My greatest passion after cars is food, and I found this sampling of daily-driven CCs as pleasing to the eye as a Chinese buffet is to the tummy…
I actually took these pictures on January 31st. Thanks to “holiday lite” traffic, I enjoyed the rare luxury of arriving at work early, rather than in my customary Rockford-style, screeching-into-the-parking-lot-just-in-the-nick-of-time fashion. This pristine 1967 Pontiac GTO convertible drew me like a moth to a flame, and I killed a little time before starting my shift meandering the side lot where several other CCs also take shelter.
When I returned to the lot later, the owner of this black beauty was present and generously allowed me to take a TON of pictures–outside, inside, and underneath. The owner spared no expense restoring this thing, as well as making some vital upgrades. With a blueprinted Poncho 400 mill underhood, 17″ billet Rallys, and a full raft of Hotchkiss and Global West suspension goodies, this droptop Goat should go and handle as good as it looks.
I almost ignored this tired-looking 1977-1980 Mercedes 450 sedan, until the telltale badge on the rear deck caught my eye:
This isn’t your standard 4.5 liter, 180-horsepower 450SEL. This is the legendary and rare “6.9” version. With its massive 6.9 liter power plant pumping out nearly 290 horsepower (in Euro-spec tune), this car was the ultimate weapon in the Euro luxury wars of the 1970s. Its price, an eye-watering $50,000 in 1977, placed it firmly in Rolls-Royce territory. Meanwhile, its performance was unmatched by anything else in its class. This car caused a lot of unsuspecting Porsche drivers, as well as even a few Ferrari drivers, an incredible amount of grief. In all, only about 7,000 of these incredible machines were built.
The gentleman who owns this also owns a second one. Given this car’s rarity and many of its equally rare and highly specialized mechanical components, anyone who would dare to own two of these things deserves some kind of medal for bravery, whether it’s at the repair shop or the gas pump. He recently told me that the price he was quoted for a new 6.9 liter water pump was $1100. And that’s just for the part itself, not including labor to install it. Yikes.
I’ve always admired this tasty Eldo, from the first time I spotted it in the lot. Whereas the previous-generation 1971-1978 Eldorados were simply obese and flabby, this generation is like a burly man or voluptuous woman who regularly visits the gym to stay toned up. The owner says it’s a 1980, which means it has the durable 6.0 liter cast iron V8 powerplant rather than the fragile, underpowered 4.1 liter aluminum time bomb that would curse this generation of Eldorado in its final years .
Another signature old-school Cadillac touch–the outside mirror-mounted thermometer:
Believe me, this thing is as mint inside as outside, without the self-disintegrating properties normally found in 80’s GM interiors.
I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t get a few shots of this rare two-door shoebox Panther. Here in the Los Angeles Metro area, four-door Panthers of this vintage are as common as dirt, especially in less affluent areas. Even my best friend’s mom has one (not for long, though). The two-door versions are a rare find- especially in this condition.
I don’t have any info on this wicked ’69 C10 shortbed, but I like it!
Bringing up the rear, just like its engine, is this clean classic Porsche 911. A simple, timeless design with a powertrain that’s fairly bulletproof if maintained properly. I have no knowledge of the car’s exact vintage or specs, but this air-cooled wonder is another one on my automotive bucket list.
So there you have it: a veritable buffet of honest, street driven Curbside Classics to satisfy every taste. Just choose your flavor, pick your side, and Bon Appetit!