Car Collector Corner: More AMC power and a Pontiac Torpedo lover
Q: Greg, in a recent Patriot Ledger newspaper (Quincy, Mass.), I read your article about the Rambler Rebel and AMC. It brought back so many memories of the 1960's and early 1970's muscle cars, especially the "sleepers."
I was a big Mopar fan, and owned 340 Cudas, a 69 Hemi Cuda, Roadrunners, and a Charger R/T.
A friend of mine "went to town" with a 1957 Rebel, and then a '67 Rebel and a Javelin that he built up. With Chrysler, Ford and GM the main source of muscle cars, Rambler (then AMC) was too often overlooked. They had some serious powerhouse cars, which we called "sleepers." I remember I got beat at New England Dragway by a Javelin, and I was in my "not stock" 340 Cuda.
Even the Gremlin was fast if prepared right. My neighbor had a Pacer and I used to drive it occasionally. It was great car, and weird looking at first. But once you drove it, you loved it.
I always thought Rambler/AMC hurt themselves with the "family oriented" cars theme. They had put together so many great ideas and combinations of power trains and in so many ways they were ahead of the "big three." If they just hung in there with a different idea of marketing, I believe AMC would still be here.
Anyway, reading your article about the Rebel brought back a lot of memories of "back in the day." Do you think you could expand your articles and ask the readers about their favorite cars? Ask about back in their days and what they remember about the 50- 60-70's era cars. I know there are a lot of "motor heads" building up 327 Novas, 289 thru 429 Mustangs, Ford Torinos, SS 396 Chevelles, the Roadrunners, GTXs, Cudas, Challengers, Chargers, etc.
I believe you could seriously get a lot of reader feedback to expand to at least a half a page of print. There are a lot of us older motor heads that would have a great place to remember through you. Thanks for the great article. Dan Long, Pembroke, Mass.
A: Dan, you made my day with this letter. If readers out there want to share memories like Dan, please write me. I can't guarantee a half page, but we'll do the best we can. Photos are also welcome.
Pontiac Torpedo honeymoon
Q: Hi Greg, just had to make a comment about the 1948 Pontiac Torpedo in your column in the Coldwater Reporter.
When my hubby and I got married in June of 1950, (now 62 years), his older brother had a Torpedo and he let us use it for our honeymoon. We went to Kentucky, Tennessee, and parts south. It was a grand, nice driving car and it did not let us down. We always loved Pontiacs. Anyway, thanks for the memories for a little old lady. Jeanne from Coldwater, Mich.
A: Thanks Jeanne, and keep those memories coming.
(Greg Zyla welcomes reader input on collector cars, auto nostalgia and old-time racing at 116 Main St., Towanda, Pa. 18848 or email at extra firstname.lastname@example.org).