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Favorite cars of the 70s-80s? Like to hear what the general thoughts are..


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2 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

I think the Studebaker Avanti set a record in recovering from the depreciation cycle to its original selling price. I don't think there are many others that come close.

 

Today a 1991 car is eligible for all the benefits of an antique car. And it reflects in my online searches. I have a mushy spot between the ears for the V12 BMW coupes and it is a sweet spot for the Silver Spurs. A 1991 5.7 Fleetwood Brougham in the right color would be a great score and probably on a $6500 budget. Imagine the car you could get for 10K. That's is a little less than the equivalent value I paid for my Riviera in 1978.

 

Even though my Impala SS is only 22 years old it is recognized as a desirable variation of the Caprice and has had collector insurance since it turned 20.

 

Looking for a bigger building!

Bernie

The only problem with a Fleetwood of that age is it's got a Chevy V-8. Cadillac owners don't like that.

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The '91 5.7 IS desirable because of the SBC. It departed from the 4-6-8, the 4100 HT, the Olds 307; and the upcoming Northstar. A sailor in Shanghai couldn't make that many mistakes, even after 4 months at sea.

 

Last year Cadillac came out with the Dare Greatly ad campaign. Listen closely to the words of its background song:

 

Three decades of blunders nearly destroyed our image, but we have no regrets. We fumbled around and now we have made alphabet soup.

Bernie

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, 60FlatTop said:

The '91 5.7 IS desirable because of the SBC. It departed from the 4-6-8, the 4100 HT, the Olds 307; and the upcoming Northstar. A sailor in Shanghai couldn't make that many mistakes, even after 4 months at sea.

 

Last year Cadillac came out with the Dare Greatly ad campaign. Listen closely to the words of its background song:

 

Three decades of blunders nearly destroyed our image, but we have no regrets. We fumbled around and now we have made alphabet soup.

Bernie

That's why the only desirable ones are before 81 with real Cadillac people. Chevy in a Cadillac = Chevy

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Pontiac was the first with the soup. Remember the '81 Gooole ? T1000 ? At least the Europeans referred to the engine size.

 

ps Guess you never saw a LT1 distributer dripping coolant.

 

pps had the Super Blackhawk in Texas after an all expense paid tour of SEA. Used it to blow up milk cartons full of water mostly to shut up the kid next door who was plinking away with a .22 far too early in the morning. Open frame was a touch loud.

 

ppps note that three of the cars in my sig (and in my garage) are from the 70s and 80s and the bottom one is a '93 (made in '92 so an antique next year). All are interesting.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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Beautiful Imperial, 4Hud!

 

Has it been a good and reliable car for you?

(I don't know how reliable those 1981-83 Imperials are,

even if the fuel injection has been converted to a carburetor,

and I've tended to shy away from cars if I'm not sure about their record.)

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9 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

Not completely true.  Very few Duesenbergs actually got scrapped.  They might have gotten cheap (relatively speaking) but they still rarely changed hands in the hundreds of dollars range.  By 1960 the prices were already climbing.  There was always somebody that wanted a Duesenberg.

I heard of one instance of a Duesenberg in the hundreds of dollars (asking price) range. My Grandfather said a gentleman drove up to his jewelry store about 1944 in a Duesenberg, J-580 to be exact. He was wanting to sell for $500 and knew Glenn D., my Grandfather, was collecting old cars. Glenn went out and looked at it and thought about buying....but then said no because of parts, service, fuel consumption, and gas rationing. The car actually stuck around in my hometown for a long time, my Grandpa kept tabs on it, and it wound up going down to one of the first Leake Auctions in Oklahoma and selling about 1974. An AACA Forums member named allcars can corroborate at least some of the story. Y'all know grandfathers would never tell a whopper to a teenager, right?

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)
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Somewhere I have a photo of a car lot taken in I guess the early 1950s. There is a Duesenberg on the lot for $450. Next to it is a '48 Chev. A Dues Limo changed hands here locally in about 1970 for $10k. Yes, there was a time when even Duesenbergs were very cheap.

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11 hours ago, nick8086 said:

You should add 1968 and 1969.. the last year of the big blocks..

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 You must have a Chevy in it. Pontiac never made a big block.

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22 hours ago, Restorer32 said:

Somewhere I have a photo of a car lot taken in I guess the early 1950s. There is a Duesenberg on the lot for $450. Next to it is a '48 Chev. A Dues Limo changed hands here locally in about 1970 for $10k. Yes, there was a time when even Duesenbergs were very cheap.

 

That 10k in 1970 would be a decent house in most parts of the country.   I know that 8500 got you a complete but needing full restoration Murphy conv sedan in the mid 60s.

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I remember seeing an ad for a Duesey (think it was a J) for $600 alongside one for a Merc 300SL Gullwing for $6k. Disremember when but a tract house was $5k.

 

70 was the last year for a high compression engine from GM, Ford and MOPAR offered for another year or two but by 73 all had been retuned for regular unleaded. Even the SD455 only had 8.5:1 compression.

 

It wasn't until DOHC and VVT I&e came along with 10:1 compression that could run on 87 PON that power came back.

 

Note: until 1971ish HP was measured at SAE Gross, after SAE Net was used. Net is about 30% less than Gross so a 350 hp engine in 1970 became a 245 hp engine in 1972 so the 290 hp 6 in my Jeep would be about 400 old style. At 6400 rpm.

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19 hours ago, Bleach said:

Pontiac never really made a small block then either. Their blocks were all the same size.

Pontiac made what we call a medium block which all use the same rough outside dimension, bore spacing, and connecting rod. In 1955 it started out as a 287, but engineers had a eye for things to come so they gave it room to grow. 287, 316.6, 347, 370, 389, 400, 336, 326, 350 really a 355, 421, 428 really a 427, 455-really a 456. and the short deck 301, 265 of the 80's 

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On April 14, 2016 at 8:18 AM, Tom99 said:

Very few people seem to have an interest in it, it's not a muscle car.

 

If you're on Facebook, you might take a peak at this fairly new page, dedicated to the GM N bodies:
https://www.facebook.com/BuickSomerset/?fref=ts

 

 

Cort > www.oldcarsstronghearts.com
pigValve.paceMaker.cowValve | 79 CC to ?? Mercury Grand Marquis!!

"We all do the best we can" __ Blaine Larson __ 'How Do You Get That Lonely?'

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1970 Audi 100 SL 4 spd. Sunroof with leather interior. Cruising Miami Beach back when Wolfies ment something and all the hotels had high diving boards. 

1980 Honda Civic hatchback DX 4 spd. Scaling up sidewalks when traffic was held up because some rear drive car could not make it up the Jersey hills during snowy winter days. And driving and parking in New York was a blast. 

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On ‎2016‎-‎04‎-‎15 at 10:25 PM, John_S_in_Penna said:

Beautiful Imperial, 4Hud!

 

Has it been a good and reliable car for you?

(I don't know how reliable those 1981-83 Imperials are,

even if the fuel injection has been converted to a carburetor,

and I've tended to shy away from cars if I'm not sure about their record.)

Yes, it has been good, the previous owners kept good care of it. The fuel injection system on the 318 was removed by the dealership and the digital dash still works fine.

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22 hours ago, 4Hud said:

Yes, it has been good, the previous owners kept good care of it. The fuel injection system on the 318 was removed by the dealership and the digital dash still works fine.

 

Did they use a Bendix EFI system also?

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1 hour ago, John348 said:

 

Did they use a Bendix EFI system also?

Hey John, The car had a significant industry first: continuous flow electronic fuel injection developed by the Chrysler engineers who had worked on the Apollo space program, combined with a on-board flow meter to measure the quantity of fuel fed to the engine and send date to a air cleaner mounted computer with the usual sensors for input.

 It is interesting to me how Chrysler gave up on this system and retrofitted the 318 with a carburetor, when VW, Porsche  ( and probably MB & BMW ) who had been using CSI mechanical injection up through 1983 had switched to Electronic CSI in 1984 and beyond without mishap.   

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It was my first car.. Mine was blue:

 

1970 Chrysler station wagon.. It did not have the best  gas mileage Maybe 3-5..MPG...

 

Sometimes hard to find.. They were not crushed by used at the county fairs... for the Demolition Derby..

big blockk.JPG

Edited by nick8086 (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, nick8086 said:

1970 Chrysler station wagon.. It did not have the best  gas mileage Maybe 3-5..MPG...

 

Nick, I'll bet that, if your family measured the gas mileage,

they would find much better than 3-5 miles per gallon.

 

Maybe 8 around town, maybe 10 or 12.   I can't say for sure;

but I've read contemporary road tests of similar cars.

 

I had a 1973 Cadillac Eldorado convertible that achieved 

6 m.p.g around town and 10 on the highway, for a consistent

average of 8;  and that was exactly what Consumer Guide

measured on their test of the same model, built after pollution

controls sapped power and efficiency.

 

Since many car fans read this forum, I wanted to give my input.

We wouldn't want to dissuade today's collectors from getting those cars!

I know 8 m.p.g is bad, but it is 167% better than 3, and I don't think

any well-maintained production car could ever have gotten 3.

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When I ran the FEA National Fuel Economy Challenge in Miami, I tried to find a Chrysler 440 wagon but had to settle for an Electric Buick with a 455 because it had nearly as bad MPG. Was a matter of reading the rules which graded cars by the % improvement. That car was tuned so tight it squeaked. Part of the test was an exhaust sniffer. Car in front read low , the Buick read zero. Much head scratching. In the end the award was received in secret because we didn't fit the profile and the numbers were a bit absurd. On TV the award went to a family in a Chrysler Station Wagon (am told, never saw the show).

 

fea.jpg

 

ps the rated MPG of a '75 Monaco 440 wagon was 10/16 and the Electra 455 was 11/15

pps the 1957 Rochester FI was a constant flow unit but all mechanical. I used a TCS switch on my 65 to control the inevitable leak in the cranking signal valve.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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Pretty sure it was in fall '76 but someone from the Florida region (Miami) SCCA should know, they put it on. The Federal Energy Administration was merged into the DOE in 1977 and think the '75 Buick Electra 225 was a year old. Just sent an eMail to the Florida Region and asked if they have any record.

75buick.jpg

 

ps Hard to believe that was 40 years ago.

 

pps 72 Wagon 400/4bbl  got 15 mpg on the road, 12.5 with AC on or towing race car (used to win tow car races). Had a special order "economy" axle: 3.08 posi and turned 3000 rpm at 70. 6.5-7.5 liter engines turning over 3k at 70 with barn door styling like the Buick was a good part of the reason for poor corporate fuel economy in the early 70s. Sometime I'll talk about the 67 Camaro with a FI 327 that got 25 mpg on the Interstate and won autocrosses in 1972. My first economy run was sometime in the early 60s.

 

pps the basic Pontiac V8 had common dimensions but were small journal (up to 400 cid) and large journal (421, 428, 455). The main differences were the heads and the cranks (though if you put a 6X head (eight manifold bolts - ask anyone who has tried to seal a 7K3 knows why) on a 421 or 428 (personally never cared for the 455) you could make a lot of power).

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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11 hours ago, padgett said:

 

ps Hard to believe that was 40 years ago.

 

 

 

Pretty impressive! It say's a lot about a person who saved an award earned from 40 years ago

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On 9/3/2015 at 9:56 PM, 8E45E said:

For an 'American looking' car that falls between 1973 and 1981, I'll go 'outside the box' and search 'Down Under'.  (Only possible exception for me is the 1973 Grand Am)

 

Australia had some great looking cars from that era made by the (once) Big Three without the encumbrances of those ugly 5-mph bumpers and smog-choked engines, while most of the two-door models were true hardtops.  My choice are the Ford LTD Landaus for a 2-door hardtop.  http://www.aussiecoupes.com/landau.html  And if I want a Lincoln, I'll take a 1979 LTD P6 Town Car.  Chrysler also made some nice cars from the times, including the Valiant Charger coupe.

 

Craig

Craig,

 

The Landau and Charger are excellent choices!

I would like to nominate the 1984 Nissan Pulsar Turbo ET - the first turbocharged 4-door hatchback built in Australia. The Turbo ET combined the practicality of the Pulsar hatch with the performance of the 2-door EXA Coupe - 0-100 km/h in under 10 seconds and the standing 400 metres in 16.5 seconds, with a price of under $15,000 new.

 

Most of the surviving examples have been modified with body kits and extras, so finding an original car would be very, very difficult.

 

113212_6lo.jpg

Edited by Graham Clayton (see edit history)
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 I like the car, I've always loved the 70s Cadillacs because they were all new when I was a kid, and I remember how impressive they were, and how a guy's Cadillac trunk lid opened up by itself one day out in front of the house... "MAGIC" I thought.

This car was owned for many years by a rancher in central Montana, so most of its miles were driven on gravel country roads. It runs like a dream and still drives very nice, but it will need work, and the inside is very dirty (but improving). I will end up putting a lot of money into the restoration, but when it's done it will bring smiles every time I take it out. 

The interior needs re-done, dash needs cleaned up, but it won't be too hard to get it right again.

It's hard to find fenders without all the damn rust though (bad design).

The car is absolutely loaded with all options in 1970 (another reason to fix it back up). Comes with cruise control (not working), which I didn't think was a big deal until I realized that 80% of all the '69 and '70 models I've seen in junk yards or for sale on the Internet do NOT have cruise control. Overall, a nice riding car still, and powerful. Many options.

This car will be a beauty again some day, but for right now, I keep it hidden in my garage. Will not sell to any of dealer centers for sure. Takes a lot of money to get these back, so... till that day. 

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"It say's a lot about a person who saved an award earned from 40 years ago ". Not hard if you live in the same house for over 30 of them and have a lot of space. Every time I clean out the garage (and I have a 2000 ft2 house with 2000 ft2 of garage and each car in my .sig has its own door. Used to park a 21 foot RV in there) it is like Christmas, I find things I didn't know I had. Know there is both  Pontiac 400 & 421, and a complete 3800 powertrain in there.

 

If I ever have a garage sale will have to advertise in Hemmings.

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re cruise control:

First I recall was a 66 Thunderbird. I had a 67 Caddy 60 Special Fleetwood Brogham that had little picnic tables in the back and a rotary cruise that you dialed to the speed however neither worked very well. It wasn't until the one button - two piece Perfect Circle came out that cruise controls did more than approximate speed. The Perfect Circle went through several iterations following the 1958 Chrysler intro but it wasn't until the early '70s that they got it right.

 

One limitation was that in the early years it was not available with a manual transmission so my '72 wagon was the first car I bought that had the later design. It wasn't until the '80s that you cold buy a manual transmissioned car with cruise. GM felt that the earlier CCs were too jerky to go with a manual. By 88 they were all digital and work well with anything that has a VSS signal it can recognize.

 

I really need to bring some archaeologists in to dig. The same cabinet that had the cruise controls also had a Prince On Board Computer.

 

Amazing how stuff that didn't work/wasn't popular/was too expensive then is valuable today.

 

 

 

 

pccruise.jpg

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OK.... now I am really confused, somebody please help me why are we now talking about cruise control? Did I miss a post?

Being you brought it up............

Mr Padgett, You also might want to check your information, the early Perfect Circle unit that was used in Chevrolet's introduced mid year 1960, 1961 and 1962 all have a wiring provision in the harness supplied with the unit for standard shift vehicles. In the box these was a plate that mounts under the brake light switch that supports a switch that would brake the circuit if the clutch pedal is depressed. The connectors in the harness are to be jumped out when installed in a non-standard shift vehicle. The instruction clearly cover the installation of the unit on a standard shift vehicle. The clutch switch was in series with the brake switch. The original brake switch is used and an adapter is supplied to plug into the back of the brake light switch to accept the brake light wires as well as the cruise control wires. I had installed a NOS unit that I had on the shelf in my 62 Biscayne when I restored it in 2006.As I recall the instructions said to "discard both the plate and switch for use on automatic vehicles." The unit worked fine the two or three times I used it just to test it, (after the restoration I wanted to make sure that every accessory installed all worked). The fuse has been pulled since the vehicle has been pretty much designated as a trailer queen for as long as I will own it.

 

And the reason we are now talking about cruise control is?

Edited by John348
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47 minutes ago, John348 said:

And the reason we are now talking about cruise control is?

Because by the 1970's and 1980's, they were offered on nearly every make, domestic & import; where previously available only on domestic full-size or luxury brands.    I don't believe Mercedes Benz got around to offering Cruise Control until 1975 or so.

 

Craig 

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I have an 89 Caprice Classic in mint condition and I love it! Rides like a Caddy and that long hood looks great! My dad had a 77 Impala. Same body style. GM kept it for 20 Years so they must have considered it a success!

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1) Post 153

2) May have been available aftermarket but GM only put it on cars with automatics until the 80s (and the ones I saw were all automatics). Will admit my knowledge before alternators ('63) is a bit sketchy.

3) Had a "throttle holder" on my '70 GS that released if you hit the brake or clutch and a thingie that clipped on the turn signal of my '78 Sunbird because they could not be ordered with cruise since both were four speeds. My '72 wagon did because it was automatic. My '67 Caddy had the rotary thingie that never worked right but the 66 T'bird a friend loaned me for a while did.

4) I have never had a trailer queen

5) Mr. Padgett was my grandfather, it is my middle name.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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17 hours ago, padgett said:

1) Post 153

2) May have been available aftermarket but GM only put it on cars with automatics until the 80s (and the ones I saw were all automatics). Will admit my knowledge before alternators ('63) is a bit sketchy.

3) Had a "throttle holder" on my '70 GS that released if you hit the brake or clutch and a thingie that clipped on the turn signal of my '78 Sunbird because they could not be ordered with cruise since both were four speeds. My '72 wagon did because it was automatic. My '67 Caddy had the rotary thingie that never worked right but the 66 T'bird a friend loaned me for a while did.

4) I have never had a trailer queen

5) Mr. Padgett was my grandfather, it is my middle name.

 

You go by the name Padgett, so I was polite and referred  you Mr Padgett,

Oh well, So I guess for the sake of politeness then,

Mr Padgett's Grandson,

First of all I do not wish to hi-jack this thread, but your comments warrant some correction and clarification, that is why I said "you might want to check your information" in my earlier post, again trying to be polite rather then flat out saying you are wrong.

Cruise Control was a Chevrolet Accessory offered on mid /late production Chevrolet's starting in 1960. it was not aftermarket as you implied. From your post's in other threads I can see you have a strong desire to share of your knowledge so here is a little more knowledge for you gain. The photo of the box as you can see is the "Official Chevrolet" General Motors box containing a Cruise Control unit. I am not able to use my scanner (appears to be broken) so I had to photograph the page showing the installation instruction of the Cruise Control  specific for manual shift vehicles, This page is from the Official Chevrolet (GM) Publication from 1962, "1962 Chevrolet Accessories Installation and Reference Manual" pictured is page 424. Here is a link to one on ebay for sale clearly mentioning both automatic and manual transmissions. http://www.ebay.com/itm/182099215973?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

The brochure shown is also a Chevrolet publication, the one pictured is from a first production 1960 unit. If you look at photos of the unit in my car you can see has Chevrolet emblems are on the main unit under the hood and control head on the dash. Clearly the unit is far from aftermarket as you suggest. Don't feel alone about not knowing about the early cruise control units, most of the time when I have shown the car (at AACA and VCCA Meets) I was asked to provide documentation that it was an official Chevrolet unit offered by Chevrolet. It listed installed for $87.50

I had bought a spare unit that was used many years ago and that unit was out of a standard shift car that was a Police vehicle in South Dakota.

  

As far as you not being able to order cruise control on your Sunbird because of it being a four speed, I can't speak for Pontiac's but again you might want to check that information also. I can not find cruise control listed as being offered on the Chevrolet H bodies or the Buick H bodies, regardless of the transmission ordered. Considering GM was getting corporate at that time, one would think that would be across the entire H body line. I don't have any Pontiac H body information in my collection

 

As far as you not owning a "trailer queen" I don't recall asking you, but that is fine. The reason I mentioned that my car is because the unit in my car has not been used enough since the restoration was completed, so I really can not vouch for it's reliability due to  the lack of use.

 

Again any other questions about the early Chevrolet (GM) use of Cruise control I would be more then happy to share with you in a PM. I hoped I was able to enlighten you to some new found knowledge, and clear up some misinformation,

Now lets get back on topic

  

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Edited by John348
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