Today is the last, official Saturday of summer 2016 in the Northern Hemisphere before the Fall Equinox arrives this coming Thursday, September 22nd. I have to keep reminding myself that the good times won’t end just because this fun, adventurous summer has – a season that included road trips, roller coaster rides, street festivals, a hometown car show, many random car spottings, and lots of beach time. I do look forward to fall, with its crisp air, colorful leaves, bonfires, and just being indoors with folks… but I’m not ready for all that just yet. The driver of this Deuce-And-A-Quarter, spotted just one week ago in my neighborhood on the Lake Shore Drive entrance ramp, has more or less the same idea as I do right now – let’s not throw in the towel on summer until we must. Next week will do just fine.
With prices starting at around $4,200 ($33,500 / adjusted), this Electra 225 was one of just over 7,100 convertibles produced for the model year, actually outselling the base Electra hardtop coupe by almost 3,000 units. Total Electra sales were about 48,000, so the 225 convertible’s showing was a healthy 15% of total production.
The final (eleventh) generation, 2002 – ’05 Ford Thunderbird on the right serves as a good contrast to the Electra, to contemplate a point brought up in a comment on my ’75 Ford LTD post from earlier this week by CC reader MarcKyle64. In response to my question of how a 2016 Chevy Impala might look and function in forty years, he opined: “It won’t make it. Some electronic malady will sideline it and cost as much to repair as a good down payment on a $50,000 2036 Corolla, therefore leading to being recycled. But we’ll still see a lovingly cared for ’55 Chevy being gently driven to a local car show.” MarcKyle64, I think you are 100% on-point in those predictions. All of them.
Between the two convertibles in the featured shot, my choice would be the Buick. This is neither because I am from Flint, Michigan (where the Buick was built), nor because I dislike this generation of Thunderbird, with its playful styling and all of its modern conveniences and safety features. I just simply would opt for the beautiful, artful, actual classic versus a now-fifteen-year-old reinterpretation of an icon of automotive Americana. Will this Thunderbird’s faux-50’s style eventually enjoy a rebirth in popularity in, say, fifty years? Time will tell, but I’m fairly confident this Electra will still ooze at least as much class that far into the future as it did just this past Saturday.
Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois.
Saturday, September 10, 2016.