: '60's Convertibles ... An End of an Era



orconn
09-13-10, 07:44 PM
The open car had been with us since the automobile first came on the seen and had survived the perfecting of the closed car in the 1930's to become the highest priced (non-limo) in a company's model line up. After W.W. II the convertible continued to be produced in varieties that covered entry level new cars on up to the super luxo-boats of the 1950's. Chevi Bel Airs to Cadillac Eldorados. Among the luxury brands only Imperial skipped offering a convertible for a couple of years in the fifties.

But for shear size and opulence the decade of the 1960's stands out as the decade of the convertible. They came in a range prices and degrees of luxury, but from the Fords and Chevies to the Continentals and Cadillacs and even the Imperials the convertible were arguably the most desirable of American cars.

The safety concerns and somber economic conditions of the 1970's soon brought the demise of the true American convertible. The subsequent rebirth of the pale attempts to bring back the convertible began in the early eighties with Chrysler's attempts with the K-car convertible put out in both Chrysler and Dodge renditions. GM put out some outsource models, never in any real volume and in "econo" class cars where their premium prices attracted a small following.

The true American convertible was dead and still hasn't been reprised successfully. The steeply raking windshield angles and the windshield effective entry into the airspace above the front seat passaengers (especially the driver) has so greatly modilfied the open air feeling of the convertible so as to truly eliminate the "free" feeling of being open to the sky that the '60 convertibles and their predecessors, gave to those riding in these wonderful cars. It was a whole new experience, and not one, that in my opinion, justifies the high premium prices ask for todays convertibles.

No, for me the true American convertible died in the late 1960's. It is a shame so few young people have experienced the exhileration of driving a truly open convertible and are willing to make do with the half baked experience that today's convertible give. Adios sunbaked but airy rides to the beach and wonderful convertible slay rides in the snow!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-13-10, 08:05 PM
Aside from the 1961-69 Continental, was there another four door convertible available in that era?

My favorite '60s convertibles:
1961-64 Continental
1968 Coupe deVille
1965 Eldorado Biarritz
1963 Eldorado Biarritz
1960 Eldorado Biarritz
1967-68 Electra 225

And many more

Stingroo
09-13-10, 08:09 PM
I don't know orconn, I'd be perfectly content with this little beauty as far as modern convertibles are concerned:

http://www.corvetteblogger.com/images/content/072606_1.jpg

orconn
09-13-10, 08:26 PM
Check out the windshield on "that little baby" ... ain't saying it is desirable, just not so much as "convertible."

The four convertible sedan (or touring car, or phaeton) was extinct after the Second World War as far as American convertobes went. Mercedes produced a four door convertible as a 300 series car for most of the 1950's.

The Continental four door convertible was the only car of its' type produced by a manufacturer after the War. Most American brands had four door "hardtops" which supplied a lot of what convertibles had in the way of breezy open feeling without the "lack of body rigidity" inherent with convertibles of that decade.

Stingroo
09-13-10, 08:34 PM
Though, in my book, the coolest convertible I've ever seen was this old Thunderbird that had a full power top. It was MASSIVE, and it made the trunk as long as the whole car almost, but it was pretty cool to see it work 30 or 40 odd years after it was built.

jayoldschool
09-13-10, 09:31 PM
Sting, you read my mind.

Just a couple of weeks ago my uncle came to town with his 27 000 mile 64 T Bird. He wanted to meet up for some steaks, and of course, he wanted to see my 65. The top/trunk is very cool on the T Bird. The whole trunk lid lifts backwards with hydraulic rams, the complete top stores in the trunk, then the lid returns and the boot screws down so there is no exposed top. Completely automatic, and very cool. His car is high option, full power. Teal interior. Ultra cool wrap around rear seat, and also the swing away steering column.

Two of the nicest designs to come out of Detroit in the 60s... (even though mine was built in LA):

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e202/jayoldschool/006-1.jpg

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e202/jayoldschool/003-2.jpg

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e202/jayoldschool/011-2.jpg

Destroyer
09-13-10, 10:45 PM
It is a shame so few young people have experienced the exhileration of driving a truly open convertible and are willing to make do with the half baked experience that today's convertible give. Adios sunbaked but airy rides to the beach and wonderful convertible slay rides in the snow!They are not willing, they just don't know any better. I've had many convertibles from the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's. None compare to the 60's 'verts. The experience of riding in a '60's vert is magnified over anything after that decade. I remember cruising in my '95 Z28 'vert, yeah it was fun but the roof went nearly over my head, I had to extend my elbows up to reach the top of the door, it wasn't the same.

hueterm
09-13-10, 10:55 PM
I also like the '70s Caprices and Grandvilles -- there are a couple of really nice ones on eBay right now -- for idiot money...

orconn
09-13-10, 11:38 PM
I totally agree, Jay, your '65 Chev (to me one of the best American designs of the 1960's) and your uncle's '65 T-bird (another of my favorite designs of the sixties) are really great and both cars look best as convertibles. I always wanted a '64-'65 Thunderbird convertible, but never got around to buying one. I will have to say if it came to driving either of the two cars, I would much rather drive the Impala; i.e. the sixties T-birds were real no-feel bricks to drive.

I actually had a lot of experience with the late fifties Thunderbird convertibles. My uncle had a '55, '56, '58 and '59 all convertibles and I used to drive each of them at least once a week. I liked the 1955 and the 1958 the best. Although the '55 felt like you were in a narrow fifties speedboat when you went down the road. The '58 handled bettter but rattked like a son of a gun. Still it was great to be able to drive those cars even though they were getting old in the 1960's. At the time I was driving those cars in Illinois, I had my very nice 1958 Jaguar XK 150 drophead (convertible) in California. The Jag had it all over those cars when it came to driving dynamics and handlying, but then, new, it cost quite a bit more. In 1965 I drove my Jag out to Illinois from CA and unfortunately it was totalled by a drunk driver while I was staying over at my uncle's. He sold me his very nice 1962 Cadillac convertible which I then drove back to college in Wisconsin. As you may have quessed I only drove convertibles in those days!

orconn
09-13-10, 11:45 PM
I also like the '70s Caprices and Grandvilles -- there are a couple of really nice ones on eBay right now -- for idiot money...

Those were nice too, although in their last iterations with the ugly bumpers they were far less attractive then the earlier cars with regular '60's style bumpers. I had a friend that had 1971 Pontiac Grandville (?) convertible and I remember it being quite nice.

I have said here in the fForum before that I test drove a 1976 Eldorado convertible with an eye to buy onr, but couldn't stand the Mattel plastic fake wood and the car's Moby Dick handling and ended up buying My Seville.

77CDV
09-14-10, 12:08 AM
The hardtop and the introduction of reliable automobile AC units (along with uncertainty over then-impending federal roll-over standards) are what really killed the convertible. Sales numbers began declining in the mid-60s. I suspect that all things being equal, the convertible would have been reduced to it's current niche market anyway, a victim of changing public taste and desire.

Night Wolf
09-14-10, 12:35 AM
I think a lot of it has to do with the average American not wanting to deal with the "hassle". Americans are lazy and rather demanding. Between the extra wind noise with the top up and all the wind with the top down, they seem to rather avoid it all.

It's an attempt to rid themselves of the enviornment they are in. People want to be confined in a silent car and if it gets cold - turn the heat up, if it gets hot - put the A/C on. If it rains - wipers go on.... if anything happens in the outside enviornment they can not control in their small capsule of a car, they complain.

Sometimes that is a nice thing... but other times it seems to really take away from driving. To me, being exposed to the enviornment I am in, is part of driving and part of the enjoyment. That is why I like convertibles so much.


The true American convertible was dead and still hasn't been reprised successfully. The steeply raking windshield angles and the windshield effective entry into the airspace above the front seat passaengers (especially the driver) has so greatly modilfied the open air feeling of the convertible so as to truly eliminate the "free" feeling of being open to the sky that the '60 convertibles and their predecessors, gave to those riding in these wonderful cars. It was a whole new experience, and not one, that in my opinion, justifies the high premium prices ask for todays convertibles.

I completely agree! I was in a late 90s Mustang convertible and the windsheild nearly came over my head. Same thing with my fathers new G6 hardtop convertible. To me it takes so much of the fun out of the convertible feel.

Which is one of the reasons why the convertible e30 is so much fun, compared to 60s cars it has more rake to the windsheild but still nothing compared to new cars it stops well before my head. The seat/headrest can be adjusted so that the head rest can actually be used for what its' name implies. As such, that is normally the position of my head when driving. The top of the door sill is low enough that I can rest my arm on it when driving and it feels natural. While riding in and driving my fathers new Solstice, I was shocked at how high the doors are, it is akward to rest your arm on it enough that you end up keeping your arms inside the car, which was really cramped already. Totally not cool.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Florida/101-02-09050.jpg

In Clearwater there is a small place that specializes in Lincolns, they had a custom late 70s ('79 IIRC) Town Coupe convertible. For starting life as a hardtop, this thing was a clean job. It is already an exceptional looking car too. It was for sale at the time as well.

If Ford actually made this, I would be seeking one if it wasn't already in my driveway. It was really nice.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Florida/1-6-08009.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Florida/1-6-08008.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Florida/1-6-08004.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Florida/1-6-08010.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Florida/1-6-08011.jpg

THAT is how I would like my luxury car (for the comments that are about to follow) automatic transmission and all. It is a straight up cruiser. It is not a fancy luxury car that tries to be a sport sedan etc...

Then inside they had...

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Florida/1-6-08016.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Florida/1-6-08019.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Florida/1-6-08021.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Florida/1-6-08023.jpg

But when it comes down to the ultimate in convertible experience on 4 wheels, not only does this have such a steep windsheild, but taking doors out of the equation really opens things up!

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Jeep/misc097.jpg

Convertibles as a whole really appeal to me. Then again even in vehicles such as my '93 Coupe DeVille and '96 Town Car, I nearly always preferred windows down to A/C on. It just makes driving so much more fun to have the wind blowing and be exposed to the outside.

77CDV
09-14-10, 12:57 AM
Than Town Coupe custom convertible looks sweet, but those seats would be a bitch to keep clean in an open car. They look amazingly comfortable, though. I'm lusting after that Mark III.

Night Wolf
09-14-10, 01:19 AM
Than Town Coupe custom convertible looks sweet, but those seats would be a bitch to keep clean in an open car. They look amazingly comfortable, though. I'm lusting after that Mark III.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Florida/1-6-08012.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Florida/1-6-08013.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Florida/1-6-08030.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Florida/1-6-08032.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Florida/1-6-08034.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Florida/1-6-08037.jpg

It was a really neat place.

gdwriter
09-14-10, 01:54 AM
Most American brands had four door "hardtops" which supplied a lot of what convertibles had in the way of breezy open feeling without the "lack of body rigidity" inherent with convertibles of that decade.I love that Betty is a four-door hardtop. With all the windows down, it really does have a nice breezy open feeling, and even at highway speeds, there's not a lot of wind buffeting. I'll drive Sabrina with all the windows down on a nice day like on the way to the golf course yesterday, but with the fat B-pillar, you just don't get that same open feeling you do with a true hardtop.

As for your Impala, Jay :drool: :drool: :drool: I love my '64, but '65 was a really beautiful design. I especially love the tailights.

A '64 Eldorado or DeVille convertible would be on my short list of classic cars to own.

ted tcb
09-14-10, 02:32 AM
Nice thread ... oh, what I would give to drive a 1955 T Bird in the sixties.
Great images.

Here's a pic of me back around 1993 in Sarasota ... sign in the background says Bayview Motors .... I'm guessing its a sixties Benz?

http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n243/tedtcb/077_77.jpg

This one I actually owned for many years, a 72 Cutlass Supreme, with the standard smooth 350 Rocket. Only car I've ever owned that increased in value over the years I owned it.

http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n243/tedtcb/080_80-1.jpg

Currently, I have this 91 Miata Special Edition ... everythings still works 20 years later .... 60000 miles, lots of cheap fun.

http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n243/tedtcb/P1050254.jpg

What I miss about the Cutlass is that deep, throaty rumble from the Rocket motor. Sounded like an old mahogany ChrisCraft racing launch ... intoxicating sound!

ted tcb
09-14-10, 02:37 AM
This was a fun time ... which car to take out?
Too bad you can only drive one at a time.
The 442 was faster, but the 350 was much more nimble.
I owned a fast food franchise at the time, hence the crazy paint
job on the 442.

http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n243/tedtcb/171_171-2.jpg

Night Wolf
09-14-10, 03:19 AM
That Cutlass is sweet! ny favorite style of perhaps my favorite muscle car.

I like the Miata too. My friend Ted has an NA. It was battling against the e30 when I was in the market (in general, not his car)

They still appeal to me, I think I would get a late model NB - with the updated interior.

Jesda
09-14-10, 04:34 AM
I give Chrysler credit for trying to bring it back. The best they did for something with four seats was the 96-03 Sebring.

http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/bm/images/98_sebring_conv_jx.jpghttp://image.automotive.com/f/reviews/convertibles/6682211+pheader/0104_01+2001_Chrysler_Sebring_Convertible+Rear_Dri vers_Side_View.jpg
These flew out of showrooms because they filled a demand for large (well, midsize) American luxury (well, econolux) convertibles. No one else offered anything. The Cutlass Supreme convertible disappeared in 1995. Then it got fat, weird, and ugly. It never really performed well. It started out as a dependable car, but quality got worse as time went on.

So I agree with Orconn, the era ended and never really came back. If you want that kind of car with good looks and respectable quality, you have to spend big bucks and go German or Swedish.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-14-10, 07:53 AM
Living in Minnesota, where a convertible is really only useful 4 months out of the year, I've never had much of a desire to own one, but when we get our first beautiful day in late May/early June, I always wish I had some big ol' convertible to cruise around in.

Jesda
09-14-10, 09:38 AM
I almost forgot about the last Thunderbird, but it only had two seats. We shouldnt -have- to look to Europe for a reasonably roomy four-seat cruiser.

ted tcb
09-14-10, 10:14 AM
Jesda, I came really close to purchasing a 2003 Sebring Limited, silver blue and white cream interior.
Electroluminescent guages, trip computer, chrome rims, navy blue top, a really nice looking car.

In the end, I just couldn't see myself living with the POS 2.7L motor and Chyrysler's cheap materials.

If the comeback TBird convertible ever comes down in value to where it belongs, alongside the values of
the Lincoln LS it was based upon, I would consider one. For the money Ford was charging for them, I was
amazed at how few toys they came with .... $50k and no trip computer? Jesda's Saab was better equipped.

I've never owned a convertible with a steeply raked windshield, like Orconn mentions. I would imagine that
the pitch of the frame, the thick header panel, and the long dash would limit the open air experience.
I do prefer driving a cozy two seat convertible, like the Miata, compared to a larger 4 seater convertible.
I find it provides more of an open air experience .... I don't know why, perhaps its because the Miata is
so close to the ground and the windscreen is so tiny.

orconn
09-14-10, 11:50 AM
Living in Minnesota, where a convertible is really only useful 4 months out of the year, I've never had much of a desire to own one, but when we get our first beautiful day in late May/early June, I always wish I had some big ol' convertible to cruise around in.

As I mentioned, I had the the '62 Cadillac convertible in Madison, Wisconsin. It was great on those neat Fall days, but did a superior job fro sleigh rides with the top down, the windows up and that great GM HVAC system blowing away. One of the fondest memories of my senior year!

orconn
09-14-10, 12:00 PM
I agree that the nineties Chrysler Sebring convertible was good looking car ........ but the intruding windshields, lousy build quality and poor performance left a lot to be desired. So yes, I agree, it is a shame to have to go to foreign makers to get a convertible .... even at an exorbitant price! But even so the new cars from BMW and Mercedes, not to mention Volvo and SAAB still suffer from the windshield syndrome. I think the only way to get the "true" experience is to get a '60's convertible .... so they don't drive like today's cars they do deliver the unique "open air" experience in a unique and wonderful way.

I wish I could have a Miata in the garage to just to have to take Fall jauts in the beautiful Virginia Fall weather and many country twisties that surround Richmond, actually our Winters are so mild here you could enjoy it year round.

Night Wolf
09-14-10, 12:21 PM
That is one of the thing I really enjoy about the South - enjoy the convertible for most of, if not the entire year. In NY there may have been 4 really nice months of the year to enjoy a convertible, but here there may only be 4 months of the year that you can't. Here it is, middle of September and it is still in the 90s. Plus, even in the middle of January Key West is only a 12-hr drive away for tropical weather year-round.

jayoldschool
09-14-10, 12:33 PM
And, that is one of the reasons I like living up here. It's like getting new cars every spring!

ga_etc
09-14-10, 07:21 PM
Orrcon, a quick search on eBay found this Mercedes (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1995-Mercedes-E320-Convertible-Champagne-Tan-55k-miles-/250694753503?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item3a5e925cdf). A '95 E320 Convertible. I think that most closely fits your description of open air motoring.

orconn
09-14-10, 07:44 PM
^^^ Close but no cigar! I had a 2002 Mercedes CLK convertible and have ridden in a few '90's vintage E320 convertibles and again the windshield rake extends too far into the cockpit and over the driver's line of sight, which greatly takes away from the open air feeling I am talking about. Anyway for the money we are talking about for a used CLK or even a '90s E convertible you can still buy a decent 60's convertible.

Jesda
09-14-10, 07:49 PM
I agree that the nineties Chrysler Sebring convertible was good looking car ........ but the intruding windshields, lousy build quality and poor performance left a lot to be desired.

Another rub: The 96-00 2.5L Sebring convertible got a turbo option in Mexico!

Destroyer
09-14-10, 09:25 PM
We shouldnt -have- to look to Europe for a reasonably roomy four-seat cruiser.I don't. Still plenty of '60's convertibles on the road. :cool2:

Destroyer
09-14-10, 09:27 PM
I give Chrysler credit for trying to bring it back. The best they did for something with four seats was the 96-03 Sebring.

http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/bm/images/98_sebring_conv_jx.jpghttp://image.automotive.com/f/reviews/convertibles/6682211+pheader/0104_01+2001_Chrysler_Sebring_Convertible+Rear_Dri vers_Side_View.jpg
These flew out of showrooms because they filled a demand for large (well, midsize) American luxury (well, econolux) convertibles. No one else offered anything. The Cutlass Supreme convertible disappeared in 1995. Then it got fat, weird, and ugly. It never really performed well. It started out as a dependable car, but quality got worse as time went on.

So I agree with Orconn, the era ended and never really came back. If you want that kind of car with good looks and respectable quality, you have to spend big bucks and go German or Swedish.
Sorry dude, those Sebrings are pure FAIL. They are akin to scraping the bottom of the barrel. The Sebrings are gay.

Jesda
09-14-10, 09:36 PM
Sorry dude, those Sebrings are pure FAIL. They are akin to scraping the bottom of the barrel. The Sebrings are gay.

And they sold a ton of them anyway, without major incentives until recently. It shows how much of a hole there is in the market, occupied very loosely by Chrysler, who didn't try very hard.

Destroyer
09-14-10, 10:46 PM
And they sold a ton of them anyway, without major incentives until recently. It shows how much of a hole there is in the market, occupied very loosely by Chrysler, who didn't try very hard.I suppose you are right. There is a market for an honest 4 seater convertible. Why have they become so scarce?

Destroyer
09-14-10, 10:49 PM
Here's a pic of me back around 1993 in Sarasota ... sign in the background says Bayview Motors .... I'm guessing its a sixties Benz?

http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n243/tedtcb/077_77.jpg

This one I actually owned for many years, a 72 Cutlass Supreme, with the standard smooth 350 Rocket. Only car I've ever owned that increased in value over the years I owned it.

http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n243/tedtcb/080_80-1.jpg

Currently, I have this 91 Miata Special Edition ... everythings still works 20 years later .... 60000 miles, lots of cheap fun.

http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n243/tedtcb/P1050254.jpg

What I miss about the Cutlass is that deep, throaty rumble from the Rocket motor. Sounded like an old mahogany ChrisCraft racing launch ... intoxicating sound!We have a very close automotive bond in that we both dig Oldsmobiles AND Miata's. I mean, usually one that likes one hates the other. I had a '97 Miata and loved the car except for the fact that it was too small for me. The power was not impressive but the handling was amazing!!!!

ted tcb
09-14-10, 11:04 PM
I wish I still had the Cutlass, but with university tuitions and two daughters, I cashed out.

Still, the little Miata gives my wife and I a good excuse to go for summer drives together, which we do
every chance we get. Also, is there a more reliable roadster than an NA Miata? I would drive it anywhere.

Destroyer, I was wondering if you recognized the dealership with the chandeliers in Sarasota ... Bayview Motors?

You own two cars I love .... your Cutlass, and of course, the X8.
We also share an affinity for the LS430.
I'm vicariously living through your Jag ownership phase .... if you have success with yours over time, I may
jump into Jag ownership. Classic lines that just don't exist anymore.

Sandy
09-16-10, 09:13 PM
I had a new 1968 Imperial Crown Convertible in a Lighrt Green Metallic, with a Avocaado leather convertible top & matching Avocado Green leather Bucket Seats. What a Car, that was ! Now I have a Mustang asc McLaren 2-Seat Convertible. It stops folks in their tracks to ask. "What is that" as they melt to butter over it. No matter where i take it, it draws a crowd.

Destroyer
09-16-10, 09:14 PM
I wish I still had the Cutlass, but with university tuitions and two daughters, I cashed out.

Still, the little Miata gives my wife and I a good excuse to go for summer drives together, which we do
every chance we get. Also, is there a more reliable roadster than an NA Miata? I would drive it anywhere.

Destroyer, I was wondering if you recognized the dealership with the chandeliers in Sarasota ... Bayview Motors?

You own two cars I love .... your Cutlass, and of course, the X8.
We also share an affinity for the LS430.
I'm vicariously living through your Jag ownership phase .... if you have success with yours over time, I may
jump into Jag ownership. Classic lines that just don't exist anymore.So far so good with the Jag. I bought it knowing full well it isn't a cheap car to fix but it will be fixed when it breaks because I like it and think it is worth it. Believe it or not, my Cutlass is extremely reliable, even Miata reliable thus far. I'd drive that thing anywhere. It is my beach car and cruiser and needs some attention to the front suspension and interior but this 43 year old car hasn't given me any troubles save for a radiator in the year and half that I've had it. The LS430 is the car I'll end up with when I've given up on foreign cars (already given up on domestic luxury cars). My next car will be a Porsche 928. After that........who knows?

I've passed Bayview motors but never went in. I'm not in Sarasota a whole lot and I usually buy cars from private owners only.

orconn
09-16-10, 11:49 PM
I don't remember 1960's American cars, and GM cars in particular having reliability problems. We used to say of my Lamborghini, (which in the ten years I owned it) never required any work except a change of plugs, an oil changes and an ocassional "Italian tune up" (WOT to us) that it was "as reliable as a Chevy." So I am not surprised that your Cutlass is giving you no problems.

It was the European cars, in the 1960's that everyone complained about how unreliable they were. The German cars, with the exception of the VW, were just as notorius as were the English and French cars. VW repair shops sprang up all over the place which could fix their very simple problems. In Southern California we were lucky to have several reliable and good independent foreign car garages whose expertise kept us rolling along in our Mercedes and Jags. But even with knowledgeable and skill mechanics available the foreign cars needed three to four times the repair and service as our American cars. As they are today, the dealers of the imports charged extravagant prices for their service. This was particularly true of Mercedes, but also to a lesser degree Jaguar.

The arrival of the Toyota Carolla on these shores in the late sixties usher in a new era of reliability for foreign cars, at least the Japanese imports. I was living out of the country during the latter sixties and early seventies. for 3 1/2 of years I lived in Japan. I have to say I was impressed with the Corolla sedans that were ubiquitous as taxi cabs in Japan at the time. Since I used the cabs almost daily in those day I was familiar with them. I was really impressed with their apparent quality. Even on the lousy frost heave road sof Hokkaido, where I lived outside the city of Sapporo, those Corollas performed their duties with almost no squeaks or rattles (American carsuffered from the squeak and rattle syndrome almost from new), and their torquey little 1600 four bangers were surprisingly quick, helped out by excellent four speed manuals. After I returned permanently to live in the U.S. in the mid
1970's I wasn't surprised to see the popularity of the Toyotas and Datsuns on either coast.

A word of advice, Destroyer, begin researching reliable mechanical service shops in your area now, don't wait for a problem to arise. You might check with the Florida Jaguar owners club for some suggestions of reliable shops in your area.

It sounds as though your are enjoying your XJ, I'm glad to hear it. I hope it gives a great deal of pleasure during your ownership ... after all that's what Jags are about.

gdwriter
09-17-10, 02:26 AM
Like Nick's Cutlass, Betty is very reliable. I've taken her on 500+ mile road trips (each way) with complete confidence.

I also agree on having a mechanic you can trust. I found mine simply through a call to AAA when Cruella's starter crapped out, and the tow truck they sent also went to a garage. I've been taking my cars there for five years now, and they have always done right by me.

Destroyer
09-17-10, 07:40 AM
I had a new 1968 Imperial Crown Convertible in a Lighrt Green Metallic, with a Avocaado leather convertible top & matching Avocado Green leather Bucket Seats. What a Car, that was ! Now I have a Mustang asc McLaren 2-Seat Convertible. It stops folks in their tracks to ask. "What is that" as they melt to butter over it. No matter where i take it, it draws a crowd.
Post a pic of that McLaren Sandy. I'm sure you already have sometime or another but I don't remember it. I always thought they were pretty cool lookingl.

Sandy
09-17-10, 10:55 AM
Can't. Don't know how to post pics, and do not have any on line.

You might be interested in my ascMcLaren site. They are all there! I have 3 of them, now. The final one made; 1 of just 2 25th Silver Anniversary editions made and a 1986 Mercury Capri Bubbleback ascMcLaren, with 680 miles.
The Final one (above) has 2,300 miles & the Silver Anniversary has 6,870 miles.
All are show cars.
I still have my Sixty Special (1993) now with exactly 10,000 miles,
The Daily runner is still the wife's Cherokee (small original never-gonna-die Cherokee) THE LIMITED 4X4 - now with 63,000 miles and still mint !!

You can view ascMcLarens at my site. that keeps me really busy.

http://www.ascMcLaren.org

Sandy
09-17-10, 11:03 AM
Maybe this might work:

This is the 25th Silver Anniversary Edition. 2 were made.
Silver Pearl paint, Scarlet Red Interior.
25th Ailver Anniversary front fender plaques.
ALL available options

http://www.ascmclaren.org/phpBB/album_pic.php?pic_id=52

http://www.ascmclaren.org/phpBB/album_pic.php?pic_id=53

Jesda
09-17-10, 11:05 AM
Sandy: The link doesnt work. Says "Not Authorised"

ted tcb
09-17-10, 09:18 PM
Sandy, does this help at all?


http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n243/tedtcb/SandySilver-vi.jpg

http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n243/tedtcb/ASC-vi.jpg

http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n243/tedtcb/51c77d40-vi.jpg

creeker
09-17-10, 09:31 PM
Sandy: The link doesnt work. Says "Not Authorised"

Ditto, same here.

Destroyer
09-17-10, 10:40 PM
Sandy, I went to your Mclaren site and checked out your cars, sweet!! Only thing I don't like about some of those McLaren's is the damn orange wheels, what is up with that? I owned a modded '82 Capri RS and several Mustangs of that era. I especially like the Capri McLaren's. I remember back in '87 I went to a car show and saw the McLaren Mustang. I was a 15-16 year old busboy and waiter at the time and I knew I was getting a new Mustang GT. Anyway, I approached the McLaren at the car show and was staggered that it cost nearly twice as much as a comparable, regular, Mustang GT. I asked the representative why? On the showroom floor it didn't look THAT much better. He informed me that it is twice the car a "regular" GT is and blah, blah, blah. How could it be twice the car a regular GT is if it had the same exact unmodified motor? My question to you Sandy is...........is it really? Regardless, your collection is great. I've moved on from that generation of Mustangs and Capri's but seeing yours is very refreshing.

Sandy
09-18-10, 12:20 AM
Ted, thanks for helping me out. Really, Thanks !!!!!

Destroyer, well..YES and NO. The ascMcLarens were specially prepaired BY FoMoCo, prior to being shipped over to American Sun Roof (ASC) and then to McLaren Engineering.
It's really too long to go into, here, but a mini Cliffs Notes version would include that the cars began as LX 5.O Coupes, built upon the Convrt. frame & under pinnings, were fitted with custom side door glass, due to a special machine that bent the "A" pillars rearward, a B-303 Hi Po Cam, and many many MANY other tweeks. They ride stiff, but can take curves like they were on rails. They STOP traffic as they are all repainted using SIKKENS paint in many vivid colors, such as my Azura Blew, Sea Foam Aqua, HOT Yellow, Royal Gold, Red-Fox, Coral Pink and others. The Exhaust are upgraded, as well and the Custom Wheels.
The Coupes as my Dark Grey / Orange Decals COUPE are VERY RARE. Mine has 680 miles on it, and is a 1986. Only 114 were made. If 'ya did not like the orange decals/wheels, you could also get SILVER decals / Wheels or Gold.
The most interestig part is that it IS THE ONLY FOX BODIED CAR THAT WAS PREPPED BY FORD, FOR AN AFTERMARKET CONVERTOR. Not Saleens, Not any other....ONLY for ASC / McLaren.

orconn
09-18-10, 01:01 AM
Sandy, that '69 Crown Imperial convertible must have really been something. They were very rare to start with (if memory serves me correctly) and the light green metallic with alvocado green interior must have made it the rarest of the rare. I acn imagine that it would be quite a show stopper today!

How are you doing healthwise these days? I hope all's going well for you in that area.

Sandy
09-18-10, 10:06 AM
+HI, Orconn!

My Imperial was a 1968. It was THE final year for Imperial Converts. 474 were made, 61 in the Light Green Metallic.
My car had it all, from Twilight Sentinel Lighting, to 3 ribbon stripe WW tires, dual 6-way power seats, THE FIRST EVER installed BY the FACTORY, 8-Track Tape Player, as an integral part of the audio sytem. It was a beauty, but...like a dummy, I sold it. You see, I was selling MOPARs then, and I bought a new Imperial every year. 2 reasons. #1, I always liked Luxury Cars. Hi-Po car were good too, but I was drawn to gadgets and the luxury cars had more of those. Near model-year END (August or so) i'd look to bail out & order the next Imperial.
Another reason was that there was a jumbo amount between dealer invoice & window sticker on Imps. Plus often $$$ from Mother Mopar (known as "Spiffs") on slow sellers. So, they were not hard to sell when you could give $4,000 off of window sticker. Soon as my Imp was delivered, I ordered the new one. In between, while awaiting, I drove "usedees" of the abUSED car lot. Those were good days in the car business.
You didn't make piles of $$$ but if one likes the business, it's okay. BUT the hours totally suck ! 9-9 4 daze @ week, 9-6 on Saturday. 58 hours @ week, 80% of the time arguring price with stupid buyers.

Onward to health

I am doing okay, thank you! Recalling how ro spell words can be challinging, due to the Chemo. I still get poisoned 2 X @ month, every other week. But, I have a good outlook and the nurses in the Cancer ward love me, 'cause I make them laugh.
For 2 dasys (daze) after my 90 minute infusion, I have pretty bad stomach pain. By day 3 I am okay. Day 4 I am fine.
My Dr. says I will have to have this the rest of my life.
First, I cried. Alot. Now I have come to accept it.
There is worse. I would not want to be blind, by way of example. I have a wonderful wife, aand together a great Son.
Life is, what you make of it, Cancer has taught me that.
I am not alone. Tens of Thousands across America are dealing with this too.
In the hospital, when am there, 10 hours @ month, I have a wonderful Rabbi and and a terrific Priest.
The Priest goes into every room, the Rabbi get a listing of the Jewish patients, and visits them. I am Jewish. I also look forward to the Priest. I introduced one to the other, and now they are best of friends. We 3 go for coffee in the Cafe at the hospital. Most ot the time we talk about wolrd politics.
SOoooo, that's the long & the short of it.
Time to shut down and go for a ride ! Cheers!

Stingroo
09-18-10, 10:23 AM
My dad's going through the same thing, I know what you mean. Glad to see you're in better spirits though. You're a cool guy with a great passion for cars. :)

Jesda
09-18-10, 12:48 PM
Sandy: With you, a priest, and a rabbi going to a cafe, it sounds like the setup for a cheesy joke. :D Hopefully there will be a day that technology moves forward we can look back on chemo as a savage procedure the way we look back on blood-letting.

Best wishes on your health and a long, prosperous life.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-18-10, 01:09 PM
Wow, Sandy! Sorry to hear about this, but atleast you've got your friends and family, and a long history of driving/selling some of the world's coolest cars!

gdwriter
09-18-10, 04:30 PM
Sandy: With you, a priest, and a rabbi going to a cafe, it sounds like the setup for a cheesy joke. :D Hopefully there will be a day that technology moves forward we can look back on chemo as a savage procedure the way we look back on blood-letting.

Best wishes on your health and a long, prosperous life.:yeah:

You've got a great outlook, Sandy, and that makes a world of difference. I have an aunt who's battling liver cancer and gets hooked up to the ball and chain (her word for chemo) every week as well. But she's determined.

Hoover send you a big "woof!"

Sandy
09-18-10, 08:26 PM
I thank all of you, for your kind thoughts. Perhaps I should not have brought this up, on here. This has been going on, and a big part of my life, for ExAcTlY 3 years, THIS WEEK !! Don't kid yourselves, I was a wreck when I found out, and I did not sleep for days ! A person will never ever forget hearing these words, for the 1st time, from a doctor, "You have Cancer"

Your entire world ..... just freezes. It's like pulling the electrical cord outta the wall. It's a lightening jolt to one's brain.
That's just about one's darkest hour. It gets better. You learn to live & cope. Medicine has come a long long way, and it is no longer a death sentence. I have my happy days, and my very sad & moopy days.
The Priest came into my initial room in the hospital, looking for the man who had been discharged. I told him that. So, he wanted to give me some prayer, so I politely allowed him to do so. then, I told him that I was Jewish, and we kinda laughter together. After that, he put me on his list to stop by & visit. One day, My Rabbi was there, with me. The Priest walks in. I introduced the two, and they became friends. They both are always in the hospital, visiting patients. So often I see them walking together and sometimes we 3 go to the Cafe there for some coffee and...
Now-a-days I only go 2 x a month on a Monday, for 3 hours and then 48 hours later on Wednesday to be disconnected from my at home pump, which is the size of a can of soda & kept in my pocket. My "pump" is the size of a dime, and was surgically implanted in my chest, near the right armpit. It does not hurt at all. The wort thing is that I forget how to spell words, on these kinda sights. Chemo really screws around with your brain, SOMETIMES, but not all of the time. Especially when you get nervious, then you really 4-getfull. and you are aware of it, and THAT makes ya more JuMpY....

Listen to me! If you smoke, quit tonight
If you are 47 and have not had a colonoscopy, DO IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Destroyer
09-18-10, 11:45 PM
Listen to me! If you smoke, quit tonight
What kind of cancer do you have again? Smoking is one addiction I have battled with for 22 years but your argument is compelling. I'm sorry for all you went through and are going through. You are inspirational. :yup:

orconn
09-19-10, 12:28 AM
^^^If you are serious about giving up smoking I would talk to your doctor about some of the new drugs and programs to help give up smoking. However, as you well know it is not easy to give up the smoking habit, but there are some programs that have helped those addicted to give up smoking and even though you have tried and failed (like many of us) to give smoking up if you are committed to becoming a non-smoker it would be worth trying one of these programs.

Cancer is not the only reason for giving up smoking, aside fro many heart and vascular related diseases, the bronchial/lung disease of COPD/Emphysema is probably the biggest killer caused by smoking. COPD is a very disabling disease which attacks the lungs abillity to take in oxygen and transfer it to the blood stream. More peolple die from COPD/Emphysema that lung cancer by quite a margin and it is the fourth cause of death in the U.S.

I know a bit about this disease because I have had it for ten years and now suffer from an advanced COPD. Needless to say it changes your life style much more than just advancing age. I can tell you from personal experience that you do not want to continue on down the path toward COPD/Empysema, and at age 39 you should make every effort to find a way to stop smoking,; you owe it to yourself and those around you to stop smoking NOW!

I was not able to stop smoking until I was struck with a lung infection, four years ago, that accelerated my lung disease (emphysema) to the point where I could barely breath and if I had continued to smoke would have given me only weeks to live! I am not proud to say I reached this point and that it took this dire a situation to give up smoking. I can tell you that if you continue to smoke more than likely at some point you will be forced to stop smoking, so rather than sooner or later, find a way to give up smoking now.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-19-10, 12:33 AM
Sandy, I don't mean to sound rude, but were you a long time smoker? Do they have any idea what caused the cancer?

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-19-10, 12:22 PM
Speaking of '60s convertibles, here's what my friends and I rolled around in last night:
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/2010-09-18_17-40-45_883.jpg

'70 GS455 Stage-1, 6,000 miles since a full rotisserie restoration. 455 CID V-8, four barrel carb, high lift cam, low restriction dual exhaust 360hp and 510 lb/ft of torque, three speed automatic, bucket seats, center console and floor shifter 3.64:1 positraction rear end. Lots of fun!

What did I think? Awesome! Totally awesome! That 455 sounds downright mean under full throttle, and moves along quite well. The amount of attention that it grabs from passing motorists is totally insane. With the amount of looks and stares it was getting, you'd think there was a topless teenage blonde behind the wheel. It actually rode pretty well (smooth) too, and it wasn't as stiff as newer cars, but I remember my uncle's '70 GTO convertible as being the same way too.

Stingroo
09-19-10, 12:28 PM
I would do horrible things to a car like that. :drool:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-19-10, 12:31 PM
Funny thing is that this '70 GS455 is the least valuable of the three muscle cars he owns. '66 Chevelle SS427 Convertible offered in black with the white interior, four speed manual and center console with full instrumentation (it was a late year COPO option), '70 442 W-30 hardtop coupe and this one.

orconn
09-19-10, 02:36 PM
Chad, glad you got to enjoy a '60's convertible (I know it was a 1970 but it wa designed in the 1960's as were the rest of the remnant '70's convertibles). The only thing better than your ride would have been the a "beautiful topless blond" at the wheel!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-19-10, 03:09 PM
I prefer brunettes, but yes, that would have been alright as well. It also would have been pretty ridiculous if I got to drive it.

orconn
09-19-10, 03:26 PM
Actually, truth be told, sixties convetibles were better for riding in than driving, but sorry you didn't get to drive it.

gdwriter
09-19-10, 03:26 PM
Damn; that GS is hot. I remember drooling over it at the Minneapolis meet, and that was just looking at it in the garage. I may be wrong on this, but after the 8.2 litre in the '70 Eldorado, the Buick 455 made more torque than any other production engine of the day. Buicks were pretty bitchen then.

My favorite A-bodies are Pontiac (through 1969), then Oldsmobile, Buick and Chevrolet. Odd, being a Chevy guy, but Chevelles have never done much for me other than maybe 1965. I just though the other divisions did a better job of styling. Pontiac started losing its styling edge in 1970, but Oldsmobile really started hitting its stride with the Cutlass and 4-4-2.

Now a 1970 Monte Carlo SS 454 is a whole other story. But those are extremely rare.

Sandy
09-22-10, 12:09 PM
Sorry - I 4-got to return here. Sorry
To reply to the ? asked to me.... Yes, I was a long term smoker - - but, I only smoked about 3 cigarettes a day. After each meal.

What caused this was my huge fear of invasive procedures!! ALL people, but especially MEN, need and are told, to have a colonoscopy around age 47-48.
Small growths can oft form in the desending colon (better known as the "shit-shute" While doing this procedure, the Dr. can snip them off and remove them from your inner body. I felt great and was too scared to do this.
My Mom/Dad bothlived to 81 and never had this, so I used that as my excuse to not have it done as well.
I was not so lucky. One day I so BLOOD, on my poop. Got terrified, ran to Dr. Had the proceduere. End Result?
I had a poylup in the desending colon, that grew and grew and grew and became cancerous, and then burst thru the linining of the colon, and took a jet plane crashing into my Liver.
So then, It would be labeled as Colon Cancer - but I then had a 3 & 1/2 hour surgery to remove 6 inches of infected desending colon and had my colon re-routed. (No Problem, it works excellent - no pain, as normal)
But, cancer cell NEED frest blood, and the freshest blood id in the LIVER, so....
I am left with Liver Cancer. HOWEVER - After 3 years of treatment 2 X @ month
I am AT 98.5% "CLEAN" with 1.5% Cancer remaining.
I will have to have these treatments for as long as I live.
I hope I have answered all quetions, now.

Just go and get a colonoscopy when you are age 47. 51, 55, 59, 63.
If you are still fine at 63, you are NOT likely to get what I got.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-22-10, 07:22 PM
They talked about colonoscopies on the local morning show today. Definitely not fun, but much like breast exams, you've gotta do them when you get older.

jsakabuck
10-07-10, 04:33 PM
After such somber posts, I thought I'd try to get this thread back to the more upbeat, topic at hand. Having just turned the big 5-0, my love of huge '70's land-yachts stems from the cars I lusted after back in high-school....1974-1978. To me, that always meant full-size convertibles.

So, some luck in my chosen professional allowed me to begin acquiring some of these beauties about 4 years ago. So, far I have acquired a '75 Pontiac Grandville Convertible with only 6400 original miles (400 small block) when I found her. Next up, was a '75 Chevy Caprice Classic with 18,000 original miles (454 big block). Finally, this past summer I found my dream '76 Cadillac Eldorado with ....wait for it......476 original miles (500 CI). This baby was a true garage find.

So for the time being, my days of youthful lust have been fulfilled by these babys. Each is taken out and run wild often all summer long. All too soon, like right now, they'll be bundled up and stored for the winter until the first signs of spring next year...just in time to experience a youthful dream come true.

I love this Forum and enjoy sharing with other enthusiasts.

P.S. Note to self, call doctor for colon exam.

Stingroo
10-07-10, 04:41 PM
Whoa whoa whoa.

:postpics:

Must see vehicles.

Also welcome to the boards. :thumbsup: I don't even own a Cadillac any more and I still hang around. It's probably the best forum I've ever been on.

orconn
10-07-10, 04:50 PM
After such somber posts, I thought I'd try to get this thread back to the more upbeat, topic at hand. Having just turned the big 5-0, my love of huge '70's land-yachts stems from the cars I lusted after back in high-school....1974-1978. To me, that always meant full-size convertibles.

So, some luck in my chosen professional allowed me to begin acquiring some of these beauties about 4 years ago. So, far I have acquired a '75 Pontiac Grandville Convertible with only 6400 original miles (400 small block) when I found her. Next up, was a '75 Chevy Caprice Classic with 18,000 original miles (454 big block). Finally, this past summer I found my dream '76 Cadillac Eldorado with ....wait for it......476 original miles (500 CI). This baby was a true garage find.

So for the time being, my days of youthful lust have been fulfilled by these babys. Each is taken out and run wild often all summer long. All too soon, like right now, they'll be bundled up and stored for the winter until the first signs of spring next year...just in time to experience a youthful dream come true.

I love this Forum and enjoy sharing with other enthusiasts.

P.S. Note to self, call doctor for colon exam.

Sounds like you found and acquired some beauties! Try taking one for a sleigh ride this Winter when the snow is flurrying .... a real treat not to be missed!