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

    Not exactly the Holy Graille, but on Sunday I spotted an '83-84 Pontiac Parisienne, out and about in Crofton, Maryland...

    I always liked this style, which used an Impala rear end, with slightly modified taillights. For '85-86, the Parisienne got more Pontiac-ish sheetmetal in back, reminiscent of the '80-81 Bonneville. It had a stronger identity, perhaps, but unfortunately it seemed like most of them also had fender skirts.
  • Re: I spotted an (insert obscure car name here) classic car today!

    I used to know someone who had a '59 DeSoto Firedome hardtop coupe, in that same color configuration, white with turquoise accents. I don't think I've seen him in about 20 years, and he was pretty old, so he could have passed away by now. I wonder if that's his car?

    He also had a '29 DeSoto, and a '52 Studebaker hardtop coupe.

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

    I just called the mechanic about my DeSoto...good thing I did, too. He says it's almost ready to go. But when I asked him if I could swing by today to look at it, he said it was all the way in the back of the shop, and covered up, so it would take some digging to get to. So, I guess while the car has been sort of "out of sight, out of mind" for me, it's sort of been the same for him! He said the new tires are on it, but when I asked if the seatbelts had been installed, and new wiper blades, he couldn't remember. :@ So, he said he'd start getting on it, and give me a call back. In his words, it "just needs a few details" and then it's ready to go.

    Anyway, in the meantime, I guess it's time to introduce y'all to my newest ride. Don't get *too* excited, now! :p

    This is my Dad's 2003 Regal LS. Dad ended up passing away back in March, 3 days after his 71st birthday. Granddad (his Dad), passed away back in September 2016, about a month shy of his 101st birthday. So, I'm hoping longevity skips a generation and I favor Granddad more than Dad!

    I can still remember the day Dad bought this car, back in September 2003. It had about 19,500 miles on it, and was around $12,840 out the door, with tax, tags, an extended warranty Dad wanted, etc. There was an '02 Intrepid base model parked next to it, dark blue, for $8995 but it had around 39,000 miles. Even though I had an Intrepid at the time, and liked it, the Buick seemed worth the extra $2K+ tax. I never particularly cared for these W-bodies when they were new, because they seemed expensive for what they were, a bit cheap in the interior department, and had cramped back seats. But, as a used car, they seemed like a pretty good deal. And it's not all that often I need use of the back seat anymore, so that's not really an issue these days.

    Anyway, initially I was thinking about just getting rid of the car...either selling it, donating it if it wouldn't sell, giving it to a needy family member (although most of my family members are more "entitled" than "needy" these days) or splurging a little and trading it on a new Charger. But, once I got it started (it sat so long the battery died and a tire went flat), and cleaned it up a bit (serious dust build up on the windows), and drove it around a bit, it didn't seem half bad. It only had around 66,500 miles on it, but I was concerned about how well Dad maintained it over the years. It seemed sluggish, although I thought perhaps that was simply because I got used to faster vehicles and was suffering "Hemi withdrawal". But then it also started stalling out at random, and would sputter and ultimately stall at around 4,000 rpm. I put it in the shop, and did have to put around $1100 into it, to get the MAF sensor replaced, fuel filter, and a bunch of other odds and ends, but the mechanic (NOT the one who's working on the DeSoto!) said overall it looks like a good car that should last awhile...although with the caveat that he has no crystal ball!

    Anyway, my plan is to drive it for awhile, as it's cheap on insurance, and it'll keep the miles off of my 2012 Ram. I've put around 2000 miles on the Regal so far, in mixed highway runs yet, and it's been averaging around 21 mpg...and that was with the bad fuel filter and MAF sensor. The Ram would be more like 15-16, and it has an appetite for 89 octane. Oh, and as for why the car has no hubcaps, I have no idea. I wonder if Dad tried to pull one off one day, not realizing they don't just pop off like in the old have to take the lug nuts off first! And, if that's what he did do, hopefully he didn't repeat that mistake three more times!
  • Re: I spotted an (insert obscure car name here) classic car today!

    Last night at the grocery store parking lot, I spotted these two obscurities...

    I think I've seen the Chevelle around before. It looks kind of rough up close...bondo and rust under the paint. I don't think I've seen the Cutlass around before.

    oh, and I was in DC on Friday, and happened upon this...

    I can't remember the last time I've seen an Encore/Alliance period, let alone a GTA convertible.

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

    The cream New Yorker is the 5th Ave, but oddly, for 1979, the 5th Ave's leather seats weren't the deep tufted ones. They're actually the same pattern as the base New Yorker, just done up in leather rather than cloth. However, if you got leather in the base New Yorker, you got that deep-tufted stuff with the buttons. I think a lot of people complained about the base leather looking ritzier than the 5th Ave leather, because for 1980-81 they swapped! Now the leather itself might have been higher quality in the 5th Ave, but the pattern itself wasn't as plush/pimpy.

    As for condition, the 5th Ave is in better shape overall than the blue base model. I've thought about getting rid of the blue one...yes, believe it or not, as I get older, I'm starting to try and shy away from that hoarder mentality! :p I hesitate though, because I figure it might come in handy as a parts car if something ever happened to the 5th Ave. But the reality there is probably if something happens to the 5th Ave, it would just be easier/cheaper to go find another nice one, than bother fixing this one up. R-bodies are somewhat rare, as they were poor sellers when new, and a lot of the low-end models were sold as police cars. Plus, the civilian models became popular as taxis once they hit the used market, or demolition derby cars (they're pretty tough and rugged. But, it seems like the 5th Ave has had a fairly good survival rate.

    As for fuel stabilizer, I have used it off and on. Probably should do it a bit more religiously, though, especially during the off season. As for building a barn, I would, but the county wouldn't let me!