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AJ's Car of the Day '66 Chevrolet Nova L-79 327/350

Car: Chevrolet Nova L-79 327/350

Year: 1966

What makes it special: Introduced for the 1966 model year, Chevrolet's Nova was given a restyle. The big news was the L-79 option, which was a Turbo-Fire 327 cu in V8 producing 350 horsepower. The L-79 equipped Nova was an instant performance hit and 5,481 L-79 option Nova's were ordered.

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AJ's Car of the Day '63 Mercury Comet S-22

Car: Mercury Comet S-22

Year: 1963

What makes it special: Mercury's Comet model was based on the same platform as Ford's Falcon. The 1960 through 1963 year Comets are often referred to as "Round Body Comets." It shared a number of mechanical and body parts with the short-lived intermediate size Mercury Meteor. The optional S-22 package was released starting with the 1961 model year only on the 2-door sedan, and billed as the "Sport" package.

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AJ's Car of the Day '62 Plymouth Valiant "Hyper-Pak"

Car: Plymouth Valiant "Hyper-Pak"

Year: 1962

What makes it special: Considered its own distinctive brand, Plymouth's Valiant model made its debut for the 1960 model year. It was less radical than Chevrolet's Corvair model, and considered more aesthetically daring than Ford's equally new Falcon. Valiant's were produced with uni-body construction which wasn't used by the Chrysler Corporation since the 1930's Airflow models rather than the usual body-on-frame construction.

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AJ's Car of the Day '73 Mercury Capri V6

Car: Mercury Capri

Year: 1973

What makes it special: Mercury's Capri models were sold in the U.S. by Lincoln-Mercury. They were sold as three distinctly different cars over three decades. The Capri for the 1971 to 1974 model years and Capri II for 1976 to 1977 were imports made by Ford of Europe in Germany. At their peak, Mercury Capri sales in the U.S. were the highest for any import model except VW's Beetle.

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AJ's Car of the Day '69 Chevrolet Yenko SC427 Nova

Car: Chevrolet Yenko SC427 Nova

Year: 1969

What makes it special: The 1969 Chevrolet Yenko SC427 Nova is quite possibly the most lethal of all Nova's ever produced. A mere 38 were built by Don Yenko of Yenko Chevrolet in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Yenko referred to the SC427 Yenko Nova as barely legal at best. Chevrolet refused to build a Nova to it's specs through their COPO ( Central Ofiice Production Order ) program, so Yenko did it themselves.

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AJ's Car of the Day '68 Plymouth Barracuda 340 Formula S

Car: Plymouth Barracuda 340 Formula S

Year: 1968

What makes it special: Plymouth's Barracuda 340 Formula S solved two problems at once. Since the 273 V8 powered version was nimble but not fast enough, and the 383 V8 was quick but a nightmare in the handling department, the 340 V8 Formula S gave the car both quickness and handling at the same time.

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AJ's Car of the Day '71 AMC Matador "Machine" 401

Car: AMC Matador "Machine" 401

Year: 1971

What makes it special: The 1971 AMC Matador "Machine" 401 was a one-year only offering from American Motors Corporation. Only about 60 were produced. The Machine 401 picked up from where the Rebel Machine left off, ( also a one-year only offering ), when the Machine was reassigned to AMC's Matador model with a "Go-Machine" option package.

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AJ's Car of the Day '65 Ford Falcon Ranchero

Car: Ford Falcon Ranchero

Year: 1965

What makes them special: Starting in 1960, Ford's Ranchero became much smaller, becoming based on Ford's compact Falcon model. Ford believed the market wanted a more practical vehicle that was much smaller, lighter and cheaper than a full-size Pickup truck, and the Ranchero sold well in this version. The Ranchero had an 800 lb. load capacity.

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AJ's Car of the Day '75 Chevrolet Cosworth Vega

Car: Chevrolet Cosworth Vega

Year: 1975

What makes it special: Built for the 1975 and 1976 model years, Chevrolet's Cosworth Vega was a limited-production version of the Vega, with higher performance. Chevrolet developed the car's all-aluminum inline four cylinder 122 cu in engine, with British company Cosworth Engineering designing its DOHC cylinder head. The engine has a stainless steel exhaust header and Bendix electronic fuel injection, with four injector valves, an electronic control unit, five independent sensors and two fuel pumps. About 5,000 engines were built.

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AJ's Car of the Day '63 Dodge 440 Max Wedge 426 Sedan

Car: Dodge 440 Max Wedge 426 Sedan

Year: 1963

What makes it special: Debuting in 1962, it was the upscale version of the Dart, and came with all the standard equipment of the Dart and 330, plus backup lights and exterior moldings, but featured less chrome and a plainer interior than the deluxe Dodge Polara model. Its lighter weight and available big-block 426 engine gave it a strong reputation in racing.

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AJ's Car of the Day '67 Mercury Comet 202 427 R-Code Sedan

Car: Mercury Comet 202 427 R-Code Sedan

Year: 1967

What makes it special: The Mercury Comet 202 Series was based on Ford's Fairlane with similar styling. The fenders featured a '202' nameplate and was primarily fitted with a 120 hp, 200 cu in inline-6 cylinder engine. In 1967, the 427 "Side-Oiler" Ford V8 became available for anyone to order, where it was only a combination available the prior year to racers for intermediate bodied models. Although not quite fully on the options list, the FE Big-Block's availability was a little known secret that some where able to take advantage of.

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AJ's Car of the Day '67 Chevrolet Biscayne L72 427 Sedan

Car: Chevrolet Biscayne L72 427 Sedan

Year: 1967

What makes it special: The Biscayne was the cheapest model in the Chevrolet full-size car range with the exception of the Chevrolet Delray of 1958. Biscaynes are easily identified by the use of two taillights per side. Exterior chrome trim was absent on the Biscayne, and it was normally fitted with small hubcaps, though several exterior trim pieces and upgraded wheel covers were available at extra cost. Interior trim was spartan, with lower-grade cloth and vinyl or all-vinyl upholstery trim, a standard steering wheel with center horn button, and rubber floor mats.

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AJ's Car of the Day '64 Oldsmobile 442 F85 Sport Coupe

Car: Oldsmobile 442 F85 Sport Coupe

Year: 1964

What makes it special: Introduced April 1964 as an answer to the new intermediate muscle car market created by Pontiac's GTO, 442 was introduced as an option package for both F85 and Cutlass models. The 442 name comes from the configuration of the car, consisting of a four-barrel carburetor, 4-speed manual transmission, and dual exhaust.

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AJ's Car of the Day '64 Ford Galaxie 500 R-Code 427

Car: Ford Galaxie R-Code 427 / 425 hp.

Year: 1964

What makes it special: 1964 was the fourth and final year of the Sports Hardtop or Fastback body style, and the exterior featured a more sculpted look which was actually designed to make the car more aerodynamic for NASCAR. 1964 models gained a reputation as durable, comfortable cars that offered decent handling and road-ability at a reasonable price, making them sell so well.

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AJ's Car of the Day ' 69 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Convertible

Car: Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Convertible

Year: 1969

What makes it special: Pontiac's Firebird was restyled for 1969. That year, the first Trans Am Firebird was released with 689 coupes plus eight convertibles produced. ( 697 total ) Officially known as the "Trans Am Convenience and Performance package" (Code WS4), it was a low-profile offering, with little fanfare for its arrival, so few buyers even knew they existed. The original eight convertibles that were produced have become increasingly valuable through the years. All were finished in Cameo White with Tyrol Blue T/A stripes, with matching blue interiors and white convertible top. Finishing its look were a rear-deck mounted spoiler, side air vents, and Rally II wheels mounted on wide, white-lettered tires.

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AJ's Car of the Day '69 Chevrolet Camaro SS 396 Convertible

Car: Chevrolet Camaro Super Sport 396 Convertible

Year: 1969

What makes it special: The first generation Chevrolet Camaro's 1969 redesign gave it a longer, lower look, with squared wheelhouses and new detailing inside and out. It was a "one-year-wonder" that struck the chords of the American buying public, that as it turned out, had to be carried into the '70 model year when production problems delayed introduction of the fully redesigned next-generation Camaro.

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AJ's Car of the Day '66 Shelby Mustang GT350 Convertible

Car: Shelby Mustang GT350 Convertible

Year: 1966

What makes it special: Convertible Shelby Mustangs didn't make the scene until 1968 in production form, but a total of four legitimate Convertible Shelby Mustang GT350's were made two years earlier for 1966. They were not available to the general public. Each were made in different colors, ranging from yellow, blue, green and red, with at least three of the cars destined for use by Shelby and Ford. For many years, it was thought that six were made ( one in white, the other in pink ), but factory papers from Ford show that only four convertible model Mustangs were delivered to Shelby American, listed as #'s 2375 through 2378.

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AJ's Car of the Day '67 Ford Fairlane GT/A Convertible

Car: Ford Fairlane GT/A Convertible

Year: 1967

What makes it special: The fifth generation Fairlane for 1967 remained a restyle of the full-sized Fords like the prior year, with vertically stacked headlights. Minor trim changes were introduced, and so were a number of Federal government-mandated safety features, including a new energy-absorbing steering column with a large padded steering wheel hub, soft interior trim, four-way hazard flashers, a dual-chamber braking system, and shoulder belt anchors. Convertible models now had a tempered safety glass rear window.

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AJ's Car of the Day '61 Chevrolet Corvette "Fuelie"

Car: Chevrolet Corvette "Fuelie"

Year: 1961

What makes it special: For 1961, the C1 first generation Corvette debuted a new boat-tail design that was later used on the C2 second generation Corvette. Four taillights appeared that year, which still continues to this day. Also, this was the last year for contrasting paint colors in cove areas, and the last two-tone Corvette of any type until 1978.

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AJ's Car of the Day '70 Mercury Cougar Eliminator 428 SCJ Drag Pak

Car: Mercury Cougar Eliminator 428 SCJ Drag Pak

Year: 1970

What makes it special: The Eliminator helped to give the Cougar some visual punch. It was not a different model, but rather an option package. During the 1970 run, 2,267 Cougars were produced with the Eliminator package. Of those, 127 Cougars left the factory with the 428 SCJ Drag Pack option. With very low production numbers, the 1970 428 SCJ Drag Pack Eliminator has a rare and unique place among the elite Ford muscle cars produced during the golden age of horsepower and torque.

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AJ's Car of the Day '70 Buick GSX Package 455 Stage 1 Coupe

Car: Buick GSX Package 455 Stage 1 Coupe

Year: 1970

What makes it special: The year 1970 saw the greatest Buick GS of all time. General Motors finally lifted its corporate ban of engines larger than 400 cubic inches in an intermediate body so Buick stuffed a brand new 455 cubic inch engine into its restyled GS. It boosted more displacement, bigger valves, and a hotter cam than the 400 and was also mated to standard cold air induction through functional hood scoops. Rated at 350bhp and 510lb-ft of torque, this was the highest torque rating of any production engine besides Cadillac's 472 and 500 cid V8's.

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AJ's Car of the Day '70 Chevrolet Caprice 454 V8

Car: Chevrolet Caprice 454

Year: 1970

What makes it special: For 1970 , Chevrolet's Caprice received a minor facelift featuring a more conventional under the grille bumper which replaced the wrap-around unit used in 1969 along with new triple vertical taillights in the rear bumper. Power front disc brakes and fiberglass-belted tires were made standard equipment, but the floor-mounted 4-speed manual with Hurst shifter was dropped from the option list in addition to the Strato bucket seats and center console previously offered on coupes.

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AJ's Car of the Day '69 Ford Galaxie 500

Car: Ford Galaxie 500

Year: 1969

What makes it special: For 1969, Ford's Galaxie was settling in to middle-age and starting to show it. Since buyers weren’t considering performance as much as before, the new Galaxie focused on luxury and styling...in fact, by 1969, no six-cylinder full-sized Fords were even available. 1969 saw the last of the Galaxie convertibles, and was the end of the 427 and 428 V8's.

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AJ's Car of the Day '71 Buick Riviera "Boat-Tail"

Car: Buick Riviera "Boat-Tail"

Year: 1971

What makes it special: Inspired by Chevrolet division's 1963 Corvette Sting Ray split window coupe, the third generation Buick Riviera was radically redesigned for the 1971 model year with "boat-tail" styling. This design was originally intended for the smaller GM A-Platform ( Think Buick Skylark ), but using the design for Riviera instead gave the car a more controversial look with a much more visual representation of the "Sweepspear" version that appeared on 1950's Buicks in both the side molding and beltline.

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AJ's Car of the Day '63 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport

Car: Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport

Year: 1963

What makes it special: Chevrolet built special lightweight, high power Corvette race cars in 1963 specifically to defeat the Ford Cobra on the road racing circuit. Concerned about Ford and what they were doing with the Shelby Cobra, Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov's program included plans to build 125 Grand Sport Corvettes to make them eligible for international Grand Touring races. After GM executives learned of the secret project, the program was stopped. Of the five cars that were built, all have survived and are in private collections, and are among the most coveted and valuable Corvettes ever built, not so much for what they accomplished, but rather for what might have been.

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