Monday, August 27, 2012

Photos of the Week: Fincher American and Coral Colony

Wow, it's been a HUGE week over on the Palm Springs Automobilist Facebook Page, in fact our best week yet with a whopping 89,418 people reached. We had a lot of fun discussion about our images and this week's top image is above. It's a promotional photo of Fincher American in Miami, Florida and was taken in 1973.

It's obviously very carefully composed, with one of each model carefully chosen so that even the colors are unique, They managed to find the Gremlin in its unique Wild Plum and even all of the salespeople are wearing their blue blazers and red, white and blue ties. All in all a great period photo and you guys responded by choosing it as photo of the week. Hot dogs for everyone at Fincher American!

Second place goes to "Coral Colony", a 1957 Mercury Colony Park in a wonderful two tone of Coral and White with hardtop styling and two toned woodgrain. It's ab early model with rare sigle headlamps and the color is called "Desert Tan." We had some interesting discussions about what deserts have coral pink sand.

Colony Parks are among our favorite cars and we love the '57 Mercury inside and out, so it was a perfect photo for us. Remember to visit our Palm Springs Automobilist Facebook Page for new images and smart conversation daily. See you next week!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Photos of the Week- Hideaway Caprice and Margaret and Packard

Another busy week to recap on the Palm Springs Automobilist Facebook Page. Counts keep going up and new followers from all over the globe- can anyone translate Japanese for me? It's actually been two weeks since we recapped photos, so I'm showing the top image from each week.

This week's top image is "Hideaway Caprice" and it's a factory photo of a 1968 Caprice coupe with optional hideaway headlamps and rally wheels. All in all it makes for a very elegant yet sporty car and it's easy to see why you all liked it so much.

Last week's top photo is very special- 102 year old Margaret Dunning and her 82 year old Packard 840 Roadster. She wasn't the original owner, she's only owned it since 1949, but it the short sixty three years they've been together, she's gotten to know it fairly well.

I actually knew Margaret from the Michigan Region CCCA back in the 70s and 80s, where she taught me how to unstick the shift rods on our 1941 Packard 180 Formal Sedan. She's always been a gracious and helpful lady,

Her big news this year was being invited to Pebble Beach with the roadster, where she took it on the driving tour and got invited up to the reviewing stand for a short interview which I've posted below. Motor on, Margaret and Packard.

Be sure and stop by the Palm Springs Automobilist Facebook Page for daily images and fun!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Buick '67: For the In Crowd

Automobile dealers have passed out a lot of brochures in their 97 year history, but we can honestly say that few automotive brochures in history can come close to the Buick Deluxe 1967 brochure. It was an outstanding offering at the time, and remains a singular effort today.

It wasn't just that the 1967 Buick models were singularly exciting, although they were- it was that such effort went into the piece to make it outstanding and memorable. It was billed as "The Magazine for the In Crowd," and was produced in the style of a magazine, with features and articles.

Here is the table of contents. Instead of being arranged by model, it is organized into articles about each body style. There's an article about convertibles, using renderings done in an interpretation of a turn of the century Art Nouveau style of rendering that was popular in the day.

The next article reviews all of the two door offerings, as seen with six of the major fashion models of the day. The Wildcat is shown with the glamorous Wilhelmina. Wilhelmina Cooper was an icon of the day and the first woman to start her own modeling agency. Willie didn't come cheaply.

The Skylark Sport Coupe is shown with Delores Wettach

The GS 400 is shown with Jean Shrimpton, a supermodel of the era who is credited with popularizing the miniskirt. Here she practices what she preaches.

And the Electra 225 Coupe is paired with none other than Suzy Parker. She was the first supermodel and this was a big coup for Buick. Other fashion models shown in the brochure were Dolores Hawkins and Penny Ashton. It's worth noting that each of the models were identified by name, something that was highly unusual in the day.

Next the wagons are pictured in a setting that resembles a family photo album. Very charmingly done.

Note how the photos have "handwritten" captions (SportWagon shown)

Next article features the four door hardtops. In this section, each of the cars is shown with a sports legend- Buick called it the Sports Hall of Fame. It features Sam Snead, Joe Schmidt, Ted Lindsay, Bob Cousy, Frank Crosetti and Rocky Marciano each alongside a new Buick four door.

Here's Ted Lindsay of the Detroit Red Wings on the ice with a new 1967 Buick LeSabre.

But Buick saved the best for last- they went all out on their giant Interiors section. Hosted by movie Actress Diana Lynn, Buick showed each interior with a Hollywood celebrity behind the wheel.

Diana Lynn steps out of the new Riviera

Robert Taylor shows off the Riviera Custom Interior.

Cornell Wilde is forced to make do with the standard Riviera.

Charleton Heston looks comfortable in the Electra 225 Custom.

Cliff Robertson tries on the brocade seats in the brand new Electra 225 Limited Sedan.

Gardner Mc Kay looks good in the Electra 225 with base trim.

Bill Bixby looks great in the Wildcat Custom Convertible.

Stuart Whitman relaxes in the Wildcat 4 Door Hardtop.

Tony Franciosa smiles behind the wheel of the Le Sabre.

And Fess Parker does his best Daniel Boone in the western themed Sportwagon.

Van Heflin had just made a movie called "Stagecoach", so the Special Deluxe wagon was a good fit.

Bob Cummings smiles in a GS400- who wouldn't?

Lloyd Bridges picked the wrong week to give up Skylark. (Think about it, Airplane! fans)

Robert Lansing chose the Special Deluxe- pretty snazzy.

And David Janssen got the Special Deluxe. I wonder if he felt like a Fugitive.

The a special section showed colors and options, again grouping all the models together.

And finally a section on powertrains including a glamour shot of the 1967 430-4 bbl V8 in 360 HP tune.

And the back cover with the classic slogan:

So there's the revolutionary 1967 brochure- an unforgettable 60 page full color spectacular featuring just about every graphic style of the day in a shockingly different format, featuring the top sports figures, fashion models, and Hollywood Celebrities of the day. A classic from the first day.

One question remains- how did they get all of those celebrities into the interiors?

We'll save that one for next time. It's a great story.

(Cross posted on the Reynolds Buick GMC Blog)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pinky- Sue Earl's handmade Corvair Convertible

 A very special car made an appearance on our Facebook Page recently in the form of this very unique Corvair. At first glance it looks like a first generation Monza convertible, except that it's a 1960 and there weren't convertibles then, nor even Monzas until very late in the year.

Secondly, you will notice that it is pale pink, and not any shade but pearlescent pink with matching leather interior and top boot. Because this is no ordinary Corvair indeed.

These are factory photos of the legendary "Pinky", the one off 1960 Corvair convertible done by Blaine Jenkins of Chevrolet Interior Studio for Sue Earl, the wife of none other than GM Styling founder Harley Earl. And when Mrs. Earl wanted a special car, she got it- and in a grand manner. Blaine recalls submitting drawings, paint, and fabric samples for Mrs. Earl's approval.

The handmade top assembly is power with a rain sensor. Pinky is also equipped with power windows, power seats and even air conditioning. A Pink leather interior and pink carpeted trunk complete the look. Pinky was returned to Styling for periodic updates, and got a '62 nose panel and Corvair wire wheels along the way. A three speed Hydramatic experimental transmission and turbocharged engine were also fitted, as the Pinkster was a bit of a lead sled (did I mention that the windshield frame was cast bronze?)

After the Earls were done with the little car, a GM employee managed to buy it for his daughter who drove it through ten years of winters and killed it. Very sad, as Pinky deserved a more special fate. These are the only color pictures I have seen of Pink- if you have any please let me know.

And don't forget to drop by our Facebook Page for daily images and smart conversation.