The 1960 Cadillac / A Graceful and Toned Down Automobile

The year 1960 ushered in a period where the Cadillac automobile had a more graceful and cleaner design.  The automobile featured in this article is the 1960 Cadillac DeVille two door. The DeVille actually started out as a trim level and was moved up to become a full model.

1960 cadillac coupe deville

1960 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

The 1960 Cadillac

The 1959 DeVille's were best known for their big fins.  In fact, the 1959 Cadillac tail fins represented the height of the tail fin era. Take a look at the 1959 Dodge Coronet and you'll also see some huge tail fins. The space age and space race had a lot to do with 1950's automobile styling.

The 1960 models certainly had fins, albeit smaller than those on the 59 models, but they were also known for smooth looking styling. The car overall had a toned down look. In fact, you could say that the new design for 1960 was made primarily to change from the excesses of the late 1950's.

The 60 Cadillac's had a full length grille and no front bumper guards. Standard equipment on the 1960 Cadillacs included power steering and power brakes, power windows and seats and two speed windshield wipers. The automobile had X-Frame construction.

cadillac coupe deville

60 Coupe DeVille

Cadillac X-Frames

The first X-Frames came out with the 1957 Cadillacs. These were with the C-Body cars. The X-Frame allowed for a lower automobile and with it deeper floor wells. General Motors boasted that the X-Frame also offers greater structural rigidity and resistance to twisting. GM built millions of full size automobiles on the X-Frame from 1957 to 1970.

1960 Cadillac Styling

The head designer for Cadillac in 1960 was Bill Mitchell. Mitchell had been an advertising illustrator prior to being hired at GM by Harley Earl in 1935. He worked for GM until 1977 and during his long tenure there was responsible for influencing the design of over 72 million vehicles.

1960 cadillac tail fins

1960 Cadillac's recessed tail lights on the end of the fins

As mentioned above, the 1960 Cadillac was toned down from the previous year's design. The 1960 Cadillac DeVille featured in this article has smaller fins than the previous year. Also gone in 1960 was the large and excessive chrome. The fender skirts were plain looking and special script nameplates were on the rear fender. The tail lights on the 1960 model were a thin strip of red plastic blended into the end of the tail fins. Compare this to the jet pod tail lights of the 59 Cadillacs and you'll see the significant and toned down difference.

Included in the toned down look were changes to the interiors. Interior colors for 1960 included fawn, blue or gray Cortina cord or turquoise, Persian sand, green, black Caspian cloth with Florentine vinyl bolsters.

1960 Cadillac Coupe DeVille Specifications

The 1960 Cadillac had the same engine as used during the 1959 model year. This was a 390 cubic inch V-8 that delivered 325 horsepower with a four barrel carburetor. In 1960 all Cadillac buyers had the option of choosing an Eldorado engine with three 2 barrel carburetors which pushed the horsepower to 345.

The 1960 Cadillac DeVille came with a Hydra-Matic automatic transmission.

Front suspension was independent coil springs and rear suspension coil springs.

Brakes were hydraulic power and as mentioned above, both the power brakes and power steering were standard equipment.

The DeVille's wheelbase measured 130.0 inches. Overall outside length was 225.0 inches, it's width 79.9 inches, it's height 54.1 inches, and the car's weight came in at  4,670 lbs.

The new car price for a 1960 Cadillac averaged around $6,000. The Cadillac Series 62 Coupe DeVille cost in the range of $5,000. The Eldorado models were the highest price passenger cars at about $7,500 plus.

1960 cadillac deville

Rear view of the 1960 Cadillac

To give you an idea of options that could be purchased for your 1960 Cadillac, they included air conditioning at $474, power vent windows at $75, a remote control trunk lock at $59, the 345 horsepower engine as mentioned above for $135 extra, a "six way" power seat for about $100 (more or less depending on exact model), and cruise control for about $100.

Total Cadillac models produced in 1960 141,000, just about the same number as in 1959. About 20,000 Coupe DeVille models were built in 1960.

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A good book for those wanting to learn more about the performance of the 1960's Cadillacs is...Cadillac Automobiles, 1960-69 (Brooklands Books Road Tests Series), edited by R.M. Clarke.

The 1960 Cadillac as a Collector Car

The 1960 Cadillac as well as other models from the early 1960's are popular collector cars. These automobiles, even restored, are priced reasonably and make good starter cars for a collection.

1960 cadillac dashboard

Dashboard on the 60 Coupe DeVille

As of this writing we see "original" equipped 1960 Coupe DeVilles in the low to mid $20,000 range. We see additional Series 62's in a range from $28,000 to $40,000. As always the degree of restoration, both cosmetic and mechanical, original miles and exact model will determine the asking price.

One of the most valuable 1960 Cadillac collector car would be the Eldorado Brougham. Only 101 of these models were built in 1959/1960. Asking prices and auction results would likely place the value in the $45,000 to $70,000 range. Again, mileage, condition and restoration will drive the price. The highest priced 1960 model would likely be the Eldorado Biarritz with a possible asking price (depending on originality and condition) of $70,000 or higher.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)

1931 Morgan Aero Super Sports / A Popular Collector Car

Featured in this article is a 1931 Morgan Three-Wheeler known as the Morgan Aero Super Sports.

1931 morgan three wheeler

1931 Morgan Three Wheeler

The Morgan Motor Company made a name for themselves on an icon, the Morgan Three-Wheeler. Harry Morgan, the company founder and a very skilled engineer, developed one of the most successful lightweight cars of the early days of automobiles.

What became known as the "Cyclecar" was the fitting of a powerful motorcycle engine and a simple transmission into a light-weight chassis and body. It's true that there were more than one manufacturer of Cyclecars however the Morgan Motor Company was the most successful. The Morgan Runabout was the first Morgan Cyclecar and it was a popular vehicle. Harry Morgan is often referred to as the man who first introduced motoring for the masses, similar in some ways to Henry Ford's reputation in America.

morgan three wheeler

Another front view of the 31 Morgan Super Sports

Morgan Cyclecars were built at the original Morgan factory in Malvern Link.  The Morgan Cyclecar stood out with it's reputation as being the best engineered and most reliable vehicle in it's class. The car was so successful and well built that it didn't take long for competitors to try to replicate it.

The Morgan Cyclecar transmission had two speeds but no reverse. To get the vehicle to go backwards required one or both of two things. The help of gravity and possibly a push by the driver. Engines were usually J.A.P. V-twins.

morgan aero 1931

The beetle back design of the 31 Morgan Aero Super Sports

J.A.P. Engines

Two engines stand out from the many produced by J.A.P. because of their contribution to motoring in general and motorcycling in particular. The first is the V-Twin which was manufactured in various sizes and power beginning in 1905. The V-twin was used in their own motorcycles from 1906.

The main advantages of the J.A.P. V-twin were their excellent power to weight ratio and reliability. This made them ideal for the Cyclecar.

Early Cyclecar Automobile Competition

Within only a few weeks of its launch at the Olympia motorcycle show in London in November 1910, the Morgan Motor Company entered the Runabout in the MCC London to Exeter Trial. This competition led to a Gold Medal. This was the first of many such victories in several areas of motor sport such as reliability trials, plus racing and record-breaking particularly at the Brooklands Autodrome.

The Runabout's superior power-to-weight ratio enabled  Morgan’s three-wheeled cyclecar to outperform many larger engined four wheeler.

In a very short period of time before the outbreak of World War One,  Morgan' s Runabout had won ten British and World Records for various classes of Cyclecars. In addition to this, Morgan won 24 Gold Medals in major reliability trials and had achieved many victories in racing competition.

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An excellent book to explore the Morgan Three Wheelers in greater detain is...Morgan Road Test Book: Morgan 3-wheeler Gold Portfolio 1910-1952 by author R.M. Clarke.

morgan aero super sports three wheeler

Morgan Aero Super Sports

 The Morgan Super Sports

The Super Sports was in fact the successor to the Aero model.

In 1927 the Super Sports Aero (or Super Aero ) was introduced. It was derived from racing cars and  intended for competition. Contrary to the "sweeping tail" Aero models, the Super Sports Aero came with a beetle back rear end. It was fitted with a JAP engine. The dimensions had changed , as it was 2 1/2inch lower and 6 inch wider than an Aero.

In 1931 a new model was added to the range: the Sports Family. Like the Super Sports, this used the "M-type chassis" and it came  with a 1096cc JAP engine. It was a 4-seater model for the families who wanted to be carried in relatively cheap but in a sporting fashion.

31 morgan super sports

Interior and dashboard on the 31 Morgan Super Sports

Built from 1927-1939.

In 1927 Morgan the  Aero with a tuned engine and modified bodywork, it was called a "Super Sports Aero" or "Super Sports" or "Aero Super Sports" . Around 1932 a  three  speed model was introduced. In 1933-35 engines changed from J.A.P. to Matchless MX, MX2 and MX4 and body style from Beetleback to Barrelback.

Morgan came out with their first four wheel car in 1936. This was the Morgan 4-4 Series 1 with a four cylinder engine.

Morgan Super Sports Collector Cars

The most popular Morgan Three-Wheeler Super Sports are the early ones with the "beetle back" tail. The Morgan Three-Wheeler's are generally thought to be the best of the class.

Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnlone)

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1963 Ford Falcon Ranchero / The Compact Pickup

The vehicle featured in this article is a 1963 Ford Falcon Ranchero.

The Ford Falcon Ranchero was a perfect fit for anyone who used their vehicle for personal transportation and also used it to carry moderate loads. Today, the Ford Falcon Ranchero is considered a low cost gem from the past and has a good sized following. Attend auto shows and you'll likely run across some fine restorations. The Falcon Ranchero is a Ford classic.

ford falcon ranchero specs

1963 Ford Falcon Ranchero

Ford's Falcon Ranchero

From the years 1957 to 1979 the Ford Motor Company built the Ranchero model. From 1960 through 1966 the Ford Motor Company produced the" Falcon Ranchero". This new Ranchero model was now known as the Falcon Ranchero. This Ranchero was much smaller than in previous years and was now based on the compact Falcon platform. The smaller platform was the result of the severe recession during the late 1950's. Unlike a pickup truck, the Ranchero was adapted from a station wagon platform that integrated the cab and cargo bed into the body.

While the Ford Falcon Ranchero was smaller than it's competitor, the Chevrolet El Camino, the Ranchero had a payload of 800 lbs which was 100 lbs more than the El Camino. The Falcon Ranchero's cargo space was 6-foot long, 4½-foot wide, and 15½ inch deep pickup box that provided a total of 31½ cubic feet of usable space.

1963 ford falcon ranchero

Front end view of the 63 Falcon Ranchero

The first Falcon Rancheros in 1960 had only a straight six engine. It would be 1963 that the V-8 would be an option. In 1960 the straight six was a 144 cubic inch engine. In 1961 the six was upgraded to 170 cubic inches.

Design Changes 

For the 1962 model year the Ford Falcon Ranchero received a new design. This included bolder bars in the metal grill work and a dummy scoop bulge in the hood. Moving ahead to 1963 the Ranchero received a new grille design along with an option for a 260 cubic inch V-8 engine. For the years 1964 through 1966, design changes to the Falcon Ranchero mirrored the changes made to the Ford Falcon automobile. The 1963 Ford Falcon Ranchero was constructed for maximum strength with minimum weight.

An important note about the Ranchero model is that during it's 23 years in production the pickup was designed off of five different Ford automobiles, the Ford Falcon being one. All Ford Ranchero designs were patterned after selected Ford automobiles. Prior to 1960 the Ranchero was based off of the Ford Fairlane.

The Falcon design for the Ranchero beginning in 1960 made the vehicle a compact pickup. This of course was a major change from the Fairlane Ranchero's full size dimensions.

1963 Ford Falcon Ranchero Specifications

As mentioned above, the 1963 Falcon Ranchero was produced with a 170 cubic inch straight six engine along with the option of a 260 cubic inch V-8. This small block V-8 delivered 164 horsepower.

The transmissions offered was either a four speed manual or a Fordomatic automatic. The first Falcon Ranchero in 1960 offered only a three speed manual.

Power steering was offered with the V-8 only.

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falcon ranchero v-8

1963 Falcon Ranchero 260 cubic inch V-8

1963 options also included bucket seats and a deluxe trim package. Some of the custom Rancheros have sharp two-tone paint schemes.

In order to accommodate the six foot long cargo bed in the Ranchero, the Ranchero's length was eight inches longer than that of the Ford Falcon automobile.

Sales started strong for the compact Falcon Ranchero. During it's first 1960 model year, Ford Motor Company sold over 21,000 Rancheros out of half a million Falcon automobiles. A total of 508,355 Ford Rancheros  were produced during the model's production run from 1957 through 1979.

The new car price for the 1963 Falcon Ranchero averaged $1,950. A total of 18.500 Rancheros were built for the 1963 model year.

The Ford Falcon Ranchero Collector Vehicles

The Ford Falcon Ranchero is a very popular collector vehicle. The truck itself is quite unique in as much as it is a compact sized pickup that in 1960 replaced a full sized Ranchero. The collector popularity of this vehicle has been growing and some refer to it as the little known muscle truck.

falcon ranchero dashboard

Interior and dashboard view of the 63 Falcon Ranchero

As of this writing, asking prices for 1963 Ford Falcon Rancheros that are fully restored and in showroom condition may be found in the $15,000 to $25,000 range. Non restored Falcon Rancheros in running condition may be found in the $5,000 to $10,000 range depending on condition.

First year Falcon Rancheros (1960) with the three speed manual transmissions and the smaller straight six engine are current;y priced from about $8,000 to $17,000 depending on condition and degree of restoration.

For those wanting to restore a Falcon Ranchero, parts are considered relatively easy to find and there are ample support clubs. The Falcon Club of America is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the Falcon and Falcon Ranchero automobiles built by the Ford Motor Company from 1960 to 1970. Another is the Ford Ranchero Owners and Fans Club.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)