Nothing Good Since

Also at CW’s is this masterpiece:

Now of course it’s pig-ugly by today’s standards, and yes it has crappy fuel economy and yes it has no seatbelts and yes it will kill everybody in a crash.  I know all that stuff.

My point is that 190hp is pretty much all one needs in a car these days, even in an all-steel behemoth like the above.  (Don’t even get me started on the idiocy of 500hp in a “street” car, as pushed by 21st-century Big Auto.)  Also, I bet the frigging transmission won’t lock up if the battery runs flat, either — unlike a certain VW Tiguan of my acquaintance.  (List of further 250 bullshit modern automotive geegaws and doodads omitted, for reasons of blood pressure.)

Frankly, I rather like the station wagon… and I bet it wouldn’t do to badly as a Pantifa/BLM Riot-Flattening Device.  Those fenders look pretty solid.

17 comments

  1. Yes, a fine utilitarian transportation device. In the 60’s i used to borrow the one owned by my grandfather. A fine judge of automotive aptitude as he was the Dean of the Harvard School of Divinity at the time so as a Cambridge liberal he knew what he was selecting when he purchased it. ….. and as an added bonus, it had a “Clergy” tag on it so I could park it anywhere i needed to.

  2. The 1959 Rambler station wagon is the first car I actually remember us having ( I was a toddler then). The first new car purchase I remember (I was then 9) was a 1966 Chrysler Town & Coutry station wagon. I remember five kids sleeping in the back, middle seats down, on a pad of several blankets like a litter of puppies. Dad would get off work, and then drive overnight from Philly to Chicago to see our grandparents and cousins each summer. How long a sentence would that draw these days? lol

    1. My family had a 1959 Rambler, too. Station wagon. Fold down front seats, push button transmission. Fun car.

      I’d love to have a modern wagon that size, it was just about right.

  3. Notice that Dad is wearing a hat. Today you can’t get into a car while wearing a baseball cap, never mind the full size Indiana Jones fedora.

    In the late 70s my next door neighbor owned a Checker Marathon. They were the old classic New York City taxi cabs. He bought his as a new car – there was at least one dealer in Jersey – in 1975. The car looked like it had been designed in Stalinist Russia but it was the most heavy duty bullet proof vehicle I’ve ever seen. It had a small block Chevy V8, a three speed GM automatic transmission, air conditioning that would let you keep ice cream frozen on the hottest day, and that was about it. Bench seats back and front, a Delco AM radio, and enough room for seven or eight passengers plus a trunk big enough to haul five or six bodies down to the Pine Barrens.

    The car was painted Panzer Grey. It truly was a tank. Neighbor said that the cab companies ran them about 200k miles until the engines ran out of compression , dropped in another motor, and went about their business. Wash, rinse, and repeat. A Checker would make a good project car if you could find one with a reasonably straight body (kind of difficult considering their very hard service lives).Drop in a 350, Turbo Hydro trans, some decent seats, a good sound system and you’re good to go for a quarter million miles.

    1. I have a new bought 1986 Mercedes 300E in Desert Tan. Because we are WASPS and name everything it is called the Rommelvagen.

      I’d go with an LS, 4L80E, and a Ford nine-inch out back.

      If you are serious about the Checker, I have a friend in upstate New York who has one.

      1. You can tell that I’m very old school and haven’t done much serious wrench turning in a lot of years. I’m going with what I knew was common and fairly indestructible back in the day. Anyway thanks for the info about the car. Ten years ago I might have thought about it. These days I’ve come to realize that the wife is too good a shot for me to bring a project car half way across the country. At some point a guy has to admit to himself that he’s getting a little too old for such things.

    2. > In the late 70s my next door neighbor owned a Checker Marathon. They were the old classic New York City taxi cabs.

      In the late ’80s, my scoutmaster had a Checker Aerobus, the stretched 8-door station wagon version of the Marathon. Ours was a smallish troop, so you could fit most of them in there for a camping trip.

  4. The first car I remember in the family was a 1948 Dodge. The model I know not. Geeze did they even have models after the war ? It had this, by my memory, huge rear deck where as kids we would crawl up on and sleep on long trips. All the upholstery seemed to have been made of scratchy wool…..ugh. Oh and it was a manual. Dad taught mom to use the manual. No power steering. No AC. Roll up windows. Hadn’t even heard of seat belts.The little triangle windows…lol. It was a beast. But I have fond memories that it evokes.

    Lord help us all when we get hit with a NK or Chinese EMP or Solar CME….

  5. My mom drove a 49 Dodge 4-door Sedan made out of weapons grade steel, that she drove through the early 1950’s and we would climb all over that old car, stand on the roof and slide down the trunk. With the front fenders being nice and curvy they were great to sit on riding down country roads at night shooting rabbits in the headlights which was not too frowned on when the winter wheat was coming up.

    You could put four adults on the front bench seat and a half dozen or so kids in the back bench and take off for a picnic and a nice days outing. All of those old cars up to the 1970’s were heavy metal with gas guzzling easy to repair engines and the 1960’s cars with air conditioning were quiet and comfortable at highway speeds in the 60, 70 and 80 mph range which we did. Also if you got a ticket for speeding it was about $20 and no one kept track of how many tickets you had so it was just a pay as you go thing. (Note, $20 in 1960 would equal $175 today so, there’s that.)

    1. LMAO….”weapons grade steel “…..that is damn right !!! Later in life maybe 40 yrs later I bought a Saturn. Body all Glock polymer…lol

      Just remembered my mom always wore dresses and she would drive around smoking cigarettes..puffing away, dropping the ashes out the open window…straight out of Mad Men….

  6. My very first auto was a ’63 Rambler Classic 770 – 196 cu in 6 cyl, and auto trans.

    I learned quite a bit about mechanics keeping that thing running…. It got to the point I kept a spare head gasket kit and tools (in a Kennedy machinist chest), as well as fuel, oil and spare coolant in the quite spacious trunk. The engine block was cast iron, the head was aluminum, and the ‘proper’ head gasket, one that was all metal, was no longer made. So, the head and block expanded at vastly different rates, and eventually the gasket would fail. But I did learn to use tools…

    Eventually, I traded it in, and got a 67 VW Type I (Bug)…

  7. My family’s first car (that I remember) was an early 60’s Studebaker sedan.

    Remember several road trips to visit relatives with 5 of us + an aunt and cousin or 2. Dad would sleep in and we would leave at 10PM to drive all night to avoid traffic (no interstates where we were going at that time, all 2 lane highways) and to keep cool as we had no AC,

  8. I have long wanted a 1959 Checker Marathon with railroad tie bumpers and the fold-down jump seats (’59 was the last year for the bridge frame, which added about 250 lbs to the curb weight but made the car absolutely indestructible). When Checker gve up on their own engines and bought Chevy small block V-8s complete with the generic GM 3-speed awfulmagic trashmission already attached they became even better; everyone knows how to wrench a 2-barrel 283.

    A friend bought a reconned NYFC taxi at auction (650K on the clock, 250K on the 283, nothing fit quite right but everything worked just fine, just turn the radio up enough to ignore the rattles) and it came wth more than enough battle scars to garner a very wide berth in traffic. One hell of a party wagon.

  9. When I was a a kid, Dad had a 66 International Travelall. V8 three on the tree 4wheel drive. Now that was a Pantifa flattener.

  10. I was the second oldest of 9 children in 1974, and I had to drive all my brothers and sisters to school. My Dad bought a used Ford Torino airport limousine (stretch) wagon that was painted black and orange. It was so freakin’ big, I couldn’t park it in the regular student parking lot, I had to park it with the school buses. The abuse I took off that was legendary. It only took me a few months to scheme wrecking the transmission on it so I could get a replacement. My dad wound up getting me (I still had to pay for it) a 65′ Rambler 990-H 2-door. He was an insurance agent and bought it off one of his too-old-to-drive insureds for $875. I remember at the time thinking it was an old person’s car (technically, it was), and I wanted nothing to do with it. It had 21,XXX miles on it and the color was Lemon Mousse.
    I sold it to my younger brother when I joined the Navy and never saw it again. In retrospect, it was a great car, a nice looker and a classic. Would love to have it back. Here’s a photo of one just like it.

    https://autopolis.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/1966_amc_ambassador_dpl.jpg

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