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Diego’s AutoHunter Picks

When you give to the universe, the universe gives back


Sometimes the planets align perfectly, and I don’t have to think hard about assembling four interesting vehicles on AutoHunter. This is one of those weeks. It’s an eclectic mix of cars that feature style and performance (at least in their respective contexts), yet that doesn’t mean they have to break the bank.

Of special note is a Canadian version of a car quite familiar to Americans. We are not often exposed to the peculiarities of the Canadian market in years gone by, so here’s your chance if the others don’t float your boat (a reference to the Chrysler below). Which would you pick?

1955 Cadillac Coupe de Ville
Chevrolet tends to overshadow everything in 1955, but we can’t forget that Cadillac was at the top of its game that year. Refining the 1954 redesign, Cadillac updated its lineup with properly integrated parking lights, “Dagmars” with an increase in cup size, and the trademark humpback fins. Plus, on the Eldorado front, Detroit bore witness to the next evolution of the fin — something that would be mainstreamed across the board in 1957.

This Series 62 Coupe de Ville was the style leader among the mainstream Caddys in 1955. Finished in Goddess Gold with an Alpine White top, this Coupe de Ville features an interesting ivory vinyl and red cloth interior. Power comes from a 250-horsepower 331cid V8 and standard Hydra-Matic transmission. Features include power windows, Wonder Bar AM radio, and new red carpet. Elvis impersonators, your car has arrived!

1967 Acadian Canso Sport Deluxe
Here’s something so familiar yet different: a Canadian version of the Chevy II that was sold at Pontiac dealerships across the Great White North. Just don’t call it a Pontiac! Trim levels were Invader and Canso, with the fancy SS-like Sport Deluxe package available for the latter. Sport Deluxe features included “distinctive trim and identification” including front fender louvers, bucket seats, and console (when equipped with optional automatic or four-speed).

This 1967 Acadian Canso features the Sport Deluxe package and has been upgraded with a 383 stroker featuring Edelbrock heads, Flowtech headers, McLeod Racing clutch, MSD ignition, aluminum radiator, and four-speed manual. If you love Chevys but hate the me-too aspect at every local cruise, then this is the compromise you’ve been looking for.

1967 Plymouth GTX Convertible
Plymouth finally got its act together by introducing the GTX in the fall of 1966. Power came from a new 375-horsepower 440 Super Commando, an impressive piece of standard equipment that was on par with the optional engines of competitive makes. For the most pesky of competitors, the 426 Hemi was available to eat and spit them out.

Only 680 GTX convertibles were built in 1967, so this a rare machine even in standard form. Painted Gold metallic (code Z) with a black bucket seat interior, this Mopar also features the center console with tachometer, TorqueFlite automatic, Sure-Grip with 3.23 gears, Chrome Custom Road Wheels, and manual four-wheel drums. Before the Road Runner, this was it!

1968 Chrysler Newport “Sportsgrain” Convertible
Like Mercury, Chrysler also offered vinyl woodgrain paneling to its full-size models in 1968-69, in particular the Newport two-door hardtop and convertible. When the B-52s were singing about a Chrysler that was as big as a whale, it’s quite possible they were thinking of this one. Considering it’s a land yacht, isn’t it a no-brainer to have yacht paneling?

Besides Sportsgrain trim, this Polar White 1968 Newport is also equipped with buckets and console, power windows, AM/FM radio, air conditioning, power steering, and power front disc brakes, Power comes from the optional four-barrel Firepower 383 XP with 330 horsepower, which also included a dual-snorkel air cleaner and dual exhausts. Out of 2,847 built for the U.S., approximately 175 featured the Sportsgrain trim.

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in metropolitan Phoenix.


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