If these had been black-and-white photos (still fairly common back then) I might not have fully realized what exactly it is that we miss perhaps most of all nowadays.
Yes. Cars in multiple colors!
Why, just look at all those fine brand-new ’63 Dodge Darts!
Wait a year and get one with the very fine 273 V-8. I also prefer the 1964 grille.
Heck no, thanks! I take my Darts and Valiants the way it says in the Bible: without any smelly ol’ bent engine with half its cylinders on the wrong side and two extras.
I suppose I’d wait a year and get one with the very fine 4-speed transmission, the larger backglass, the stronger door latches, the heat controls in the dash instead of in a plastic box screwed underneath, the less troublesome automatic choke, the better electrical circuit protection, the more robust rear wheel bearings, the electric windshield washer, and the more comfortable handbrake handle…
…but it would certainly have a 225 engine. I had a ’64 Dart with a 273, and I liked it a whole lot less than my Slant-6 A-bodies. It was not practically quicker, and it was a whole lot more of a pain in the nuts to work on, and that’s even _without_ having had to put a starter in it.
(On the other hand, I could happily forego all those ’64 improvements and get an early-production ’63 with the aluminum 225.)
I’ll be a heretic and take the V-8 with the manual, although I’d wait until the 1965 model, which is the best-looking of the 1963-66 models, in my opinion.
Aren’t you guys tempted by the turquoise Belvedere hardtop between the black convertible and the white 2-door?
Well…yeah, it’s a nice one, but I’d have to swap in a ’62 instrument cluster because that goofball cowboy-lookin’ box-serif font they used in ’63 is just plain no.
That’s a Dodge Polara, and, yes, I’m tempted.
To see all of those cars, colors undimmed, is to go back to when I was ten years old and loved seeing the new cars every year. And all of these were beautiful in ways that we can’t duplicate today. Myself, I’m still taken with those ’63 Chevys in the foreground, especially the Corvette and the Impala Sport Sedan.
It doesn’t look that colorful to me, sorry guys. Except for the red cars, which are definitely less popular now (and fine by me, I only like red on Ferrari’s, even my Ducati is black, and by choice), there’s a lot of whites and off whites, pale blues, tans and a few darker colors. Maybe fewer shades of gray and silver, but none of the bright blues and greens and oranges once sees now, albeit those aren’t as popular today as they were in the seventies. But a great photo, and nice to see lots of VW’s and British cars amidst the Detroit stuff. The VW’s and 356 are timeless, in their way, but the big Healey does look dated here.
A lot of the color in the pictures seems to come from the display elements, especially the red-and-gold bunting hung around the arena to contrast with the mostly empty blue stadium seating.
Having owned both VW vans and Corvair Greenbrier’s in the past, that camper interior in the Corvair is the bomb
I wonder what those two older ladies looking at the Corvette are saying?
“Ooh Bertha, I like that split window on the fastback”
“Nonsense Harriet, I heard that the ragtop is the hot setup”
Looks as though there is a Falcon hardtop (white) at the Ford display. Those are sharp cars. Also love the Dodge Polaras – particularly the light blue-green four-door hardtop.
So are the others behind the photographer? Or maybe there was a lower level. All the non-Chevrolet GM Divisions, Plymouth, Chrysler, Mercury, Lincoln, Studebaker. At least Rambler and Jeep got some space on the main display floor.
That Corvair Greenbrier is SCHWEET!
There’s an Israeli flag near the Chevy wagon. Where’s the Sabra??
See the table nearby with the bouquet in it? It’s a camouflaged falafel joint. Or perhaps they served good old knishes there…go figure.
Ive always thought this time period is really interesting in light of GM’s near complete takeover of the American car market back then. There were even rumblings of the government breaking up GM like they broke up AT&T later on. Im a Ford guy primarily but I have to admire what GM was able to accomplish back then. The full size 1960-64 Chevys were just about an unbeatable combination as their sales bore out. It must have been a kind of scary time for the non-GM dealers as it just was tough to give the average car buyer a good reason to buy a non-GM product. Im sure Ford in particular was relieved to have much better success against GM in the latter half of the ’60s.
Chrysler Corporation was the company that steadily gained market share, increasing from about 10 percent of the market in 1962 to 18 percent in 1968. Ford experienced more ups and downs during the mid- and late-1960s.
Chrysler had superior engineering, still, which is why they dominated the police and taxi markets and the Dart/Valiant was about to take off in ’63 since they fixed the styling.
Ford really ran hot-and-cold based on the full-size Ford. Mercury, as ever, had trouble finding the right forward gear; Lincoln had carved itself a solid niche with the little-changing two-model Continental series (sedan priced between the Cadillac DeVille and Fleetwood 60 Special, convertible firmly in Fleetwood territory) that sold slightly better than Lincoln had in the ’50s with a new look every year and trying to compete with Cadillac model-for-model.
Ford was also best at finding niches and giving people the car they didn’t know they wanted; the T-Bird was only now in ’63 starting to face personal-luxury competition, the Falcon got an early lead in compacts and the Mustang was a year and a half off.
What? No Studebakers?
No pickups? What is up with these people?!
I brought up Ford because Mercury and Lincoln were really on the ropes taking a beating in this time period despite the classic ’61 Lincoln. I think a lot of people don’t realize how close they both came to going out of business if the 1965 models had not been the success they were. Ford division itself was barely competitive with Chevy after outselling them in 1959 during this period. But the 1965 LTD and the Mustang firmly turned things around for Ford. Chrysler, no offense, they had nowhere to go but up. They were also taking a beating from GM during this period, some of it their own making. I know the car business is cyclical but I really wonder if the government would have broke up GM if they still had a near monopoly by the end of the 60s.
Hey, there’s my old Corvette!
Yes, Chevy was at the top of its game in ’63. As a kid, I was immediately in love with the split window Corvette. Built a plastic model, of course. I also thought the ’63 Impala was the best looking big car at the time.
Chevy had more variety than any other brand, Corvair, Chevy II, Chevrolet and Corvette, with 4/6/8 cylinder engines from 80-425hp. Then there was a dizzying array of trucks from 4,100-36,000lb GVWR.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
About Arras WordPress Theme
Copyright 2011 - 2020 Curbside Classics. All Rights Reserved.