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63Stude

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Posts posted by 63Stude

  1. Why the drastic change from 2008 to 2009? The only thing I can think of is that they don't make the Camry Solara anymore. Toyota added "Camry" as a sales come-on (not unlike Olds using "Cutlass" on about everything twenty years ago), but the whole car was massively Japanese.

    I must admit that I am unsure what 'sales' has to do with the rankings, as the website says they take that into consideration. I know that Cobalt sales are down this year, which must account for it not being in the Top Ten this year. The car's the same (except they now charge extra for a spare tire).

    Bill

  2. Would GM get the same break from folks if this happened to them?

    Toyota, just like the Big Three is always pointed out, tried to discredit drivers with unintended acceleration claims as being 'Driver Error' or just stuck floor mats. The L.A. Times had brought up other issues and at this point Toyota is suspending production. I don't think it's necessarily just because Toyota always does the right thing.

    This is a huge issue.

    Bill

  3. I think the '65 Grand Prix and/or Bonneville with buckets and console dash is the best I have seen in a production car. Full woodgrain the whole way across, assist handle on right side, three chromed round instruments in the center tilted towards the driver. Console that meets the dash. The '66 had square instruments and clear plastic trim instead of woodgrain on the right side of the dash...really cheapened the whole effect IMHO. I don't like these dashes with A/C though, as it puts a big vent lump in the top of the middle of the panel.

    I also like Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk panels with full instrumentation...first of the 'three plane' panels.

    Bill

  4. This didn't happen to me, but I read on the Studebaker Drivers' Club forum some time back about a guy finding a Goldwater button in the defroster vent of his '63 Avanti! Also, a local Studebaker friend of mine who in his youth had worked at an Akron, OH Stude dealer, bought a '60's big Stude truck a few years back. He said he remembered a customer of the dealership that had a similar truck all those years ago. In the defroster vent he found a pencil with the name of that customer's business in it, so it was the same truck!

    Bill

  5. Concerning my '77 Impala Coupe:

    It was my parents car when new, purchased Nov. '76. We had traded in a '74 Impala Sport Coupe which was a good car but Dad thought it was a gas hog. Really and truly, I enjoyed the '77 more than the '74, in just about every way possible. I know they had a reputation for soft camshafts and weak THM 200's, but ours ran fine. They had a "mini Seville" look and I liked the coupe's rear window treatment. They rode solidly yet smoothly and were very quiet. For some reason...I think because frames rusted out and interior soft trim didn't hold up all that well...a really nice original is harder to find now than a really nice original '76-or-earlier big Chevy.

    I'd still love a '77-79 Caprice Classic Coupe with the best factory wheelcovers and the Custom Interior trim, full gauges, digital clock, and 350 V8.

    When Dad bought the '77, in the showroom was a very similar Impala Coupe but in Firethron Red instead of Bright Red, and it had the 350 instead of 305 V8. It was $200 more so Dad bought the 305...grrrrrr!

    I can remember the bagboy at the A&P 'oohing and ahhing' over it when I took my Mom to buy groceries one day.

    My folks bought a new '80 Monte Carlo and gave me the Impala as a college graduation present. I drove it nine months and traded it in on the '81 Monte Carlo V8 I had the dealer do a search for. A buddy of mine bought the Impala, put big tires and chrome wheels on it, and drove it a few more years until the frame rusted out.

    Bill

  6. In order of ownership (all bought new except the last two):

    1977 Chevrolet Impala Coupe, bright red, 305 V8

    1981 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 267 V8, positraction, no air, factory two-tone Light Jade over Dark Jade (stolen 10/82)

    1982 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, V6, dealership owner's demo, solid Dark Jade, Custom Interior (that V6 was a dog!)

    1985 Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport Coupe, 2.8MFI V6, aluminum wheels, solid dark plum color (only new car I ever ordered)

    1989 Chevrolet Beretta GT, bright red, automatic

    1990 Chevrolet Corsica, 4-cyl. 5-speed, charcoal gray

    1993 Chevrolet Caprice Classic, F41 suspension, maroon

    1997 Chevrolet Cavalier 4-door, 5-speed, sandalwood

    1999 Chevrolet Venture LS Minivan, navy blue

    2002 Chevrolet Venture LS Minivan, khaki

    2002 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe, deep green, aluminum wheels, 5-speed

    Owned currently:

    2005 Chevrolet Uplander LS Minivan, maroon

    2008 Chevrolet Cobalt LS/XFE 4-door, 5-speed, silver

    1963 Studebaker Lark Daytona Skytop with factory Avanti power, white with red interior, owned since 1988

    1964 Studebaker Daytona Hardtop, dark blue, V8 with automatic, sold new in my hometown and owned by the original owners 'til 1990; I clearly remember the car around town; owned since 2009

    (OK, I've never owned a Buick but have admired a lot of them over the years and enjoy this forum on the AACA).

    Bill

  7. Mr. Pushbutton, I too like the '66 Bonneville...they finally removed that large Bonneville emblem, whatever it was, from the car. But I liked the '65's round center gauges and woodgrain on the right side of the dash instead of that clear trim panel, enough to put up with that big exterior emblem of the '65!

    Bill

  8. Although I was born in '58, we were a GM (well, Chevy) family and although there are other GM cars I much-prefer in terms of styling, I seem to remember always hearing good things about mechanical durability and build quality compared to similar makes (in fact, still do) about 1963 and 1964 big Chevys with 283 V8. I much prefer the '65 for styling, but a friend who was a young mechanic then said when he first looked at a '65 on a lift, he couldn't believe how much things were cheapened out from a '64.

    Bill

  9. I was stunned how this was pretty much a non-story in the mainstream media (and by that I mean outside of Detroit). Sad day indeed.

    For years, I have always loved the '62 Tempest LeMans with V8 (only 1% of production, the V8!), and especially the 1965 Bonneville Sport Coupe with bucket seats and console...best instrument panel ever put in a domestic automobile IMHO. Come to think of it, I think they had a full-size line that was unbeatable for style and model choice, from '65 right up to '69 or so. And the '69 Grand Prix? Gorgeous. I also like the '71 and '72 Grand Ville as much as any other big GM of the same time period...in fact better than many.

    Bill

  10. Two others I don't want to skip although they are slightly out of the 50 year bracket are the Packardbakers and the awful 57-58 Studebaker sedans. That 57-58 Studebaker is the ugliest full-size passenger car ever built and the only contender that could come anywhere close to defeating the Aztec for the title of the ugliest, not the awkwardest but the ugliest, vehicle ever built.

    I know styling is subjective, but can you really believe those Studebakers are uglier than Nash products of the 1955-57 era? Inboard headlights, no wheel openings, and a speedometer scrunched into a small area of the left side of the dash, then a huge expanse of blank sheetmetal to the right of it? Now that's truly hideous!

    I also think full-size Ramblers of the '60-62 era are ugly. The '61 Ambassador, especially. They look like cars from the Eastern Bloc. What's up with that?

    I agree the Aztek is horrible. But it would have gotten a better reception if that exact styling came from a Japanese manufacturer.

    Bill

  11. I have always liked the '56 Ford F-100, with its wraparound windshield. Same with the '61 and '62 Ford unibody F-100 pickup. '67 and '68 Chevy pickups look great. So does the '88 Chevy pickup (four square headlights). And I'll risk ridicule for this, but I also really like the '62-'64 Studebaker Champ pickup, 1/2 ton, with long, wide box. The box was used previously by Dodge and Studebaker revised the front box panel and tailgate (obviously). While the bed was too wide for the Studebaker cab, it gave them a box that would hold a 4' by 8' sheet of plywood (the 'standard' back then) and I believe the shape of the wheel openings and also the feature lines, actually match the Studebaker cab better than they did the Dodge cab it had been used on! If you look at a stock one, particularly with whitewalls and the stock Studebaker chrome moon hubcaps, it now looks contemporary compared to other pickups of the same era.

    Bill

  12. Into the eighties, I was still scooping up brochures and checking out the new cars at introduction time. I had forgotten all about the nomenclature, "Electra 380". Am I hallucinating, or was there also an "Electra 330" and/or "Electra 410"?

    A fellow I knew from work, twenty years ago, nice batchelor fellow who was from Kentucky and moved back there in the early '90's, had a T-Type Electra two-door of that vintage...gray (of course)!

    Bill

  13. What a sharp-looking Skyhawk! I haven't seen one that sharp and original-looking, probably since about 1980!

    I like the '75's simple instrument panel better than the '76 and later.

    I had two high-school friends who had new '75 Monza 2+2 V8's. I loved both cars at the time, great styling, decent 'oomph' and luxurious for a small car, but both had brakes that squealed so loudly you could hear them coming a block away. Front tires wore out quickly. The wheel covers like yours (called 'Tromphe L'Oeil'--Fool the Eye--in Chevy brochures) also tended to fall off fairly easily. Have you had any of these issues with your V6 Skyhawk (just curious), and did GM ever 'fix' these issues?

    I remember that I didn't see a Monza/Skyhawk/Starfire until our Chevy dealer got in a plum-colored Monza in Feb. '75. They were slow to arrive in our small town. I remember being shocked at the sticker prices too! Loved the styling though.

    Bill

  14. It has the wheel opening and rocker moldings of a Malibu, but those could be retrofitted to the standard Chevelle Sport Coupe. I see no front-fender "Malibu" nameplates. The standard Chevelle had no side nameplates.

    If you post pictures of the interior, I could tell you instantly if it's a Chevelle or Malibu. The Malibu had soft-vinyl (as opposed to hard plastic) interior door trim and had a small rectangular "Malibu" nameplate on the inner door trim.

    Bill P.

  15. This scenario reminds me of my Dad's '80 Chevy Monte Carlo, bought new. Dad didn't have a car with A/C until 1984. I always hated how on the '78-80 Malibu and Monte Carlo, when you didn't get A/C they stuck a plastic block filler in where the right-most A/C vent on the dash was, way up high where you couldn't help but be bombarded with its ugliness. But our '80, with no A/C, had an A/C vent right there...a factory goof! My Dad didn't believe me at first, until after he ran the vent and fan and saw that nothing came out of that vent! It sure looked better, being a chromed plastic vent, that what should have been a green hard-plastic block in there!

    Bill

  16. If you look at GM's warranty, it says that brake "linings and pads" are not covered, but doesn't mention rotors. My dealer replaced all four rotors on my Uplander minivan at 41K, no charge. And I never buy an extended warranty.

    I think it's pretty bad when the customer knows more about the 3/36 basic warranty than the Service Manager.

    Bill

  17. I don't like it either. Far too mainstream...reminds me of some current Lincoln products as well as 'upper end' Japanese makes...but I guess that's what sells these days.

    I hate rear doors that are cut like that...a definite head-bumper everytime you get in or out. Why do they do that? Oh yeah, styling!

    Bill

  18. What a great clip! I'd seen it before, but it's always a delight to watch. I think the '65 Chevy lineup was probably their most impressive overall, to-date. Love the full-size Chevys that year...even the '65 Chevy II is my favorite of that original design.

    It was always a treat to watch Bonanza and Bewitched around new-car introduction time and see those Chevy 'teaser' ads telling you to visit your Chevrolet Dealer's on introduction night! Also, remember how on Bonanza, the Chevrolet bowtie would be 'branded' onto the screen? Cool.

    Agnes Moorehead, who was Endora on Bewitched, also starred in my favorite movie, Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte, as the maid, Velma. The movie was wrapped up about the time Bewitched was starting on TV, and Miss Moorehead is absolutely unrecognizable in the movie if you are only used to seeing her as Endora!

    Great memories.

    Bill

  19. I can't say I think they're beautiful, but I think the '50's side molding and bigger taillights help the design. I like the fastbacks probably best, after the convertibles.

    I was born in '58, and to me, a bathtub Packard is what I thought a Packard was when I was a kid. I knew of no other Packards afterwards. Could be because that's what our Studebaker-Packard-Benz dealer in town drove into the '60's---a military green '49 Packard which he later told me kept coming back to them as a trade-in, and that it was so solid and good-running he liked to drive it himself. (Incidentally, he also told me they sold a new yellow '48 Packard convertible new in our little town. He later sold '56 Caribbean convertible no. 1258, which survives in N.C.).

    Bill

  20. <span style="font-style: italic"><span style="font-weight: bold">Someone please explain to me why 911 is more important than Pearl Harbor.</span></span>

    It isn't more important to me. Both were unprovoked sneak attacks on the U.S., and while one has been nearly forgotten or never learned about in the first place, the seeds of the other being forgotten appear to have already been sown.

    Bill

  21. I probably would consider someone who is able to 'forgive' or most likely, not even think about it (9/11), as simply ignorant of history, having a short memory, or not thinking 'big picture' but only what they want/need at that moment. But I wouldn't consider them a dolt or roll my eyes, as I fully expect would be the result of explaining my position to someone who disagrees at that point.

    I will say that this discussion has resulted in excellent points, usually thoughtfully presented, on both sides. I don't think there's anymore I can add to it at this point.

    As you can tell from my 'handle', my old car is a '63 Studebaker. I grew up in a Chevy family but am able to appreciate most old cars (domestics, of course!)--except for some reason, Nashes and AMC's up to and including '62 are a complete turnoff to me! No one in our family owned a Studebaker but I'm old enough to remember them and our local dealer, and think they did a lot with a little.

    I've always appreciated Buicks as neater than similar Olds models. Always loved the '65 Riviera, and very much enjoy '65 and later Wildcat Customs with bucket seats and consoles. They were that unusual blend of luxury with sportiness (sleek rooflines, etc.) At some later point in time at GM, luxury meant only formal rooflines. I missed the fastbacks with luxury interiors. I used to think boattail Rivs were too big for the styling, but have grown to really like them. I also liked (and still do) the '74-76 Rivs that had buckets and console.

    Onward and upward..Merry Christmas and a good '09 to everybody.

    Bill

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