Saturday, October 11, 2014

"FLY, SOAR, FLY BY, FALL OFF, OR PASS QUICKLY"

VOLARÉ
Yes indeed the definition of the Italian word Volaré means to "fly, soar, fly by, fall off, or pass quickly". This is the only domestic car I know of that has an accent on its name (there are probably dozens of them but I can't recall one now. Remind me in the comments if you know of another).
What we have here is a 1978 Plymouth Volaré in Spinnaker White with Red vinyl roof and trim. I found this thing crouched in its hiding spot out near the mighty Broadway Junction subway stop in deep Brooklyn. This was the next step in evolution for the Valiant which had been soldiering on faithfully since its introduction in 1960. The 2 door fastback style Valiant was known as the Duster, and this car isn't far off from that design.
That egg-crate grill design was new for '78, though this one has been cracked right down the middle. Behind that mashed-up grill lies either the famous Slant-6 engine or the 318 V8.
This is one of the cars that helped escort its parent company Chrysler to the brink of bankruptcy in the late '70s. While nothing was inherently wrong with the concept of this ride, the execution was rife with disaster. There were 8 individual recalls ordered for the 1976 model alone, equally attributed to terrible workmanship as well as design flaws. This was devastating not only to public perception, but overall costs. One of the recalls involved replacing both front fenders as they were prone to rust!
You think Volaré gives a hoot about your empty 24/7 NO PARKING threat? 
Here we see evidence of the Custom exterior option package; red inserts in the side trim that match the pinstripes and vinyl roof (It looks burgundy to me but Red is the given factory hue). The original owner stopped short of springing for the Premier package which would have resulted in a hood ornament.
You have to marvel at the quality control of Chrysler in the late '70s; the paint is cracking like a dried lakebed in the desert. I can only imagine something was just off for this to happen; maybe it was dried under too much heat?
Volaré is representing with a circa '79-'82 Ford LTD hubcap. 
Should you run across one of these in the wild and want to discern the vintage you can always check the taillights. The year before this was a totally different design, while the year after looked like this one except for those orange lenses which would be clear.
That single Delaware plate is meant to keep the ticket-writers at bay. However, a New York inspection sticker remains on the windshield! Not very sneaky.
Well with a yawn and a shrug we'll back away from this thing and let it rest. Overall the condition is City Good; lots of bumps and scrapes all over the place but nothing truly fatal. When I was a kid in California my buddy Dans mother used to deliver the mail on a rural route with her 4 door Volaré, after which we were able to use it to go to town. We would routinely get her green 4 door with the 318 V8 up to 110mph, floating and bouncing across the wide-open flatlands of Central California. I doubt this beast is up to the task!

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