Thursday, June 5, 2014

Field Trip Part II - Lotsa Stuff!

I recently posted about a beautiful DeSoto nestled on some property upstate and mentioned that there were other cars on that same piece of land. Well here they ALL are in one rusty tsunami!
We'll start with 2 group shots of multiple automotive ptarmigan roosting on their sagging springs: 
Keep in mind these shots were snapped at 9am on Memorial Day, so I was a little wary of getting caught traipsing around somebody's backyard. Regardless, in the above shot we can just see a 1965 Plymouth Belvedere facing us in the far distance, a 1978 Dodge Ramcharger with the plow on it, and an MG from the late '60s/early '70s.
In this pic we can see the light yellow 1954 Pontiac Starchief Catalina that is unquestionably the queen of the lot. I would've loved to have gotten closer to show off some of the details such as the light-up amber glass Indian Chief's head hood ornament. Even though I couldn't approach the '54 Catalina, I was able to get a close-up of the one below.
Another Pontiac Catalina, this one from 1963.
The divided grills of the '60s Pontiacs are some of my favorites. This was the year before the fabled GTO was introduced, but this car is plenty tough. This was the first appearance of the stacked quad headlights that Pontiac would use through 1967.
This car had incredible patina from sitting out in the yard for so many years. Incredibly it looks complete, with every little piece of chrome not only present but in nice shape.
I love the plain-Jane "dog dish" hubcaps that simply read Pontiac Motor Division on them. With these non-flashy hubcaps and the 2-door post body style this is the kind of ride you could build for drag racing. The 389 V8 was standard, but the new 421 was available this year for the first time. However if this one was so equipped it would have a menacing 421 badge in red just behind the front wheel.
One last shot of the sleek lines of the '63. The taillights are perfectly matched to the contour of the rear bumper for a very clean look. The elongated Pontiac logo lying flat on top of the trunk somehow makes it look fast even sitting in the shrubs next to the garage.
Now on to some gaudy faux-muscle from the '70s!
What we have here is an amalgamation. The car itself seems to be a 1976/1977 Mercury Comet, which was the upmarket model of the Ford Maverick. The badges and overall look of this car says that it's a Comet GT, but there are problems with this claim. Those turn signals within the grill are clear rectangles which indicates 1976 or newer (from '71-'75 those signals had a bullseye cross hatch in the middle). However, the Comet's last year available as a GT was 1975. Someone's been customizing!
After '75 this GT-style hood with the scoop was available as part of the "Sports Accent" option group. That striping was never used on a Mercury though; the real GT just had a black stripe along the side with COMET GT cut out so that the body color shone through. This is another curiosity of this car; that chrome Comet badge looks legit but the GT was definitely lifted from somewhere else.
Alright now we're heading into real head-scratching territory as that wing is a mystery! A common add-on for this era Comet/Maverick would be the rear wing from either a 1969/70 Mustang Mach 1 or a '71 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler. This, however, looks either homemade or is some forgotten JC Whitney style cheap aftermarket purchase.
These taillights are my favorite feature of this era Comet. Double trapazoid gunsights with the reverse tucked into the middle of the inner lens! Interestingly, the large Mercury Cyclone from the early '70s had the same taillights, but with 3 trapazoids on each side. The continuity of styling across all models for a carmaker was key; if you wanted the big car but couldn't afford it they would make the little car more inviting. SWEET exhaust treatment by the way.
I couldn't help but feel the temptation when I noticed this Frankenstein Mercury was for sale for $1,500! A cheap enough price for a truly hilarious ride to roll around in.
And with that I wrap up the great Memorial Day road trip of 2014.

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