Stateside cars - viable option?

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plastic penguin
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Given that we're all becoming more eco savvi, is there a place for a petrol guzzling, four-wheeled motor cruiser in this country? I've never had the urge to contemplate an American box: Most are ugly and I think they violate the British tenet of what a car should be.

Apart from the above remarks, I love'em...  : )

Chris Martin
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Joined: 2011-08-20

As a normal daily driver, I would say no, they are not suitable in UK conditions. It depends on what you mean by four wheeled motor cruiser.

The more modern American so-called compacts are no better than your average EuroBox or Asian rice-burner and lack any style so you may as well stick a Duesenberg badge on a Hyundai and pretend, but if it is the type of overweight chromed-up yank-tank that they used to be famous for, then yes, they are great fun as weekend playthings if you have room for one. The 'gas' mileage is less of a concern if it is for only occasional use and if the typical Saturday cruise or Sunday pub lunch is what you have in mind, parking should not be the problem it was for me using a Thunderbird daily in London some years ago. Parts availability is good for most well known models, even body and trim can be found, but for the rarer ones with less back-up make sure you have a contact Stateside who can source stuff from a club or specialist, or book your annual ticket to Hershey.

Left hand drive is not a real problem, any more than for Brits driving RHD in Europe, but one other critical point if importing from the US; be sure to change the American tyres, sorry tires, for regular Euro radials a.s.a.p.for a huge improvement in grip and handling.

I have no truck with 'greenies', they would spoil all our fun, but if you feel the need to justify your new-found flamboyance, just tell 'em saving an old one is far greener than the cost of resources and energy to build even a bloody Yaris.

C.M.

 

mk1coopers
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I've always fancied having something like a 57' Chevy Bel Air, they are just under 'aircraft carrier' size, so would fit down most roads in the UK, maybe one day I will thin the current fleet down and reinvest the freed up space and money in one :)

NG7
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65 or 66 Mustang of any variant is worth considering - not too big and easy to maintain.

DUESIE
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Yep, first generation Mustangs are a safe bet. Not too big for British roads (and car park spaces), easy to work on whether for basic service or full restoration. Excellent parts availabilty, I bet you could now build an all-new car from parts suppliers. Also not too thirsty if tuned to manufacturer's specs - and they will keep their resale value. While understandably the convertibles and fastbacks command higher prices, the more common notchback is still a stylish coupe, but please try not to paint two stripes of a contrasting bright colour across the car, that old Shelby look cliche is getting tired. Just a regualr factory colour will do. Sod it, now you've got me looking in the classifieds again.

DUESIE
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Joined: 2011-07-06

And for an even better bargain don't overlook the sixes. They sell even cheaper and unless you really must have a V8 they make more sense on UK roads.

mrtotty
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Mind you, if you are going to have a Mustang, you might just as well have the 289. There are more about and while they can be expensive, are probably better overall value than the 170 or 200 six if resale is factored in. They sound better as well.
As for the wider issue of American classics, while I can appreciate that they might not be everyone's cup of tea, there is such a wide variety on offer, the majority powered by silent and super-smooth V8s, that there must be something for just about any enthusiast.
My personal favourite would be a 1966 Lincoln Continental Coupe: a 462 V8 with all the performance benefits (I know, not economy) that entails and a very elegant motor car inside and out if ever there was one.
What's not to like?

rolymo35
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My interest in American cars began in the late 60's while racing my Prod - Sports  Turner and I desperatly needed a comfortable tow car to cover the trip from B'ham to Brand- Hatch race track and back without too much stress when a really tidy two door coupe came on the scene. Metallic Gold colour fitted with beefy V8 engine , manual transmission with a  steering column shifter(quite comman in those days) Motoring in classic "whoosy"  style, they did't come much more classic than a :- Studebaker  Golden Hawk V8

RolyMo

DUESIE
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mrtotty wrote:
Mind you, if you are going to have a Mustang, you might just as well have the 289. There are more about and while they can be expensive, are probably better overall value than the 170 or 200 six if resale is factored in. They sound better as well. As for the wider issue of American classics, while I can appreciate that they might not be everyone's cup of tea, there is such a wide variety on offer, the majority powered by silent and super-smooth V8s, that there must be something for just about any enthusiast. My personal favourite would be a 1966 Lincoln Continental Coupe: a 462 V8 with all the performance benefits (I know, not economy) that entails and a very elegant motor car inside and out if ever there was one. What's not to like?

I am still amazed by posters who come on here and put in their half thought out idea without reading the post they are replying to. I said above that the sixes were a less expensive option, it therefore follows if one can buy a car cheaper, one would also expect to sell it cheaper. No? And while I have been guilty of enjoying many V8 powered cars over the years, the difference in sounds in normal use and in normal traffic is minimal, unless of course one goes for that loud rumble that goes with so-called performance dual exhaust systems. Not only do they hurt fuel economy, but the resulting noise is nothing short of anti-social if the car is to be used on the public road.

DUESIE
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rolymo35 wrote:

My interest in American cars began in the late 60's while racing my Prod - Sports  Turner and I desperatly needed a comfortable tow car to cover the trip from B'ham to Brand- Hatch race track and back without too much stress when a really tidy two door coupe came on the scene. Metallic Gold colour fitted with beefy V8 engine , manual transmission with a  steering column shifter(quite comman in those days) Motoring in classic "whoosy"  style, they did't come much more classic than a :- Studebaker  Golden Hawk V8

Absolute class RolyMo. I always liked the Hawk models, (possibly from having the Corgi model as a kid) but would love to find a good one now.

rolymo35
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 The Studie V8 wetted my appetite for muscle machines and  I went through a series of interesting cars :- A  Chevy Corvair saloon with a flat six cyl air cooled engine, another Corvair but this time with a factory installed Turbo  which at that time was very much in its infantcy as regards  it's actuation and control, it was a case of all or virtually nothing and the "" all" means too much . Next car was a Pontiac "Le-Mans"GTO fitted with a HP 421 cubic inch V8 motor ( tri- power carb set-up). We are talking  420 hp on agood day!!.  The car was donated to me by the local Police authority who wanted it off their patch after a severe fatal accident while in the ownership of a visiting American. I stripped it out and installed the complete power unit into a Vauxhall Viva HB to go racing in one of Britons first "thunder- saloons" For a while i used an early 289ci V8 Mustang as a daily driver and to go Drag-Racing .I my opinion these vehicles were viable for the job in hand and definately Classic in status.

RolyMo