Since moving to Fort Worth almost eight months ago, I’ve come across some cars that I’ve really wanted to write about. Unfortunately, since working from home, I don’t have as much time to indulge in this pastime making full write ups on cars difficult. Now, it’s finally time to let my random shots see the light of day for all of you to enjoy.
The car you see at the top of this page is a 1969 Falcon Futura sedan. I was lucky enough to catch up with the owner as we walked into the store. He informed me the Falcon was his latest project but he also had a 1969 Mustang Mach One that was his pride and joy.
Next is this 1976 Ford Maverick sedan that I was amazed to see. I once drove this exact same car while looking to replace my Rio many years ago. Seems like it’s little 200 I6 and a three speed manual have held up well!
The following few cars are from the back of an auto shop I stumbled upon while looking for a trash can. This 1965 Impala coupe looks nice, but I think it could use some different wheels. To each their own!
This 1967 Camaro reminds me of the sort I used to drive when working at the dealership.
This 1965 Chrysler is actually what caught my eye to start with and got me to walk over in the first place. Pretty neat paint job, with Rat Fink on the trunk to boot!
So, just a few interesting cars from my recent travels. Hopefully I’ll be seeing more, even as the weather here in Texas starts to get cooler.
I like that Rat Fink has stood the test of time .
More please .
It’s fun to see what’s on the streets in the non-Rust-Belt.
I’m old enough to remember Ed Roth and Rat Fink and all that—and those Chryslers are uncommon these days!—but the two Fords call to me with their simplicity, and I’d be happy to take one in if someone left it on my doorstep. Perhaps they were “second cars” that didn’t run up the mileage too fast in their day…
Shame that they don’t make a good, honest, solid, decently roomy and cheap car like that Falcon anymore. They were considered disposable tin-cans back then but that car has survived due to it’s basic ability to provide practical and economical transportation, comfort be damned. Many don’t care for all the electronics, gizmos and gimcracks universal in new cars. To me it’s a shame microelectronics and their concomitant complexity are required to make cars viable for the road now; the option to buy simple cars like that Falcon are gone forever except in a few 3rd world countries.
“Shame that they don’t make a good, honest, solid, decently roomy and cheap car like that Falcon anymore”
Does the $21,490 2022 Ford Maverick XL Hybrid qualify? (Or $22,650 if you want a factory pickup box cover to turn it into a “sedan”)
Room for 5. 40 MPG in the city. Latest safety and convenience features. Far outperforms the old Falcon in every way.
All for just $3,053 1969 dollars.
A ’22 Hybrid… simple?? You must be kidding, It’s full of computers, drive-by-wire, screen controls, and microelectronics. Wrong in every possible way.
But was the 1969 Falcon actually more reliable? Fires up every time, without stalling, hot or cold? 2x the horsepower using 1/3 the fuel? Lasts 10k miles between oil changes? 100k miles between spark plug replacements? How many of them made it past 100k miles?
Yes the hybrid is simpler by certain measures. Instead of a transmission, it’s one planetary gearset and two electric motors. That’s it. No torque converter bathed in ATF, no bands, no clutches, no complex vacuum and hydraulic governor. It doesn’t even have a reverse gear. Unlike vacuum hoses and hydraulics, electronics and software don’t wear out. The engine doesn’t have a complicated carburetor with jets, floats, idle circuit and bi-metal automatic choke; a rotating distributor with vacuum advance, points and condenser; hydraulic power steering pump …
If it works better, lasts longer, requires less maintenance and costs about the same (adjusted for inflation and standard equipement) why should one care how it’s done?
Electronics and software don’t wear out?
Maybe, but they deteriorate. And time marches on, nessitating a pretty in depth knowledge of modifications, either going backwards to mechanical controls, or forwards to something else.
Based on my experiences restoring a GN and an 81 CJ7, electronics don’t age well. As a bonus, that era of computer was filled with PCBs. Ah well.
But yeah, funky electronics send a lot of otherwise good iron down the road.
So good luck with that maverick in 2050.
Sure. Unsupported electronics could be a problem. But many older cars got junked because the broken automatic transmission cost more to repair than the car was worth. That problem existed long before the advent of micro-electronics. Today there are aftermarket engine control computers that can be used on classic cars, even complete fuel injection systems to replace carburetors. Any man-made machine can be repaired and maintained indefinitely … for a price.
Back to the original point: Todays’ cars and trucks work better, last longer, cost less to operate and maintain, and cost about the same to buy relative to average wages, as the cars and trucks of 50 years ago. There are still some very basic models, but they are mostly purchased by fleets. Few retail customers buy them. Can’t blame the automakers for that.
I’d say it’s more accurate to say that modern vehicles are capable of much higher mileage with much less attention inside of a certain time frame than older vehicles, but don’t keep well outside of the “use by” date.
Complexity isn’t so much of the problem as proprietary software and electronics are. They could be more easy to service, but manufactures chose not to.
Better or worse for the consumer and society?
Depends on who you ask.
Now with a right to repair law…
That “certain timeframe” is much longer than the longevity of 99% of the “simple old cars.” The problem has always been “broken beyond economic repair.”
The basic tasks of a engine control computer are pretty well understood, so there are now “open source” computers that can handle modern crate engines, including ignition, fuel injection and even variable valve timing. It may take a slightly different skill set to tinker with modern cars, but it’s not beyond the capability of dedicated individual enthusiasts.
It’s possible to keep a 1993 Lincoln Mark VIII running indefinitely, just as it’s possible to spend more to overhaul the engine and transmission of a 1969 Falcon sedan than the car is worth. It’s possible, just not worth the time and money for most people.
The ’65 Impala calls me as that I took my driving test in one.
Is that a shadow on the back of that Impala, graffiti or a car tattoo?
Welcome to Fort Worth!
I don’t get out too much, but I have lived in central Texas for almost 40 years. It seems to me that most of the cars I see are relatively new (well, last 20 years…I drive a 21 year old car as my only vehicle) but I kind of understand why…I live in a large city, and having an older car can be a liability, unless you are really dedicated to keeping it up….the traffic here doesn’t seem to leave much room for iffy vehicles… thought early on when I was younger I brought a (more) problematic car with me from my former address up in the rust belt, and had brake lines let loose on me (they were covered by carpeting and eventually the wet carpet (from boots and snow) corroded the lines. Fortunately there were well fewer people living here (like 20% of the current population) when I first moved here, I even lived without air conditioned car for 4 years until I eventually traded in my “northern” owned car.
Even though cars seem like they can last awhile down here (if not in an accident, which is tough to avoid when there are so many people and very careless drivers), the metal parts of the car indeed seem to last a long time…I’m amazed that my current car hasn’t needed a new exhaust system, being stainless steel from the factory, instead of aluminized (even here I used to have to have it replaced every few years due to water buildup causing corrosion due to short trips). However, rubber and plastic parts don’t seem to have a long life; I’ve had to replace weatherstripping and rubber gaskets multiple times, and the salvage yards usually don’t have candidate parts in any better condition than the part I’m trying to replace. I’ve even had parts shipped from salvage yards up north, including a 12 foot single piece of rubber channel on my A2 VW Golf, that had the weatherstripping for the door attached to it…it looked like a giant hockey stick, from the A pillar to the top of the rear hatch, but all the salvage yards here didn’t have any candidate parts that weren’t in even worse condition than my own, and of course the part was no longer in production (even NOS) that I could find.
I lost the ability to shift gears (manual transmission) in my current car due to deteriorated shifter cable stops, again a plastic piece, spent about $1k (for a 20 year old car that is worth maybe twice that, though of course now with temporary shortages of cars probably a bit more). Also have had air leaks through rubber boots, etc, which can be tough to locate. And rubber hoses for cooling system need replacement every 8-10 years to avoid leaks (and now that everything is aluminum, don’t want to overheat even one time). Curiously, I’ve not had to replace the rubber boot over my CV joints, though it seemed to be an every other year item on my prior car (same manufacturer).
My brother-in-law moved down here several years ago (from rust country as well) and he loves not having to deal with rust, but tends to buy older cars with lots of mileage on them, and is often having to do repair work on them. Still he loves not having to deal with corrosion so much as when he lived up north.
I think that’s the main reason I don’t see too many older cars here…most people don’t really want to do the maintenance needed to keep them viable, even though they don’t die from rust, the sun is so strong here that other items need periodic replacement. If nothing else the sun deteriorates fabrics and vinyl, so that the interior starts looking pretty ratty…since few cars still have metal dashes, they are one of the first things to go, so even if a car is otherwise mechanically maintained, it can have other issues. I once saw a convertible that appeared to have a “skeleton” dash (i.e. remainder of a dash cobbled together so it could still function, but otherwise pretty obvious that most of the plastic and vinyl pieces had deteriorated) and the owner tried to at least preserve some of the function. Living up north (before I moved here) I would not have thought of these issues, but the sun can also be a big challenge to keeping a car viable. There are lots of sun damaged paint jobs as well….I try to keep my car waxed 2x/year, and most of the metal parts look fine, but the plastic ones (painted the same color) are showing sun damage, though they are 21 years old (thus far).