2016
Vol. IV

April Newsletter

The Orphan Cars
Old and New


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It is interesting to me that as a baby boomer, the automotive industry saw little brand purging for several decades. When growing up, I would see older, odd cars such as Packard, Hudson, La Salle, Kaiser and Nash that no longer were made. Dad explained those were cars whose companies consolidated as the major brands grew stronger after WWII and they eventually ceased. All were thriving brands when he was growing up. The only brand in the sixties I recall meeting its demise was Studebaker, ending a long run as a car company dating back until the beginning of the US automotive start.

In the fifties, we saw brand consolidation of Chrysler ending DeSoto and Ford the short lived Edsel. For most the next four decades, not much changed. AMC consolidated and combined a few times, but became a part of one of the major three US companies.

Fast forward to the 1990’s and all three US majors thinned their brands. The continued growth of import competition and stretches of economic hardship forced the streamlining. We lost Plymouth, Oldsmobile, Pontiac and finally Mercury, all brands our generation knew and grew up loving.

We find great success in selling very nice examples of older “orphan” brands. There are collectors looking for something different and with the internet, finding a parts specialist is not difficult. The newer orphan generation cars are typically very easy to restore or maintain. Many parts crossed over to the parent brands and again, specialty vendors are out there ready to supply almost any part needed. 

Our boomer generation loves its muscle cars and each of the latest four brand casualties had a huge following. Our love of these cars will preserve them for future generations and to reminisce with our kids and grandkids. Just as collectors preserve the orphans from our parent’s generation for us to enjoy.

1959 Edsel Corsair

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Sold new to Claude Austin by Smith Crossroads Ford in Lenoir, North Carolina on September 1, 1958. This car matches the Corsair four door sedan featured in the 1958 Edsel brochure. This lovely car stayed with Claude for fifty years, never being driven if rain was in the forecast. Florida owner #2 purchased the car about four years ago from Claude. This time capsule is all original except one repaint within the last ten years. The interior of this car is 100% original and mint. This car has received excellent care for its lifetime and is a true collector's prize.

This car has had one very nice repaint in its original Jadeglint Green Metallic & Mist Green. Factory original interior, dash, carpet, headliner and door panels in mint condition. Perfect dash, steering wheel and gauges.

The car is equipped with a most desirable original 361 cubic inch V-8, rated at 303HP and rebuilt original automatic transmission.

1968 AMC AMX

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For the true AMX lover, here is a car that will fit the need. This beautiful AMX Coupe was restored in 1980 by a long term AMC employee while working at the plant. He acquired this low mile car in the late 1970's as part of a pair of cars he restored. 

This car was purchased by Ohio Owner #3 in 2003 with 43,665 miles. The car came with him upon retirement to Lakeland, Florida. A few upgrades were made including a new correct upholstery and carpet installation in 2008. Traveling only about 8,000 miles over the last ten years, Owner #3 has kept the car very nice considering the paint and cosmetic restore occurred 33 years ago. 

Factory AMX wheels and newer white letter radial tires... Rare AM / FM / CB / 8 track factory radio. Optional Go Pack gauge package. Rebuilt 353 cubic inch engine four speed transmission. Only 415 AMX were built in 1968 with 343/four speed combo.

1959 Nash Metropolitan Series IV Coupe

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This adorable car’s restoration was just completed. Spending its first 43 years in the northwest, the current Florida owner purchased the car in 2002 in Washington State. The car was in original condition and showed lifetime care by its owners.

Over the last eight years, this car was restored cosmetically and all mechanicals refreshed. With only 63K original miles, the engine needed only to be resealed, not rebuilt. 

The Metropolitan was introduced in 1953. At only about 12.5 feet in length and weighing about 1,800 pounds, this car was dubbed the “Baby Nash”. In 1959 the Series IV version was introduced, the first of the Metropolitan’s with a rear trunk lid. Prior series could only access the trunk through the fold down rear seat.

The car is equipped with the original 1489cc 4 cylinder engine and original three speed manual transmission. These cars get 35+ miles per gallon; a car created in the 1950s to compete with the VW Bug.

1961 Oldsmobile Starfire

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The 1961 Starfire is one of the most beautiful cars to ever leave Detroit and the collector market is continuing to recognize that with higher values. The GM convertibles from the early sixties are increasing in value and this lovely car is a great example. This stunning example went thru a frame-up restoration in our shop and is in excellent condition. Paint and chrome are exceptional.

Factory original 394/330HP V-8 & console shift automatic transmission. Rare, cold factory air conditioning. Rare power vent window option. It has 44,000 original miles. Dual stage repaint in the factory Garnet Metallic with new correct original Garnet leather & vinyl bucket seat interior and new White convertible top and boot. Excellent restored condition.

In 1961, the Starfire was introduced to combat the new 1961 Thunderbird. Using the 88 platform and trim from the 98 model, this amazing car was created and only 7,600 were produced. In 1961 only convertibles were made, no coupes until 1962. This car has spent its entire life in Arizona and is rust-free.

1968 Plymouth Fury VIP

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This incredible VIP Fury is a time capsule and will win awards. This car is the nicest original condition late 60's Fury we have ever seen.

The VIP was the luxury Fury trim level to compete with the Chevy Caprice and Ford LTD. This maybe the best original example left of this special model. We sell more low mileage classic cars than anyone in the world. Over the last 46 years, this car was only driven 12K miles.

With 12,000 original miles, this car is equipped with the factory 318 cubic inch engine, 2BBL carb and automatic transmission. Special VIP badging, mint factory wheel covers and newer whitewall radials. Garage kept, pampered and serviced, this car could not be nicer.

1949 Studebaker Champion

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This fabulous car spent several years in a North Carolina museum and after viewing the pictures above, you will understand why. The Studebakers of this vintage are remembered for their eclectic styling, influenced by the aircraft of the time.

One beautiful repaint in the correct factory Willow Green, original tan pinstriped mohair interior, original front floor mat and rear seat carpeting. This car has a perfect dash, steering wheel, and gauges. It also has the original door panels and headliner.

The car is equipped with the original rebuilt 170 cubic inch, in-line six cylinder engine, single carburetor, and three speed manual transmission and automatic overdrive. It also has the Studebaker Thermo-Controlled Climatizer, feeding fresh air and heat throughout the interior compartment, a sophisticated system for 1949.

1953 DeSoto Powermaster Six Sedan

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This rare DeSoto Powermaster is likely one of the best remaining survivors in existence. Fresh out of a 700 car collection, this original condition car has received excellent care and is as close to showroom new as you will find anywhere.

65,000 original miles. Excellent mostly original Spring Green exterior with stunning original tan cloth interior. Excellent original condition.

Equipped with its original 250 cubic inch, inline six cylinder engine, Carter downdraft carb and rare Tip Toe automatic transmission. Chrome wire wheels and wide whites make this a stunning car.

1951 Packard Patrician 400

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This top of the line Packard from 1951 is an outstanding example of the best luxury cars of the era. This Packard has a 1953/54 grill. 

This beautiful original condition car was sold new to Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1951 and remained with the original owner for over fifty years. Owner #3 bought it in 2012 and brought it to Florida. With only 59K miles over the last 63 years, it remains an outstanding example of this iconic brand.

The highest trim level available was the Packard Patrician 400. The Patrician 400 replaced the previous model year's Custom 8 model range. The car was easily identified from other Packards by its chrome trim. The Patrician 400 was available only as a premium, four-door sedan, outfitted with high-grade upholstery and chrome trimming within. With a list price of $3,662 it also was the most expensive regular Packard offered. 

The Patrician got the best engine Packard had to offer. Original 327 cubic inch straight eight engine rebuilt factory automatic transmission. For unequaled smooth operation, its engine featured nine main bearings instead of five as in the other engines without increase in power.

1967 Pontiac Grand Prix

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This is an excellent example of the iconic Pontiac Grand Prix convertible, produced one year only in 1967. Production was limited to 5,856. This beautiful, original condition car was sold new to Roger Bland of Boonville, Minnesota.

This car is in amazing original condition, with only one excellent dual stage repaint in 48 years. A tribute to the care this car received. The original interior looks like it has been restored, but it is original. Very nice chrome and stainless. 

With 54,000 original miles, this car is equipped with the original Pontiac 400/350HP cubic inch, V-8 with 4BBL carb and automatic console shift transmission.

1966 Mercury Parkland Convertible

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This beautiful convertible has been well cared for and garaged since new. The Parklane was the top of the line model for Mercury and our experience with this body style Mercury is that it's a high demand, increasing value model.

This car has 22,000 original miles. Older dual stage repaint in its original Emberglo Metallic with new White convertible top and original boot and original light Beige vinyl interior. Low mile original condition.

Ice cold factory air conditioning. Power windows and top. Factory original 401cubic inch, 330HP V-8 engine and original automatic transmission. Factory deluxe spinner wheel covers and newer whitewall radial tires.

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