 17,520
    I never liked the '65 Chevy II front end design. Those googly-eyed headlights were a turn-off for me.

    I thought the '68-up Chevy II design was nicely done, but man, they were really plain and awful inside if you didn't spend to option them up. Sitting in a base model would make you run to anything else.

    I thought Dodge made a big mistake in not offering a Dart wagon in '67 and beyond. Given the general popularity of wagons back then, I think they would have sold a lot of them.

    Our family bought a '74 Maverick new, and it was an awful car and a horrible ownership experience. I wish the Falcon had been updated instead. They just seemed more substantial in their later generation than the Maverick, where every component seemed one use away from breaking.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6

  • jwm40517jwm40517 Member Posts: 261
    An old friend had a 63 Falcon convertible with V-8 and 4 speed. His mother had one like it in automatic. He went from the Falcon to a 66 Chevy II with the 327-350HP, quite a difference. Chevy dropped that engine in 67, probably because it would outrun any 67 Camaro.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,164
    It's funny, but I think the '65 is my least favorite of the Chevy II, as well! I think the problem is that the grille still has that slight forward thrust to it like the earlier models, but then they made the front edges of the fenders straight up, and it just makes the area around the headlights look a bit awkward. And I think "googly-eyes" is about the best way to describe it!

    Still, despite that, I think the '65 Chevy II is one of the better looking domestic compacts that year. At least, I prefer its style to the Falcon, Valiant, Dart, or Rambler American. I'd say sexiest compact of the year would have to go to the Corvair for '65, though. I wouldn't call the Studebaker "sexy", but I'd say it's certainly handsome. And, 1965 is the one year that I actually like the Comet a lot. Although I wonder if the reason there is that, with its stacked headlights and the central placement of that vertical grille ornament, at a quick glance it looks a bit like a Pontiac to me?

    With the first-gen, I think the '62 is actually my favorite, style-wise at least. There's just something about that grille texture I find pleasing to the eye, although I don't mind the '63-64. The Chevy II that really turns me on though, is the '66-67 model. Of the two, the '67 is the one I like the best, and again it's just the detail of the grille I find more eye pleasing.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 17,520
    On the topic of retro road tests, this article from Curbside Classics in 2017 includes a Road Test magazine review of the ‘72 Pontiac Luxury LeMans. Interesting read.

    https://www.curbsideclassic.com/vintage-reviews/vintage-review-commentary-1972-pontiac-luxury-lemans-motowns-mid-size-rebel-gets-broughamed/

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  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 6,176
    ab348 said:

    On the topic of retro road tests, this article from Curbside Classics in 2017 includes a Road Test magazine review of the ‘72 Pontiac Luxury LeMans. Interesting read.

    https://www.curbsideclassic.com/vintage-reviews/vintage-review-commentary-1972-pontiac-luxury-lemans-motowns-mid-size-rebel-gets-broughamed/

    Braking distances from 60, 167 ft would give a good pucker factor. I suspect mom’s 72 Cutlass Supreme 4dr hardtop, a direct competitor to the Luxury LeMans performed similarly in braking and acceleration. It had the 350 4bbl and optional front disc brakes. I remember my parents looking at a demo 71 GP SJ and new Luxury LeMans. Mom had to take the 69 Olds 98 she was driving for some type of repair and spotted the Cutlass in Nordic blue that she really liked. It was a demo with 3k mi and soon found its way to our driveway. Mom has three that were her favorites, her 72 Cutlass, 78 Olds 98 Regency coupe with Astro roof and 403, and her ‘Champagne Lady’ 98 Olds Aurora w/sunroof and autobahn package.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 14,997
    Typically not a fan of skirts, but that blue Luxury LeMans four-door with them looks nice.

    I remember rarely seeing any of the GM mid-size four-door hardtops from '68-72.

    The Luxury LeMans seems a bit 'under the radar' and I always appreciate that!

    Nice interior for sure. And, it's a model Chevy didn't offer an equivalent to--not since the Concours four-door hardtop which was last offered in '69.

    I posted another separate thread about this some years back, as I was beginning to doubt my own memory of seeing the one green one I recalled in our town, but Chevy made '68 Chevelle Concours coupes for a time. They're not in any brochure or other piece of literature I'd ever seen. Some of the heresay about them I did find on sites was almost comical. Ended up, by a Chevrolet sales letter to dealers a friend was given and forwarded to me, the plant that made Malibu interiors went on strike, which made Chevy only offer a black vinyl interior on Malibu models during that time. Apparently, just to offer something else, they started making the Concours coupe option, which gave you the Buick Skylark Custom seat and door panel trim, or the Cutlass Supreme interior trim, depending on assembly plant. Both were also available only in black vinyl. You got some exterior niceties too, like wheel opening moldings which Malibus didn't come with. I'd still enjoy one, although like most Chevelles of the period, finding an original or authentic one seems to have come and gone.

    I remember just ever seeing the one in person.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,200

    I don’t mind skirts that are part of the car’s styling, like that Pontiac. I dislike any that look like an afterthought, like ones where the fender doesn’t match the skirt contours.

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,164
    edited December 2021
    I'm not a big fan of the skirts either, but I think that Luxury LeMans wears them fairly well. Sometimes fender skirts can make a car look fat, but here, I think they help make it look sleek. Pontiac was definitely starting to "Brougham" up the car by this time, but I can still see a sporty flair trying to balance things out.

    When I was in high school, one of the administrators, a vice principal or something, drove a LeMans, and I think it was a 4-door hardtop. Can't remember if it was a Luxury LeMans or not, but I'm definitely remembering a '71-72. He used to pass by my school bus stop, so that would've placed it around 1985-86 (I started driving to school myself in January 1987). I recall it being a light cream/beige color, with a white vinyl top, but it's been so long now, my mind might be making some of the finer details up :p

    4-door hardtops never really caught on in the midsized ranks. While GM offered them from 1964-72, Ford only dabbled in that field with the '70-71 Torino/Montego. Now Mopar did offer them on the shrunken '62-64 models, but they wanted you to think those were full-sized cars. :D

    I have a friend in DC, and there used to be a Cutlass 4 door hardtop out on the street in his neighborhood. It was pretty rough, though. Here's a shot I took of it...

    At one point, I remember seeing a for sale sign on the dash. In this pic, you can see something on the dash, but I just zoomed in on it, and it's just the car's front license plate. I remember the asking price of $5,000, something that seemed just a wee bit optimistic. And this was back in 2013!

    One thing that surprises me about that '72 Luxury LeMans, is the specs. I always hear about how porked up the Colonades were in comparison, but this car is no shrinking violet, itself. It's 207.2" long. My '76 is 208" long; however it's a coupe on the shorter wheelbase. The 4-door was 212" long. So, only 4.8" longer, despite having those protruding 5-mph bumpers.

    3793 lb sounds chunky too, unless that's the tested weight, with the driver on board and any instruments they might have attached to the car? Although, my auto encyclopedia does list the base weight of a '72 Luxury LeMans 4-door hardtop at 3638 lb. For comparison, the base weight of my '76 Grand LeMans coupe is 3834 lb, and the 4-door sedan is 3948 lb.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 14,997
    edited December 2021
    Apparently there was some luck involved in that! The skirts didn't show up until that series LeMans' third year of that styling. But they are well-integrated as you state.

    As a young teen, like a comment or two under the article state, I used to scratch my head about the "LML" emblem on those cars. :)
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,164
    Yeah, that "LML" script bugs me a bit, too. Admittedly, they were still doing it by '76. My Grand LeMans has a fancy, overdone "GML" script in the opera windows. Which would be fine, if it was a Grand MeLans :p
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 14,997
    GM mid-size four-door hardtops started in '66.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,164

    GM mid-size four-door hardtops started in '66.

    D'oh! Ronald Reagan moment there :p
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 14,997
    edited December 2021
    I never noticed, or don't remember noticing, that 'GML' emblem on Grand LeMans models!
  • Sandman6472Sandman6472 Coral Springs, FLMember Posts: 6,406
    My mom got her folks a 1967 Old Cutlass Supreme, turquoise with a black vinyl top and black interior, to replace their blue 1966 Cutlass F-85 2-door which she felt was a bit on the cheap side. Went with her to pick it up & surprise them and must admit, it was pretty cool watching her dad, my grandpa, tear up when she handed him the keys. He kept asking her where his car was & he was in total shock I'd say with this new one. My grandma didn't drive, so it was all his. He taught me how to drive in that car and took my driving test in it as I was so used to it. He passed in my senior year of high school, October of 1971, and remember putting it in our garage since they lived in a condo a few miles away. For a week or so, my mom didn't want it to be driven as she thought my grandma would freak if she saw it. She had a real tough time after he passed and refused to go home, so our house was a real sad place for a bit. Guess my dad saw where this was going & basically reasoned with my mom that I should start using the Cutlass to drive to school daily and help with errands. He figured, as he told me years later, that having it back on the road would help in getting grandma back into living again and she could then go back home that much sooner. His plan worked out as I eventually got her to be driven around in "grandpa's car" and she was glad that I now was using it on a daily basis.
    I eventually took that vehicle to Tulane in my sophomore year and it was basically mine till after I graduated and traded on my 1976 Izuzu Opel in 1977. A truly awful vehicle but that's another whole story! Still have a soft spot in my heart for the Oldsmobile Cutlass of those early years. It eventually got painted navy blue & lastly, a light brown which was the perfect color for it. I did get hubcaps from a 1962 Starfire that really completed that retro look I was going after. Found them at a junkyard near our house buried under hundreds of other hubcaps and was lucky enough to find all four of the set, still in like new condition. Guessing the car G-d's were looking down on me that day!

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Premier RS (daughter #1) / 2020 Hyundai Accent SE (daughter #2)

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,164
    edited December 2021

    I never noticed, or don't remember noticing, that 'GML' emblem on Grand LeMans models!

    It's pretty subtle. Here's a pic of it on a coupe...
    I don't know if they used it anywhere on the sedans or wagons.
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 46,925

    On local highway (I295) yesterday an old import. 30s I think, maybe 40s, small 4 door. Maybe a Citroen. Possible British. Moving along but definitely slow lane.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD , 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Ecoboost FWD.

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,560
    edited December 2021
    In podunk for a few days, so far have seen a brown Citation 4 door and a Ford Festiva.

    Watched an episode of CHiPs, there was a car chase involving a Mazda Cosmo - something I like, incredibly rare now, I recall only seeing one in my life, and it had rust to the point of likely being beyond redemption:

    image

    As it was on that show, of course it ended up like this, as this happens in every 35 mph car chase in reality (notice another now-desirable car):

    image

    That might show how quickly those cars depreciated, as it wasn't too old, but mechanical risks no doubt had them unwanted in trade-in.

    Then watched Gremlins, and for the first time noticed The Futtermans (the guy with the "Kentucky Harvester" truck who distrusts anything foreign, kind of reminds me of some people I've met over the years :) ) have another car parked at the house, and imcdb also shows it:

    image

    The father in that movie, who is an inventor who makes quirky products, drives this (movie takes place in present day/1984):

    image

    Also for the first time noticed that Gremlins was filmed on the "Colonial Street" (Burbs) backlot, and the downtown scenes are on the Back to the Future lot.

    One final Christmas movie car that I noticed some never spot, in Christmas Vacation, one set of grandparents apparently drives a very pretty 63 Continental, a random thing to be street parked in 1989:

    image



  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 211,920
    edited December 2021

    Saw one of these, today. Once every ten years, I'd say.

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  • sdasda Indian Land, SCMember Posts: 6,176
    kyfdx said:


    Saw one of these, today. Once every ten years, I'd say.

    Marauder X-100, very cool.

    2018 VW Passat SE w/tech, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium Plus w/tech, 2006 Acura TL w/nav

  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 16,157
    I always liked the X-100 and the Sport Fury GT.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica
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