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America's Bicentennial Car - 1974 Chevrolet Impala Spirit Of America


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Mah daadeee had one of these.  It was a 1974. (yes...that was the year for Spirit of America...duh)   It was an Impala. It was a 2 door coupe.  It was red with a white vinyl top.  But it was not a Spirit of America. 

Yet... it was a red 1974 2 door Impala with a white vinyl top! And THAT is what counts!!! And I got to ride in it from 1974 (I was 1 years old)  all the way to 1979 when he traded it in for a 1979 2 door burgundy Impala. 

 

 

Edited by oldshurst442
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I remember one of these in a junkyard. It must've not been there long, because I got in it, turned the key & it started right up. This would've been in the late '80s.
I don't find this gen of Impala attractive.

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The wheels on that one look quite similar to 80s Chevy pickup wheels.  I like the ‘71-73 styling more before the altered rooflines and heavier looking rear bumpers. 

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Am I the only one to love this Impala?    

I am really shocked about this revelation.   I always thought a 1974 Impala was a good looking ride and I honestly thought that WITHOUT my childhood  memories that I had with it.    I prefer this 1974 over the other years.   A 1970 and a 1971 is a close second and 3rd place respectively. 

I am truly sad by this revelation.  :(    

Edited by oldshurst442
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3 minutes ago, oldshurst442 said:

Am I the only one to love this Impala?    

I am really shocked about this revelation.   I always thought a 1974 Impala was a good looking ride and I honestly thought that WITHOUT my childhood  memories that I had with it.    I prefer this 1974 over the other years.   A 1970 is a close second though. 

I am truly sad by this revelation.  :(    

Do not feel bad, I am sure your love for the 74 Impala is much like my love for the 1978 Oldsmobile 98 custom cruiser station wagon that I grew up in and always rode in the 3rd seat looking backwards from where we have been.

Looking at it now, it also was a Meh mobile much like many of the mid and late 70's auto's, but the memories are amazing.

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12 hours ago, oldshurst442 said:

Am I the only one to love this Impala?    

I am really shocked about this revelation.   I always thought a 1974 Impala was a good looking ride and I honestly thought that WITHOUT my childhood  memories that I had with it.    I prefer this 1974 over the other years.   A 1970 and a 1971 is a close second and 3rd place respectively. 

I am truly sad by this revelation.  :(    

Nothing wrong w/ liking it... I like those cars also.   My favorite early 70s land yachts are the '71-72 LTDs and Marquis,  but I also love the look of many GMs of that era...I like the front of the '74 Caprice more than the '74 Impala (and also '75 Impala front which is basically the '74 Caprice front with a different grille texture).   The '72 may be my favorite of the B-body Chevy styling of the '71-76 generation.    I also love the styling of the B/C/E Buicks, esp. the '71-72 Riviera, and the '71-72 Le Sabre/Centurion and Electra, and the '75-76 Electra...  lots of stuff I like over in the Mopar C-bodies of that era also. 

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I love most 1970's GM vehicles.  The 1970's was a time of great upheaval in the automotive landscape though, with the artificial oil shocks and such.  Spelled the end for the beloved land yacht of yore.  Ended the optimistic innocence of the American auto industry.

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Thank you, Ninety Eight, for putting up this video.  It was chock full of information. 

Interesting that they heaped this package on the base model and it was clearly explained why they did that.  By putting it on a version with a no-armrest bench seat and a strip speedometer, they made it affordable.  This car had some good angles and some clunky ones.  I sort of like the rear tail lamps.  The upright rear passenger window takes some getting used to with the semi-fastback, as he called it, rear back lite.  Usually, the rear passenger window's lines follow the rear back lite to some degree.  The vinyl roof outline helped some.

What a hoot to hear the 5 engine combinations you could get in this car.  The thought of a 400 c.i./2 bbl. V8 with such limited amount of horsepower is wild.

Gotta love the era of the full-size GM coupe.  I hope that someone ponied up on the budget a little and got this one, or at least the Nova.  They would be heirlooms.  The Vega would have become a throw-away car, unless you had it enshrined.

When they panned the car and showed the lengthy trunk, I thought about the "spirit" of America:  borrow one of these units from your parents, drive up to the drive-in theater booths, pay for yourself, and have 3 of your high school friends stashed in the trunk!

 

Edited by trinacriabob
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On 4/22/2020 at 7:32 AM, Robert Hall said:

Nothing wrong w/ liking it... I like those cars also.   My favorite early 70s land yachts are the '71-72 LTDs and Marquis,  but I also love the look of many GMs of that era...I like the front of the '74 Caprice more than the '74 Impala (and also '75 Impala front which is basically the '74 Caprice front with a different grille texture).   The '72 may be my favorite of the B-body Chevy styling of the '71-76 generation.    I also love the styling of the B/C/E Buicks, esp. the '71-72 Riviera, and the '71-72 Le Sabre/Centurion and Electra, and the '75-76 Electra...  lots of stuff I like over in the Mopar C-bodies of that era also. 

I too, like plenty of  land yachts  of the 1970s  from the Big Three.   Yup, the fuselage Mopars are great.  Some Fords and Mercurys from the early '70s are majestic looking  and their Lincoln counterparts even more.  

I noticed from GM though, I prefer the looks of the Chevys, Pontiacs and some Oldsmobiles over the BUicks and Cadillacs from the early 1970s.   

Love them or hate them regarding 1970s boats, they had a certain charm and pizzazz in their own right.  I think if the engines under their hoods were not neutered, we would be talking differently about them today.  

The 1970s was a weird decade is all I can come up with to summize it.   Lots of hits in pop culture and music and cars. But lots of misses too...  It was a fun decade. It was a sad decade and the cars reflected that perfectly.  

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1 hour ago, oldshurst442 said:

I too, like plenty of  land yachts  of the 1970s  from the Big Three.   Yup, the fuselage Mopars are great.  Some Fords and Mercurys from the early '70s are majestic looking  and their Lincoln counterparts even more.  

I noticed from GM though, I prefer the looks of the Chevys, Pontiacs and some Oldsmobiles over the BUicks and Cadillacs from the early 1970s.   

Love them or hate them regarding 1970s boats, they had a certain charm and pizzazz in their own right.  I think if the engines under their hoods were not neutered, we would be talking differently about them today.  

The 1970s was a weird decade is all I can come up with to summize it.   Lots of hits in pop culture and music and cars. But lots of misses too...  It was a fun decade. It was a sad decade and the cars reflected that perfectly.  

One of things I like about the Buicks from the early 70s is the character line from the front goes down the hood, the doors, to the rear quarter..and that complex meeting of hood, fender and door..and the way the rear bumper curves around the quarter.

 

60d3461bc532acba3f4f462dfc4491aa.jpg

1971-buick-centurion-convertible5.jpg

Edited by Robert Hall
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