The CC Graveyard Part Four: From Broke-Back Mustangs To A Monte Carlo Winner, And Some Bikes Too

(first posted 9/4/2011)     Not exactly the most arresting picture with which to continue our tour with, but that’s the brakes; little bitty drum brakes at that. Yes, there’s not a whole lot to the suspension on an old Mustang, thanks to its Falcon underpinnings. Actually, this one has the bigger V8 version brakes, as the five wheel-bolts reveal. Well, don’t despair; there’s lots of (mostly) intact iron ahead, quite a diverse sampling at that, and a little collection of seventies Japanese bikes. Hey, this is the CC Graveyard; there’s enough cars here to to keep us going for years, if all we did was to show you junk yard cars one at a time, like some do. For us, it’s just a long weekend excursion, and then it’s back to pounding the pavement for the real thing.

Here’s another car long overdue for a CC; we’ve done the original 240Z, and the next gen 300ZX, but not the one in between. And the wire wheels perfectly underscore what the Z became with the ZX. There’s others in the street, even if not with rusting wires.

A genuine R-Body cop car. Weren’t they all?

So here’s the Pintos; now where are the Vegas? Oh, that’s right; they haven’t really hit the junk yards yet in any significant numbers, seeing that they’re still hard at work on the streets.

Squarebacks, and a fastback. Now where’s the notchback?

Here’s a nice blue LeMans, one of the last years of the Colonnade variety. And a big Mark V behind it.

No this is a find. These vintage Rancheros are getting very hard to find, especially the early ones with the original big mouths in front. Looks like it’s in pretty decent shape too. Shall I put in an offer for one of you?

Talk about the odd couple. Quite the study in contrasts. About the only thing they have in common is four wheels and a V8, although even that’s not guaranteed. The Charger might have had the slant six.

This is the random leftovers corner. Nice view across the Willamette Valley to the Coburg Hills. And I think I see a ’63 -’64 Chrysler roof poking out; that red one.

Can’t ignore the International contingent. Michael; Scoutdude! Here’s one for each of you.

Looks like this Mustang II got in trouble and is having to sit in the corner. Serves it right!

And why are these two hanging out together? And what’s that stuffed into the inner eyes of the Ford?

Another “T-Bird” that’s being shunned from the real T-Birds.

If I ever want to write a piece on the evolution of VW front end design, I have the picture handy.

Let’s end this part with some bikes, and here’s a nice one indeed. The Honda 400 four perhaps the finest of the first gen Honda fours; it ran like the proverbial sewing machine. A friend had a blue one just like this, and I remember a memorable ride. Just keep the revs at least above 5000…

I guess it makes sense to have the sole Honda car with the bikes, but I’m not sure why this old Ford is here. Anybody recognize that bike instrument cluster?

A Yamaha too. Seems like only yesterday…

More bikes, including another Honda 400 four. Someone has taste. Ignore that unusual car behind them; that’s for our next segment. or can’t we wait now?

Ok, we can’t wait; and here is the second Sunbeam-Talbot of the collection, a drop-head coupe (Brit speak for convertible. and much more colorful).

The story of Rootes is fascinating, as they really invented the fine art of badge engineering, or at least elevated it to a finer art. We’ll have to do an Automotive History on them sometime. They used a basic chassis or two, and spun numerous variants, using the Hillman, Humber, Singer and Sunbeam brands. The Sunbem-Talbot was the top of the line, and this drop-head coupe had bodywork by Thrupp & Maberly.

The quite lovely Sunbeam-Talbot Alpine roadster (above) was an offshoot of the S-T 90, first cobbled up by a dealer for Rally racing. But the final production version was given the once-over by the Loewy Studios, and was quite desirable car in its day (1953 – 1955). It was a co-star in Hitchcock’s 1955 “It Takes A Thief” with Cary Grant and Grace Kelley.

The engine for these cars is a 2267 cc four, and one all-too obviously converted from side-valve to OHV after the war. But these were sprightly engines for the times, with up to 80 hp, and the S-T 90 was a popular rally car, driven by the likes  of Stirling Moss and others. The Alpine was named for S-T’s success in the Alpine Rally.

And there were numerous other victories for S-T 90s, including an outright win in the 1955 Monte Carlo Rally, in a sedan like we showed in the previous episode of our tour.  I regret not giving it its due credit then.

Here’s what’s left of its interior. Column-mounted shifters were all the rage in Europe in the fifties, for better or for worse.

Notice how the frame drops down under the axle (underslung),  not that this is really all that low of a car. And all those leaves; looks like a one-ton truck spring. They must have been very thin leaves, or this thing must have had a ride like a cart.

With this last look, we’ll take a break until our final episode tomorrow. That’s it for Sunbeams, but there is another exotic car, a French one, hiding amongst some big Cadillacs. This junkyard collector had an eclectic streak. See you then.

Continue to Part 5 of the Tour