What’s with the mirrors on the first pic of the Firebirds?
Interesting. My initial thought was that the “correct” mirrors where getting whacked off in transport so they weren’t installed at the factory, but put in the trunk for the dealer to mount them. And the factory installed some folding mirrors so that transport drivers could see backwards.
And maybe that would make sense if they only installed a d/s mirror, but two? I mean, it’s still possible, and the only thing I can think of, but I haven’t convinced myself.
I’ve read that the paddle mirrors were used on GTA models through ’87, although I also read they were used for European exports.
Keen eye Mike Wilson!
Pretty sure these are export models. Here’s an illustration of a Camaro so equipped. By the early 90s, export models also could be recognized by turn-signal repeaters on the fenders, but i guess that requirement was still in the future at the time.
You are correct about the export model, likely EU exclusively., GM put such mirrors on Caprice, too.
Good old GMC Brigadiers! Sturdy trucks. Nice photos.
I always loved the look of these Brigaderes. But I can assure you that when equipped with a 318 Detroit they were the noisiest ride you could ever imagine! And when the Detroit’s calved they were very poor candidates for a Cat or Cumins which is why so many were parked early in their lives by truck standards.
While I know the 3rd gen F-Bodies had their share of flaws and were dated in many ways, I still think they were great looking cars. Arguably the best looking design to come from GM during the company’s worst period for styling, both the Chevy and Pontiac iterations were well done and reasonably differentiated from each other.
Agreed. And that style has aged well.
Those Brigadiers were a very versatile truck, sold lots of them, very popular in our area for dump trucks. Gutless with a 3208 or 6V-53 but drop in a 3406, Cummins 855 or 6V-92 and now you’ve got something. The only real problem this truck had was the air conditioning system. The GM cycling clutch system was used, not sure what year the change was made. System worked fine in every truck that used except the Brigadier. Clutch jobs could be a little challenging as rear engine mounts were actually on the transmission bellhousing rather than on the engine bellhousing. You might have been able to spec them on the engine but then you needed to add a rear transmission mount to be safe. Still a nice truck to work on. I would rather do a clutch job under a garbage truck then do head gaskets on any GM van, full size or mid size.
Here in California most Brigadier 9500’s had 6V-92TTA’s in them, I think the 8V-71 couldn’t pass CARB standards after 1979. Saw quite a few with Cummins power, usually NTCC 855’s and later on the L10’s. Yellow had 1000’s (literally) of L10 powered Brig’s, and they were still a very common sight in the early 2000’s before the Roadway merger. The green (Jack Cooper?) and blue (PMT) rigs both have California plates, no doubt those F bodies came out of Van Nuys Assembly. Speaking of Brigadier engine mounts, I seem to remember the rear engine mount bracket bolts went right through the frame rails and also held the front fuel tank brackets. I never did a clutch in one, my employer’s Brig’s all had Allisons.
There were lots of complications you could run into doing clutch jobs, especially on big trucks. One bad was was a Brigadier or the earlier H models with a 8V-71. The rear motor mounts had the bolts dropped down thru the top with the nuts on the bottom. The exhaust from each bank ran over the top of the mount bolts. The mount bolts were usually rusted solidly into mounts and even if you could drive them up you had to pull the exhaust top get the bolts out. The engine mounts were kind of an inverted U-shape so you had to get the trans & engine lifted up for the mount to clear or you had to remove the mounts from the trans bellhousing. These mounts were attached to the bellhousing with four 3/4″ bolts that you could not get at with anything other than a box end or open end wrench, usually these bots were very tight and probably rusted up too. Oddly the Astro’s used a rear engine mount that was very easily serviced, two 1/2″ bolts that bolted together two halves of an oval, the mounts were two pieces that together formed an oval
that sandwiched around the frame half of the engine mount. You could swap in a new set of engine mounts in about 20 minutes. Never could figure out why GMC didn’t use that mount on the Brigadiers and Generals. The other clutch job that was terrible was a Ford Louisville with a Cummins 855 and either the Spicer or Eaton transmissions that Coca Cola had in there fleet. You had to drain the coolant, pull the radiator hoses and take the fan shroud loose and pull the front engine mount. Now you threw the overhead hoist on the front engine lifting bracket and raised the front of the engine A LOT. The reason for this is the transmission ran into the rear cab mount crossmember before the trans input shaft would clear the clutch. Your other choice was to pull the rear engine mounts instead and drop rear of the engine low enough for the trans to clear. Only problem was these trucks had dual fuel tanks and the fuel tank mounting brackets sat over the top of the rear engine mount bolts, so you would have had to pull two fuel tanks and their front brackets to get at the rear engine mount bolts. Working flat rate you tend to find the quickest way to do and get it done. I do miss those days of wrenching before the electronics and computers exploded on the scene.
I always said these look better with a rear spoiler
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