Fins 'n glitter - The Growler
This post is apropos of nothing in particular except to say if you're like me a terminal rock 'n roller and love the cars of the era like I do, take a look at I just couldn't resist nicking the '57 Plymouth Belvedere convertible for my PC wallpaper.
Re: Fins 'n glitter - Ian Cook
The Ford Ranchero pickup/convertible looks interesting too - forerunner of todays pickups they run?

Actually, I looked through the Buicks first but they are a bit early for what I was seeking. My day used to have a Buick Electra, I'm not sure of the year since it was a left hook import running a 68ish "G" plate at the time - but, what a car!

6 litres and electric everything, including a massive park bench in the front that sat 4 across. My brother (who is easily 6 feet tall) was able to lie down comfortably in the boot.

We lifted the air cleaner off it one day and couldn't believe the size of the four chokes, or how much juice they squirted when you blipped the throttle. No wonder the best it ever did was 9mpg!

Re: Fins 'n glitter - David W

Looking at the Buick Electra now. 312bhp, 10bhp more than an Aston Martin of the day, four times the weight of a Mini, two speed auto box....what a superb beast.

Found it in my book "Daily Express Motor Show Reports of the 1960s". This comes out when John Slaughter and I go head to head on "we know everything about the 60s cars".

The Goggomobil Royal is my trump card if I'm slipping!

Re: Fins 'n glitter - John Davis
Ian, what a specification compared to the miniscule motoring products of today. I see from my 1959 Motor Show review that the Electra could be had for a mere £3309 (including purchase tax). You got 2.05 tons of motorcar for your money and needed deep pockets for the frequent fuel fills into the 16.75 gallon tank.
The Ford Zodiac was only £957 (inc tax) at that time, or, if money was really tight, a very nippy BMW Isetta bubble car would set you back £375
Re: Fins 'n glitter - The Growler
These were the days of real innovation and it all happened in the USA. The DeSoto Firedome had an in-car record player which played 16 2/3 rpm records, only available from Chrysler dealers. The range included Mel Torme, Percy Faith etc etc, which gives you some idea as to the buyers. No Little Richard of Eddie Cochran apparently.
Same car had a push button auto transmission.

The prize really has to go to the Ford Vistoria however, where the car's whole roof powered back, the trunk lid flipped up back to front and the lid dispapeared inside. Lo, a convertible as well as a sedan. There were I believe huge problesm with the complex system of hydraulic motors involved. I have a model of this car and can appreciate why it was soon dropped from the range!
Looked superb, though.
Re: Fins 'n glitter - John Davis
You've certainly summoned up some nostalgia for me Growler. A girlfriends Dad ran a couple of Mk1 Ford Consul's on taxi work and, because I was a hard up apprentice at the time, and foolish enough to change clutches, overnight, for much less money than the £20/30 the local Ford Dealer would have charged, he would trust me with one of the the Consuls, AND his daughter, for
the occasional trip out. The evening I remember was when some enterprising cinema owner tried out an East Kent version of the American "drive in movie".
After my Austin Seven, the Consul felt a bit like the De Soto and, yes, I did drive in with one hand on the wheel and one elbow on the window ledge. The temporary cinema screen got blown about in the wind and, when you got out of the car to go for the "popcorn", because this ill fated venture was sited in a farmers field, you had to negotiate the cow pats. But what made the evening memorable was, of course, Little Richard singing "Long Tall Sally, and Julie London singing "Cry me a River" in the film "The Girl Can't Help It". Happy days
Re: Fins 'n glitter - The Growler
I have a VHS of the Girl Can't Help It, John. When I lived in Oz, drive-in movies were commonplace, a drive of 100 miles along red dirt roads and back on a Sat night with a skinful of Swan Lager was not unusual. As were involuntary excursions into the bush. Oz cars liked the Holden and the Ford Falcon were US-based models. Of course (depending on the movie) the combination of hot night, proximity of girlfriend and said lager resulted in many a drive-away from the drive-in having forgotten to take the clip-on loudspeaker off the open window and replace it onits stand. I can stil hear the kerrr-zap-crack" as the sprungloaded wire snapped the thing back.

Along with the drive-in movies came our first Burger King in Perth. This was the original drive-in burger joint where, you parked, ordered yoiur grub through a mike, and a cutie in a short skirt roller-skated it up to you on a tray. None of today's waiting in line for a pimply half-wit with a football haircut to chuck it at you.

Motoring and cars got increasingly boring after that.
Re: Fins 'n glitter - FfwlCymraeg
Maybe. but at least David Beckham will have a job once his playing days are over!

supporting Manchester United for over a quarter of a century

Value my car