American

1954 Packard Patrician

1954 Packard Patrician 1954 Packard Patrician 1954 Packard Patrician 1954 Packard Patrician 1954 Packard Patrician 1954 Packard Patrician 1954 Packard Patrician

The last real flagship of the famed Packard line, the 1954 model was the last to boast Packard’s straight eight engine before  a new V8 was introduced with the 1955 restyle. Just 2,760 found buyers in 1954, showcasing the decline of the Packard marque, which would disappear after 1958.

El Segundo, CA

Photos by The Professor

 

 

1965 Chrysler New Yorker

1965 Chrysler New Yorker 1965 Chrysler New Yorker 1965 Chrysler New Yorker 1965 Chrysler New Yorker 1965 Chrysler New Yorker 1965 Chrysler New Yorker

The 1965 New Yorker was a fresh redesign penned by Chrysler’s chief stylist Elwood Engel, with many styling features resembling the famed 1961 Lincoln Continental, also designed by Engel. 21,110 buyers sprang for the sedan in 1965, no doubt attracted by the 340 horses under the hood.

El Segundo, CA

Photos by The Professor

1951 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe Convertible

1951 Chevrolet Deluxe Convertible 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe Convertible 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe Convertible 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe Convertible 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe Convertible 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe Convertible1951 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe Convertible

Steve McQueen owned one of these, and drove it in the final movie of his career–The Hunter (1980). His sold for $84,000 in 2013. With a standard 3-speed manual and an optional 2-speed Powerglide automatic, nearly 50% of the Stylelines sold were with the Powerglide, like the example pictured here.

This one was spotted at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA.

Los Angeles, CA

Photos by The Professor

 

1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Convertible

1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Convertible 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Convertible 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Convertible 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Convertible

The Corvair, of course, was highlighted in Ralph Nader’s book Unsafe at Any Speed, after which sales fell more than half from 220,000 in 1965 to less than 110,000 the next year. Nader’s book crippled the reputation of the Corvair, and sales never recovered.

This is not the most attractive example of a Corvair imaginable–the knockoff wire wheels and the drab color and trim do nothing to help its looks. However, it is a fairly-well preserved example of a none-too-common convertible model, which makes it a worthy picture target.

Santa Monica, CA

Photos by The Professor

1983 Dodge Shelby Charger

1983 Shelby Charger 1983 Shelby Charger 1983 Shelby Charger 1983 Shelby Charger 1983 Shelby Charger

This is a souped-up version of the Dodge Charger that nobody remembers. There have been 3 different Charger models on 3 different platforms. First, there was the classic B-body Charger, made from 1966-1978. Currently, Dodge sells the 4-door Charger on the LX Platform, introduced in 2006. But in between, there was this: the L-body Charger, built from 1983-1987; the cousin of the Plymouth Turismo (even rarer).

This is a special Dodge “Shelby” Charger. The Shelby option tacked on a body kit, better drivetrain components, and an upgrade to 107 horsepower over the base 84 HP. The most desirable L-body Charger was the 1987 Shelby Charger, which had 175 horsepower, but only 1,000 were built.

This is the only L-body Charger (Shelby or otherwise) that I’ve seen on the street in at least the last ten years.

Santa Monica, CA

Photos by The Professor

 

1968 Plymouth Barracuda

1967 Plymouth Barracuda 1967 Plymouth Barracuda 1967 Plymouth Barracuda 1967 Plymouth Barracuda 1967 Plymouth Barracuda 1967 Plymouth Barracuda

Not the early ’70s Barracuda that’s most familiar to people, and not the original ’64-’66 model either. This is the 2nd-generation Barracuda, made from ’67-’69. The 1st-gen was heavily based on the popular Plymouth Valiant, even using many common parts. However, while the 2nd-gen was still based on the Valiant, it was completely redesigned with a specific model range. The 3rd and final generation was a completely separate model.

To debunk a common assumption–the Mustang did not come before the Barracuda (the ‘Cuda came about two weeks earlier).

Mar Vista, CA

Photos by The Professor

1981 Chevrolet Caprice Landau

1981 Chevrolet Caprice Landau 1981 Chevrolet Caprice Landau 1981 Chevrolet Caprice Landau 1981 Chevrolet Caprice Landau

Most cars with “Landau” in their name have a vinyl roof of some sort; it seems that this one’s is restricted to the rooftop, which looks like it has a different texture. This 1981 model likely has the 5.0L V8, unleashing all of 155 horses under full throttle; or 31 horsepower per liter. Compare this to the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG of today, which makes 355 horsepower from its 2.0L turbo 4, translating to 177.5 horses per liter. That’s over 5 and a half times as many HP/liter! And it gets better fuel mileage!

But that vinyl though…

Portland, OR

Photos by The Professor

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