A Guide To Antique Cars

In the world of older cars, there’s some confusion between the terms classic and antique, not to mention vintage. Some people think these are just different words to describe the same thing: old cars that still have some popular status among modern buyers. Well, there’s some truth to that, but actually these three terms do have different recognized definitions, and it still depends exactly on who you’re talking to if you want to get very precise about it. 

1920 Chevrolet 490

In today’s blog, we’re focusing in particular on the 'antique' moniker. What does this term mean? What are some examples of popular antique cars? These questions and more we will attempt to answer below. Check out our what is a classic car blog for similar information! 

What Is An Antique Car?

Traditional Antique Cars

Traditionally speaking, in the US at least, the “Antique” era of automobile production was the period that started with the beginning of the automobile and ran up to 1920, at which point the “Vintage” era kicked in. The United Kingdom has a slightly broader view of that era, taking it all the way up to 1939, thus including the Vintage era within the broader “Antique” spectrum.

1912 Ford Model T Speedster

Contemporary Antique Cars

It may seem something of a contradiction in terms to have a contemporary “antique” definition. In the more common and everyday sense, “Antique” is a classification that refers to any that was manufactured 45 or more years ago. At the time of writing in early 2022, that would make the latest year of the Antique cars the 1977 model year.

“Classic” cars are those that are 20+ years old, so in a sense, all Antique cars are also Classic cars, but one further distinction lies in their use. The term Antique car tends to refer to models that are 45+ model years’ old, but also models that are not used for everyday driving. Many classic cars are still used as daily runarounds and general personal transport.

1930 Chevrolet Pickup

To be clear, Antique cars aren’t broadly unused because they can’t be driven. Most often it’s because the owner wishes to preserve their condition as long as they can, possibly to increase its value as an investment. The contemporary definition as a whole is perhaps more useful because it’s invariably how insurance companies classify these cars.

Examples of Antique Cars

1956 Porsche 356 Speedster

Only 1,171 Porsche 356 Speedsters were ever made before the model started to fall into decline. Since the 1990s, there have been numerous replicas created, so antique shoppers have to keep their eyes open for the real deal. Finding models with their original features is even harder, with many having been refitted. The typical powertrain was a 1.6L engine with 96.5 cubic feet displacement. It was a 4-cylinder naturally aspirated unit with dual downdraft Zenith carburetors.

1956 Porsche 356 Speedster

1964 Chevy El Camino Coupe

The El Camino was unique as it offered coupe styling with truck-like utility in the form of a cargo bed at the rear. The 1964 coupe was the first car in the second-generation series which ran from 1964 to 1967. The 1964 model is notable because it carried both Chevelle and El Camino badges, but that model year didn’t have the most powerful engine options for the Chevelle-badged options. It was also the last of its kind before being facelifted in 1965.

The standard V8 engine was a 283 cubic-inch unit small-block engine delivering up to 195-hp. But, there were 2 more powerful limited edition V8 engines in the 1964 year, the most powerful of which got up to 300-hp.

1968 Chevrolet El Camino

1968 Dodge Charger

The 1968 Dodge Charger was the first of the second-generation models, receiving a full redesign from the previous Charger (1966-1967).  The ‘68 model was initially estimated for a 35,000-unit production run, but demand skyrocketed and there were more than 96,000 models made in the end, making it great for collectors to find. The models with the newer 225 cubic-inch slant-6 engine are particularly desirable.

1968 Dodge Charger

Antique Cars in Popular Culture

“Transformers” Film Franchise - Chevy Camaro

The Chevy Camaro got a major profile boost --- not that it especially needed it --- thanks to a (just about) Antique 1977 Camaro being the initial car form of fan-favorite Autobot, Bumblebee. The character later updates its exterior to a brand-new model (at the time of filming) in reaction to his passengers making fun of his seemingly decrepit exterior. The Camaro is one of the most popular classic muscle cars of all time. 

“Bullitt” - Ford Mustang

Steve McQueen’s memorable picture, “Bullitt” featured an even more memorable Antique car in it, namely the 1968 Ford Mustang GT390…the Bullitt Mustang. This film helped propel Mustang as a marque to the furthest corners of the world. Even today, the Mustang enjoys even more popularity in China than it does in the US. That same Bullitt Mustang was sold at auction in 2020 for the princely sum of $3.4 million. That just goes to show the “pop culture factor” on these cars. The 1967 Ford Mustang has a similar popularity. 

1968 Ford Mustang

“The Dukes of Hazzard” - Dodge Charger

As a final example, who could forget “The General Lee” from classic TV series “The Dukes of Hazzard” which of course was a 1969 Dodge Charger. The 1969 Dodge Charger is a true pop culture classic, inspiring generations of horsepower lovers to get their own brightly colored Charger.

Chevy El Camino and GMC Caballero

Iconic American classic cars are always highly sought after by enthusiasts due to their rarity and unique personality. One such icon is the car-based pickup truck, the Chevy El Camino. Fully restored El Caminos are one of the more valuable classic cars these days, but few people are aware that America's most iconic car-based pickup had a sibling back then. The sibling, better known as the GMC Caballero, was very similar to the El Camino but some differences set both apart. Before diving into the details, let’s focus a bit on the history of both.

History

Chevrolet El Camino History: Design, Production, & Features

The first iteration of the Chevy El Camino made its way to the American roads in 1958 which was largely a hasty and unplanned response to the Ford Ranchero coupe utility. The “El Camino” name was Spanish in its roots and meant “the way”. Based on the Impala platform, the first generation remained true to the American custom of extravagant dimensions and huge rear fins. Sadly, the first generation’s reign lasted only two years after which it got scrapped due to being uncompetitive.

1964 Chevrolet El Camino

The car/pickup hybrid made another entry in 1964, this time, on the new platform of Chevelle and with some significant upgrades including the optional V8 powertrains. The 327 cubic-inch small-block V8 was modified for the performance SS-version where it produced a mighty 350 hp. The subsequent third, fourth, and fifth generations saw many changes, the most notable of which was the inclusion of anti-pollution components that dramatically reduced the output of all the powertrains including those of the V8s. The LS6 454 cubic inch V8-equipped El Camino of 1970 is truly the rarest breed, having power output rated up to 450 hp.

GMC Caballero History: Design, Production, & Features

The GMC Caballero didn’t enjoy as rich a history as its sibling and many today are still unaware of its existence due to its late entry and low sales figures. Tracing its roots to the early 70s, the GMC Caballero was earlier known as the GMC Sprint. The rebadged GMC Caballero made its way to the showrooms in late 1977. Just like the El Camino, the "Caballero" name was also derived from Spanish and translated into "knight".

1987 GMC Caballero

GMC’s car-pickup amalgam underwent minor upgrades over the years till it got scrapped by GM in 1987. The Caballero, apart from having distinct trims, was largely the same as El Camino and therefore made somewhat little sense to customers at that time.

El Camino and Caballero Similarities

Both the Chevy El Camino and the GMC Caballero were largely the same. They were based on the same A-body platform of the Malibu from 1977 to 1982. However, the wheelbase was 9-inch longer than the Malibu platform to accommodate the bed. The internals, including the engine and transmission, were also one of the main converging points between the El Camino and the Caballero.

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu

Chevy El Camino and GMC Caballero Differences

Only a true enthusiast can spot and tell the differences between the El Camino and the Caballero. The GMC's main differentiating factor was its front grilles that transformed from the egg-crate style to horizontal and vertical bars and then finally to full-width grille housing the headlights. The second major difference between the two was the wheels. The wheel design of the GMC was different from the Chevy’s, and it was one of the major visual differences between the two. 

GMC Caballero Front Grille

The third and the most significant difference is the trims of the two coupe utilities. The El Camino had a performance version (SS Package) in 1968 that was equipped with the 396 V8. The engine was tuned to have three different output figures of 325, 350, and 375 hp. The Caballero, on the other hand, also had a performance variant back when it was sold as Sprint in 1971. The special edition was sold as Sprint SP and had the same 454 engine and hood stripes as the SS Package of 1970.

From 1978-79, the GMC Caballero had Laredo trim in contrast to El Camino's Conquista package. The Laredo trim was later renamed Amarillo and the decal also got changed. 

1981 Chevrolet El Camino Royal Knight Edition

The sporty Diablo trim for Caballero was introduced in 1978 and it continued till the death of the Caballero itself. Ironically, no V8 was offered as standard for Diablo trim despite it being marketed as the sporty trim. To rival the Diablo trim, the El Camino had a Royal Knight package which was essentially the successor to the SS Package. Unfortunately, the Royal Knight package was axed in 1982.

Oldsmobile 442

Vehicle History

Those with a love for classic cars, and especially classic muscle cars, will remember well the GM brand of Oldsmobile. The Oldsmobile 442, also stylized as 4-4-2, was initially produced over four generations from 1964 to 1987. Smaller fifth and sixth generations were also revived in the mid-1980s and early 1990s as part of the Oldsmobile Cutlass range. It is not uncommon to see severall of these classic cars for sale

1969 Oldsmobile 442 Hardtop Coupe

Below is a brief history of this iconic muscle car, its development, and its legacy in the world of classic American cars.

Oldsmobile 442 Development

Name

The 4-4-2 name comes from its carburetor, transmission, and exhaust setup. To be more precise, it had a 4-barrel carburetor, a 4-speed manual transmission, and dual exhausts. From 1964 to 1967, the hyphenated “4-4-2” format was used on the badging, but was changed to “442” in 1968.

Design and Origin

In the GM family, different divisions were competing heavily with each other all the time. It was this competition tradition that helped the Oldsmobile 442 to be born, specifically to compete with the GTO version of the Pontiac LeMans Intermediate. This was only a year after Chevrolet had success with their 1963 Corvette as well. Oldsmobile’s main plan was to improve the Oldsmobile Cutlass model. The main idea came from engineer John Beltz, who was helped along by fellow designers/engineers Dale Smith and Bob Dorshimer. 

First Generation Oldsmobile 442

The first-generation 442 came as a 2-door coupe, convertible, sedan, or as a 4-door sedan. It was powered initially by a 5.4L (330 cubic inch) V8 engine in 1964, which was then augmented to a 6.6L (400 cubic inch) V8 in 1965 after the competition Pontiac GTO received the green light from GM on a similar engine upgrade.

Before the “442” name stuck, Oldsmobile called the 4-4-2 configuration the “B09 Police Apprehender Pursuit” option. The engine outputted up to 310-hp and 355 lb-ft of torque, and surprised many with its decent handling. This was thanks to the inclusion of a heavy-duty suspension system with HD springs as standard, not to mention a heavy-duty clutch. The 310-hp was strong for the time, with the 1967 Mustang boasting 335-hp. Power steering was not a standard feature, but was available. The package was later dubbed 4-4-2.

1966 Oldsmobile 442

Through the mid and late-1960s, the 4-4-2 was facelifted with a new instrument panel, chrome body side scoops, higher and rounder fenders for a more muscular look, among other enhancements. It wasn’t until the second generation arrived in 1968, however, that major changes arrived which transformed the look of the 4-4-2. It was also the year it officially became the 442 instead of the 4-4-2. The current price of a classic 442 various based on a number of features, but if you find a deal it could be one of the more affordable classic cars

Further Development: 1968 to 1980

From 1968 to 1971, the 442 finally became its own model as opposed to its original status as a configuration. The W30 engine package that outputted up to 360-hp was previously a niche option in the first-generation models, but by 1968 had become increasingly common and mainstream in the 442. The exterior was also made more athletic, particularly at the rear end where the formally boxy design was replaced with more coupe-like curves and slopes. The hood also received some rather fetching and powerful-looking vents.

1968 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible

1968 was also the year in which Oldsmobile partnered with Hurst Performance Research Corporation to co-develop premium editions of the 442. These editions didn’t just make use of Hurst parts, but would include them more closely in the development. These models were known as Hurst/Olds, and it included some top models, including the 1968 version that managed 0-60-mph in just 5.4 seconds. Hurst/Olds can be a very valuable classic car in todays market. 

In 1970, the 442 became the Indianapolis 500 pace car, which inspired Oldsmobile to create a replica production model in gold and white that could be sold to the public. At its peak in 1970, the 442 muscle car was getting up to 455-hp as standard, but growing government regulations on horsepower along with increasing insurance prices, started to push muscle cars out of the public imagination.

1972 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible

The final 'muscle car' 442 was produced around 1972, and after that while the name did endure for a number of years (see below), yet it was never quite the same as it was in the early days. The third generation arrived in 1973, but the onset of the early 1970s oil embargoes and resulting energy crises saw the 442 fall into disrepute as a relic of the past. The drastic rise and fall of this Oldmobile make it an important vehicle to American automotive history, and you will commonly see the 442 at classic car musems

Engines were downsized, and the overall muscle and prowess of the late 1960s era were stripped from it. It was eventually discontinued, but not before being revived briefly once again in the 1980s. In our opinion, the Oldsmobile 442 is one of the best classic cars of all time. 

Oldsmobile Cutlass

1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass

The 442 name and badge was brought back as part of the G-body Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. After the Hurst era of cooperation had officially ended (although Hurst/Olds models still arrived during the 1980s), Oldsmobile still wanted to have a sportier and more athletic option available in the Cutlass model range. The resulting 2 models were the fifth-generation 442, aka the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, and the sixth-generation 442, aka the Cutlass Calais. As a classic car dealer, we typically see Oldsmobile Cutlass models in our showroom. 

1963 Corvette

Vehicle History

Within automotive history, there are certain nameplates that stand out as truly great. They're iconic and legacy-making machines that, even if discontinued, have managed to stand the test of time. The very best are still in production today in one form or another, and an example of those is the Chevrolet Corvette.

Red 1963 Chevrolet Corvette

Below is a brief history of the 1963 Corvette, which was the first model year of the classic second-generation Chevy Corvette sports car. This model year, among most others, can often be found at most classic car museums

Initial Development of the 1963 Chevy Corvette

The 1963 Chevy Corvette was the first production model of the second generation, known as C2. It was also the first time the Corvette was given the name Sting Ray, which in 1968 was contracted to a single word: Stingray. The Stingray name stayed until the fourth generation arrived in 1984, and was brought back for the seventh generation in 2014.

Returning to the 1963 Corvette, its design heritage included 2 main elements, namely the Q-Corvette and the racing Sting Ray designed by veteran GM designer Bill Mitchell. Mitchell is also responsible for the first 5 generations of the Cadillac Coupe DeVille. Taking these elements in hand, GM designers and engineers continued thinking about how to apply these concepts to mid-mounted engine cars like the Corvette C2.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Prototype via Motortrend

A race car concept was developed in 1957 called the XP-64 and became the main ancestor to the model that would be known as the 1963 Corvette. It was this that evolved into the XP-87 race car project led again by Bill Mitchell. In 1959, after some further evolution of XP-87, a new project called XP-720 created the first model of a car that closely resembles the C2 Corvette.

The main idea for the 63 Corvette never really changed from its original 1953 concept: a 2-seat sports car with a fiberglass body that could deliver superlative power and appealing style all at once. The main question was how to differentiate it. After all, it was a new generation, so it had to have new features. The new features, found below, have remained so loved that this model of the Corvette will most likely never be considered an affordable classic car

Corvette C2 Exterior Design & Features

The main improvements brought to the 1963 Corvette included an entirely new frame, a new nose with popup headlights, and a two-piece rear window. That last feature became one of the truly defining images of the 1963 Corvette. It was specifically ordered by Bill Mitchell to highlight the spinal ridge that ran like a bulge, dominating the rear end of the vehicle.

1963 Corvette Spinal Ridge

As you move closer, you start to see more interesting design details, such as the fact that the doors are cut into the roof of the vehicle, which make getting in and out of it much easier. There was also no trunk lid (a common feature of the Chevrolet Corvette until 1998) despite there having been some discussion about making the C2 a hatchback like the Jaguar XKE. Beyond that, the hood was dominated by the fake hood vents, the hidden headlamps, and their rotating housings. This was a feature not seen on any post-war American car up to that point.

The headlights and the fake hood vents were all meant to be part of the car’s overall aerodynamic efficiency, along with the optional side-mounted exhaust, and of course the general shape. On-road performance was also greatly aided by the brand-new steel ladder-type frame which replaced the X-brace.

1963 Corvette Ladder-Type Frame

The steel frame provided a lower center of gravity, which also placed more weight over the rear wheels. As for the traditional fiberglass panels, they had to have their thickness reduced to offset the additional weight of the frame. All of these exterior features combined make this an extremely sought-off model of classic Corvettes for sale

1963 Corvette Interior

The C2 wasn’t just new on the outside, it also offered a completely refreshed and renewed interior. Arguably the most noticeable feature was the redone dashboard that now featured better gauges that were easier for drivers to read. On top of that, Chevy installed a cowl-ventilation system, a much better heater, and a new door for the glove box, which still served as the only main storage unit for personal items.

1963 Corvetter Interior

There was no trunk in the 1963 Corvette, which remained the standard until 1982. The main storage for larger items, was behind the driver and passenger seats. One additional option for this model was the Delcotronic electronic ignition system that had only first appeared on some Pontiac models by 1963.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Performance

Every 1963 Chevy Corvette came with a 5.4L (327 cubic inch) small-block V8 engine that delivered up to 250-hp as the standard output. There were optional variants of the same engine that could get up to 360-hp at the top-end, with 300-hp and 340-hp in between. This was impressive at the time until the 1968 Corvette L88 came around with well over 500-hp, becoming a stand out classic muscle car

The Z06 variation of the C2 Corvette was created as a higher-specification racing model. It featured a fuel-injected version of the 327 cubic inch engine unit paired with a 4-speed transmission and a limited-slip differential. Only 199 Z06 models were created, with those for long-distance races like the Daytona 250 having a 36-gallon fuel tank added.

1963 Corvette 327 V8 Engine

The Legacy of the 1963 Corvette

To this day, the 1963 model is still one of the best classic cars ever made, mostly for the truly unique split rear-window design. Armed with its legendary name, the Sting Ray, it would set the standard and design philosophy for generations of Corvettes that came after it. This Corvette model and the 1957 Bel Air still remain as some of the more popular vehicles that Chevrolet has ever produced. 

Cadillac Coupe DeVille

Vehicle History

The Cadillac DeVille was one of the longest-running car marques in the history of General Motors. The first DeVilles rolled off of the production line in 1958. Production continued up to 2005, spanning 8 generations of in total. Below is a brief history of one of the most iconic classic cars, with a special focus on the Coupe DeVille!

1971 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

Naming

Hopefully we won’t disappoint fans of Disney’s classic 101 Dalmatians too much when we point out that the DeVille name isn’t connected to the iconic villain of that story. The name comes from the French phrase 'de la ville' which means “of the town.” In other words, this was meant to carry the air of the traditional Coupe De Ville or private short carriage with a separated area for the driver. The Cadillac Coupe DeVille was designed to be a luxury town car.

Initial Development

The first concept and prototype model, called the 'Coupe de Ville', was shown at the 1949 Motorama show. The key standout features included the Cadillac Sixty Special chassis, dummy air scoop, chrome trim, a one-piece windshield, and black with gray trim interior. It was even equipped with power windows and a telephone! This model was owned by then GM President, Charles E. Wilson.

1949 Cadillac Coupe de Ville Protoype from Motor Authority

Early development models of the DeVille marque were dominated by the Cadillac Series 62 Coupe de Ville. It was first made in 1949, and then augmented in 1956 with a sedan version. It was always known throughout its development for its luxurious features and styling. It wasn’t until 1959, however, that the first generation of the formal Cadillac Coupe DeVille arrived.

Early Generations (1959-1984)

The first-generation models were still styled as the 'Cadillac Coupe de Ville' and it wasn’t until the 8th and final generation that the contracted form 'DeVille' was used. The 1959 Coupe de Ville’s most distinctive feature was certainly its enormous tailfins and bullet-shaped tail lights. It was certainly a head turner, but also quite typical of what was going on at the high end of the car market. The first 5 generations from 1959 to 1984 were all designed by veteran GM designer Bill Mitchell. He also designed and/or influenced the Cadillac Sixty Special, 1963 Corvette, the Buick Riviera, the iconic classic muscle car Chevrolet Camaro, and many others.

1959 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

Along with cars like the Chevrolet Bel Air, the Cadillac Coupe de Ville in its earliest generations was built as a declaration of an entirely new outlook on automobile design. Gone were the warring days of pure function and efficiency of the 1940s and early 1950s. It was now time for style and decadence, and these tailfins were a big part of that.

First-generation models were powered by a 6.4L V8 engine and paired with GM’s world-renowned 4-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission. After the wilder designs of the first production year, however, de Ville models from 1960 were smoothed out and toned down a little - but only a little. It gained a full-width grille, and the front bumper guards were removed, along with some of the chrome. The application of which had been set to “overkill" in 1959. If the owner has done a good job with classic car maintenence, these features should still be well in tact. 

The second generation saw a new 7.0L V8 engine added to the powertrain options. The edges, grilles, and tailfins continued to be pared down and smoothed off to form a more coherent and unified design language. The design continued to be facelifted periodically through its second and third generations until 1971 when GM performed a major redesign on all of its models. This was the fourth generation of the Coupe de Ville. The earlier generations can be found at many classic car musuems!

1962 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

By the last two Mitchell-designed generations, the Coupe DeVille had become distinctly more straight-lined in its design. It featured more powerful body lines emanating from the hood the large frame of the vehicle. Notable changes included, but were not limited to, the wide eggcrate front grille design and square bezels for the front headlamps. This model even introduced optional airbags in 1974, then known as the Air Cushion Restraint System.

Later Generations (1985-2005)

By the 1980s, the Coupe de Ville had already offered many impressive features and helped inspire design language that was emulated not just in other GM vehicles but even by other OEMs. Cadillac at the time was one of the world hallmarks for great luxury cars. The sixth to eighth generations saw the exterior design become somewhat more understated, and the powertrain reduced in displacement to powerful but smaller V8 units.

New designers Irvin Rybicki (sixth-gen), Chuck Jordan (seventh-gen), and Wayne Cherry (eighth-gen), each brought new design elements. The designers gradually updated the Coupe DeVille in the 2000 model year to include such features as Night Vision, which was a world first at the time.

Final Fate

The eight-generation DeVille was the final one produced, running from model years 2000 to 2005. The fact is that the Coupe de Ville actually died a little earlier back in 1993 with the end of the sixth-generation, after which time it became sedan only. Its legacy is one of pioneering style and luxury; one of the first true luxury cars built purposefully for more than just function.

2005 Cadillac DeVille from Kelly Blue Book

The DeVille name was retired in 2006 and replaced with the DTS line, which is seen as the continued development of the DeVille model line. The price of the various DeVille models range, but are commonly one of the most affordable classic cars available. If you are a proud owner of one, check out our value guide for classic cars to get an idea for how much it is worth. 

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GR Auto Gallery receives CarGurus 2022 Top-Rated Dealer Award for Excellence in Customer Experience 

Grand Rapids, MI – 3/10/2022 – GR Auto Gallery today announced that it has received the honor of being named a 2022 CarGurus Top-Rated Dealer. The prestigious annual award celebrates car dealerships that consistently deliver exceptional customer service to car shoppers. In earning the Top-Rated Dealer award, GR Auto Gallery maintained a 4.5-star average rating or higher and collected at least five verified customer reviews through the CarGurus platform in 2021. CarGurus uses verified dealership ratings, along with other factors like pricing analytics to help shoppers search for a deal on a vehicle. 

“CarGurus knows that trust and transparency are central to car buying, and we are proud to recognize the dealerships that reflect these values with our eighth annual Top-Rated Dealer awards,” said Spencer Scott, Executive Vice President at CarGurus. “The winners are among the best of the best, and the Top-Rated Dealer program gives dealerships like GR Auto Gallery the opportunity to showcase their outstanding customer service. We applaud them for maintaining their high standards, especially while navigating the ups and downs of inventory levels last year.” 

“At GR Auto Gallery, providing excellent customer service is central to our business, and we are thrilled to be recognized as a CarGurus Top-Rated Dealer in 2022,” said Chris Hoexum, Co-Owner. “This award acknowledges our entire staff for meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations day after day. We’re committed to maintaining and developing trusted relationships, and we will strive to provide this same level of excellence in the years to come.” 

CarGurus invites shoppers to review and rate dealerships with whom they have interacted during their car shopping experience on the CarGurus platform. Dealer ratings and reviews are visible to the public on the site, and they are also factored in the algorithm that CarGurus uses to rank search results for shoppers.  

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1967 Mustang

Vehicle History

Does any American car define the era of classic muscle cars and pony cars better than the Ford Mustang? However you might answer that question, it’s impossible to deny the contribution made by Ford to automotive culture and development. The Mustang has a long history going back to the 1960s. One especially iconic version in the first-generation Mustang models is that of the 1967 Mustang. 

Fully Restored 1967 Ford Mustang

1967 Ford Mustang Development

The first generation Ford Mustang was first launched in 1964 and had a fairly long production run up to 1973. The second generation was created for the 1974 model year. The 1967 Mustang model holds a special place within this generation because it was the first significant facelift and redesign of the model since it was first launched. It's common to see either generation at most classic car musuems

Designs for the upgraded models were actually underway even as the first 1964-1965 models were flying out of showrooms and this new Ford model was finding success. That might seem strange, but the Mustang designers Ross Humphries and Don Kopka were emboldened to try and make the Mustang a larger vehicle for when the redesign year finally came.

Making the Mustang bigger was something that legendary Ford executive Lee Iacocca was apparently opposed to. Nonetheless, Iacocca eventually approved and personally oversaw the design and development process of the mid-generation facelifted Ford Mustang.

Ford executive Lee Iacocca

Changes were numerous, starting with increasing the space for an all-new set of available big-block V8 engines. This came with a general increase in the dimensions of the vehicle, making it about 2 inches longer and wider. The wheelbase remained the same as the previous version, however. You will see this particular mustang on many best classic cars of all time lists. 

The interior was also changed to remove the embossed horse emblem from the seats and replacing it with a more premium-feel interior package with different color options. Brushed aluminum was used for the dash trim, or woodgrain if you preferred the more classic look, and new door panels were added.

Some standard and optional features were also juggled around. The air conditioning was built right into the dash, and the previous “deluxe” steering wheel became an option. The 1967 model hadn’t yet received 3-point lap and shoulder seat belts, but it did get them in the 1968 version, which was part of the same overall facelifted line. It did get upgraded stereo speakers, and the Rally-Pac was removed and replaced with a newly designed instrument cluster with optional tachometer and clock.

On the exterior, the 1967 Mustang received concave tail lights, a side scoop, square rear-view mirrors, new wheels and a new gas cap. The facelifted model carried on into 1968 as well, when it received additional chrome detailing on the outside. Most people will be suprised to learn about the lower cost of this supringly affordable classic car

1967 Ford Mustang New Features

'67 Mustang Features and Specifications

We’ve mentioned some of the features in the design section above, but it’s important to also understand the powertrain and altered specifications that helped to set this model apart from the original. The 1967 Mustang was available as a 2-door hardtop, 2-door fastback, or a 2-door convertible. The various model options are very commonly available to clients looking for old Mustangs for sale

Engines

The 1967 model included the original 200 cubic-inch (3.3L) Thriftpower inline6- engine, as well as the 289 cubic-inch (4.7L) Windsor V8 engine. Larger models were added, namely the 390 cubic-inch (6.4L) FE V8 engine, which came from the Ford Thunderbird and was fitted with a four-barrel carburetor.

Even larger engines arrived in 1968 in the form of a 428 cubic-inch (7.0L) Cobra Jet engine outputting a massive 335-hp. As a classic car dealer, we often see these engines still within the classic Mustangs that we have sold in the past. That model was actually classed as a “drag racer for the street.”

Dimensions

  • Wheelbase: 108”
  • Length: 183.6” (+2 inches compared to 1964)
  • Width: 70.9” (+2.7 inches compared to 1964) 
  • Height: 51.6” (+0.4 inches compared to 1964)
  • Curb Weight: 2,758-lbs (+313-lbs compared to 1964)

Even though the 1967 Mustang was the first year in which greater weight and size were added to the vehicle, it was still lighter than some of its successors, even within the first generation of Mustang models. That being the case, the lighter body designs and more nimble and agile looks of the 1967 model make it all the more special.

A Special Place in History

The facelifted 1967-1968 Ford Mustang holds a special place in the Mustang’s long model history because it was the car that was featured in Steve McQueen’s 1968 film “Bullitt.” McQueen’s Mustang in the film was a 1968 GT model 2+2 Fastback depicted in a chasing rivalry with a Dodge Charger on the streets of San Francisco.

Steve McQueen's 1968 Mustang GT

A special Bullitt Edition of the Ford Mustang was released in 2020 with the same white cue-ball topper on the gear shift and additional design and power cues that were reminiscent of the “Bullitt” car.

The actual Mustang from Bullitt was sold at a classic car auction in January 2020 for a very tidy sum of $3.7 million dollars, a record at the time.

Volvo P1800

Vehicle History

What do people think when they imagine the Volvo brand? They tend to think of solid construction, boundless safety features, tasteful interiors, and a winning combination of utility and comfort. The term “sports car” doesn’t necessarily come to mind. However, back in the 1960s and 1970s, the Volvo P1800 was on the road showcasing dynamism and class. To this day, the Volvo P1800 is extremely popular and is commonly found on most top classic cars of all time lists!

1967 Volvo P1800

The Volvo P1800 owes a lot of its reputation for class and style to it being driven by none other than Roger Moore in the classic 1960s television series, The Saint. Its other big claim to fame was as the highest-mileage private vehicle still being driven by its original owner having clocked some 3.25 million miles by 2018.

Design and Early Development

Interestingly, Volvo started development on their new sports car in 1957, at about the same time as Jaguar was working on their earliest ideas for the Jaguar E-Type. It was a time of competitive development with many top brands seeking to create the next big thing in sports cars. They also began the project with some trepidation, having failed to make their previous sports car project, the P1900 a success.

In order to gain more success, the head of the project, Helmer Petterson, engaged a well-known Italian carriage maker, Ghia, to help with the designs. An interesting twist in the design story is that while Volvo for years credited Italian designer Pietro Frua of Ghia as the creator of the P1800, the real work was done by Frua’s student, and Petterson’s own son, Pelle Petterson. Volvo only finally recognized this fact in 2009.

Early prototypes were made in 1957 and 1958, one of which was driven by Helmer Petterson down to West Germany and the headquarters of Karmann in Osnabruck. It was there that Petterson had hoped to start the tooling and construction of the vehicle. The project hit a major setback, however, when Volkswagen stepped in and stopped Karmann from taking on this task. Naturally, they were afraid this P1800 would compete with their own models.

Volvo P1800 Prototype

In the years that followed, Volvo dragged their feet on the project, refusing other potential German manufacturers, all of which frustrated Petterson. In the end, he tried to get investors to back him to the point that he could get the parts from Volvo and complete the project himself. Subsequent leaks of images of the car forced Volvo’s hand, and they finally “came out” with the car at the 1960 Brussels Motor Show. It was a smash hit, and a manufacturer in the UK was finally found ready and capable to make the P1800 a reality.

Production

The P1800 was produced starting in 1960 for the 1961 model year, all assembled at Jensen Motors’ plant in West Bromwich, England. Production later moved back to Sweden in 1963. Models were built as either a 2-door coupe or a 3-door sports estate. The first engine used was the “Bensin 1800” shortened to B18 (‘bensin’ means gasoline in Swedish), which used SU carburettors and a unique set of 5 crankshaft bearings together producing 100-hp.

The initial production run of the P1800 produced about 6,000 units in the UK plant, before Jensen Motors started to have trouble maintaining Volvo’s quality standards. Production was thus moved to Sweden and new variants of the P1800 emerged, namely the 1800S, 1800E, and 1800ES. Many classic car museums will feature at least one of these production variants. 

Volvo 1800S

The “S” stood for “Sverige” (in English, “Sweden”). The 1800s initially carried the same B18 engine but with some small modifications to add about 8-hp to its rating and a top speed of about 109-mph. The P1800 did also feature an overdrive function on some models, however, that could push the top speed closer to 120-mph.

A new engine was created for the 1969 model 1800S model, the B20B. As the name suggests, this was a 2.0L engine that augmented the power to 118-hp. Although the new engine was an improvement, it was still very far from a classic muscle car

1968 Volvo P1800S

Volvo 1800E

“E” was a popular addition to car model names around the 1970s, and the 1970 Volvo 1800E was no exception. It stands for “Einspritzung” or “fuel injection.” The 1800E featured a new Bosch-developed D-Jetronic fuel injection system in its new B20E engine. This unit could output up to 130-hp without losing an iota of fuel economy on the previous B20 model. The 1800E was also noted for abandoning rear drum brakes in favor of four-wheel disc brakes.

1970 Volvo P1800E

Volvo 1800ES 

In 1972, the world was introduced to a rather unique kind of sports car, the 1800 ES 2-door station wagon design. It got a less powerful 125-hp engine, but lost none of the unique design features and Italian sports car DNA. The story for the American market was unfortunate, though, as Volvo could not find any reasonable justification to invest more in redesigning the models to suit incoming safety regulations in the mid-1970s. The 1800ES has a short-lived production run delivering just 8,000 units in 2 years. This is most commonly the least expensive model of the P1800, but is still more valuable than other affordable classic cars

1973 Volvo P1800ES

1957 Chevy Bel Air

Vehicle History

When you think of America and what cars are at the pinnacle of excellence, there’s very few who wouldn’t mention the Chevrolet Bel Air. This iconic and unforgettable Chevy was built from 1950 to 1975 as a classic muscle car, both hardtop and convertible. The 1957 Chevy Bel Air, still known affectionately and simply as the ‘57 Chevy, was the last model year of the second generation before the car became longer and heavier in the third generation which started in 1958. It's rare to find any enthusiast who wouldn't have this car in their top classic cars of all time list! 

Development and Release

The ‘57 Chevy came in several different body styles, namely: convertible, sport coupe, sport sedan, 4-door sedan, 2-door sedan, the 2-door Nomad wagon, and the Townsman 4-door station wagon. The first model in the second-generation Bel Air was the 1955 model, which had already received great reviews from various automotive publications. It was especially praised for its handling and on-road acceleration.

The ‘57 Chevy Bel Air saw an increase in the car’s engine power with a 283 cubic-inch (4.6L) V8 engine option that was actually one and the same with the same model-year Corvette. This V8 could generate up to 283-hp and 290 lb-ft of torque thanks to the inclusion of the Rochester Ramjet continuous mechanical fuel injection system. If you own a ‘57 Chevy with this specification, check out our classic car value guide because you have something rather special because this new engine specification wasn’t installed on the majority of ‘57 Bel Air models.

Paired with that first-time ultra-powerful engine was a 2-speed Powerglide transmission, or a 3-speed manual transmission, which was some of the most dynamic and sought-after auto equipment of its day.

Most important to understand about the second-generation models, and especially the 1957 Chevy Bel Air, is that these were designed with some of the most iconic features, like the Ferrari-inspired front grille, the rear tail fins inspired by the new age of jet engines in military aircraft, the rocket hood ornaments and the chrome headliner bands on the hardtop models. What it represented was the rising prosperity of the United States and the end of an era of austerity where cars were strictly functional.

The 1957 Bel Air had just as much chrome and fine finishing as a Cadillac Coupe DeVille, but also had much more pleasing lines with an irresistible dynamism that made it the original Chevy high-end car. Suprisingly, the 57 Bel Air is a fun time when it comes to classic car care. The somewhat unfortunate thing is that like many cars from the time, Chevrolet didn’t even know how good a thing they had made until much later. The Bel Air was a car of balance, symmetry, form, and function put together perfectly into a single machine. So much attention was paid to this sense of symmetry and balance, that the car even included 2 radio antennas at the back of the car, one by each matching tail fin.

A Collector’s Item

It may have been the last of the second generation, a seemingly obscure model year in a 25-year production history, but the 1957 Chevy Bel Air is considered the most iconic among the entire bunch. For that reason, it has become something of a collector’s item, and is commonly found at most classic car musuems. What’s more, it was the first car mass-produced after the Second World War that eventually became a collector’s item. So in many ways it’s also the 'original' collector’s car.

The good news is that in general there are many 57 Chevy models available because there were more than 1.5 million units of the 1957 model made in total. This means that is a surprisingly one of the more affordable classic cars in comparison to the popularity. Where it can get tricky is getting a particular type of Bel Air. The rarest model of all is the Bel Air 2-door Nomad Wagon, of which only 6,264 units were ever produced. The most common model is the Bel Air 4-door sedan, with a total of 264,449 produced in 1957. The Convertible only had 48,068 models made, making it significantly rarer, but at the same time so much more desirable if you live in a warm climate like southern California or Florida.


1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad Station Wagon

If you were to find one of these classic cars for sale today, you could be looking at a wide price range, depending on the specification and rarity. As we have mentioned, there are indeed plenty of '57 Bel Air models around, but to get your hands on a pristine mint-condition 2-door Bel Air model, which is what most collectors are looking for, and preferably in the most iconic sky blue body color with white and chrome trim, is not an easy feat.

Jaguar E-Type

Vehicle History

"The most beautiful car ever made." - Enzo Ferrari

The British sports car brand Jaguar has produced many iconic cars over the years, but perhaps none are more iconic than the Jaguar E-Type. It is very common to see the E-Type on almost anyones best classic cars of all time list. This car was first produced in 1961, and had a 14-year run right up to 1975. All models were manufactured in the company’s Coventry plant in the West Midlands, England.

Concept and Early Development

The story of the E-Type concept began in the late 1950s after Jaguar had found great success in professional racing with their D-Type model, namely at the Le Mans 24-hour circuit. The company approved a new project that would use the D-Type model to build a street-legal car When the Jaguar E-Type was first introduced, the concept was presented as a grand tourer with a rear-wheel drivetrain, but in the format of a 2-seater coupe.

The early prototypes were not successful and didn’t make it past the factory testing stages. The first versions, dubbed E1A, were subsequently scrapped in 1957. However, the project was revived as E2A in 1960. Unlike the monocoque chassis of the E1A design, E2A used a steel chassis with an aluminum body. Under the hood was a 3.0L XK engine armed with a Lucas fuel injection system. In the end, however, E2A was retired as a race car, bouncing around the world from owner to owner before ultimately being sold at a classic car auction in 2008 for almost $5 million.

It wouldn’t be until 1961 that the first production versions, E-Type Series 1, finally emerged onto the market.

Jaguar E-Type: Production Versions

A total of 3 generations of Jaguar E-Type were produced over the years. Here’s a quick rundown of production years:

  • Series 1 - Produced from 1961 to 1968
  • Series 2 - Produced from 1968 to 1971
  • Series 3 - Produced from 1971 to  1974

All E-Type Series models were produced as either a 2-door coupe or a 2-door roadster. The first 2 Series used variations of the Jaguar XK engine, while the Series 3 model switched to a Jaguar V12 engine. Most pretigious classic car musuems will have at least one of the production versions. Below is a quick summary of each Series model.

Jaguar E-Type Series 1 (1961-1968)

The first production model for the new E-Type was nearly a tragedy for the domestic British market as it was initially thought to make it for export only. That changed several months into the production run, however. The first 3 years saw the cars powered by a 3.8L XK inline-6 engine outputting 265-hp, but that was switched up to a 4.2L version of the same engine in 1964. Despite the greater displacement, this engine actually didn’t offer more power, but it did increase overall torque. Both versions could get from 0 to 60 in just 6.4 seconds.

Tests of the car by reviewers found that the top speed was a rather mighty 150-mph with testing results numbering a little above or below that round figure. Other noted features of the carb besides its acceleration were its use of disc brakes. Rack-and-pinion steering, as well as an independent front and rear suspension.

It was the Series 1 E-Type that Enzo Ferrari was said to have remarked that it was “the most beautiful car ever made.” As a classic car dealer, we've seen a lot of vehicles come through our doors, and we have to agree with Mr. Ferrari. High praise, indeed. Around 38,500 of the Series 1 models were produced in the initial run. The Series 1 model is extremely valuable as is definitley not one of the most affordable classic cars

Jaguar E-Type Series 2 (1968-1971)

The revolutionary nature of the first-generation car meant the Series 2 had to deliver something special to be positively set apart. The most notable changes to the car were actually in its safety features, largely a result of new mandates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the US which is now among the top recognized safety standards in the US and the world.

The Series 2 featured the following changes:

  • Removal of glass headlight covers
  • Installation of a wrap-around rear bumper
  • Enlarged front turn signals
  • Repositioned tail lights
  • Larger front grille
  • Ignition switch moved to the steering column
  • New seats with head restraints
  • New factory options: power steering and air-conditioning

For the engine, the same 4.2L inline-6 XK engine was used, but drivers in the US faced a slightly defanged version with reduced horsepower and torque. The Series 2 had a shorter run, and thus fewer models are still around today. Only about 19,000 were ever produced.

Jaguar E-Type Series 3 (1971-1974)

The first thing everyone noticed about the Series 3, of course, was the powerful 5.3L V12 Jaguar engine that appeared under the hood. The V12 was fitted with Zenit carburettors and could deliver up to 272-hp.

It also received upgraded brakes and the previously optional power steering became a standard feature. What’s more, it got a longer wheelbase which made the passenger cabin feel roomier and more luxurious, as a grand tourer should be. The front grille also became a cross-slatted design, which helped further distinguish it from its earlier sibling models.

Conclusion

It's not hard to see why the Jaguar E-Type is one of the most sought after classic vehicles. Their appreciation is high, and so is the value. We frequently get clients who want us to list their classic Jaguars for sale, but the E-Type's barely ever stick around for long! If you are an owner of a Jaguar, or any other vehicle, we recently released a classic car value guide to help you determine how much it may be worth. If you're in the market to sell your car, contact us today and we can explain how we can help you sell a car on consignment.