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1970's Luxury Cars Scrap them?


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Sorry, hiefen, about the misunderstanding. I thought you talking about production Ponchos in the '50's.

As for the performance of the large cars, I bought a '65 Cadillac convertible and drove it two years before trading it for a new '68 Chrysler 300 convertible with the 440 engines. One evening I was in Roanoke, VA and it was raining. A Mercury Cougar pulled up along side at a stop light with two guys about my age (mid-20's) in it. The light came green and we poured the coal on. I quickly left them behind and was sitting at the next light when they pulled up again. We repeated that act several times and they were giving me very unfriendly looks. Finally a light turned green and I just leisurely pulled away and let them go. Never saw them again but I think they were getting embarrassed and a little unhappy. Of course the 9:15 X 15 tires on my Caddy were lots wider than their tires so that helped a lot.

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Just as we are having this lengthy discussion about the value of '70s luxury cars, Collectible Automobile does a nice spread on the 71-72 Mercury Marquis and Motereys. Lots of photos, old clay models and even a nice sidebar story about the Canadian version of those cars.

Notably present in several places in the story about how they were known in their day to appeal to the 'nouveau riche' that the cars appealed to, and how they were noteworthy for their exceptional ride. They even noted the Ford ads for their ride (including mention of a diamond cutter cutting a $50,000 diamond while riding in the back of a big Marq) and the Saturday Night Live parody of that commercial (a Jew performing a circumcision 'cut' on an 8-day-old boy).

So, I guess these cars are carving out (no pun intended) a niche of their own.

Also ironic was how the advertising literature pushed how Ford had better ideas waaaaay back then, and in the last few days, Ford is showing a profit in a world of automotive losses.

Gotta respect those Ford-Lincoln-Mercury guys!

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I will look forward to that article too in my favorite magazine, Collectible Automobile. Lately they have had some very good articles on 1970s cars, which I appreciate in that it is material that has not been rehashed 100 times like Mustangs, Camaros, etc.

In our area Mercurys must have been very popular in the 1970s, as I recall seeing Cougars and Marquis all over. As I have always respected GMs Buick/Olds/Pontiac price ladder I have always found Mercury interesting too. I am just glad THEY are still on the market, despite much doubt over the last few years.

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Guest my3buicks

Another great article to get ahold of is Collectible Automobiles "1971-76 Buick: Changing of the Guard" in

December of 07 - Well worth picking up an old copy.

Hits all the LeSabres, Centurions, and Electra's with some great photo's as is usual for Collectible Auto's.

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I buy every one I can get my hands on when I have the extra cash if it will keep them out of the junkyards and derby guys. I'll buy any 2dr loaded big boat. Even the '70's Toronados that no one wants. I just bought a really loaded '73 Toronado Brougham that has only 73K miles and even a rare factory power sunroof, for $900. Last fall, I gave a guy $300. for a '72 Toronado that he pulled the engine out of and was going to junk. It has 47K actual miles and a really mint interior. A salvage place had a '71 Eldo ragtop w/62K miles that had an engine fire for $500. It was going to be parted. I'm always looking for deals on the '80's big GM cars too. A car dealer buddy hooked me up with a decent '81 Bonneville Brougham Landau 2dr with glass roof ,starburst aluminium wheels and leather for $400. This was the last year for the big body Pontiac 2dr. I think these cars are overlooked and will come into their own one day. I am trying to do my part. I need a bigger place!

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Dude you really gotta keep in mind where you live too. :P Especially out that way, they're vehicles that aren't that appreciated by many for the reasons stated and others probably...and they're obviously very fuel inefficient and old so for both reasons seen as wasteful and "evil" at the risk of sounding overly dramatic ;). Have you ever had anyone ridicule you at the pump driving that Mark V for driving such a "gas pig"? Maybe not, but I wouldn't be too surprised if it did happen.

Never had that problem. I'm ready with my response, that I get the same or better gas mileage than their SUVs. Also, I don't need a shoehorn to get into my car, and a chiropractor when I get out! Wasteful would be to get rid of a working, safe vehicle, and start 5-7 years of car payments on a small plastic car that won't outlive the loan.

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no in fact I get alot of people complimenting the Mark V. All the time, here is the issue, yes they are not as efficient, but we are recycling think how much it would take to build a new car, pollution, etc. and to smash my old one. Mine always passes smog perfectly, because it is kept up.

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1970's Luxury cars were the last of the true luxury cars in my mind. I'm so disappointed with all of the current offerings of so called luxury cars I've been on the prowl for a mid '70s Lincoln 4dr "tank" to replace the Town Car we now have, a car that while okay, it is just okay. I figure that for less than a new one would cost I can go through one of those '70s "tanks" do a custom interior with some gadget updates and once again be driving a car that is not only comfortable but in some respects fun to drive.

Even the best of today's luxury cars beat the hell out of one's body on a longer trip, suffer from noise issues and for the most part ride like crap. I have a nearly 20 year old F-150 pickup that is easier on the old body and quieter than most so called luxury cars of today.

Edited by Jim_Edwards (see edit history)
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Have always liked the pre-74 cars (consider the "seat belt interlock" a milestone of sorts). After that things changed and it stopped being PC to have any interest in cars or performance other than being able to drive from Phoenix to LaLa land on a single tank. Of course that is nearly all downhill.

Yes, there were a few exceptions, the 76 Eldo vert (particularly with FI) is a case in point. Excessive in every way but a peak of the styling IMNSHO and problably the greatest Great American Land Barge ever. It wasn't until the '84 Fiero came out that there was something really interesting but still no GALBs.

I always found the public interest in stretch limos fascinating. Far better looking outside than comfortable in (sit with legs straight out in front like a pony car, must need some interesting frame rails.

Of course if you want something truely abby-surd in the "executive limosine" market take the Vixen XC, a product of America in the 80's, the 55 mph national speed limit, and fuel worries. Even has a bathroom.

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  • 2 months later...
But, you are missing one point on the Seville issue, is that they were the most expensive Caddy out of all of the models, with the exception of the limo

Yes, plus they made alot of money on that platform for their money. A stretch of the Chevy Nova unit body by eleven inches, using the same front sub assy frame, with a Olds 350" engine made a great balanced car, and cost $12,479. A top of the line Fleetwood Brougham cost $10,414.

I am the original owner of a 76 Olds Omega Brougham, 4.1 seven main bearing I-OHV six, Turbo Hydramatic 350 and a 3.08 posi. The car is basically a Nova too. The only exception to a stock Omega is the addition of the 76 Cadillac Seville rear disc brakes (the seville uses the same basic rear axel assy as all the Nova based cars Skylark- Phoenix-Omega and Camero-Firebird) for safety.

I drove that car to a car show yesterday 100 miles round trip and the car still gets 30mpg and it is the most trouble free car I have ever owned. On this trip the car just went over 110,000 miles

Don

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When you installed the Seville rear, did you retain the big bolt pattern axles?

First , I didn't swap the axel assy just the brake assy. There are two major ways you can go on this. 1. you can swap the Seville axel assy altogether so that means you have to change the diff companion flange/u joint assy which is different, and also redirill the axel for the 4 3/4 bolt pattern. I suppose you could skip that part if you wanted 5 on 5, but you would have to change the front hub to 5 on 5. for all 4 wheels to be same. 2. You can do like I did and make a spacer for the brake rotor and re-drill for 4 3/4 pattern ( to the same diameter as the inside drum diameter) to center itself and use a 15" wheel (with 4 3/4 pattern) to clear the caliper. Going from a Olds superstock 14" mag wheel to a 15" Olds superstock mag wheel makes everything look factory stock. Later 70's Trans Ams already have this setup with the Nova type diff. Makes me wonder why if all the parts for tooling were there why didn't they make all the cars this way for safety's sake.

FYI this conversion can also be made to any GM "A" body rear end drum to disc conversion without going to aftermarket route. GM parts are so very much interchangeable the only thing you need to know is what will fit. There is a book out there, but it will only tell you what will swap straight across, but will not tell you by adding a few (other GM parts) parts here and there of the many possibilities and combinations are out there.

So you see you can make this change to any X,F, or A body GM car.

Don

Edited by helfen (see edit history)
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The '79 up Riviera,Eldo and Toronado rear disc setup can be adapted to the A body rears and have the small bolt circle used. I saved a set from a '84 Riv T-Type I parted to use on something. It's pretty much a bolt on deal. Also saved the proprtioning valve and master/brake booster just in case.

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The '79 up Riviera,Eldo and Toronado rear disc setup can be adapted to the A body rears and have the small bolt circle used. I saved a set from a '84 Riv T-Type I parted to use on something. It's pretty much a bolt on deal. Also saved the proprtioning valve and master/brake booster just in case.

Yes, and those later Trans Ams had those rotors too. The reason I did the Seville set-up was because in 1976 when my car was new the Seville was the only car that had rear disc.

Don

Edited by helfen (see edit history)
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