Last post on Oct 22, 2009 at 1:59 PM
You are in the Classic Cars
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#123 of 152 Something less American
Feb 27, 2003 (7:34 pm)
So many American cars, or American-engined cars...
So how about a BMW 2800CS convertible? There were a very limited number of 1600-based cabrios built by Baur, including I think an even smaller number of '71-spec 2002s, and some weird-looking later models with fixed "targa" bars. I've always liked the six-cylinder coupes, and it'd make a snazzy cabriolet.
(Although perhaps not...the best part of the styling, for me, is the sharp C-pillar shape, so maybe it would be better not to lose that.)
Feb 27, 2003 (8:48 pm)
Maybe a nice Supra twin turbo in there? Or Mazda rotary? Hoodline is too low for a V8. And speaking of which....
RE: American V8s --you cannot design a car without knowing the type of engine that goes into it---that's about all I'm saying.
One reason for the growth of the monster V8 was the need to power all the accessories being sold to people. You can't have a/c, power windows, auto trans, power steering, etc, with a puny flathead six that's for sure. And these accessories are often wider than the engine, and certainly longer. So the engine/accessory package dictated very large cars.
It was, in the 50s and 60s basically the philosophy of excess. The designs were not very rational, but rather highly emotional in content. The idea was not only "bigger is better" but "bigger is dangerous", as in battering ram or set of teeth that will eat you.
Feb 28, 2003 (9:09 am)
"bigger is dangerous"
I think that's the mentality used to sell SUV's nowadays. Or at least, "Bigger is Macho!"
I just realized my dream car was in production since 1968, so I can include it just the way it came off the factory line. '68 Jag XJ6. Much better looking than about 99% of what BMW had, has, or will have, IMO And being a '68, it was made before the British Leyland days when the quality control guys took a coffee break and never came back. It's also a design that stayed around, in one form or another, until 1992, so Sir William did a pretty good job on the car's styling.
Feb 28, 2003 (9:44 am)
So would you keep it stock or modify it to improve reliability/performance?
Feb 28, 2003 (10:58 am)
I'd modify it. (I'm a car guy. It's genetic. I have to modify anything with four wheels and an engine. I want to built a miniature supercharger for my lawn mower.) Not sure what I could do to keep it in the '50's-'60's time frame. Most of what I would want to do would be to add fuel injection from the later cars, a Chevy transmission with an overdrive, and things of that nature. I guess keeping it within the 1950-1969 time frame, there's not a lot of modification I could do. Now that I'm thinking about it, I'd rather take an XK-120 FHC, drop in a fuel injected 4.2 L XK engine, and upgrade the suspension to XK-150 standards. That would take what is, IMO, the most beautiful car ever built, give it more power, and slightly better suspension than when in debuted in 1948. Of course, the fuel injection didn't come around until the late '70's, so that would be out on this list. Still, with an unlimited budget, I could have fun hot rodding a classic Jaguar and still keep it "in the family."
Feb 28, 2003 (12:02 pm)
Another appealing Jaguar idea from my tastes... I like the Mk II compact sedans of the mid-sixties better, stylistically, than the XJ6. The XJ has a lot to recommend it aesthetically, but somehow the earlier version seems purer to me.
My favorite Jag saloon iteration, though, was the XJ6C/XJ12C, the mid-70s pillarless two-door:
So the mind starts thinking -- what if there'd been a '66-'67 vintage Mark II 2-door hardtop? The pillarless design is more of a 60s phenomenon, which seems fitting. With the 3.8L engine and up to 265 gross hp, the Mark II was pretty brisk for its day, although one might wonder if there was a better proprietary transmission available than the Moss 4-speed or the B-W auto.
I'd probably be asking for trouble with such a thing. The reason why the XJC coupes of the '70s didn't last long was because Jag build quality (never a strong point to begin with, especially in those days) could never sort out the window sealing problems of the pillarless design. And the reason for the vinyl top -- the one element of the design I don't much like -- was to cover the nasty weld line left by the surgery. But if it could be accomplished (we are _dreaming_, after all), it sounds like the makings of a very pretty car.
Feb 28, 2003 (12:49 pm)
The Mark II's are beautiful cars, no doubt about it, but it's the "compact" part that gets me. As much as I love Jaguars, I grew up in the back seat of an American land yatch from the '70's, and I like big cars. The XJ is by no means big, but it's at least "mid-size" and not "compact." But the Mk II's styling does come from the XK's, which is a major point in its favor. I tend to have a love-hate relationship with cars such as the XK, '55 T-Bird, Corvette, and the like. Cars that are beautiful, performers, or both, on one hand, but smallish and lacking a back seat on the other. On one hand, I want one, on the other hand, I want a car that is XK-120 on the outside, Town Car Limo on the inside. Maybe I just need both my '78 Grand Marquis and a little British sportscar.
#130 of 152 I kinda like...
Feb 28, 2003 (1:07 pm)
...that Jag hardtop. I'd imagine that the trunk and back seat are practically non-existent, though!
#131 of 152 Andre and argent
Feb 28, 2003 (1:59 pm)
You are not the only two with the thought of a Jag Mk 2 hardtop. I have seen a custom job advertised recently, I am sure in Hemmings. I was not interested myself, but there was a picture and it is a handsome piece.
Feb 28, 2003 (5:01 pm)
...the hardtop I liked was that real one that Argent posted, that sexy XJ. I never really liked those little Mark II's. I could probably whip up a hardtop Mark II in Photoshop though, if anybody's interested to see what it might have looked like. I'll try to do it on Monday if I have some free time. (No Photoshop at home)