Last post on Jan 24, 2013 at 2:20 PM
You are in the Classic Cars
What is this discussion about?
#1 of 416 The Golden Age.........
Jan 31, 2002 (9:17 am)
Cobras, Porsche 911S, A-H 300s, GT-350s, Stingrays, Elites, E-Types...the list goes on and on. This board is to discuss those great and not so great sports cars and GTs of the 60's. Tell us which ones you liked or didn't, which one's you experienced personally or wish you had, which were "real" sports cars and which were not. Those wishing to discuss racing and rally cars of the era are welcome too.
Jan 31, 2002 (9:30 am)
The nice thing about sports cars of the 60s is that they were so different from regular cars. You left your Pontiac or Chevrolet or even Volvo and got into a real 60s sports car and it was like being in a different universe. A shocking contrast!
Today you don't get that feeling, which is too bad. Now you can go from a sedan to the most ferocious of sports cars and the seats, dashboard, controls, engines, all feel the same as sedans. From the driver's seat, being in a Corvette or a Cavalier isn't much different (until you step on the gas, of course).
#3 of 416 63 Fiat Spider, 1197 cc's 4 speed roadster
Jan 31, 2002 (10:24 am)
Even the factory steel hardtop wouldn't keep the rain out. It was the beautiful beast about as fast as a pregnant nun goes to confession. It was replaced by a 66 Mustang GT Cpe which is still in the garage.
#4 of 416 '60s sports cars:
Jan 31, 2002 (10:48 am)
They were all junk and had shoddy quality. Exceptions were the Alfa Duetto/Spider, Mercedes SL series, all Porsches, Volvo P1800s, and Karmann-Ghias.
#5 of 416 Karmann Ghias were not sports cars.
Jan 31, 2002 (11:09 am)
they were identical mechanically to Beetles. Handled no better, went no faster. You could make the same argument about the Volvo P1800, a mechanical clone of the Volvo sedan (544? I've forgotten the number).
Jan 31, 2002 (11:28 am)
And the 190SL was a very heavy car based on an ordinary 180 sedan. But at least the 190SL looked like a sports car even if it really wasn't one. More of what we call a "boulevardier".
The Ghia was evil-handling at best.
Porsches of course acquited themselves very well on road or track, Alfas were also very competent for their time.
Volvo P1800--oh, what to make of it? Slow, heavy, steered like a truck, but a sturdy car and (some think) attractive enough. I'd call it more of a Swedish idea of a GT car, especially with the overdrive.
One of the nicest sportscars of the 60s was, of course, the MGB, especially after the five main engine and 1st gear synchro trans were introduced. These cars were cheap, plentiful, pretty darn good if you gave them any care at all, and well-built although primitive by German standards.
#7 of 416 I had a '66 TR-4A
Jan 31, 2002 (11:39 am)
I got it because I thought it was prettier than an MGB but over time I've come to believe that the MGs were sturdier and tighter, I still think that the TRs are better looking. (except vs.MGB-GTs)
Your comment about being totally different from a sedan certainly applies, primitive but fun.
#8 of 416 Yeah but......
Jan 31, 2002 (2:49 pm)
Jrosasmc, I was taken aback by your comments because, to be fair it is largely true (I can tell you from experience) that many sports cars of the '60s were poorly made, even for the times. I guess it's a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. If those cars failed as automobiles, they succeeded as experiences. Most of us wouldn't have missed one for the world.
Things have worked out so that we can enjoy the superiority of today's cars and yet lament that we've lost something along the way.
To me and all those who enjoyed those exasperating yet characterful
cars that's a win-win. We learned much about cars and a lot about life. That concludes today's philosophy lesson.
Jan 31, 2002 (2:57 pm)
Some people have called today's cars "impersonal perfection" and that's not a bad description.
Heavy on reliability and performance, but light on "character".
Of course "character" can be annoying both in people and in cars.
Some 60s sports cars were very well built. The Mercedes 280SL is a rock solid car, the Porsches are extremely well built, and the Alfas somewhere between the Brits and the Germans.
The Corvettes were pretty sturdy, although until they got disc brakes and power steering, they were a chore to drive. Some would even challenge that those big beasts were true sportscars. I never regarded them as such, because they were too big and too overpowered. More like two seater muscle cars.
#10 of 416 Andy & Mr. Shiftright:
Jan 31, 2002 (3:16 pm)
I'll take this opportunity to sincerely apologize for my comments in the earlier post. Yes, they were uncalled for, and I regret it.