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Posts By: Paul Niedermeyer
This car is a jaw-dropper, a true classic, and a lucky find that rivals the CC logomobile, but it’s misnamed. By all rights, it should be the Edsel American. It was Edsel Ford’s fine taste and encouragement that made the original version of this trend-setting car happen, and in the process created a car that set the template that every American personal luxury coupe/convertible has been trying to measure up to ever since. An aggressive face on a very long hood, a close-coupled body, a short rear deck, and dripping with the aura of exclusivity and sex: a timeless formula. All too few of the endless imitators got the ingredients right, or even close, as our recent Cougar CC so painfully showed. But that didn’t stopped them from trying, just like I never stopped looking for this Continental after I first saw it almost two years ago. It was well worth the effort. (Read More…)
Sorry; I was so engrossed in writing Tuesday’s CC that the time got totally away from. Well, it is that kind of car. I also have to apologize for turning the Marauder X-100’s vent spear ninety degrees. I assumed that because it was Mercury Week, the clue would be too easy as is. It threw you, too much so. I will try to avoid doing that again, including tonight’s bedtime clue. Good night and good luck.
The Cougar first arrived in 1967 as something unique and distinct: a handsome, lithe sporty coupe with a distinct hint of luxury and a dash of continental flavor. Although the 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix is often credited with creating the mid-size/mid-price personal-luxury coupe coup, the first Cougar certainly predicted the trend.
What wasn’t so predictable is how quickly the Cougar would slather on the pounds (tons?), and morph into just another bland also-ran competitor in that rapidly crowding field. And if that weren’t bad enough, the once exclusive Cougar name was sullied by four door sedans and even a station wagon. The seventies were not kind to the Cougar, and (surprise) we’re not going to be very kind to it. (Read More…)
Memorable (def): 1. worth remembering 2. easily remembered
Maurauder (def): one who raids for booty
In yesterday’s Cougar CC, I claimed there were only three Mercuries truly worth remembering. The Marauder X-100 wasn’t on the list, and many of you protested. Fortunately, there are two definitions for the word, and the Marauder is certainly easily remembered; more like impossible to forget. And what exactly is it memorable for? Its booty. So how could we possibly not honor that? (Read More…)
As is often the case, owners of the Clued CC have a substantial advantage. But when the very piece of sheet metal is sitting in the next room for handy reference, it’s almost cheating. Our last winner majo8 is restoring a ’67 XR7, so he’s highly worthy even if he was clued in. And there were a particularly amusing and wide range of guesses. Keep up the good work!
I almost forgot; Mercury is dead. Is amnesia a symptom of Mercury poisoning? Was it not just about the most forgettable brand ever? Ask yourself this: how many Mercuries (not counting the German Ford Capri) over its seventy year lifespan were truly memorable? And by memorable, I don’t mean like the time the toilet backed up so bad the shit floated out the bathroom door. And down the hallway. Yes, there’s way too many Mercury memories I’d rather flush away forever. The keepers? Let’s just say that the ’67-’68 Cougar is the best one of that little bunch. Which in some respects, isn’t saying much, so maybe we’d better cover all three of the memorable Mercuries here; a CC triple play: (Read More…)
We had an ultra-impressive win with the Ultra Van; congratulations Joe McKinney! Send me your snail mail address if you want to claim the promised gold star. On with the next victim of our restless feet and camera. Good luck!
In 1959, David Peterson, a professional aircraft designer, had a dilemma: he owned a travel trailer and a boat, but couldn’t tow them both at the same time. He dreamed of putting an engine under the floor of the trailer, and towing his boat with it. When the Corvair appeared that year, he decided to act on it. He rented a large garage, tossed out the trailer, started from scratch, and four months later out rolled the first Ultra Van, weighing a mere 3,000 pounds. It was way ahead of its time then, and it still is today. Which probably explains why it was a commercial flop. (Read More…)
It took a while, but the VW Fastback’s trunk eventually was identified, and as I predicted, it was by an owner. Congratulations to Jimal. Now here we have something that’s obviously a bit different, and I’m afraid google images won’t be much help here either. I will tell you two things about: it is a production vehicle, and a land-based one at that, even if it does have a certain aeronautical quality to it. Whoever gets this will receive a gold star in the mail.
Two fastbacks found in one week; now there’s something to be thankful for (not that I don’t have plenty already). The Packard Clipper Super and this Volkswagen Type 3 may not seem to share anything other than their tapering hind ends, but there is one other quality that they both have in common, and it makes the VW worthy to share the podium with it: (Read More…)
I showed a big chunk of the Clipper Coupe’s roof line, and jpcavanaugh got it right away. Congratulations. Now here’s something where google likely won’t be of help to you. It will probably take a former (or current) owner to figure this one out.
It’s mysterious enough that a genuine CCCA-designated classic car suddenly appears curbside in my neighborhood. And not just any true classic, but the immensely desirable and infinitely awesome Clipper Super Coupe, the most powerful and fastest American car of its day. But the mystery deepens: why did its owner try everything possible to keep me from photographing it the day I first found it, and then why did someone deface it by pouring paint over it the very next night? (Read More…)
Well, let’s not totally forget the CC Clue. Reshuffled priorities means that the Clue will appear more randomly than like clockwork. But here it is, so let’s recognize our winner from the Imperial Clue…oops, there wasn’t one. But Zykotec gets honorable mention for his “Imperial, maybe a 61” guess. Damn close indeed. On to the next one here…
The Korean invasion began in the late eighties with three shitboxes: the Hyundai Excel, the Pontiac LeMans, and the Ford Festiva. Korea Week CC pits them against each other to determine the outcome: the Festiva loses the contest by a large margin. Why? (Read More…)
Between the years 1988 and 1993, GM decided to use Americans in a mass experiment, in which I found myself an unwitting participant. Seemingly unable to determine on its own whether Korean-made cars would pass muster here, GM just sent boatloads of them over and slapped on the storied Pontiac LeMans name, no less. Then it looked for suckers/participants, both long and short term. Oddly enough, one actually had to pay to play. I ponied up for a week’s worth in the summer of 1990, and put it through the most difficult torture possible to try to kill it, in revenge for having been drafted by Hertz to do GM’s work. I hereby submit my results, in the hopes of getting my money back. Oh wait; that was the old GM. Well, someone’s going to pay to hear my evaluation, twenty years late or not. (Read More…)