Our local Cars & Coffee event recently outgrew the venue they had been using, so our latest was held at a former car dealership that’s been purchased by a local gentleman to house his collection, which we’ll get to in a bit. The day dawned clear and cool, and with a throaty crackle and roar, I fired up the
Chev SS Commodore SSV Redline and headed out to enjoy a bit of motorheading with friends. So grab a cuppa joe, and let’s start walking!
As with any drive-in car event, there was a wide range of eras represented, and things were particularly eclectic on this fine Saturday. I’ll apologize in advance to our younger readers, as I focused on early ’90s and older cars – newer stuff was well represented as well, of course. So let’s start with this careworn 1973 Mustang convertible in Light Blue, the last of the Mustang convertibles until 1983.
The urethane-covered front “spoiler-bumper” (as it was referred to when introduced in 1971) was extended out a bit for 1973 to meet US Federal crash standards and the grille on standard Mustangs received a refresh as well.
Out back, this last year for the first-gen Mustang platform had the rubber-tipped overrider bumper shifted out from the body a little farther, but otherwise remained fairly unchanged. The Mustang was fast encroaching on intermediate-sized proportions by this point, and 1974 would see the introduction of the Mustang II subcompact.
Moving on, it was actually the old-school slicks on this Deuce
Coupe Victoria? that first caught my eye. “Deuce” referred to the 1932 model year, in which Ford introduced the Model B, powered by the Model A’s venerable four, as well as the Model 18, powered by Ford’s new flathead V8. Plentiful, worn out and cheap by the post WWII years, these were natural material for the budding hot rod movement.
I have yet to see any retractable-top car in a museum or at a show that wasn’t frozen in mid-retraction such as is this cherry 1965 Lincoln Continental. Peak Continental, if you ask me.
Here’s a ‘super’ clean 1962 Olds Super 88, the benefit of a 2nd-year facelift as well as a ‘skegectomy’ by personal order of Bill Mitchell. Just a nice, solid early ’60s GM.
Inside, Olds continued to use the names “Roto-matic Power Steering” and “Pedal-eeze Power Brakes” for those respective features (note the deeeeep dished steering wheel!). This car also features the ‘speed bar’ speedometer, which would revert back to a sweeping-needle-style speedometer for 1963.
As long as we’re looking at early ’60s GM iron, let’s take a moment to enjoy the amply-beskegged and be-finned fuselage of this jet-inspired 1961 Cadillac Deville Four Door Six Window Hardtop Sedan (whew!). This specimen looked fairly untouched (lots of patina inside and out).
And now for something completely different! Here’s a Groooovy 1968 AMX that’s in fine mettle.
Of particular interest is that it’s (still) powered by the ‘small’ 290/4-bbl engine, making 225hp.
…with a four-speed manual to back it. Dig the red/white/blue armrest, baby!
Here’s one of the rare 1969 Chargers that’s been overlooked by the Dukes of Hazzard tribute car crowd.
Purists may cringe at the Olds rallye wheels, but this was certainly one clean Corvair Corsa! The owner has owned several over the years and was quite knowledgable.
The cockpit is very business-like – I love that shifter!
Here’s another sharp American Motors product, this time a 1970 Javelin with a 390 for motivation. I’m really liking the color combination with the tan vinyl roof and dark green paint. Unfortunately, the vinyl was showing some heavy bubbling in spots.
This 1969 Pontiac Firebird looked like a work in progress, with lots of patina on the interior and a more recent respray outside. Twin exhaust pipes poked out the back, otherwise, I would have been sorely tempted to crack the hood to check for an OHC Six!
Here’s a clean 1948-50 Dodge pickup, featuring a ‘Pilot House’ cab.
Wonder if it was as roomy as International’s ‘Comfo-Vision’ cab?
Hard to believe, but I barely gave this clean 1966 Mustang a second glance.
This 1971 (or ’72?) MGB/GT decked out for rallying managed to hold my attention a little longer.
Caution! The Prince of Darkness This Way Lurks!
Oooh! A 1991 Taurus SHO with the Plus Package! And in the one-year-only Mocha Frost color, too!
A very business-like cockpit, for sure, with a Mazda-sourced five-speed manual. Note Jack Telnack’s signature on the dash – it was his team at Ford that were responsible for the jelly-bean era that the Taurus kicked off.
And the pièce de résistance! That’d be the Yamaha-designed 3.0l DOHC V6, making 220hp at 6,200 RPM. It would propel the Taurus to 143 MPH (230KPH), as tested by Car & Driver in 1989.
Okay, so maybe the Taurus wasn’t the actual first jelly-bean car from Ford. Here’s a nice 1988 Mercury Merkur. The only detail that changed for 1989 was the A-pillar trim (thankfully I had a frontal shot to help pin it down). I liked these when they came out, but the loss of the bi-plane spoiler in 1988 kind of killed it for me. Back when we were shopping for a more baby-friendly replacement for my Suzuki Samurai, we briefly looked at a used one – thankfully, in hindsight, it was out of our price range. We bought a Chevy
Sputum Spectrum instead (cue the sad trombone sound). I had not realized until looking this car up that Bob Lutz was responsible for captively importing it for the US market. Hmmm. I’m starting to notice a trend here.
Before we leave the 1990s, we’ll make one more stop to take in this cute Mercury Capri convertible, which I’m pretty sure is not a 1994. You can tell me in the comments whether it’s a 1991, 92 or 93 – I couldn’t pin it down based on my quick research.
While obviously not a GM Holden product, this car was indeed an Australian-manufactured car, sold there as the Ford Capri, as Oz lacked a Mercury presence.
I think the cockpit was quite tasteful, if a bit on the charcoally side. The Capri styling was (loosely) based on Ford’s Ghia-designed Barchetta concept car, which I had the pleasure of seeing in person at Ford’s Hapeville, Georgia plant (which also happens to be where that SHO above was assembled).
Well, I’ve saved what I consider to be the best for last… first up is this workmanlike 1966 Dodge Power Wagon Town Wagon (no, you’re not seeing double). The Dodge Town Wagon was a two-wheel-drive passenger variant of the Town Panel truck, outfitted with either two or three rows of seating. Power Wagons were of course four-wheel-drive trucks, and when combined with the Town Panel or Town Wagon body, you got the concatenated name, often shortened to just ‘Power Town Wagon.’
“They don’t make dashboards like that any more, son.”
This is a three-row variant, but note the truncated middle row, and the flip-up passenger seat? That’s because this is a two-door (not counting the rear barn doors) truck – you had to enter from the front passenger door and clamber your way over all the other Boy Scouts going on the camping trip to get to the back row.
We’ll linger here for one last photo before moving to the one I’m calling dibs on…
Folks, meet the 1941 Dodge WC-something half-ton truck. I say ‘something,’ because there were a large number of variants made of this truck. I think it’s a WC-1, but it could also possibly be a WC-5, WC-12, WC-14 or WC-40, all of which were closed-cab half-tonners. The winch on this example must have been added later, as all the variants listed didn’t come from the factory with one.
The original olive drab paint is showing through the later covering of red. My guess is this truck got repurposed for use by a fire department somewhere along the line.
Other than the repop tailgate, the rest appears to be original to the truck, with exception of…
this fine replacement bed.
With that short wheelbase and leaf-spring suspension, I bet it’s hard to take a sip of coffee on all but the smoothest of roads.
For such a purpose-built, utilitarian vehicle, they still took time to make some of the details look nice. Any modern truck would simply have a break-formed box in place of the graceful stamped curves of this bed side support.
Oh, let’s linger on just one more shot before we head over to the museum area… very wabi-sabi.
Inside the old showroom were displayed perhaps eight or ten stunningly restored Ford Model As. Unfortunately for me, I managed to take most of my photos such that the signage identifying the year and model were obscured, so I’ll leave it to some of you more knowledgeable folks to identify them in the comments.
I did manage to get this one – it’s a 1931 Roadster Deluxe.
Love the shades of green on this ’30 Coupe.
Another sharp color combination. I wouldn’t mind having this parked in the garage at all.
Although, a Model A pickup has always tugged at my
One last example from the collection. My son and I talked with the owner for about a half-hour – he also has an example of every 1929 Oldsmobile model offered that year, including a Phaeton that he purchased for exactly what it cost new (if I remember his story correctly). He hopes to be able to raise the money to build out a proper museum for his extensive collection – if he does, it will be a real boon to the area.
And with that, my coffee’s done, and we’ve come full circle! Other than a 2014 (still-Chevy-badged) SS that showed up right as I was leaving, the only other Holden products in attendance were a handful of Pontiac G8s and GTOs. We did manage to get all the dark grey Commodores together for a photo-op. Hope you enjoyed the show!