Like vintage audio equipment, vintage cars have pleasing engineering & visual designs, plus have a large part in American history & culture. Cars from the 1950s & 60s inspired many amplifier front panels.
The first car is a 1965 Plymouth Valiant Signet convertible. In the movie "PARADISE HAWAII STYLE", Elvis Presley drives this model & color car. In "CROCODILE DUNDEE", Paul Hogan drives an Australian-made 1965 Valiant utility pickup to the Outback. Twin Fin wine has this car on the label.
Less than 2,000 1965 Plymouth Valiant convertibles were made. With its high performance V8 & four speed manual transmission, this car is even more rare. Only a few hundred were made. In 1965 Ford made over 100,000 Mustang convertibles. Early Valiants are a favorite of both road & drag racers, since they are the lightest V-8 Mopars ever made. The first Daytona compact car race included domestic & imported cars. Six cylinder Valiants swept the first seven places.
Under-hood modifications include a 360" V-8 with Edelbrock RPM Air Gap intake manifold, four barrel carburetor, milled heads, dual exhausts, electronic ignition & aluminum radiator with electric fans. Chassis mods include a limited slip differential, front & rear sway bars, 17" aluminum wheels, vented & slotted SSBC disc brakes [13" front & 10" rear], plus a later Mopar four speed overdrive manual transmission. Its 8.75" rear axle was standard in Barracuda & other larger 440 V-8 cars, plus pickups, vans & Checker cabs.
On the far left is a 1948 Chrysler Windsor with a 251 cu. inch flathead six. Chrysler
flathead sixes powered 1940-68 Dodge military four wheel drive trucks or Power Wagons. Five similar flathead sixes in a single 30 cylinder engine powered most Sherman tanks. In the movie Exodus, a 1948 Chrysler is the get away car. The woody convertible version of 1947-50 Chryslers, the "Town & Country", was a favorite of Hollywood celebrities, including Bob Hope.
The next car is a 1972 Plymouth Duster. A similar Duster is on the cover of the CARS LP, "HeartBreak City". The Duster was a two door coupe version of the Valiant compact. Powered by the 340 cubic inch V8, the Duster could "dust-off" many big block cars, since it weighs about 3000 pounds & has 300 horsepower.
The next car is a 1960 Chrysler Windsor. Virgil Exner, one of Detroit's most influential stylists, designed this & the car on the upper right. A biography of Virgil Exner features this model car on the cover. Andy Granatelli set records at Bonneville, running almost 200 miles per hour with a modified 1960 Chrysler 300F.
The 1957 Chrysler 300C on the upper right has a 392 cubic inch hemi V8, dual four barrel carbs & 375 horsepower, the most of any 1957 car. An 390 horsepower engine was optional. The 300 nameplate started in 1955 for the first U.S. 300 horsepower car. The hemi V8 powers many dragster cars & boats, with over 3,000 horsepower.
The 1957 Chrysler featured their first torsion bar suspension & pushbutton Torqueflite three speed automatic transmission & torque converter. Its optional RCA under-dash record player preceded cassettes & 8-tracks by 12 years. The styling was revolutionary & soon copied by others. In addition to their fins, they were low & long, with far more glass & far less chrome than other 1957 cars. The 1957 300C inspired the current Chrysler 300C. A 2007 U.S. postage stamp featured a 1957 300C in the same color.
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