Last post on Sep 22, 2010 at 5:55 PM
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Classic Cars, Coupe, Convertible, Truck, Sedan, Wagon
#94 of 133 Cars of the past, 70's and 80's? Sign of the techno literate
Sep 15, 2007 (3:52 pm)
Since my first car was a '54 Ford, V8 and my High School
friend got to drive his parents '51 Plymouth my leading edge
Baby Boom view is just a little older. Now a College friend
did have a '57 T-Bird, that was almost the coolest thing going
in '64/65 as things like the Falcon got released.
Since that time I've come across any number of things on the
road and off but one of the oddest is the '56 Facel-Vega
that is sitting in one guy's garage. His dad's daily driver
from that era and been sitting for 30+ years. The Facel as
I've found out was the product of a Frenchman trying to get
France back into the car game after WWII. Partly Italian
design and fabbed in France the cars came with a mixed drive
train that included a Chrysler engine and automatic or a
French designed manual transmission. The later cars had mid
to big Hemi blocks that are more sought after than this one
with what I think is a 318 Wedge motor and the euro manual.
The manual is preferred over the US auto transmission but is
extremely hard to get parts for.
I guess what is strange partly depends on when you came across it.
#95 of 133 Re: My friend's family... [lemko]
Sep 16, 2007 (4:12 am)
I dunno; a 1953 Chevy pickup has about as much power and cargo space as an '83 S-10. Light trucks didn't become what we think of now as "full-size" until the beginning of the 1960s.
#96 of 133 Re: My friend's family... [bumpy]
Sep 16, 2007 (8:37 am)
dunno; a 1953 Chevy pickup has about as much power and cargo space as an '83 S-10. Light trucks didn't become what we think of now as "full-size" until the beginning of the 1960s.
Would a '53 Chevy pickup have been able to hold a 4x8 sheet of plywood between its rear fender wells? That's something that to this day, only a full-sized pickup truck can do. The compacts and so-called midsizers are still unable. Although I did hear that if they would base the Dakota on the Durango platform, instead of its own, more dedicated platform, that it would be able to. But then, if they start giving the midsizers that capability, I guess it starts making the bigger trucks obsolete...unless you really need that extra power, towing capacity, or load capacity (not volume necessarily, but mass).
As far as interior room goes, I think trucks pretty much hit their peak with the '73 GM trucks. At least, comparing regular-cab models. I remember sitting in an '08 Chevy pickup at the DC auto show, a regular cab model. Other than the more rakish windshield, which gives you a nice, big dashboard top, I really didn't find any more useable interior room compared to my '85 Silverado. Legroom felt about the same. Ditto shoulder room. Storage behind the seat seemed about the same Now the steering wheel was a bit further from my chest, and the truck had real headrests to keep you from smacking the back window in a rear-ender...something I'm intimately familiar with in my '85 Silverado...OUCH!! Oh, and they've found more nooks and crannies to store small items.
I was a passenger in a 2004 F350 pickup yesterday and I swear, as big as that thing is, it doesn't seem like there's much more room than my Silverado. I think it does have 3 or 4 more inches of shoulder room, but when you're dealing with that much room, it's almost unneccesary. Now in cars, 4 inches can mean the difference between a compact and a full-size. But going from 64-65 inches to 67-68, I don't think most people will notice. Other dimensions though, particularly legroom, were no better. In fact, this thing seemed to have LESS footwell area because of the way the dashboard and components underneath hung down. The tranny hump seemed bigger too, but that's probably because of it being a heavy-duty truck.
Regarding the 1988 and later GM trucks, their beds actually were a bit narrower than the '73-87 style, but still big enough for the proverbial 4x8 sheet of plywood. Here's how I found that out. My pickup, back when it was Granddad's, had a camper shell on the back. At some point in the early 90's, after Granddad had passed away, my uncle pulled it off for whatever reason, and it was just sitting in the yard. In the late 90's, in an effort to try cleaning up Grandmom's yard, my Mom and uncle agreed to give it to some family friends. They had a 1988 or later pickup. I remember when we helpd them lift that shell onto the bed of the newer truck, it actually overhanged on either side by at least an inch. I don't know what that guy ultimately did with that shell, but I remember it was quite a balancing act, so I doubt if he kept it long.
Overall, I think the '88 GM trucks were about the same size as the '73-87 in most key dimensions. But something about their style made them look small. I remember when they first started hitting the streets, I'd mistake them for an early 80's Chevy LUV! The cheaper models with the single headlights did have a similar look.
I noticed the same thing about the '97 Ford F-150. While it was hardly a small truck, something about its styling looked small. If I saw it out in a parking lot all by itself, with nothing else to reference it against, it looked like a compact truck to me.
Oh, and if GM and everyone else downsized their trucks to S-10 size, I imagine that today I'd be nursing Granddad's '76 GMC crew cab along, instead of his '85 Silverado. However, my grandparents DID have a couple of small trucks. In the late 70's they bought a '72 LUV from a friend of my Mom's. At that time they had a '72 Impala and their '76 GMC. Grandmom was still working and drove the Impala, and Granddad was retired, and would use the LUV for running errands and such, instead of lugging that 21 foot long pickup around. They ended up giving the LUV to my uncle when he needed a car, and from there it got trashed, and ultimately totaled I think. He could be rough on cars! And judging by his '03 Corolla, still is. In late 1980, when gas prices were sky high and the stuff was scarce, my grandparents bought an '81 Dodge D-50. They had it less than 2 years. In early 1982 it pulled a sudden acceleration stunt at the gas station, and spooked them both enough that they didn't want it anymore. A neighbor wanted to buy it, and they sold it to him, and as of the early 90's he still had it.
I think my grandparents viewed little pickups as something to run errands in, short trips, etc. But Granddad was a farmer most of his life, so I think full-sized pickup trucks were in his blood.
#97 of 133 Re: My friend's family... [andre1969]
Sep 16, 2007 (3:36 pm)
Would a '53 Chevy pickup have been able to hold a 4x8 sheet of plywood between its rear fender wells?
Yes, but the longbed wasn't long enough until 1957.
#98 of 133 Re: One thing I never could figure out... [210delray]
by kyfdx@Edmunds HOST
Sep 18, 2007 (7:17 am)
That was our Driver's ED car..
#99 of 133 I seem to remember...
Sep 18, 2007 (9:17 am)
...an episode of "The Brady Bunch" where the kids were learning to drive in a 1974 Chevrolet Caprice convertible.
#100 of 133 Re: I seem to remember... [lemko]
Sep 18, 2007 (10:22 am)
Jeez. My driver's ed car was a '78 Volare... in 1993. The county finally retired that thing a year or two later and replaced it with a late '80s Dodge Spirit or Shadow (whatever the boring K-car was back then). I think the current car is a Cavalier.
#101 of 133 Re: I seem to remember... [bumpy]
Sep 18, 2007 (10:47 am)
Back when I was in high school, the local dealers were still supplying new cars to the schools (I would imagine the automakers were reimbursing the dealers; certainly my school couldn't afford the cost).
So I got to drive a spanking new '69 Dodge Coronet sedan. In brown IIRC. Big whoop!
#102 of 133 I can't really remember...
Sep 18, 2007 (10:50 am)
...but I think my high school's driver's ed car was a beige 1981 Chevrolet Malibu Classic.
#103 of 133 I remember
Sep 18, 2007 (11:40 am)
When I was in high school in the mid '60s our school decided that it should teach students who were interested how to drive those 'new' 4-on-the-floor transmissions. The local Ford dealer supplied a brand-new Fairlane sport coupe with a 289 and a 4-speed. Sweet Jesus that car was fun to drive. It would have been even more fun if we could have jettisoned the teacher, but he was actually a pretty good guy.