I attended a number of car shows this year. Perhaps six or seven, including some large ones like Moparfest (1400 cars) held near Kitchener, and some smaller ones like this one, held weekly during the summers. By way of explanation, the “GO Train” is a local commuter train serving southern Ontario, centered in Toronto. When first introduced, it was common knowledge that “GO” stood for the Government of Ontario, who had set up this service. With recent expansion of the service, and political wrangling over who owns what, I am not certain if this train service is still owned by the provincial government or who. No matter, the cars are what matter here. At this show, there were perhaps 50-60 cars this time. I’d like to take you for a walk around the lot to show you some of the more interesting cars (to me at least) on display.
This pretty Ford Thunderbird is a 1966. I liked the design of the T-bird in that year much more than the preceding configuration. The pointy snout and the round taillights of the early 60s models were not as appealing to me, but this ’66 was a beauty.
I believe Ford ‘got it right’ with this design. The taillights are gorgeous, and they were one of the first cars I had ever seen to feature sequential turn signals. The forward slanting grille is a work of beauty. I built an AMT model of one of these. Building a model of a car either increased my appreciation of the car, or created total disdain. Once when building an AMT 1965 Mercury Park Lane, nothing would fit together right. The more I got into it the less things fit, and much teeth gnashing took place. I never forgave that car, although I’m pretty certain that FoMoCo had nothing to do with the plastic fitting or not on AMT’s rendition.
When building the car model, I had never seen a car with such an involved centre console, and such a tall dash. One observation on this car, if you look through a full version of the driver’s corner of the interior shot of the T-bird towards the 1955 Chevy, you can see a bit of windshield distortion. I remember that being a subject of some discussion in regards to safety back in the ’60s. Ralph Nader advocated for better windshield designs in his writings.
Outside of a 1917 Ford Model T I saw earlier this year at a wedding venue, this 1919 Ford Model T wins the award for the oldest car I saw at a show this year. This one has obviously been repainted and restored, and they shoes look like they have some wear on them as well. You don’t frequently see a car of this vintage at a weekly show ‘n shine.
Sitting right next to it was a 1930 Model ‘A’.
There must be some kind of 1956 Ford club in my area. Earlier this summer I saw another example with the same kind of signage in the back window.
I never got a look at the front of the one I found at the intersection (Jim’s), but the continental kit sure was an eyeful. I would hazard a guess that the kit was added as part of a restoration. Fairlane original prices were $2046 to $2337, depending on whether you got a Crown Victoria Coupe (like Jim’s), a Victoria Coupe, or a Club Sedan. The price spread represents a difference from $18,447 to $21,060 in today’s currency (USF I believe), so these were mostly moderately priced cars aimed at mainstream customers.
Looks like Merv added some non stock accessories to the interior of his Ford, including a custom gauge cluster. Obviously he wanted to enjoy some modern controls and comforts with his car. A concours judge might not agree, but who am I to disagree?
The wire wheels don’t do anything for me however. Find me some nice chrome hubcaps, shine them up and the car would look much better and correct to my eye.
This is a recent registration (Ontario is using the letter C as its first letter on our license plates and has for the past year plus), so it must have come out of a resto project within the past year or so, (or have been imported) in that time frame.
Two 1959 Chevvies were present at the show, batwings and all. These were both in fine condition. these cars are one of my favourite designs from the 1950s. A neighbour had one and would take 5 year old me for drives along with his granddaughter for ice creams.
In terms of styling, these cars are polarizing, and divisive. Love ’em or hate ’em. There is nothing wrong with the front end, I would argue they had one of the best looking front end designs of the big three that year. The Ford Galaxie had a strong resemblance to their delivery trucks that year, while the Plymouth had the fierce headlight look going on. In addition, if one compares the 1958 and the 1960 Chev designs, the 1959 easily outpaces them in my view. Nice eyebrow intakes, and seven! count em – bezels across the centre of the grille. If anything, the 1960 seemed to me like a step backwards in front end styling.
The rear decks is where people differ on the ’59’s design. I thought the batwing decklid was striking to the eye, looked very aerodynamic and smooth, and was certainly better looking than all those other cars with the big fins. I’m looking at you, Cadillac.
I shot this photo out the back window from the driver’s side, to get an idea of what the driver would see when reversing. The back of the car was clearly visible, which would make reversing easy. I haven’t seen the rear most edge of any car I have driven for 20+ years, except maybe through a rearview camera. In writing this, I just noticed the other ’59 is photobombing the shot, alongside a 1960 for comparison.
What a contrast between this dash and modern instrument panels. No touch screen, (not even any headrests), and I don’t even see an AM radio.
When I shot this, I thought it was a 1959 Ford Ranchero. When I noticed the chrome trim was missing on the B pillar that the Ford usually carried, I gave this machine a closer inspection. I saw the Meteor inscription, making this a Mercury Meteor Ranchero. This was a Canada only car. Having been introduced in 1957, it ran through to 1961, when the U.S. adopted the model and produced it until 1963. I am surprised that Mercury didn’t find a different name than Ranchero to apply to their version. something like Tierra (land) or Artemisa (sagebrush) or Vaquero (cowboy) possibly.
I don’t feel that the wire wheels belong on this type of car. Obviously meant for working, these rims are out of place. The jet exhaust fins look out of place also. These were better suited on full size sedans, but not the Ranchero. A simpler treatment would have better suited a working type truck.
I couldn’t find production numbers for the 1959 Meteor, but it must have been just enough to convince Ford to add it to the U.S. lineup.
The car looks to have been restored faithfully to its origins. it looks to have an automatic transmission, and it is nicely appointed inside with a nice combination of red and white colours. A radio of some kind has been added below the dash. No, I haven’t been to Elements Casino to sample the ribs.
Skipping ahead a decade or so, this 1970 Plymouth Sport Fury stood tall next to the recent model Camaro.
I really don’t know what Chrysler thought was sporty about a huge Plymouth Fury. Perhaps the hidden headlights, or the trim level. I didn’t look closely at the engine, but it may have been a 440 in there. Believe it or not, base Fury models could come with a 225 slant six engine. Now I have all the respect in the world for the slant six engine, but I can’t see it efficiently moving a 3600 pound car like this. To my eye, the Fury looks more like a 4200 pound car, just visually. Look at the length of that trunk lid! I suppose the 225 would have seen lots of service in taxis of this type.
In any event , this Sport Fury in nicely finished, has likely been restored, and looks pretty clean. Raised white letter tires help with the sport vibe. On the whole, the car looks like it is trying not to be noticed. The slab sides come off as plain, and the hidden headlights seem to have that ‘don’t look at me’ air. The reputation of Furys and Monacos as taxis and police cars perhaps helps to contribute to that reputation.
So there I was standing next to a GM A body from 1972. An Olds Cutlass. I glanced across its bow and noticed it was parked next to another convertible A body which I thought also to be an Olds. This should make a nice shot, a nice profile of their side views across the top of the doors.
However a surprise awaited me at the rear of these cars. The blue one was a GTO! That made this comparison that much more interesting. The same upkick in the hips at the C pillar, the same slope coming off the decklid, and very comparable dimensions overall. It reinforced what I have read here on CC about how companies gave their divisions the overall envelope for their cars, and let them design within those overall outlines. Right down to the rear window winder handles, a lot of the parts came from the same corporate bins.
I spent more time admiring the Cutlass than the Pontiac, but both were in great shape, save a few paint chips on the GTO.
I photographed a nice 1973 (I believe) Corvette.
Also a good looking 1974 Buick.
A friend had a 1975 or 76 Pontiac Grand Prix back in the day, and this one resembled it.
I’m not sure why Pontiac decided to design the front end in such a way that the headlights had to protrude above the hood, requiring a raised layer (header) dovetailing into the hood. It detracts from the overall look of the front, whish otherwise was very striking. Even the pinstriping was a nice finishing touch.
The dash reminded me of the layout on the 1975 Le Mans’ which I drove as part of a summer job at a brewery, right down to the “Radial Tuned Suspension” plate. On this Grand Prix, the Cruise Control looks to maybe be an aftermarket replacement, but someone out there will know better.
Finally, this is hopefully, the ‘before’ shot of a Vette headed for a wintertime restoration. It’s in a bit of a Frankenstein condition at the moment, so hopefully it will reappear in refinished condition again soon.
Thanks for touring this show with me, I hope we can do this again together.
1966 Ford Thunderbird by PN
Ford Model T by Jason Shafer
1956 Ford Fairlane by JPC
1959 Chev by PN
1959 Ford Ranchero by PN
1959 Mercury by Jason Shafer
1970 Plymouth Fury by GN