Tag Archives: collectible cars

A Different Kind of Bird

A Different Kind of Bird

1970 FirebirdIt’s almost Thanksgiving! Even though we have another week to prepare for the festivities, we’re starting now: the turkeys have been ordered, we are dreaming of pumpkin pies, and bread is being torn into little pieces for the perfect stuffing. It’s a day devoted to giving thanks for all we are grateful for as much as it is devoted to the perfectly prepared bird-the turkey, of course!

At the same time, though, we’re giving thanks for a different type of bird, the Pontiac Firebird.

The Plymouth Road Runner

The Plymouth Road Runner

1971 Road RunnerThe muscle car era was still in full swing when the Plymouth Road Runner was introduced for the 1968 model year, but many aficionados felt as though the whole ethos of the true muscle car was being lost. The original idea at the core of the muscle car was to provide a vehicle that was basic in appearance, options and appointments so that the majority of the money spent on the car went into improving its performance. The end result was a vehicle that packed a lot of punch under the hood that was at the same time affordable to most consumers. And this would especially include younger buyers who wanted the speed but may not have had a lot of money to spend to get it. As the sixties progressed, the industry started to stray from this formula by offering more complicated cars with additional bells and whistles that subsequently carried larger price tags.

The Plymouth Barracuda

1969 BarracudaIn 1964, the Plymouth division of Chrysler rolled out a new 2-door: The Plymouth Barracuda. The car lasted a full decade before being discontinued and saw many changes in its short life. Throughout the evolution of the Barracuda, this pony car was Chrysler’s attempt to join the ranks of the Ford Mustang, at a time when American demand for sporty compact cars was becoming even more insatiable. Though it sold far fewer units than the Mustang, it was a valiant effort by Chrysler.

Is It a Car or a Truck?

Is It a Car or a Truck?

 

66 Chevrolet El CaminoDuring the heyday of automobile manufacturing in the United States, the”Big Three” of American automobile manufacturing endeavored to offer something for everyone. Engendering brand loyalty was a big part of their marketing strategy, and these companies didn’t want to lose customers because a competitor was offering a type of vehicle that they were not. Ford and General Motors were more inclined than Chrysler to engage in this tit for tat, and General Motors usually had the edge because they would often times design a competing vehicle from more than one of their divisions. For example, after the stunning success that Ford had with the Mustang, General Motors countered with the Chevy Camaro as well as the Pontiac Firebird.

1958 Plymouth Fury

1958 Plymouth Fury

58 Plymouth Fury

Photo Courtesy of mecum.com

As one of the most famous movie cars, the 1958 Plymouth Fury has an intimidating look that causes people to turn heads, to this day. Stephen King brought extra fame to the car in his book Christine, which later adapted into a movie. In the story, Christine is the name of a possessed vehicle that takes over her owner, Arnie.

When the car was released, it came with a price tag of $3,032, making it the most expensive Plymouth, for that model year. The V8 engine that produced 225 horsepower at 4,400 rpm. The two door hardtop had a three speed manual transmission. Only 5,303 units were produced, which was significantly fewer than the previous model year.

Pontiac Revived: The Chieftain

Pontiac Revived: The Chieftain

1950 Pontiac Chieftain When World War II had come and gone, many car companies were looking for new car designs to boost their sales to the pre-World War II levels. Pontiac was no different from this.  They decided on a vehicle that was much like their lower level Streamliner in terms of engine, dimensions, trim level and options, but it would use the sportier GM A-Body style instead of the B-Body style of the Streamliner.  This vehicle was called the Pontiac Chieftain and it rose to its expectations by replacing the Torpedo as Pontiac’s top automobile in its first year.

The Yenko Camaro

The Yenko Camaro

Photo Courtesy of hotrod.com

The Camaro has long been associated with speed, power, and respect on the road, however, there was a time when it simply could not compete with the Ford Mustang and Plymouth Barracuda. At the time that the Camaro was first produced, General Motors had a limit which prevented using an engine larger than a 400 cubic inch V8, much unlike its competition, which had no such restriction. Things changed under Don Yenko, who understood that there was a market for more powerful cars, and so began the story of the Yenko Camero, a modified version of the famous car line, produced under Yenko Chevrolet.

1970 Olds 442

1970 Olds 442As a member of the muscle car category, the Olds 442 proved its worth the hard way: Originally, the Olds 442 was an optional package for the F-85 and Cutlass models, beginning in 1964. After the Pontiac division of General Motors experienced an unexpected success with the release of the The Tempest GTO the same year, Oldsmobile quickly compiled the package to keep buyers interested. The 442 did not become an actual car model independent of others, until 1968.

The First Personal Luxury Car: Ford’s Thunderbird

The First Personal Luxury Car: Ford’s Thunderbird

1955 Ford ThunderbirdThe ultimate American personal luxury car of the heyday of the Big Three had to be the Cadillac Eldorado, but the very first of the breed was the Ford Thunderbird. The car went into development in 1953 as competition for the new Chevy Corvette as a sporty two-seat convertible, and by 1954 the first prototype was introduced at the Detroit Auto Show, in February; by September of ’54 the T-Bird went into production. The first 1955 Ford Thunderbird models were offered to the public by the end of October that same year.

3 of the Most Unique American-Built Cars

3 of the Most Unique American-built Cars

54 1954 pontiac bonneville special

There have been many unique cars built that each has their own interesting characteristics.  Three of these cars are classics built in America during the 1940’s and 50’s; we’d like to take the time to showcase them today.