Anyone who knows anything about American cars knows that one of the most loved and popular American classics must be the Chevrolet Corvette. This two-seater Corvette first arrived on the scene in 1953 to compete with the arrival of more and more European models into the states such as MGs and Triumphs. Style was a major factor for the Corvette for the engine was very underpowered with a 3.8litre six cylinder with just 150bhp. But V8s were soon to be introduced and engines were beefed up to 5.4 litres with 360 BHP and from there on the Corvette would go from strength to strength such was its success that Chevy still produce the Corvette today in the shape of the Z6 and the zr1
Nothing better defines American Classic automobiles than the long tail-fins and chrome excesses of the '50s Cadillac and there is no finer example of this than John Foleys 1959 Cadillac Coupe de-Ville. Cadillac is currently the second oldest American automobile manufacturer behind Buick and among the oldest automobile brands in the world. Cadillac was born in 1902 it was formed when Henry Leland of “Leland & Faulconer” was called into appraise the plant and equipment of the Henry Ford company prior to selling them.
Our Feature car number three is one of the most popular American cars out there and was made famous like most other American cars by a road movie. Yes you guessed it, its a Pontiac Trans Am, and its one of the cleanest examples to be seen on our shores.
This 1977 Trans Am belongs to John Chandley and is fittingly done in the colours of black and gold.
For this month’s Feature Car we met with Gascc Club Chairman John McCarthy, and although John has a few American Cars it’s his 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS that caught our attention. The Chevelle was manufactured between 1963 and 1977 and was launched in 1964 it became one of GM's successful nameplates. Chevelle models included Sedans, Station Wagons, Coupes and Convertibles, as well as several performance models. The Malibu, at first the top level in the Chevelle line, replaced the Chevelle name entirely after 1977. The Chevelle chassis provided the platform for the Monte Carlo in 1970.
In the rare but welcome warm sunshine myself and my team of novice journalists travelled a short distance west of Cork city to interview and picture one of the latest additions to the rapidly growing family of American vehicles within the Munster region.
Fresh off the boat is Peter Burke’s 1954 Chevrolet ½ tonne pick-up truck. Peter a member of GAScc has just imported this fabulous Chevy truck from Kansas. This very original truck screams with character.
For our second feature car we travelled to the south side of Cork City to meet with Tom Leahy and his 1972 429 Mustang Mach 1. Tom a well know figure within the American Car Scene in Cork has had his car for the last 18 months or so. He purchased it right here in Cork from another well know person within the scene.
The mustang was bought pretty much in the condition it is today which from the pictures you can see in pristine, but the photos of this car do it no justice in order to get the feel and appreciate the true character of this car you have to see it in the flesh, and then you need to hear it. Loud loud loud is the only word that can explain it, the sound of this 429 V8 mutes every other car around it.
Our next feature car is a bit of a rarity around these parts, it’s Tony McCarthy’s 1960 Desoto Adventurer. Desoto was founded by Walter P Chrysler on August 4th 1928 and was introduced to the market in 1929; it was named after the Spanish explorer Hernando Soto. Chrysler wanted to compete with its Arch-rivals GM and Studebaker in the mid priced car range.Shortly after Desoto was introduced Chrysler completed its purchase of the Dodge brothers company. This now gave them two mid priced models and had the transaction been completed sooner Desoto might have never been introduced.