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Continental Kits installed on 14 beautiful automobiles


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1 minute ago, Mark Huston said:


Kind of like the current fad of modified exhaust systems on small four cylinder FWD Japanese cars?  Trying sound like something other than a small economy car.  

Yep, it's not small anymore if you have an extra 3 feet of bumper and a tire on the back!

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Tastes do change.  We did not think of the cars of the 50s-70s being big. That is just what they were!  The "excesses" you folks are talking about just seemed to show one had arrived. Had made the grade. Was able to keep up with or pass the Joneses.

 

  WW's were not uncommon.  What we see today as WWW's I don't believe were seen often if at all. At least in Missouri where I lived.

 

  Ben

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10 hours ago, John348 said:

 

Very true, just think of having that thing in your way going in and out of the trunk? or even worse having a flat tire and taking all of that crap off to get the spare out? 

And even though not offered in those days a back up camera would have to be a must!

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20 hours ago, Billy Kingsley said:

There's a local 55 Chevrolet with one, with a mural of itself painted on it. It's not factory stock so I won't show it, but I like the way it looks. 

 

Some cars it fits, others it looks terrible. The Cadillac leading off the thread looks particularly bad to my eyes. 

 

I think it works particularly well on the 1958 Impala. It's like the trim around the taillights was designed specifically to accommodate it. 

 

The continental kits on the 58's are factory kits, they don't have that "picnic bench" filler panel like the others do to extend the bumper

Edited by John348 (see edit history)
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In the early 1960s, I can remember several 57 & 58 Chevy sport coupe and convertible daily drivers running around upstate NY with wide whites, skirts, dual rear mounts, and continental kits.  They're about the only cars that look good dolled up like that.  On most other cars, I agree with Victoria Lynn....they look like a back porch.  Or worse yet, a hemorrhoid.

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On 1/14/2021 at 1:10 PM, George Smolinski said:

The '55 Olds and the Crown Victoria look good with the kit, but then these are customized cars. Both are really sharp.

 

x2, especially the Olds - I think it's because it doesn't stick out as far as the others.

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Once upon a time the most needed spare was the tire so made them easy to reach. Today my Caddy has an inflator.

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24 minutes ago, padgett said:

Once upon a time the most needed spare was the tire so made them easy to reach. Today my Caddy has an inflator.

 

Our (former) 1917 Franklin had an engine-driven inflater (pump) as an original item. The tire and tube were removed from the rim while the wheel and rim were still on the car. 

Demountable wheels and rims were a notable improvement and made distance travel much less a burden.

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Just as a note: once needed to use the inflator when picked up a nail at a mall two miles from home (before the current unpleasantness). Buzzed away for over 20 minutes before close to enough to drive. Kinda silly for a car whose middle name is "Touring". Have a place designed for a Tahoe (right diameter) compact spare and a mat/strap arrangement to carry the road wheel on the trunk lid (wont fit in "trunk"). Does this count as a "continental" ?

 

ps Allante has a compact spare but the cover in the trunk has an expandable center "hat" to fit the road wheel. Leave it to the Italians.

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1 hour ago, padgett said:

Just as a note: once needed to use the inflator when picked up a nail at a mall two miles from home (before the current unpleasantness). Buzzed away for over 20 minutes before close to enough to drive. Kinda silly for a car whose middle name is "Touring". Have a place designed for a Tahoe (right diameter) compact spare and a mat/strap arrangement to carry the road wheel on the trunk lid (wont fit in "trunk"). Does this count as a "continental" ?

 

ps Allante has a compact spare but the cover in the trunk has an expandable center "hat" to fit the road wheel. Leave it to the Italians.

 

I had a Fiero with a compact spare under the hood.  But the road wheel wouldn't fit there - had to haul it in the trunk which was just big enough for it.  We drove the car on vacation with the trunk (and every other available space) crammed with luggage.  Fortunately, we never had a flat - would've been screwed if we did because the stuff we had in the trunk wouldn't fit in the spare tire space.

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Sounds like the 14" tire. I had a (couple of) GTs with 15x7s. Had to strap a road wheel to the engine lid if had a weak passenger. First one (84) had a luggage rack so NP.

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Had a friend working in Pontiac dealer body shop when the Fiero came out. Their first Fiero buyer had a flat and when they put the flat in the storage area, they slammed the lid hard enough that it latched, but could not get it back open. Denny had to cut the latch area open and then mold it back in. I remember him saying "I already hate these cars".

 

I think that was about time gm's idiot engineering really raised its pointy little head. The head did not communicate with the tail.

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a) the brain was not in the head.

b) when I was at GMI there was a well equipped machine/hobby shop. Was one of the few who used it (very handy for hogging a 520 cfm FI out to over 800 cfm) but then also never had to compete for time on the IBM mainframe (over 1 gee chassis calculations using 6 degree of freedom models were very handy). When competing a B/P Corvette in SCCA on the GI bill one needed to be creative.

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On 1/14/2021 at 12:01 AM, pontiac1953 said:

hi, your Ford Skyliner is one of the few late 1950s American Automobiles that looks good with the continental kit, the extending rear fenders and taillights help to keep the kit from sticking out too far from the body of the car, doesn't look like it interferes with opening and closing of the trunk lid when you put the retracting hardtop in the trunk or bring it back out and up. 

So after looking at pics of a lot of other cars with kits, I’m thinking mine doesn’t look nearly as bad. 👍

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17 minutes ago, John348 said:

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John, Who would have thought? A 59 Bel-Air four door sedan with a Continental kit ! Plus a Roof rack. I've seen plenty roof racks on wagons, but not a Chevy sedan.

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9 hours ago, Pfeil said:

John, Who would have thought? A 59 Bel-Air four door sedan with a Continental kit ! Plus a Roof rack. I've seen plenty roof racks on wagons, but not a Chevy sedan.

 

This one is my favorite, an Impala four door hard-top with a roof rack, it the end of that real short era of excess, I figured with the roof rack and the spotlights it would help if you were "jacking" deer at night. Red interior was a plus no blood stains to worry about 

 

IMG_3132.JPG

Edited by John348 (see edit history)
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Glad I didn't see that in bright sun!😲

 

Chevrolet's 3-piece bumpers lent themselves to connie kits better than other makes. Most end up looking like a caboose or a poorly planned house addition. As if a 59 Cadillac or 58 Buick wasn't already over the top enough...

 

It's like I say about a lot of things. Them that like may have their share and mine.

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1 hour ago, padgett said:

Exhaust ports ?

 

They were a bolt on accessory to simulate exhaust ports, I had seen some cars with just one on each side and some with two, not my cup of tea

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At least they didn't rot the bumpers like thru the bumper exhaust did!

 

Olds actually ran 1965 Starfire exhaust thru ports on the quarter panel trim. Looked great, but ruinous to the now-unobtainium chromed potmetal after a few years. You don't wanna know what even fair condition (meaning no more than minor pinhole rust) tailpipe extensions go for.

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49 minutes ago, rocketraider said:

At least they didn't rot the bumpers like thru the bumper exhaust did!

 

Olds actually ran 1965 Starfire exhaust thru ports on the quarter panel trim. Looked great, but ruinous to the now-unobtainium chromed potmetal after a few years. You don't wanna know what even fair condition (meaning no more than minor pinhole rust) tailpipe extensions go for.

They look like they're part of the body side molding  Correct?

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  • 2 months later...

I don’t see how Studebaker’s design was improved with the addition of a Continental kit on this car.   For comparison a similar example (not the same year) without the added Continental kit.  

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