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The Reverend Bluejeans

Can we have a Yank thread?

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If I had a workshop big enough - and I haven't - I'd own a sixties or early seventies US motor. To me, they were the best cars built in this era - styling, quality, and technical advancements. 

 

A 1960 Cadillac Coupe, be it a base Series 62 or a Coupe DeVille, it matters not. The 1959 car is still a hero chariot but the 1960 car has lower fins and a tidier front end. Cadillac pioneered stuff like self dipping headlights with the Autronic Eye in the 1950's, a light sensing device on the dash top that could sense oncoming cars. That was sixty years ago. Self seeking FM radio? Let's have it. 

 

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1970 Dodge Challenger. Like the similar Plymouth Barracuda (both Chrysler E Body) the Challenger arrived too late to oust the Mustang and by 1970, the Pony Car thing was dying out anyway. But it's incredibly pretty and it has the best of American V8's, the magnificent 426 ci Hemi. I love late sixties/early seventies Mustangs but these to me are in a different league. 

 

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1962/3 Lincoln Continental. When the Mark 10 Jag appeared in the US in 1962, most Americans laughed at the 3.8 litre six pot, wheezing away whilst trying haul the portly thing along with the AC barely able to cope and Lucas bits falling off. The 61 onwards Continental was a proper car. The 430 ci V8 was not a regular Ford V8 but a special design. Each one was built, bench run, stripped and reassembled again to make sure it was right. Zinc coating was used in the bodyshell. Stuff like a laminated screen was standard along with vacuum operated central locking as well as a two year 25'000 mile warranty, in 1961.......

The 62/3 car was restyled front and rear and to my eyes is a better looking car.

 

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1965 Buick Riviera. Really, there's no bad year for these but the 1963-66 cars are best and some like the original 1963 car the most. But I like these so there. Bob Monkhouse and Dusty Springfield are amongst the original owners. 

What a thing of beauty. Buick of course pioneered the turbocharged road car whilst Porsche was still making Beetle engined bathtubs.

 

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So fire away. Waiting photos photos of a 1983 Dodge Aries complete with a Confederate flag and an American accent picked up after a fortnight in Miami.  :-D

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Ive a few old Yanks -rarely if ever use them..

 

Heres the latest -my oddball Saturn

 

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Its a small old engine, and usable as a daily, but its a bit weird. Current intention is a set of nice rims, maybe a tadge lower..

 

Heres my old Riv, a 67 440

 

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Its not seen the light of day in many years- I just cant live with the fuel consumption. Totally boggers, it needs nowt. Like driving on a fluffy pillow near totally disconnected with reality- its sheer presence on the road clears a path.

Bury the throttle and it snorts like a bulldog and rears up like a destroyer - but it needs LPG, or summat, to make journeys bearable.

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I'm a wagon man.

 

 

The '66/67 Ford Country Squire is a fine looking machine. Practicality coupled with handsome styling, what's not to like?

 

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Or how about this Chevy Kingswood? Based on the contemporary Impala this fucker is low, wide and loooong with a big slab of fablon down the side. OOFT.

 

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Alternatively, how about some mid 1970s STODGE. A '74 Dodge Dart in 2-door hardtop "Swinger" configuration, complete with huge 5mph impact bumpers and styling by square rule. The interior is a sea of vinyl and the fakest of fake wood.

 

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I must confess I'd not own a Yank motor in this country though, can't be arsed with the size and thirst...

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I wanted another Corvette but they were all a billion pounds and at the other end of the country so I got impatient and went Jarman yet again a few days ago. These are my selling pics from 2003 of my last one, a 1992. Owned for 6 years, did 18k miles with little bother, sold for almost as much as I bought it for.

 

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Unintentional purchase of the Thunderturd has pretty much put me off yanks. Yes it is a nice old thing and the V8 sounds the part, but it's just so big. I don't think I will be going for a Yank again, but could fall for a Corvair.

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A cracking start. My 'awakening' came via a 1966 Galaxie 500 four door, LRK400D iirc. It was a RHD Canadian built car but I think it became a donor for something else 20-30 years ago.

You didn't by any chance know a chap with a beard who had a very nice impala in Chesterfield - he had a lot of Yanks when they were cheap and unloved including I think a RHD galaxy.

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Well, the size is half of what makes a full-size vehicle Americana; otherwise go Falcon kinda size which is definitely workable, but then people raise one eyebrow and utter that line no guy likes to hear- "I thought it would be bigger than that".

 

A lot of American vehicles have enough presence that you'll tend to clear a path anyway. People expect American cars to be big. Turn up with one of the small ones from the era of big and expect disappointment.

 

 

Phil

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I have a bit of trouble telling some of the models of the 'Big Three' apart. I do like the Mustang Mach 1 and the 1969 Dodge Charger.

 

I've always a thing for the 'American Motors' range of cars. They seem to do things a bit different. I really like the AMC Eagle (America's own Subaru equivilent), Gremlin and Pacer. Such a shame that they no longer exist.

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Not mine but exactly the same.....1979 Grand Prix.  California smog spec 305 small block Chevy.  

 

Same colour as this, same wheels and roof.   Bought off a geezer who was on bail and hardly counted the money before chucking me the keys and logbook and legging it.   I drove this as my only car for five years.     

 

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No - the Galaxie was on Oxfordshire where I lived there.

 

What year Impala? 1959 was my fave with the teardrop tail lights.

60s from memory, it was ordered new by an American serviceman for his wife to drive over here whilst he was stationed in the UK hence it started out as a 6 cylinder with 2? Speed auto.

My friend had it a long time and I think hopefully it's still in his family.

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As has been pointed out before, there is no such thing as a classy American car. They just can't do it. And, despite the various novelties abounding in the 1950s, most of them were appallingly designed and built purely because they were expected to be cast aside after a couple of years (most prewar stuff was different, of course, but that's true of all nations).

 

Don't get me wrong, I love American cars. I would absolutely love a Fuselage-body Mopar or a giant Buick wagon, but with my serious car collector head on there is only a handful of American cars that are worthy of anything more than nostalgic longing.

 

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1953 Studebaker coupe. Probably the only car built in postwar America that is beautiful. There are lots of imposing, stylish, impressive, muscular, attractive cars, but not really any beautiful ones. Obviously it's all subjective, but the 53 'Lowey coupe' is the closest Yanks ever got to European-type understanding of form. It's totally subtle, understated and we'll proportioned and of course it was totally ruined by cheap restyle attempts starting in 1955. Unfuckwithable and underrated.

 

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1937 Lincoln-Zephyr. I know they're a bit shit (because Ford) but this is about as stylish as mainstream cars got in the uncivilised wasteland of Detroit. They don't drive very well, the engines don't work and they are a touch spivvy (or whatever the American equivalent of a spiv is) but they are fantastic to look at and be in.

 

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1965 Galaxie. Nothing particularly outstanding really, no great technological leap or stunning styling, but proof that a set square and a ruler is all you need to create an impressive design. It's like a brutalist tower block on wheels and probably the car I'd most like to actually own from the US, although like most yanks they don't really work in the context of Britain.

 

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1960 Corvair. A clean sheet design, genuinely revolutionary in its design and engineering and, unlike every other American car I've driven, actually really nice to drive and totally at home on British roads. Looks fantastic, handles like a 911, sounds great and smaller than a modern Euro box. But, byilt down to a price with no attempt at longevity. Pressed steel rockers? C'mom guys.

 

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Avanti. Has to be a '63 with round lamps, preferably a supercharged R2 like this. Colour is important, of course: white, gold or metallic blue only. Probably the most impressive piece of car design to ever emerge from the states. Trying to find a piece of styling with no genuine antecedents is near impossible but the Avanti was truly unlike anything that came before. Some people don't 'get it', but then some people like Ford Escorts and Chris Rea. The Avanti was a glorious failure, a car only a company fighting for survival wpuld dare launch. It was also pretty much the fastest thing on the road that wasn't built in Modena.

 

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Cord 810. I know everyone wants the supercharged one, but they look so much better without the side pipes. Has to be a sedan, white or green, cloth seats. Just an astonishing bit of design, with the technological trousers to back up that uncompromising mouth. Weirdly, only now just beginning to become as valuable as they deserve to be and still just about in the realms of reality for normal working stiffs to own.

 

Honorable mentions: '49 Shoebox Ford, '54 Kaiser Manhattan, V16 Cadillac, Airflyte Nash, step-down Hudson, '68 Charger

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1994 Cadillac Elderado Touring Coupe, 4.6 32v Northstar (295 bhp) Transverse mounted FWD 4 speed auto. Mrs6C choice that we have had for nearly 5 years. I took it to Shitefest 2014 and I am thinking now Shitefest 2019 as well!

 

Only off the road because I can't buy a auto gear shift selector cable for it. It is sitting outside my study window and I want a change of view!

 

The photos are fresh just now.

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Remember cringing at the stuff the Americans were knocking out in the early 1980's, but now they're sort of cool because they're awful. Had a GMC Suburban 6.3TD that was pretty horrible to drive, being honest. Just trying to get it into 4WD mode alone was stupid. Then came a GMC Sierra pick-up that only ran on gas, will dig pictures out later and stick 'em on here.

 

Those Galaxies do seem pointlessly huge, but that era of American motor was surely the best in terms of looks.

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 most of them were appallingly designed and built purely because they were expected to be cast aside after a couple of years 

 

 

I don't agree entirely. Even the cheap Ford and GM stuff was as strong as a horse and US steel was far better than European rubbish.  Compare a 1963 Impala with a Super Minx for example. 

 

A 1970 Corvette is like an E Type but with proper brakes and proper power. 

 

I'm with you on the Corvair. The Cord 810, whilst lovely in a photos is mesmerising in the flesh. Haynes have one in the museum and it's a truly stunning piece of car design. You almost can't stop looking at it. 

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So; an immediately post-war midsize family car, in the middle of the range luxury scale.

 

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Groundbreaking technology? No, but still better than a lot of contemporary offerings. No solid beam front axle, full pressure fed lubrication system, pump driven cooling, push button start with automatic choke, fully automatic 4-speed gearbox and the ability to cruise all day long at 65-70 miles per hour.

 

Consider that Cowley were beginning to copy the shapes the GM group were producing, with technological advances in their own lineup to begin to rival those offered here, I wouldn't say the vehicles are not classy- it's just a different way of doing the same thing.

 

Phil

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I have an obsession with 70s Oldsmobile 98s entirely because of a german cartoon character. Objectively they're awful bloatwagons badly assembled by disaffected trade unionists but look at the velour and the stupidly large V8!

 

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There's been some tempting Americana on the eBay thread this last year.

I can't find a picture of the '38 Chrysler Airflow that was bin @ £7k and looked a bargain I think I won't see again, but that was the car from the last year I regret doing nothing about the most.

 

Other temptations have been

post-17481-0-80538000-1546098325_thumb.jpeg Seville Diesel. Hopeless.

 

 

post-17481-0-05357000-1546098245_thumb.jpeg Hopelessly four cylindered. (No more fours for me. Ever.)

 

post-17481-0-49716800-1546098372_thumb.jpeg Should have bought it from Colc 3 years ago. Far too much, and didn't sell, at the Brightwells auction.

 

Corvette 5s appeal as a sort of replacement for the Renault Alpine. But only in this base-model turret-top style. (T-tops always seem a bit wank)post-17481-0-16139600-1546098225_thumb.jpeg

 

Mad not to buy this Corvairpost-17481-0-05263700-1546098291_thumb.jpeg

 

Out of my league, but this Rolls Royce is allowed because of it's American body. From when customization didn't mean max power and Halfords.post-17481-0-07916400-1546098179_thumb.jpeg

 

Where my left-coast fantasies began.post-17481-0-55506100-1546098497_thumb.jpeg

 

Also mad not to buy this Pontiac. Just gorgeous! post-17481-0-30580300-1546099677_thumb.jpeg

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