A Good Year: Do You Conform With These Rules?

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

Like fine wines and their ‘good years’, a car’s desirability can also be signified by its year of manufacture. Just as a season of perfect weather conditions grace the land, producing palate-tantalising grape nectar, car designers manage to merge the combination of curves, lines and technological advancements to create an automotive ‘good’ year.

One of the finest years has to be 1957, a year Chevrolet nailed the Bel Air pictured above. Out of all the automotive TV programs I watch, “57” comes up the most. It’s not surprising, either; just look at the combination of curves and lines and the way it’s a fairly compact car but features those glorious fins.

This article features American cars because, although Euro and Japanese cars have their ‘good’ modes, they are defined more by their chassis number, spec and ‘facelift’ improvements.

1962 Ford Thunderbird

1962 Ford Thunderbird

Take the Ford Thunderbird above, for example, one of my favourite looking cars. Despite it being in my top 5 garage, I could only have one from 1961-63 because of those rear afterburner tail lights. American cars seemed to change their looks considerably over a short period of time, whereas the rest of the world hang on to their chassis number longer and work on technology and subtle design improvements.

1963 Corvette

1963 Corvette

Another extremely desirable car is the 1963 Corvette Stingray for the simple reason ’63 was the only year Chevrolet produced the rear split-screen.

1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda

1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda

In 1970, after Plymouth had a redesign on their Barracuda, shifting it away from resembling their Valiant design, they built a limited number Hemi ‘Cudas, a car now highly sought after because of its place and heritage in the 1970s muscle car story.

Last but not least… 1987… the Buick GNX. How could Gargling Gas not feature its all time favourite car? After Buick transformed their rather bland Regal into a turbocharged monster in 1984, calling it the Grand National, just three years on saw a farewell with their GNX, the X standing for ‘experimental’. This X meant 275-hp, a massively understated figure that left the GNX a must for the serious collector.

1987 Buick GNX

1987 Buick GNX

Of course, there are many more cars I could list, so forgive me for not listing them, but I’d be getting away from the point of my article:

So with my long-winded explanation that cars have their good years and all this talk of desirable models, do you conform to prescribed? Do you go along with these ‘good’ years, or do you like the ‘undesirables’, the ‘ugly ducklings’ you find alluring, looks that appeal to you simply because they tick all your personal boxes?

 

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What Car Would You Choose To Impress A Date?

I like to ignore all that commercialisation that is Valentine’s Day by turning the feelings in my heart onto cars. It’s hard to ignore the fact it’s the day of love, what with all the stores raping the public by selling roses cards and chocolates. In fact, as I stood in line at the supermarket buying lunch, I noticed all the men – roses, chocolates and wine in hand -all looking a little peeved.

Anyway, after I got home I quickly knocked this out for Motor Ward whilst I devoured lunch.

Valentine’s Day: Sexy And Romantic Carriages

Car Personalities Caught On Film: Patrick Joust

If you follow my blog or have stumbled across my posts you’ll know I truly believe in cars possessing a presence/character/personality/aura/soul. Car guys understand what I mean, whilst the “It gets you from A-B clan” just don’t, i.e. my wife.

For those of you that do understand, you’re going to witness some eye candy and stunning photography. And for those of you who don’t get it, I’m hoping these photographs will make you look deeper into how a car can connect with people, can give of certain vibes, even whilst static.

Let me introduce you the genius that is Patrick Joust. He is an American self-taught photographer from Baltimore. The collection of photographs that grabbed my attention were from his book, The Old Cars. Whilst I’ll give you a taster of his work and how they capture a car’s presence, I really suggest buying a copy – they look even better on paper.