This week we’ve covered the announcement news on the 1967 domestic products. So now it’s time to pick favorites! Motor Trend had grouped the vehicles by category, showing details on Specialty Cars (Personal Luxury, Pony Cars and Corvette), Intermediates, Luxury and Full Size Cars, Compacts and Specialty (Off-road and Vans). So to mix things up for this week’s QOTD, please share which vehicle you would have bought from each category in 1967.
Starting off with the Specialty Category, I’d take home the car that offered personal luxury style in a smaller, sportier package: the one and only Mercury Cougar. Make mine Caspian Blue with a blue interior. I’d load my cat up with lots of goodies: 289 CID “Super Cougar” 4V V8, Merc-O-Matic, positraction, power steering and power disc brakes, tinted glass, A/C, AM radio with Stereo-Sonic tape system (it’s a personal car, I’d want my own tunes on 8-track!), Tilt-away steering wheel, Comfort-weave vinyl buckets, Sports console, styled steel wheels and whitewalls.
For the Intermediate Category, I’d go for a “Goat” in Regimental Red with a black top and black stripe, just like this picture. My “Little GTO” would have the 400 CID Ram Air V8 and the 4-speed manual with the center console and bucket seats, power steering and power disc brakes, Rally I wheels, red stripe tires, AM/FM stereo, A/C, Sport steering wheel and Rally Gauges.
For the Luxury and Full Size categories, I’d split the difference between the two and get a Buick Electra. I do have to admit a bias on this one: my arrival in the fall of 1966 coincided with my parent’s purchase of a 1967 Buick Electra 225 4-door hardtop, in Mist Green with a black top–essentially a 4-door version of the car pictured above. Our Electra was a base trim model with a black vinyl interior, crank windows and few options other than A/C, AM radio and the vinyl top. My Pop liked the biggest body with the lowest trim, finding it suitable as the roomiest family car for his three kids outside of a wagon (a body style my mother refused to drive).
I know for a fact that our 1967 Buick was one tough car. For four years, it was a heavy-duty family workhorse, on the go constantly and filled with rambunctious kids, until my parents traded the ’67 Electra in during 1971 for an Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight. End of story, right? Wrong! In late 1980, my brother and I stumbled across it once again in a mall parking lot. The paint was oxidized, the top was peeling and a few wheel covers were missing, but it was clearly still serving its owner some 14 years after it was built. We knew the car was “our” Electra for two reasons: 1) it still had our school stickers on the back window, faded but intact, and 2) it had the unmistakable dent on the left rear fender where my sister had hit the house when she was learning to drive.
Funny family story with that second point: in 1971 my Pop was teaching my sister the basics of backing up, using the Buick, before she got her driver’s license (she was 14-years-old then, the license came at age 15 in Louisiana at the time). Our driveway ran alongside the house, and it was a tight and narrow space. She was practicing going back and forth, and on a trek backwards, she began to veer left. Pop was frantically telling her to “Stop! Stop!” but she kept right on going until…crunch! Pop tried to be calm, but demanded to know why she didn’t stop when he told her too. She said that “she didn’t see anything in the way” to which he replied “you didn’t see the house!?!?!?!” We still joke about the “back-up episode” and tease my sister with Pop’s infamous line to this day.
But I digress, back to the ’67 Electra…
My pick would be fancier than the one my parents bought. I’m a sucker for cars loaded with goodies, so I’d want an Electra 225 Custom 4-door hardtop with the new-for-1967 Limited trim option. Mine would be Shadow Turquoise with a black top and black interior, and I would have it equipped with every convenience and power option available. Basically a Cadillac, without the Cadillac price-tag–exactly what a top-of-the-line Buick was all about back then.
At the other end of the automotive spectrum, I’d have gone very simple when buying in the Compact category. I admire the functional, honest lines of the ’67 Valiant (when the design was new, not 10 years later when Plymouth was still making basically the same car). I’d want the bigger 225 CID Slant-6 with Torqueflite, an AM radio, white walls and wheel covers. Power steering and brakes would be good too, and I rather like the Bright Red with black interior as shown in this catalog photo, since I think it adds a bit of pizazz to a basic car.
Now on to the Specialty Category. Bias alert: I am a huge Jeep fan! I currently drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee (the 3rd one I’ve had), and I use it daily for rigorous activities like fording rivers (of traffic on the Edens and Kennedy Expressways) and navigating wild terrain (the parking lot at Northbrook Court shopping center, filled with rude and distracted drivers). But like all Jeeps, the magic isn’t simply in what it actually does; rather, the important thing is what it could do. The dream was the same in 1967: for going to the lake, or the mountains, or towing a trailer, what could be more useful and versatile than a Jeep Wagoneer? Give me the Prairie Gold Wagoneer with Custom trim as shown in the upper right picture. Naturally I’d want the 230 hp “Dauntless” V8 with Turbo-hydramatic, power steering and brakes, plus an AM radio to keep me company in the wild.
So those are my picks, by category, for 1967. What are yours?