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Thread: Celery City Cruisers

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    Celery City Cruisers

    I am fortunate to live in Sanford, FL, known as Celery City. On the last Saturday of each month, this group meets to show their cars off at an informal gathering with Lake Monroe in the background. At this parking lot along the St. Johns river, you can see a large variety of mostly American favorites and some rarer breeds at the show. Here is a sampling of the cars that caught my eye last night.

    Not necessarily in order we have two 1963 Falcons, a 1975 Buick Park Avenue, a 1963 Chevy Biscayne, a 1975 Olds Delta 88, a 1956 Buick, and a 1967 Mercury Cougar. The blue Falcon has a 170 CID 6 cylinder while the red is a Falcon Sprint with a 260 CID V8. The Biscayne has a 250CID 6. I bet its a slug! I bet Eric will like the 1975's shown in the group. They both have 455's under the hood. Notice the 100 mph speedometer on the Olds has a division for 95 mph on it. I wonder why they did that. It makes no sense whatsoever. I can't understand why the Big 3 companies started derating their speedometers before Claybrook put in FMVSS 127, mandating an 85 mph speedometer. That didn't come into place until 1980.
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    Last edited by swamprat; 03-01-2009 at 01:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    I am fortunate to live in Sanford, FL, known as Celery City. On the last Saturday of each month, this group meets to show their cars off at an informal gathering with Lake Monroe in the background. At this parking lot along the St. Johns river, you can see a large variety of mostly American favorites and some rarer breeds at the show. Here is a sampling of the cars that caught my eye last night.

    Not necessarily in order we have two 1963 Falcons, a 1975 Buick Park Avenue, a 1963 Chevy Biscayne, a 1975 Olds Delta 88, a 1956 Buick, and a 1967 Mercury Cougar. The blue Falcon has a 170 CID 6 cylinder while the red is a Falcon Sprint with a 260 CID V8. The Biscayne has a 250CID 6. I bet its a slug! I bet Eric will like the 1975's shown in the group. They both have 455's under the hood. Notice the 100 mph speedometer on the Olds has a division for 95 mph on it. I wonder why they did that. It makes no sense whatsoever. I can't understand why the Big 3 companies started derating their speedometers before Claybrook put in FMVSS 127, mandating an 85 mph speedometer. That didn't come into place until 1980.

    Henry,

    Thanks for posting. Great pictures! I especially like the '75 Delta 88 convertible, with the Olds 455 under the hood and drop top that car was made for cruisin'. Seeing your interior shot of the Delta 88 reminded me of how well placed the brake and accelerator pedal in the Olds of this era were. Seems today most cars have the 2 inch high gap from the bottom of the accelerator pedal to the floor (which is not the best of designs). The bottom on these Olds' accelerator pedals go down right to the floor as they should should so there's no way your toe slips off like on the pedals on some newer cars.

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Another illustration of just how tacky cars got by the 1970s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disco Man View Post
    Henry,

    Thanks for posting. Great pictures! I especially like the '75 Delta 88 convertible, with the Olds 455 under the hood and drop top that car was made for cruisin'. Seeing your interior shot of the Delta 88 reminded me of how well placed the brake and accelerator pedal in the Olds of this era were. Seems today most cars have the 2 inch high gap from the bottom of the accelerator pedal to the floor (which is not the best of designs). The bottom on these Olds' accelerator pedals go down right to the floor as they should should so there's no way your toe slips off like on the pedals on some newer cars.
    Point of interest, that Buick in the pictures is for sale for $9700. I kind of like it myself, although I just bought my feline car. There is no way I could afford to put gas in that car for $1.00 per gallon, much less $2.00 and up.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disco Man View Post
    Henry,

    Thanks for posting. Great pictures! I especially like the '75 Delta 88 convertible, with the Olds 455 under the hood and drop top that car was made for cruisin'. Seeing your interior shot of the Delta 88 reminded me of how well placed the brake and accelerator pedal in the Olds of this era were. Seems today most cars have the 2 inch high gap from the bottom of the accelerator pedal to the floor (which is not the best of designs). The bottom on these Olds' accelerator pedals go down right to the floor as they should should so there's no way your toe slips off like on the pedals on some newer cars.

    Amen on the '75 Olds.. what a great old tank!

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Amen on the '75 Olds.. what a great old tank!

    It's cars like that that made Toyota and Honda what they are today.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post
    It's cars like that that made Toyota and Honda what they are today.
    Nope, it's CAFE and OPEC that made Toyota and Honda what they are today!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Nope, it's CAFE and OPEC that made Toyota and Honda what they are today!
    I think it is Toyota and Honda that made themselves what they are today by responding to market requirements and conditions quicker than anyone else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TC View Post
    I think it is Toyota and Honda that made themselves what they are today by responding to market requirements and conditions quicker than anyone else.
    They were better equipped to respond to market conditions than anyone else. After the energy crisis of 1973, Americans began demanding smaller vehicles. Japan had these in their pipeline, hence, all they had to do is export what they were already building.

    By contrast, American manufacturers had to design smaller cars from scratch. Their record was mixed with cars like the Pinto, Vega and other cars like the Pontiac Sunbird and Chevrolet Monza. The only decent small cars were cars like the Corvair and the Ford Falcon from the 1960s.

    I will give the Japanese this much - their vehicles were better than ours for a time. I would not have bought a new American made vehicle during most of the 1980's as they were unreliable overweight, underpowered piles of junk. It was thanks to Ronald Reagan, who enacted voluntary import restraints, that allowed the American car manufacturers to "catch up." Over the years, with fits and starts, quality, fuel efficiency and performance improved.

    By the early 1990's, some American vehicles became appealing again. Unfortunately, the lingering arrogance of American dealerships and manufacturers continued the bad taste that allowed import vehicles to take an increasing share of the market. As someone who owned several Ford products, I was appalled at the lingering quality issues caused by selection of cheap materials in critical areas such as brakes and steering components.


    My experience with my 2001 Saturn has been much better. It has been a solid, reliable piece of transportation which I will continue to drive. American cars have changed and changed for the better. Although some models continue to score below average in reliability measures, the bar has been raised on all counts. Twenty years ago, I would have steered anyone who would listen away from American vehicles. Today, the cars are nearly equivalent and in many cases, better than Japanese Hondas and Toyotas.
    Last edited by swamprat; 03-06-2009 at 09:26 PM.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TC View Post
    I think it is Toyota and Honda that made themselves what they are today by responding to market requirements and conditions quicker than anyone else.

    Yes, but keep in mind that the Japanese automakers made nothing but small, economy-type cars at the time - giving them a huge leg up on the domestics, who had massive investment in tooling and so on that was not yet amortized. Yet they had to "turn on a dime" - not because of the freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee market that some "conservatives" like to bray about, but because of sudden, arbitrary government intervention in the market via regulatory edicts they could not have anticipated and by the machinations of the OPEC cartel. Not only did they have to re-invent their product lineup from scratch, they had to eat the huge losses incurred as a result of the government's policies, which made it that much harder for them to develop new stuff without skimping on materials and workmanship, etc.

    I'm not making excuses for Detroit's so-so quality in those days. But to deny the imports were handed a huge (and artificial) leg up gives an incomplete account of what happened to our domestic car industry.

    And: Japanese cars of that era had their own issues, too. While the drivetrains were generally very reliable, the thin, inadequately rust-proofed/low quality steel used for the body was incredibly rust-prone. Cars that were barely two years old could be seen with bubbling paint around the fender wells and quarter panels. They were rotted through in as little as four years, sometimes to the point that they were no longer safe to drive. It was a common thing.

    But the broader point is the American car industry was kicked in the balls by our own government.
    Last edited by Eric; 03-07-2009 at 08:18 AM.

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Really, the '70s Olds and Buick in that group have all the taste and class of a trailer park bordello.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post
    Really, the '70s Olds and Buick in that group have all the taste and class of a trailer park bordello.
    Opinions vary!

    I like those big old boats; maybe because I have pleasant childhood memories of them. I dunno.

    But I like them a lot more than the ovoid, winged-up, look-alikes that are everywhere today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post
    Really, the '70s Olds and Buick in that group have all the taste and class of a trailer park bordello.
    I don't know. That may be a fun place to visit when it isn't busy.

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    I don't know. That may be a fun place to visit when it isn't busy.
    Yeah, maybe so, but I wouldn't rate it based on the decor.

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    misterdecibel,

    Just out of curosity, if you were sent back to 1975, what 1975 make and model car would you buy?



    ..

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disco Man View Post
    misterdecibel,

    Just out of curosity, if you were sent back to 1975, what 1975 make and model car would you buy?



    ..
    Ugh. That's a tough choice. They were all so grim.

    Maybe a VW Scirocco, or Lancia Beta Coupe? BMW 2002?

    2002, that's my final answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post
    Ugh. That's a tough choice. They were all so grim.

    Maybe a VW Scirocco, or Lancia Beta Coupe? BMW 2002?

    2002, that's my final answer.

    The BMW 2002 is a good car. However the Scirocco I would have passed on. VW's quality and reliability were at a low point in the mid to late-1970s. My parents brought a brand new VW Dasher in 1977, it was by far the most unreliable car they had ever owned. Everything went on the car. They eventually traded it in with only 50,000 miles on the odometer on a new Pontiac a few years later. I knew many other folks who owned Sciroccos and Rabbits of the same vintage years ago that also had bad reliability issues. This is why you don't ever see these mid to late-1970s front-wheel drive VWs on the road anymore. You are more likely to see an old Beetle on the road today than a mid to late-1970s Rabbit, Scirocco, and Dasher.

    The biggest mistake VW made was ditching the rear-engine, rear-wheel drive, and air cooled Beetle platform and replacing it with the 1970s front-wheel drive VW platform. VW has really never recovered from this mistake. Even the new VW Bug is based on a modern version of this front-wheel drive platform.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    "The biggest mistake VW made was ditching the rear-engine, rear-wheel drive, and air cooled Beetle platform and replacing it with the 1970s front-wheel drive VW platform. VW has really never recovered from this mistake. Even the new VW Bug is based on a modern version of this front-wheel drive platform"

    To be fair to VW, it wasn't entirely their choice. The old flat four could not meet increasingly tough federal emissions control requirements (this is why Porsche ultimately went to a water-cooled design, too) and the Beetle itself could never be made to meet federal bumper-impact standards.

    So, thank the shitheads in government for what VW has become - and why we no longer have access to cool (and sensible) cars like the old Beetle.

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disco Man View Post
    The BMW 2002 is a good car. However the Scirocco I would have passed on. VW's quality and reliability were at a low point in the mid to late-1970s. My parents brought a brand new VW Dasher in 1977, it was by far the most unreliable car they had ever owned. Everything went on the car. They eventually traded it in with only 50,000 miles on the odometer on a new Pontiac a few years later. I knew many other folks who owned Sciroccos and Rabbits of the same vintage years ago that also had bad reliability issues. This is why you don't ever see these mid to late-1970s front-wheel drive VWs on the road anymore. You are more likely to see an old Beetle on the road today than a mid to late-1970s Rabbit, Scirocco, and Dasher.

    The biggest mistake VW made was ditching the rear-engine, rear-wheel drive, and air cooled Beetle platform and replacing it with the 1970s front-wheel drive VW platform. VW has really never recovered from this mistake. Even the new VW Bug is based on a modern version of this front-wheel drive platform.

    I am well aware of the reliability issues with the A1 Golf/Rabbit and Scirocco. The Lancia I cited was problematic too, and prone to rust. But I'd take my chances before sinking to the level of a tacky GM '70s crushed-velour disco-cruiser nightmare.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disco Man View Post
    The BMW 2002 is a good car. However the Scirocco I would have passed on. VW's quality and reliability were at a low point in the mid to late-1970s. My parents brought a brand new VW Dasher in 1977, it was by far the most unreliable car they had ever owned. Everything went on the car. They eventually traded it in with only 50,000 miles on the odometer on a new Pontiac a few years later. I knew many other folks who owned Sciroccos and Rabbits of the same vintage years ago that also had bad reliability issues. This is why you don't ever see these mid to late-1970s front-wheel drive VWs on the road anymore. You are more likely to see an old Beetle on the road today than a mid to late-1970s Rabbit, Scirocco, and Dasher.

    The biggest mistake VW made was ditching the rear-engine, rear-wheel drive, and air cooled Beetle platform and replacing it with the 1970s front-wheel drive VW platform. VW has really never recovered from this mistake. Even the new VW Bug is based on a modern version of this front-wheel drive platform.
    Interesting comment re the Scirocco. I ran an '87 Scirocco Scala Auto for many years, up to sometime in 2000 - in fact if I had not had to change cars to transport elderly parents I would probably still have it. It was good handling, reasonably quick, totally rust free, completely reliable, minimal problems and I liked the looks. Maintenance costs too were very reasonable.

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