Thursday, March 18, 2010

American Classic Cars

Okay, we’ve heard of ‘vintage cars' but have you heard about the 'classic cars'? Well last weekend, as I was coming back from Perth city, I saw a lot of people gathering at the Victoria Park’s Burswood Park. I got of the bus at Victoria Park Bus Transfer station and made my way over to Burswood park. I discovered a lot of people and a lot of that were from another era before my time. I later learned that it was the ‘American Auto Classics’ show.

Now, a 'vintage car' is a car that is often known as a car made between 1919 and 1930 but the 'classics car' , although there is debate about its definition, it is known by the American Classic Car Club, as a car made between 1946 and 1985. Just like the vintage cars, they were high priced when first made and were made in limited quantities.

I was also amazed at the number of people who had classic cars here in Perth, althoug I didnt know the exact number of classic cars here. Today was special for many of these owners as they got to showcase their love of the car and tell stories of how it came to be in their possession. There were also people sharing ideas, inspecting models and lots of children too marvelling at bright cars. There were also cars that had their engines remodified and I tell you, they had some mean growls when they were revved up!

Knowing next to nothing about the classics, this was an opportunity not to be missed. There were Cadillac’s, Chevrolets, Chryslers, Fords, Trucks, Lincoln-Mercury and Pontiacs al together. Some of these cars made in the 1960s had features we take for granted today like power steering, power brakes and auto transmission than cars made in earlier eras. However, these cars also lacked other essential features like seat belts which today are considered priority. New owners now tend to fit seatbelts into the cars but many owners dislike this as it ‘removes originality’ of the vehicle.

The car that really caught my liking was the 1953 Desoto Firedome, a sleek, polished and neat car. The DeSoto Firedome was a full-size automobile produced by the Chrysler Corporation for its DeSoto brand vehicles from 1952 to 1959. The 1953 Firedome was introduced just prior to DeSoto's 25th Anniversary in 1953. The entire De Soto model lineup was restyled and Firedome prices started at US$2,740. During the 1953 model year, approximately 64,211 examples were produced. This one pictured is a 1953 Desoto Firedome, a four door sedan which could seat six passengers was now selling for AUD$24,000. The Firedome was powered by a Hemi V8 engine producing 160 hp (120 kW) and had a top speed of 160 km/h. The car weighed 1,700 kg and had a 0-100 km/h time of 15.5 seconds. What a car!

Another car that always appealed to the young and savy were the Pontiac Firebirds. The Pontiacs were a 'smooth' car manufactured by General Motors. This one at this show was a 1978 Pontiac Firebird which meant that it was a second generation Pontiac Firebird. Even the owner said it was ‘one of the sexiest cars ever made’. In 1978, the same year the island of Tuvalu became independent and Argentina won the soccer world cup, approximately 187,285 units of the Pontiac Firebird were made and sold only in that year. This car had a 350 Chevrolet engine - 295 horsepower, weighed about 1,653kg, has a length of 5 meters with a fuel capacity of 76 liters and top it left hand drive. It was now selling for AUD$16,000!

There were many other cars to look at and each car had its’ own story to tell. From being first made, passing though its owners and finally appearing in all its glory at the Victoria Park Show.
But we could go on and on about these cars but I’ll let you have a look at the photos to see yourself.

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