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Thread: 1958 Chryslers VS 1958 G.Ms and Fords

  1. #1
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    1958 Chryslers VS 1958 G.Ms and Fords

    Someone on a Cadillac mailing list posted this video. A promotional film by Chrysler (?) featuring Mechanix Illustrated car tester Tom McCahill's (wearing the light-colored jacket) comments on different tests of the 1958 Chrysler, G.M. and Ford cars.

    Part 1
    YouTube - Comparison of 1958 Cars Part 1

    Part 2
    YouTube - Comparison of 1958 Cars Part 2

    Here is a quick list of the tests:
    Part 1
    1:20 Acceleration from 25 mph
    2:45 Panic stop from 60 mph
    4:15 Weaving through cones at 35 mph
    6:40 Downhill engine braking
    8:00 Hard turn at 50 mph... note the comment at 9:17- I don't think that would be allowed today!

    Part 2
    0:00 (Beginning) Off road/bumpy road
    3:35 On road- bumps- 40 mph. Cars are airborne at times

    Because it was a Chrysler promo film, some of those at the Cadillac mailing list think maybe the G.M. and Ford cars were fitted with weak or worn shocks so they would bounce more.
    It is possible but I've known for a long time that the big Chryslers of the mid-to-late '50s could easily outhandle the big G.M. and Ford cars. It sure is nice to see some actual driving footage of those '50s cars- and being driven hard at times.

    I would like to drive my cars in those tests, but maybe at a lower speed due to the 30+ year old suspension.
    '76 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five Limousine, '95 Lincoln Town Car.

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    Not only do you collect old newspaper articles, but also old movies... you're a very nostalgic person Fleet!

    Interesting videos. I just finished watching the first part. The comment at 9:17 is gold

    I wonder if the results were biased though, being a Chrysler promo...
    Reginald *IB4R* says:
    it was a beautiful 35 seconds.
    David says:
    that's what she said

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by fisetdavid26 View Post
    Not only do you collect old newspaper articles, but also old movies... you're a very nostalgic person Fleet!
    Yeah, I guess I am. That is a good thing, right?

    Interesting videos. I just finished watching the first part. The comment at 9:17 is gold
    I had an idea you guys here would like that quote.

    I wonder if the results were biased though, being a Chrysler promo...
    I sure would like to know what they did, if anything, to the G.M. and Ford cars. We may never know unless someone who is still alive sees this video and can confirm.
    The handling tests most likely seemed real, but I'm still not sure about those big bumps at 3:35 on the 2nd video.
    '76 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five Limousine, '95 Lincoln Town Car.

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    Fantastic find, Fleet

    Todays' advertisers would never get away with trying lines like ....
    "gee I wonder"
    "bouncing like a kangaroo with a pouch full of Tabasco"
    "more bumps and grinds built into it than a honky-tonk chorus girl"
    "anyone that good looking doesn't need to cook"


    Check out the "split screen" shots, pretty clear that the non Chrysler is being driven during dips to emphasise the porpoising !!! Also on the "engineered bumps" I don't think they were identical on each run and wonder if they were "tuned" to introduce harmonics


    oh and that cheesy music
    Last edited by Matra et Alpine; 08-14-2007 at 02:48 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matra et Alpine View Post
    Fantastic find, Fleet

    Todays' advertisers would never get away with trying lines like ....
    "gee I wonder"
    "bouncing like a kangaroo with a pouch full of Tabasco"
    "more bumps and grinds built into it than a honky-tonk chorus girl"
    "anyone that good looking doesn't need to cook"
    Yeah, no way could they say those phrases today!

    Check out the "split screen" shots, pretty clear that the non Chrysler is being driven during dips to emphasise the porpoising !!! Also on the "engineered bumps" I don't think they were identical on each run and wonder if they were "tuned" to introduce harmonics
    That's what I think, too. I bet the non-Chryslers were maybe being driven slightly faster which would be hard to tell from watching it on film.

    oh and that cheesy music
    It was about as I expected... it was 1958, after all.
    '76 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five Limousine, '95 Lincoln Town Car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleet 500 View Post
    That's what I think, too. I bet the non-Chryslers were maybe being driven slightly faster which would be hard to tell from watching it on film.
    Well at least it's supicious that Chrysler always do perfectly on the tests and the other don't.

    An interesting find nevertheless.
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    Hey, chalk one up for nostalgia here, too!

    The passing test vs. the Lincoln I know is a lie - that body Lincoln had one of the hottest engines of its day in the 430. Only if the Imperial borrowed the 300's hopped-up 392 Hemi would it really be able to beat one, and then not by much.
    Last edited by jcp123; 08-17-2007 at 08:10 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcp123 View Post
    Hey, chalk one up for nostalgia here, too!

    The passing test vs. the Lincoln I know is a lie - that body Lincoln had one of the hottest engines of its day in the 430. Only if the Imperial borrowed the 300's hopped-up 392 Hemi would it really be able to beat one, and then not by much.
    Yeah, the '58 Lincoln had a 375 hp engine, the '58 Cadillac had 310 (Eldorados had 355 hp) and the Imperial had 350 hp.
    Here is what I found going through my magazines:

    Motor Trend, Sept., 1958
    1958:

    ------------------------ Lincoln------- Imperial------ Cadillac
    ------------------------ Premiere------ Crown------- 60 Fleetwood
    Engine/horsepower------ 430/375------ 392-Hemi/350- 365/310
    0-60 mph--------------- 10.8 secs---- 11.9---------- 12.6

    Motor Life (July, 1958) tested a lighter series 62 Cadillac and got 11.0 seconds for 0-60.

    While I have the magazine out, here are the specs for the '57s (Motor Guide, May, 1957).

    ------------------------ Lincoln------- Imperial------- Cadillac 62
    Engine/horsepower------ 368/300------ 392/325------ 365/300
    Torque----------------- 415----------- 430---------- 400
    Wheelbase/length------- 126"/224.6"--- 129.0/224.0-- 129.5/215.9
    Weight----------------- 4,800 lbs------ N.A.--------- 4,595 lbs
    Rear axle ratio---------- 3.07:1--------- 3.18:1------ 3.07:1
    0-30 mph--------------- 3.6 secs------- 3.6--------- 3.2
    0-60 mph--------------- 10.4----------- 10.1-------- 10.1
    Top speed---
    - (measured mile)------- 112.3 mph----- 116.0-------- 113.8
    '76 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five Limousine, '95 Lincoln Town Car.

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    A 375bhp car does 0-60 in double figures? Wow how much things have progressed...
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
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    The also have since changed the way HP is measured. 375hp back then is probably equivalent to ~250-275hp now. Considering the car (the Lincoln, anyway) was 5000+lbs, the relatively tall axle ratios, and the transmissions probably weren't all that tight, getting 0-60 in under 10 seconds was pretty amazing. One of my mags has it getting 0-60 in 9.5 seconds with four people aboard.
    An it harm none, do as ye will

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    Also factor in the cars that weren't as heavy or high-geared as the bigger luxury cars.
    For instance, the '57 Chrysler 300-C (392-cu-in engine/375 hp) could do 0-60 mph as fast as 7.7 secs with an average of 8.0 with a 3.36 axle ratio. It weighed about 4,300 lbs.
    And the '60 300-F (413-cu-in engine/375 hp/495 lbs/ft torque) could do a 7.0-sec 0-60 mph.

    Even lighter cars with less hp could run 8-sec 0-60 mph times. The '57 Plymouth Fury (318-cu-in/290 hp) did it in 8.2 sec. The '57 Dodge D-500 and DeSoto and Pontiac J-2 were also in the 8s.
    '76 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five Limousine, '95 Lincoln Town Car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleet 500 View Post
    Also factor in the cars that weren't as heavy or high-geared as the bigger luxury cars.
    For instance, the '57 Chrysler 300-C (392-cu-in engine/375 hp) could do 0-60 mph as fast as 7.7 secs with an average of 8.0 with a 3.36 axle ratio. It weighed about 4,300 lbs.
    And the '60 300-F (413-cu-in engine/375 hp/495 lbs/ft torque) could do a 7.0-sec 0-60 mph.

    Even lighter cars with less hp could run 8-sec 0-60 mph times. The '57 Plymouth Fury (318-cu-in/290 hp) did it in 8.2 sec. The '57 Dodge D-500 and DeSoto and Pontiac J-2 were also in the 8s.
    That's certainly better altough hardly impressive.

    The 1955 Ferrari 410 Superamerica had a 340bhp V12 and could do 0-60mph in 5"6 seconds.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
    That's certainly better altough hardly impressive.

    The 1955 Ferrari 410 Superamerica had a 340bhp V12 and could do 0-60mph in 5"6 seconds.
    Those big, heavy, 6-passenger cars (Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth, etc) are not going to have sports car acceleration.
    Although a '62 Chrysler 300-H, with 413/405 hp engine, managed to do a 6.5 sec 0-60 and a 17.6 0-100 and it weighed about 4,000 lbs.

    The Ferrari you mentioned should be compared to other sports cars, like the '57 Corvette which could do a 5.7 sec 0-60 mph.
    '76 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five Limousine, '95 Lincoln Town Car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleet 500 View Post
    Those big, heavy, 6-passenger cars (Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth, etc) are not going to have sports car acceleration.
    Although a '62 Chrysler 300-H, with 413/405 hp engine, managed to do a 6.5 sec 0-60 and a 17.6 0-100 and it weighed about 4,000 lbs.

    The Ferrari you mentioned should be compared to other sports cars, like the '57 Corvette which could do a 5.7 sec 0-60 mph.
    Well this Ferrari wasn't small at all. It wasn't as sporty as the smaller 250's, more a GT than a sportscar, therefore I though it'd be a good comparison. But anyway the Maserati 5000 GT which was a big and heavy (4400lb) 2+2 tourer which had a 330bhp engine still could manage 0-60mph in 6"5 seconds (the same as your Chrysler but with almost 100bhp less) and had a top speed around the 170mph mark.

    What I don't understand is why with such amazing power, and most amazingly torque (the european cars get nowhere near it), american cars manage such slow acceleration times. Sure there must be some reason but the acceleration figures are something of a let down after seeing the power they had.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
    Well this Ferrari wasn't small at all. It wasn't as sporty as the smaller 250's, more a GT than a sportscar, therefore I though it'd be a good comparison. But anyway the Maserati 5000 GT which was a big and heavy (4400lb) 2+2 tourer which had a 330bhp engine still could manage 0-60mph in 6"5 seconds (the same as your Chrysler but with almost 100bhp less) and had a top speed around the 170mph mark.

    What I don't understand is why with such amazing power, and most amazingly torque (the european cars get nowhere near it), american cars manage such slow acceleration times. Sure there must be some reason but the acceleration figures are something of a let down after seeing the power they had.
    I'm pretty sure that Ferrari is not big.
    I don't know what year Maserati 5000 GT you are referring to but a '63 is only 187.4" long (nowhere near "big") and weighs around 3,200 lbs.

    Remember that most of the big '50s/early '60s American cars were not only heavy, but had mild rear axle gearing (anywhere from 2.90 to 3.40:1, whereas cars like Ferraris and Maseratis had 3.50 to 4.50:1. That makes a big difference in acceleration.

    I have posted specs here before of near-4,000 lb, full-sized early '60s Pontiac 389 and 421-cu-in Catalinas which could run 0-60 mph in the 5-sec bracket and 1/4 miles in the 13s.
    '76 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five Limousine, '95 Lincoln Town Car.

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