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Cars and aging
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Wierd subject but it struck me this week as Chevrolet has turned 100.

Americans have been on wheels since the turn of the last century.  Chevrolet's 100th birthday has triggered something in me.  I'm thinking because my parents were die hard Chevy owners since 1946 through their first purchase of a Pontiac in 1969. 

When I was born common use of automobiles was little more than 48 years or so old.  Prior to 1908 or so common use of the automobile didn't exist they were mere toys for the rich.  It was Ford who made automobiles available to the common man.

In 1952 Chevrolet was only 41 years old and only 9 years older than my father.  Now it's 100.  Why it makes me feel old is unknown to me.  100 years is a long time.  Back in the 50s and 60s many folks never kept a car more than three years.  Body styles changed almost annually.  Going to the Chevy dealer to see the new models was an annual event even when a purchase was not intented.  Riding by Liberty Chevrolet on Rt A1A in Walpole, Mass on the school bus and seeing the new models on the lot.  For some reason I distinctly remember the 64 models, probably because that was the first year of the Chevelle.  September was a great time for us boys.  What a great time to be growing up.  Those Chevelles were fantastic as were the new Impala.  Cars were always the subject of us boys at school.  Ford vs Chevy vs Plymouth.  Back then I was a Chevy guy.  I don't know how I got away from them but sometime 35 years ago I ended up with Fords.  I like my Fords but I think I miss having a Chevy.  During my lifetime Chevy switched from babbit to insert bearings, developed the OHV V8 with steel stamped rockers on studs and it was 50 lbs lighter than the 235 inline six of the same year.  In 1955 Corvette finally got the 265 V8 but only got to build 700 of them because there were so many 54s left over from the previous year.

Ford's 100th back on 08 went on by without much notice by me.  It was certainly a milestone in Ford's history but had little effect with me.  Kinda like, Oh well.

What's really sad is that I don't miss Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Pontiac and certainly not Saturn, Hummer and Mercury.  None of those brands built anything distinctive or special in the last 20 years or so.  The special models of these brands still exist and I enjoy them but the brands won't be missed by me.

Remember when there was one Chevrolet .  One single car and one single light truck.  Different trim but the same car and truck all the same.  One choice.  Then 1953 happened and then there were two.  The intro of the Corvette. Late in 59 all hell broke loose with more models from most manufacturers  It's been wierd and confusing since.  It seems every year or two something new has been added.  And it still goes on today.  Too many choices, too many cars that all look alike.  Why can't we have chrome bumpers anymore?  Vent windows, hard tops.  I like hardtops but they've gone away apparently due to side crash and rollover government requirements.

Ah, I'm feeling old.  Change is good but some things I miss.  I think Buick had it right in 1958.  They had the most chrome ever put on a car before or since.  Cadillac was very conservative in comparison.

I want a new Chevy hardtop, two door with chrome side trim and bumpers with the overiders on the bumpers front and rear.  Manual windows would be cool with an inline six and three on the tree.  Can anyone point me to one?  I miss them.

I think it's Hemmings Classic Car magazine that has done this to me.  Check out the December 100 years of Chevrolet issue.  It's fantastic.  I've had it for a week and I've not read it all yet.  WOW!



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You mean my '55 Cevy Bel Air 2-door Hardtop with a 265 c.i. was 1 of 700 made?  I certainly did not know that at the time I had it, or when I sold it!

You may not miss Olds, but I sure do.  Not unlike you, my family was an Olds family from 1948 through 1963.



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Dave Yaros
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1955 Cadillac Coupé de Ville
1962 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Conv
1992 Cadillac Allanté



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No, 700 Corvettes with the 265.  Actually only 700 made in the whole year.



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On rereading your original message I do see the 700 reference does pertain to Vettes. My error. That I misread it does help explain my surprise at what I thought was stated. I did not think then, or now, that my beloved '55 Bel Air was that rare. It was a neat car though, quite cutting edge in terms of body style and fun to drive.

Don't ask, but in a single day of driving that car I did manage to rack up 3 different traffic tickets, from 3 different cops!

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1955 Cadillac Coupé de Ville
1962 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Conv
1992 Cadillac Allanté



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I guess you couldn't talk yourself out of the last two tickets by using the excuse I already got a ticket from the other officer.

 Aside from the original Aurora there was nothing I liked about Olds after 1976.  My favorite Oldmobile still is the 1973 Cutlass Supreme.  That "colonade" style struck me as gorgeous.  But, being a young sailor at the time the price was outrageous and they held their value so well I couldn't even afford a used one later.  Yup, they were low on power but they looked so cool.



-- Edited by Tbirdsps on Friday 4th of November 2011 02:47:49 PM

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