1971 Ford LTD Country Squire: Vintage Suburbia

  1. Today, most family haulers are silver silvermist or beige beigemist crossovers. But 45 plus years ago, things were different.

Yes, in 1971 Ford was Wagon King. Sure, GM sold tons of wagons too, but despite their being all new, not everyone was sure about GM’s new disappearing tailgate, where it retracted behind the rear bumper instead of folding down. Though GM still trounced FoMoCo in overall production.

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1986 Porsche 944 Turbo: Front-Engine Rocket

Before the 944, there was the 924. Originally it was planned as a VW-only model to replace the 914. It was designed by Porsche and used many more VW and Audi parts than its predecessor, at Volkswagen’s request. After everything had been designed and engineered, and was essentially ready for production VW backed out of the deal. Nice. So Porsche decided to sell it themselves, though VW contracted to build the cars for Porsche. It was introduced for the 1976 model year.

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1992 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special: Of Course You Need 22-Way Seats!

The 1989-1993 Cadillac sedans have always been a favorite of mine. I drove several when they were late model used cars, and even considered buying one in the late ’90s. The 1985-93 GM C-body was a nice package, with front wheel drive traction, ample interior space, and tidy exterior dimensions. In 1989, the Cadillac De Ville and Fleetwood got some much-needed lengthening to make them more Cadillac-like, and the upper-crust Fleetwood even got fender skirts, for the first time since 1976.

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1981 AMC Eagle Limited Coupe: Who The Heck Ordered This?

Well, realistically, who else but AMC could take so many dissimilar parts and turn it into a fully functional vehicle. Whitewalls, opera windows, stand-up hood ornament, two-tone paint, landau vinyl top…and so on.

1978 Concord, spotted at the annual car show in Bishop Hill, IL, July 2014.

The entire car itself was built in much the same way, at its core a 1970 AMC Hornet with a four-wheel drive system. In 1978, the venerable Kenosha-built compact went upscale and was renamed the Concord, with available color-keyed wheel covers, landau top, and opera windows.

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1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Brougham Sedan – A Special Feel

After the GM A-bodies became G-bodies, each division did its own thing when it came to deciding what models stayed in the lineup. Consider the sedans: The Chevy and Buick versions departed after ’83. Pontiac’s G-body Bonneville lasted until 1986, after which it became an H-body. But Oldsmobile, arguably the purveyor of the best A/G-bodies in the corporation, kept its sedans going all the way to 1987. All in all, not a bad run for an Olds model that had flopped (at least in four-door form) when it first appeared in 1978.

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1984 Volvo GL: Burgundy Box

1976 264 GL

The 264GL replaced the 164E for 1976. In addition to the new nose, instrument panel and suspension upgrades, the 3.0 straight six of the 164 was replaced with the B28 2.8 liter ‘PRV’ V6. PRV stood for Peugeot, Renault and Volvo, who created the engine in a joint venture.
The issue with Volvo’s top of the line model was that this new engine was not quite in the same league as Volvo’s earlier, stone reliable four cylinder engines, and sales never really took off. By 1980 it was producing 130 hp and 153 lb ft of torque.

1981 GL

Finally Volvo decided that they would combine the engine of the 240 and premium features of the 264 to create a new model, the GL. Introduced in 1980, the GL’s exterior was the same as the 264GLE, complete with the extra chrome trim, chrome grille and exterior paint choices. Inside, velour replaced the DL’s cloth, and there was additional color coordination of the door panels, hardware and carpet.

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Retro Show: Live At The 1983 Chicago Auto Show

It seems that I’ve been neglecting the Retro Show posts. I have all of these excellent photos from my buddy Jim Smith from various and sundry Chicago Auto Shows from 1973 through 1991. Jim himself has attended every Chicago Auto Show from 1968 to 2019. But you know how it goes. I get distracted by bright, Broughamy objects and forget. Sorry folks! The last Retro Show post, only the third one ever, was published back in May of 2018. Well, it’s time to correct that right now.

Cadillac Eldorado

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1974 Jaguar XJ12 L: A White Whale, In Mustard Yellow

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1976 Cadillac Sedan de Ville: Firethorn Fantasy

Okay, you know the drill. I like Broughams. I like Nimitz-class 1970s yachts. I like poofy seats, vibrant colors and power everything. And I like Cadillacs. The bigger, the better, as far as I’m concerned.

I’ve written enough about these over the past year that I think we can forgo my usual spiel. Want more?

Then go here,

here…

…and here.

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