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Post war car NOT a Classic?

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It seems that there has been a development in the Town & Country issue. I don't have a direct club statment but it seems the T&C is on hold. Does anybody have the club statement? If so please post it here. Ed Minnie

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Come to the Annual Meeting, and allow the process to continue in a peaceful and orderly fashion.

I think in a few months all will be fine. CCCA has always moved at "glacial speeds" which can be quite frustrating from time to time. This process is no different.

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The whole argument about what is and isn't a classic car would make sense if every member was required to look at every car shown at a CCCA event, and forced to make a positive comment to the owner about the car. This could be done in the fashion of European royalty, where all the guests must present themselves to the king/queen, and make a cordial comment.

Even Dutch Darrin and E. Bugatti had very strong feelings against what we might consider the better chassis during the CCCA era. Bugatti is quoted as saying that W. O. Bentley made the world's fastest trucks (ironically many CCCA recognized cars ended up as trucks, including my Nash.) And Dutch Darrin, never to be outdone by anyone clearly stated his preference to construction on the JUNIOR Packard chassis. His Junior based "Darrin" convertible created such a sensation as noted here: "At that time Clark Gable was Hollywood’s number one star and he’d just been chosen to star in ‘Gone With the Wind’. Anything associated with the star was news and United Press’ Hollywood correspondent, Frederick C. Othman, wrote the following column on November 16, 1938.

With the Hollywood Reporter - Frederick C. Othman – UP Hollywood Correspondent

“Hollywood – The automobile shows may be full streamlined chariots, but mostly they look like 1922 models in comparison to the Darrin Eight, A Hollywood motor car so ultra-ultra that Clark Gable made the serious mistake of buying one.

“There wasn’t anything wrong with the car, except that it looked like something from Mars, with yellow leather upholstery, a hood nearly seven feet long and gadgets which did everything except freeze ice cubes. It was such an automobile as nobody, anywhere, ever saw before.

“And when the folks began seeing this vision of steel and cast aluminum, with Clark Gable, himself in person, behind the wheel, they couldn’t restrain themselves. Lady motorists formed parades behind Gable’s car; lady pedestrians climbed into it at every stoplight. Gable stood that for a month, and then sold his super-super-super eight at a tremendous loss. He now drives an $800 coupe, painted black."

http://www.coachbuilt.com/des/d/darrin/darrin.htm

While there was considerable friction between Packard and Darrin, and different accounts have been given regarding Darrin's involvement in the design of the Clipper, the sensation that the 120 based Darrin caused, as noted above, could hardly have worked against the decision as to have the post 1939 Packard bodies all based on the 110, 120. All 1940 -1956 Junior and Senior Packards share major body components.

In fact, it could easily be said that when Rolls Royce, Packard, and Cadillac ceased production of the 12 and 16 cylinder cars in 1939-1940, an Lincoln retired the K series 12 at the same time, the Classic Era ended. That is Full Classic,copyrighted stamped and sealed. It was over.

The truth is, none of us ever will agree on what is and isn't a Classic Car. No amount of voting, discussing, arguing or debating will change that simple fact. We will never agree on a list.

Town and Country's are a very welcome addition to the club. The list was already compromised when the post (Big) V-12 cars were included, and the Board really made the big error, years ago, when 7 passenger Packards and Cadillacs, built and designed strictly for the commercial (really taxi) business were included in the "Classic" list.

welcome, welcome, welcome, Town and Country owners, and your wonderful, beautiful, awesome, incredible cars. And welcome to the owners who had the grace and taste to recognize these objects of art when the powers that be did not. do not let others define for you what is classic, what is art, what is beauty. Stand firm in your knowledge and your love of your hobby and your cars that you are trying to share with the club.

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Guest BJM

" The truth is, none of us ever will agree on what is and isn't a Classic Car. No amount of voting, discussing, arguing or debating will change that simple fact. We will never agree on a list. "

I disagree. If a club sets a "frame" by which to accept cars, then we have our guidelines. I personally believe the CCCA should "close" new applications. I mean, it's a well defined era that has been mined for years, debated and written about by the highest level of automotive historians.

Some cars should be de-classified - removed from the CCCA (post war Cadillacs such as the 60S and 62 series)

It's just a club, not life and death. If they want to set parameters the CCCA should just set them and get on with enjoying the experience of owning these cars.

There are clubs for literally every kind of car/make -heck, one is called the AACA!

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The seven passanger Packards & Cadillacs of the 1940's were more for funeral & livery service than taxi service. Just about every funeral home in every major US city had either a Packard or Cadillac limousine. You can usually tell these apart from the ones sold new to private owners because they don't have division windows, don't have black leather front upholstery, and are radio delete cars. I agree the "Classics" from the 1940's are a "lessor breed" then the big chassis cars of the 1930's. Another way to chart the end of the Classic Era is the demise of the custom body business. Rollson lasted until 1941/42 and that was just because they were in New York where half the custom bodied cars were sold anyway. Derham was still putting padded tops on cars, and yes a few Packard Darrins were made, but that's about it in the US. The reason 1946/1947 Cadillacs are in the club is because they are virtually identical to the 1942 Cadillac except for a few minor trim pieces & the parking lights. 62 series Cadillacs were added into the club in 1986 I believe, and this was because the early days of the club were very Packard-centric. Remember 160 Packards were not on the original list of accepted cars either - they were added later on. I think the problem people have with the 62 series Cadillacs is that there are just so damned many of them. There was one CARavan where out of 100 cars, 16 of them were 1941 Cadillacs - that's ridiculous. As the membership gets older, many people don't want to drive the early cars because they steer & shift harder. I don't think Chrysler T & C are going to take over the club like 62 series Cadillacs did, but I think people just have an adverse reaction to any more 1940's cars being added in.

I have a question. I'm told the pre war Chrysler T & C were only on the 6 cylinder chassis. Why on earth didn't Chrysler put the T & C on the big eight chassis? The T & C was by far their snazziest model. I asked one senior CCCA guy this once & his response was: Chrysler has always done things backwards.

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Guest BJM

T & C was just getting tested pre-war, basically. A lot of manufacturers had wood bodied station wagons. The market was not defined pre-war as an upscale niche. Therefore, Chrylser was able to price the T & C competitvely as a better alternative to Chevrolets station wagons for instance. These were always low numbers cars. I think Hudson had one - but not many built.

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K8096, when I used the word TAXI, I do so to generate response. Yes, The Packard and cadillac business sedan were used by the funeral business, and the livery service, is stil essuntullay a TAXI service- a car for hire for short trips. True The Packard and Cadillac business sedan did not have a "TAXI" sign, and did not have a meter, but non the less, they were for hire by the trip, in other words, a TAXI, and that IS NOT a classic.

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BJM, I said non of us will agree, and you said, "I disagree." My point exactly. A Town and Country is a hand made car. You said that some cars in the Classic Car Club should not be Classics. Others have said they are. If you and I do not like the current list, then on that we agree. But, my opinions are mine, as each of us are our own. And every one of us, if left on our own, would develop a different list of cars worth of the term, "Classic." And if the Town and Country is not worth, than NOTHING poast the big 12 and 16 era is worthy. Nothing.

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You're splitting hairs. Take a 1941 Cadillac Model 75. Some had division windows, some did not. Some had black leather front compartments with or without a division window, some did not. You can't individually go through car by car to determine which ones you think are "Classic" and which ones not. However, taking in a whole new series of car, with a 6 cylinder engine no less, is a much bigger step. Correct me if I'm wrong, but no other 6 cylinder American built car from the 1940's is currently on the CCCA list. In fact, I can't think of a 6 cylinder American car from the mid to late 30's either that's a Classic. Franklin went out in 1934, the Stutz Blackhawk 6 went out in basically 1930 except for a handful built after that, the last Packard 6 accepted as a Classic is 1928. Pierce Arrow ended their 6 in 1928 as well. Meanwhile you have lower priced economy cars like Olds, Pontiac, Buick & Ford all with 8 cylinder models. The non classic Packard 120 even has an 8. It makes no sense. If Chrysler had put the T & C body on the Imperial chassis, they probably would have been accepted into the club back in the 1980's with the Cadillac 62's. But because they didn't, that makes them Milestone Club cars, and not CCCA cars.

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Splitting hair? If a car has a 6 and is made in Europe, it can be a classic, but if made in the USa, it can't? K8096, with all due respect, investigate what a Packard business sedan is. It is NOT a 7 passenger without a division window. It is a 160 with less trim, chrome, a cheaper interior than found on the upscale small 8 -refered to as a Custom 8 or Deluxe 8. Packard has 2 series of 6 cylinder cars in the 1940, a base series and a deluxe series. Dito for the 282 cu in 8, what people might call a "120", but was not always refered to by Packard as a 120. There was no 120 in 1942, just a 8 and a Super 8, and of course the six. The upscale 282 had better trip, interior, steering wheel and more thane tha base series 160.

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"If a car has a 6 and is made in Europe, it can be a Classic, but if made in the USA, it can't?"

Yes. There's no such thing as a cheap Rolls, or a cheap Bentley, or a cheap Lagonda, all of which had sixes. By the mid 1930's an American built car with anything less than an eight under he hood would have been considered a middle class working mans car. The CCCA isn't about middle class working mans cars. Look at your Nash. Nash mainly built cars for the middle class, but they also built a few top end cars which are, rightfully so, accepted in the CCCA. The Chrysler Imperial from the 1940's is accepted in the club. The thing that kills the T & C, at least the pre war ones for me, is the fact that it was not put on the top of the line chassis. Besides, it's a major deviation from a standing 56 year club policy to accept cars as series only and not individual models. In regards to the Packard business sedans, which I am not an expert on, my arguement would be that they are still on the large, top of thre line chassis with the 356 motor. If they had the 327 or the later 288, then no, they shouldn't be in the club.

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I guess it seems pretty simple to me. The 6 cylinder 320 Mercedes cost roughly 6500.00 dollars delivered in NY circa 1938. That was a lot of money at the time and I think makes it pretty easy to identify that model as a classic. Was there a U.S. manufacturer with a 6 cylinder car that even cost 1/2 that much at the time?

Personally, I would be for freezing the accepted list as far as model lines go and then allow individual non-accepted cars with custom bodies in by application.

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This thread is funny, seeing folks creating rules and regulations for what qualifies as a classic, even though I doubt this is what the founders of the club did or intended. Weren't they wisely vague? I think they said the club was for "fine and unusual" cars. That would include just about anything the club members wanted on the list, certainly not just eight or twelve cylinder, expensive cars.

Note the Lincoln Continental is similar to the T&C, it was a specific model built on a middle priced, non-classic chassis.

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How the demographics have changed. The CCCA was founded by and originally comprised largely of college educated professionals with a sense of humor who shared an interest in automobiles from a clearly defined classic era, 1925 through 1942, with postwar examples allowed so long as they were carryovers from the prewar era.

Now we have people shouting "Wake up" and branding those with an interest in CCCA Classics "geezers," even as they wish to join. This is tantamount to urging the Shakespeare festival to include the work of modern playwrights, or a classical music station to play rock, country or hip hop.

Similarly, there already exist wonderful organizations for the enjoyment of Lincoln Zephyrs, junior Packards, 1934-40 LaSalles, as well as postwar Chrysler Town & Countries, Dual Ghias, Cadillac Eldorados, Bentley Continentals, et al: the AACA, the Contemporary Historical Vehical Association, and the Milestone Car Society, among others.

Why the interest in glomming onto the word "classic?" It won't make your already interesting old car worth anymore. In fact, there are any number of Fords worth vastly more than many CCCA Classics.

There are clubs for every car already, without diluting the concept of a CCCA Classic.

If you want to enjoy Edward Albee or Susan Sontag theater, you don't come to a Shakespeare festival. If you want to listen to jazz, folk or rock, you don't tune in a classical station. If you're a WWII buff, you don't curse Civil War reenacters for not allowing your Jeep on their field.

Why is the above so difficult for so many people to grasp?

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I am college educated, adn have a sence of humor, but because I wasn't born in 1492, I am told I don't know what a classic is. I love your response to the "Wake UP" hysteria, Mr Su8overdrive. I post here, in the CCCA site, and we are on page 2 already. I post on the VMCCA website, and the cobwebs are forming on the threads. Sounds like that club needs to "Wake Up."

I hope everyone, regardless of what they own, and preceive a classic to be, has a wonderful New Year, and many miles with smiles in their cars.

How about a bumper sticker sticker saying:::::

I know what a Classic is---it is just everybody else that is wrong.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Su8overdrive</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

Now we have people shouting "Wake up" and branding those with an interest in CCCA Classics "geezers," even as they wish to join. This is tantamount to urging the Shakespeare festival to include the work of modern playwrights, or a classical music station to play rock, country or hip hop.

Why is the above so difficult for so many people to grasp?

</div></div>

The CCCA is a long established "Club" with a very defined interest in a specific era of automobile history and a class of automobiles built during that era. I just don't understand why anyone would get their nose out of joint just because a certain car is not included in the CCCA list. A couple of years ago a CCCA CARavan stopped overnight in our city. It was such a joy to see all the big Full Classic cars assembled in one location. If the club chose to allow more mundane and common cars to participate it would have certainly diminished the experience. Even the postwar Packards and Cadillacs seemed out of place. What is the big deal?

Personally.....like Groucho Marx once said;

"I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” :-)

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The big deal is when someone looks at a car that has all the ear marks of a Classic, turns their nose up at it says, "That is not a classic." This is the first - and I have been in this hobby since the 1950's, that I ever heard of anyone calling a Town and Country, "mundane and common." Dave, what is in your garage that causes you to say that? The attached Twon and Country coupe shares a garage with a dozen Duesenburgs, a dozen V-12 Packards, Lincolns, V-16 Cadillacs,and dozens of other cars. In fact, except for 1 Ford and 1 Chrysler station wagon, was the only car in the wing of the collection that was NOT a classic. The car belongs to Gen. Lyon.

post-34152-143138031426_thumb.jpg

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Dave,

There is a difference between a great car and a classic as defined by the CCCA. Most classics are great cars but not all great cars are classics. That is the case with the T&C - a great car but certainly no classic. In an era were all standards are being eroded to basically make as many people happy as possible I hope the CCCA can maintain theirs.

A.J.

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Dave Fields, The T&C is a very outstanding automobile.It is neither common or mundane! In my opinion it certainly is as deserving as my 1947 Packard Super Clipper which resides in my garage alone without the company of a Duesenberg! The fact remains that it is up to the club to make those determinations and from what I understand the Senior Clippers were included because they are essentially pre war models and make excellent touring cars for CCCA purposes. Likely many CCCA members were opposed to inclusion of this model and personally I would tend to agree. That it is a Full Classic is relevant to me should I decide to participate in a CARavan I can do so without expenditure of a lot of money that I don't have. I am grateful for that.

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Dave:

I agree with your position on the T&C but I must say your pictures have made this thread very difficult to read on my computer! I suggest you reduce your pictures to 500X500 pixels or so, they will be smaller and easier to see without scrolling in every direction.

I can't add much more to this discussion except to say that even undisputed traditional "Full Classics" have a wide spectrum of impressiveness. If you compare a senior Packard or Cadillac limo to a Dietrich convertible sedan, you could argue that the limo does not belong in the same room. Yet there they are, and many active members own and drive those lower end cars to CCCA events.

Relax and enjoy those few T&C's you might now see at a CCCA event. They are hardly mundane and most folks will enjoy them thoroughly, 6 cylinders or not.

Bill

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Guest BJM

Mr. Fields,

You took my comment out of context. There IS agreement for the CCCA on what a Classic Car is - it's defined as 1925-1942, etc etc etc.

That is what the club is based on. That's agreement.

What you are referring to is the argument that many make - "my 1957 Chevy is a classic" THAT is subject to constant disagreement. smile.gif

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Guest BJM

Dave,

The T&C is simply outside the parameters of the club. Don't open the floodgates. This discussion is like a take on diversity in the workplace or government. Accept everyone! Because we don't want anyone's feelings hurt.

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Here is one for the CCCA Board -

Because of the CCCA's decision to include model numbers in the definition of a Classic, an illogical decision has been made regarding late 1930s Buicks. Specifically, the 1939 Buick Roadmaster is the same car as the 1940 Buick Limited, except for superficial styling details. Buick decided to introduce a new body for the Roadmaster in 1940, but wanted to retain the older body design of the 1939 Roadmaster, so they re-designed the former 1939 Roadmaster as a Limited in the 1940 model year. The CCCA does not accept the 1939 Buick Roadmaster, but they do accept the 1940 Buick Limited, even though they are the same car.

Grandpa

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