This morning I was perusing the FB group, Finding Future Classic Cars, and my Brougham Radar immediately locked onto this fine 1966 New Yorker offered on Boise Craigslist, complete with the ‘earmuff’ style vinyl accents on the C-pillars. I’ve always liked the 1965-66 Chryslers. Styled by Elwood Engel, late of Ford Motor Company, his designs were strikingly rectangular, but elegant. And if you think 1961 Continental in profile, that’s not a coincidence, he was involved with that car as well.
Note: This is the continuation of Mike Batch Kirouac’s ’66 Windsor saga (Read Part 1 here, if you missed it). As previously related, he’s a friend of mine, met during the olden days, at Cantankerous Coot, ha ha. Hope you enjoy. He finished this car last summer, and I am hoping he will write up a brand new post with the fascinating conclusion. As always, republished with his permission. -TK
I am fighting a rust monster. I haven’t seen it, but the signs of its voracious appetite are everywhere. The monster’s corrosive, salty venom has taken its toll on my 1966 Chrysler Windsor, even eating away structural components such as frame rails and body mounts.
My earlier article on the Windsor ended in a cliffhanger in the fall of 2011, just as I pulled the trigger on restoring the body. I removed the grille, bumper, radiator, underhood wiring harness, engine and transmission.
Two Sundays ago I attended the twice-a-year model car/promo/kit swap meet and show in Countryside, IL, in suburban Chicagoland. As usual, I brought plenty of cash. As usual, I spent a lot of it. I got several nice Cadillac promos. One of them was this dark red 1966 Cadillac Coupe de Ville promo, which I got from my buddy Jim Smith. And all was well-until last night.
ED: Another post by my friend up north, Mike Batch Kirouac! This car was recently completed. Maybe we can get him to do a new post on it. -TK
In 1966, the Chrysler Windsor was the Canadian-built equivalent of the Newport model in the US. Unsurprisingly, Windsors were built in the Windsor, Ontario plant. Unlike today where vehicles are assembled from components manufactured all over the world, these cars were substantially “Made in Canada” from Canadian-made parts. The ink was still fresh on the Canada-US auto pact, which would soon change that arrangement, and 1966 was the last year for the Windsor model name.
According to the original owner, my Windsor 2-door hardtop was a factory-ordered car, but the deal fell through, and so it wound up on the dealer’s lot. The colour was Saddle Bronze metallic, with matching interior. The drivetrain consisted of the base engine, a big block 383 2-barrel with 9.2:1 compression, rated at 270hp. This was mated to the venerable Torqueflite 727 3-speed automatic, and 2.76:1 “economy” gearing in the differential. Inside was the standard column shifter and bench seats.
For Chrysler, just getting up off the canvas after the “plucked chicken” fiasco of 1962 was hard enough without Ford doing something crazy by dropping its Mustang bombshell on the market. What’s more, the personal-luxury coupe market was heating up by the day. So what was a beleaguered Chrysler to do? Fake it, that’s what. And do so with a memorable and venerable name.
The earliest Charger I remember (at least referring to something other than a hay-consuming equine) is this car, which a sporting band of Chrysler engineers campaigned on the drag strip. This car was the “High and Mighty” (actually a ’49 Plymouth). According to Alpar, it existed as seen above into late 1958. The original 354 truck engine, fitted with 392 heads, eventually gave way to an all-392 Hemi. Obviously, the car sacrificed aerodynamics on the altar of weight transfer and traction.
NOTE: A friend of mine, Mike Batch Kirouac, who penned the Olds Diesel article earlier this year, has given me the green light on running some of his other posts from the other site. His favorite car is the 1966 Chrysler, and he owns several-which you’ll see more of in the near future. Enjoy. -TK
Elwood Engel left Ford Motor Company in 1961 to succeed Virgil Exner as head of styling at Chrysler. The 1965 Chrysler–which essentially evolved the Engel design language created for the 1961 Lincoln Continental–was his first “clean sheet” production car design for Chrysler. The 1966 refresh was, in my opinion, an improvement on the ’65s that provided greater differentiation between the base Newport (Windsor, in Canada), sporty 300 and high-end New Yorker models, all of which shared most of their sheet metal.
Since 1958, the Impala had been Chevrolet’s top of the line model. When Ford added the luxurious LTD package to the Galaxie 500 for the 1965 model year, Chevy quickly responded with the Caprice. Both nameplates started out as a luxury trim level but would become full-fledged models in short order.
In 1965, the Caprice nameplate made its first appearance. Limited only to the Sport Sedan four-door hardtop body style.
The 1965 Ford was a big change from the 1960-64s, with pretty much everything new except for engines and transmissions. And this same basic chassis, despite major stylistic changes in 1969, 1971 and 1975, essentially carried on until the fall of 1978 when the Panther-chassis LTD and Marquis appeared.
Quite a run! And while Ford couldn’t quite beat GM in the sales race when it came to full-size, bread and butter cars, they still put out some attractive machines.
Fellow Cadillac fancier and photographic contributor to this fine website, Jayson Coombes, alerted me this weekend to a most excellent example of 1966 Cadillac he spotted online. This gorgeous Fleetwood Series 75 Formal Sedan, painted in Nocturne Blue, if my estimations are correct.
It was originally listed on this website. A true time capsule, with a mere 15,000 miles on the clock. From the pictures, I believe it. Sadly, she’s since been sold, hopefully to a happy new owner. Anyway, I eagerly scrolled through the pictures. Said photos are very well done. I love it when a photographer knows what he’s doing. So many times, too many times, that is not the case.
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.
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.
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.