Posts Tagged ‘convertible


1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer Convertible

Ever have one of those cars that keeps breaking down, no matter how many times you restore it?  Rebuild the engine, the transmission blows.  Replace the rearend gears, and the driveshaft U-joints wear out.  Every time you fix it, you think “that’s it, it’s all done, it’s ready to rock cruise night,” just in time to have something else snap.

Chrysler owns one of those companies.

As anyone who doesn’t live under a rock knows, Chrysler was recently “saved” by President Obama’s help (and money).  Before that, it was “saved” by Daimler-Benz.  Before that, it was “saved” by the Intrepid sedan.  Before that, it was “saved” by Lee Iacoca and the K-car/minivan.

1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer ConvertibleThis is the Dodge Custom Royal Convertible, a.k.a, “The Lancer.”  It was the highest trim level available, and was also the most rare.  This particular specimen is only one of six allowed into Canada with its Super Red Ram Hemi engine.  Of course, back in those days they didn’t call it a Hemi.  The 270-cubic inch V8 had a double rocker shaft, so old guys like your Grandpa called it a “double rocker.”  While pushing this car to school.  Uphill.  Both ways.  In a snowstorm.

Want to see the rest of this article?  Head over to the new to see this page (and more like it) the way it was supposed to be experienced!


’57 Ford Skyliner

1957 Ford Skyliner

You probably thought the Chevy SSR’s folding hardtop was a nifty little piece of technology when it first came out in 2004.  You maybe even thought it was a great idea stolen from those wacky Germans over at Mercedes-Benz, whose 1998 retractable-hardtop SLK coupe rocked our idea of what a convertible was supposed to be.

And you’d be way off the target.  Almost seventy-five years off the target, to be exact.  The first time someone thought of folding up the roof and tucking it away in the trunk was in 1922 for the Hudson coupe.   Continue reading ‘’57 Ford Skyliner’


Another Sunday Night at the Pony


Cruise Night at the Pony

It was another great night at the Pony last night, with plenty of wicked cars (and owners) braving what felt like the coldest day of the summer so far.  Still, the cars rolled in and the smiles went around, as Paul Williamson graciously hosted the evening.  Even more important, he gave away prizes at the end of the night!

1976 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible
1976 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

Boss Hog would have been proud.  This 1976 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible was parked right up front for everyone to see.  This Dukes Of Hazard twin held enough steel to protect the DJ booth in the event of an explosion.


1953 Chevy
1953 Chevy Coupe

One car I haven’t seen around before is this all-white 1953 Chevy coupe.  The rockabilly bow-tie is showing its age, but it sure is aging gracefully.  The body is straight, the chrome is mostly there, and there’s little hints of pinstriping on the hood, trunk, and behind the rear windows.  I didn’t have the nerve to ask if the car was done (I hear it’s a touchy question with this crowd), but it’ll be exciting to see what, if anything, gets added next!


Revenge of the Datsuns!
Revenge of the Datsuns!

And for something completely different, five Datsuns rolled in to yesterday’s cruise night.  No, not Nissans; real, actual, from-back-in-the-day Datsuns.  Even more impressive was that two of them were station wagons.


Datsun station wagon
Datsun station wagon

Most of them had been worked on, either with modded original engines, or newer Nissan engines dropped in.  This orange station wagon looks rough now, but it’s just the start.  Apparently it was just towed up from the states where the little car was picked up for a measly $170.  Like Paul Williamson said, “With the price of gas, these Datsuns might be the future of cruise nights.”

1966 Monaco
1966 Dodge Monaco Convertible

When you think of a car that was built exclusively for Canada, you’d think of something with all-wheel drive and huge snow tires.  Oddly enough, this 1966 Monaco is what Dodge actually saved for us Canucks.  There were just over 500 built, and rumor has it that less than 50 are still on the road today.  This rare gem has the original 380 small block and automatic tranny, with the only modifications being wheels and small interior touches.


1966 Dodge Monaco

1966 Dodge Monaco

Everything you see here is original, save for the woodgrain paneling and shifter knob.  Well, and maybe the tape deck.  The owner, Gary, has spent the last eight years lovingly restoring the ultra-rare Canadian car, although most of that time was spent in front of a computer trying to find parts.  The front and rear turn signals took eight years each to find, although they were all new old stock.  Even getting the right non-original wheels and centrecaps were a challenge;  each rim came from a different scrapyard, and the centrecaps–which are 1966 hardware for a different Chrysler product–were sourced from California, Chicago, and the hubcap guy on route 90 here in the ‘Peg.  If Gary’s down with it, expect to see a larger feature on the burgundy rarity this winter.


1966 Dodge Monaco

1966 Dodge Monaco

That’s it for this week, but come back Wednesday to see what’s up in Winnipeg’s car scene, and maybe even a few pics of last night’s cruise.  And if you like (or don’t like) what you see, don’t forget that you can leave a comment below to let everyone know.  Until then, keep’em cruisin!

Like what you see?  Any image on this site is available as prints, shirts, or even a coffee mug!  Click Here to order or find out more!


Cloudy Skies at the Pony

The overcast weather made for a smaller than usual turnout at the Pony Corral this week.  Thankfully, there were enough hardcore car people out to make the show worthwhile.

1959 and 1960 Caddies

Late 50’s Cadilacs are a rare sight most days.  That’s why it was a real treat to see both a ’59 and a ’60 pull into the show yesterday.  Their size is eclipsed only by their coolness.

New Cadillacs

Speaking of cool caddies, these two new Cadillac Convertibles were parked next to each other at the entrance to the show.  The only difference between these twins was the Foose wheels on the far one.

At one time, this 1962 Pontiac Parisienne probably hauled a family.  Now, it hauls ass with its rat-rod inspired look.  What’s even better than the black primer and home-made flames is the leopard print interior.

If you look closely, you can even see the throw pillows in the back seat–and check out the bottle of NOS energy drink stuffed behind the console!

54 Pontiac Star Chief

As awesome as the leopard-print Parisienne is, the award this week for “So 50’s it makes Wurlitzer Jukeboxes get jealous” goes to Jonathan Kennedy and his ’54 Pontiac Star Chief.  The car was originally owned by a man in Oklahoma, who sold it to a man in Windsor, Ontario, who sold it to Jonathan and brought it to the ‘peg.

54 Pontiac Star Chief

The car still has the original flathead straight-8 engine and hydramatic transmission, although Jonathan rebuilt the motor down to the painful details.  He’s even put in a properly-shaped battery, instead of cconverting it to a modern cube-shaped battery.

54 Pontiac Star Chief

Jonathan plans on converting the front drums to disc brakes soon, and eventually paint the car.  God knows why he’d go and ruin the car’s look with a layer of shiny stuff, but hey, it’s his car.

69 Torino

Let’s close this off with John’s 1969 Ford Torino 4-door.  John’s had this black beauty for about 2.5 years, and has been showing off his car at the Pony Corral for most of that time.  You can pick out his car as the one with his mother in the front seat, and his wife in the back.  Amazingly, his mother still comes out almost every week, at almost 85 years of age!

That’s it for now, but come back Wednesday to find out what’s going on this weekend, and come back again Friday to see what’s happened over this week.  There’s the City Lights show downtown, the boat show on Pembina, and two Cruisin’ the Dubs on Tuesday.  What’ll you see by then?  There’s only one way to find out!

Like what you see?  Any image on this site is available as prints, shirts, or even a coffee mug! Click Here to order or find out more!


More from the MCAC Swap Meet!

Dear Julie:

Julie, Will You Marry Me?

(See picture below if you can’t read the sign)

Julie, Will You Marry Me?

You better have said yes!!

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As promised last week, here’s more from the MCAC swap meet and car show:

55 Ford Convertible

This ’55 Ford was pulling in just as the ’60 Chev in the background was pulling out. I’ve seen this white-on-blue beauty before–Here’s hoping it’ll be a regular fixture at car shows & cruise nights this summer.

Chevy Apache TruckThe last thing a bug sees…

Mustang II & El Camino

Even though there wasn’t space on the side of this chunk of road for a drag race, it’s easy to imagine what would happen if this Boss 302 Mustang pulled up next to this bitchin’ red 396 SS El Camino. Both colourful cars were gathering their fair share of attention at the MCAC swap meet.

One of the most interesting vehicles was this original-paint ’53 Chevy Suburban. According to the hand-painted lettering on the side, it was originally the property of Canadian Army Recruiting Services.  It even had the crown still painted on the driver side door!

That’s it for this week, but don’t forget about the first official Pony Corral and Tavern United cruise nights of the season.  Each one runs from 6 to 10 this Sunday, and every Sunday until Thanksgiving.  See ya there!

Like what you see?  Any image on this site is available as prints, shirts, or even a coffee mug! Click Here to order or find out more!


Saying Goodbye–1993 Asuna Sunrunner Convertible

Pardon the self-indulgence, but today’s pics are all about my car–well, the car that used to be mine. Today, I traded off my old Asuna Sunrunner convertible for a shiny ’08 Mazda3 Sport. Although it’s definitely a step up in every regard, letting go of an “old friend” is still tough.

1993 Asuna Sunrunner Convertible

Ok, so it’s a just car, but anyone who’s gone through a lot with their ride knows what I’m talking about. It was originally bought it in 1998 after a deer decided to pick a fight with my VW Fox (unfortunately for the deer, I was going 110 km/h at the time). And although I really wanted something small and sporty, I was working in the farm supply business and thought owning a 4×4 would help boost my career. That’s when I found this:

1993 Asuna Sunrunner Convertible

The Asuna brand was only sold through Pontiac dealers for one year, and had three models: the Asuna Sunfire (a re-badged Isuzu Impulse with a bored-out 1.8 litre engine), the Asuna SE and GT (an Opel hatchback imported from Europe) and this rebadged Chevy Tracker. Somehow I lucked out and got one of the few fully-loaded models with a removeable hardtop as well as 4 wheel drive.

1993 Asuna Sunrunner Convertible

Although I’ve driven it from Montreal to Tofino (BC) and back, the best times I had with it was in Banff, Alberta. It seemed like the little thing was built just for the winding roads and congested streets associated with mountain towns.

1993 Asuna Sunrunner Convertible

As much fun as she could be, practicality won out. I’m getting married in four months to a beautiful woman who’s just learning to drive a regular car, let alone handle a rear-wheel-drive standard-transmission Jeep YJ wannabe. Besides, who knows how long the clutch or the transmission had left on it, not to mention that some of the expensive parts were starting to act up.

Even though the Mazda3 is faster, more comfortable, and the CD player doesn’t involve a Sony discman stuck to the dashboard with Velcro, I’m going to miss the old girl. I just hope her next owner has as much fun as I did.

1993 Asuna Sunrunner Convertible

Like what you see?  Any image on this site is available as prints, shirts, or even a coffee mug!  Click Here to order or find out more!


Gimli Swap Meet & more Gauthier Auto Museum

Before we get on with the bitchin’ ride pictures, I’d like to point out that the March/April issue of Canadian Hot Rod & Classic Magazine is on the newstands. If you’re reading this in Winnipeg, I’ve confirmed that Chapters at St. Vital had a whole pile of copies last week. But don’t let that lull you into thinking there’s time to pick it up–the last issue sold out in less than a week last time. Pretend it’s a bonspiel and hurry hard to pick it up before it’s gone!

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Although most celebrity guests turned them down, “Cesna Stuntplane Barbie” flew in for the Gimli Car Club’s first annual swap meet.

Despite the sudden dip in temperature (the first non-top-down weather in a week) the show appeared to be a success. There were lots of goodies to be had, including this rare gem: a 3-carb setup for an early 60’s 6-cylinder, complete with linkages and Edelbrock intake manifold.

3-Carb system for 6-cylinder Ford

The parking lot turned into an impromptu car show, with many of the buyers (and exhibitors) driving their best set of wheels to the show. One standout included this beastly bug:

Bad-Ass Beetle

If you were lucky enough to be there, too, leave a comment and tell us about your experience!

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Gauthier Auto Museum, Part 2:

Three Fine 50's Rides

As I mentioned last week, red convertibles seem to be a common theme at the Gauthier Auto Museum. If you look really close, you can see three of them in this artsy-fartsy photo–a ’53 Cadillac, a ’58 Impala, and an early 50’s Packard.

'71 Dodge Charger R/T Convertible

Of course, the other group are the vintage Dodge musclecars. This sparkling-clean ’70 Charger R/T convertible bridges the gap between the Buddy Holly-era red droptops and the classic Mopar muscle waiting in this basement. Why? Because like Chuck Norris, vintage power like this does not sleep-it waits.

Ron, the official mechanic of the Gauthier Auto Musuem

Although it’s Jim “The Big Guy” Gauthier that finds these cars, it’s Ron (pictured) that does the dirty work. His full-time job is to take these rare jewels and restore them to their original glory. He’s pictured here with their next wunder-ride: a 1955 Dodge Lancer convertible powered by a very early Hemi. The car is undergoing a full frame-off restoration, including a nifty off-pink paint job. A fitting retirement for one of only six Lancers allowed into Canada.

That’s it for this week–come back Wednesday to see what’s up this weekend, and maybe even a few more sweet sets of wheels!

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