CA Vacation Walk and Talk: Nephew Aidan Shows Me The CCs On His Walk Home From School

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One of the benefits of our current vacation spot is the proximity to Stephanie’s sister’s house in San Mateo, barely twenty minutes away on the other side of the mountains. That means we get to visit with our niece and two nephews, and the other day we walked home from school with Aidan, since he was eager to show me all the CCs on the way. 

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Chronologically, this clean 1969 Charger R/T came first, but since there’s another similar ’68 Charger on the CC pages today, I decided to give top billing to the ’60 Impala. But Aidan was eager to show me this one, as muscle cars of this vintage seem not to have lost their magic powers on on even today’s boys. It was not a hemi, so 440 it is.

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And Torqueflite equipped, at that.

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I’m not sure Aidan had this Fox-body Marquis in mind as a genuine CC, but I did as I’ve yet to find one in Eugene. And I know CC’s JPC used to own one, although I don’t think his was a woody. Aidan was steering me towards a certain Skylark convertible down the street that he was particularly fond of.

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“There it is, it’s coming right by us! Oh; we’re going to miss it.” I whipped around and peeled off a shot or two as quickly as possible. I didn’t know if I really got it properly, but sure enough…and I can see why it’s caught Aidan’s attention. Nice.

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And there it goes, with a healthy rumble from its low-restriction dual exhausts.

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Back to the Marquis; yes, this was the Mercury counterpart to the Ford LTD II, the final evolution of the Fox-body sedans and wagons that started out life as the Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr, and were replaced by the all-new Taurus and Sable.

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Look familiar, Jim? I seem to remember him liking his Marquis wagon, except for the very short range due to a small capacity fuel tank. That is annoying; I’m really liking the 500+ mile range of our Acura wagon.

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One more shot for good measure; Stephanie and Aidan are ready to move on to the next one.

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Which wasn’t this, exactly. But then I remembered from a recent CC that the coupe versions of this vintage Fleetwood was a relatively rare occurrence. So here it is, in a shade that Tom K or Carmine will identify for us.

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Aidan was eager to move on and show me this three-some. I’m not sure if the ’60 Impala is connected to the beach buggy and ’37 Chevy truck, but I rather suspect so. Birds of a feather…

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Somewhat surprisingly, the Chevy has a custom grille, and no badging, but looks stock otherwise.

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It also appears to still have a job, hauling those three wine barrels.

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The interior looks quite stock too.

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This is a typical example of one of so many VW Meyers Manx imitation beach buggies that were once so common, especially in California.

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I think I’d prefer a wee bit of padding on my seats, but we were all young once. The dashboard lives up to its name quite literally, as it appears to be one very solid chunk of teak or mahogany.

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The Chevy’s red paint is pretty heavily oxidized from all those decades out in the sun, but otherwise, it’s in very decent shape for what is obviously an original car. The climate in the Bay Area is extremely benign; a bit more sun and a bit less rain than Oregon, so the trade-off is more sun-fade and less moss.

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Has a car ever been more horizontal than this one? Or should I say vertically-challenged? I love these ’60s; the ’59 is mighty camp, but the ’60 is more…real. It’s as wild as they should have ever gotten, had they had the good sense to keep the ’59 as a rejected design proposal. Carl Renner’s “flying wing” roof on the four door hardtops is splendid, never mind the 360 degree visibility. This design feature was my favorite part on these cars when they were new. And still is today.

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The 1960 rear end is much better than the ’59, and marks the beginning of a Chevy tradition of round triple and double taillights spread across the rear end. The ’58s were more like a sneak preview. The crossed flags above the “V” on the front and rear ends of this car as the tell-tales of a 348 under the hood (348 engine history here).

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Which made me wonder if it could possibly have the ill-fated Turboglide automatic. It was hard to see from this shot, obscured by the sun-screen, but I walked over to the driver’s side to confirm that it was the Powerglide. Is there a running ’58-’61 Chevy with a genuine working Turboglide left in the world? We need to do a story on that very disastrous and expensive flop. There’s little doubt in my mind that on of the reasons Chevy hung on to the tried-and-proven PG for so long was because of the TG fiasco. They probably lost a fair bit of money on it.

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Aidan said he was saving the best car for last, and it’s hard to disagree. One doesn’t exactly find original 1949 DeSotos sitting on the street everywhere, and he’s been wondering about this one’s story for quite a while.

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Especially with that bullet hole in the back window. Did it once belong to gangsters? Twelve year old inquiring minds want to know.

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Are there still dead bodies jammed into the trunk, to explain why its tail is riding so low?

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Does its vanity plate give some clue to its story? “Ice” does have several meanings.

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The DeSoto probably wasn’t the fastest car in 1949 to use for nefarious purposes, but it would be hard to beat its roominess, even when wearing the big, pulled-low fedoras that criminals are always shown wearing in movies of that time.

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And the back seat had gobs of room for abducted victims, or tommy-guns hidden on the floor. Or just for ducking down for in-coming bullets. Room for all kinds of possible uses…

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With Chrysler’s 112 hp 236.7 cubic inch flathead six under the hood, this was not the fastest way to outrun the cops. But since the cops tended to drive V8 Fords, a full-speed chase meant that the flathead V8 inevitably would overheat, so maybe there was some logic to this choice. Or maybe I’m hanging around a twelve year old too long.

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Oh; we’re back home…nice cars, Aidan! Thanks for sharing them.

Related: Chevrolet 348 “W” Engine History