(Found In) Clawson (Oakland, California): 1973 Lincoln Continental 4 Door Sedan

photo 2Much can be said for the foreboding presence that many a vintage domestic luxury sedan exudes. With forty-plus years of changing automotive trends, a premium offering like a 1973 Lincoln Continental perhaps tells even more of a story compared to when they were new.

As a cross between 1960’s restraint and 1970’s isolation, these Continentals struck a Goldilock’s “just right” once you got past the intimidating presentation.

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(Found In) Fernside (Alameda, California): 1963 Mercury Comet S-22 Convertible

24511649174_c64999eed7_hFuller and Fancier than the Falcon, the Comet had carved out a pretty succesful niche as being a borderline Mid-sized entry level medium priced car in the early 196o’s. As the Falcon added to its repetoire, so did the Comet. For 1963 that mean a few more shots across the sky in hardtop coupe and covertible form. Not only was the fun in the way to accesorize your roofs, some new, some would say needed, zoom was available under the hood as well.

As compact cars struck different fancies in the ever diversifying American Automotive market, the Comet wanted to woo you with interstellar fantasies and earthbound charms a plenty. Charming, carefree and coy, it was one of the most compelling choices among compact cars in 1963.

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(Found In) Fairview Park (Oakland, California): 1972 Ford Pinto Squire Station Wagon

24694209420_56de8de8fb_hGiven the lawsuits and safety concerns about their fuel tanks; its often forgotten these days that the Ford Pinto was a rousing success for Ford in the Early 70’s. Upon introduction the frolicsome combination of sprite, plucky nature and a reasonable entry price made the Ford Pinto seemingly like the answer to the onslaught of Subcompact imports flooding the American Automotive Market.

Ford upped the versatility quotient to match Chevrolet’s Vega with first a Hatchback, then the Station wagon model for 1972. The Squire option brought enough charm for housewives and handymen a plenty to consider the smallest by a large margin of Ford Haulers. In a way, its the ultimate expression of the virtues early Pintos contained.

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(Found In) Claremont (Oakland, California): 1966 Ford Thunderbird Convertible

24160339594_3a70c0783d_kThe Thunderbird legacy started as a top down thrill. However, the thrill was a bit muted in some ways. To give the original Thunderbird a leg up over a host of sports cars, the Thunderbird was marketed as a “personal” car. As such, comfort and convenience was built in from the beginning.

Featuring an optional Hardtop, and a slew of convienience options, the open air quotient always seemed to be an optional one. Ford flirted and fielded the idea of closing off the full free-breeze feeling as early as 1960 with an option of a sliding metal sunroof for Hardtop Coupes. But by 1966, the writing was on the wall within the confines of the Private World of Thunderbird.
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(Found In) Fair Oaks (San Mateo County, California): 1959 Edsel Corsair 4 Door Sedan

24018417839_021f4fb5a0_kSo much of the narrative attention given to the Edsel brand is given to the first year cars. With high expectations and projections of greatness, the ultimate failure to meet the mark sours the story of the whole brand.

It decidedly makes the 1959 versions a case of “why bother?” Indeed, the Edsel was a Ford in a gaudier suit when Ford could ill afford the expense of tailoring a new set of clothes for an old body. One would also have to look at the case of saving face and not throwing in the towel as well. The 1959 Edsel in Ranger and Corsair guise were the inevitable placeholders before the eventual march off into oblivion.

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(Found In) Westlake (Daly City, California): 1961 Ford Falcon Deluxe Tudor Sedan

12348518_10153171487722201_1228274483_nThe Ford Falcon walked away with the sales crown in the compact car race in 1960. Proving to be a splendid combination of thrift and simplicity, the Falcon set all rivals scrambling for a more simplified piece of the pie.

Where was the Falcon to go for its sophomore year? A little more glitz, a little more muscle of course. It was a Motor City Machine after all. Once the basic needs of American consumers are met, they always want more. It was a lesson Ford learned early on, and quite painfully with the Model T, and there was no time to waste when it came to keeping the Falcon up with the times.
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(Found In) Cleveland Cascade (Oakland, California): 1968 Lincoln Continental Hardtop Coupe

12357984_10153180981312201_1785917170_nAlthough a styling revolutionary, the 1961 Lincoln Continental wasn’t exactly a sales champion. The infinite varieties available for consumption in Cadillac showrooms allowed the Standard of The World to consistently outplace its Dearborn bred rival throughout the 1960’s.

By 1966, Lincoln was through with making due with a two model system of a basic 4 door Sedan and the ultra-rare and unique on the American market 4 door convertible. The standard bearer of post-war automotive affluence, the Two Door Hardtop Coupe, returned that year, and grew ever more distinctive each model year.
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(Found In) Lower Haight (San Francisco, California): 1964 Mercury Montclair Breezeway 4 Door Sedan

9319740544_48560d26f0_zFor the life of the brand, the Mercury division of Ford Motor Company struggled to figure out its image within the American Automotive marketplace.

Initially perched as the up-market solution to the vast gap between Ford and Lincoln, Mercury found that pound remarkably deep and wide, full of competition not only from General Motors and Chrysler, but some well-regarded independents as well. Matters weren’t helped much by which season the Mercurial brand was aligned with being a “Fancy Ford” or a “Cut-Rate Lincoln.”
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(Found at) Fort Mason (San Francisco, California): 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 Convertible

12233406_10153136886362201_131286300_nImitation is considered the finest form of flattery. The stylists at Pontiac had the biggest confidence booster in the form of imitations from multiple brands for Model Year 1965. From cars as diverse as the Mercury Comet to Fraternal Luxury brand Cadillac, brands adopted Pontiac’s signature stacked headlamps. Some also adopted the fullness at the ‘hips.’

No brand got flack for it more than Ford. Their mostly revamped under the skin Full Sized Models were derisively called “The Box the 1963 Pontiac came in.” Burned by that assertion, Ford massaged the look to mesmerize buyers and critics the following seasons on sale. From hips sprouting pubescent curves and a bit more rake to the headlamps, The 1966 full sized Ford strived for a unique identity all it’s own.

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(Found In) Outer Sunset (San Francisco, California): 1965 Ford Fairlane 500 Sport Coupe

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Success for various Detroit-bred cars wasn’t unlike the track record of another factory in the Detroit Metro area in the 1960’s. Yesterday’s star, in a quick flash of 3 years could become the season bench warmer. Like The Contours of Motown, by the end of 1965, the mid-sized Ford Fairlane was singing “Do You Love Me?” to American Audiences for all the wrong reasons.

In 1962, The Fairlane was the smash hit nobody expected, just like The Contours. Priced cheaper than General Motors’s not as roomy and sometimes trouble prone “B-O-P Luxury Compacts,” the most upsized of Falcons in Junior Galaxie 500 finery walked away with sales victories.  Nearly 300,000 went out the door for the introductory year. With a new, revvy and willing small block V8, it seemed like nothing but hits would follow for the Fairlane.

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