The heyday of Pontiac neatly coincides with the 1960-1967 period most celebrated here at Auto Universum. Their glory days began with the formation of a young new team of executives who were granted control of the division in the late fifties.
In the Spring of 1969, as Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In was dominating the pop charts, Chrysler began officially offering a trio of bright, saturated High Impact Colors. Although designed for their performance lineup of Barracudas, Chargers, Coronets, GTXs and Road Runners, the vivid colours were actually available across the board on all Chryslers, Dodges and Plymouths.
The origin of High Impact Colors goes back to 1968 and a Los Angeles Chrysler-Plymouth Regional Sales Manager by the name of Jock Fearer.
A Flathead engine, with its valves ensconced in the block, was still a competitive design in the low-compression, low-speed engines of the prewar era. That changed and changed quickly with higher-octane fuels allowing for higher compression ratios, and improved metallurgy and shorter-stroke engine designs enabling considerably higher crankshaft speeds.
The large-volume combustion chambers and upside-down valve placement required in a flathead engine conspired to limit the compression ratio to around 8.4:1, after which power and fuel efficiency both decreased.
First generation Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray.
In the first chapter of Timeless vs Of Its Time, we examined two American luxury cars, the 1961 Cadillac and Continental. Now we look at two sporting cars from the 1960s, The Corvette Sting Ray and the Porsche 911. The Sting Ray went on sale in the autumn of 1962, while the new Porsche made its public debut at the Frankfurt International Motor Show just one year later. Continue reading →
1962 Mercedes-Benz 220 SE Coupé in Dark Maroon over Cream.
Two-tone automotive paint dates back to what is generally considered to be the first production car, the 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen. The second one built was finished in green with a bright red fully-exposed engine mounted over the rear axle. Continue reading →
The term Boxtop is generally applied to 1960s Ford products and describes a roof with broad slab-sided, roughly parallelogram-shaped C-pillars and a rather upright decidedly non-fastback rear window. The ideal Boxtop requires clear visual delineation between the roof and body at both the top of the A-pillars and base of the C-pillars and rear window. Continue reading →
1961 Pontiac Catalina with the original 8-Lug wheel; introduced mid-1960.
American cars of the 1960s were certainly not renowned for their braking prowess. Except for a handful of exceptions, disc brakes were not widely available until 1967 and the drum brakes provided were generally small in size and nowhere near up to the weight and power of the cars to which they were fitted. Continue reading →
Essayist and art critic Clement Greenberg. Arnold Newman photo, 1972.
… Datedness is not a valid aesthetic judgment. It doesn’t say whether art is good or bad. Dated art can be as good as up-to-date art. – Clement Greenberg
Over the last several years, the term “dated” has been tossed around ad nauseam by hacks, buffoons, and others who wish to appear hip and knowledgeable, but in reality have trouble discerning their backsides from deep depressions in the earth. Continue reading →
1964 Buick Riviera with optional 425 (7.0 litre) twin-carb Super Wildcat Nailhead V8 in aqua with black air cleaner accented in red. “465” was the torque output in ft/lbs.
Recently, Corvette fans have been excited by the appearance of red-painted valve covers on the new C8 Sting Ray; the first dash of colour in the Corvette engine compartment since the red plastic beauty covers of the 2013 C6 Z06. Unfortunately, GM chose a rather Ferrari-esque red rather than the traditional red-orange used on Chevrolet V8s since 1955 including such renowned versions as the fuel-injected 327, the 409, 396 and 427. Continue reading →
“My goodness, Mr. Bigelow, you are inspired!” Playboy magazine; May, 1962.
Once upon a time, there were few things more romantic and alluring than the moon, that mysterious glowing orb seemingly just out of reach and occasionally rumored to contain copious amounts of fromage vert. Continue reading →
This year’s look back at 1969 brings to a close Auto Universum’s ten year celebration of the 50thanniversary of the 1960s; the final year of an exciting, glamorous, stylish and ultimately tumultuous decade. An era that epitomized technological advancement, elegance and savoir-faire; tragically ending with the violence and mayhem of the Manson murders and the Altamont Free Concert. Continue reading →
Capturing a moment of 1966 America. Snapshot of Brian Wilson alongside his Sunfire Yellow ’66 Sting Ray with a ’66 Mustang and ’66 Lincoln Continental in the background. Just a few months after this photo was taken Brian’s Good Vibrations would be released and begin rising to the top of the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the Beach Boys’ third number one hit and their first million-selling single.