Freeway Legends http://www.freewaylegends.com American Classic Cars and Custom Cars Lifestyle Fri, 14 Aug 2015 14:59:08 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Part 2 – How Well Do You Know Your US License Plates? http://www.freewaylegends.com/part-2-how-well-do-you-know-your-us-license-plates/ http://www.freewaylegends.com/part-2-how-well-do-you-know-your-us-license-plates/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 14:59:08 +0000 http://www.freewaylegends.com/?p=1840 The post Part 2 – How Well Do You Know Your US License Plates? appeared first on Freeway Legends.

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1966 Pontiac Grand Prix – Owner Feature http://www.freewaylegends.com/1966-pontiac-grand-prix-owner-feature/ http://www.freewaylegends.com/1966-pontiac-grand-prix-owner-feature/#comments Sun, 26 Jul 2015 12:59:31 +0000 http://www.freewaylegends.com/?p=1768 A Brief History of this 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix (Geoff […]

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A Brief History of this 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix

66-Pontiac-grand-prix-blue-1a

(Geoff and Linda Smale  at Stars and Stripes 2015 – See full picture gallery below)

Owners: Geoff and Linda Smale

Some of you may know Geoff from his TT sidecar racing days.

Is this your first Yank?

This is my 84th American car, my first was an olds Toronado in1980.

When did you buy it?

I have had the joy of ownership for 18 months.

What state is the car from?

She originates from Wisconsin.

How many owners has she had?

With just 3 owners before me she has been cherished to this very day, she is a memory builder and she gives and gives.

Any story behind the car?

The previous owner was an English guy who toured Canada and the USA.  He left the car with his sister in Wisconsin between tours. He then shipped the car to the UK and subsequently toured in Europe. Geoff purchased the car just after the European tour.

What engine has she got?

Fitted with the stock 389 ci (6.4litre) Pontiac motor.

Any modifications?

I have sourced and restored a Set of 6 pack (3×2 barrel carbs) known as ” Tri-power” Hi Po option for a 60 HP boost this coming winter.

What’s she like to drive?

She drives like a dream, smooth, fast and with such a torquey lift at any speed, with a chocolate and cream V8 burble, mmm, those who know will understand (we are blessed).

What do you like about the car?

The GTO look in a full size car is awesome boot the boulevard, low drag strip, fast, cool and classy, pillarless line is so pretty.

What Shows do you go to?

I show it where and when and I Know this is the one, the king, the mighty ” Tin Indian!”.

Some more about the 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix

The sixties was a time of rebellion and change. Youth became more affluent, politics more turbulent and drugs and music became more influential than the politicians.

In 1966 the Vietnam war was at full tilt with 250,000 troops there by June, Ken Kesey was bringing experimentation with LSD to the fore with his ‘Acid tests’ and US astronauts were blazing a trail in the space race.

While American youth protested against the war John Lennon was causing his own riots with his “We’re more popular than Jesus” quote.

The Beatles

The sixties truly was a turbulent time and most of the auto manufacturers were taking note by introducing compact lines that appealed more to the new social conscience.

However, full-size designs still pulled at the heart  strings of many American drivers and in this department Pontiac over delivered.

Pontiac’s luscious line of land yachts offering performance and luxury continued to feed the – albeit  lagging – American appetite for ‘big’ cars.

The 66 Grand Prix with its 389 ci (6.4 Litre) v8 engine was the perfect solution for those ignoring the increasing shift towards compacts and smaller bodied muscle cars.

Four out of five homes owned a car as average earnings per head soared and in 1966 the industry churned out 9 million cars.

Sadly, Studebaker breathed its last but Pontiac turned 40 and became the third most productive car manufacturer behind Ford and Chevrolet.

Geoff and Linda’s 66 Pontiac Grand Prix

Movies and T.V. shows that the 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix has appeared in

The Grand Prix hasn’t starred in any movies or shows but could be seen in the backdrop of shows like Kojak, Man from U.N.C.L.E and movies like the French Connection and Mean Streets.

These brief appearances might seem insignificant but as many readers will agree, staring into the background of shows like these as a kid was the only way to get a glimpse of what cars were on offer over the pond.

It was where a passion for these cars for many was born.

And those memories of shiny, super-size, sparkling tin dream machines floating along the wide streets of the USA still inspire purchases today.

Mission impossible grand prix

Mission Impossible background vehicle (1966-73)

French connection grand prix

Nice angle in the French Connection (1971)

Kojak grand prix

In the background on Kojak a 66 getting old and a bit ratty but still looking very cool (1973)

All images courtesy of IMCDB (vehicles in T.V. and movies database)

Quick Vote

We couldn’t include all makes so if Plymouth or Dodge is your choice then go for Chrysler!

Specifications

Period Advertising

1966 Pontiac Ad-07

Artwork by the highly skilled Art Fitzpatrick.

Images courtesy of Old Car Advertising and Fitz and Van

Other Period Resources

1966 Pontiac Grand Prix Folder

1966 Pontiac Prestige Brochure

1966 Pontiac Deluxe Brochure

Pontiac Artwork by Fitz and Van

Final Word

The land yachts of the sixties remind us of a time when the car was more than just an A to B machine.

Their sheer size oozes superiority, their low slung, wide track design gives them a laid back but menacing look.

The likes of Napoleon Solo, Our Man Flint or the Green Hornet slipping into the bucket seat of one of these glamorous sixties machines spawned in me a deep longing to see one for real never mind own one.

Thankfully due to the dedication of people like Geoff Smale, we can still enjoy a chapter of motoring history that will never be repeated.

Long Live the Land Yacht!

Get Involved!

If you have a car you want featured on Freeway Legends get in touch here 

And don’t forget to share this with your friends or leave compliment in the comments below.

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How Well Do You Know Your US License Plates? Part 1 http://www.freewaylegends.com/how-well-do-you-know-your-us-license-plates-part-1/ http://www.freewaylegends.com/how-well-do-you-know-your-us-license-plates-part-1/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 11:18:21 +0000 http://www.freewaylegends.com/?p=1761 The post How Well Do You Know Your US License Plates? Part 1 appeared first on Freeway Legends.

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1967 Rambler Rebel SST – Owner Feature http://www.freewaylegends.com/1967-rambler-rebel-sst-owner-feature/ http://www.freewaylegends.com/1967-rambler-rebel-sst-owner-feature/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 13:30:49 +0000 http://www.freewaylegends.com/?p=1439 A Brief History of this 1967 AMC Rambler Rebel SST Owne […]

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A Brief History of this 1967 AMC Rambler Rebel SST

Owner: Mr. Terry Hanna

Purchased April 2013

In 2013 Terry started looking for an AMC made car. He was primarily looking for a 1970 Mark Donahue Javelin SST or a 1967 Rambler Rebel SST.

He found the Rebel first.

It had been sitting for 20 years in a yard in Oklahoma. It was in pretty sad condition. After some body work, interior and mechanical  work it was up and running again. Terry is currently working on a full restoration of it.

The Rambler SST was AMC’s attempt to compete with the big 3 in the performance market.  Terry’s one was equipped with a 343 Cid engine, power steering, power front 4 piston disc brakes, factory air conditioning, 3 speed automatic transmission, floor shift in the console, bucket seats and vinyl top. Unfortunately,  AMC did not keep specific records of their cars so it’s difficult to know just how many of each specification were built. However, it is a sure thing that there were not many of this car built with all of the options found on Terry’s example.

This car was also the basis for the 1970 Rebel which was built for only 1 year. To Terry’s knowledge, this is the only 67 Rebel SST so equipped in North Texas where Terry lives.

It’s clearly a nice example having been invited to several invitation only car shows in North Texas this year including pre-race show activities at Texas Motor Speedway and Pit road parking at Firestone 400.

Quick Vote – Did AMC Deserve To Survive?

More About The 1967 AMC Rambler Rebel SST

1967 was the year that saw 475,000 troops stationed in Vietnam and Cassius Clay stripped of his heavyweight crown for refusing to join the armed forces in protest. Psychedelic music hit the mainstream with the Beatles releasing Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, to much acclaim. The Doors are banned from the Ed Sullivan show for singing the line “Girl we couldn’t get much higher” when specifically told to change it for the airing. TV was graced by shows such as the Monkees, Star Trek and the Fugitive – the final show of which was the most watched episode of the decade.

It was also the year that AMC was in big trouble. Debts approaching $76 million and unsold cars piling up on lots forced drastic action including sacking the President and selling 14,000 cars to rental companies at a small profit to help ends meet.

The fifth generation of the Rambler Rebels was part of the 1967 lineup that AMC bosses hoped would turn their fortunes. The coke bottle styling, fashionable across most marques at this time was introduced as AMC completely redesigned the line. AMC decided to increase the size to allow for more passenger space and carrying capacity and added new safety features such as a collapsing steering column.

1967 Rambler Rebel came in many guises but the SST was only available as a 2 -door hardtop. The 343cu engine was the biggest available in 1967 and could manage 0-60mph (0-97knh) in nine seconds. Not only that it was noted as the quietest by contemporary testers.

The SST badge made reference to the trim level rather than anything that might affect the performance specification. All Rebels of 67 could be equipped with most options.

 

Ironically, lumping a V8 into mid-sized car was something Rambler did back in ’57 with the previous Rebel. So when then they belatedly put a V8 in the 67 model it was deemed a little too late. Chevy, Dodge, Ford and Plymouth among others had already beaten them to it so the car didn’t make big headlines – or in fact sales with just 15,287 making it to owners (to put that in perspective the Chevelle SS396 sold over 63,000.

Period Advertising For The 1967 AMC Rambler Rebel SST

1967 Rebel Ad-04

Images courtesy of Old Car Manual Project

Whatever your opinion the AMC Rebel has its fans and deservedly so; it is a smart car with great performance from a quirky brand that produced some fantastic cars and the SST is definitely worth a place in the pantheon of sixties muscle cars.

Thank you to Terry Hanna for sharing its history and photos with us.

Please leave a comment below to show your appreciation of the car if you enjoyed this feature.

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1953 Packard Clipper Deluxe – Owner Feature http://www.freewaylegends.com/1953-packard-clipper-deluxe-owner-feature/ http://www.freewaylegends.com/1953-packard-clipper-deluxe-owner-feature/#comments Wed, 10 Jun 2015 12:00:03 +0000 http://www.freewaylegends.com/?p=1470 A Brief History of this 1953 Packard Clipper Owner: Mr. […]

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A Brief History of this 1953 Packard Clipper

Owner: Mr. Kevin Williams

Purchased April 2012

Kevin sent what he knows about the car, most of which was passed on verbally. As many of you will understand the original paperwork often gets lost in the midst of time.

The car was commissioned in 1953 for an English client and was exported straight to England from the factory as a right-hand driver. It was then exported back to The States where it was used for some film work. Sadly the films it is in are unknown but if anyone spots or knows of a 53 Packard Clipper featuring in a film let us know.

According to Bonhams Auctioneers  of Oxford the owner of a large collection of classic cars sold off some of his vehicles to raise money. The auction and a write up of it is featured in Classic American magazine (no. 253 MAY 2012) and you can see the car in one of the pictures in the article. It was successfully sold as a project car.

Kevin bought it as a non-runner and over the last 3 years has restored her to running. He has attempted to keep the vehicle as original as possible as far as is practicable.

Quick Vote – Beautiful Buick or Posh Packard?

More About The 1953 Packard Clipper Deluxe

After the years of wartime austerity, it was the decade of convenience and dynamic obsolescence and the design revolution driven by Harley Earl of General Motors was picking up momentum. 1953 was the year that Marilyn Monroe graced the pages of Playboy and Elvis Presley swaggered into Sun Studios. Packard was being led by new CEO James Nance a marketing guru recruited from Hotpoint. He was to vanguard a challenge against the big luxury marques such as Cadillac. He introduced the low production Packard Caribbean convertible and ultimately headed up Fords’ Mercury, Edsel and Lincoln division before getting the boot for the poor Edsel sales in 59.

The Clipper, the mid-range automobile in the 53 lineup, replaced the series 200 and was presented as an alternative to the Buicks and Chryslers that competed in the same price bracket.

The Packards of 1953 used the same body design, engine and transmission as before, but there were upgrades in horsepower.

The jet hood ornament returned along with a newly designed grille and some neat design changes to the exterior trim including a new molding that extended along the rear fender. Also notable is the subtle fins which Packard dubbed as “fishtails”.

IMPORTANT: The details below are for a ‘standard’ vehicle and are not representative of the car shown which may have had options added when purchased.

Period Advertising

On the quayside, a clipper I assume cruising past. An idyllic picture of how your life could be driving a Clipper! I’m sold.

Vintage 1953 Packard Clipper advedrt

 

If you’ve enjoyed this please show your appreciation to Kevin and his Packard.

It takes 1 minute to leave a compliment below in the comments box and share the page with your friends.

We’ll all do the same when it’s your turn to feature!  Get your car on Freeway Legends – apply here today!

 

Flickr – DVS1mn – 51 Packard 300 ^ 52 Buick Special (11)” by Greg Gjerdingen from Willmar, USA – 51 Packard 300 & 52 Buick Special. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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How Well Do You Know Your Front Ends? http://www.freewaylegends.com/how-well-do-you-know-your-front-ends/ http://www.freewaylegends.com/how-well-do-you-know-your-front-ends/#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2015 16:40:02 +0000 http://www.freewaylegends.com/?p=1461 The post How Well Do You Know Your Front Ends? appeared first on Freeway Legends.

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National Hot Rod and Custom Show 2015 Event Review – 72 Cool Pictures http://www.freewaylegends.com/national-hot-rod-and-custom-show-2015-event-review-72-cool-pictures/ http://www.freewaylegends.com/national-hot-rod-and-custom-show-2015-event-review-72-cool-pictures/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 09:32:57 +0000 http://www.freewaylegends.com/?p=1232 This review of the National Hot Rod and Custom Show 201 […]

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This review of the National Hot Rod and Custom Show 2015 is from the perspective of American car enthusiasts and retro lifestyle fans.  Freeway Legends boys, Jason and Jacob attended on Saturday afternoon to chat with owners and generally get a feel for what the show offers the American/retro scene.

We can’t comment fairly on the quality of the weekend as a whole having been there only Saturday, but the National Hot Rod and Custom show  2015 held at the Peterborough Arena  and East of England Showground 2015 was definitely worth checking out for the day.

Many of the vehicles on show inside and out were pimped up boy racer machines and there was plenty of American stuff of interest too, some excellent live Rock ‘n’ Roll and the most top draw tattooists we’ve ever seen in one room!

We’ve organised the car pictures into customs and hot rods, classics vehicles and general snaps of the event. You can check out the galleries that interest you below.

For the retro crowd music from neo-rockabillies Restless supported by El-Camino the masked Rockers, Heroes Mod and Ska tribute and The Gilded Merkin Burlesque cabaret plus many more on the Rockahula stage.

Other attractions included a Wall of Death, Fun Fair, Monster Truck Crush, Rolling Road (for testing out your wheels!), Lawn Mower Racing and stages with live acts for both modern and retro tastes.

For the style conscious there were some really nice trade stands run by people that know what they are doing when it comes to retro gear. Standout traders were Hepkitten Retro, a fashion retail operation ran by the Seekings mafia (Neil and Kym, son Zac and his ‘lady friend’ Asher Cooper). They have an impressive stock of quality Ladies and Gents gear. I was tempted by the Lucky 13 jackets but ended up spending £13 on Suavecito hair pommade from Lipstick and Gearstick – as recommended by Neil Seekings for the perfect quiff!

To match the clothes a tattoo is often the preferred accessory and the ink and oil convention didn’t disappoint those looking to get drawn on with lots of talent on show. Just looking around Tony Evans of Opulent Ink, Wolverhampton and Donatas Lasys of Inked Moose in Bletchley appealed – but that’s a personal view and with so many  excellent artists in one place choosing one would be  a nightmare!

For traders and visitors alike it was definitely a success; Darren of Brentacre specialist insurance  told me “This is the 3rd year we have attended the show, and this time we decided to trade in both halls as we cater for all forms of modified vehicles. This proved a tremendous success! We were extremely busy for the whole weekend, meeting lots of like-minded people with a view to saving them money and of course the added bonus of being around some fabulous vehicles! The show has improved year on year and was really well run and put together and we would recommend it to both traders and car enthusiasts alike. We are already looking forward and planning for next year!”

Here’s a few snaps we took of people and stuff whilst mooching around

The main ‘red carpet ‘ show hall served up some remarkable machines to delight over. The National Hot Rod Show Dodge Wayfarer, the 1957 Chevrolet Belair in blue and the 1959 Impala caught our eye as did the 1955 Ford Customline on show courtesy of the Charnwood Cruisers.

To be fair there was something for every taste from the eccentric to the understated and it was an excellent turnout of stunning cars.

In the main room the 65 Impala convertible by James of Penguin Speed Shop was stellar in a paint job that Danny ‘The Count’ Koker of Channel 4’s Counting Cars would have cried over – proving that you don’t need an American accent to heavily pimp out a sixties Chevy in pink flake.

Check out the Red Carpet Hot rod and Customs Photo Galleries below (apologies if your vehicle isn’t in but the gallery can’t take too many for techie reasons). If you want your car featuring on the site just get in touch.

Gallery 1, 1900-1949 Hot Rods and Customs

Gallery 2, Fifties Hot Rods and Customs

Gallery 3, Sixties and Beyond

In the show barn and just outside the barn area a decent size contingent of Yank beauties competed for attention. Examples included a sexy 1968 Dodge Coronet owned by Martin, his mate’s sharp looking 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix, dubbed the “white Cloud” and a really tidy 1968 Mercury Cougar in a lovely metallic turquoise. In addition, a smattering of rat rods and pickups completed a line up worth making the trip for.

Gallery 4, The Barn and Showfield (mixed decades)

All in all this was an enjoyable day out and good value for anyone but especially those with a broader interest in cars and petrol head culture.

See you next year!

IMPORTANT: if you are in any of these pictures and want them to be removed please get in touch and we will oblige.

Quick vote – What’s your taste, Hot Rods, Mild Customs or Classics?

 

 

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How Well Do You Know Your Tail Fins? http://www.freewaylegends.com/quiz-how-well-do-you-know-your-tail-fins/ http://www.freewaylegends.com/quiz-how-well-do-you-know-your-tail-fins/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 08:48:44 +0000 http://www.freewaylegends.com/?p=1221 The post How Well Do You Know Your Tail Fins? appeared first on Freeway Legends.

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Atomic Festival 2015 Event Review http://www.freewaylegends.com/atomic-festival-2015-event-review/ http://www.freewaylegends.com/atomic-festival-2015-event-review/#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 14:58:37 +0000 http://www.freewaylegends.com/?p=989 The Atomic Festival is an event that caters for fans of […]

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The Atomic Festival is an event that caters for fans of all things mid-century and in 2015 it celebrated its second birthday in style.

The weather wasn’t on anyone’s side but that didn’t stop the crowds from turning up in droves. The choice of an art deco aerodrome in Sywell, Northampton is spot on. It’s central for everyone and really sets the scene for the event. There’s also a hotel on site and camping for those that want to enjoy the whole weekend.

The lineup of entertainment is just as impressive. The main hangar hosted jiving classes and competitions in the afternoon and live music and DJs throughout the day.  There was also a big top that boasted a 6000 sq ft dance floor complete with indoor heating!

There were too many bands to list here but we saw The Slingshots, The Intelli-Gents, Little Victor, The Ranch Girls with the highlight for us being the Ray Collins Hot-Club  who were simply brilliant. You can see the whole line up here.

Traders selling huge ranges of original vintage gear, reproduction stuff and curiosities made for an interesting browse. If you fancied a new look the hairdressers were on hand to shave your head and grease your quiff or tie your hair up in a retro style complete with curls.

The food on offer included spicy tacos, vegetarian wraps, fish and chips, hog roast and the obligatory hot dogs and burgers all served from period trailers and vans.

The kids and young at heart got a helter-skelter, roller rink, mini steam train and a wall of death.

The petrol heads had their fair share of entertainment too with drag racing and jets and bi-planes on both days.

For anyone passionate about chrome and fins, this is a great event too with at least 100 American classic and custom rides on show. Owners got to park in front of the drive-in movie screen showing Elvis; a classy way to spend the evening unless you were holed up in the big top listening to Ray Collins and the other acts like us.

A quality event, well worth the price of a ticket.

See you next year!

Enjoy the event pictures below!

Check out the show auto gallery here.

IMPORTANT: if you are in any of these pictures and want them to be removed please get in touch and we will oblige.

 

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Atomic Festival 2015 – Auto Gallery http://www.freewaylegends.com/atomic-festival-2015-auto-gallery/ http://www.freewaylegends.com/atomic-festival-2015-auto-gallery/#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 14:50:29 +0000 http://www.freewaylegends.com/?p=1025 The Atomic Festival celebrated its second birthday in s […]

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The Atomic Festival celebrated its second birthday in style with a fantastic array of American classic and custom autos showing, plus a smattering of vintage English machines.

We tried to get a snap of everyone that was there on Saturday.

The intention is to feature as many of these vehicles as possible on individual blog posts. If one of these is yours and you want a full page feature just get in touch and we’ll sort something out.

Hope you enjoy the slideshows below.

(Any mistakes let us know!)

 Auto Gallery, 1920-1949

Auto Gallery, 1950-1955

Auto Gallery, 1956-1959

Auto Gallery, 1960-1965

Auto Gallery, Vintage English

IMPORTANT: if you are in any of these pictures and want them to be removed please get in touch and we will oblige.

 

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