Monthly Archives: October 2013

Scary stuff: spooky Fairlanes, haunted Falcon

Spectral Fairlane

Spectral Fairlane

Rolls Royce has models called Ghost and Wraith but the only thing scary about those is the price.  This ’64 Ford Fairlane 500, on the other hand, seems haunted on the eve of its 49th Halloween.

Another Fairlane 500, of the very same vintage, submitted by FeralCars’ field scout extraordinaire Paul Diamon,  does double duty as a holiday lawn ornament.

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You want really scary, you want really creepy?  We suggest you cast an evil eye on this product of the Ford family. It’s a ’62 Falcon wagon that gives us the shivers.

Freaky Falcon

Freaky Falcon

We found a video tour of a more recent Crown Victoria done up “Donk style” as a tribute to Casper the Friendly Ghost.  We don’t make this stuff up; check it out for yourself right here.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

..and tell ’em Groucho sent you

Groucho Marx hosted “You Bet Your Life” in the 1950s, a quiz show that was his excuse to banter with contestants, offering comic quips, lots of double-entendres and featuring  a duck puppet, a carachiture of Groucho, that descended from the rafters with a $100 prize if the day’s secret word was uttered.  DeSoto was the show’s sponsor, a fact highlighted by the catchy “Groucho Sent Me” jingle that was animated in 1956.

We found a sad ’56, mouldering in an industrial park, the other day that would surely have caused Groucho to drop his cigar..

 

"Needs work"

“Needs work”

..while another soldiers on through the streets of Havana, despite some apparent emissions “issues.”

Groucho sent me to Havana?

Groucho sent me to Havana?

Lastly, we offer a decidedly non-feral Grouchomobile, a top of the line Fireflite, seen at a car show just to illustrate the potential of this flagship of “The Forward Look” of legendary designer Virgil Exner.

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While Chrysler pulled the plug on DeSoto just five years later, ’56 was something of a high water mark. It was the 11th best selling nameplate in the country and that success was celebrated by pacing that year’s Indianapolis 500. Thanks to Michael Rose Productions for this great footage; the DeSoto pace car appears within the first 20 seconds

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.

Beautiful Beemer left to fester

Funky 3.0 CS left to fend for itself

Funky 3.0 CS left to fend for itself

It’s not often that a high end, limited production vintage coupe is left to deal with the elements on an inner city street but that seems to be the case with this ’74 BMW 3.0 CS.  The car, first introduced in ’71, was BMW’s answer to Mercedes-Benz’s eternally successful SL.  BMW pulled out all stops with slick coupe styling and smooth power from  a 3 liter inline six. The grand touring-style body was coach built by Karmann.  This example sports federally-mandated 5mph bumpers so please note that it seems to have taken a hit on the left side at 6 or more mph.  The eye is then drawn to a scary patina of corrosion along the lower front fender and rocker panel.

Let’s continue to the hind quarters.  Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 7.36.47 PM

The mottled trunk lid and arcane mobile phone antenna base are very, ahem, “authentic” but the wheels and glass and taillights are really quite nice.  Seriously, despite the the fact that this example is a bit — how shall we call it? — yes, distressed, it’s still a very handsome car. One in excellent condition can go for $40, $50, even $60,000 or more but, alas, this one is looking like a parts donor candidate in the near future.  We don’t care.  As the New York Dolls front man David Johansen sang when he went solo a few years after this Beemer was built, we find it “Funky But Chic.”

We found one on Ebay with, incredibly, only  9,168 miles.  Click here and buy it now (for a measly $64,000).

Going, going, gone the way of the dodo and the Daihatsu?

Our friends at Hagerty Insurance have an ongoing web series called “Threatened, Endangered, Extinct”  wherein certain vehicles, once quite commonplace, are singled out for their rarity or the non-existence of examples found other than on scrap heaps.  It’s right up our alley here at FeralCars.com.  We’re in the business of celebrating the uniquely ordinary — an oxymoron, perhaps, on par with “irregular pattern” and “mournful optimist,” so this is of consummate interest. We offer several candidates for one or the other of those categories. When was the last time you saw a ’77 Chrysler LeBaron coupe?

Thought so!

Thought so!

What about an ’87 Dodge Colt Vista?  A Mitsubishi-built cross between a mini van and a station wagon. Perhaps utilitarian but definitely proportionally challenged and rarely, if ever, seen these days.

Horse of a different color

Goofy looking horse of a different color

Check out Hagerty’s latest (video) episode which covers the mid-70s Mercury Grand Marquis (Threatened), Isuzu Impulse (Endangered) and Fiat Strada (Extinct). What are your candidates for future consideration?

Here’s a list of previous T,E,E nominees: 1984 Plymouth Voyager/Dodge Caravan, 1978 – 80 Oldmobile Starfire Firenza, 1986 – 87 Renault GTA (heck, just about all Renaults belong on the list), 1974 Olds Toronado, 1979 – 80 Plymouth Fire Arrow, 1975 – 1981 VW Scirocco, 1971 – 74 Mazda RX-2, 1981 – 85 Chevy Citation X-11, 1963 – 66 Studebaker Wagonaire, 1979 – 81 Toyota Supra, 1974 – 81 VW Dasher, 1985 – 85 Chrysler Laser XE, 1983 – 86 Chrysler Executive (K car-based!) Executive Limo, 1971 Plymouth Cricket, 1988 – 89 Toyota Celica All-Trac Turbo, 1980 Dodge St. Regis, 1984-85 Ford EXP Turbo, 1985 – 87 Renault Alliance Convertible, 1987 – 91 Sterling 825/827 — extra credit if you saw one of these in ’92!

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.

“Lincoln, Lincoln, Bo Bincoln, Banana Fanna Fo Fincoln Fee Fy Mo, LINCOLN!”

Popeye Doyle has his eye on you.

Popeye Doyle has his eye on you.

We’ve long referred to the sophisticated and sinister Continental Mark III as the “French Connection Lincoln,” a reflection of its role in the William Friedkin film as Marseille Mafia mogul Fernando Rey’s cush ride on the mean streets of New York.  Later, he ships it back to the heroin smuggling capital of Western Europe, a kind of mechanical ‘mule.’   A Mark III cruising Manhattan with French plates is, let’s face it, a cool move even if no illegal substances are involved.  This revisit of Edsel Ford’s vision of personal, sporting luxury was brought forth when, in 1965, fresh from his triumphant launch of the Mustang, Ford capo Lee Iacocca reportedly issued an edict along the lines of “put a Rolls Royce grille on a Thunderbird and we’ll sell it as a Lincoln.”

His highest common denominator approach brought profits quickly as the ’69 – ’71 generation of Continental was a significant sales success.  The first model year saw production come within a mere 500 units of Cadillac’s more entrenched Eldorado.  This splendid, very much in service, “III” wears jaunty blue and white livery and sports the de rigueur vinyl roof. We’ve seen at least one that left the factory without such and the roof line, unadorned, makes the design all the more intimidating.

Tales of the tires or, as Swamp Dogg so poetically put it, "Pucker up while I'm backin' up."

Tales of the tires or, as Swamp Dogg so poetically put it, “Pucker up while I’m backin’ up.”

 

Couldn’t help notice that a latter day pretender to the Mark III’s heritage is parked directly behind this Nixon era, pre-Watergate, stunner.  It’s  a Mark VII built in the same Wixom, Michigan plant as its forebear but quite subdued and only minimally flamboyant.  Yes, they dulled it down in the 80’s and early 90’s but there is still that faux tire hump, a hold over from the glory years.  

Fernando Rey piloting his “Connie” near the Tri-Boro Bridge:

License plate research indicates French baddie's "voiture américaine de grande luxe" registered in Bourges.

License plate research indicates French baddie’s “voiture américaine de grande luxe” was registered in Bourges.

We found a ’71 Mark III on Ebay in a color that the official designation, “Light Goldenrod Yellow,” doesn’t begin to describe.  It’s a MUST SEE  The “Buy It Now” price of $19,900 seems fair in light of the paltry 32,000 (original?) miles. Get your bid in now and use this beauty at home and abroad!

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.