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#20 of 39 Re: What it would've taken... [Mr_Shiftright]
Jun 20, 2007 (6:58 am)
"Sure, we had ruined tires,"
I think tires, just like gasoline and oil, are something that is meant to be consumed in the operation of the car. If you're going to attempt to time capsule a car, the tires are automatically garbage. Might as well take them off and put them on another vehicle and use them up. RV owners already know about this, they're vehicles spend so much time in storage, they have those covers to keep the UV rays from aging the tires prematurely. I thought it was just a "dressing" to make the vehicle more attractive in the campground but I was corrected by an enthusiast.
I think the Belvedere actually had one or two of the tires still inflated somewhat, but if they tried to roll it slightly, they would have quickly deflated.
Somebody noted previously that you should jack the car up slightly to alleviate pressure on the tires.... I think this is actually more for the suspension and bearings, not the tires. Probably helps, but If I finally drove the time-capsuled car after fifty years, trying to utilize the original tires, I would definitely have a support vehicle right behind me with fresh tires ready!
Jun 20, 2007 (7:03 am)
I love this forum! Nobody is "snarky". Sure, a good natured ribbing here-and-there and solid debate, but everybody is pretty civil.
I actually thought I wasn't on the internet for a bit.....
#22 of 39 Re: What it would've taken... [ponderpoint]
Jun 20, 2007 (7:10 am)
Not sure, but didn't they have the Plymouth on a steel platforn not only to keep the tires off the vault floor but also to raise and lower it into the vault? I'm sure with all the water in the vault, the platform rusted away.
#23 of 39 Re: What it would've taken... [Mr_Shiftright]
Jun 20, 2007 (7:35 am)
Kids simply didn't lust after Chrysler products. Those were "adults" cars. The '57 Ford was also very popular. In the New York/Long Island cruise/drag culture, it was Chevys and Fords in the 50s, with some custom early 50s Fords and Mercurys.
True, but who buys new cars? Adults or kids? BTW, Chrysler products DID start turning the corner and catering to a more youthful market starting with the 1955 models, and the wildly advanced looking 1957 models drew even more in. In fact, I recall that DeSoto ended up being a victim of its own success in 1957, because the swoopy new styling drew in tons of people who never would have otherwise considered one. But then the quality control was enough to ensure they'd never buy another DeSoto. On top of that, the DeSoto faithful, who traded an older model in on a new '57, got burned as well, because they had been used to the high quality reputation of the older models, and suddenly felt screwed.
1957 was also the year that Dodge really emerged as Chrysler's performance division, and was considered a much more youthful car.
Back in college, when I worked as a waiter, one of my managers mentioned a 1957 DeSoto Fireflite that he once had. It was a pink and white 4-door hardtop. This was back around 1965, and he paid maybe $500 for it. He said people ragged on it all the time, partly because it was pink, but also partly because it was a DeSoto. People tend to not like orphans, no matter how pretty or capable they might actually be. Well, he said he used to be able to embarrass the heck out of many more desirable cars. I guess it's one thing to get blown off by a popular muscle car that looks the part, but when you get wasted by a big, bulky 4-door orphan from a bygone era, you tend to feel a bit of shrinkage between your legs.
Anyway, he ended up selling that thing, and bought a '57 Chevy convertible with a 283. Also for $500. I forget which engine, but probably just a 2-bbl. Maybe a 4. Definitely not a dual quad or fuelie. He said that it was a dog compared to that DeSoto and that he really missed the power, but the car just had that much more of a "cool" factor.
I still remember the day soon after I bought my '57 DeSoto, and I brought it up to show this manager. I hadn't worked at that restaurant in about 5 months, but kept in contact with some of the people there. And oddly, just like DeSoto, this manager ended up getting the axe! He couldn't come out and see the car because he was getting pulled into a meeting by his superiors, and they were about to fire him.
#24 of 39 Re: On the rust issue... [Mr_Shiftright]
Jun 20, 2007 (9:54 am)
Mr. Shiftright: Chrylser's ran the best I think overall, and Ford scored last on all counts. Funky motors, grim styling from 1958-62, and all rattles and rust.
Are you saying that Fords also had the worst build quality? Because from what I've read, Chryslers were dead last on that count - even worse than AMC at the time. And Ford styling was cleaned up after 1960, especially with the 1961 Continental.
At the Macungie Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) show, andre, lemko and I talked to a man who had a 1957 Dodge Coronet sedan.
The owner said that he had talked to a Chrysler dealer who toured a Chrysler plant in 1957 or 1958. The dealer noticed a worker using a sprayer to apply undercoating to a car. But nothing was coming out of the sprayer! The worker was making 12 sweeps, but not applying any undercoating.
He asked the worker why, and the worker said, "I have to make 12 sweeps for each car (according to the UAW contract). But management doesn't always keep me supplied with undercoating. I make the 12 sweeps, but if there is no undercoating in the machine, it's not my problem."
He then went back to making the 12 sweeps! So much for quality control...
As for exciting Chevrolets - I recall reading that the 1959 Chevrolet was actually popular with the younger set at the time, not so much because of its wild styling, but because Chevy offered the best and most complete lineup of performance engines and transmissions for that time period.
#25 of 39 Re: On the rust issue... [grbeck]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Jun 20, 2007 (10:28 am)
Nah, that's just my clumsy sentence structure. I meant that Ford was dead last in engines and transmissions. I agree, Chrysler was easily the worst for build quality but I think best for drivetrains. A Chrysler V8, Torqueflite trans and typical Chrysler differential were very tough units.
Yeah, Chevrolet really won its popularity with its bewildering array of engine and transmission options. I had a '59 Chevy convertible. It was a very good car. Chrysler products were not very sexy for some reason. They were like tanks, not very delicate...kind of brutal in design really. Is it any accident that "Christine" was a Mopar?
#26 of 39 I heard...
Jun 20, 2007 (10:52 am)
...that among the 1957 Mopar lineup that the Chryslers and DeSotos had much better workmanship and that the problems were mostly confined to the Plymouths and Dodges. I also heard the Imperial was very well-made.
An earlier poster mentioned that the 1957 cars were actually slated for 1958, but they were rushed into production. I think it would've been a darned if they do/darned if they don't situation as 1958 turned out to be a recession year. Sure, the cars may have been much better assembled, but they wouldn't have so as well. Were any significant design changes incorporated into the 1958 models?
Still feel sad about the Tulsa Belvedere. It's kind of like remembering a pretty girl you knew in high school and haven't seen in a long, long time. You finally see her twenty years later 100 lbs overweight, alcoholic, missing teeth, living in poverty, haggard-looking, and married to an abusive oaf.
#27 of 39 Re: I heard... [lemko]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Jun 20, 2007 (11:01 am)
I can't relate to feeling sympathy since I don't think anything of value was lost. It was just a base model sedan after all.
#28 of 39 Re: I heard... [Mr_Shiftright]
Jun 20, 2007 (11:18 am)
It was just a base model sedan after all.
I thought it was a Belvedere hardtop coupe that was buried? The Belvedere was the top model for Plymouth that year, equating to a Chevy Bel Air or a Ford Fairlane 500.
#29 of 39 Re: I heard... [Mr_Shiftright]
Jun 20, 2007 (11:20 am)
Actually, it was a top-of-the-line two-door hardtop. The 1957 Plymouth lineup went Plaza -> Savoy -> Belvedere in ascending order. The Fury was a limited edition two-door hardtop that only came in cream and gold. With what kind of engine was the Tulsa Belvedere equipped?
I remember seeing pictures of a car similar to the Tulsa Belvedere in excellent condition. At first, I thought it was the same car and thought, "Wow, that vault really did preserve the car!" That is until I read that the Tulsa Belvedere had yet to be unearthed.