Some Background on these Classic Cars
In 1954, Buick reintroduced the Century using the same formula of mating the smaller, lighter Buick Special body to its largest and most powerful 322 cubic inch V8 engine with the intent of giving Buick a performance vehicle. Included in the model lineup during this period was a station wagon model, a body style that had been unavailable during the Century’s first production period of 1936 to 1942.
Introduced in the middle of the 1955 model year the 4-door Buick Century Riviera along with the 4-door Special Riviera and the 4-door Oldsmobile 98 Holiday and 4-door 88 Holiday, were the first 4-door hardtops ever produced. This was the first time “VentiPorts” appeared on the Century, a carryover from the Buick Roadmaster.
In 1955, the California Highway Patrol placed a large fleet order for Century 2-door sedans, a body style unavailable to the general public. It combined the Special 2-door sedan body shell with Century powertrain and trim. Broderick Crawford was shown driving a 2-door Century sedan during the first season of his popular syndicated TV series Highway Patrol. (In later seasons he’d drive a four-door Century, like his real life counterparts in the California Highway Patrol.) Power brakes were optional. Tubeless tires were new.
The Century remained Buick’s performance line, with engine power rising from 200 (SAE gross) in 1954, to 236 in 1955, to 255 in 1956, and topping out at 300 from a bored-out 364 cu in (6.0 L) engine in 1957–58, the last model years for the full sized Century line.
In 1956 the Century’s base price was $2,963. Power windows were standard in the convertible. A padded safety dash became optional.
Because the Century was considered the senior “small Buick”, the model received GM’s only hardtop station wagon, the Century Caballero, from 1957 through 1958. The Caballero proved expensive to manufacture and unpopular with customers (only 14,642 produced for both model years), so GM did not bring it back for 195
The first-generation Ford Mustang was manufactured by Ford from March 1964 until 1973. The introduction of the Mustang created a new class of automobile known as the pony car. The Mustang’s styling, with its long hood and short deck, proved wildly popular and inspired a host of competition.
It was initially introduced as a hardtop and convertible with the fastback version put on sale in August 1964. At the time of its introduction, the Mustang, sharing its underpinnings with the Falcon, was slotted into a compact car segment.
With each revision, the Mustang saw an increase in overall dimensions and in engine power. The 1971 model saw a drastic redesign to its predecessors. After an initial surge, sales were steadily declining, as Ford began working on a new generation Mustang. With the onset of the 1973 oil crisis, Ford was prepared, having already designed the smaller Mustang II for the 1974 model year. This new car had no common components with preceding models.
The Coronet is an automobile that was marketed by Dodge as a full-size car in the 1950s, initially the division’s highest trim line but, starting in 1955, the lowest trim line. From the 1965 to 1975 model years the name was on intermediate-sized models. A coronet is a small crown consisting of ornaments fixed on a metal rin]
The Thunderbird entered production for the 1955 model year as a sporty two-seat convertible. Unlike the Chevrolet Corvette, it was not marketed as a sports car. Ford positioned the Thunderbird as an upscale model and is credited in developing a new market segment, the personal luxury car. In 1958, the Thunderbird gained a second row of seats.
Succeeding generations became larger until the line was downsized in 1977, again in 1980, and once again in 1983. Sales were good until the 1990s, when large 2-door coupes became unpopular. Initial production ceased at the end of 1997. In 2002, production of the Thunderbird started again; a revived 2-seat model was launched which was available through the end of the 2005 model year. From its introduction in 1955 to its final phaseout in 2005, Ford produced over 4.4 million Thunderbirds.
Dodge Custom Royal Lancer
Dodge used the Lancer name from 1955 to 1959 to designate the two- and four-door hardtop (no B-pillar) models in the full-sized Coronet, Royal, and Custom Royal lines. The Custom Royal Lancer was a hardtop only and top-of-the-line model for Dodge in 1959. There were 6,278 two-door and 5,019 four-door hardtops made in 1959. A total of 11,397 Custom Royal Lancers were made.
The Custom Royal Lancer featured a big-block V8 engine, the 361 cu in (5.9 L) producing 305 hp (227 kW; 309 PS). A D-500 option was available, which included a 383 cu in (6.3 L) engine with a single Carter four-barrel carburetor rated at 320 hp (239 kW; 324 PS), as well as a Super D-500 version with dual four-barrel carburetors producing 340 hp (254 kW; 345 PS).
The Custom Royal Lancer also featured a padded dashboard and steering wheel, Lancer emblems on the fenders, steering wheel, hubcaps, foot-operated windshield wipers, dual radio antennas, deluxe side trim, and thick chrome eyebrows. Optional equipment included power windows and brakes, air conditioning, and swivel seats. The Lancer designation was dropped for 1960.
Nash Ramber Wagon
There were no major changes for the 1952 model year. Models included a new Deliveryman 2-door utility wagon for $1,892. The “Custom” models featured Nash’s Weather Eye conditioning system and an AM radio as standard equipment. The new Greenbrier station wagons received upgraded trim with two-tone painted exteriors and they were priced at $2,119, the same as the Custom Landau Convertible model.
The 1950–1952 Nash Ramblers “gained instant popularity with buyers who liked its looks, as well as loyalty among customers who appreciated its quality engineering and performance.” A total of 53,000 Nash Ramblers were made for the year.
1957 Chevy BelAir
The 1957 Chevrolet is a car which was introduced by Chevrolet in September 1956 for the 1957 model year. It was available in three series models: the upscale Bel Air, the mid-range Two-Ten, and the One-Fifty. A two-door station wagon, the Nomad was produced as a Bel Air model. An upscale trim option called the “Delray” was available for two-ten 2-door sedans. It is a popular and sought after classic car. These vehicles are often restored to their original condition and sometimes modified. The car’s image has been frequently used in toys, graphics, music, movies and television. The ’57 Chevy, as it is often known, is an auto icon.
was initially released without any divisional badging, only “Comet” badges, similar to Valiant which didn’t have Plymouth badging at first. It was sold through Mercury-Comet dealers, but would not be branded as a Mercury Comet for two more years. This was similar to Ford’s treatment of the Meteor and Frontenac of Canada, sold thru Meteor – Mercury – Frontenac dealers.
Introduced in March 1960, initial body styles were 2-door coupes, 4-door sedans and 2- and 4-door station wagons. Two trim levels were available, standard and “Custom”, with the custom package including badging, additional chrome trim and all-vinyl interiors. In 1960, the only engine available was the 144 cid Thriftpower straight six with a single-barrel Holley carburetor which produced 90 hp (67 kW) at 4200 rpm. (Some sources list it as producing 85 hp (63 kW) at 4200 rpm). Transmission options were a column-shifted 3-speed manual and a 2-speed Merc-O-Matic automatic transmission (unique to the Comet, despite sharing a name with the Merc-O-Matic installed in other Mercurys).
Ford had purchased the name “Comet” from Comet Coach Company, a professional car manufacturer in which the term belonged to a line of funeral coaches, mainly Oldsmobiles. The coach company then was renamed Cotner-Bevington.
In Canada, for the 1960 model year, Meteor-Mercury dealers sold a compact car called the “Frontenac”. Frontenac was considered a marque in its own right and was a badge-engineered version of the Ford Falcon with only minor trim differences to distinguish it from the Falcon. The Frontenac was produced for only one year. The Comet was introduced to the Canadian market for the 1961 model year and replaced the Frontenac as the compact offering by Meteor-Mercury dealers.
Ford Falcon Sprint
In 1963, more models were available. There was now a four-door Futura and a Deluxe wagon. Futura Convertible and Futura Sports Convertible models were also included in the 1963 range. Later, hardtops, and the new “Sprint” model were introduced. Halfway through the model year (February 1963), the Fairlane’s 164 hp “Challenger” 260 CID (4.3 L) V8 engine was offered for the first time. The Falcon was climbing in trim level from its budget beginnings, as Ford attempted to wring more profit from the line.
The only time a V8 option was available in a first-generation Falcon was the 1963½ model, and these cars were produced in very limited numbers (Sprint two-door hardtop (bucket seats) 10,479 produced and Sprint convertible (bucket seats) 4,602 produced). These first-generation Falcon Sprint cars were the basis for the 1964½ Mustangs released by Ford one year later. Many (if not most) of the interior, chassis, suspension, and drivetrain components were derived from those used on the 1963½ Ford Falcon Sprint and/or Fairlane models. In simplest terms, the 1963½ Falcon Sprint is nearly mechanically identical to the 1964½ Mustang while being aesthetically different.
The second generation (C2) Corvette, which introduced Sting Ray to the model, continued with fiberglass body panels, and overall, was smaller than the first generation. The C2 was later referred to as mid-years. The car was designed by Larry Shinoda with major inspiration from a previous concept design called the “Q Corvette,” which was created by Peter Brock and Chuck Pohlmann under the styling direction of Bill Mitchell. Earlier, Mitchell had sponsored a car known as the “Mitchell Sting Ray” in 1959 because Chevrolet no longer participated in factory racing. This vehicle had the largest impact on the styling of this generation, although it had no top and did not give away what the final version of the C2 would look like. The third inspiration was a Mako Shark Mitchell had caught while deep-sea fishing.
Production started for the 1963 model year and ended in 1967. Introducing a new name, “Sting Ray”, the 1963 model was the first year for a Corvette coupéand it featured a distinctive tapering rear deck (a feature that later reappeared on the 1971 “Boattail” Buick Riviera) with, for 1963 only, a split rear window. The Sting Ray featured hidden headlamps, non-functional hood vents, and an independent rear suspension. Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntovnever liked the split rear window because it blocked rear vision, but Mitchell thought it to be a key part of the entire design. Maximum power for 1963 was 360 bhp (270 kW) and was raised to 375 bhp (280 kW) in 1964. Options included electronic ignition, the breakerless magnetic pulse-triggered Delcotronic first offered on some 1963 Pontiac models. On 1964 models the decorative hood vents were eliminated and Duntov, the Corvette’s chief engineer, got his way with the split rear window changed to a full width window.
The 1960 Galaxie introduced all-new design with less ornamentation. A new body style was the Starliner, featuring a huge, curving rear observation window on a pillarless, hardtop bodyshell. The thin, sloping rear roof pillar featured three “star” emblems that served as the Galaxie signature badge for all 1960 – 62 models. The formal roofed 2- hardtop was not available this year, but the roofline was used for the Galaxie 2-door pillared sedan, complete with chromed window frames. It had been the most popular body style in the line for 1959, and sales dropped off sharply. Contrary to Ford’s tradition of pie-plate round taillghts, the 1960 featured “half-moon” lenses turned downward. The “A” pillar now swept forward instead of backward, making entering and exiting the car more convenient.
1968 was a year of major change. The most noticeable of which were the new larger, higher mounted C-section bumpers. At the rear, new larger taillamps were adopted and were able to accommodate reversing lamps, which were previously separate bumper-mounted units. Beetles worldwide received the ’67 North American style vertical headlamp placement, but with replaceable-bulb headlamps compliant with ECE regulations rather than the US sealed beams. Other improvements were a new outside gas filler with spring-loaded flap, eliminating the need to open the trunk to refuel. The fuel gauge was integrated with the speedometer and was now electrically actuated rather than cable-operated. The windscreen washer was now pressured by the spare tire, which was to be maintained at a pressure of 42 psi (2.9 bar). A pressure valve in the connecting hose closed airflow to the fluid reservoir if spare tire pressure fell below 30 psi (2.1 bar), which was above the recommended pressures for the road tires. A ventilation system was introduced, which drew fresh air into the cabin from louvres on the front decklid. For improved shifting, the shift lever was shortened, stiffened and moved rearward by 78 mm (3.1 in).
A number of safety improvements were made in order to comply with new American safety regulations: these included trigger-operated outside door handles, a secondary front hood latch, collapsing steering column, soft vent window latches, rotary glove compartment latch and instrument panel knobs labeled with pictographs. US models received a padded instrument panel that was optional in other markets. To meet North American head restraint requirements, VW developed the industry’s first high-back bucket seat. The Standard model 111-112, called the 1200 “A” still used the 1200 engine but for the first time for Europe it came with a 12 volt systeme.
Auto photos and information by – wikipedia.org