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History What is the quintessential American GT-C?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, May 12, 2015.

  1. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 11,020

    from Tampa, FL

    What about some of those fancy pants Harley Earl cars from the 50's? Gary
  2. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,496

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    I'm very byist,love Studebakers,I owned a used 55 Speedster,wow what a super nice car it was,in 1967 I added supercharger off a used 57 Golden Hawk,that gave to my motherinlaw { she though the Hawk was too fast for her as it was,so I put a 2bbl on it,but I had a tile prob on 55 I could never get strait an only got to drive it one year NUTTS,. But all of that is not what was asked so: Studebaker Avanti is #1 an yes the superchargered one.
  3. As far as the taillights.....I'm in agreement here as the back of a 65 Rivi always reminded me of a girl with shaved eyebrows due to the blank panel left behind when they put the taillights in the bumper. The taillights in the bumper look fine. It's the blank panel from where they came from that doesn't appeal to me. Buick probly should've come up with a tasteful piece of trim for that area. Oh, and the color of the car plays big in how I perceive that blank panel (some colors bring out the blankness more than others)
  4. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,782


    For me it's the 65 Riviera... I always wanted one and was lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time... I often catch myself staring at it out in the garage, having a beer and wondering wtf were these guys smoking when they designed this car... Crazy from every angle... And a great car to drive... The must have been on the Enterprise drinking with mr. Spock the night before they came up with that design...
    So, count me in to the Riviera crowd...:)
  5. Riv hands down but I love me a 67 Eldo
  6. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,608

    Rusty O'Toole

    1953 Studillac. A Studebaker Starlight hardtop with brand new Cadillac V8 and Mercury rear axle installed by Bill Frick.

    James Bond was impressed by CIA agent Felix Leiter's Studellac in Diamonds Are Forever but preferred his own Bentley.
    Spoggie likes this.
  7. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,875

    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    In my opinion the Continental was the most beautiful car ever made in America, but it is rarely
    customized as it was/is to expensive and is hard to improve on anyway. The Riviera is heads
    and tails above the remaining choices, though I also feel the T-Birds should have been
    included. The Riviera is also hard to improve on but as a mass produced car there is always
    some compromises made that can be addressed by talented individuals.
  8. tjm73
    Joined: Feb 17, 2006
    Posts: 3,404


    My dad has a '64 Riv. Beautiful car. Thirsty. Loves to gulp the gasoline and goes like a mother for it's age and size.
  9. lewk
    Joined: Apr 8, 2011
    Posts: 826

    from Mt

    The Rivi is the winner but Avanti and Olds Starfire seem like they should be on the list. One day I'll build a '63 or '64 Riviera with a '65 nose. Letter cars are really neat too.
  10. TALLAN
    Joined: Nov 12, 2005
    Posts: 10


    1953/54 Studebakers also a Loewry Design (and Bob Bourke) should also be thrown in the mix.... ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1431486892.622100.jpg
    dana barlow and hansboomer like this.
  11. I'm not surprised at all the Riv votes, but I vote for the Gran Prix, because I had a 64 GP, 421 tri-power 4 speed car, the only car I kick myself for getting rid of.
  12. draggin'GTO
    Joined: Jul 7, 2003
    Posts: 1,773


    Pontiac Grand Prix.

    Likely outsold all of the others combined.

    They were beautiful, durable and they performed.

    In the 1960s Pontiac had everything the public wanted, they were the best cars of that era.
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
    Squablow likes this.
  13. 63-65 Riviera...... Power comfort and style..... Maikikiriviera64.jpg
  14. sailingadventure
    Joined: Feb 11, 2007
    Posts: 279


    DSC04132 - Copy.JPG


    008 (1024x768).jpg
    While I think all the cars mentioned are worthy of being selected, the Studebaker Avantis, 1963-1964, were offered with options such as a supercharger, posi-traction, 4 speed transmissions, power steering, and hill holders.A/C could not be ordered with a supercharger due to the size of the compressors available at the time. They were good looking, fast and fun to drive.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,287


    Since you limited the choices it almost has to be the Riviera, and make mine a 65. I also understand the few yellow flags tossed on the floor by mentioning other models by the same brands mentioned. My flag would be the 64-5 GTO. Some might scream "...muscle car!!", and that too is understandable. Some will always refer to it as such and also the 1st of a breed, but as a "quintessential Grand Touring" there should be almost no contest. Smaller, lighter, faster, and in the hands of true "GT" user there's nothing left to discuss. It's Achilles heel was the brakes which can be said of any choice offered yet a true user would no doubt upgrade that element. Luxury was mentioned in the topic too. With walnut veneer and bucket seats it was right there with the best of those offered. No sense discussing what happened to it as time went on and the same can be said for the rest as well, although by 69 the Grand Prix became a better fit, and frankly it was a long-nosed GTO in a different suit. I also agree with mentioning the 67-8 Eldorado. Talk about a dream car on the road, it's custom lines have always given me pause. I recall drag race coverage where some from the pro ranks were calling each other out in their Eldorados and the times were quite respectable for luxury liners, mid 14s if memory serves. That's my take FWIW....
    Squablow and Spoggie like this.
  16. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,586


    Mai Ki-Ki , the Riv you showed is perfect!
    One thing that Pontiacs always had right was dashboard design. Round gauges and a sporty look gave them a performance feel.
  17. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,608

    Rusty O'Toole

    If you want quintessential I am surprised the Corvette Sting Ray hasn't got a mention.
  18. I love the Mark II but if I had to pick a car to live with I would go with the 65 Riviera. That hoss just looks like a custom concept car right off the showroom floor. And add the 2x4 setup under the hood and you have power to go with the looks. It is about as near perfect as you can get in an American car. I don't know of one aspect of it that I would change if I had one.
  19. draggin'GTO
    Joined: Jul 7, 2003
    Posts: 1,773


    I couldn't agree more. This car changed the world.

    The first GTO was a no-frills personal GT. No nonsense, just a big 325HP 389 engine standard with a three-speed stick.

    Utterly simple yet handsome styling.

    Automotive perfection.

    Squablow likes this.
  20. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,693


    From a European perspective the American car that best fit with the European concept of a Grand Tourer would indeed be the Studebaker Avanti. To Europeans the Corvette was the American idea of a sports car - not a Grand Tourer. A Grand Tourer's perceived function was to transport two people and their luggage over long distances fast, long legged without being mechanically stressed and in comfort. A Grand Tourer has always been by definition a sporting but luxurious 2 seater coupe or a 2+2 Coupe where the apology for a rear seat was used to stow luggage.

    The Avanti showed visual similarities to it's contemporary Maserati Mistrale. Other European Grand Tourers of the era would be Ferrari touring cars - the Lusso springs to mind - the Lamborghini 350 GT, Aston Martin DBs, Jaguar E Type Coupe, Jensen, Facel Vega, Mercedes SL to name a few. I rode in a friend's Avanti R2 in Switzerland when it was new. It did not look out of place surrounded by European machinery and it performed it's role admirably.
    lewk likes this.
  21. silverdome
    Joined: Aug 23, 2007
    Posts: 553


    100% AGREED. It broke many a speed records in its day and looked amazing doing it.
  22. 46stude
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 1,716


    Out of the choices, the Riviera.

    But add me to the list of those who say "What about the '61-'63 Thunderbird?". Very much a GT style American entry, IMO.
  23. [​IMG]

    It could have been, well at least I think so.
  24. ^^^^ Well maybe if you kept the body, add comfortable seats and up the horse power by 300 ^^^^
  25. Zandoz
    Joined: Jan 23, 2012
    Posts: 307


    First choice would be the '53/'54 Studebaker Starliner/Starlight coupes.
    Second choice would be the Studebaker Avanti
    Also rans in no particular order:
    1965 Chrysler coupes

    1968 Pontiac Grand Prix
    1968 Pontiac Grand Prix.jpg

    1970 Buick Riviera

    Yes, I love fender skirts.
  26. huffreport
    Joined: Feb 20, 2004
    Posts: 169


  27. 170069Aerostudy.jpg

    A late Hawk with disc brakes. On second thoughts, that cute blue Avanti.^
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  28. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,925


    I'll take the big Merc. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1431664067.505622.jpg
    VirgilHilts likes this.
  29. acerods
    Joined: Apr 10, 2008
    Posts: 66

    from CALIF.


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