Tag Archives: American Cars

Classic Cars: The ‘1955 Chevrolet Bel Air’ (Video)

The 1955 Chevrolet (sometimes referred to as ‘55 Chevy) is an automobile which was introduced by Chevrolet in Autumn 1954 for the 1955 model year. It is considered a huge turning point for the manufacturer and a major success. It was available in three models: the 150, 210, and Bel Air.

The ’55’s top trim offering was the Bel-Air, which had more chrome than the 150 or 210. The Bel-Air, 210 and 150 model could be bought as a four-door, or could be bought as a two door with a post between the front and rear passenger windows, known as the two-door sedan.

The Bel-Air or 210 model could also be had as a two door with no post between the side windows. This was known as the sport coupe, or better known by collectors as “the two door hardtop”. Since this model had no post between the two side windows, it had a shorter roof and longer rear deck than the two door sedan had. Chevy also offered a convertible, with the same shorter roof and longer rear deck as the sport coupe, and it was offered in Bel-Air trim only.

1955 also saw the introduction of the Bel Air Nomad, a sporty two-door station wagon which featured frameless door glass and elongated side windows. The unique roof design of the Nomad came directly from the 1954 Corvette Nomad, a “dream car” designed to be shown at auto shows as a concept sport wagon. Although regarded as one of the most beautiful station wagon designs of Fifties, the Nomad sold poorly, partly due to its price tag (one of the most expensive models in the Bel Air lineup) as well as its lack of four doors. Also the Nomad’s two-piece tailgate design was prone to let excess rainwater leak through to the interior.

The ’55 offered a wide array of colors. One solid color, which was standard for the 150, could be had for the 210 or Bel Air…or nineteen different two-tone color combinations were also available.

Classic Cars: 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner Convertible (Video)

On “My Car Story” we’re in the West Suburbs of Chicago IL on 11-5-20. We’re looking at a 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner Convertible in Flame Red & Raven Black Paint. The car comes with the factory 292 CI V8 “Y Block” engine. The car’s Owner is Don Walters. Don’s had this car since 2000. He shares he had one like this when he met his wife. The car features the “Retractable Top” and Don shares back in the 1950’s known as the “Hideaway Hard Top”. He found this one in a junk yard and did all the restoration work himself in four years. Don uses this car as his daily driver.

Classic Cars: The ‘Heart Of Route 66 Auto Museum’ In Sapulpa, Oklahoma (Video)

If you are a car lover, you have to visit the Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum in Sapulpa. From a Chip Foose Car called The Imposter, to a 1922 Packard, a couple of Jaguars, all the way to a Model A Ford pick-up, this museum honors anyone who appreciates cars! And since it along Route 66, people from 94 different countries and all fifty states have been through here!

American Cars: “1953 Buick Skylark Convertible”

1953 Buick Skylark Convertible Interior RM Sotheby's AuctionsThe Buick Skylark is a passenger car produced by Buick. The model was made in six production runs, during 46 years, over which the car’s design varied dramatically due to changing technology, tastes and new standards implemented over the years.

Created to mark Buick’s 50th anniversary, the Roadmaster Skylark joined the Oldsmobile 98 Fiesta and Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado as top-of-the-line, limited-production specialty convertibles introduced in 1953 by General Motors to promote its design leadership. Of the three, the Skylark’s run of 1,690 units proved the most successful, and an amazing sales feat considering the car’s 1953 list price of slightly in excess of US$5,000 was over 50% more than the well-equipped US$3,200 Roadmaster convertible on which it was based. Nevertheless, many languished in dealer showrooms and were eventually sold at discount.

Photos from RM Sotheby’s

Production ran for two years. Based on the model 76R two-door Roadmaster convertible, the 1953 Skylark (designated model 76X) had identical dimensions (except height), almost identical appearance, shared its drive train, and had all its standard equipment, plus its few remaining options, including power windows, power brakes, full carpeting, and a “Selectronic” AM radio. Only A/C was not offered, unnecessary in either convertible.

From Wikipedia

American Classic Cars: “1955 Hudson Italia”

1955 Hudson Italia Interior RM Sotheby'sThe Hudson Italia is an automobile styling study and a limited production two-door compact coupé that was produced by the Hudson Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, in cooperation with Carrozzeria Touring of Italy, and subsequently marketed by American Motors Corporation during the 1954 and 1955 model years. Designed by Frank Spring with input from Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni of Carrozzeria Touring, and introduced 14 January 1954,[3] the Italia was based on the Hudson Jet platform and running gear, but with a unique body and interior.

Lacking sufficient capital to develop a new model, Hudson reached an agreement for a prototype to be built in Milan by Carrozzeria Touring. A complete Hudson Jet was shipped to Italy. A new body design, based on sketches by Frank Spring, was formed over a steel tubular frame. This unibody system of aluminum panels was known as superleggera (equivalent to “very lightweight” in Italian), and “was expensive and fairly revolutionary in its day.” The work done by Carrozzeria Touring was under the supervision of Spring and Hudson’s vice-president, Stuart Baits.[12] The Italia (coupes and one four-door prototype) was the only project that Carrozzeria Touring undertook for a U.S. automaker.

More photos from RM Sotheby’s

From Wikipedia

 

American Classic Cars: “1959 Chevrolet Impala”

1959 Chevrolet Impala Interior Classic DriverThe Chevrolet Impala is a full-size car built by Chevrolet for model years 1958 to 1985, 1994 to 1996, and 2000 onward. The Impala is Chevrolet’s popular flagship passenger car and is generally among the better selling American made automobiles in the United States.

The 1959 Chevrolet Impala was redesigned. Sharing bodyshells with lower-end Buicks and Oldsmobiles as well as with Pontiac, part of a GM economy move, the Chevrolet’s wheelbase was 1-1/2 inches longer. Using a new X-frame chassis, the roof line was three inches lower, bodies were two inches wider, and curb weight increased. Its tailfins protruded outward, rather than upward. The taillights were a large “teardrop” design at each side, and two slim-wide nonfunctional front air intake scoops were added just above the grille,

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Classic Driver logoThe Impala became a separate series, adding a four-door hardtop and four-door sedan, to the two-door Sport Coupe and convertible. Sport Coupes featured a shortened roof line and wrap-over back window. The standard engine was an I6, while the base V8 was the carryover 283 cu in (4.6 L), at 185 hp (138 kW). Optional were a 283 cu in with 290 hp (220 kW) and 348 cu in (5.7 L) V8 up to 335 hp (250 kW). Standard were front and rear armrests, an electric clock, dual sliding sun visors, and crank-operated front vent windows. A contoured hooded instrument panel held deep-set gauges. A six-way power seat was a new option, as was “Speedminder”, for the driver to set a needle at a specific speed and a buzzer would sound if the pre-set was exceeded.

From Wikipedia

American Classics: “1937 Cord 812” – Front Wheel Drive, Hidden Headlights

1937 Cord 812 Interior Classic DriverThe Cord 810, and later Cord 812, was a luxury automobile produced by the Cord Automobile division of the Auburn Automobile Company in 1936 and 1937. It was the first American-designed and built front wheel drive car with independent front suspension. It followed the 1934 Citroën Traction Avant and the Cord L-29, both of which also had front wheel drive. Both models were also the first to offer hidden headlights.

Classic Driver logoThe styling of the Cord 810 was the work of designer Gordon M. Buehrig and his team of stylists, which included young Vince Gardner and Alex Tremulis. While the first American front-wheel-drive car with independent front suspension, it had an archaic tube rear axle with semi-elliptic rear springs. Power came from a 4,739 cc (289 cu in) Lycoming V8 of the same 125 hp (93 kW) as the L-29. The semi-automatic four-speed transmission (three plus overdrive) extended in front of the engine, like on a Traction Avant. This allowed Buehrig to dispense with the driveshaft and transmission tunnel; as a result, the new car was so low it required no running boards. It had a 125 in (3,175 mm) wheelbase (shared with several 812 body styles), and in 1936 came in four models: the entry-level sedan at US$1995, the Beverly sedan ($2095), Sportsman ($2145), and Phaeton ($2195). The 1937 812s had the same models, priced $2445, $2545, $2585, and $2645, plus two more, on a 132 in (3,400 mm) wheelbase, the $2960 Custom Beverly and $3060 Custom Berline.

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From Wikipedia

American Classics: “1955 Ford Fairlane Sunliner Convertible”

The Ford Fairlane is an automobile model that was sold between 1955 and 1970 by Ford in North America. The name is derived from Henry Ford’s estate, Fair Lane, near Dearborn, Michigan.

1955 Ford Fairlane Sunliner Convertible Rear View Classic Driver

For the 1955 model year the Fairlane name replaced the Crestline as Ford’s premier full-sized offering. Six different body styles were offered, including the Crown Victoria Skyliner with a tinted, transparent plastic roof, the regular Crown Victoria coupe with lots of stainless steel trim, a convertible Sunliner, the Victoria hardtop coupe, and traditional sedans. All featured the trademark stainless-steel “Fairlane stripe” on the side. Power options were a 223 cu in (3.7 L) straight-6 engine and a 272 cu in (4.5 L) V8. The 292 cu in (4.8 L) Y-block was offered as an option and was called the Thunderbird V-8.

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From Wikipedia

American Classics: “1949 Cadillac Series 62”

1949 Cadillac Series 62 Interior Classic DriverThe Cadillac Series 62 is a series of cars which was produced by Cadillac from 1940 through 1964. Originally designed to replace the entry level Series 65, it became the Cadillac Series 6200 in 1959, and remained that until it was renamed to Cadillac Calais for the 1965 model year. The Series 62 was also marketed as the Sixty-Two  and the Series Sixty-Two.

The Cadillac Series 62 Coupe de Ville was introduced late in the 1949 model year. Along with the Buick Roadmaster Riviera, and the Oldsmobile 98 Holiday, it was among the first pillarless hardtop coupes ever produced.mAt $3,496 it was only a dollar less than the Series 62 convertible, and like the convertible, it came with power windows standard. It was luxuriously trimmed, with leather upholstery and chrome ‘bows’ in the headliner to simulate the ribs of a convertible top.

55,643 Series 62 Cadillacs were produced in 1949 out of a total volume of 92,554 vehicles.

From Wikipedia

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Classics: “1971 Plymouth Barrauda Convertible”

1971 Plymouth Barracuda Interior Classic DriverThe Plymouth Barracuda is a two-door pony car manufactured by Plymouth from 1964 to 1974.

The third generation, offered from 1970 to 1974, was no longer based on the A-body, but on the Chrysler E-body. The completely new design was similar to the Dodge Challenger and available in hardtop and convertible body styles. The Barracuda was discontinued after the 1974 model year.

Classic Driver logoThe redesign for the 1970 Barracuda removed all its previous commonality with the Valiant. The original fastback design was deleted from the line and the Barracuda now consisted of coupe and convertible models. The all-new model, styled by John E. Herlitz, was built on a shorter, wider version of Chrysler’s existing B platform, called the E-body. Sharing this platform was the newly launched Dodge Challenger; however no exterior sheet metal interchanged between the two cars, and the Challenger, at 110 inches (2,794 mm), had a wheelbase that was 2 inches (51 mm) longer than the Barracuda.

The E-body Barracuda was now “able to shake the stigma of ‘economy car’.”

From Wikipedia