The beauty about venturing out is you just never know what you will find. Spotted recently while out on an excursion with Mrs. Lord and the Papoose, I happened upon this car lot. Having traveled past here for years, he does a good job of acquiring interesting inventory.
So if the ’60 Bel-Air or ’54 Chevrolet aren’t to your liking, maybe this ’72 Grand Prix might be. The eagle eyed among you may also have noticed that ’92-’96 Roadmaster in the background.
But if off-road adventure is what you crave, here’s a ’77 to ’79 Dodge that is immune to almost anything – except the old tin worm.
That first picture illustrates as well as anything why the compacts took off in 1960, and why the Rambler and Lark sold so well in 1959. The big 3 really started to lose command of things when they walked away from the market for reasonably sized cars at the low end of the price ladder in the second half of the 1950s.
Looking at the height of the actual body gives a clue as to the popularity of CUV’s too – they are a better reflection of a car cabin before the whole longer, wider, lower nonsense. (yes there are performance/handling benefits but most people prioritise comfort)
I’m actually liking the 54 Chevrolet the best, which is odd for me because most of the cars of the early 50s (that aren’t from the independents) leave me cold. Perhaps my tastes are becoming more refined? 😛
The ’60 Chevy looks more like a Biscayne as the Bel Air that year had a chrome “trail” from the jet plane on the side all the way to the tailights . . . the Biscayne did not. The ’60 Impala had a wide trail coming out of the “jet’ which was painted a corresponding color . . . and as Zackman mentioned, he’d used wood-grained vinyl contact paper to customize that jetstream. Much like AMC did on some Ambassadors in ’66.
I like the 54 Chev its been repainted at some point and they forgot to mask the bumpers as was the fashion but it looks like a good example.
Also a lot cheaper than chroming them these days
The ’60 Chevy is nice, and there’s a couple of old trucks in the background I wouldn’t mind checking out. My favorite of the bunch, though, is the Grand Prix. Toss me the keys and I’d be happy.
I would pick the Grand Prix, too, esp. if it was going to be driven regularly. As for the 60 Chevy, I have very fond memories of a 61 Impala I bought for $295 around 1976. Drove it for a few years and sold it for $500 with nothing but maintenance along the way. The first family car I remember was a 53 Bel Air.
x3 on the GP: 400 4bbl, dual exhaust, bucket seats, console all standard equipment. It’s a GTO in a more substantial wrapper. This one may even have my favorite color white interior.
It’s such a shame how many of these cars were raped of their drivetrains and crushed over the years.
I’m pretty sure the 54 Chevy is a 210, a car I have great affection for because a favorite uncle bought new that exact model in cream over black and kept it in beautiful condition for ten years until trading for a new 64 Rambler American. My uncle’s car had Powerglide, radio, a chrome-accented dash, and gray cloth seats; it was quiet and reliable and rode very nicely. The 54 was a practical size but looked old-fashioned pretty quickly as the new models became lower, longer, and wider, and my uncle took some ribbing for keeping it a long time. However, after a while it became his trademark and folks began to admire his thrift and how impeccably he kept his old Chevy: clean and polished, rust spots repaired and repainted, and upholstery vacuumed and shampooed.
It is amazing the size increase between ’54 and ’60. I’m not usually a big car fan but I’ve always liked ’60 Chevys for some reason. And if you’ve gotta put moon eyes on something, a ’60 Chevy is a good choice!
Dad’s 1960 Chevy had baby moons. Sure looked great!
Look at the front fender low and just behind the wheel. “Moon Eyes”. I guess you had to be there…
You are right though, baby moons were made for these cars.
I love me some batwing Chevys.
Still want an Elky from that time period, but even this lowly Biscayne would be great. A Kingswood wagon would be equally cool.
That 54 does look like a 210 and I like it.
People often forget that the six was modernized in 54. That engine ran quite a while but 54 was the only year that it was still stuck with a 6 volt system. Powered quite a few taxis. I can’t remember any of these wearing out early if you watched the water and oil.
Where on Hwy. 19? Owensville? Hermann? Montgomery City? Wellsville? Where, please! I gotta know!
I’ve been all over that road through the years…lots of old iron, too.
South of New London, right at the intersection of Route 19 and EE in Ralls County.
I work with a man who lives in Montgomery City and has a shed full of good stuff. All I’ve ever seen is his ’67 Chevelle convertible that he drives to work.
Me too (Mo. Hwy 19 all the way up to the Hwy. 61 junction). Usually, if we didn;t take 61 to my Grandmother’s house, or Aunt and Uncle’s, we’d continue on a little ways on I-70 and pick up 19 north and U.S. 54 east into Vandalia. My auntie is still around; feisty and 84. She still lives in Vandalia. Drives an ’02 Grand Marquis, the last new car my late Uncle purchased. My relatives used to patronize a custom butcher in Hermann.
I had an ’87 Dodge pickup I bought from the City of Vandalia for chump change about six years ago. Great pickup. Vandalia is a nice little sleepy town, except the prison is too close.
I like them all but that Dodge truck is my favorite.
I would assume that 5 stud wheels equals no 4×4?
@ Billy Rockfish
Good eyes on the Biscayne! I found car’s near-twin, a Bel Air sedan, in my photo collection. This was taken in Sept. 2010 in southwestern PA. The car has the single chrome “trail” from the jet on the side. Missing a front bumper though.
A few years back, they usually have a spring car show (American Graffiti Days) in Petaluma, California. Guy shows up with a showroom new ’60 Bel Air 2-door sedan. Light metallic green and pristine original interior . . . headliner like new. He was driving it away from the show, so I didnt’ get to chat with him and see the mileage, but was one of those ‘time capsule’ cars, I suspect. “V” emblem, single exhaust, and I did see the Powerglide clear plastic selector on the column, so my guess would be the 283 2-bbl base V-8 set up. And, being the Bel Air, the jet stream single chrome spear on the side!
’60 Biscaynes (and Canadian Pontiac Strato-Chiefs) offered a “thrift model” – 2 door sedan (not a business coupe) that had one speed wipers, a single sun visor (driver’s side) and minus arm rests and cigarette lighter. Mondo Stripper!
Would have loved to have seen that ’60 Bel Air! In my opinion, the lower trim lines looked better back in those days when too much chrome was slathered on the Impala.
My family had 2 Bel Airs in a row, a ’61 and a ’67, both 2-door sedans with the six and 3-on-the-tree. Both were turquoise, but the newer car’s color was a lighter shade and more greenish. The ’61 didn’t even have a radio, but we did opt for back-up lights, “deluxe” heater, and outside rear view mirror, all of which were standard by ’67. The only option on the newer car was an AM radio.
I really enjoy these stories of how cars were bought back in the day, compared to the loaded vehicles everyone wants now, including Corollas and Sentras. I had another uncle who was like-minded with your family: new Chevys in 60, 63, and 66, Biscayne, Bel Air, and Impala respectively. All sixes, three-on-the tree, radios. The 66 Impala was a factory-ordered four-door sedan in bright red with black cloth interior, blackwalls, dog dish caps, the only option a radio. The dealer insisted on a large deposit because he said there was no way in hell anyone else would buy the car equipped that way. My uncle loved that car, drove it for ten years, and traded it for a new Monte Carlo, his very first car with V8, PS, PB, A/C (they were retiring in Florida).
As I may have mentioned before, I love me some batwing Chevys, but the Grand Prix is really doing it for me.