Saturday, July 16, 2016

Greenpoint classic round-up!

I'm lucky to have friends think of me whenever they see an old car in the street. Several of these folks send me random pictures of classics which I love. However this takes the cake; my buddy Robin of Omaha jumped out of his cab one evening when he realized he was passing an impromptu car show in Greenpoint. All of the following pics are from this single event. I figured I'd do one gargantuan post to round them all up, loosely organized by make. Enjoy!
This is a 1963 Chevrolet C60 in Pine Green. This is the coolest, least expected classic to bring to a Brooklyn car show!
This beast looks like it drove here directly from the farm, yet somehow it's in near flawless condition. Definitely meant for work, the bumpers are painted white from the factory, as are the mirrors, grill, and steering wheel. No chrome for this monster!
This is a 1963 Chevy Impala convertible in Ermine White. This is the make and model Doughboy (Ice Cube) drove in Boyz in da Hood!
From the boat style angled antenna to the original hubcaps this thing is sweet. Also (and I say this from experience) having a white convertible top is brilliant. So many convertibles had black tops and it makes the car so freaking hot as to be unbearable. Same goes for black convertible interiors; why?!
1967 Corvette convertible in Silver Pearl Poly. This is the last year of this body style which debuted in '63. To my eyes this is the best generation 'vette in both hardtop and drop top form.
We know it's a '67 because those gills behind the front wheels are in a contained cluster where in previous years they were individual vents. The fact that the top stows away under that tonneau cover is sleek sleek sleek. 
1964 Chevy Corvair Monza in Palomar Red Poly. We know it's a '64 because that was the first year CORVAIR is spelled out on the hood but the last year of this older headlight style.
The name Corvair comes from combining parts of Corvette and Bel Air. The Monza designation meant a higher, sportier trim level. However the Monza package proved so popular that it's much more rare to find a non-Monza Corvair these days. In 1963 for instance 80% of all Corvairs were Monzas. In addition to the Monza there was the Spyder option which came with a turbocharged engine.
It looks a little dowdy and frumpy as a 4 door but the visibility is fantastic on these. The rear wheels are powered by a transaxle much like the older Beetles. The main drawback to a transaxle is that under extreme cornering you could experience wheel failure where the rim would fold under the car.
Here we have the very first year for Corvair; a 1960 coupe in Horizon Blue. The surefire way to identify a '60 is that it is the only year where that center trim piece on the front of the car doesn't reach all the way to the headlight buckets but rather sits in the middle.
It's hard to overstate how advanced this car was when it came out. The hallmark of the Corvair is that it is a rear-engine, air-cooled domestic car. Larger and more comfortable than a Volkswagen (with a vastly superior heater) but very similar underneath.
This is such an elegant design for 1960 United States when most domestic cars were gargantuan in proportion with hundreds of pounds worth of chrome trim dressing them up. Due to it's light weight and 6 cylinder engine the acceleration was comparable to the full-size Chevy Biscayne. It was wildly popular throughout its 1960-1969 run but the Ralph Nader book Unsafe at Any Speed targeted it and the Beetle as examples of machines that will kill you. THANKS NADER. Why don't you go ahead and skew an important election too you wet end!
This dilated beast is a 1965 Pontiac Grand Prix in what might be Nightwatch Blue. The Grand Prix was a combination of brute force and luxury in a 2 door coupe. The last thing on anyone's mind in '65 was efficiency. This is a full-size, heavy car with a huge 389 V8 as the standard engine. You could also get a higher horsepower 389 or your choice of two 421 V8s with either an automatic or manual transmission. Having a 421 Tri-Power (3 double barrel carbs) hooked up to a 4 speed manual trans in this ride would make it a monster. It would also get about 8 to 9 mpg.
Massive 2 door bruisers like this would continue on through to the end of the 1970s though the bottom would drop out in terms of horsepower. However in '65 it was all go and all show.
Here we've got a 1971 Cadillac Coupe DeVille in Bavarian Blue Firemist. The Firemist color line was available on Cadillacs from the '60s through the '70s and featured uniquely shaped metal flakes that made the finish shine like crazy. I had a '74 Caddy with Seafoam Firemist Green and it was beautiful in the sunlight.
The only difference between this and the 1972 model is that the grill is an egg crate design where the '72 sported horizontal lines only.
As luxurious as these cars were they are legitimate hot rods too. The engine is the mighty 7.7 liter 472 V8 rated at a whopping 375 horsepower. My own '74 Caddy had a slightly lower HP rating due to emissions equipment such as a catalytic converter but it would still do a standing burnout until you decided to let off the gas (look I was 17 and had priorities). Remember the Cannonball Run? In real life a bone stock '72 Coupe DeVille like this one placed third in that coast-to-coast race while having the highest average speed of 84.5 mph. It could do this while remaining almost silent too.
This is a 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint convertible in Pagoda Green. This is the same year, make, and model that the Rodriguez Brothers drove in the Greatest Movie of All Time; REPO MAN!
We know it's a '64 because the grill was simplified for '65 and the convertible was only offered in this generation of Falcon for '64 and '65.
This car is identical to the then-new Mustang under the sheetmetal. Since the Mustang was a genuine article game changer for the automotive world these Falcons never really took off like they should have. They would quietly fade away over the next 6 years.
Next up we have a 1966 Ford Fairlane in probably either Nightmist Blue or Ivy Green. The stacked headlights debuted in '66 and the following year introduced several vertical bars to the grill so we know the vintage for sure.
This was the mid-size offering from Ford in '66 and any number of engine and transmission combinations could be ordered. For the little old lady going to church there was the 200 inline 6 cylinder engine. However if you were so inclined you could order the mighty 427 V8 that turned this into a serious stock race car. I believe this example is an XL edition which was a higher trim package. The bright rocker moldings and fancy hubcaps would be included in this.
Here we've got a 1964 Mercury Comet in Platinum Beige Poly. This is an upmarket version of the Falcon and likewise shares most of the mechanicals with the Mustang. The entire front end is '64 only.
Being a Mercury it has more formal lines that the Ford. In this era the compact cars (which this is) looked much like their larger siblings.
We're sticking with a Mercury version of a Ford again! This is a 1972-1973 Comet in Light Blue. This car is 100% Ford Maverick with fancier trim.
The 2 door fastback body style shown here is a good approximation of the Mustang of the same era. The vinyl roof treatment that leaves the sides untouched is unique to the Comet.
Hidden in the shadows is a 1969-1971 Lincoln Mark III in what I think is an aftermarket green. Lee Iacocca was the president of Ford when he decreed that the designers should put a Rolls-Royce grill on a Thunderbird. That's basically what this is; a Thunderbird frame and underbody with lots of luxo doo-dads hanging off of it.
The Lincoln 460 V8 propelled this beast which was a good thing as it weighed 300lbs more than a Thunderbird. Incidentally this was the bad guy car in the French Connection; all of the heroin was stashed in the rocker panels of a brown Mark III.
This is a 1964-1965 Plymouth Barracuda in White. The Barracuda beat the Mustang to the marketplace by 2 weeks, a fact that nobody knows or cares about because the Ford was so much more popular.
That huge 1 piece wraparound back window is the definitive feature of the 1st generation Barracuda styling. Under the skin this car is basically a Valiant or Dart with the same range of engines. We can see from the front fender emblem on this ride that it is equipped with the 273 V8 engine.
And here is the sibling to the white Barracuda! This is a 1964 Plymouth Valiant in Turquoise Poly. This is the standard grocery getter for the '60s.
Chances are this was built with the legendary slant-6 engine. These cars are dead reliable and oh-so easy to work on. I've had a couple slant-6 powered Mopars from the '70s and they are the best classics I know of for daily use.
Well that wraps it up for the colossal round-up provided by Robin of Omaha. I'm assuming that most if not all of these rides reside in NYC so I'll keep my eyes peeled for them in the future.

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