Category Archives: Chevrolet

Z28 Pursuit

The glory that was grease

The glory that was grease

Cruising (OK, not really cruising but racing off to dinner) south of the 101 Freeway we encountered an automotive echo of the fairly recent past.  We’re safely guessing it’s an ’84 – ’87 Chevy Camaro Z28.  That means it’s equipped with, at the very least, a 305 cubic inch V8 which was, in a way, de-tuned for the times.  Still if you can find a 4-speed equipped version you’ll be sitting pretty on the collector market in fairly short order.  Unless, of course, you drive it hard and have actual fun with it.

Hindsight seeing

Hindsight seeing

This view confirms it’s a for-real Z28 high performance model; note that dual exhaust action. Lookin’ mighty butch, n’est-ce pas?

1st gen sensation

1st gen sensation

We got pretty much the same “at speed” kind of shot when we captured this first generation (’68 – ’69?) Camaro a while back. Is that a pack of Luckies rolled up in your sleeve?

Bumper car

Bumper car

How about this ’73 Type LT?  That bumper could double as a battering ram but overall we find the whole package kind of ersatz Ferrari funky.  Yeah, we can dig it.

Scary stuff!

Scary stuff!

This flat black ’92 RS has a super sinister affect so it could be driven by a bad guy or a bad good guy (Vin Diesel?) either ironically or in refreshing bad taste.  This is where “tough” is spell “tuff”.

Shapely Chev

Shapely Chev

What about the Ferrari-esque silhouette of this ’72 Camaro?  This particular car is, perhaps, a bit tired in the shine department but the shape is as vital today as it was over 40 years ago.

'60 lookin' so very fine

’60 lookin’ so very fine

This ’69 coupe reflects the resurgence of AC/DC insofar as “Black Is Back” endures.  The dog dish hubcaps give this example an outlaw gloss.  Practice this line: “Which one of you is man enough to take me on?”

Do the exhaust tips and vinyl roof make it go faster?

Do the exhaust tips and vinyl roof make it go faster?

FeralCars Field Scout Matthew Reader documented this ’76 Type LT in the wild.  We’ve never been all partial to vinyl roofs, especially the swoopy kind, and can do without those cheesy wheels BUT, damn, it’s a fall harvest themed car if ever there was one.

When the Camaro was first introduced Chevy rented a volcano and let it rip.  The spawn of all this magma is a SS350 performance model.   That announcer could follow you around telling everybody how “with it” you really are.  That’s a great value.

We kind of like this ’83 Z28 so  why not add it to your personal fleet?  If you do succeed in snagging it you might consider changing your name to Vinny. Entirely up to you.

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page

Postwarriors: “the greatest generation” revisited

After having been so rudely interrupted by Pearl Harbor, domestic auto production resumed in 1946. GM, Ford, Chrysler and the independents — Packard, Studebaker, Nash, Hudson — had spent the war years building tanks, planes and whatever was needed to ensure victory over the Axis powers. This United Auto Workers song gives an encapsulated history of the union’s efforts to organize Ford Motor and to rally behind the war effort.  It really speaks volumes about that extraordinary time.

Delightfullly delovely

Delightfullly delovely and, yes, that’s an AMC Hornet aft of its stern

Initial postwar cars were, essentially, carry overs from the 1942 model year as was this ’47 or ’48 DeSoto sedan we found the other day  mouldering away and dragging its tail a bit.  It’s impressive in terms of sheer mass and presence — the roof being more than 5′ 6″ above the road) and that front grill is straight out of the deco age.

Bulbosity

Bulbosity sans filler cap

We think it just hangs around the eastern fringe of Hollywood hoping to be cast in a remake of a  film noir of the era like Dead Reckoning starring George Clooney in the Bogart role and Scarlett Johansson in the part Lizabeth Scott (born Emma Matzo — no kidding!)  created.  Hard core hip-hopper culture devotees should check on this “grill.” Surely, it will soon be the envy of L’il Wayne.

Thrill grill

Thrill grill

DeSoto was an object of middle class aspirations to move up a notch from lower class Dodge but stopping short of the old money subtext underpinning the upmarket Chrysler.  The back end on this one seems to have given way though it may have been intentionally lowered. Tough guys know that a few stiffs in the trunk tend to make a car ride on the low side and draw suspicion which some might think a “dead giveaway.”

Sophie Tucker, your Uber is here.

“Sophie Tucker, your Uber car has arrived.”

In an earlier post we covered this ’49 Packard Custom 8, photographed by Feral Cars Field Scout Davin Seay.  It, too, seems to have been designed by adherents of the  pontoon school of styling back in New Deal days.  Packard was a car for patricians, Cadillac being for the nouveau riche as well as for prosperous, yet showy, ethnic types. While a DeSoto could be had for far less than a Packard, Chevrolet was very much an entry level play.

Heavy Chevy

Heavy Chevy

We’re just nuts about the patina on this, apparently, untouched mid-line ’48 Chevrolet Fleetmaster sedan. It’s noteworthy that all the trim pieces, both bright and body-colored, are right where they should be and all are in undamaged, original condition.  We do think those whitewalls and the chrome wheel trim rings are un peu de trop for a car with such unassuming working class roots.  Then, again, maybe they’re a reflection of hopes for upward mobility during that ever so optimistic post war era.

Medicaremobile

Qualifies for Medicare

The origins of the brand names of these three cars bear addressing.  Packard, the oldest marque here, was founded in Warren, Ohio in 1899 by brothers  James Ward Packard and William Doud Packard.  Chevrolet came next, founded next in 1911. The car was initially a partnership between former Fiat and Buick race car driver Louis Chevrolet (b.1878 in the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel) and GM founder Billy Durant, then on the outs with the company, to build a low priced Ford competitor.

DeSoto is, strictly, the product of marketing.  The name on Chrysler’s one-step-down (from Chrysler, itself) and two-steps-up (from Plymouth and Dodge) marque was derived from Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. This was an obvious attempt to mimic Cadillac, named in 1902 after the French explorer who 200 years earlier, founded Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit.  While he’s credited for being the first Westerner to see the Mississippi River back in 1541, de Soto’s resume also includes the destruction of the Inca civilization, introducing plagues of fatal diseases to the New World, not to mention the wholesale massacre of indigenous people.  And you thought Jeep’s Cherokee is an example of corporate insensitivity!

Hernando's ride away

Hernando’s rideaway

Badging on our ’48 DeSoto is a mid-century vamp on Hernanado de Soto’s family coat of arms.  That’s a profile of the fun-loving conquistador, himself, above a stylized representation of his crest.  Class! See?

DeSoto, Packard, Chevrolet and lots of other makes are chronicled in this Noire Car video guide with a very ‘cool school’ vibe.

We sincerely urge you to purchase this extended wheelbase 1946 DeSoto Custom that has only 76,000 miles.  You’ll make the $19K asking price back in a few weeks by renting out this 7-passenger party van of its day for weddings, bar mitzvahs and bank robberies.

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com.  Include your name, location of the car and some thoughts about the vehicle and we’ll look into getting it posted

 

 

Keha’s Plymouth Horizon never sets

The Blue Horizon never ends

The Blue Horizon never ends

We were delighted and amazed to meet lovely Keha McIlwaine the other day as she lounged behind the wheel of her 1986 Plymouth Horizon.  She told us she had driven the car out to California from New York a few months back and encountered no difficulties despite the fact that the odometer is closing in on 150,000 miles.  We especially like the duct tape around the parking light.  This kind of ingenuity worked for Apollo 13, so it would seem  a logical solution for a terrestrial vehicle with certain needs.

Plymouth pride will out

Plymouth pride will out (NOTE: ultra feral ’68 Chevy Caprice just ahead)

Plymouth Horizon and corporate twin Dodge Omni were introduced in 1978 and the same basic car stayed in production for 12 years.  They were fielded by Chrysler to compete with Volkswagen’s Rabbit and, like that bunny, were powered by a transverse mounted 4-cylinder motor via front wheel drive. Most mass-produced cars these days are configured this way but the “Omnirizon” twins were the first American cars of this kind and were jointly named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year in 1978.   We salute Keha who, paradoxically, pronounces her name like a certain Korean car spelled with three letters.

Hop-a-long VW

Hop-a-long VW

Volkswagen Rabbits of this general vintage are much more plentiful than their Plymouth and Dodge counterparts so we offer two such here to underscore the point.  Both of these are diesel-powered which may provide a clue to their preternatural longevity.

Oil-burning sweaty Rabbit

Oil-burning sweaty Rabbit

Diesel-powered VW = Sooty Rabbit

Diesel-powered VW = Sooty Rabbit

For quite a few model years, the Horizon co-existed with its ultimate replacement, Plymouth Sundance.  We’re not sure we’d exhibit the kind of loyalty Keha has for her Horizon if we had to tango with something like this over the long haul.

Unbutch: Plymouth's Sundance

Unbutch

Dappled Sundance

Dappled Sundance

Chrysler touted Horizon with lots of red, white and blue advertising such as this “The Pride Is Back” commercial that has a distinct Springsteenian undertone. The truth is that Simca, its French subsidiary, later offloaded to Peugeot, did the initial development work on this car.  Let’s keep that notre petit secret, d’accord?

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com.  Include your name, location of the car and some thoughts about the vehicle and we’ll look into getting it posted

Post literate potpourri

NatLampCo car but certainly  NOT the "Family Truckster"

NatLampCo Vacation car but certainly NOT the “Family Truckster”

Based in Southern California as we are, we are sometimes overwhelmed, rendered fahrklempt, if you will, by the spectrum of feral finds accrued within the space of one day.  As an experiment in feral foraging, we collected some examples stalked within the last 24 hours.  No big narrative thread this time, just 7 unrelated — OK two are Italian and red — vehicles seen during a one-day period within the confines of a 5 square mile area.  Ain’t life grand?

Ford Econoline pressed into hipster servitude

Ford Econoline pressed into hipster servitude

Alfa Duetto makes the retail scene

Alfa Duetto makes the retail scene

Corolla FX: feral freeway flyer

Corolla FX: feral freeway flyer

Tempo topper

Topaz – costume jewelry from Mercury

El Camino sentenced to hard labor

El Camino sentenced to hard labor

Topless MBZ "Pagoda" motors on

Topless MBZ “Pagoda” motors on

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.

 

 

Land Cruiser: Toyota’s big, bad bruiser

Such a face!

Such a face!  Does this look like the top half of a ’61 Rambler set down on a parade float to you? Thought so!

Feral Cars fan and Field Scout Kendell Shaffer found this immaculate ’79 Toyota Land Cruiser Series 55 and couldn’t resist sharing.  It’s a 4 wheel drive, narrow gauge proto-SUV powered by a  reverse engineered facsimile of Chevy’s “Stove Bolt 6” that has an international cult following.

Speaking of International, check out this Travelall-esque look.  Roll down tailgate window, too.

Speaking of International, check out this Travelall-esque look. Roll down tailgate window, too.

We have some far-flug Feral Cars Field Scouts but never one checking in from Peru.  That’s where FCFS Andrew Keeler found this ’64 Land Cruiser FJ40 which he was told was assembled there.  We think the wooden bumper was an aftermarket-sourced addition.  Are you listening SEMA?

Machu Picchu choo-choo

Machu Picchu choo-choo

The 50 year old Andean runabout was encountered on the way to most mystical Machu Picchu and here’s the guy who keeps this half century old motorized llama on the Inca Trail.

Alpaca powered!

Alpaca powered!

The thing about Toyota Land Cruisers is that they seem to hang in for the long run — a value proposition? Perhaps a value proposition if frill-free utility is a priority for you. Prices for non-trashed examples have been trending upwards so there’s investment potential to consider, as well.   How about a later Series 60 Land Cruiser like this ’85 with all ‘mod cons’ including air conditioning and doors and windows and brakes and the like?  The buy-in price is only going to go rise so don’t procrastinate.

TLC of the 80's

TLC of the Eight-Tees

Upright everything's all right, outtasite

Upright everything’s all right, outtasite

We think this flame red example would be just the thing for today’s hipster fire chief.  Hey, you’d certainly be noticed on your way to extinguish the smoldering embers of an industrial juicer with a short circuit.

Where's the fire?

Where’s the fire?

We love this early ’60s commercial where the full line of Land Cruisers models are put through their paces. It’s downright enthusiastic, without a trace of irony.  That red FJ40 going 85 on the freeway is scary!

Our friends at Bringatrailer are featuring a ’73 Series 55 with a Chevy 350 V8 transplanted and a 4-speed manual transmission.  $23,900 gets it.

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.