It’s all in the details

When I was a kid, it was fun to guess the make, model, and year of the cars I saw on the roads. In those days, automobile manufacturers freshened their basic designs every year between major redesigns. Those freshenings often involved some pretty obvious sheetmetal changes – new taillights, revised fenders, that sort of thing. Today, manufacturers make few changes between major restylings, which makes it very hard to accurately date a car. It’s not fun anymore!

Today we’re going to play “Guess the Classic Car” by looking at just those details from cars I photographed at the Mecum auction. Click each photo for the answer.

Let’s start with the easiest first. I include it mostly because I dig how this car’s black paint reflected me as I photographed its badge. The manufacturer made a car with this name for only two years. Which car and what years?

These headlights came from a mid-sized grocery getter into which a large V8 could be stuffed. Which car and what year?

This tail light seems to float in its housing. Make, model, and year?

The photo gives you this car’s name; can you tell me what year it was made? It’s tricker than it looks. Extra credit for naming the cars reflected in the El Cam’s paint.

Dodge used this badge on one of its cars for two model years. Can you name it? Extra credit: What is the triangular shape at this badge’s center called?

This tail light is from a big station wagon. Which one, and which year?

These start getting a lot harder now. What car wore this hood scoop? It would help you to know that the car has a twin-loop front bumper.

This wheel well comes from a muscle car about which songs were written. It’s pretty hard to guess a car’s make, model, and year from just a wheel well, but that’s what I’m asking of you. Extra credit for naming the make and year of the car reflected in the dog dish.

I think this is the hardest one. This hood ornament is from this make’s first serious muscle car and appeared, I’m pretty sure, only on the first-year examples, and only when a particular engine was under the hood.


8 responses to “It’s all in the details”

  1. Lone Primate Avatar
    Lone Primate

    Man, they sure built them back then, didn’t they? Mind you, gas was about seven cents a ton in those days… :D

  2. Lone Primate Avatar
    Lone Primate

    Oh yeah, BTW, here’s a question — do the three digit numbers have a significance, like, the size of the engine in cm²?

    1. Jim Avatar

      Dude, yer killin’ me! That’s cubic inches! 426 ci is about 7 L!

      1. Lone Primate Avatar
        Lone Primate

        7L is a bit of an engine, alright. :) You could drive a few cars at the same time with that.

        1. Jim Avatar

          But it is *soooooo* much more fun to drive just that one car with 7L!

  3. Lone Primate Avatar
    Lone Primate

    Whoops, that should be cm³, I think — well, cubic centimetres, in any case. That’s what I get for trying to be concise. :D

  4. Pat Bremer Avatar

    My educated guesses. The ones I didn’t answer, well, I have nary a clue:
    #2: 196……9 Chevrolet Chevelle
    #3: 1967 Chevrolet…Impala/Caprice
    #4: 196…..5? Chevrolet El Camino
    #6: 1968 Chevrolet Caprice/Impala/Bel Air/Biscayne wagon. My folks bought a brand new ’68 Bel Air wagon from the old Bill Kuhn Chevy dealer in Broad Ripple just within a couple of months after I was born. Dad kept that thing…after umpteen engine rebuilds….for about 20 years. It was one of the cars where he taught me how to drive.
    #7: Total stab: 1969 Road Runner

    1. Jim Avatar

      Very good guesses! You’re right on several. I’m sure you clicked through to see the answers by now.

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