(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco, California): 1958 Oldsmobile Super 88 Holiday Hardtop Coupe

IMG_3459Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or in the eye of the buyer, I guess. In the twilight zone of the late 50’s, many an automobile brings up the question of what exactly did “good taste” mean in terms of what American car shoppers wanted.

This is where the 1958 Oldsmobile enters into our consciousness. When all is said and done, can you believe that it was one of the most popular faces for ’58? Perhaps entranced by all the sparkling jewelry, we spend time with this glittery gem, figuring out if it was a ghoul or the genteel beast most middle class buyers wanted that year.

Continue reading “(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco, California): 1958 Oldsmobile Super 88 Holiday Hardtop Coupe”

(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco): 1960 Plymouth Fury Convertible

img_4850We’ve mused before about the 1960 Plymouth, and the future it found itself in not being as kind as its forebearers had promised it in the Fall of ’56.  Plymouth had a hard time moving on from its miserly image in general, with Dodge prominently powerful as a more premium player in the makings of Mopar at the turn of the decade.

Nevertheless, Plymouth was to offer a glamorous convertible, as expected by all of the Low-Priced Three as a traditional halo model. 1960 would be no different for Plymouth, as they rivaled Chevrolet for the most flamboyant offering for 1960 for the smallest of open top budgets.

Continue reading “(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco): 1960 Plymouth Fury Convertible”

(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco, California): 1951 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe Bel-Air 2 Door Hardtop Coupe

img_4218Although Chevrolet always languished at the bottom of the traditional General Motors hierarchy, often it portrayed itself as an aspirational Cadillac for the everyperson. While Ford’s most often left it to middle child Mercury to dress up in Mama Bear Lincoln Luxury guise, Chevrolet quite often did drag in the duds more associated with the higher echelons of the country’s biggest manufacturer.

The most fashionable firecracker offered by Chevrolet was the first in the low-priced field 2 Door “Hardtop Convertible” mimicking the 1949 Coupe DeVille (and Roadmaster Riviera and Ninety Eight Holiday Coupes) named, in an oh-so-vacation minded frame of mind as the Bel-Air for 1950. How did it do in its sophomore season?

Continue reading “(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco, California): 1951 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe Bel-Air 2 Door Hardtop Coupe”

(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco, California): 1964 Studebaker Avanti

avanti1

The Studebaker Avanti is the most Christ-like of all personal coupes. I’m not too sure that the end of production at South Bend fell on a Friday, or whether the revival of limited production models came on a Sunday. In a number of ways it was perfect, in other ways it was perfectly flawed.

As we start to close out the year, let’s revisit this car I’ve covered before in terms of which crosses it had to bear for the sins of Studebaker before arising to a bespoke role.

Continue reading “(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco, California): 1964 Studebaker Avanti”

(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco, California): 1954 Hudson Hornet Sedan

image After creating such a sensation on the Automotive market in 1948, The “Step Down” Hudsons found themselves left behind because of their extremely distinctive stance. The envelope Uni-Body that gave the rugged solidarity and premium prestige in the immediate post war proved a limited engineering dead end in the rapidly changing automotive market of the 1950’s.

More Film Noir than Technicolor, Hudson tried valiantly to freshen up and trim the relationship to fastback fancies of the 1940’s. Interestingly, the modernization worked to some degree better on other bodystyles, yet betrayed the aging roots on other models. For the final year of truly unique Hudson models, it proved many a fumbled opportunity.
Continue reading “(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco, California): 1954 Hudson Hornet Sedan”

(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco, California) : 1958 DeSoto Adventurer Sportsman Coupe

12366640_10153190214917201_1545318438_nLong before the muscle car era kicked off in earnest in 1964, Highland Park fielded a ferocious foursome of super coupes in the mid-to late 1950’s. The second most hedonistic was the DeSoto Adventurer.

In DeSoto’s role as the less demure, more accessible Chrysler counterpart, the Adventurer focused quite a bit on outward glitter to compliment the marvelous performance capabilities unleashed by the chassis. Decked out with “Christmas Tree” tail lamps and “Firesweep” two-tone color panels, the Adventurer was the most expensive and prized gift you could receive from DeSoto retailers during the late 1950’s.

Continue reading “(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco, California) : 1958 DeSoto Adventurer Sportsman Coupe”

(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco) – 1953 Studebaker Commander Starliner Coupe and 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk

11287366_10152792016192201_783228648_n

There can be an amazing price paid for beauty. Studebaker found out far too well when it decided to put a stunning coupe on the market in 1953. Giving the general buying public access to a international flavored fantasy at a fraction of bespoke prices lead to many a headache. Unfortunately, Studebaker didn’t have any expectation of overwhelming success for their new star.

What we behold here are perhaps the most fatal beauties in the history of the American Automotive Industry. In that failure, however, they created an automotive segment that would come to dominate the American Automotive landscape in just over a generation.

Continue reading “(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco) – 1953 Studebaker Commander Starliner Coupe and 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk”

(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco) – 1958 Buick Century Riviera Hardtop Coupe

11199031_10152769073762201_668016983_n (1)

There’s plenty that can be said about the 1958 Buick models. This is a given, given how much actual car each 1958 Buick actually is. The massive visual presence of these cars signify the last hurrah of the visual weight that was common with General Motors styling under the leadership of Harley Earl.

Bemoaned for their bric-a-brac at the time, they serve as perfect portraits into the late 1950’s zeitgeist of flash and flamboyance today. No shrinking violet (and how could they truly be?) for better or worse, they’re perfect totems to rampant corporate confidence and the hubris that often brings. Continue reading “(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco) – 1958 Buick Century Riviera Hardtop Coupe”