Today’s group of
Curbside Alleyside Classics have been a fixture downtown for some years, sitting catty-corner between an alley and a local body shop. I used to pass them regularly driving to work. Back in 2012, I finally broke down and parked. Yes, these photos have been aging in my computer for a while, but today they will finally get their ten minutes!
First up is this 1977 Continental Mark V Cartier Designer Edition. “Oh Tom, you are so hopelessly biased; of course a Lincoln gets the spotlight first!” Yes, ’tis true, but at least I’m upfront about it!
The Designer Series Lincoln started in 1976 with the swan-song Mark IV (1976 Givenchy CC here). Come 1977, the Mark V replaced it, but naturally the high-fashion couture Marks were front and center. Like the ’76, the ’77 Cartier featured dove-gray paint and interior with dark red pinstriping.
This one is actually in rather sound shape–with the exception of where the landau vinyl roof once sat. Moisture and vinyl tops do not mix. They mingle, they date, they get married, and then have a whole heap of rusty children! But at least the interior is still nice.
This one features Majestic velour, in oh-so-Broughamy floating-pillow style. Leather was also available.
Designer Marks usually came with the classic Turbine alloy wheels, so I am rather surprised to see the aftermarket wheels on this one. How can you improve on the Lincoln Turbine wheel? Ah well, that can be easily corrected.
Adjacent to the Mark was this 1967 Charger. A fastback, “personal luxury” version of the hardtop Coronet 500, the Charger was meant as a stylish coupe and featured bucket seats front and rear–at least in 1966. Starting in 1967 a bench was available, helping me pin down this one.
Here’s how they originally looked new, thanks to my 1/64 scale Mini CC Charger. A bit polarizing perhaps, but I like them (full-scale CC here).
You have to use your imagination, but this must have been a handsome example in its day. It appears to have been painted Turbine Bronze with a matching interior, with bench seat and column-mounted TorqueFlite.
And here’s another Mark. A Markchero! Or is that MarkVChero? Whatever it is, it sadly seems to have suffered an interior fire at some point in time. There was absolutely nothing left of the interior. Sad to see, as it appeared to have been in good condition before the blaze.
That spare tire is obscuring it, but the partition between the bed and the cab is still there, so a fair amount of metalworking must have been done. No fiberglass plug here. The tailgate is AWOL, leading me to wonder if it had the Continental spare tire hump or not.
It has a trailer hitch too! Whitewalls, wire wheel covers, a (once) plush, Broughamtastic interior, and 460 CID/C6 FoMoCo motivation. This would have been a great Prairie Schooner* ute for someone who valued comfort–and didn’t worry about gas mileage or making a hard left at 90 mph.
Yes folks, we have not one, but two 1966-67 Chargers. This one is a little less (okay, a lot less) complete than Charger #1, but hey, at least it still has one whitewall!
These cars, like all old cars, have a story to tell, and there are some indicators to the life they led, but we’ll never know, as the late Paul Harvey oft said, “the rest of the story.”
Yes, the interior is a bit sparse, but the steering wheel still looks pretty nice.
Looks like the rust monster was munching on this Mopar’s flanks, and the missing door, hood and front fender lead me to believe this was a parts car. It would have struck quite a pose new, with what appears to be factory-applied red paint. If it had a white interior, I would have been all over it new!
Looks like it was rather well-equipped when new, with factory air.
As Phil Collins once said, “time slowly passes, one day you look around, you hardly recognise what you see.” Such is the case with these old cars. They may be past their salad days, and may soon end their time on planet Earth being recycled into Amana refrigerators, but it still brightened my day to see them, to ponder how nice they were new, and to hope for the best in their future.
Will these poor Chargers and Continentals ever get some love? I don’t know; they are pretty far gone. The Mark V Cartier is probably the best candidate for restoration, with the rusty rear half of the roof being the worst spot. The Markchero? I don’t know–it might take more to bring back that cool Wixom pick ’em up than even the Chargers, especially if the fire was hot enough to warp the frame. For now, though, they sit.