Posts from ‘Chrysler’

May
26
1986 Chrysler Limousine

1986 Chrysler Limousine

I was pumping gas for a living in 1986, a job that enabled me to do more than my fair share of car watching. Thus, it saddens me a little to compile this list of forgotten rides.

May
15
1992 Chrysler LeBaron Coupe

1992 Chrysler LeBaron Coupe

When Chrysler introduced the first Cordoba back n 1975, the carmaker almost seemed to apologize for rolling out a “small” Chrysler. Indeed, the ‘Doba was small by Seventies-era Chrysler standards, but would seem positively burly only a decade and a half later.

May
14
Klairmont Kollection

A bird’s-eye view of one section of the Klairmont Kollections Museum. Note the life-size gas-station replica at the rear of the room, and the dual-level display-case area for vintage scooters and other memorabilia built into the wall.

Nestled into an unassuming neighborhood in Chicago’s North Side is a large yet equally unassuming industrial building that once housed a printing company. Today, that building is home to the Klairmont Kollections, an incredible, 100,000-square-foot private museum that encompasses 300-plus vehicles, along with scads of bicycles and toy cars, a few airplanes hanging from the rafters, and a life-sized replica of a vintage gas station—and that’s just for starters. It’s a jaw-dropping array of automobilia and straight memorabilia that’s enough to keep even a casual enthusiast occupied for at least a full day… but you can’t just walk in off the street and check it out. The Klairmont Kollections might best be termed “semi-private,” since it is usually closed to the general public and available only for private functions such as weddings or corporate/charity events.

May
08
1982 Bustlebacks

The bustleback trio: Imperial (left), Lincoln Continental (center), and Cadillac Seville.

When it comes to automotive styling trends, few movements match the thickly padded vinyl half-roof movement of the late Seventies and early-to-mid Eighties.

Confined to American-brand vehicles, the padded-roof fad become so popular that makers were selling vinyl-roof-specific models in many linups. Trim levels including Salon, Landau, and Brougham often included unique roof treatments along with a nice set of faux wire-wheel covers.

May
05
Lincoln MKT by Parks Superior

Lincoln MKT Hearse

For years, Cadillac had a death grip on the funeral-vehicle market. While statistics are elusive, it’s safe to say that through the most of the Nineties, Caddy was the dominant player in the last-ride game.

May
04
1984 Plymouth Horizon

Perhaps surprisingly, the Plymouth Horizon was the eighth-fastest accelerating car tested by Consumer Guide in 1984.

We’ve been using the word fastest to describe the best-performing rides tested by Consumer Guide in the past. The word we really should be using is quickest. Technically, a fast car has an impressive top speed, and without a test track, and situated in the Chicago suburbs, top speed was never a metric CG attempted to measure.

Apr
25
1970 Chevrolet Impala

1970 Chevrolet Impala

Robert De Niro was cruising the Boroughs of New York City long before he played a mentally ill cabbie in the 1976 Martin Scorsese classic Taxi Driver–six years before, to be exact. Taxi Driver hit theaters in 1976. De Niro, however, shows off an AMC Ambassador in this forgotten ad from way back in 1970.

Apr
21
1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruise

1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser

Sometimes hindsight plays tricks on us. I have always been uncomfortable that the Talking Heads’ seminal album More Songs about Buildings and Food was available on 8-Track tape.

I associate the 1978 album with a progressive musical movement that endured through the Eighties. That fact that that same music could be purchased in a lousy, short-lived format known for premature failure is difficult for me to square.

Apr
10
1969 Thunderbird Landau

With a base price of $4949, the Ford Thunderbird Landau was the 6th most-expensive American coupe of 1969.

Topping the Billboard charts for 1969 was “Sugar, Sugar,” a painfully catchy pop ditty released by the Archies in May of that year. You can listen to the song by watching the YouTube video below:

Apr
03
1980 Lincoln Versailles

With a base price of $14,169, the Lincoln Versailles was the fourth most-expensive American sedan of 1980.

Though they are sometimes derided as “Yank Tanks,” traditional full-size American sedans are as much a part of U.S. car culture as the V8 engine and Interstate travel.

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