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Diego’s AutoHunter Picks

The formative years


This week’s AutoHunter Picks feature three cars that made their mark on me as I was a growing young ‘un in suburban America. Thunderbirds were common because they often were bought by mature folks. While 1950s cars were a rare sight, Cadillacs were among the most common, perhaps for the same reason. And Corvettes? C3s had a long run so they were not uncommon at all, even chrome-bumpered ones.

So, what’s an International Harvester doing on this list? I used to see them on occasion, and it’s a cool find currently listed on AutoHunter, so why not?

1965 Ford Thunderbird
I was into Thunderbirds as much as any other car when I was a wee lad. When it came to 1964-66 T-Birds, my preference leaned strongly towards the ’66, and it still does today. However, the 1965 was the first year for sequential taillights, a gimmick that eventually was shared with the 1968-70 Shelby Mustang, 1967-73 Mercury Cougar, and 1969 Imperial. The gimmick has made a comeback on several cars today.

Like all of them, this Medium Blue metallic 1965 Ford Thunderbird convertible is powered by a 390 four-barrel and Cruise-O-Matic. Fine features include power top, windows, locks, and trunk lid, Swing-Away steering column, and skirts. If you’re pining for a great American convertible with style inside and out, with the added bonus of a convertible top mechanism that gathers crowds, this is the car for you.

1957 Cadillac Series 62
Another part of my classic car upbringing were finned Cadillacs. Nineteen fifty-seven was the first year for the blade fins mainstreamed into regular models, though I’ve never been fond of the reverse-slant ones that made the ’57 distinct. Up front, it’s as fine a face as any single-headlight Cadillac ever had – I especially like the twin parking lights.

This 1957 Cadillac Series 62 two-door hardtop shows classic Caddy style with classic 1950s colors for a primo 1950s automotive specimen. Power comes from a 365cid V8 that traces its lineage to the historic high-compression V8 of 1949. Desirable luxury items include power windows and Autronic-Eye high-beam dimmer. Of course, four-wheel drums are as good as it got in the era, but they’re power-assisted. A classic cruiser beyond reproach!

1973 International 1110
Aside of the Scout and Travelall, International trucks seem to lean towards the rarer side. The 1110 was the first step up from the base 1010 and featured either a 119- or 131-inch wheelbase with 3,500- or 3,800-pound capacity. Pickup beds could measure 6.5 or 8 feet. Standard was a 6-258 Power-Thrift, with the V-304, V-345, and V-392 V8s optional. An interesting transmission choice was the 5-speed Direct.

This 1963 International 1110 pickup features the longer 131-inch wheelbase and optional four-speed manual, but the rest of the truck appears to be standard fare with the AMC-sourced straight-six, four-wheel drums, and base bench seat interior. The camper shell is a nice addition, perfect for those weekend hiking trips when a simple tent won’t do for your pampered arse.

1968 Chevrolet Corvette 427
It’s one thing to be a Corvette, but it’s another thing to be a high-compression big-block Corvette. Even if it’s the lowest 427 on the totem pole, that’s still 390 horses and tons of torque in a little car that looks like nothing else on the road. What could go wrong? I guess if sideways is wrong to you, then let’s be wrong more often!

This 1968 Corvette coupe features a lusty L36 Turbo-Jet 427 and a rumble that may make the townfolk nervous. Curiously, the original LeMans Blue has been changed to red, but otherwise this Corvette has everything you’d want including M21 close-ratio four-speed, AM/FM radio, 15-inch Rally wheels, and a low 45,927 miles. If you want to convert any Euro snob to American V8 power, this plastic fantastic is as good as any.

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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