You may remember my report on our local car show back in November. With the arrival of the first Saturday of the month, it’s time for another visit. We’ll start out with some single shots of cars that caught my eye, and then provide a couple deeper looks at some unique CCs.
Although I’ve got a personal rule against posting typical car show fodder like Mustangs and Camaros, rules were made to be broken. In this case, that little red Mustang coupe brought a 200 CID six to the party, earning itself a little CC love. Six cylinder pony cars built after 1967 are frequently converted to V-8 “tribute” cars, but these early six pot Mustangs seem to survive in as delivered condition.
Thanks to a good turnout (On January 4th!) parking was tight, which did not help picture quality. However, this Cadillac posed itself perfectly, and you know it’s gonna be CC approved. I also took some shots of that red hardtop behind this CDV, but we’ll save those shots for later.
As I’ve said before, my neighborhood is El Camino central, and I’m always happy to share a car as nicely turned out as this one.
If the El Camino is a passenger vehicle that’s been turned into a truck, here’s a truck that’s been turned into a passenger vehicle. When I saw this, I thought it may have been built recently by one of California’s many custom shops, but a nearby poster board set me straight.
As this listing indicates, the Stageway Company of Cincinnatti Ohio distributed these conversions back in the day. I should have walked around to the other side, and checked to see if it only had one door on the driver’s side, as indicated in the ad.
Here’s a link to a Limo Fan’s site with more Stageway infomation than you’ll ever need: Armbruster/Stageway site
Not only do I love the color on this 2002, but any BMW still mounting steel wheels deserves our undivided attention.
I’m under the impression this 911 is completely original (although I’m no expert). The primary reason I think so? If it wasn’t original, it wouldn’t still be white…
I just posted a Car of a Lifetime article on our Mazda Miata, so I felt compelled to include this Lotus Elan, which provided so much DNA to the Miata design.
I’ve avoided buying an Italian car for 52 years now, but I would happily trade my Miata straight up for this one.
We had a number of pre-war cars show up, and as you can see this ’31 or ’32 Chrysler demanded my attention.
The fender script on this 1968 Ford two door reads “Custom 500.” Ford hasn’t sold a Custom 500 in the US since 1978, so you wouldn’t expect them to show up very often. Despite that, we wrote up a ’66 and ’71 on December 28th, and ten days later I’ve posted a ’68. I guess it’s Custom 500 season.
It’s a nice original car, with the stock wheel covers and no remarkable features. However, the engine call-out behind the front wheel reads “390,” which seems like a lot of engine for a budget trim level.
A glance inside reveals a bench seat, crank windows and a four speed stick. If this car rolled out of the factory with this equipment, it was not so much a car as a device for roasting polyglas bias plys.
Now here’s a car that doesn’t often frequent the pages of Curbside Classic. While clearly a Facel Vega, this isn’t one of those Chrysler Big Block powered super coupes. No, this is the succesor to the ill-fated Facellia, the Facel III.
Although I’m sure we’re all familiar with the Facellia, let’s review just in case. Having established themselves as an automotive manufacturer by building the FV and HK500 Chrysler powered super coupes, Facel Vega hoped the Facellia would move them into the mass production sports car business, competing with the likes of Alfa Romeo’s Giulietta and the Mecedes Benz 190SL. A French manufacturer, Facel Vega decided to use a new French engine built by the Pont-à-Mousson company. Unfortunately, the engine used a camshaft supported by only two main bearings, which led to issues with camshaft flex and other performance problems.
To solve this praoblem, the Facel III carried forward the Facellia body, but switched to the reliable Volvo engine shown here. For Facel Vega, it was too little, too late, and the warranty costs related to the Facellia’s engine drove the company into recievership. Still, it’s a pretty cool looking car…
Although not as cool as this 1961 Buick Invicta Custom Bubbletop Coupe. Based on the Custom badge, this car came with an upgraded interior, and the badge may indicate bucket seats, as Wikipedia isn’t clear on this point (hey, I was BORN the year they built this Buick- how would I remember?).
That darn Cadillac is blocking our view, but it’s pretty clear someone modified the ride height. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but I dig it.
This rear shot provides us with a good view of that suspension rake, as well as those thin A and C pillars holding up the roof. Quite a change from current rooflines.
The interior inside that sunny greenhouse is pretty cool, but I can’t tell if those seats are the factory buckets. If so, they’re the Detroit style “flat buckets,” rather than true buckets with wrap around side bolsters. I’m sure our Buick contingent will tell me much more about this car, and also decry the fact that the Caddy was sitting so close that I couldn’t get a good overall shot. Oh well.
That wraps up another PV Coffee and Cars report. I’ll keep them coming, at least until we run out of CC worthy cars.
My first 2002 was that color with steel wheels etc…………….. what a rush of memories. Trouble concentrating…. can’t work…
The BMW 1600/2002 was just about the most fun you could have on four wheels. Wrap it up, I’ll take it. But wait…I do have a thing for early Mustangs with six cylinder, so maybe…But, but that ’68 Ford Custom 500 looks like a hoot, so…Oh, so many cars, so little time. Seriously, though, the white Porsche has been lowered. A guy I knew bought a new ’72 911T and got a dropped suspension kit, including Konis, through his dealer parts room.
I like the colors on that El Camino. Wheels, not so much.
I didn’t notice the wheels on the El Camino until you pointed them out. They look like Drag Stars. At least they’re not Centerlines.
Damn, a Facel III! As far as I know, there are no Facellia’s on the road because the motor was so unreliable. I’m impressed.
And all that Lotus Elan needs is 30-something Diana Rigg in leather jumpsuit to be perfect. Yes, I know, her’s was British Racing Green.
Light blue. I remember her and her Élan quite well, since the program got a lot of public television air time in my teen years. 🙂
The ’61 Buick has a very clever dashboard display – an adjustable tilt mirror reflecting the upward facing speedometer towards the driver. The angle adjustment knob can be seen just to the left of the mirror.
That mirrored speedometer still gives me a thrill when I see them. To think of the brand innovation each division undertook in the 60’s. Today, it seems like all the gauges and dashboards come from the same supplier- whether its GM or Chrysler, the new cars all do that needle spin upon start up. The first time I ever saw that was in a Pontiac G6. Does anyone know- is it Johnson Controls that supplies all the gauges these days? Also, the vent closure thumbwheel for the AC vents is exactly the same item on a Chrysler 300 as on a Kia Optima. WTF?
That is neat, there were better pictures of one here a while back. Would love to see that in person.
As I recall the first full-size Buick to come with bucket seats was the 1963 Wildcat.
I think you are right. I wonder if these seats may have come from an Olds Starfire. I think the only 1961 big cars with buckets were the Chry 300, Tbird and the Stude Hawk.
That early 30s Chrysler (Imperial?) is stunning. They had a very brief period of gorgeous at the end of the classic era.
That Custom 500 would be fun to drive. 390/stick is a combo I would like to own someday.
CC effect strikes again! I’ve just seen the Sons of Anarchy El Camino.Nice cars here,good to see a secretary’s special Mustang and a BMW that’s not been monstered with big wheels,rubber band tyres and a loud paint job I like the Buick a lot don’t see them at shows over here.
A quick check in the original brochure on oldcarbrochures.com lists the Invicta Custom 2 door hardtop having bucket type front seats with a handy storage console in matching vinyl. My ‘Encyclopedia of American Cars’ does not list the Custom model. It shows 6,382 Invicta 2 door hardtops produced. It is hard to say how many of those had the Custom package. It is probably quite rare. I see it also has power windows. This is a new one on me. Even those of us who have been around long enough to see nearly everything can see or learn something new every day here.
I had a ’61 LeSabre for a short while in 1981. I needed some cheap wheels, and a friend had his grandmother’s old car that had been sitting a while that he needed to get rid of. He pretty well gave it to me, but the transmission was bad. I could not find anyone who was interested in working on the twenty year old ‘Turbine Drive’, so I used it as trading stock on a rusty ’73 Impala. It was not as interesting, but far more reliable and easier to service.
I see the Custom 500 has factory a/c. I guess the person that ordered it must have wanted to be cool while he was burning rubber.
There aren’t many car shows in my part of the world, and there sure isn’t the variety I see in these pictures. So keep them coming, I enjoy them very much.
There is sure a lot of variety at these events! In addition to the featured cars, in a quick scan I spotted not one but two bug-eyes Sprites in the background.
Stageway did the “factory” stretched limo conversions on Imperials starting in 1967. Prior to that, factory Imperial limos were done by Ghia.
I wasn’t familiar with the later Facels which led to their demise. Thanks for the quick history lesson. I guess they should have stuck with the Chrysler V8s. 🙂
The ’61 Buick looks like a beauty. Too bad it was packed in so tight with the other cars. I’d take that one home. (It helps that I’m a sucker for deep reds and chrome.)
Jensen went down in a similar fashion by making the temperamental Jensen Healey.Pity it was such a dud as it was quite nice looking
If only I’d stop getting sick most of the time, and my parents needing my assistance the rest of the time, you could see one of my rides there.
I recently had a heart-to-heart talk with my folks about how some of their ways are ruining my car hobby. Basically they told me ( in the most polite and gentle way possible ) that they come first, I’m the only one that they can depend on, and for those reasons they don’t really give a shit about the stress, aggravation, and financial strain that having several classic cars rotting in outdoor storage- while I’m constantly busy at their house assembling cheap patio furniture or spreading topsoil- is causing me.
I’m both very angry and really depressed over the whole situation. In the end, I may simply end up dumping all of them except the Olds and the Biscayne, and spend the money from the cars’ sale on booze and hookers. Since I’m not being allowed to pursue my hotrodding dreams, I might as well drink and screw myself to death.
Sorry to be such a downer, but that’s my present situation.
This is a touchy subject, but you wouldn’t have written this unless you were looking to vent and get some support.
Perhaps you need to schedule some time to be unavailable, and maybe your parents will learn to stop relying on you so much. It’s tough because wrenching on “hobby cars” is usually not a planned activity, so it generally doesn’t get written on the calendar to compete against other things that may occupy your time.
I have two kids, and my wife also likes to do lots of family stuff, so our weekends always get “booked” up to 2 months in advance. I write every local car show and swapmeet on my calendar. I attend quite a few, but sometimes I’ll decide at the last minute that I’m not going and instead spend the day working on my cars in the garage.
It sounds like you already have two favourite cars that you want to restore most of all. If selling the others would net as much money as it sounds like, why not sell the rest and use the money to pay for someone else to do some of the work on the two remaining ones instead of just pissing it away?
This is a touchy subject, but one many of our readers have dealt with. I know several folks dealing with the “parent time suck,” and it’s only a matter of time for me.
Christopher- First off, kudos for stepping up and taking care of your folks. Based on your posting, it looks like you have several other farmily members who can’t (or don’t…).
BigOldChryslers had several good suggestions, and I’d add one more-
If your primary concern is protecting vehicles currently in outdoor storage, have a heart to heart with the whole family. Your folks and the other family members are counting on you exclusively to help out with time. In return it’s perfectly reasonably to ask everyone to help you out, by providing indoor storage (or storage fees) for the cars you don’t have time for. In the future, you can get back to your projects as time becomes available.
If the other family members genuiely wish to help out, they will be happy to lend aid outside of time with the folks.
Parents can be a challenge. When mine split in their 50’s my mother bought an acreage she does not have the money to support. It also leaves her in the middle of nowhere as far as medical services.
I think we all owe our parents due care and support, but their hobbies and bad decisions are not part of that package. I made it clear to my mom that her hobby is not mine, and I cannot support her medically with 3+ hours of driving for simple Dr. appts. She got the point and has muddled through for over 20 years. I’ve bent on a few things, but she is well informed that there is a line that if crossed may result in her hanging in the wind a bit if she does not make the decisions she needs to make.
Don’t frame discussions based on your needs, set out reasonable offers of assistance, and suggest they hire out landscaping jobs and such. If they are not in a position to do that, they may need to make some decisions on downsizing. They may need help with that – and that may solve some problems for you. If they call for an unreasonable request, tell them no sometimes. If it can wait, tell them you’ll book the task at a time you have available, don’t just go running. Tell them you are busy at work if need be. Or getting drunk and laid. Whatever it takes!
Only you can let yourself be taken advantage of.
Been there. Good luck!
I just buried my 90 year old stubborn as hell WW 2 Vet last month. And my 81 year old Mother in 2010. They both had huge health issues, and by 2007 really need assisted living. I lost my job running home to pick 250 lb dad up, or meet up with them in the emergency ward. I could go on for hours about lack of family support, ripping them off for money by family members, etc. Finally got to the point (Mom lost her memory and Fire dept would not come anymore without getting the state involved. This worked for me. Dad had another fall and was is hospital again. I told the doctor to tell him he could not go home, it was too unsafe. I told Dad,” You don’t need to go to assisted living, but Mom does. Do you want to live at home alone?” I told Mom. “You don’t need assisted living, but Dad does. Don’t you want to be with him? It worked! I got VA assistance to pay for about half the assisted living bill, and was able to rent his house out and with the social security they both got it covered the monthly bill. I don’t know how ill your parents are, but in my case they needed to be there. And after a few months, they loved it. though not at first. Good luck and you seem to be a good son, don’t let them screw up your life. Life is too short. That puke green 69 Ford with the 390 4 speed is a cool sleeper. A lot like Dad’s 67 Mercury I abused as a 16 year old. Don’t ask about what I did to Mom’s 72 Pinto. See 68 Mercury post on Jack Lord’s car. What goes round comes round!
Hang in there Christopher. It sounds like you are trying to do the right thing. BOC & The Daves’ suggestions & 67 Conti’s postings make a lot of sense. Personally, I’d waste my money on old cars before the hookers. Scabs are better than Crabs 😛
I doubt theres any 6 cylinder Mustangs in NZ they are all privately imported and that means grabbing the best optioned cars not the basic poverty pack models.
Might that be the nicest remaining stock condition I-6 Mustang still in existence?
Although one place I disagree with the original owner is; Why order ‘arrest me red’ when you’ve only got the 6?
It’s” steal me red” where I live!
You’d be surprised how many really clean early sixties Mustang sixes are out there. I attend a couple of Mustang shows every year, and there’s actually 3 branches to Mustang fandom:
Branch 1 values originality above all else.
Branch 2 are the hot rodders who do their own work
Branch 3 are the late model fans who buy a Shelby striaght up or dress a GT up with the factory engineered performance parts, installed at the dealer.
The fans of originality tend to collect the ’64 1/2 to ’73 cars, which is why this six didn’t surprise me. If you want to see all three branches at one event, come up to the Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup in Steamboat Springs, Colorado this Father’s Day:
Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup
It would be a bit of a drive out of Gallup, but then so is every other destination ;). The show typically draws 500 + cars, and 95% of them will be Mustangs
It’s not hard to understand why there are still lots of really nice, early I6 Mustangs around. For starters, there’s just the sheer numbers before all of the competition got into the act. It’s easy to forget that the split in early Mustang engine production was pretty high for sixes (maybe 50/50). That’s a lot of I6 Mustangs. It helped that Ford actively pushed I6 Mustang sales, too, including offering the Sprint 200 option.
Then there’s the balance. The first Mustangs with 170 or 200 ci sixes were still acceptable, balanced performers, at least for non-drag racers. It was a practical, sporty looking car that anyone could afford to drive and maintain.
But as the Mustang got bigger, heavier, and more aggressively styled, it wasn’t quite as nimble and easy to drive with the smaller engines (even as they got larger, too). By 1969, 80% of Mustangs had a V8 engine.
I will echo this. I had a 68 with the 6 and a 3 speed, and it still had a bit of zip to it. Not unpleasant at all.
In 1967, I think “Candy Apple Red” was the fourth most popular color — a surprise to me. You have to admit, that Ford blue powerplant contrasts nicely with the surrounding red body!
Oh I love that Invicta. Just wish it had factory wheels and height. I still think Buick messed up by not changing the current LaCrosse name to Invicta as the show car highlighting its styling was called. I think the 61 Buick is one of my favorite years and with the bubble top at that. Can not remember the last time I saw one.
Agree with all. Too bad the Invicta didn’t catch on better in its day. It seems Buick has flirted with the Invicta name several times in the modern era but they keep missing it.
Considering the Invicta occupied some of the space of the Chrysler 300 back in the ’60s, Chrysler proved that you can revive an old low volume name and make it mainstream. Come to think of it, Chrysler did the same with Town & Country.
I completely agree about reviving the Invicta name. I also think GM should have made their hybrid car a Buick instead of the Chevy Volt so they could call it the Electra. 🙂
+1 — the mods take away from an otherwise beautiful machine. The new Bleah Buick names like “LaCrosse” and “Enclave” are trendy enough for today’s shopper I suppose. I’m personally glad the classic Buick names weren’t reincarnated for the current appliances….
For now, all Wildcats & Invictas will still be remembered as beautiful Buick nameplates regardless of what vehicle they were bolted to.
Custom 500’s, I believe were discontinued in the U.S. after the ’75 model year and, like the Bel Air, soldiered on up in Canada for awhile longer . . . .
The Custom 500 was last sold to the general public in the U.S. in 1975, but it continued to exist as a fleet-only model through 1977, after which it was replaced by an LTD-badged fleet-only model, named LTD ‘S’.
It is my understanding that the Custom 500 continued to be available in Canada as a distinct model through 1978. It then continued for three more years, through 1981, as a subseries of the LTD. It continued to be sold to the general public at least as long as it was a distinct model, possibly right up to its end as an LTD subseries. The Chevrolet Bel Air was also sold in Canada through 1981.
After Ford dropped the two-door pillared body style at the end of the 1969 model year, the Custom 500 was never sold as a two-door in the U.S. In Canada, the two-door pillared body style was replaced by a two-door hardtop, later to become a “pillared hardtop” when Ford went to that style for its full-size two-doors in the mid ’70s, and a Custom 500 two-door continued to be offered down to the end of Custom 500 production in 1978. Some post-1969 Custom 500 two-doors (or ’78 Custom 500s of other body styles) intended for the Canadian market were built in the U.S., and may appear in U.S. production tables, but to my knowledge these cars were not sold in the U.S.
That yellow 65 Coupe de Ville really challenges your notions about which is the “best” year for a 60s Cadillac. How can that 63 Tom K. found not be in the running, along with my favorite the 64? What about a 61 CDV that would have skegs and also a bubble top like that gorgeous ’61 Buick???
you mean like this?
Now that’s a car show. The only thing missing was an Edsel.
Would you settle for a Lamboghini Espada? There were actually 2 at the show, but we’ve covered them here before, so I left them be.
Here’s the hood of one I cut out of the Chrysler Imperial photo:
The winner for me is the Ford 2 door post with the 390 and 4 speed. What a cool guy must have ordered that, assuming it is a real one, of course. I hate Ford automatics since they sucked loads of power, especially in the small stuff. With the torque of the 390, this thing would be been a pleasure to drive, just loafing along at like 1000 rpm,
Am I seeing things or was that a factory air register in the centre of the dashboard of the 68 Ford? Perhaps rare even rarer.
I noticed the A/C vents as well…
My father had a ’61 Invicta convertible, medium green with light green top and 3 tone green vinyl upholstery (bench seat). I was 16 and loved that car, he traded it on a ’62 Electra 225 ragtop, light tan with medium brown leather interior, never liked that car, too big and not as showy as the Invicta.
Oh baby… that ’68 Custom 500… I’d sell my soul for that car.
I wonder what the story behind the first owner is ?.It’s an unusual mix of miser’s special with a manual big block.Ford had some very attractive cars back then
Quite a nice collection and pictures!
I too like the original looking I6 Mustang. It looks nice in red with the blue engine, though if that is originally a 65 (looks like it is), the engine should be painted orange. Blue was 66 and up. 65 and older Fords used different colors to distinguish the engines from one another (orange for I6, robbin’s egg blue for the 260, and black and gold for the 289). Many rebuilders paint all Ford engines of the era that deeper Ford Blue though.
That Buick takes the cake for me. It’s not overdone, and it looks good with that rake. Not a fan of the wheels though. Love that profile picture of the front fender… Is that a Rocket? No, it’s a Buick!
Wow, what memories! My father had a pink-ish ’61 Invicta and it was the first car I ever drove by myself! (at 11 years old!!) We were hunting and my father handed me the keys and told me to ‘get the car’ A long LOOOONG walk to the car went by quick as a flash for me!
Oh and that Fairmont Ranchero? That was actually an aftermarket conversion offered at the time called a Durango. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Durango