1935Packard

Comparing 50s-era two-seaters

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Thought it was "50s-era". That should include various Alphas and Healy 100 and 3000s, Morgan +8 came later, but should include the TR3A (B has all synchro gearbox).

 

Remember being on the Sunshine State Parkway at 70ish and watching jaws drop when I downshifted three times in the Jag (had OD on all four). S topped out at about 135-140 and I shudder to think about the tires I did stuff on then.

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We had a 150S Roadster that we sold in 1976 for $3500. Wish we had kept it.

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Jag won Le Mans in basically a XK120 in 1951.   You can't even consider the idea of racing any of the other three.   By the end of the 1950s the Vette had some pop,  but this discussion is about 1954.


A '51 XK-120 had 10 more HP than a '54 Corvette. The XK-120C that won '51 LeMans had 55 more. Not exactly pertinent.

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How about the 55 - 57 Thunderbird? Might be more practical than any of the cars on your list. More room than the Corvette or Jaguar, easier and cheaper to service and repair than the imports, with V8 power.

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I didn't mind my 57 Tbird and got rid of it to buy the 60 Vette More to change things up than because I didn't like the Tbird.  Tbird was an Automatic and vette was a 4 speed.  It was also a 4 BBL car when the VEtte was fuel injected so hard to compare performance as they weren't the same,  the tbird was a boulevard cruiser with a little pep.  Cockpit wise it would blow you out of the seat driving it. The Vette actually had less wind disruption  but had a firmer ride,  Cornered better and performance was much better, but one can easily see why.  Each is it's own car as they all are.  I enjoyed each one for what it is.  I'm not the type of guy that buys a car for comfort.  I don't mind the rough ride and crankiness of old cars and actually needing to pilot them. That's why I mess with them.  If i wanted a new car feel and ride,  I would buy a new car. 

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52 minutes ago, WQ59B said:

 


A '51 XK-120 had 10 more HP than a '54 Corvette. The XK-120C that won '51 LeMans had 55 more. Not exactly pertinent.

 

You should compare the 54 Vette with the XK140 which came out in late 54.  Which was available in MC form (i.e the "C" head) and 200 HP.  

 

Honestly,  there is no comparison between the Jag and the other three in performance.   They are all attractive two seat cars,  but only one can haul ass.

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How about the 55 - 57 Thunderbird? Might be more practical than any of the cars on your list. More room than the Corvette or Jaguar, easier and cheaper to service and repair than the imports, with V8 power.

 

if you dont mind "cornering" in a bath tub!

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by anemic, I wasnt necessarily referring to speed- looks as well..............

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, 1935Packard said:

 

I've wondered about that.  I'm sure Internet reports on 0-60 mph times are often unreliable, but I've seen these numbers reported: 

 

xk120: 10 seconds.

'54 Corvette: 11 seconds

190sl: 13 seconds

Kaiser Darrin:14 seconds

 

I read something recently that the corvettes we doing so well in racing that they disqualified them. I’ll try to find it. It was the fulies.

 

Here it is: (58)

In addition, Corvette had managed to completely dominate on the racetrack and, despite the fact that General Motors would join others in observing the racing ban that had been put in place by the Automobile Manufacturer’s Association (AMA), it had proven nearly unbeatable in it’s class.

https://www.corvsport.com/1958-c1-corvette/

Edited by victorialynn2 (see edit history)

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15 minutes ago, alsancle said:

You should compare the 54 Vette with the XK140 which came out in late 54.  Which was available in MC form (i.e the "C" head) and 200 HP. 

 

If we're in late 1954, that's model year 1955 in the states, so we're off the Blue Flame inline six and into the 195 bhp V8 (for all but seven Corvettes).

 

Power changed really quickly in sports car in the 1950s.

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Whoa- the '51 LeSabre, '51 XP-300 & a '54 F-88, classing up the joint!

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12 hours ago, J3Studio said:

Power changed really quickly in sports car in the 1950s.

 

Agreed.  I love Corvette's but didn't 't really consider them a "sports car"  until you could get the V8 with a stick.

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Posted (edited)

Also the '50s was when European cars got disk brakes while except for one blimpmobile, Americans had to wait for the 60s. I remember fading a '61 Caddy 'vert out to nothing on one hard stop from 70.

 

Personally preferred a DOHC 6 of over three liters but had a lot of fun speed shifting a FIAT 1500 and with my '55 MGA RHD (had a second steering wheel for the passenger to wave around). I never met a car I didn't like but would make an exception for a Daimler SP250.

 

Back then I thought a big Healey and a Merc 190SL were ladies cars (Merc was a popular graduation gift). Have to remember that Florida is a big state and almost anywhere was a 100 mile round trip, the city was an overnight thousand miles, and 710 to Sebring was dead straight (except for the curve at Indiantown) two lane shell road. Was a different time.

 

ps for a look at the culture in the '50s watch the Roger Corman "The Fast and the Furious"

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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So I was lucky enough to spend a beautiful New England Saturday (76 degrees, low humidity) driving my mom's Jag.  You get that combination,  Saturday, Temp, Humidity, probably 12 times a year.   This was a mother's day present back in 1972 from my dad.   He had a choice between 200 dollars for this 55 MC or 700 dollars for a 49 120 Aluminum.  Wrong choice,  but that's the way the ball bounces.

 

Full restoration in the early 70s came to about 3k.  I still remember laying in bed on a Tuesday night as an eight year old  listening to my dad and his mechanic buddy when they got the engine to fire the first time.   Nothing sounds like a DOHC Jag straight 6.  Its a big boy engine.

 

This is an interesting thread,  (thanks Orin!).  I've always had a strange fascination with the Kaiser Darrin.   If Dutch didn't cute with the nose,  it would get my vote for one of the best looking cars  of the 50s.   I also wish they beefed the hurricane engine a bit.  Maybe a blower, or twin carbs.   Just to give the illusion of it being a real sports car.

 

 

IMG_5754.jpg

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Glad someone mentioned the Tuckerized nose on the Kaiser, great looking Jaguar! Bob 

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