I recently found CC Commentor Junqueboi’s flickr page, which documents some of his more interesting junkyard finds. Although it may be a bit sad to see some Curbside Classics at the end of the road, I was especially intrigued with a trio of 1973 GM biggies. In my neck of the woods, cars this old are rarely seen in junkyards, so it’s interesting to see finds like these in milder climes. Let’s take a closer look.
Although sporting a lot of surface rust, this one really doesn’t look too bad–for a junkyard car, mind! Seeing a non-pampered car this old with totally rust-free rear quarters is really rare in my part of the country. Even back in 1993, most ’73 Oldses on the road in the QC were rustier than this one. Too bad its top got tweaked, no doubt by a less-than-careful forklift shuttle to its next-to-last resting place.
The ’73 Ninety Eight was a great looking car. The Regency model was especially luxurious, though our weathered example appears to be a slightly less flossy Luxury Sedan. Unlike some other 1973 models, its front bumper was less massive in profile. It still gave the top Olds a pronounced underbite, however. It’s interesting to note the front-quarter shot in the photo above appears to be an airbrushed 1972 model, a frequent occurrence in GM literature of the ’70s.
Despite its second-banana status in the Ninety Eight line, Luxury Sedans (and corresponding Luxury Coupes) were still quite nice inside. For those in the know, a Ninety Eight gave up very little to its pricier Electra and de Ville cousins.
Next up is one of my favorite ’73 cars, the Pontiac Grand Ville. This one is so chewed up, it’s almost hard to tell what it once was. At least JB managed to save the 455 in it. This must have been a nice car when new, in Cameo White with red interior. I can just imagine it with Rally IIs and no vinyl top. Is my imagination better than yours?
As most of you know, I have a thing for 1970s Pontiac full-sizers. While in middle school, we had a carpool of sorts, to pick up a friend of mine and another kid who was a couple grades behind us, for the morning run to school. As the Gustafsons were of (obviously) Scandinavian descent, we were paid in incredible baked goods, frequently Swedish rye bread that was to die for. Anyway, at the time there was a pale yellow (must have been special-ordered in Sunlight Yellow, as it does not appear to be an available color on 1973 B-body Pontiacs) ’73 Grand Ville hardtop sedan with black top parked up the street from Adam’s house. I saw that car every morning for better than a year, and it made an impression. Though less than mint, it was a sharp car. I never saw another one.
Other than the convertibles, B-body full-size Pontiacs are thin on the ground today. A shame, as they were nice-looking cars. I particularly like the nose on the ’73 Grand Ville, with its over- and under-bumper grille, and slightly fussier pattern than corresponding Catalinas.
The last of our ’73 trio is this bedraggled ’73 Coupe deVille, with a particularly hideous landau iron tacked onto the C-pillar. Could it have been a rare non-vinyl topped version? Hard to imagine, but if so, the landau bars would have looked even more out of place; ridiculous, actually. Initially I thought this could be a rare Calais coupe, but those did not have the rocker trim, which this one had at some point, judging from the remaining plastic fasteners.
Here’s a factory fresh version. Despite the dressing-down these Caddys get from some quarters, they were handsome cars, especially in pillarless coupe form.
While it’s sad to see Curbside Classics at the end of their useful lives, at least we can salute them for their contribution to our automotive history, and memorialize the era of the Big Car. Thanks, JB, for documenting these cars before they are recycled into cat-food cans. I hope you’ll continue to share some of your finds in the future!