As the humble pickup truck’s place in American culture steadily evolved from simple-but-valued tool to modern fashion statement, it gained a huge fan base. While admiration grew and trucks aged, restorers began returning some of them to showroom shape.
Meanwhile, hot-rodders and customizers crafted their own interpretations of the classic pickup.
The years rolled on and certain models emerged as favorites, spawning a vast aftermarket blooming with reproduction and upgrade parts and kits. So widespread is this enthusiasm for classic pickups today that values of the most popular models have swelled substantially during the past decade or so. It’s good news if you already have one, but not so great for anyone on the hunt for a budget-friendly alternative to pony cars or muscle machines.
Consider the 1967-’72 Chevrolet trucks, popular from new and long adored by enthusiasts. Today, they’re nearly as sought after as the muscle cars of the same era, and values have followed suit, making them less accessible to the younger builders trying to get into a vintage project.
More recently, the following generation of Chevy trucks— the 1973-’87 “square-body” era—has been following the same trajectory, with values escalating rapidly.So, where does that leave the aspiring young builder on a budget? Or even the seasoned tinkerer looking to start a new project with a casual cash commitment? Fortunately, GM kept right on building pickups, and its next generation proved to be a winner.
In our latest round of This or That we deliver to you a fresh round of four options to fill yet another bay in your unlimited Dream Garage, this time from the pony car market. But rather than offer up your typical selection of Sixties steeds, it’s time to dig out your favorite cassette tapes and the old stone-washed denim jacket: We’re going back to the Eighties. Let’s examine a few that are available now in the Hemmings Classifieds and hopefully serve as thought-starters for your automotive wish list.
Today we’ll start with one of the more obscure performance pony cars from the decade: this 1985 Mercury Capri ASC/McLaren convertible. Unlike other ASC/McLaren conversions of the era, folks within the Mercury division were more focused on image that outright performance, so the stock 5.0-liter engine remained unaltered while the body and suspension were modified. The ASC/McLaren Capris were built in limited numbers, as explained by Mark McCourt in his detailed report of an ’86 edition that appeared in the February 2005 edition of Hemmings Muscle Machines magazine. As to this one currently available, the seller states:
This car, along with one other Mclaren, was purchased by a Canadian man from Hines Park Lincoln Mercury, Plymouth Mi., and brought to BC., where the purchaser mainly stored the two cars for 25 years. He drove one car occasionally. He eventually moved to Atlanta, Georgia, taking only one of the Mclarens with him, and passed my car on to its second owner, who also mainly stored it for 6 years. He intended to pass it on to his son, however, the son showed no interest in the car and it was sold to me. I have driven it infrequently….mainly to car shows.
The car is as it left the dealership, with absolutely no changes to it other than a battery or two, and possibly tires. It is possibly the purest ASC Mclaren on the market. The accompanying photos show its originality, and that it is a true survivor.
The 1955 Chevrolet is the right sized car for America. Don’t believe me? Then why does America keep buying cars that take up its footprint?
The size is perfect: It’s large enough to seat who you need to, six in a pinch, but small enough that you don’t lose the corners in the supermarket parking lot and start pranging curbs and carts. It’s so right that GM itself has continued to make vehicles of its size throughout the post-war era, and made bank off their backs: the Tri-Five era that beat Ford in the sales race two years out of three, the midsize Chevelle that helped democratize high-performance to a generation, the compact (and increasingly plush) Nova, then again in the late ’70s when the midsize line got downsized. To this day, Chevy still sells a hundred thousand of this size vehicle a year, though not in a format you’d expect.
It was done to help celebrate American Honda’s 60th anniversary.
Mention Honda to the typical Motor1.com reader and you’ll probably get a response relating to the Civic, Pilot, or possibly the NSX. That should be no surprise because these days, Honda is among the most successful automobile manufacturers in North America. In 1959, however, things were a bit different. Back then, the manufacturer was just beginning its American journey, and it didn’t start with cars. It started with motorcycles, and to get them into brand new Honda dealerships opening across Southern California, the company bought a small fleet of Chevrolet pickup trucks. You probably see where this is going.
Chevrolet’s redesigned-for-1965 Corvair debuted to high praise from the automotive press, with Car and Driver’s David E. Davis, Jr. declaring it “the most beautiful car to appear in this country since before World War II.” American consumers agreed, buying 23-percent more ’65 Corvairs than they did the year before. Trouble, in the form of the Ford Mustang, was brewing, and Corvair sales began a slide in 1966 from which they’d never recover. Today, the second-generation Corvairs, model years 1965-’69, represent a relatively affordable point of entry into the classic car hobby. Is the time right to shop for one?
1950 Chevrolet 6 Cylinder with Speed Equipment, alternative Hot Rod power?
Saw this engine for sale on Hemming’s and it occurred to me that this would make a really cost effective alternative to either a hopped up four banger or a Flathead V8.
If it’s to go into Model A or B, then any Ford v Chevy sensibilities would need to be put to one side.
Based on the engine number: HAM196465, this appears to be a 1950 216 ci. It has Offenhauser valve cover, Newhouse intake, 2 Rochester carbs with linkage, Fenton exhaust.
This engine was running in a 1954 Chevy when I bought it many years ago. I bought it to go in an early Chevy pickup, but never used it. I have not run it since I bought it. Does not include engine stand. Would be best if you pick up.
Seems like exactly what one might expect to find at a U.S. department store, right?
A closer look at the truck reveals something off about the illustration. Something deeply troubling. It appears as though some monster has inked a ’70s Ford F-150 face onto what appears otherwise to be a mid-’60s Chevrolet.
In light of the recently announced closures of General Motors passenger car assembly plants at Lordstown, Ohio, and Hamtramck, Michigan we decided to take a look at two assembly plants GM has closed in the past. The new Chevrolet plant at Van Nuys, CA, located 22-miles northwest of Los Angeles and the GM plant in…
Echoing the Big Three automaker’s increased focus on truck/SUV production, this year’s Drive Home will feature a cross-country convoy of classic American pickup trucks—including a 1965 Ford F100, a 1957 Ford Ranchero, a 1955 Chevy 3600, and a 1962 International Travelette—navigating a 2,750-mile meandering route to the Motor City. The “World’s Quickest SUV,” a Hennessey Jeep Grand Cherokee HPE 1200 Trackhawk from Hennessey Performance of Sealy, Texas, will shadow the vintage trucks all the way to Detroit.