Tag: 1960

Was this Pinin Farina-and-Tom Tjaarda-designed 1960 Corvair Coupe Speciale a foreshadowing of the 1965 model? – David Conwill @Hemmings

Was this Pinin Farina-and-Tom Tjaarda-designed 1960 Corvair Coupe Speciale a foreshadowing of the 1965 model? – David Conwill @Hemmings

The Corvair Coupe Speciale by Pininfarina was a 1960 that was restyled repeatedly in the early ’60s. Image courtesy Gooding & Company.

I’m partial to the styling of the Early Model Corvairs (1960-’64), which is widely known to have inspired the designers who penned the 1961 NSU Prinz. Here’s an example of the other way around. Back in 1960, when the Corvair first came out, someone decided they liked the idea of the air-cooled 80-hp, rear-engine, four-speed, swing-axle Chevy, but didn’t like how much it resembled other Chevrolet products and commissioned Italian coachbuilder Pinin Farina (originally named for founder Battista “Pinin” Farina but styled Pininfarina after 1961) to shroud the European-influenced chassis with Euro-style coachwork.

According to Gooding & Company, who are offering that chassis for sale this month in Monterey, that someone was GM Lead Stylist Bill Mitchell, who was seeking a design proposal. What he got back from Italy was the Coupe Speciale you see here, but not in the form you see it. As it was displayed at the Paris and Turin, Italy motor shows and shown on the March 1961 cover of Road & Track, the Coupe Speciale wore a version of this hardtop styling, but with a much more sloped, Porsche- or Citroën-style nose with single round headlamps. It also still wore ’60 Corvair dog-dish hubcaps on steel wheels.

When it first appeared on the show circuit, the Coupe Speciale still had a Corvair windshield and in its second iteration, wore 1961 Monza wheel covers like the ones illustrated here.

After that first show season, prolific automotive designer Tom Tjaarda was called on the reconfigure the coupe as a 2+2. He also redesigned the car’s rear end in a more angular vein, expanded the side windows, and added the car’s now-characteristic ellipse-shaped headlamp housings. In this form, painted dark green and wearing ’61 Monza wheel covers, it was again on the cover of Road & Track, in February 1963. In a final restyling, sometime thereafter, Tjaarda reconfigured the A-pillars to remove the final visual connection to the early Corvair.

Given the lead times required by production and the nebulous dates connected with some of Tjaarda’s remodeling efforts, it’s hard to say how much the Coupe Speciale influenced the styling of the Late Model (1965-’69) Corvair two-door hardtop versus itself being influenced by the direction Chevrolet stylists were already taking, but the resemblance is clear and the efforts of both the great Pininfarina and the legendary Tom Tjaarda make this one special Corvair.

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The 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz was GM’s best when GM was building the best – Terry Shea @Hemmings


There was a period from the mid-1950s through the late 1960s when, it could be argued, General Motors was almost certainly building the best cars in the American market. Not only was the company the largest automaker in the world, it was also the biggest and one of the most influential corporations of any kind. GM had a swagger about it, a swagger that was backed up by an ambitious and comprehensive product line that offered something for every member of the car-buying public.
With a market share that annually approached 50 percent (and at least once crested that mark in the Sixties), GM easily bested second-place Ford and pretty much dwarfed everybody else. To achieve that sort of dominance, GM had to produce something that suited and appealed to virtually every conceivable kind of buyer, from the compact Chevrolet Corvair for budget-minded shoppers, to premium automobiles for those of serious means.
GM’s status and immense revenues at the top of the heap allowed it to invest heavily in product, at a time before badge engineering took over from actual engineering. While the man on the street often thought of Chevy competing with Ford, the folks inside Chevy were often looking to Oldsmobile or Pontiac, possibly even Buick, as competitors, each division with its own powerplants, some with their own transmissions, as well. The quality and ingenuity showed through, too, as an Oldsmobile 98 and Buick Electra might have been built on the same C-body platform, but each model felt and looked different, and had entirely different running gear.

Biggest Auto Show Of All – The Detroit Auto Show at Cobo Hall — The Old Motor


Today’s feature is a series of photos of the 1960 Detroit Auto Show that was held at the new Cobo Hall on November 14, 1960. The facility was built on the shores of the Detroit River in the southwestern portion of downtown Detroit located between Jefferson and Washington Avenues,Michigan Highway M-10 passes under it. The…

via Biggest Auto Show Of All – The Detroit Auto Show at Cobo Hall — The Old Motor

America’s Lowest-priced Pickup: 1960 Ford Falcon Ranchero brochure – Mark J McCourt @Hemmings


Images are from the brochure collection of Hemmings Motor News

America’s Lowest-priced Pickup: 1960 Ford Falcon Ranchero

America’s automotive marketplace was changing drastically in the postwar era, and a fast-growing segment of buyers was purchasing vehicles that placed more emphasis on smaller size and  greater economy than traditionally accepted. Ford Motor Company responded to this trend with its compact Falcon, which was proving a best-seller, and it was that platform upon which the company chose to base its second generation of stylish, light-duty Ranchero.

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America’s Lowest-priced Pickup: 1960 Ford Falcon Ranchero

Related – The 1957 Ford Ranchero Started A Trend

1960 Ford Thunderbird Has Its Original Insides – Shaun McGlaun @FordAuthority


1960 Ford Thunderbird Has Its Original Insides

There were a lot of Ford Thunderbird fans who weren’t happy when the car moved from the sleek two-seater sports car to a larger luxury ride with a back seat. The original first-gen Thunderbird cars are small and sporty and are very popular with collectors. The larger Thunderbirds don’t have the same love from collectors. This 1960 Ford Thunderbird is an excellent example of the year

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