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Oracle of Delphi

It's 1973 all over again

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In 1973 I was 4 years old, A war raged in Asia, gas prices were sky high (for that time), the Republican president at that time was very disliked by the world.

Today, I will be 39 in 1 month, a war rages in Asia, gas prices are sky high, the Republican president is very disliked by the world as a whole, It's 1973 all over again. To bring you closer to that time, and experience a car from my childhood, let me link you to a site that remembers the 1973 Pontiac Grand Am Colonnade.

Check out the videos at that time, my parents were watching the Edgar Winter Group in1973, I was watching Sesame Street with Little Stevie Wonder.

Enjoy: http://jalopnik.com/cars/down-on-the-stree...rant-321230.php

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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Excellent read, PCS.

I remember waiting in gas lines in my parents' IH Scout "Aristocrat" that year. Mom was pretty good with the 4 speed!

It's good to see the Colonnade cars getting some respect these days, I was part of the chorus damning them back then - but the Pontiacs were always pretty nice looking.

Now that three Colonnades are in my barn, I remember them more fondly than I once did. They sold like hotcakes, and every other driveway had one of the wagons in it! All of the Colonnades were very comfortable to drive and much more responsive in handling than their size implies. Other than the extreme lack of power, they really were quite nice all around and more sophisticated in suspension and braking than their much-loved predecessors.

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Ah, Pontiac... :)
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About 3/4 of a tank, why do you ask?:huh:
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Interesting read. 1973 was the first year I started paying attention to cars. I remember GM put a 5 or 6 page, full color supplement in the Toyota Star (actually, back then it was the Toronto Star) in, I'd guess, September '72, introducing the entire '73 GM car line up. (I stillh have the supplement, I might add - a real walk down memory lane!) For some reason, I spent a lot of time pouring over the pictures and decided to keep it.

That began my career as Scourge of the Auto Dealers and I used to write to GM, Ford and Chrysler every year, asking for brochures. Ford and Chrysler were very generous. GM was stingey. <_< I even wrote to Citroen when they were still in Montreal, and they sent me a full glossy spread on the SM which I also still have.

Funny that Toyota and Honda never made it to my mailing list. Imagine that. Even at 12 I had taste.

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Funny that Toyota and Honda never made it to my mailing list. Imagine that. Even at 12 I had taste.

You still do Sir, you still do! :AH-HA_wink:

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Seemed like everyone had a Colonnade. Looks better now than it did then for some reason.

We Xers will be the last generation to enjoy a full lifetime of cars and a petroconsumer lifestyle. Listening to Carly from 1971 now, "These are the good old days. These are the good old days..."

In 1973 I was 4 years old, A war raged in Asia, gas prices were sky high (for that time), the Republican president at that time was very disliked by the world.

Today, I will be 39 in 1 month, a war rages in Asia, gas prices are sky high, the Republican president is very disliked by the world as a whole, It's 1973 all over again. To bring you closer to that time, and experience a car from my childhood, let me link you to a site that remembers the 1973 Pontiac Grand Am Colonnade.

Check out the videos at that time, my parents were watching the Edgar Winter Group in1973, I was watching Sesame Street with Little Stevie Wonder.

Enjoy: http://jalopnik.com/cars/down-on-the-stree...rant-321230.php

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I'd love to see some photoshops of a variety of Colonnades with pre-73 style chrome bumpers. The gigantic shoch absorber versions that they were built with really marred the design badly. Having looked at the structure of these cars closely, it would seem that GM was working on ways to do just that, but the regulations caught them. I would love to see any design studies done with the more "normal" bumpers - I feel confident that such studies must have existed.

PCS, can you check on something like that?

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Excellent read, PCS.

I remember waiting in gas lines in my parents' IH Scout "Aristocrat" that year. Mom was pretty good with the 4 speed!

It's good to see the Colonnade cars getting some respect these days, I was part of the chorus damning them back then - but the Pontiacs were always pretty nice looking.

Now that three Colonnades are in my barn, I remember them more fondly than I once did. They sold like hotcakes, and every other driveway had one of the wagons in it! All of the Colonnades were very comfortable to drive and much more responsive in handling than their size implies. Other than the extreme lack of power, they really were quite nice all around and more sophisticated in suspension and braking than their much-loved predecessors.

...ah yes, a RWD GM car with v8 power in every other driveway...

Damned glad I grew up when I did.

Chris

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I'd love to see some photoshops of a variety of Colonnades with pre-73 style chrome bumpers. The gigantic shoch absorber versions that they were built with really marred the design badly. Having looked at the structure of these cars closely, it would seem that GM was working on ways to do just that, but the regulations caught them. I would love to see any design studies done with the more "normal" bumpers - I feel confident that such studies must have existed.

PCS, can you check on something like that?

I wouldn't have the time or resources to do that right now, as I am living out of a suitcase. I will be back in Switzerland at the end of May.

My suggestion would be to ask Pontiac Historical Services ( http://www.phs-online.com ) if they have the ability to do that, they have a team dedicated to them, and they would have the data resources to pull from. If I understand you, you want to see the 73's with the chrome bumpers like I have on my 69 Custom-S. I read about them doing that but that was a long time ago.

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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I wouldn't have the time or resources to do that right now, as I am living out of a suitcase. I will be back in Switzerland at the end of May.

My suggestion would be to ask Pontiac Historical Services ( http://www.phs-online.com ) if they have the ability to do that, they have a team dedicated to them, and they would have the data resources to pull from. If I understand you, you want to see the 73's with the chrome bumpers like I have on my 69 Custom-S. I read about them doing that but that was a long time ago.

No rush at all, my friend. Actually, you have just somewhat confirmed my suspicions by saying that you read about this. I came to the conclusion that they must have done so by actually looking at the way the production versions were built (and taking them apart). I used to have Jim Mattison's e-mail (PHS founder) but I may have lost it when my old machine died.

Worth a try, I suppose.

I did a quick search on these cars and it seems that over 5 million Colonnades were built between '73 and '77. The survivor percentage has to be miniscule though, they spent decades being largely unloved.

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When Collectible Automobile magazine showcased these cars, there were pictures included in the article of the cars as they were supposed to look in 1972, their original planned release date. A strike by the everloving UAW prevented them from coming out until the '73 model year, hence the small changes to the A-body lineup from '71-'72, as the released '72s were not supposed to exist per the original plan. Edited by ocnblu
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When Collectible Automobile magazine showcased these cars, there were pictures included in the article of the cars as they were supposed to look in 1972, their original planned release date. A strike by the everloving UAW prevented them from coming out until the '73 model year, hence the small changes to the A-body lineup from '71-'72, as the 'released '72s were not supposed to exist per the original plan.

:yes:

But, as much as I'm singing the praises of the colonnades here, I'm still glad that the previous bodystyle got an extra year!

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As you know the previous generation is much beloved by me, Ed Welburn hinted to me that there may be some designs coming in the future, that harken back to that type of bodystyle. If so, I wait with anticipation in seeing them. :yes:

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Me personally, my favorite Colonnade A-Body is the '73 - '77 Cutlass.

1973_HurstOlds_5.jpg

The side sculpting is pretty muscular. I like that.

And the Monte Carlo of that generation almost ties with the Cutlass for first. Almost. :AH-HA_wink:

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As you know the previous generation is much beloved by me, Ed Welburn hinted to me that there may be some designs coming in the future, that harken back to that type of bodystyle. If so, I wait with anticipation in seeing them. :yes:

I would be extremely pleased with that happening!

I still think the A body was GM's best idea ever.

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:yes:

But, as much as I'm singing the praises of the colonnades here, I'm still glad that the previous bodystyle got an extra year!

+1

4674825.jpg

f125_1.JPG

no contest

Edited by cletus8269
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Not quite, imo. Think of that '73 with smaller, better-integrated bumpers. Instantly it improves, considerably. The park benches were a last-minute addition to designs that were not made for them. Witness the '74 and up cars, with smaller, much more manageable bumpers.

Borger, that is good news from Mr. Welburn. I hope that includes future Pontiacs.

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Not quite, imo. Think of that '73 with smaller, better-integrated bumpers. Instantly it improves, considerably. The park benches were a last-minute addition to designs that were not made for them. Witness the '74 and up cars, with smaller, much more manageable bumpers.

Borger, that is good news from Mr. Welburn. I hope that includes future Pontiacs.

No argument on that point Ocn, but the '72 remains untouchable by comparison.

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My mom had a '72 Malibu coupe, 307/auto, brown with black vinyl buckets and console. The '72 Chevelle is one of the best ever, with a truly harmonious design, and a cleaner front end than the '71. She dated a guy with a '72 Monte Carlo, in Burnt Orange, with black top/black bucket seat interior. Both cars just seemed so effortlessly good looking, and GM was on top of the world then.
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My mom had a '72 Malibu coupe, 307/auto, brown with black vinyl buckets and console. The '72 Chevelle is one of the best ever, with a truly harmonious design, and a cleaner front end than the '71. She dated a guy with a '72 Monte Carlo, in Burnt Orange, with black top/black bucket seat interior. Both cars just seemed so effortlessly good looking, and GM was on top of the world then.

Why is Blu reminding me of my current desktop? :scratchchin:

chevelledesktop.jpg

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So true, so true.

And yet, the Colonnades have a charm of their own. Without the awful "Nader bumpers" and the weak engines, they would have been stunners in their own right. The '73 Chevelle SS posted isn't even an accurate representative of its type. And '73 was the worst looking of the Colonnade Chevelles. Minor styling tweaks made the '74 and '75 models much more appealing. The early Lagunas were quite nice looking and the square,stacked, headlights of the '76 and '77 models changed the personalities of the cars completely.

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