Saturday, February 08, 2020

Nostalgia is Weird

I followed a link to Vanguard Motors, a purveyor of muscle cars, hot rods, restomods, and other desirable Detroit iron whose site I had not previously explored.

As I scrolled down the page of sales listings, I was noting the prices on some of the restored muscle cars and dreading running across a 1970 GTO, a battered and decidedly un-restored example of which I'd briefly owned in the late Eighties.

I stumbled across something even worse: A '74 Mercury Comet GT, a slightly sexied up version of the Ford Maverick. A friend had one of these back in the day and I came within spitting distance of buying it for seven or eight hundred bucks. Close enough that I drove the car for a couple days before the deal fell through. I wanted it because it had a floor shifter and a (fake) hood scoop that I found super cool.

It's hard to believe that Mercury, as a brand, is nearly a decade in the grave. To a high schooler just getting their car nerd on today, "Mercury" and "Oldsmobile" are as arcane as "Studebaker" was when I was in driver's ed.

The immaculate Comet GT at Vanguard was not seven or eight hundred bucks, but rather within rock-throwing distance of forty grand, a ludicrous sum in the mind of my inner high school senior for a tarted up Maverick with a smog motor 302 that, in stock form, wouldn't pull a greased string out of a cat's ass.

The motor in this one isn't stock, having had the usual mods of an Edelbrock manifold, Holley 4-bbl carb, and upgraded ignition system added. There's also a nice aftermarket dual exhaust but there's no room under there for headers, so it's probably hooked up to the restrictive factory exhaust manifolds. The sales listing notes the 302 still sports its factory cylinder heads, so the factory 8.0:1 pistons are probably still bopping up and down under them.

I suppose it floats somebody's boat, though.