Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mid-'60's GM in large and small for 2-fer Tuesday

Everybody loves to make fun of the sidekick. Phife Dog said it best in Clap your Hands;
"to heck with the groupies, like um, Ralph was to Potsie, Brooklyn to Dodger, Laverne to Shirley, Rerun to Roger, Ren to the Stimpy, Laurel to Hardy (Q-Tip and Phifer, they mashed up the party)".
I love the sidekicks, so I'm going to feature this buddy buddy team right now.
Here we have a majestic 1966 Cadillac and his lil' buddy; the1964 Chevy II (not even a high enough trim level to be called Nova!).
The Cadillac color is great, but seemingly impossible to identify! My best guess would be one of their Firemist colors, possibly Gold, but I can't locate any color chips or codes to confirm. I did find images of another '66 Cadillac in the same color but it was from a years-old classified ad and the info to go with the thumbnails is long gone. Very frustrating for a car geek like me! 
The sheer amount of metal each of these Caddys contains is stupefying. You've gotta love the Star Destroyer taillights that obviously double as jet engines.
These cars are basically parked nose to nose so you can see how much extra trunk the Cadillac is sporting. There is something cathedral-like about the bumper/taillight combo.

Little design vignettes like these side marker lights are sometimes surprising in their elegance. This looks like an architectural model for a bank of windows on some 1950's office building. The Cadillac symbol on a field of brushed metal is very proud of it's heritage.
Aerodynamics were not the name of the game for this beast. Gothic headlight treatments were.
The backs of the front seats have quilted leather with buttons framed in thick stainless steel over thicker shag! I have a feeling those blue seat belts were added later as such a color clash would never happen from the factory on GM's flagship luxury yacht. Still an old car though as Prestone anti-freeze and a gas can make an appearance.
There are some dashboard details worth pointing out on this model. First of all check out that radio with both dials on the drivers side; look but don't touch Passenger! Secondly, that wide rectangle of stainless steel below the a/c vent and radio is a lift-up door hiding an absolutely colossal double ashtray. If the door were to be open we'd see a fat pushbutton lighter in the middle with individual ashtrays on each side. In case you were wondering each rear armrest had an ashtray with lighter as well; GM fully expected this car to carry cigar smoking adults in every seat, each lighting up and ashing at will.
What a contrast to the dashboard of the thrifty and economical Chevy II! It too has an expanse of plain metal in the center, but this one is a radio delete; that's essentially the cover they install over the gaping hole in the dashboard that says "I'm too cheap to order a radio".
While we're at it let's take note of the fact that there are 3 pedals on the floor (though the actual pedal of the accelerator is missing leaving a gas stalk). This is a "3-on-the-tree" stick shift transmission. At least that black rectangle of plastic hanging below the dash means that this car has a heater (not a guarantee as some Chevys of this era were made with heater delete too!). I believe one or two of those knobs control the heat in a very basic way. Better hope it works as that is the ground visible through a big hole in the floor. 
Oh man, Frumpy II has a finish made up of a mist of oxidation, lack of paint, and oily drips. That remnant of a trailer hitch is extremely optimistic!
Yes these two rides couldn't be more different though they are siblings. The big and powerful Cadillac obviously didn't do an effective job of protecting lil' Chevy as the bullying took it's toll. Regardless, in the Old Age Home of the BQE everyone's equal.

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