The Impala broke the all-time industry yearly sales record in 1965 with more than one million units going out the showroom doors. The ‘65 sales record remains unbeaten to this day. The fourth generation is revised bottom to top featuring a full coil spring suspension to support the new full width perimeter chassis. The green house glass windshield has a sharper angle, no-draft windows reshaped, and the side windows are now frame-less in the hard top versions. Mid-year ’65 the newly introduced Caprice is in show rooms as an option package for the four door hard top. The Caprice “Halo” model has tufted upholstery, simulated wood grain vinyl accented interior, with unique hand pulls on the door. The Caprice exterior sports SS “spinner” wheel covers with the bow tie logo in place of the SS emblem and also borrows the SS black-out strip below the tail lights minus the SS emblem.
The 1966 model year sees the Impala takes a back seat with the Chevrolet Caprice as the uptown full size luxury model. The inline six cylinder engine is still available but most opted for one of the V8 choices. There is finally a new three speed automatic back in ’66 after a four year hiatus, reinvented as a Turbo Hydra-Matic, and it is readily acquired by purchasing the new big block 396 cu in Mark IV V8 engine. The 396 replaces the deleted 409 early in the ’65 model year but a few 409 engines did make it out of the showroom. The two speed Power glide automatic is still available as well as a four speed and the three speed transmissions are there to be chosen but this year both synchro-meshed gears. The Impala line-up is flashing a lot of chrome on the exterior this year. With interiors looking good featuring pleated-tufted seating and door panels which is set off with an abundance of chrome trim strips. The Chevy Impala convertible had 38,000 happy new owners in ’66; it was second bestselling unit in North America and chosen by double the number of customers that purchased a Mustang rag top.
The sheet metal is revised on the Impala in 1967; the front and rear fenders now have a bulge following the Corvettes example. Both this year and next the smooth lines are tending more towards the coke bottle shaped body. In order to comply with federal safety regulations this year the complete GM lineup comes equipped with impact absorbing steering column, marker lights on either side, and have a shoulder harness.
The Impala models have a revised front fascia for 1968 and the triple tail light configuration is the shape of a horse-shoe and nestled in the bumper this year. The Custom coupe is new for ‘68 with the same conventional roof line as the Caprice Coupe.
The 1969 Impala has shed the sinewy coke bottle look; radically revised the side panels are flat with up swept rear quarter windows give the car a more refined look. The automobile is still on the same wheelbase but the size is emphasized the designers are trying to make the car appear larger with the new wrap-around bumpers front and rear and it does look wider. The old style no draft worked well but added wind noise so for ’69 the vent windows are scrapped and all models of Impala have a basic flow through ventilation system with bringing fresh air into the cabin through dash mounted adjustable ports. This supplies lots of fresh air and save the company some cash as well with the ports also serving as the delivery system for the optional air conditioning units. All models have the ignition switch on the steering column which is now a locking design as is the shift lever. A notch back roof line is now featured on the hard top sport coupe. The 1970 Impala is the end of the 4th generation is altered minimally with the front bumper now under the grill and the rear tail lights are now vertically configured and mounted in the bumper. The Canadian customers have an added Sport Coupe model available in the body of the Bel-Air for the budget minded sport fans.
This is the first model produced by the Equus Automotive group -building high performance machinery. The company was started by a group of muscle car enthusiasts that wanted to take their chosen sport to a new level on their terms. They felt that there was an untapped market of prospective clients out there that would be interested in driving a newly designed hand built muscle car. This is the starting point and first offering from this group, the Bass770 coupe, able to seat you and three friends.
Thanks to Equus Automotive Inc. for providing images with this post
First glance at the sheet metal makes you think that it looks a bit like a retro Mustang coupe, possibly a 1968 Mustang GT that someone has done some custom fiber glass work on. But under that carbon fiber and aluminum body is a newly designed muscle car sitting on an aluminum racing chassis that has undergone some modifying for legal street use. You hear it and you see its sitting low, raked, and with a sloped nose you can tell this is a no nonsense car that's meant to go and your right it does go quick.
The supercharged 6.2 liter V8 engine is the same as in the Corvette ZR1 which puts out 640 hp and puts 602 lb-ft of torque to the wheels at 6,500 rpm. The console houses a shift stick for the six speed manual transmission equipped with a heavy duty twin-plate clutch and sorry, no automatic is available. With this power train combination Equus claims the Bass770 can accelerate from 0-60 (97 km/h) in 3.4 seconds and can achieve a top speed of over 200 mph or 320 km/h if you perfer metric. Who would have expected that a marriage of Ford lines and General Motors could have such a mutually beneficial relationship?
This custom built automobile is basically equipped with non fade carbon ceramic brakes by Brembo sporting six piston calipers activating the front disks and four to the rear for guaranteed stopping ability. The aluminum chassis rests on the new and widely acclaimed “Magnetic Selective Ride” suspension control system by General Motors. The 19 inch rims are mounted with Michelin Pilot sport tires 255/40 in front and 285/40 rear so you can ride over road irregularities in comfort. The driver assistance items include traction control and variable ratio power steering. Safety is important and the basic offer comes with front and side air bags included. The interior is not like your basic showroom floor mass produced vehicle but it is still well equipped with leather seats, a GPS for navigation, tire pressure monitor, cruise control, and a CD/DVD equipped stereo that also has a plug for your USB.
The bass price for the Bass770 is around the $250,000.00 U.S. range but depending on the finish outside, the upholstery choices on the inside, and possible options available this smooth looking automobile could hit the $290,000.00 mark without a problem. Should you decide to put your order in there will be a four month wait while the factory custom assembles your unique package. Equus is filling orders now bound for Europe, the Middle East, and of course the good old US of A.
A look at the streets of Detroit would probably have you singing Bryan Adam’s Song, “Summer of 69” as rivals Chevrolet and Ford have released revivals of their pony cars from the said year. Seeing a muscle car cruise the streets is certainly bound to bring back memories. But what make it neat are these old models that now have new versions.
Made to compete against rivals in America’s Trans-American Sedan racing series, this car lived up to its Boss name equipped with more adjustable shocks, stiffer springs, bigger, bulkier tires and engine that’s definitely more high-revving - a horsepower rating of 290 from the 302 cubic inch engine backed by a four speed manual transmission. Boss 302 Mustang had 8,641 units sold in its first two years thereby giving it a place in the collectible car versions and fulfilling its mission of bringing Mustangs to showrooms that can come out as the winner on race tracks.
So we go forward to our present time, exactly 42 years later, and we see the old Mustang transformed into the new Boss 302 V8 all set with the new mission of coming out as the racetrack winner when raced with the BMW M3. Just like the previous model, this new muscle car has stiff springs, braced chassis and a revved-up engine that goes faster at a rate of 444 hp. Executives of Ford say approval of this project would only be granted if the said model can lap circuits like that of the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. So far, the new Boss 302 is already faster than its fierce competitor BMW M3.
Chevrolet also released its own track intended model in the form of the muscle car, Camaro ZL1. More of an ingenious work of art than for racing, the ZL1 wasn’t randomly designed to do anything. It was, instead, the output of an innovative Chevrolet dealer from Illinois who wanted 50 Camaros that came with the company’s aluminum block, at 427 cubic inch, racing engine code dubbed as ZL1. Other dealers followed and 69 more cars were produced having the same engine with an official rate of 430 hp.
The new muscle car is set for release early next year. Packed with more power, it employs a supercharger responsible for producing at least 550hp. It’s also equipped with a 6.2 liter V8 and manual transmission at six speeds that are the same as that of the Corvette ZR1 and Cadillac CTS-V. Its magnetic ride shock absorber, like the Corvette, can also be adjusted. This results into the most advanced Camaro just yet. No particular target for performance was released yet but it’s assumed that it would exceed lap time for Boss 302.
These are just two samples of the many revamped muscle cars. You’d notice that while the past features have been retained, they had been added with many innovative improvements as well. Pretty much made to outdo competitors in both showroom and race track, each car is sure to give you joy rides that will give you new memories to treasure well until the next set of new models will come out.
Bill Devin built himself a reputation as a racer in the late '40's and later won respect as a quality manufacturer of high speed performance race car body shells, His company was Devin Enterprises, based in El Monte, California. The company produced up to 100 fiberglass body shells per week towards the end of the 1950's which were shipped throughout the world. The roadster pictured here is "period correct" and very rare with only 16 units produced. With a 283 Corvette engine under the hood, Road and Track recorded a 0-60 time of seven seconds, the quarter mile in 14 seconds and rated its top speed at 130 mph.
MCF thanks Gateway Classic Cars for the images displayed here.
The Ford Torino for 1972 was back and stronger, at least for body lines; the coke bottle shape was on the verge of exaggerated, but now it had a very long hood in front with a much shorter trunk lid. The most obvious feature of all is the emphasized egg crate oval grille. With a notable absence off needless design and ornamentation, the new Torino looked fully functional.
The base model Torino had its own personalized hood and front bumper design. Without the loss of structural strength, the B pillar was thinner, there was a 60-degree rake to the windshield, the front fenders defiantly flared, and the rears swept up toward the roof line. There was no sign of vent windows; the glass was without a frame structure for the sedans and wagon, while the rear bumpers were now full width with the thinner rectangular taillights integrated into the design. All the Torino family now had the Ford Directair flow-through ventilation system. New safety features included integral door edge guards with the flush-mounted outside door handles to complete the external makeover.
© Swtrekker | Dreamstime.com 1972 Gran Torino Sport Restoration
There were more unseen changes with the body-on-frame construction rather than the previous year’s unitized body. The new perimeter design chassis had the front shaped in an energy-absorbing “S” configuration that allowed for a quite smoother ride. There were 14 rubber body mounts with five solid cross members to help take the road bumps away from the passenger compartment. Similar to the full-sized Ford LTD, the Torino used unequal-length front control arms with coil springs mounted on the strut lower control arm, while the back end had the coils sitting on the solid axle; this was the “Stabul four-link suspension system.
The wheels tracked two inches wider with the total package, giving the new Torino uncompromised dampening of vibration. The heavy-duty suspension pack option was similar but had the addition of beefier springs with heavy-duty shocks also included, and it was basic for the “towing package.”
The competition package added heavy-duty sway bars front and rear. Previous to this year, there was no rear sway bar available for the Torino. All the coupes had a one-inch longer body, but they were on a shorter wheelbase than the sedan versions, which sport five-inch longer bodies, as well. The ’71 model’s power steering was also revised with front discs an optional choice, but 14-inch wheels were the only size available for public use, although Torino models ordered for police department used 15 inch rims.
The lineup was consolidated from 14 variations to nine available for the ’72 model year with no convertible on the roster, and a four-door pillared hardtop replaced the four-door hardtops and sedans. The mid-level was now called the Grand Torino with the Torino Brougham an option package, and the Gran Torino Sport was available with the traditional roof line and a fastback. There were only three wagons offered, and the Cobra was discontinued with emphasis now placed on luxury appointments rather than power options.