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Lovers of 'classic' cars born to be mild
USA TODAY ^ | 29 March 2002 | Marco R. della Cava

Posted on 03/29/2002 1:27:13 PM PST by Deadeye Division

Edited on 04/13/2004 1:39:28 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

PASADENA, Calif. Saturday nights in Pasadena are like Sunday mornings in the Bible Belt. Here, the object of worship is the automobile, and its intensity makes the Aztecs' sun-lust seem half-hearted. As the spring sky slowly turns Ferrari red, scores of vintage cars glide into a parking lot outside the Fuddruckers restaurant for a weekly chrome-and-steel fashion show ruled by custom '30s Ford hot rods, souped-up '50s Chevys and beefy '60s muscle cars of all stripes.


(Excerpt) Read more at usatoday.com ...


TOPICS: Hobbies; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: cars
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What's your favorite "nerd" car? Chevy Nova?
Ford Pinto?
Mercury Bobcat?
Plymouth Duster?
Pontiac Aztec?
Yugo?
All AMC cars (Gremlin, Pacer, etc)?
1 posted on 03/29/2002 1:27:14 PM PST by Deadeye Division
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To: Deadeye Division
AMC Matador: What were they thinking?


2 posted on 03/29/2002 2:06:45 PM PST by Dakmar
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To: Deadeye Division
What a fun article! Makes me want to buy an old Pinto. You know, really -- and call me a nut if you will -- Pintos have pretty nice lines. It's just that they've gotten so much bad press that it's hard to regard them objectively. AMC Gremlins? They are hideous, and that's simply objective truth; but they're so uncool they're cool -- a bit like Louis Rukeyser, really.

Viva los Nerdcars!

3 posted on 03/29/2002 3:11:08 PM PST by Yardstick
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To: Deadeye Division
Dodge Dart. That car took more abuse than any automobile should ever be able to withstand and kept right on going.
4 posted on 03/29/2002 3:27:02 PM PST by riley1992
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To: Yardstick
I've had a bunch of the so-called "Nerd Cars" in my driving life. AMC's have been, by far, the most reliable cars I have ever owned, mainly due to their mechanical "over-engineering". The V-8's used in their full size cars were the same ones that they used in their police packages (Remember "ADAM-12"), and the parts AMC didn't produce themselves were sourced from GM, Ford, & Chrysler, and are still easy to obtain. Just don't tell the parts counter guy it's for an AMC, or he'll either charge double, or tell you there's NO WAY it'll fit!
5 posted on 03/29/2002 3:49:28 PM PST by RangeRatt
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To: riley1992
Darts is cool, I guess, lol.


6 posted on 03/29/2002 4:14:58 PM PST by Dakmar
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To: riley1992
My mom's old dart ran like a top the day we had to haul it to the junkyard because the whole body had rusted out.....

I like Roadrunner Superbirds, personally.

7 posted on 03/29/2002 4:18:27 PM PST by Bella_Bru
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To: Bella_Bru
I like Roadrunner Superbirds, personally.

Here's a nice one.


8 posted on 03/29/2002 4:28:53 PM PST by Dakmar
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To: Dakmar
ohhhhhhhhhhhh.......must have that car!
9 posted on 03/29/2002 4:34:30 PM PST by Bella_Bru
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To: Bella_Bru
I know exactly what you mean. Pretty, pretty, pretty, evil snorkely looking predator car, come join the hunt... :-)
10 posted on 03/29/2002 4:39:20 PM PST by Dakmar
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To: Bella_Bru
But, great as the Superbird is, nothing can beat the 1970 Mercury Cyclone GT from a styling standpoint. It's certainly dated by todays standards, but if I was designing cars I would make the look cool, like this.

You can almost smell the cheap aftershave swinger smell from that car, eh?

11 posted on 03/29/2002 4:54:56 PM PST by Dakmar
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To: Deadeye Division
All AMC cars (Gremlin, Pacer, etc)?

Every single time I see an AMC car I think: "What happened? Have I been thrust into a parallel universe, where cars are ... not quite ... right???"

I don't know about them being reliable - just something about their styling was so ... strange.

12 posted on 03/29/2002 5:01:47 PM PST by jennyp
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To: Deadeye Division
My mother had a Pinto wagon with a V-6 in it. I inherited it in 1984. The first thing I did was take it out on Highway 4 and blew all of the carbon out of it- it ran like a sonofagun. The acceleration was excellent, especially given what it was.

I have to admit, I miss the "Mysterymobile".

13 posted on 03/29/2002 5:06:17 PM PST by Riley
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To: Riley
The Pinto Cruising Wagons were neat looking.
14 posted on 03/29/2002 5:17:57 PM PST by Dakmar
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To: Dakmar
I had the regular windows in the back on mine. I put a pair of Electrovox home stereo speakers in the back and used to drive around with classical music thundering out of it- Don Dorsey's "Bachbusters"!
15 posted on 03/29/2002 5:21:22 PM PST by Riley
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To: jennyp
Vote for the nerdiest car at article link. USA TODAY Quick Question Results
16 posted on 03/29/2002 5:43:16 PM PST by Deadeye Division
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To: Riley;riley1992
That must have been fun. I will always remember the look I got when I would pull up to an intersection with some Buddy Holly music cranked up on the speakers. Some people just don't know what to make of a long-haired right wing lunatic in a foriegn sports car belting out the verses of "Raining In My Heart" in the car right next to theirs.
17 posted on 03/29/2002 5:43:29 PM PST by Dakmar
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To: Dakmar
Here's a nice one.

Yeah, it is. I'm just wonderin' what it's doin' with a hoodscoop off a Coronet R/T.

18 posted on 03/29/2002 6:00:56 PM PST by uglybiker
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To: uglybiker
Good eye! I never would have noticed that if you had not pointed it out. It looks cool, but would seriously diminsh the value of the car unless it's a factory one-off or something.
19 posted on 03/29/2002 6:15:00 PM PST by Dakmar
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To: Dakmar
Hey, be nice. He asked for our favorite 'nerd' cars. Mine qualified all the way around. Duck brown and the driver's side door was actually bolted shut. I had to climb in Daisy Duke style. LOL
20 posted on 03/29/2002 6:24:12 PM PST by riley1992
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To: riley1992
Sorry, I just get carried away sometimes. After posting that Matador picture I had to redeem myself.
21 posted on 03/29/2002 6:33:27 PM PST by Dakmar
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To: Deadeye Division
I'll stick with my 62 Chrysler Newport. It has it all, ugly, big, cool, did I mention ugly... Push button drive..ahhh life is good.
22 posted on 03/29/2002 6:34:38 PM PST by LowOiL
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To: Lowelljr
what's under the hood? 413?
23 posted on 03/29/2002 6:44:32 PM PST by RangeRatt
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To: Dakmar
authentic or not- it still looks bitchin'!
24 posted on 03/29/2002 6:59:23 PM PST by RangeRatt
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To: Deadeye Division

1979 Subaru Brat. Yes, I drove one for six years.

25 posted on 03/29/2002 7:05:04 PM PST by martin_fierro
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To: Deadeye Division
I'm still tryin' to figure this one out:


26 posted on 03/29/2002 7:10:09 PM PST by martin_fierro
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To: martin_fierro
and getting extremely hard to find these days...Subaru built a very reliable product, just never very "attractive" to the masses.
27 posted on 03/29/2002 7:12:27 PM PST by RangeRatt
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To: jennyp
Every single time I see an AMC car I think: "What happened? Have I been thrust into a parallel universe, where cars are ... not quite ... right???"
I don't know about them being reliable - just something about their styling was so ... strange.

Behold the AMC Pacer:


SO CLOSE to being a cool-looking ride, and yet ... so far away!

28 posted on 03/29/2002 7:16:06 PM PST by martin_fierro
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To: martin_fierro;RangeRatt
Six years must be a new record. Most of those rusted away faster than an off brand steel-wool pad.
29 posted on 03/29/2002 7:19:11 PM PST by Dakmar
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To: RangeRatt
I still have mixed feelings about the Brat.

It really did well in 4WD, even getting around icy, hilly SW Pennsylvania streets in winter where huge Ford 4WDs couldn't.

But everything seemed to go to hell after 50,000 miles.

30 posted on 03/29/2002 7:20:14 PM PST by martin_fierro
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To: Deadeye Division
Classic nerd cars:

Ford Falcon, 1960-64. (Before he became Secretary of Defence, Robert McNamara was all but running the show at Ford and the Falcon was his brainchild. Said a critic: "He wears granny glasses and he brings out a granny car.")

Plymouth Valiant, 1961-63. (My mother owned one of these, brand new, before she sold it to my paternal grandparents, who loved the car. Me, the only thing I liked was the baby blue colour of the car.)

Dodge Lancer, 1961-63. (The extremely poor man's Valiant.)

Morris Minor 1000, early 1960s. (Who says the Brits couldn't make a good nerd car? The plus side: The suckers lasted. The minus side: Everything else.)

AMC Matador, 1972-74. (The nerd's version of the Ford Galaxie. High school driver's ed class instructors loved them. If that doesn't say it all, I don't know what does.)

Ford Fairlane 500, 1961-66. (When the Fairlane went compact, it was nerd paradise. Sort of. Though the 1964 Fairlane was actually a handsome little car.)

Chevrolet Nova, 1970s. (Self-explanatory.)

Ford Tempo, 1980s. (The 1980s Fairlane. Wanna fight?)

Mercury Comet, 1960-63. (Someone's idea of hipping up the Falcon. It didn't work.)

Chrysler K Cars, 1980s. (The insouciantly insufferable nerd cars of the 1980s.)

...just for openers...
31 posted on 03/29/2002 7:20:54 PM PST by BluesDuke
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To: Lowelljr
The early 1960s Chryslers were anything but nerdmobiles. (You want the early 1960s Chrysler Corporation nerdmobiles, the name is spelled D-O-D-G-E. Hard to believe it was the same marque which eventually came up with the Intrepid.) Actually, the 1964 New Yorker was one hell of a handsome beast! Not to mention, the 1964 Imperial Crown Sedan...
32 posted on 03/29/2002 7:23:05 PM PST by BluesDuke
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To: BluesDuke
good evening, Duke! I sold one of the "new era nerd cars" about six months ago- a '85 Fifth Avenue. 85,000 old lady miles, clean, but nowhere to keep it once I went overseas. BTW, I learned to drive in a '65 Dodge Dart 4dr: slant six, push-button automatic, Am radio with the "Civil Defense frequency" highlights on the dial, and a heater. The color? Boring Beige. But what an indestructable car!
33 posted on 03/29/2002 7:26:56 PM PST by RangeRatt
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To: jennyp
Every single time I see an AMC car I think: "What happened?

We should have seen it coming when Nash merged with Hudson. I mean, two classic old Nerdmobile makers merging? Kind of like grafting a supergroup from among members of the Partridge Family, the Bay City Rollers, the Osmonds and the 1910 Fruitgum Company.
34 posted on 03/29/2002 7:27:52 PM PST by BluesDuke
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To: RangeRatt
Now, now, I wouldn't exactly call the Fifth Avenue a nerdmobile, if you're talking about the early 1990s or, better yet, the early 1960s. Though I was delighted Chrysler finally underwent a style makeover in the mid-1990s, and the Concorde and LHS today are some slick looking machines for what is basically a semi-luxury car marque.

And here is probably the most underrated car in American history...in its final model year, 1940: the Hupmobile...


35 posted on 03/29/2002 7:35:45 PM PST by BluesDuke
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To: RangeRatt
Some other Hupmobile beauties...

1911 Model D touring car.



1930 sedan.



1932 roadster.



1933 rumbleseat roadster.


36 posted on 03/29/2002 7:43:59 PM PST by BluesDuke
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To: BluesDuke
I was at a friends today and helped him move some stuff for his old lady neighbor.
In her garage sits a 1964(?) Lincoln Continental Mach 5. All original/stock, except for an under dash 8-track player.
Beautiful.

Hey, it's that time of year again...Play Ball!

37 posted on 03/29/2002 7:54:33 PM PST by PRND21
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To: BluesDuke
do you subscribe to Cars And Parts?
38 posted on 03/29/2002 8:01:31 PM PST by RangeRatt
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To: PRND21
I forget its specific premiere, but the Mark V wasn't made in the 1960s. (I think it was an early 1970s coupe.) If it was a 1964 Continental, it would have been one of the classic four-door hardtops with the suicide doors. (The 1961-66 Lincoln Continental was the last known American car to deploy the suicide door style.)

Play ball, indeed!
39 posted on 03/29/2002 8:05:15 PM PST by BluesDuke
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To: BluesDuke
Mercury Comet, 1960-63.

The Comet was originally to be sold by Edsel dealers as their small car entry, unfortunately, the plug was pulled on Edsel in late 1959, just after the 1960 models were introduced. Interesting factoid: of the 62 Model 76 Edsel convertibles made, over 50 still survive!

40 posted on 03/29/2002 8:05:18 PM PST by RangeRatt
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To: RangeRatt
I'm afraid I don't subscribe to Cars and Parts, in large part because I'm not terribly mechanically inclined. (About the best I could possibly do would be learning to fix a small appliance - which I plan in due course to do, viz restoring from the guts up the classic Sunbeam Mixmaster of 1930-67, one of which machines I learned to cook on when I was growing up and one of which I now own, fully restored: a 1955 Model 11.) But I do read such journals as Classic Automobiles and Du Pont Registry for material about vintage and antique cars. My personal favourite among antique cars are Packards and the late-1950s Lincolns, but I've lately developed a small affection for the Hupmobile.
41 posted on 03/29/2002 8:07:40 PM PST by BluesDuke
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To: RangeRatt
I actually liked the Edsel! (I'm not surprised that the Comet germinated as an Edsel-marque compact; the rear end of the original Comet, if one looks very closely, suggests the Edsel.) It wasn't a bad car at all; its fate was that the midrange price markets had depressed a few years, including those when the Edsel first rolled out. I'm not the only Edsel aficionado who thinks, looking back on the history, that if Ford could have just hung on a little longer, there would have been room enough for the car.
42 posted on 03/29/2002 8:09:56 PM PST by BluesDuke
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To: 2Trievers
If it doesn't rain tomorrow, I'll bring my car around for a spin in the country, if you can spare the time.
43 posted on 03/29/2002 8:13:27 PM PST by Graewoulf
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To: RangeRatt


1958 Edsel Citation.



1959 Edsel Corsair.




My personal favourite: I thought the 1959 Edsels were far more handsome cars. From all I have read of them, they were the best of the Edsels. 1960 Edsel Ranger.
44 posted on 03/29/2002 8:19:30 PM PST by BluesDuke
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To: BluesDuke
C&P isn't heavy on tech, and they have GREAT articles on history of the different marques, a couple of months ago a 4 page photospread & story about Earle Hosstetler, who collects & restores Hudsons & Hupps, and a lot more.
45 posted on 03/29/2002 8:35:56 PM PST by RangeRatt
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To: BluesDuke
ah yes, but the '59 didn't offer the "Teletouch" shifter, although I agree, the styling did smooth out over the '58. I saw, not too long ago, a "58 Edsel Retractable Convertible"- I know "E" never had that particular model, but the workmanship was awesome, and unless you knew the above fact, you'd swear it was factory original. Also, ever seen an "Edselchero"?
46 posted on 03/29/2002 8:39:58 PM PST by RangeRatt
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To: RangeRatt
I'm given to understand a few Edsel aficionados like to modify their prizes, including the famous retractable "Skyliner" roof (introduced in the 1957-58 Ford). I've heard about the "Edselchero," too, though I've yet to see one in the steel, so to say...I was surprised to discover the 1959 Edsel dispensed with the touch transmission in the steering column (an idea they kind of modified from Chrysler, whose cars introduced push-button transmission around 1955), but all my reading of the Edsels tells me the 1959 Edsels were the superiors among the short-lived marque.

I'll have to give Car & Parts another pull...
47 posted on 03/29/2002 9:00:51 PM PST by BluesDuke
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To: Graewoulf; BluesDuke
You know I always have time for you Woulfie ... have you been keeping deep dark secrets from me? I may never forgive you! Will 1 PM be fine? BD ... forgive me ... I know not what I do! &;-)
48 posted on 03/29/2002 9:07:43 PM PST by 2Trievers
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To: 2Trievers
There's something to forgive? *scratching head...slightly in the dark...* ;)
49 posted on 03/29/2002 9:21:01 PM PST by BluesDuke
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To: Deadeye Division
Great Thread DeD! Thanks!

The very first porsche ever made, 1948 356 Roadster. This is a one of a kind. Nerds need not apply. &;-)

50 posted on 03/29/2002 9:21:21 PM PST by 2Trievers
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