Posts from ‘Plymouth’
Per Wikipedia, “Muscle car is a term for high-performance American coupes, usually but not limited to rear-wheel drive and fitted with a large displacement V8 engine. General Motors introduced the first proper muscle car in 1949. The term originated for 1960s and early 1970s special editions of mass-production cars which were designed for drag racing.”
Much was made of the fact that, as of 2019, battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) outsold cars equipped with manual transmissions. And, if you’re of the save-the-manuals movement, this was distressing news, no doubt.
Note: The following story was excerpted from the June 2017 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine
Plymouth spent the early Sixties in crisis mode. Sales of the 1960 Plymouths had been disappointing. Although the 1961 car was a continuation of the 1960 body shell, it got a complete makeover. Only the roof and doors were carried over—all other sheetmetal was new.
In terms of general statistical sexiness, brake performance has long taken a backseat to acceleration. Horsepower numbers are fun, 0-60-mph and quarter-mile times are fun. But braking? Most car guys know that reaching 60 mph from a stop in less than 6 seconds is an impressive feat. How many folks, I wonder, know what a decent time would be for coming to a complete stop from 60 mph?
In his 2012 book Fractured Times: Culture and Society in the Twentieth Century, historian Eric Hobsbawm noted, “In terms of literary pedigree, the invented cowboy was a late romantic creation. But in terms of social content, he had a double function: he represented the ideal of individualist freedom pushed into a sort of inescapable jail by the closing of the frontier and the coming of the big corporations.”
Let’s get one thing straight right away: The Chevrolet Monte Carlo WAS a personal-luxury car. I have received at least a dozen emails and instant messages on this issue, mostly from car guys who insist that a personal-luxury car must come from a luxury brand. Not the case. For anyone who would like to spend time learning about the origins of the term, Wikipedia has a nice entry on the topic.
By Frank Peiler
Back in 1956, Ford was preparing for the introduction of their all-new 1957 models, and what an introduction it would be! Not just one line of cars, but two. The large cars were the Fairlane and Fairlane 500, which were built on a 118-inch wheelbase They were available as four-door hardtops and sedans, two-door hardtops and sedans, and a 500 two-door convertible. Later in the model year came the Skyliner retractable-hardtop convertible.
The bad news is that fewer than one of every hundred cars sold in the United States is a convertible. (I will spare you the fractional math required to pass along the number of manual-transmission-equipped convertibles sold on our shores last year, but it’s fewer still.)
While styling, performance, and rarity have been the traditional tickets to collectibility, vehicles that offer features—styling or otherwise—that are monuments to their era or simply aren’t likely to reappear also have a shot. It’s why we believe cars of the Fifties are so treasured today; their chrome, tall fins, and sheer mass so perfectly characterized the jet-aged optimism of the time, and it’s almost certain their likes will ever be seen again.