A while back on the 1978 Caprice Classic post, one of our commenters asked about deciphering the various General Motors platforms. My friend Carmine explained it all in a subsequent comment. There were a few even I hadn’t heard of (the Corvair was a Z-body?!). At the time, I intended to do a little post on it, and add pictures of the appropriate cars under his text. Of course, as often happens with me, it got put on the back burner, then was conveniently forgotten.
We are now rapidly approaching the end of summer. You know what that means: car shows are dwindling. And soon, will be gone altogether-until next April. And so it was that I attended the cruise night yesterday evening with a friend of mine. Sadly, no Broughams were in evidence. In fact, the show itself was kind of small.
Part of it was the heat-it was about 88 degrees out-but as we heard from fellow attendees, there had been a big show at Green Chevrolet that morning. Apparently most of the usual suspects went to that show instead, leaving North Park Mall in Davenport with relatively slim pickings, car-wise
I have always loved the Ford LTD. The top trim full-size Ford. Top of the heap. The most Broughamtastic. But what does LTD stand for? There are many opinions. One favorite is “Luxury Trim Decor.” But no one is certain. Ford never truly defined it. But no matter what one’s opinion is on the lux-Ford acronym, one thing it most certainly meant was luxury.
If I start talking about the LTD’s history, we’ll be here all night. And I want to focus on my favorite, the 1975-78 models, so let’s try to be concise, shall we? The Ford LTD first came on the scene in 1965, as a deluxe trim Galaxie 500, available initially in two- and four-door hardtop versions.
In that same record-sales year for Detroit of 1965, its arch-rival, the Chevrolet Caprice, also appeared, initially as only a four-door hardtop.
Since I first attended an SDC meet thanks to my parents back in 1996, I have loved Studebaker. But even I have to admit that, in the end, Studebaker did themselves in. They very nearly went under in the 1930s, but thanks to the new management team of Harold Vance and Paul Hoffman–and in no small part, healthy refinancing and restructuring–Studebaker survived the Depression. By late 1933, against all odds, the corporation was back in the black. Unfortunately, those same guys started making the decisions that led to the last South Bend Studebaker cars leaving the soon-to-be-shuttered factory in December 1963, only a few short months into the 1964 model year.
Studebaker got off to a great start in the postwar era with their startlingly modern, all-new 1947 line.
Imagine, in 2018, that there is a station wagon that sells. It exists, and it is the Subaru Outback. In today’s fractured market, with crossovers and teeny 2.0L turbocharged Singer sewing machines powering a vast majority of new cars, the Subaru comes with boxer four- or six cylinder engines. And although Subaru has joined the CVT transmission party, both powerplants are-GASP!-normally aspirated. Imagine that.
About a month ago I was wandering around the showroom at McLaughlin Cadillac-Subaru-Volvo when I leaned in the open window of a black Outback Limited. I hadn’t really paid much attention to these wagons, although I noted their regular presence in traffic. It was rather nice inside. The beige leather was pleasing, and the wood trim on the doors and dash were attractive.
Intrigued, I got in behind the wheel. This was pretty cushy. It was especially nice with the light beige leather, and wood trim. Airy. No Bat Cave interior, with loophole windows, this! I thought perhaps it would be a good candidate for a test drive for Riverside Green. Continue Reading →
Back in May of 2016, I was running a couple of errands after work when I spotted something that is getting harder and harder to find out on the open road: A 1980-84 Town Car. The 1980 Continental and Continental Mark VI were downsized compared to their impressive, chromed Pullman car 1975-79 forebears, but in this day and age the first Panther Lincolns no longer look small, and among silver silvermist and beige beigemist Camrys and Altimas, it stands out as an elegant rectilinear throwback to the early 1980s.
The 1964 Cadillac was the end of an era. Sure, there would be great Cadillacs for years after, but 1964 was extra special. It marked the final year of the fin. While the totally redesigned 1965 Cadillacs would still have a squared-off blade on their rear quarter panels, and said protuberances would last way, way wayyy up to the final 1992 Cadillac Brougham and Brougham d’Elegance, 1964 was the last year of the true, unedited, unmitigated Cadillac shark fin.
The thing I love the most about Cadillac in the 1960s is that no matter what model you chose, you got a great car. A high-quality car, whether a Series 62, de Ville, Fleetwood Sixty Special or Eldorado.
Today, let’s take a closer look at the Wixom-produced example of the road-going Chris-Craft…the 1958 Continental Mark III. Some love them. Some hate them. But there’s no doubt the 1958-60 Continental Mark III, IV and V were substantial luxocruisers.
The 1958 Lincolns and Continentals were Ford Motor Company’s no expense spared bid to out-Cadillac Cadillac. Their 131-inch wheelbase was longer than the Cadillac Series 62 and de Ville sedans, and only two inches shorter than the 1958 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special.
When I hear the name Pontiac, I think Bonneville. Oh sure, for most people, it’s GTO or Firebird or Trans Am or Super Duty. But being of the more Broughamtastic persuasion, I prefer the Bonneville, Grand Ville, Grand Le Mans and Grand Prix. That’s just how I roll.
The last several posts of mine, to no one’s surprise, have been various and sundry large American luxocruisers. Well, what can I say? I love them. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like other stuff. It doesn’t have to have opera lamps and a Cayman-grain padded vinyl roof to catch my attention. And who could disagree that the early Porsche 911s weren’t beautiful?
What can one say about the Porsche 911 that hasn’t been said already? For many, it’s been THE Porsche. For generations. Well, there is one thing. Sometimes, I get tired of the pervasiveness of 911s in Porsche books and literature.