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

    Looks nice, andre. I seem to remember a lot of those cars being a beige color back then.
    Thanks. Like they say in the old Steve Miller Band song, "Everything's better when wet!" :p

    For 1979, Chrysler built about 15,000 5th Avenue Editions, and every single one of them was a 2-tone cream-over-beige, so that might be why the beige seems to stick in everyone's mind. I think they built around 55,000 New Yorkers in total, so that one color scheme would account for roughly 27% of them.

    For 1980, sales cratered, and I think they only built around 13,000 New Yorkers in total. I don't know how many were 5th Avenues, but Wikipedia states that 7356 were built in 1980-81 combined. For 1980, they added a "Black Walnut metallic" as a color choice on the 5th Ave. Here's a brochure pic of it.

    For 1981, the 5th Ave package offered "Driftwood Gray over Light Heather", "Mahogany Starmist over Heather Mist", or "Light Creme over Light Cashmere". That last one might have simply been the same 2-tone creme/beige from earlier years, just with a different name. For 1979, it was called "Designer Cream over Designer Beige".
  • Re: I spotted an (insert obscure car name here) classic car today!

    Spotted a '59 Plymouth wagon the other day. Alas, it was on tv...

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

    andre1969--how is the Desoto progressing? Will you be driving it soon, perhaps a Spring unveiling?
    It's been a few months since I've checked, but at this point I think it just needs some brake work, a few interior bits put back together, seatbelts installed, and new tires. I'm trying to get those wide whitewall radials, but they're getting hard to find. Apparently there's not a whole lot of demand for them, so the manufacturer only makes a batch of them when they get enough orders in. Anyway, hopefully it'll be Spring. The weather's starting to get a bit nasty here, and I'm sure it won't be long before they start salting the roads, so I'm hoping the mechanic doesn't call me in the middle of a snow storm and say "come get your car!" :s
  • Re: I spotted an (insert obscure car name here) classic car today!

    Mopar's R-bodies had the fuel filler in back, as well. However, while GM's cars had the license plate that swung down, and could be propped with the gas cap, the Newport/St. Regis/Gran Fury actually swung upward, spring-loaded, and the cap would not hold them open. On the New Yorker/5th Ave, the center part of the taillight, a dummy housing with reflectors rather than bulbs, pivots upward and stays out of the way on its own.

    You'd think having the fuel filler in back like that would be dangerous. And on some older cars, like my '67 Catalina, the gas tank is only a few inches from the rear bumper! However, with those old body-on-frame cars, when they got rear-ended, they tended to buckle first over the rear axle, where the frame curved up and over. On more modern cars, like my '76 LeMans, and the downsized B/C bodies, there was a lot more distance between the gas tank and the rear of the car. With these cars, when they were rear-ended, I don't think they were quite as prone to buckling over the rear axle, but would rather accordion-up a bit. But, that extra distance between the gas tank and the rear of the car helped. However, on the downsized A/G bodies, there wasn't quite as much room, and those cars were prone to leaking in a rear end collision. It would take a much harder hit to make one leak than it would with a Pinto, but they were implicated in a few fire-related deaths. I remember reading about a 1980 Malibu sedan in Texas that stalled out on a back road. The woman driver left her two small kids in the back seat and got out of the car to find help. Along comes a flatbed truck and plows into it, and it burst into flames, killing the kids. There was another incident where an early 80's Olds Cutlass Cruiser was stopped at a toll booth, in Jersey perhaps? It was rear-ended at high speed as well and burst into flames, resulting in some deaths.

    Of course, any car will leak fuel if you hit it hard enough, and in the right spot. I remember when GM got implicated in that saddle tank fiasco on the '73-87 pickups. People used to ask me if I was afraid of my Granddad's '85 Silverado. I'd tell them no...first of all, gas tanks used to be IN the cab! Second, if I get t-boned at 73 mph, chances are I'm going to die regardless. And third, I'm not into model rockets. :p
  • Re: Project Cars--You Get to Vote on "Hold 'em or Fold 'em"

    IMO a shabby BMW or Lexus looks as bad, and a shabby Caddy looks worse.
    Back in the early 1990's, someone who worked at a local pool hall in an iffy neighborhood around here had a 1967 Sedan Deville he wanted to sell for $800. It was done up in a primer black/charcoal color, so lord-knows what sorts of body work/issues it was hiding, and the interior was a bit ratty. I drove it around the parking didn't have tags on it, so the owner said do NOT take it off the premises. Gotta admit, I felt an odd attraction to it, and the engine sounded great!

    But, I passed on it...probably a wise decision, too. Plus, if I still had it by the time I got to know Lemko, I'm sure he would've given me the evil eye.