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john2dameron

Your favorite and least favorite facelifts.

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The original post was about 3 year cycles. I prefer the 49 Ford and Mercury over the 50 and 51 models, perhaps because I am a 49 model. I like the 67 Ford and Mercury more than the 65 and 66's, perhaps because I'm a 67 graduate. As far as the 64-5 Falcon I think the styling theme was actually patterned from the bird and was done very well.

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57 to 58 T-Bird! YUK! That was just not right!

58 to 59 Ford Fairlane - Good recovery after screwing up the 58s so badly after the 57s were so nice!

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Seems like some people are confusing facelifts with all new designs.

And I agree. 1958 catfish snout Packards are much worse than their Studebaker stablemates. Especially the Hawk.

1980 full size Cadillac, Olds, Pontiac, Chevy and Buick LeSabre were much less boxy and better looking than the 77-79's. The Electra was the only one that looked good in 78-79. Still didn't like the tailights on the 77. And the 1989 DeVille was a big improvement over 1985.

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Ever notice how even an ugly car will sometimes grow on you over time? Like an old stray dog, or cat, that has been beat up and came wandering in the yard. Dandy Dave!

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Am I the only one who noticed that from 1976-80, all the "personal luxury" cars from all manufacturers looked essentially alike, with their pseudo-Classic grilles and stacked rectangular headlights? As in a Monte Carlo was an Elite was a Cordoba. They ALL looked alike.

Glenn, you are not the only one to notice. The front end of the Cordoba/big Monte Carlo was a particularly noticeable copycat (or should I be nice and say "influence"). The front end of the 1977 LTD II copied this look too but in a lower cost car.

Dandy Dave is correct in how an ugly car can grow on you over time. This is why I held my tongue on the 1957-58 "Packards," all which have been derided since the beginning, but which I can now see would have a certain kitchy appeal, especially as a luxury wagon. Likewise the 1955 Hudson "Hash", hated by Hudson people but which I am finding more interesting. Seems like maybe a cool Nash to me now! Todd

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Ever notice how even an ugly car will sometimes grow on you over time? Like an old stray dog, or cat, that has been beat up and came wandering in the yard. Dandy Dave!

Yeah, I 've noticed that...

When I was in my youth, I really did not care for any of the Kaiser -Frazer cars- they were either plain and ugly ('48-'50), or just "weird" ('51-'54) but they have grown on me...

As for the '61 Plymouth, I can't say it was "good looking", certainly not as easily likeable as the 1960, but I loved my mint-green '61 Belvedere 4dr, and wish I still had it... it was weird-neat...

Here's one that arcs from sucessful to not-so-attractive:

'50-55 Rambler >> '58-'60 American >> '61-'63 American

These three iterations are all built on the same "platform" as the original "Little Nash-Rambler" of 1950, with mostly the same drivetrain components.

The '58-'60 facelift is handsome, if conservative; but frankly, I'm not quite so keen on the second facelift ('61-'63 ) that has become known as the "Bread-Box" Rambler... which I think looks better on the inside - nice dash.

I dearly love my '61 American Custom Convertible, but more for sentimental reasons than aesthetic ones...

Go figure...;)

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Seems like some people are confusing facelifts with all new designs.

1980 full size Cadillac, Olds, Pontiac, Chevy and Buick LeSabre were much less boxy and better looking than the 77-79's. The Electra was the only one that looked good in 78-79. Still didn't like the tailights on the 77. And the 1989 DeVille was a big improvement over 1985.

I have to agree that I was one of them confusing things. As for 70's GM products, I think they handled the round to square headlight transition VERY well in the 76 to 77 Firebird, but not so much with the 75 to 76 Chevelle or Monte Carlo. The dual squares looked great with the waterfall grilles of the Olds Cutlass as well.

I kind of disagree with you saying the 80s were ALL better than the 77-79s. I thought the 2 door Impala/Caprice with its wrap around backlight was quite fetching.

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Compared to 1954 & 55 Cadillacs, I never liked the 1956 models. Just too much stuff added onto a nice design which make them look gaudy to me.

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My favorite facelift , and one that will live forever in automotive design, has to be the "Coke Bottle" transition from the 67 to 68 Dodge Charger! My least favorite is the 69 Ford Torino Fastback transformed into the plug ugly 70 Torino. What they did to the instrument panel alone they should have been shot for!

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Seems like some people are confusing facelifts with all new designs.

1980 full size Cadillac, Olds, Pontiac, Chevy and Buick LeSabre were much less boxy and better looking than the 77-79's. The Electra was the only one that looked good in 78-79. Still didn't like the tailights on the 77. And the 1989 DeVille was a big improvement over 1985.

LINC400, The 1977 large Cadillac like a Coupe de Ville has the same body to 1984. The Fleetwood body goes from 1977 to 1990.

Don

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Hi Don, you are correct of course that the shell was the same, but they did indeed have a facelift in 1980. At a passing glance the changes were pretty subtle as the major design cues were still there, but the design was a little leaner. I guess I would say the nose looked a little lower, the deck a little higher, and the roof and doors a little trimmer. But you have to be looking closely to notice, Todd C

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Am I the only one who noticed that from 1976-80, all the "personal luxury" cars from all manufacturers looked essentially alike, with their pseudo-Classic grilles and stacked rectangular headlights? As in a Monte Carlo was an Elite was a Cordoba. They ALL looked alike.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

OK, so a 1975-79 Seville looks like a 79 Eldorado? A 79 Pontiac Grand Prix looks like a 79 T-Bird or 79 Dodge Charger?? These are all "personal luxury cars" that look alike?? Please look them up and see the difference. I'm not saying the Pontiac G/P dosen't share the same basic platform as the MonteCarlo, all the car makers share platforms. Example; 1955 Chieftain 860 Catalina has the same basic body as a 55 Bel Air, or a 1940 Pontiac series 26 shares it's body with Chevy and a 1940 Pontiac series 29 shares it's body with Cadillac/Buick/Olds. Look at one of my favorite Chevys the 1941, which by Mr. Earl's direction is known as the baby Buick. It is a baby 1940 Buick.

Glenn, most of the cars of the 40's look the same to the person on the street today, but if I put a 79 Seville next to a 79-T-Bird your looking at a big difference.

D.

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Not a "facelift" so much as a new design, but what possessed GM to change the 1968-72 A-body cars to the 1973-77 "colonnade" styling? :eek:

1972:

1972oldsmobile03.jpg

1973:

22694510003_large.jpg

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Hi Don, you are correct of course that the shell was the same, but they did indeed have a facelift in 1980. At a passing glance the changes were pretty subtle as the major design cues were still there, but the design was a little leaner. I guess I would say the nose looked a little lower, the deck a little higher, and the roof and doors a little trimmer. But you have to be looking closely to notice, Todd C

Hi Todd, Well yes you are correct by saying I was correct. My neighbor had a beautiful 78 Coupe de Ville and got into a bad ft end collision...We put a 83 front end on it. Only a Cadillac guy would know the grille and a few incidentals were different. But they are only incidentals, the basic car was the same. Fenders and hood a perfect match to the doors.

D.

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LINC400, The 1977 large Cadillac like a Coupe de Ville has the same body to 1984. The Fleetwood body goes from 1977 to 1990.

Don

The 1977 body was facelifted in 1980. It continued as the DeVille and Fleetwood through 1984. Then it continued as the Fleetwood Brougham until 1992 with minor facelift in 1990. The Fleetwood name was dropped in 1988, and it was just the Brougham after that.

The 1985 FWD DeVille (all new) also had a Fleetwood version. My father had one. That was facelifted in 1989.

I'm surprised that an '83 front fit on a 1978. I would have thought the lines on the doors and hood would not have lined up. The change was actually pretty significant IMO. Even the roofline was changed. And nothing from the rear would fit.

I agree the 2 door 1977-79 full size Chevy had a cool back window, but the rest of it and the 4 door were still too boxy.

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)

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Not a "facelift" so much as a new design, but what possessed GM to change the 1968-72 A-body cars to the 1973-77 "colonnade" styling? :eek:

1972:

1972oldsmobile03.jpg

1973:

22694510003_large.jpg

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hey Joe, GM in the very early 70's got wind that there was going to be a new rollover standard by NHTSA which never happened. The Colonnade was designed to pass this test.

D.

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Not a "facelift" so much as a new design, but what possessed GM to change the 1968-72 A-body cars to the 1973-77 "colonnade" styling? :eek:

I would float the idea of temporary insanity...however I believe the initial feeling was that increased federal safety standards with regards to rollover protection mandated stronger roof structures. Of course, that particular mandate did not come to pass, but the die had been cast.

What DID come around were the requirements for drastically increased bumper protection, which were NOT designed into the cars, thus the ungainly "railroad ties" strapped to the front and rear of each of the GM A Bodies starting in 1973.

Interesting how they would have looked if they had been introduced in their original target year of 1972...with the smaller bumpers.

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GM was likely to do a major style change regardless of regulation - after 4 years of the 68-72 style, they wanted people to feel out of style and come in the show room

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Every year, the Pontiac GTO got styling which eclipsed the previous year model. In my opinion, the music died in 1970. Both the front and the rear got the ugly stick. By 1971, the styling was more bizzare coupled with the end of high-compression muscle car engines. Sad.

Love the 64 thru 69's though....

post-53174-143138495909_thumb.jpg

post-53174-143138495916_thumb.jpg

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Every year, the Pontiac GTO got styling which eclipsed the previous year model. In my opinion, the music died in 1970. Both the front and the rear got the ugly stick. By 1971, the styling was more bizzare coupled with the end of high-compression muscle car engines. Sad.

Love the 64 thru 69's though....

+ 1

I always felt the same way. 66/67 were my favorites but for some reason I always ended up with 68/69s.

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Gto hit their best style in 1966-67 as did the Buick Gran Sport. '67 Chevelle/Malibu was the prettiest Chevy ever and quite a bit better than the '66 models. As for the Colonade from GM, the coupes looked bad enough but the 4-doors were atrocious.

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I meant what I said. The 1962 and 1963 Dodge and Plymouth cars look awful.

I agree with you on the 62s but the 63s were much better looking. In fact they are one of the few examples of a face lift that looks better than the original.

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As opposed to" Face Lift." I think we need a new automotive term here for cars of preceeding years of a paticular grand design, to just plain ugly... I say we call it a "Face Drop." Because there is nothing uplifting about it. Dandy Dave!

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No matter how "ugly" some cars appeared to be in the 50's - 80's, they are far better looking than most of the stuff we're stuck with these days. I personally like the funkiness of the '62 Dodge and '62 Plymouth. The '63-'64 facelifts were good, too, especially the '64 Polara. When I was a teenager, we had a neighbor that had a '63 Fury 4 door hardtop with a 383 and it was a fabulous car. While I would not refuse one, I'm not a fan of the '69-'73 Chrysler Corp. fuselage styling.

I also like the '67-'68 Ford Galaxie/LTD and Mercury Monterey/Park Lane - but prefer the '67 Ford and '68 Mercury. I've always wanted a Park Lane like Steve McGarrett's.

Edited by John_Maine (see edit history)

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