LuxDriver

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

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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.

 

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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
more content (see edit history)

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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
correct typo's (see edit history)

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I'm new here but I'll put in my 2 pennies.

I agree with the Turbo Buicks of the 80s. I had one and loved it. 85 Regal T-Type

83 Imperial also

Some that didn't get mentioned though

How about the 71-74 AMC Javelin/AMX? I almost bought one from an original owner years ago. (Wish I had)

I also have a soft spot for the VW Westfalias. If I didn't have all the cars I have now I would be on the hunt for one.

78 79 Dodge Li'l Red Express truck. They always bring a smile to my face. I remember as a kid a local dealership had a row of them new right out front.

I also like the Shelby turbo Dodges of the 80s. I've seen a couple of GLH Omnis make higher end musclecars look slow.

I had an 89 Dodge Shadow ES turbo bought new and it was a little pocket rocket.

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On 8/31/2015 at 8:28 AM, 1arunem said:

Buick Turbo Regals.. Specifically 86-87 GN's and T-types..

 

 

Exactly. And the Turbo Trans Am in 1989 (pace cars) are very hot too.

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Laugh all you want, but this nasty little chunk of French weaponry is about as cool as the '80s get. Take one Renault 5 (that was the LeCar here in the US), yank the wheezing front-wheel-drive powertrain, stuff a turbocharged and intercooled engine in the back, and go hunting. With the same power-to-weight ratio as a C4 Corvette and a suspension that allows you to go through the corners with your foot on the floor, I've not driven a hot hatchback that's as much fun as this little spud.


Sadly, they were cheap for decades, but the market has caught on that they're red hot. They're trading hands for about 10 times what they were about 15 years ago, and it's hard to find one that hasn't been modified and abused. This one has about 10,000 original miles (still sitting on its original tires!), so it's probably the nicest one in the world, but you can probably still get driver-grade cars under $40K.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Laugh all you want, but this nasty little chunk of French weaponry is about as cool as the '80s get. Take one Renault 5 (that was the LeCar here in the US), yank the wheezing front-wheel-drive powertrain, stuff a turbocharged and intercooled engine in the back, and go hunting. With the same power-to-weight ratio as a C4 Corvette and a suspension that allows you to go through the corners with your foot on the floor, I've not driven a hot hatchback that's as much fun as this little spud.


Sadly, they were cheap for decades, but the market has caught on that they're red hot. They're trading hands for about 10 times what they were about 15 years ago, and it's hard to find one that hasn't been modified and abused. This one has about 10,000 original miles (still sitting on its original tires!), so it's probably the nicest one in the world, but you can probably still get driver-grade cars under $40K.

 

 

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Sold here new? or Gray market?

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I don't recall ever seeing one, it is pretty cool, I never would think cool and Renault would be two words that go together 

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Like the Lancia Delta Integrale, Peugeot 205 Turbo, et al., the Renault 5 Turbo could only have been a gray-market car.  They were never certified for sale in North America for emissions, bumper/crashworthiness, etc. 

 

Renault did have some nice designs, even if a bit anemic in the engine department.  The Renault 15 and 17 come to mind.

 

Craig

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55 minutes ago, 8E45E said:

Like the Lancia Delta Integrale, Peugeot 205 Turbo, et al., the Renault 5 Turbo could only have been a gray-market car.  They were never certified for sale in North America for emissions, bumper/crashworthiness, etc. 

 

Renault did have some nice designs, even if a bit anemic in the engine department.  The Renault 15 and 17 come to mind.

 

Craig

 

That's true; this one was imported when it was new by Sun International in CA, who did most of the R5 Turbos currently in the US. It's kind of interesting because they put a decal over the speedometer face so it would read in MPH, but the odometer is still in kilometers (it reads about 17,600 original km). I don't see many other changes, even to the emissions controls, to federalize it beyond that. It's a sitting duck when the turbo is asleep, but keep it above 3500 RPM or so and it just lunges forward like it's hungry. I never thought much about these cars, either, but now that I've experienced one, they really are pretty cool little machines.

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The H4 headlights are also a clue.  U.S. market R5's had round sealed beams.

 

Craig

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ref #160

OK have looked it up as far as I can and at least for Pontiac what they had in 1959-1962 was a gadget they called a "Magic-Cruise" that was essentially a throttle holder and found in the accessory section of the parts book. The device shown had part numbers  989582 (59-60) and 983948 (62) which is odd. It appears to have been a dealer installed option. This was at least two generations before the Perfect Circle used later (RPO in 67) with the button in the turn signal stalk.

 

So I'd need to do a lot more research to determine the "platinum class" criteria but did find this:

 

cruiseautoonly.jpg

 

ps suspect this has gone past sanity for most but am checking with Those Who Know. PM if you would like to know more. This is part of the reason I stopped judging.

 

 

Edited by padgett (see edit history)

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On 4/26/2016 at 11:29 PM, 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.

 

 

Mr Padgett's Grandson

As you can see from the above quote (from you) that you said GM, which Chevrolet is part of did not offer cruise control in anything other then automatics until the 80's. I provided enough information to show that yes it was indeed installed in manual shift GM cars as early as 1960. Also enough information to prove It was not aftermarket part. It was produced by Perfect Circle who was the sub-contractor for General Motors to be sold and installed by Chevrolet Dealers on Chevrolet full size automobiles regardless of transmission, however it was not available on 348' or 409 engines.I am not 100% sure (I can check it) but Chevrolet might have been the only GM product to offer it at that time, I can check that if have to. Perfect Circle was also the sub-contractor for the units installed on certain Chrysler Products. I am not talking about the throttle holders, Chevrolet dropped that option in the 1960 production year as well as the speed minder option once the Cruise Control was made available. If you need more information, or if the information is not clear to you that I provided please let me know I have much more of it, I would be more then happy to share with you to further your education on the topic, so you don't offer any more misinformation in the future. By the way this similar unit was used up till 1964 also available on manual transmission. I don't know if the unit was a similar unit in 65, and rather then spread false information on speculation like some other do, I rather not comment on those

 

This time I am not going to be as polite as last time, you are wrong, so please let it go 

GM did offer cruise control on manual shift cars before the 80's

So please lets bring this on topic 

Edited by John348
typos (see edit history)

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I really love the muscle cars but since we're excluding those, I'm somewhat partial to the '71 Lincoln. I saw a black '71 Lincoln with red upholstery the other day - gorgeous. 

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How many doors did it have ? ' 71 was the last year of the Mark III which was a gorgeous car and *think* (not really a Ford person) the year you could get a sunroof.. The '72 Mk IV was nice but a bit bloated. Had "enough" power but with a typical driver was over 5,000 lbs so a prime example of the Great American Land Barge (GALB). Dean Martin had one in a Matt Helm movie (great series of '60s spy books).

 

ps thought a few R5 Renaults were imported.

 

pps had a Le Car very briefly. However it and a Pontiac Aztec had the honor of being the only cars I ever returned before leaving the airport. I could not see out the back of the Aztec in the rain but the Le Car overheated before we left the grounds.

 

ppps Didn't Fatima Blush (Barbara Hershey) have an R5 in Never Say Never Again (a Bond title that is hilarious when you know what it means...)

 

pppps A hobby is not something to be taken seriously.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)

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There are lots of interesting 70s cars, although for me most are muscle.   The only 80s car that I have the slightest interest in is the 80 Z28.  Only year you could get the 350/4 speed with the cowl induction hood.

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In 71 there were two. The Town Coupe

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and the Mark III

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Easy way is the turn signals and rear wheel arches.

 

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