Diego’s Friday AutoHunter Picks | ClassicCars.com Journal

Home - Automotive - Diego’s Friday AutoHunter Picks | ClassicCars.com Journal

Diego’s Friday AutoHunter Picks | ClassicCars.com Journal

This week’s Friday AutoHunter Picks have no big theme, though several of these vehicles (Corvette and Oldsmobile) have interesting cultural aspects that affect their place in the hobby. For example, original engines carry a premium, but the Olds is not often hurt by a 455 transplant. In contrast, the Buick may be hurt by the absence of the original 400, but it’s hard to argue that a 455 is a bad thing. It’s perfect for the guy or gal who just wants to hop in and drive — just like the Plymouth.

chevrolet, Diego’s Friday AutoHunter Picks, ClassicCars.com Journal

1955 Plymouth Belvedere
When I was a kid, I had this book called “Cars of the Fifties and Sixties” by Michael Sedgwick. On the back cover, there was an ad for a 1956 Plymouth with a spectacular view from the rear. I remember being disappointed when, years later, I was able to discover what the front looked like. There was nothing wrong with it, but it didn’t move me. The side trim also appeared unnecessarily busy.

chevrolet, Diego’s Friday AutoHunter Picks, ClassicCars.com Journal

So it is with some regret that I wish to inform you that the 1955 Plymouth does even less for me, yet cars like this 1955 Belvedere Club Sedan has its charms, especially with mild custom tricks. Sure, the shark fins are missing but this is among the first of Virgil Exner’s Forward Look, so this Plymouth is quite alright in my book. Nineteen fifty-five was also the first year for Plymouth’s V8, in this case a 259 Poly. I’d buy some Brylcreem and rock this.

chevrolet, Diego’s Friday AutoHunter Picks, ClassicCars.com Journal

1963 Chevrolet Corvette
The 1963 Corvette convertible sits in a strange position in the collector car market because everyone wants the “Split-Window” Sport Coupe, while the Convertible is more desirable from 1964-67. As such, the 1963 Convertible tends to get squeezed out in the totem pole of C2 desirability.

chevrolet, Diego’s Friday AutoHunter Picks, ClassicCars.com Journal

But if you want to find an easy way into the C2, the 1963 convertible is not a bad way to go. Standard horsepower is lower than in later years, so the 250-horsepower 327 can work in your favor if you’re the sort whose wallet won’t allow for an L88. A huge plus is this one was ordered with a four-speed manual — nothing unusual, but you sometimes see these with Powerglide, which wouldn’t be fun.

chevrolet, Diego’s Friday AutoHunter Picks, ClassicCars.com Journal

1968 Oldsmobile 4-4-2
I think a lot of people like the 1968-69 4-4-2, but their engines suffer from a poor reputation due to their undersquare dimensions that was not an improvement over the oversquare 400 from 1965-67. Though the 1968-69 4-4-2 was rated at 350 horsepower (contemporary for a 6.5-liter muscle car), those equipped with an automatic were rated at 325 horsepower due to a milder cam. Why Oldsmobile engineers did that, I dunno.

chevrolet, Diego’s Friday AutoHunter Picks, ClassicCars.com Journal

So 1968-69 4-4-2s are popular recipients for a 455 transplant, as this 1968 demonstrates. Though we are not told which 455 it has — they’re all not created equal — “period-correct” is used in the description, so let’s fantasize it’s the same as what would be found in a Hurst/Olds. The W36 side stripe looks to be properly positioned (a rare occurrence), but the same can’t be said for the badges.

chevrolet, Diego’s Friday AutoHunter Picks, ClassicCars.com Journal

1967 Buick GS 400
Just like the 4-4-2 above received a new engine in 1968, Buick ditched the “Nailhead” and used a new engine design for 1967. It too was undersquare, but it seems the Buick simply jelled much better though, of course, camshaft and head design also plays a strong part in engine output.

chevrolet, Diego’s Friday AutoHunter Picks, ClassicCars.com Journal

Buick’s 455 also has a mighty reputation among its kinfolk (and Hemi owners), though this Gran Sport has one of unspecified vintage. Luckily, the owner maintained the “Star Wars” air cleaner. I like bucket seats, but a bench seat paired to a 4-speed is equally attractive IMHO.

The ClassicCars.com Journal

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top