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September 25, 2012

Best Classic Vehicles Through the Decades

One of the most beautiful design during the early years was the 1936 Cord 810 Convertible.  The obvious focal point was styling: extraordinarily clean, sleek and bold, from the hideaway headlights and pontoon fenders up front to the gently tapered tail.  Capping it off was the trademark “coffin-nose”, a deco-style hood with wrap-around louvers that became the lasting visual cue of Class.

In the 40’s U. S. car production was dealt a setback.  Although each decade in history is different the decade of the 1940’s is by far the most unusual in U. S. history.  This was the only period of time when automobile production stopped for a period of 3-4 years.  No cars were manufactured after 1942 due to the advent of World War II.  Production did not resume for civilians until 1946. At this time owning a car showed the wealth and status of its owner.

The 50’s was sort of the golden age of automobiles.  A lot of very unique cars were built and still popular with collectors today.  Back in the 50’s, imports were rare and it was pretty much the Big 3 which were General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. We still hear today of Corvette, Coupe-De-Ville, Eldorado, Thunderbird and Impala.   I cannot think of the cars from the 50’s without thinking of the high fins and the introduction of the small block V8 engine.

The 60’s and 70’s were great for the automotive industry as it was less hampered by safety and emission regulations.  In the mid 60’s to 70’s we were given the Muscle Cars era which offered the big block engines and a lot of horse power. If I had to list a few muscle cars, I would include the Chevelle with 450 horsepower, the 1968 Plymouth Road Runner which could upgrade to a 426-Hemi engine with dual 4-barrel carburetor, the 1970 Dodge Challenger came with 10 engine options.  Then there’s the Corvette, no matter the year of the model, it just delivers.   Perhaps the most impressive in terms of collectible muscle cars is the 1969 Judge version of the GTO.  It is legendary.  When looking at muscle cars, the argument can be made that the muscle cars of the 1960’s are the most popular.  Still, the 1970’s models have their fans.

When we come to the 80’s we were faced with the increased gas prices arising from OPEC and saw the first Camaro with a 4 cylinder engine.

When I think of the 90’s I think about the economy conscious lineup and Chevrolet celebrating the 25th year of Camaro.  And of course this was when the Vortec engine series was introduced to create a vortex effect for better fuel and air mixing.

I will have to say that my favorite era in the automotive industry is the “muscle car” era and my favorite muscle car is the 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge.

 

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