Old Cars

A random car show

I almost didn’t share these photos. I know you may not love cars as much as I do, and I’ve posted so many car pics lately. But these photos turned out so well, with candylike colors and piercing clarity, that I couldn’t resist.

On our way home from Auburn last month, we followed a long old alignment of the Lincoln Highway west from Ligonier. We came upon a little local car show and stopped to look, because anything and everything shows up to these small-town gatherings.

This 1966 Dodge Charger probably gets little road time, but looks fabulous in mauve.

1966 Dodge Charger

This car gleamed from a thorough and careful restoration.

1966 Dodge Charger

The Charger’s interior oozed 1960s cool. I would have loved to just sit in it for a minute and soak it in.

1966 Dodge Charger

The interior coolness continues in the back. The restoration photo montage lying on the floor shows a car that started life in red. But mauve was a factory Dodge color in 1966.

1966 Dodge Charger

You seldom see mid-sized 1960s Pontiacs in anything close to original condition anymore — many, many of them got converted to faux GTOs.

1968 Pontiac LeMans

This wonderfully restored 1968 LeMans did not suffer that fate. But it is no performance slouch, either, as it packs a 400 cubic inch engine.

1968 Pontiac LeMans

The 1968-72 Chevy trucks appeal to me as the best looking trucks of all time. Chevy built this C-10 in 1970.

1970 Chevrolet C-10

A comfortable truck cabin in its time, this space looks pretty austere compared to today’s truck interiors.

1970 Chevrolet C-10

I love purple, but a little goes a long way. The owner of this 1971 Plymouth Valiant Scamp clearly disagrees. Plymouth offered this purple, which they called In Violet, on some of their cars for a couple groovy early-70s years.

1971 Plymouth Valiant Scamp

The imperfect interior means that this car gets driven. I respect that.

1971 Plymouth Valiant Scamp

I respected this 1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme sedan even more because it is original and unrestored.

1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

Every sign in the cabin, including the big child seat strapped into the back, says that the owner drove this car to the show. Props.

1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

Those blingy aftermarket wheels have got to go, though.

1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

Also original and unrestored, this 1973 Mercury Cougar XR7 kept period-correct wheels and a goldtastic color scheme. This says 1970s as much as the purple Plymouth. Margaret’s attention was rivited to the neighboring Ford F-100, showing her better taste.

1973 Mercury Cougar XR7

But I hadn’t seen a cat like this in original condition in probably 30 years, and couldn’t help but look.

1973 Mercury Cougar XR7

This cool tunneled backlight differentiated the Cougar from the Mustang, on which it was based and which it heavily resembled.

1973 Mercury Cougar XR7

Enough! No more cars! At least until next month, when I trot out my annual Carspotting post.

CarspottingĀ rounds up the old cars I found on the road each year. See last year’s here.


16 thoughts on “A random car show

  1. Lone Primate says:

    Those cars really make me feel old. My dad’s first car was a ’67 Cutlass, bought a year to the day before I was born.

    Cars used to be huge! I remember thinking that was a feature of my youth and ended with the OPEC crisis… but no, been screening movies from the 90s lately and hey, there were still a lot of MASSIVE 80s models rolling around. Funny I don’t remember it that way…

    I look at the Cougar and I can’t help thinking, that’s not a sporty car. It’s just too big and ungainly. I suppose it made sense at the time but to look at it now I’d be more inclined to pull a trailer to the campgrounds with it than squeal away from a jewelry heist. :)

    • Wow, cool, you got to experience a ’67 Cutlass in childhood! My dad had a ’66 Ford Galaxie when I was born and he brought me home from the hospital in it.

      The Cougar had morphed into a personal-luxury car by ’73 and so it was more of a boulevard cruiser. And yeah, plenty of cars were still big in the 80s. The US automakers had downsized their full-sized cars in the late ’70s, but they were still pretty big compared to what we consider a family car today.

      • Lone Primate says:

        Yeah, it was banana yellow. The second was orange with a big racing stripe with pin stripes up the middle… to me, that’s still the archetype of “car”. My dad had five Cutlasses over the years, and I inherited the last… nice green Supreme. He alternated between Cutlasses and Accords… he seems to have become an SUV man in his retirement years. Never one for small cars, I guess, except for a Civic in the late 70s.

        People traded in cars a lot earlier back then… they didn’t last. It’s all the more astonishing to see these photos. Meanwhile a friend of mine just finally ditched a Civic hatchback he bought in 1998!

        • Yeah, today’s cars run for a lot longer. My ’03 Toyota has 165,000 miles (265,500 km) on it, and the only thing to have gone wrong with it that isn’t considered a wear item is the starter, back in August. If the thing weren’t so cosmetically challenged I’d buy a beater for my son and keep driving the Matrix every day. (I have a slightly newer Ford as my daily driver; I kept the Matrix for my son, who gets his license on Saturday).

  2. Steve Miller says:

    Don’t show Margaret the black Ford F-150 of similar vintage that’s for sale west of Zionsville on Whitestown Parkway! (Do you need the address? :) )

    • Lone Primate says:

      Now I’m curious. At what exact point does “old car I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot dollar bill” cross over to “vintage ride we could sell and pay off our mortgage”? Someone must have done the math on exactly where the curve inverts… :)

      • Steve Miller says:

        After you’ve spent more than your mortgage balance on restoring the vehicle… unless it’s a Mopar. Then you can spend any crazy amount and still find someone willing to buy it for an even crazier amount.

  3. Carole Grey says:

    I never seem to tire of looking at your car photos. And, I’m with Margaret – I want that little Ford truck!!

    • I’m glad these photos don’t tire you, because I’ve surely shown a lot of them lately! I just finished my annual Carspotting post, and it’s scheduled to post around Christmas.

  4. I’m glad you decided to share those pictures! I always seem to have other things to do, and never make it to car shows. One day though … Probably, when the kids are a bit older :)

  5. American-made metal. Big block V-8s. Bench seats. Turbo-Hydramatic transmissions. AM in-dash radios. Thanks for the trip back. Scary thing is when you are old enough to remember when these cars were new! :-)

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.