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spike
06-20-2007, 02:35 PM
What kind of cars would a blue collar guy drive in 1967 in the US?

It's important to my story because the only clue is an old picture. I want to be able to pin down the decade from the cars in the picture.

The owners of the cars lived in a working class neighborhood where everyone worked at the steel mill.

Thanks!

Little Red Barn
06-20-2007, 03:04 PM
Go to Ebay and pull up 67 cars or trucks and take your pick and original color :)
Pontianc Bonneville 67 Dakotah Red ;)

alleycat
06-20-2007, 03:27 PM
Is he a family guy? A '65 Impala, Plymouth Fury II, or Ford Fairlane.

Single? A '65 Chevelle, Ford Mustang, or VW Beetle.

Just a few choices among many.

Jersey Chick
06-20-2007, 04:39 PM
I'd also suggest a Barracuda, 1967 Camaro (some of the models had hideaway headlights), Pontiac GTO, possibly a Firebird if the guy's single. Serious muscle cars.

alleycat
06-20-2007, 04:45 PM
I'd also suggest a Barracuda, 1967 Camaro (some of the models had hideaway headlights), Pontiac GTO, possibly a Firebird if the guy's single. Serious muscle cars.
Well, if you want to know anything about a '67 Camaro, let me know. I used to own one.

One slight correction, Jersey Girl. The headlights themselves did not hideaway . . . there was a cover that swung back and forth to hide the headlights. Mine was like that.

Roger J Carlson
06-20-2007, 04:50 PM
My blue collar dad had a '66 Ford Galaxy 500. Big old boat, but it seated 7 of us on a trip from Michigan to California. It was very distinctive and the model and year could be determined by both the head lights and tail lights.

Whatever you choose, make sure it's fairly late model. Back then, cars didn't last much beyond 4 years. My dad bought a new one every 3 years.

Jersey Chick
06-20-2007, 04:54 PM
Well, if you want to know anything about a '67 Camaro, let me know. I used to own one.

One slight correction, Jersey Girl. The headlights themselves did not hideaway . . . there was a cover that swung back and forth to hide the headlights. Mine was like that.

That's actually what I meant :) - a friend of mine owned a '67 Rally Sport (gold, with black interior). When I was in high school, my crowd was into buying old cars, fixing them up, etc. Two guys had Camaros, one had a Chevelle, I drove a '67 Mustang, there was a Fairlane in the mix, a GTO - if it was a muscle car, someone owned one.

If there's anything you need to know about the Mustang, let me know :)

I love cars from that era! :)

johnnysannie
06-20-2007, 04:55 PM
In my blue collar neighborhood in the mid-60's, family guys tended to drive Fords or Chevys....my dad was an Oldsmobile man. We had a '65 Olds 88 and then a robin's egg blue 1968 Delta 88. My uncle drove mostly Fords; another uncle chose Chevys.

Station wagons were in vogue for families too.

Keep in mind in the mid-1960's, some folks would be driving cars a few years old, like late 1950's (just as you now see cars dating back several years on the road). Before the Oldsmobiles, my dad drove a 1959 Chevy for years.

Car payments really weren't very common - people bought cars and kept them for awhile.

Plot Device
06-20-2007, 10:29 PM
My thoughts:

A blue collar guy (as in, he doesn't have a lot of cash and probably also has no credit) living in the year 1967 would probably be driving a car no less than five years old. And he probably didn't buy it new, he most likely got it used. My advice is to go back to 1962 and beyond.

And out of necessity people made their cars last for a heck of a lot longer way back then (even if they weren't too pretty anymore). So it would not be unreasonable for him to be driving a car from the 1950's -or even the 1940's! But I highly doubt a blue collar guy guy from 1967 would be driving a '67 anything. (How many people in this thread are driving a 2007??)

::EDIT::

Whoops! I only just saw johnnysannie's post! I should read other responses first, eh? :D

Roger J Carlson
06-20-2007, 10:46 PM
My thoughts:

A blue collar guy (as in, he doesn't have a lot of cash and probably also has no credit) living in the year 1967 would probably be driving a car no less than five years old. And he probably didn't buy it new, he most likely got it used. My advice is to go back to 1962 and beyond.

And out of necessity people made their cars last for a heck of a lot longer way back then (even if they weren't too pretty anymore). So it would not be unreasonable for him to be driving a car from the 1950's -or even the 1940's! But I highly doubt a blue collar guy guy from 1967 would be driving a '67 anything. (How many people in this thread are driving a 2007??)

::EDIT::

Whoops! I only just saw johnnysannie's post! I should read other responses first, eh? :DI disagree. Both my parents and in-laws were blue collar and far from the highest paid. My father bought a car every 3 years, my father-in-law, every 2. Credit from the bank or a credit union was fairly easy to get if you had a solid job. Times were good in the 60's and new cars were the norm.

Cars did not last very long (at least in places like Michigan) because road salt ate them up. Also, the 60's were right in the middle of Detroit's planned obsolecence period. Back then it was a big deal if a car went 100,000 miles.

MidnightMuse
06-20-2007, 10:52 PM
Cheap: VW Beetle.

Sexy: Mustang (red, if you please - and no convertable)

Prawn
06-21-2007, 02:23 AM
How about a Corvair. I think they were only produced in the 60s.

Plot Device
06-21-2007, 03:47 AM
I disagree. Both my parents and in-laws were blue collar and far from the highest paid. My father bought a car every 3 years, my father-in-law, every 2. Credit from the bank or a credit union was fairly easy to get if you had a solid job. Times were good in the 60's and new cars were the norm.

Cars did not last very long (at least in places like Michigan) because road salt ate them up. Also, the 60's were right in the middle of Detroit's planned obsolecence period. Back then it was a big deal if a car went 100,000 miles.


Well, Roger, I didn't live back then, nor did I live in Michigan. I do recall growing up in the 1970's and seeing a lot of people with cars that were more than ten years old, my parents included. Someone up above mentioned a Galaxie--my neighbor had a Galaxie (a convertible) which I rode in serval times as kid, and that was in the 1980's.

I do recall that it was a big deal if a car went over 100K. My parents never bought new cars ever--they made it a point always to buy used. We knew no one who did buy new.

Jersey Chick
06-21-2007, 04:35 AM
My mother had a '68 Barracuda. My dad had a Chevelle - also a '68. My grandfather (who was a union pipefitter - beyond blue collar:)) had a number of cars during his lifetime. My dad gave his Chevelle away to our neighbor and the only thing it needed was a new alternator. He and my mom had just bought a new car (for their growing family- me :D)- a Ford Grand Torino. BTW, my dad's a trucker - also blue collar. At the time, my mom was a housewife.

By the 70s, though, the economy slowed and inflation rose - I think. I was but a wee bit at the time, so someone who actually lived through it can correct me if I'm wrong on that.

Puma
06-21-2007, 06:17 AM
I beg to disagree with Roger on cars not lasting long back then. Cars were made of real materials in the 60's (not plastic) and held up much better even with Ohio roadsalt. 100,000 was a lot of miles but think about why - people did not drive 40 miles one way to work, people did not drive two blocks to the grocery store, people made one organized trip to several stores rather than numerous trips, people took the back roads which were slower than our current freeways but actually needed fewer miles to get to the same places.

I was in college in the early to mid 60's and even the kids who were very well off drove cars that were a couple years old (okay, so some were Jags but there were also 57 VW's, Fords, and Chevys in the crowd).

In answer to Spike's original question - Fords and Chevys were the most common cars back then (Chrysler ranked third of the big 3). Station wagons were popular for young families. The Mustang and Camaro were introduced in the mid-60's and along with the Chevy Corvair and Ford Falcon sort of began the trend towards the next generation of smaller cars.

Cars back then were huge by today's standards. I drove a Chrysler Windsor that was 18&1'2 feet long and 6&1'2 feet wide (try parking that in a standard parking meter space). My Chrysler had a 383 cubic inch engine with a four barrel carburetor that opened up (yeah!) when you pushed the pedal down. And, it didn't do any worse on gas (actually better) than a lot of the modern SUVs which are substantially smaller and lighter. Puma

Gary
06-21-2007, 06:34 AM
I was a blue collar worker in '67, and I went from a used '55 Plymouth 4-door to a used '63 Valiant hardtop, to a new '68 Plymouth Fury III hardtop. Most of my friends drove nice cars. One had a '66 SS396 Chevy, another a Fairlane 500 hardtop, another a '66 Dodge Dart convertible, another had a '67 Barracuda and one had an MGB.

Cars were relatively inexpensive. I was making $2.68 an hour in 1967 and I paid $3,200 for my new Fury. To buy an equivalent car today, I'd have to make around $30 and hour.

Fern
06-21-2007, 06:34 AM
My folks drove a Buick Electra 225 about that time. . .may have been a 65 model. I may be wrong, but I think it just came out about that time or was a fairly new model car.

johnnysannie
06-21-2007, 04:23 PM
I disagree. Both my parents and in-laws were blue collar and far from the highest paid. My father bought a car every 3 years, my father-in-law, every 2. Credit from the bank or a credit union was fairly easy to get if you had a solid job. Times were good in the 60's and new cars were the norm.

Cars did not last very long (at least in places like Michigan) because road salt ate them up. Also, the 60's were right in the middle of Detroit's planned obsolecence period. Back then it was a big deal if a car went 100,000 miles.



I disagree - my dad was a blue collar worker but made very good wages for the place and time but he never bought a car with payments until much, much later - like the 1980's. In the Sixties, he - and his brothers as well as everyone else we knew - bought cars outright and drove them for years. Men also worked on their cars quite a bit.

We had several vehicles that went 200,000 miles and kept running. Back then, though, most people did not rack up the kind of miles that people do now on vehicles.

Roger J Carlson
06-21-2007, 04:57 PM
I disagree - my dad was a blue collar worker but made very good wages for the place and time but he never bought a car with payments until much, much later - like the 1980's. In the Sixties, he - and his brothers as well as everyone else we knew - bought cars outright and drove them for years. Men also worked on their cars quite a bit.

We had several vehicles that went 200,000 miles and kept running. Back then, though, most people did not rack up the kind of miles that people do now on vehicles.


I beg to disagree with Roger on cars not lasting long back then. Cars were made of real materials in the 60's (not plastic) and held up much better even with Ohio roadsalt. 100,000 was a lot of miles but think about why - people did not drive 40 miles one way to work, people did not drive two blocks to the grocery store, people made one organized trip to several stores rather than numerous trips, people took the back roads which were slower than our current freeways but actually needed fewer miles to get to the same places. All I can speak to is my experience growing up. We did not have a lot of money, but cars were cheap and credit was easy. We bought new cars every few years. Cars rusted out quickly which explains the existance of places like Ziebart who did after market rustproofing. You don't hear much about them now. They also did not warranty cars for 5 years 50,000 miles like they do now.

Granted, experiences and preferences varied. My father didn't work on cars so he always bought new. I don't think we should be arguing about what everybody did or did not do. Just like today, different people do different things.

johnnysannie
06-21-2007, 09:29 PM
No argument was intended.

I merely wanted to share my experience which is different than yours. In this vast nation, the rite of growing up in America is very different for many people. The status quo was different from one town to another, one state to another, even one neighborhood to another.

The original poster wanted to know what type of car a blue collar guy would drive - we've all answered out of our own experience so now Spike has a variety of answers to make a decision.