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john2dameron

Your favorite and least favorite facelifts.

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Hey Linc400, have you seen the new Collectable Automobile magazine article on the 1977-79 Mark V? If so, what do you think? Todd C

No, they were supposed to be coming out with that "soon" when they did the Mark IV article 10 years ago. I let my subscription lapse because they kept irritating me with renewal notices for months after I already renewed. I got them so often I just threw them out. Apparently one of those (out of 100) "this is your last issue unless you renew" notices was true. Also the articles seemed to be getting more and more dry.

Thanks for the tip. I will have to go find it somewhere.

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)

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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.

not only that, the 72 was the best of the 70-72 Cutlasses (3 year design/facelift), the 73 was a redesign and does not apply to this original thread

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I always hated the quad-headlight '80 Monte Carlo vs. the much cleaner '78 & '79. Also the '70 Chevelle is nowhere near as pretty as the '68 & '69, and VW should have never got rid of the split rear window.

the 70 Chevelle is the 1st year of the 70-72 3 year facelift cycle ... 66-67 Chevelle one design, 68-69 Chevelle another design and 70-72 another design

apples and oranges

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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!

58 T-bird ALL NEW design compared to the 55-57 Tbirds, apples and the planet Jupiter for comparison sakes

IF you were to suggest that one of the 58-60 Tbirds were better than another, THAT would be keeping the spirit of the original thread question, same would go for 55-57 years of the Tbird. New designs were not intended to be included on the 3 year design facelift cycle concept of this thread at least IMHO and the way *I* read the original post.

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Another very unfortunate face lift was the 57 Lincoln. The 56 was a truly beautiful car but for 57 they felt they had to incorporate dual head light and fins. It lost a lot from the 56 look when the tacked on those fins.

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Yep, the '57 Lincoln is not good. I never cared for the front end on the '56, and for '57, it just got worse. Those have to be the worst fin additions put on a car. Looks like they just took them off some completely different car and glued them on. The front and rear wheel openings don't even match. I've always said it looks like one of those puzzles where you match the front and rear halves of the side view, and someone matched incorrect halves.

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Interesting that some I cars I thought were ugly, others thought were the best and vice versa.

:D

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I'm Australian, however I will keep to American cars for the purposes of this forum topic. You may however find my "down under" views odd or call me a phillistine.

I think Cadillac had it rocking from 20's to 50's inclusive. After that, all I can say is OMG!

I agree the Camaro 67-69 was beautiful, then they lost it (same would apply to first gen firebirds).

Chevrolet nailed it in 55-57 - gorgeous cars without a doubt. Homer Simpson called it when he said "Rock and roll attained perfection in 1975", I believe the same can be said for cars in 1957.

I'm also a big fan of the 65-68 impala, as opposed to the "Do I have fins, do I not have fins?" inbetween years from '58.

Corvettes were stunning from late 50's to late 60's. Not a huge fan of the 70's-80's models.

I'm not going to mention trans-am for obvious reasons. Then came the inevitable 80's decline, town cars, the majority of manufacturers lost their way, blah blah world economy, blah blah.

That said, there were exceptions in the 70's, the early years plymouths, dodges etc gave some quality last hoorahs to the muscle car, but in my opinion, a sad time for auto's. I can assure you this theme applies as much to USA as it does to the Australian car industry - Leyland P76 anyone? We also had a sad period in the 80's where no Aussie car manufacturer was producing V8's at all!.

I guess my point is 1950-1970 were great years, heaps of style, blandness was yet to rear it's ugly head and noone gave a hoot about the value of the dollar, the price of petrol, it was all about looking cool in a cool ride. Then the 70 -90's facelift occurred and all was lost (with a very few minor exceptions). It's good to see some manufacturers returning to the heyday now with the new muscle cars, but I say, "where's my time machine?"

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Thanks for the comments, but were talking about facelifts. In other words, when the same body is used, but grilles, taillights, trim are changed and make an attractive car unattractive or vice versa. In other words 56-57 Chevy updates from the original 1955. 1958 is a whole new body, not a facelift. 1959 Chevy is a whole new body, 1960 is a facelift.

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Blame falls mostly on the gubmint (fugly bumpers) but 72 to 73 Riv, and 72 to 73 Torino GT.

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Always thought the '59 Cadillac would have looked better without the giant tailfins. '56 '57 & '58's were beauties.

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Always thought the '59 Cadillac would have looked better without the giant tailfins.

That would be a 1960 Cadillac.

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Don't get me wrong. I like all Lincolns 1949 through 1957 but the '54-'55's are the best. The '57 was not a favorite when it came out but it has grew on me. Even if it is not the best looking Lincoln, with the exception of the Mark II, it was the best looking luxury car on the market that year.

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Well I love the facelift from the 1959 to 1960 Buick. The grill work on the 59 is over done, and the headlight placement is awkward. The 60 is sleeker and the lines have a smooth, angular flow about them. But of course I am biased towards the 60.

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One of the most impressive in my mind is the Triumph TR4/TR250 series to TR-6. They did a great job on a paltry budget; the TR-4 series was an attractive enough car but the facelift really did distinguish the TR-6 as a totally new model.

AMEN!:cool::cool::cool::cool:

I doubt that the TR6 would have deserved a new name if it had come from an American manufacturer. It was just a restyle of the TR250 (with nearly no change at all between the wheel wells), but the change in character was huge. It's my favorite car design of that era, which is why I have 2 of them. It's also almost the only restyle of a British sports car that was an improvement. The only other ones that comes to mind are the removal of the awkward fins from the 1960s Sunbeam Alpine and the new grille given to the Triumph TR3A.

In fact I can think of only a few sports cars at all that were improved by a facelift. The final generation of the the Alfa Romeo Graduate (1991-1994), the fastback roof given to the 1978/79 Corvette, and the revised rear and muted styling of the 1961/62 Corvette can be included. Actually every C2 Corvette (1963-1967) got better looking each year, although the differences were slight.

As far as domestic facelifts go, improvements are easier to find IMHO. The 1968 full-size Pontiacs are a huge improvement over the 1967s. Most people don't agree, but I really prefer the 1960 Buick to the 1959 (mainly due to the interesting side sculpturing, something missing from most fin cars). The 1955 and 1956 Oldsmobiles improved incrementally on the 1954 design. The 1986 Chevy Celebrity facelift made a handsome car out of a mud fence, ditto for the 1984 Chevy Cavalier facelift. The 1980 Cadillac was a major improvement over 1979, as were the 1962 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawks over the 1961 model Hawks they were facelifted from.

Perhaps the best example, though, is the 1935 Auburn (which is a MASSIVE improvement over the 1934 model with VERY little changed).

Bad facelifts are even easier to find. Few cars are introduced with a design that needs aesthetic improvement. I don't think anybody thought the 1970 Coronet was an improvement, but there were worse. The 1971 AMC Javelin is such a bad facelift many people think it's a different car! The 1954 Chevy pickup facelift is not an improvement, and neither was the 1981 facelift. The 1958 Cadillac stands out like a sore thumb, as does the 1956 Hudson. The 1954 Kaiser wasn't successful either, IMHO.

But the worst to me was the heavy grille hung on the Lincoln Continental in 1942, and made even heavier after the war. It gained mass in appearance (which some people think is good), but lost almost all of it's elegance.

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I just thought of one that was worse. The 1957 Studebaker restyling was awful, but the Studebaker pickup facelift that year took the 1951-56 design and made it look like an alien craft.:eek:

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I thought I'd add my two cents too.

I've always considered the Studebaker Hawk facelift from 1961 to 1962 a superb effort. The GT Hawks are one of my all-time favotites.

One that annoyed me was what they did to the Firebird in 1979. That was too bad in my opinion.

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Speaking of Studebaker trucks, their face-lift of the '49-'53 truck into the '54-'56 was very tasteful....

( But, I 'd still prefer a '49, like my Dad once owned....)

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Was waiting for you to weigh in on TR facelift Dave. It is even harder to improve on an attractive car like the TR4/250 cars. (Not so hard to bob the fins off the Sunbeam and chalk that up as a move in the right direction, just common sense at the time!) The TR-6 remains one of my favorite sportscars and I prefered that car to my Corvette Roadster of the same vintage. In fact, I am thinking I may not have had my last TR-6 - I am amazed you can still get them for a pretty reasonable price.

Couple examples that can go either way depending on your taste:

MG/AH Spridgets - bugeye to smooth look, a nice restyle when new, but which one is preferred today?

Model A 28/29 vs. 30/31 - I always preferred the "smoother" 30/31 but over time the prior series has grown on me.

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT
Added comments (see edit history)

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Was waiting for you to weigh in on TR facelift Dave.

I was in New Orleans last week rewiring Katrina-damaged houses with a church group in St. Bernard Parish. I almost missed the whole thread.

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I was in New Orleans last week rewiring Katrina-damaged houses with a church group in St. Bernard Parish. I almost missed the whole thread.

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I was wondering about that too. Well done Dave and your group!

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Thought of another one - '72 Gran Torino to the '73. The front of the '73 with the big bumper did not match the back with it's '72 carryover rear bumper. However, the '73 to the '74-'76 was good. I always liked those years.

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I was in New Orleans last week rewiring Katrina-damaged houses with a church group in St. Bernard Parish. I almost missed the whole thread.

Nice cause Dave - sobering to think that there is still that much work to be done down there. And just to lighten things up a bit on that score, I hope you did not use "Lucas Electricals" in rewiring those houses, those poor people have had enough! :D

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Nice cause Dave - sobering to think that there is still that much work to be done down there. And just to lighten things up a bit on that score, I hope you did not use "Lucas Electricals" in rewiring those houses, those poor people have had enough! :D

NO, strictly to code.:D They have us volunteers working under the tutelage of licensed tradesmen to keep us in line!:)

We were working for the St. Bernard Project (Volunteer and Rebuild New Orleans--St Bernard Project -- Help Rebuild New Orleans) this time. They get about 200 volunteers/week this time of year, mostly college kids on spring break. We've worked with several other agencies, some of which were only funded for 5 years and are now gone. According to the St. Bernard Project people at the current rate of recovery it'll take 17 years to finish rehabilitating the structures that still exist, even at that current level of response.

If you get a chance, take a bunch of people and go! It's more fun than real work!icon14.gif

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