The Volvo 200 Series: “The Brick”
Generally, if you were to ask someone over the age of 50 -someone who lived during the 70’s- to share their memories of the Volvo Brick. It’s understood that your first response will either be a smile followed by: “I had one of those!” or “My friend had a 240!”. The Volvo 200 Series (both the 240 and 260 Series) was Volvo’s mid-sized model. Production of the “Brick” started in 1974, all the way up to 1993. This European based car met much success, with more than 2.8 million total units sold worldwide. What’s interesting about the 200 series, was that is wasn’t the fastest or sleekest car Volvo created. However, for some reason the fan dubbed ‘Swedish brick’ withstood the test of time and remained a truly loved classic car.
The Subaru 360: “The Ladybug”
Surprisingly unknown, Subaru’s first automobile was the rear-engine rear wheel drive “Subaru 360” (referred to as the K-10 Prototype). This city car was a hit with its production – reaching over 392,000 in its 13-year model run (1958-1971). Nicknamed the “Ladybug” in Japan, the 360 was one of Japan’s most popular cars and was available in a few model variants: two-door, station wagon, convertible and sports. 10,000 of which were sold in the United States, ironically marketed as “Cheap and Ugly” because of its small overall size, half-ton curb weight, and swing axle rear suspension. This inexpensive car was designed in response to the Japanese government’s “Kei car regulations”, making this a truly loved classic car.
Pontiac Fiero: “Plastic Fantastic”
The Pontiac Fiero is a mid-engine sports car built by General Motors; In which during its production phase, lasted for Five years (1983 to 1988). What made the Fiero special was the return of Pontiacs two-seating cars. Fittingly, this became Pontiac’s and United States first mass-produced mid-engine sports car – a total of 370,168 Fieros were ever produced. The word Fiero means “very proud” in Italian, and “wild”, “fierce”, or “ferocious” in Spanish. The Fiero’s technology design was questionable, due to its hidden headlamps, integrated stereo speakers within the driver and passenger headrests, and it composite panels (the car’s body panels are plastic) giving its name “Plastic Fantastic”. The Fiero’s unorthodox innovations and mass production landed this car in our beloved classic cars.
Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1: “King of the Hill”
Chevrolet’s Corvette Zr-1 origin dates back to the late 1980’s, Chevrolet’s Corvette division approached Lotus with the idea of developing the world’s fastest production car. The surfacing design was a new engine to fit in place of the L98 V8, which was powering the current Corvette C4. This unique engine required special assembly, additionally Lotus helped GM design the ZR-1’s – prototype “King of the Hill” a truly fitting name – upgraded braking and steering systems. This vehicle went on sale in 1990 and was available only as a fastback coupe. Its main distinguishing features are the wider tail section with 11″ wide rear wheels and square shaped taillights. This truly revolutionary corvette has become recognized as a loved classic car.
Buick Electra 225: Deuce and a Quarter
The Buick Electra 225 was a full-size luxury car that was built by Buick from 1959 to 1990. The former president of Buick Harlow H. Curtice named the car after his sister-in-law, Electra Waggoner Biggs. During its multi-decade run, Electra was offered in varying models: standard coupe, convertible, sedan, and station wagon. Originally designed with rear-wheel drive from 1959 to 1984, it was later converted to front-wheel drive (except station wagon) in 1985. The Electra 225 nameplate was a reference to the cars 225-inch length, which earned its the street name “deuce and a quarter“.
This wraps up our classic car compilation. Come see what you have learned and take our Classic Car Quiz!