1976 Chrysler Cordoba: The Small Chrysler!

The Chrysler Cordoba, introduced in Autumn 1974 as a 1975 model, was probably the most famous Chrysler of the ’70s.
Its advertising campaign was not only a stroke of genius as the Muscle era gave way to Broughamville, it was highly memorable. Seemingly overnight, Chryslers went from a big-car only company to cranking out personal luxury coupes at a rapid clip!

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1986 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency: The Thinking Person’s Luxury Car

There is a certain website out there that is trying, desperately, incessantly, to bash successful GM cars. Why is anyone’s guess. But despite popularity, despite corresponding sales figures, it doesn’t matter for these guys. Bitter, angry people make for bitter, angry car posts. So in my own way, I’ve been trying to counterpoint these surly rants. Today’s subject is the redesigned 1985 front wheel drive C-body GM cars: De Ville/Fleetwood, Electra, and of course the Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight.

1986 Ninety-Eight

“Oh ho, aha!” some folks may rant: “They were shrunken, stupid, unreliable maaaan! No one bought them!” Big talk from persons who only got brand new cars when they conned them out of their employer. But I digress. The simple, plain truth is despite a completely new look, smaller dimensions in nearly every area, and a major change from V8 and rear wheel drive to V6 and front wheel drive, these newly minted GM lux cars sold well.

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1974 Chevrolet Caprice Classic: Queen of the Bs

The biggest Chevrolet Caprice was the 1971-76 version. They were the ultimate expression of long, low and wide, that first appeared on U.S. cars in the late Fifties. The last hurrah before fuel economy standards, changing tastes and increasing safety regulations changed cars forever.

1971 Caprice

I’ve always liked them. When I was a kid, caddy-corner to our house, one of the neighbors had a metallic kiwi green 1971 Caprice four-door hardtop. It still retained one of its deluxe ‘electric range’ wheel covers; the other three were off of a 1971-72 Olds Delta 88. This was in about 1990, and it seemed so old at the time to me, with my parents’ Volvo 740s sitting in the driveway. Of course I loved that car. It was still there when we moved in 1995.

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1976 Chevrolet Vega Cosworth: Smokey And The Vega

Vega is a four letter word. Literally and figuratively, of course. Why, you’d think only Chevrolet made subcompacts with questionable fit and finish in the 1970s. Um, Datsun B210 Honey Bees, anyone? Rapid-rusting ’74 Corollas? Pardon me while I roll my eyes. OK, where was I? Yes, well, today I’m not going to add more to the blogging cannon fodder directed at the Chevrolet Vega. No, today, I’m here to talk about the good parts, the fun parts. And no Vega was more fun or more interesting than the Cosworth.

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1966 Lincoln Continental Coupé – Classy Chassis

With the exception of the original 1939-48 Lincoln Continental, the 1960s Lincolns are quite likely the most recognized products of Ford Motor Company’s premium division. Naturally, the four-door convertibles are the most famous models of that decade, and the most valuable, but the four-door sedans and two-door coupes were attractive luxury transportation as well. Today, we’re talking about the coupe, or Coupé, as Lincoln called it.

1960 Lincoln

1960 Continental Mark V. Photo courtesy Dave Smith.

Thanks to the failure of the 1958-60 Lincolns in the marketplace, Lincoln itself was close to getting chopped in 1960. It’s a story oft-told, but the short version is Robert McNamara, who thought everyone should drive a Falcon, had set his cap to kill off Edsel, even before the cars first appeared in showrooms.

1961 Continental convertible

1961 Continental at the 2014 LCOC meet in Rockford, IL.

Lincoln was going to be next, and only an 11th-hour viewing of a proposed future Thunderbird saved the marque. It was stretched just enough to add a second pair of doors, and the result was the 1961 Continental.

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1963 Rambler Classic 770 Cross Country: The New Shape Of Quality

1963 Classic

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1976 Continental Mark IV Desert Sand Luxury Group

1976 was, in my opinion, Peak Brougham. It was the last year for the truly large premium sedans, the Cadillac Fleetwood, De Ville, Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight and Buick Electra. Over at Chrysler you had Royal Monacos, Gran Furys, New Yorker Broughams and even the wood-paneled Town & Country station wagon. And over at Ford, there were myriad examples of big luxury cars to fill your requirements: LTD, Marquis, Country Squire, Colony Park, and Continental sedans and coupes. At at the very top, the finest, the Continental Mark IV.

Mark IV

1972 Mark IV owned by fellow LCOC member Humberto Garcia.

1976 was the final year for the Mark IV, which first appeared in Autumn 1971 as a ’72 model. My grandfather ordered one in triple dark green, to replace his triple dark green 1969 Mark III.

Mark IV

In my opinion, the 1972 was the prettiest with its small, integrated front and rear bumpers. In 1973, the Mark IV, along with most other Detroit rolling stock, got the new 5-mph front bumpers due to new federal regulations. In 1974, a larger rear bumper was added to match the front.

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