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Author Topic: Favorite vehicles of the past.  (Read 492 times)
Kingcreek
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« on: October 08, 2018, 06:31:06 AM »

I've been vehicle shopping for about 6 weeks. Haven't found the right thing yet but I'm getting closer. The old ford truck is still in vehicle hospice limping and wheezing and sputtering toward its last mile.
I suppose because I've been so vehicle focused lately, I've been thinking about a lot about the vehicles I've owned over 45 years, especially some that stand out as favorites or in the "they really don't make them like that anymore" column.
Some that I personally owned and drove and miss,
1976 jeep Cherokee chief. Built like a tank, comfortable on the road but very off-road capable, handy as hell, hard on gas.
1984 Cadillac coupe DeVille, last of the big 2 door models with midnight blue landau on midnight blue metal flake, lots of chrome and real honest to Pete wire spoke wheels. Luxurious soft leather seats like a good sofa. Went straight down the road like riding a cloud.
1989 Ford F-150, an honest truck. Straight 6 cylinder with manual tranny. I never had a single problem or issue of any kind with it. Traded it for a '94 v8 F150 with auto and immediately regretted it.
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TommyGunn
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2018, 06:51:14 AM »

I still sorta get an occasional warm spot in my heart for my first car I inherited when I got my driver's license in 1972.  My grandmother bought a new Volvo, so I got her 1964 Chevrolet Malibu.  Four door, blue, auto transmission,  283 c.i. V-8 engine.   I actually had learned to  drive in it.   First time I pressed a accelerator pedal >>I must have left half the rubber off the rear tires on the asphalt!  Thankfully it was a wide open space.  Also, the brakes worked. grin  I learned better. Wink
I had that car all through college and for a few years after.

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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2018, 06:53:28 AM »

I miss the interior space of the older SUVs.

I would love to have a square body Suburban with a modern engine and transmission.

I had an 84 Suburban and with the seats down you could sleep two people fairly comfortably. Also put two dog kennels side by side in the back. I don't miss the 10mpg with a carbureted SBC. I was getting 8-9 mpg until I removed much of the smog controls, left the cats in place but removed the smog pump and plugged the exhaust manifold holes.
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2018, 07:00:15 AM »

My first car, a 1979 Olds Cutlass Supreme.   Big enough inside to almost lay across the back seat (made in car clothing changes possible without bruises and cussing).  It had the V6 engine in a space designed for a V8, so enough room to get in the compartment to do work.  Saved my bacon when I got hit by a drunk driver back in 89.  Tore the crap out of the Chevette that hit me.  The real steel chrome bumper on the Cutlass barely scratched and dented.
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2018, 07:11:10 AM »

I drove a 1972 VW beetle all through college. Couldn't wait to sell it and get a real car but later I realized how practical it was. I had studded snow tires on a spare set of rims and went everywhere in bad winter weather. It broke a valve spring and a friend and I pulled the motor out and carried it into my apartment and rebuilt it on my kitchen table one weekend. Had to check the spare tire pressure regularly because the windshield washer was connected to the valve stem for squirt pressure. Did a lot of camping and canoeing with the dog in back and a 17' canoe on top. It was quite a sight.
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2018, 07:26:12 AM »

1983 AMC Eagle.  That car would go anywhere.

2001 Saab 9-3 SE Turbo.   All the options and a turbo charger.  205 Brake Horsepower.  Mash the gas, and once the turbo wound up, it would press you back into the seat and felt like the car was getting away from you.  
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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2018, 07:37:42 AM »

1983 AMC Eagle.  That car would go anywhere. 

My first car was a 1988 Subaru Justy 4WD.  It was remarkably good in mud and snow.  Probably due to me abusing that fact, eventually the drive shaft starting rattling something awful.  The mechanic said he could fix it for a few hundred dollars, or simply remove it for $90 and permanently render the car FWD.  I elected for the latter.  The weight saved by the removal of the drive shaft got me above 50 mpg, though.  The car then lasted until 1996 when it got stuck in 4th gear, and I had to let it go.
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2018, 08:31:09 AM »

1979 Ford F250. First vehicle in my name. Beat up ranch truck, but it was all mine. 460, auto, 2wd. Bought it for a buck from my grandfather, a dollar which bought me a solid foundation in vehicle repair and maintenance. Ran great after I ripped all the smog-era crap off it and did a few basic hot rod upgrades under the watchful eye of a family friend and old-school gearhead. Perpetuated lots of back-road stupid in that truck. Dad hated it because it was a good day if the truck topped 6 mpg, and I was on his gas key.

1980 International pickup. Again, beat up ranch truck but one that steadfastly refused to die. 392 engine with the odd military-pattern 5-speed manual transmission that would drop out of 5th every time you let off the gas. The old corn binder's most notable characteristic, other than it's sheer will to live, was the engine's ability to run at insanely low RPM. It would pull down so low you could almost hear every hole fire. 30 years since we sold it and Dad still grouses about letting it go.

1975 Mercury Grand Marquis. Cream on bronze. 2-door. 460. Leather. All electric. My grandparent's car. HUUUUUUUUGE back seat. Giant speedometer that spanned the width of the instrument panel. You didn't drive down the road so much as floated. Hideously overboosted steering and brakes. The ultimate cruising vessel.

1971 Mustang Grande notchback. 351C. Auto. My first hot rod. In superb condition when I got it. Still in pretty darn good condition when I traded it for a 1985 Monte Carlo SS. Wish I still had both cars.

Brad
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2018, 08:43:32 AM »

The 1967 VW Fastback that I drove starting my senior year in high school and for seven years thereafter.  I bought it for $ 1000 in 1977 and sold it for $ 900 in 1984. I bought a copy of 'How to keep your Volkswagen alive' and I was able to do about 90% of the maintenance on the VW.  This was important as a poor grad student.  Then there was the Honda Passport scooter that I drove to work and school in good weather during my college years. It got up to 45 mph with a tailwind, but that was all I needed in the U District of Seattle.
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2018, 09:07:18 AM »

My first car was a clapped out, rust bucket, 1951 Ford two door sedan that I bought from a neighbor for $40 when I was 15 (1965).  I spent a year and a half rebuilding the engine (with dad's help), re-doing the interior (with mom's help), and doing all the bodywork and paint myself.  I still remember how proud I was to drive it to school when I was 17.  I abused the flathead six until it threw a rod, and then rebuilt and swapped a stock flathead V8 into it.  I couldn't trust it to go more than 50 miles from home, and the engine would vapor lock if the temperature was over 30 degrees, but I loved that car.

My second car was my favorite of all time, though.  It was a 1960 Thunderbird with a manual overdrive transmission and a Lincoln suspension, with manual steering and power brakes.  It was red with a red/white interior.  I had it repainted and reupholstered in red Naugahyde.  I had it up to an indicated 135 mph once.  Many years later I found out that Ford had built 532 of those cars, which are now referred to as "Nascar T-Birds".  Ford banned racing in late 1959, so some were bought by privateers and a lot were used by moonshiners.  It was low, fast, and had a huge trunk.  I knew when I sold it that I should find a way to keep it and store it, but I didn't.
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2018, 11:25:34 AM »

Circa 1986 Toyota pickup.

Had two of them, wrecked one in a roll-over into a creek and sold the other as having a wife and a kid in a car seat made it impractical as a family vehicle.

Still though loved them. That 22R engine was super reliable, it handled well for a truck, had ample cargo room of course, got better gas mileage than you might think, did not lack for quickness and had really good brakes.

Now that the kids are grown maybe I'll find one in good shape and go all nostalgic and buy it.
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2018, 12:41:34 PM »

   
Favorite vehicles of the past.

Only two stand out in my personal history.

A 1970 air cooled VW Beetle.   Only had it for a couple years.  I still sometimes dream that, somehow, I still have that car.

The Chevy Blazer (S-10 based) that we had for 3 or 4 years in the mid 2000s.  Most practical thing I've ever owned that wasn't a mass kid hauler.
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« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2018, 03:43:58 AM »

I don't have much history with cars of my own. I tend to buy and keep them for a LONG time...

I have very fond memories about two, though...

My 1977 Ford Maverick with the 302 V8. That thing would hustle. It was a lot of fun.

The other was my 1997 Subaru Outback. It introduced me to Subaru. I kept it until 2011 (bought it in 2001). I'd likely still be driving it had it not really started to wear out... When I got rid of it the engine was leaking oil like a sieve (that was a known problem), power steering was going, AC was going, and one or two other things were wearing out.

Original clutch was still going strong at 173,000 miles, though.
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« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2018, 08:35:13 AM »

My first car, a 1979 Olds Cutlass Supreme.   Big enough inside to almost lay across the back seat (made in car clothing changes possible without bruises and cussing).  It had the V6 engine in a space designed for a V8, so enough room to get in the compartment to do work.  Saved my bacon when I got hit by a drunk driver back in 89.  Tore the crap out of the Chevette that hit me.  The real steel chrome bumper on the Cutlass barely scratched and dented.

Mine was a '77 with a 350.
Its weird to think that my current 4-banger subaru has 1/2 the cylinders, <1/2 the displacement, yet has more horsepower and gets twice the gas mileage.
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« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2018, 08:39:36 AM »

I miss the interior space of the older SUVs.

I would love to have a square body Suburban with a modern engine and transmission.



That. They were utilitarian work trucks instead of luxury vehicles that noone takes off roads anymore.
 Even the Broncos and Blazers up to the mid-80s had a lot of room.
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« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2018, 09:03:16 AM »

That. They were utilitarian work trucks instead of luxury vehicles that noone takes off roads anymore.
 Even the Broncos and Blazers up to the mid-80s had a lot of room.

My '89 Bronco had a ton of room, and it was probably the coolest looking vehicle I ever owned (other than maybe my first one, a '71 Mach 1), but I have to say, as a 4x4/SUV, I sure liked both my old Trooper and my current 4Runner a lot better. Way more dependable, zero problems, and actually both more offroad capable than the Bronco was. Plus I've never had to get out and fall on my ass on ice to lock the hubs on either of them.  laugh
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« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2018, 10:21:28 AM »

Hmmm.   Honorable mention to our old '84 Olds wagon.  Full sized, 5 liter V8, IIRC.   

We got it used.  It had once, I think the story was, been a State of IL prisoner transport vehicle.  Back seat doors wouldn't open from the inside.  There was a big steel plate on the back of the font bench seat.  And holes in the door pillars where something had been mounted.  And a state of IL inventory plate somewhere inside.

That thing was a brute!  Like the hammer of Thor going down the highway.  Mileage was low 20s mpg.  Handled pretty well.  It was not the wallowing pig I was expecting it to be.

Alas, it threw a rod sometime in the late '90s.
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« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2018, 10:23:11 AM »

When I was growing up we had a 1979 or so Suburban.

I used to sneak my sleeping bag into it when I went on dates... It was more than big enough...  Evil
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« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2018, 05:35:40 PM »

In the late eighties I had a 1978 Jeep Cherokee Chief, 401 V8 and quadratrac.  For as big as that vehicle was, it was the best off road vehicle I've ever used.  (And I've driven a few, being in Colorado for 69 years.)  Trouble was, when it broke down, it always cost $1000 to get it fixed.  Got lousy mileage too, but that 401 just laughed at Monarch Pass.
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« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2018, 05:41:06 PM »

When I was growing up we had a 1979 or so Suburban.

I used to sneak my sleeping bag into it when I went on dates... It was more than big enough...  Evil

I learned to drive in my parents 1968 Dodge Coronet 500 station wagon.  That sucker would get up and fly with the 383 in it.  Lot's of room in the back when you put the back bench seat down.
My Mom once apologized that I had to drive it on dates, thinking it was an uncool vehicle.  I told it was never a problem, but I never told her why.
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« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2018, 06:20:32 PM »

I've had so many vehicles I can't even remember all of them.  I've had some favorites, though.  I bought the first Plymouth Barracuda that hit W. Michigan in '64.  Powder blue, Hurst 4 speed.  In 1975 I bought a 74 Cpe Deville.  I think that was my all time favorite.  Kind of a redish rose color, white padded roof, all leather...every toy Caddy had on that beauty.  78 Audi 5000 was another favorite.  We had a white 76 Corvette with red guts that I liked that I got in spring of 77 from a GM exec.  That had a crappy carb that needed tinkering with and the mufflers would rot out because they were at an angle and water laid in there and rusted from the inside.  It had 1100 miles on it and I paid $7500.00 for it.  I sold it in the spring of '83 for $7500.00


 
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« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2018, 10:28:16 PM »

My '72 IH Scout II.
It had the AMC 258 straight 6 and 3 speed manual trans.
Bought in the late '80s while I was stationed at Grotten Ct. Replaced a bunch or rusted sheet metal and freshened up the engine. Made 2 trips back to Oklahoma in it and one trip out to SW Colorado.
Wife sold it while I was deployed to the Med (with my agreement).
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« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2018, 02:50:39 AM »

My '72 IH Scout II.
It had the AMC 258 straight 6 and 3 speed manual trans.
Bought in the late '80s while I was stationed at Grotten Ct. Replaced a bunch or rusted sheet metal and freshened up the engine. Made 2 trips back to Oklahoma in it and one trip out to SW Colorado.
Wife sold it while I was deployed to the Med (with my agreement).

Oh man, my Dad had one of those! White over light blue, same engine, same tranny. Thing was a hoot. It's what I learned to drive stick on
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« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2018, 03:22:48 AM »

I really enjoyed my '85 Bronco.  351W with a 4-barrel.  Reliable, easy to work on if you had to.  Not great on fuel consumption.
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« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2018, 06:44:16 AM »

In the late eighties I had a 1978 Jeep Cherokee Chief, 401 V8 and quadratrac.  For as big as that vehicle was, it was the best off road vehicle I've ever used.  (And I've driven a few, being in Colorado for 69 years.)  Trouble was, when it broke down, it always cost $1000 to get it fixed.  Got lousy mileage too, but that 401 just laughed at Monarch Pass.
My Cherokee Chief is at the top of my list. Mine was a 360 4 BBl. Had that bullet proof quadratrac transfer case with the diff lock in the glove box and that low range lever under the driver seat. Mine was white on green with that Navaho pattern striping. My dad and I went to rescue my sister one time when she got stranded in a bad snowstorm. I got out and walked over a 1/4 mile to check the drifts on the road and make foot tracks in the middle of the roadway that dad could see in the blowing snow. When I got to her I radioed dad at the wheel and he came plowing and roaring through everything including some hip deep drifts and stopped right next to us. Got her and her dog and went back for the car 3 days later. That thing went through stuff that would stop almost anything less than a track vehicle.
I still remember the decal in the glove box next to the big green and red diff lock switch: Warning! Engage only after all other attempts to free stuck vehicle have failed!    ...pretty cool...
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