Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Random Car Wednesday: 1964 Chevrolet Impala

Austin has great car culture. Even going beyond big events like the Lone Star Roundup, people still like to cruise around and embrace that 60's state of mind. Today's RCW is a perfect cruising car, especially on a sunny afternoon. The 1964 Impala was at the top of Chevy's fullsize totem pole, and had been there since its introduction in 1958. The 1964 model year in particular became somewhat immortalized as a lowrider, and is commonly associated with that subculture. This beautiful green convertible, however, is decidedly more American muscle, especially with those Torq-Thrusts. Apart from the wheels, the car also boasts a new radio and aftermarket exhaust. Otherwise, the car is very original, including some basic wear and tear. The grille and bumper have a couple of dents and deformations and the badging is missing or crooked in places, but none of that is particularly important. It's a car meant for carefree driving, not Pebble Beach. Just how I like it.

1964 Chevrolet Impala convertible

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Random Car Wednesday: Porsche 911SC

I have recently developed a habit of getting caught in the rain. Usually I bolt for the nearest dry place, but today's RCW, a lovely red Porsche, made me take a slight detour. The 911 is a thoroughbred sports car and an automotive icon. Since its debut in the early 1960's, there have been countless upgrades, redesigns, and evolutions, but the lineage is still apparent. This classic example is a 911SC. Produced from 1978 to 1983, the SC had an 180-horse 3-liter powerplant hung out back, operated via a 5-speed transmission. That horsepower figure eventually rose to 204 horses by the end of the SC's lifespan. This particular car sports original Fuchs wheels and, apart from some minimal weathering, is in very good condition. It is a German car, after all. Kudos to the owner for driving it in the rain.

Porsche 911SC

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Random Car Wednesday: Dodge M37

Today's RCW will be a bit short, but I've picked a particularly cool vehicle, and I've included extra pictures. This tarnished relic is a Dodge M37, a military vehicle produced for the U.S. forces in the 1950's. Like the similar Kaiser-Jeep M715 of the 1960's, many M37s were bought by fire departments after they finished their tour of duty. This old Dodge is apparently a veteran of the Peoria Fire Department, and it's seen some wear and tear. It would take a sizable amount of time to get this machine back in drivable condition, and parts aren't terribly common. All the same, this tired old truck really grabbed my attention. I love the M37, and this one in particular has a lot of character. Hopefully one day it gets back on the road.

Dodge M37

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Random Car Wednesday: 1966 Plymouth Fury II

Many of the most desirable cars of yesteryear-the Hemi Mopars, Ferrari GTBs, and Rolls-Royce Phantoms-are still around, preserved in museums and private collections across the globe. They were coveted when new, and are even more so now. If you want real rarity, however, look at the cars nobody bothered to hold onto. The daily drivers and workhorses that, despite being built in huge quantities, have faded from existence altogether. Today's RCW is such a machine, a 1966 Plymouth Fury II sedan. Now, the Plymouth Fury models were structured in three tiers: Fury I, Fury II, and Fury III. The concept is similar to the hierarchy of the 150, 210, and Bel Air models offered by Chevrolet in the 1950's. The Fury I was the entry-level car, and was mostly a fleet car or taxi cab. The Fury III was the top-of-the-line model, offering the most luxury and the largest engines. In the middle was the easily-forgettable Fury II. It was better-appointed than the Fury I, but was a far cry from the opulence of a Fury III. Plenty were sold, but these cars were considered entirely average at the time, and so they went through countless owners before being reduced to scrap. This car, though, is a veritable time capsule. It still bears all of the original chrome, and the body is free of any glaring imperfections, such as the rust that plagued Mopars of this era. The signs of daily use are apparent, but everything appears to be intact. Even the original wheelcovers, which nowadays must be impossible to find, are still there. This is truly a survivor, and it also brings up an interesting question. Of the cars on sale today, which ones are destined to disappear altogether in a few decades time? It does make you wonder.

1966 Plymouth Fury II