What Can I Do To Get You In This Car Today?
October 15, 2015 7:33 PM   Subscribe

I can see you've got discerning taste; perhaps a 1949 or a 1960 Jaguar? How about something in a sporty ragtop, like this 1960 Triumph TR-3, this 1965 Austin-Healey, or something in a 1976 Alfa Romeo? Something for the family? Or maybe something smaller? Or do you need something modern, like this 1981 DeLorean? posted by mattdidthat (28 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's Request -- frimble

I love websites of this old style. Pure content, no BS. No weird scripts. I'm not a huge car person but I could still spend hours here because everything is so damn browsable and loads so cleanly. Thanks!
posted by werkzeuger at 7:45 PM on October 15, 2015 [5 favorites]

One word: thundercougarfalconbird.
posted by Poldo at 7:59 PM on October 15, 2015 [5 favorites]

This is the car I want.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:27 PM on October 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Aw, no brochure for my husband's BMW 2002. Which, actually, would probably be a great gift for him if I could track one down, given how excited he was that the snowmobiles he just bought from the original owner had the brochures in the maintenance file.
posted by padraigin at 8:34 PM on October 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also worth checking out: oldcarbrochures.com

Warning, you'll be depressed when you realize that cars used to come in colors instead of white, six shades of grey, black, and a token blue or red.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 8:41 PM on October 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

It's the Family Truckster! I like those greenwalls.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:42 PM on October 15, 2015

Even more than a choice of exterior colours, I miss interiors that aren't black/grey. They're just so depressing. in contrast when I had a car with a cherry red interior (complete with black and chrome accents) it made me feel happy just getting into the cabin.
posted by sardonyx at 8:43 PM on October 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

There's a guy on my block with a '69 Ford Mustang fastback. It is unrestored and fucked up, just sitting there, rotting in the elements. He won't sell it to me. The bastard.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:54 PM on October 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Cool Papa Bell, this feels depressingly common. Start paying attention and you'll find guys in their late 70s or even late 80s with literally dozens of rare cars rotting away into nothing that they won't sell because they're "going to restore them some day." It's their stuff, and they can do what they want, but at some point cars start to transition from just old stuff into rare heritage artifacts and it's sad when owners don't recognize their responsibility as caretakers.

Literally just the other day I was watching a YouTube video about a guy who owns and drives a completely mint, low-mileage Honda CRX Si. An unmolested CRX is becoming as rare as a unicorn these days because so many of them were hot-rodded. So here's this video and commenters are gushing at how amazing the car is for being so rare but people are literally saying things like "Wow, amazing totally original CRX! You should swap the engine and put on nice wheels and stance it and..." and I'm just face palming. Like I've said before, if there was only one original Model A left in the world, somebody would still chop and hot-rod it if they could. If there was only one breeding pair of rhino left in the world, somebody would want to poach them. People don't appreciate the concept of care-taking the world and its artifacts and so they're content to let cars rot away rather than admit that they're never going to restore them.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 9:09 PM on October 15, 2015 [10 favorites]

My grandfather had one of these. Still sitting in his shed in 1982, in rather perfect condition (he was a car mechanic by profession, and these car were made of of rather thick steel, you could literally jump on the roof and the metal wouldn't buckle).
In 1981 or 82 he just drove it to the car press, he thought it was time for a new car...
posted by ojemine at 9:36 PM on October 15, 2015

I just finished restoring a very early Jaguar E-Type convertible (what they call a "flat floor" car), and now it's a race to see if I can find a buyer before I have to declare bankruptcy.*

* I love restoring cars, but always sell them when I'm done. Usually for a bit of a loss, but it's a hobby, eh? I get paranoid owning "perfect" cars--that's no way to live, worrying about a car parked somewhere.
posted by maxwelton at 10:03 PM on October 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

posted by Literaryhero at 11:10 PM on October 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

My very first car was that Jaguar, 3.4 Saloon. Bought it for $300 Canadian dollars, when I turned 16, in 1971. I thought it was a misprint, and didn't circle the ad in the paper, assuming the seller meant $3000. Those things had burled-walnut drop-down trays in the seat-backs.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 11:33 PM on October 15, 2015

It's a bit unsettling to think that a car like this 1971 De Tomaso Pantera would be outperformed by just about any SUV on the road today.
posted by three blind mice at 12:56 AM on October 16, 2015

My very earliest memory is of lying on my back breathing the combined smell of cane bassinet and long-sun-baked hessian and vinyl, looking up at the brightness of a cloudy sky through the rear window of one of these and feeling completely at one with the screechy purr of its inimitable engine note.

It was Mum's. It was brown. Dad had the '56 in blue.

It is truly amazing the places you can get away with taking one of these with a bit of determination and a set of snow chains.
posted by flabdablet at 1:39 AM on October 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

Dear god, I want this.
posted by rock swoon has no past at 4:05 AM on October 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

One word: thundercougarfalconbird.

posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:43 AM on October 16, 2015

It's a bit unsettling to think that a car like this 1971 De Tomaso Pantera would be outperformed by just about any SUV on the road today.

Grassroots Motorsports did a feature several years back comparing classic sports cars to a Honda Odyssey minivan. The results were... intriguing.
posted by saladin at 4:47 AM on October 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

One of my earliest best memories is cruising down the road from granny's house in the back seat of one of these, leaning back and looking at the moon and stars through that canted rear window...
posted by Chrischris at 4:59 AM on October 16, 2015

Well, for those of you longing for a classic car, my wife announced last night that she's ready to let go of the 1990 Volvo 240 wagon sitting in the driveway (still runs, probably needs a new battery)... memail me, I'm sure we can work something out. (I met her in 1996, told her then she needed to trade it in for something a bit newer... she's kept it out of spite and to prove me wrong....)
posted by HuronBob at 5:41 AM on October 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

When I get my Pulitzer money, I will buy a very specific automobile.
posted by sonascope at 6:12 AM on October 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

Mind you, an Ami is a close second for me, but I would have to brutally murder any vile and foolish savages with the ignorance and temerity to mistake Flaminio Bertoni's wry masterwork of deranged detailing with an awful British Ford, so the Panhard would keep me out of jail.
posted by sonascope at 6:23 AM on October 16, 2015

It's a bit unsettling to think that a car like this 1971 De Tomaso Pantera would be outperformed by just about any SUV on the road today.

Just looking at numbers, I had this experience a few years back comparing the Ferrari 308 or 328 -- whichever is the Magnum PI car -- with the Honda Civic.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:35 AM on October 16, 2015

Hmmmm, it's time we let go of the 1969 Dodge Sportsman popup camper; it served well when we had kids in the family to take camping every summer (not that I'd ever have taken them in the vehicle, but as a gear hauler and bad-weather living space on the mountain, it saved us from much grief).

Any better way than giving it to KQED to auction? Runs, steers, shifts, and drives OK, but it's a dinosaur.
posted by hank at 7:32 AM on October 16, 2015

This was my mother's first car. In the same color, no less! It was an older car even then, but those babies were built to last.

The story goes that the dealer had two on the lot: one in Tropical Turquoise and one in baby blue. Mom really wanted the baby blue, but she couldn't get the loan without a cosigner, and Grandma wouldn't cosign unless she got the turquoise. (Grandma was really emotionally invested in being The Lady Who Liked Things To be Turquoise.)

I don't remember exactly what year my Dad's mid-a960's MGB convertible was, but this brochure did ring a lot of bells. his was British Racing Green with a black soft top, which you don't see a lot of pictures of.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:38 AM on October 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

My first car. It was a few months older than I was when I bought it in 1993 for $600.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:07 AM on October 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

There's no brochure for the 1983 Chevette, but 1982 will do.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:27 PM on October 16, 2015

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