Hooniverse Modern Art Monday – Cars That Will Never Be This Way Again

This past Sunday, I went to a local car show to brush-up on my photography skills. This was not going to be an outing to get the names of the owners, nor was it going to be anything but an enjoyable day outdoors, soaking up the sun, and taking in some fine machinery. Boy, was I wrong, as this little show in my neck of the woods produced some of the most dazzling displays of sheetmetal, machinery, and beauty that I have seen in a while. I tend to favor the Detroit machines from the 50s and the 60s, so I concentrated on these, and ignored the Hot Rods, a slew of late model Challengers and Camaros, as well as most of the Pre-War stuff. So, for this Modern Art Monday, here is a couple of my favorites from this show….

This is a 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix, and it is as imposing as it looks. The engine has been enhanced with Offenhauser speed parts, and this is one of the rare factory 4-Speed (A BorgWarner T-10 with a Hurst Shifter!) cars as well. The car is truly awe inspiring, with the factory aluminum eight lug wheels, to the roomy interior. Pontiac managed to build almost 30,000 Grand Prix models for 1962, and was the first year for the Grand Prix nameplate.


This is a 1965 Buick Electra 225 two-door hardtop, and it looks magnificent wearing a set of Torque-Thrust Rims. This car had the Buick Nailhead 425 V-8, that produced 340HP. If you notice closely, this car also had a few Offenhauser modifications, as well as Factory A/C, and a big and beautiful bench seat interior. The size was imposing, and had a definite “Gangsta” look to it, and I found that quite acceptable. This was the last year for the Buick 425 Nailhead V-8 offered by the factory.


The last of the imposing vehicles is this stunning 1965 Buick Riviera Gran Sport. This particular car always had a crowd around it, and you only have to see why. This was the third year for the first generation Riviera, and some say it was the most successful. The Gran Sport option included the Super Wildcat 425 V-8 that produced 340HP, with Buick’s very own Super Turbine 400 Transmission handling the power output. The lines of the Riviera were really a sight to behold, and this is a car that deserves to be featured on Modern Art Monday.

So, do you have any feelings, positive or negative, for each of these three pieces of rolling art work? Let me know….

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  1. B72 Avatar

    These are some beautiful show queens. I find myself looking at them and thinking we need a "will it Hoon" feature (apologies to David Letterman for the obvious ripoff). The idea would be that owners of beautiful cars are asked to do burnouts or donuts or the like (in a safe and respectful manner of course), and the assembled gets to guess at whether they will or not.
    I love these cars, but I like the ones that get driven even more.

  2. tonyola Avatar

    The 1965 Riviera is one of my all-time favorite cars. What few messy details on the great '63-'64 Riv (exposed lights, fake side scoops) were taken care of and what's left is an ultra-clean and beautifully tailored machine.
    By the way, the 425 was still available in 1966. It would be replaced by a 430 for 1967.

  3. muthalovin Avatar

    All 3 are fantastic works of art, but the Riviera is my absolute favorite. It's looks are just killer, especially in black.

  4. Dutch Avatar

    I've always been a Ford and Mopar guy, but those old Rivieras always really got to me.
    Intreseting history here- http://ateupwithmotor.com/luxury-and-personal-lux

  5. skitter Avatar

    All three go just a little extra distance to become deeply cool, and I imagine they had the same appeal when new. Yet their basic form is not extraordinary. When I consider the few details it takes to make a car cohesive and purposeful, I can't understand why there are any beige cars at all.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      Can I point out that they're all 2-door cars? Even today, most coupes still being made are at least slightly more interesting to look at than the four-door sedans that make up the vast majority of beige-y cars. And when was last time you saw a new car that could reasonably be called a "two-door sedan"?
      There are very few four-door cars that really turn me on. Most cars with even a smidgin of attractiveness would be a lot better if their portelli were only due and not quattro.

      1. skitter Avatar

        I have always been a huge fan of four-doors, but I'll stick to the classic formula.
        And if you can make a 1973 Capri work this well:
        <img src="http://i615.photobucket.com/albums/tt237/jskitter/hooniverse/1973CapriA.jpg"&gt;
        Why don't you do that every time?
        <img src="http://i615.photobucket.com/albums/tt237/jskitter/hooniverse/1973Capri.jpg"&gt;

      2. Jim Brennan Avatar
        Jim Brennan


  6. SSurfer321 Avatar

    This past Saturday, I tried to go to a car show. Midwest Mayhem in Lexington, KY. It cost $12 per person just to walk through the gate. As I peered through the chainlink fence, all I saw was dubbed 300C's, donked G-bodies, SUVs on 24"s, rice-tastic imports and a few bagged S10s.
    I saved my money for a rainy day.

  7. njhoon Avatar

    While partial to the Riv, that 225 gets me. I am really struck by the interior of it, very very sharp.

  8. OA5599 Avatar

    One of my earliest automotive memories was learning that there weren't just "cars", but "Cadillacs" and "Fords" and "Oldsmobiles" and other assorted makes. My dad drove an Electra at the time, and he told me that only the best cars were allowed to have portholes on the front fenders.
    I stil prefer the GS over the 225, though.

  9. CptSevere Avatar

    The Buicks are both impressive, but I like the Pontiac, myself. The lines are just so clean, and I love the fact that it has a four speed and those gorgeous factory wheels. These were some spectacular cars.

  10. mad_science Avatar

    Damn, that’s some fine machinery.
    4 speeds and 8 lugs for me, thanks.

  11. RichardKopf Avatar

    The 225 needs the same wheels as the ones on the Rivera.
    In other news, I would eat a Klondike bar for all of them.

  12. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    Whaddaknow…at one time the Grand Prix deserved the name.
    In other news: nailhead…mmmmmmm.

  13. longrooffan Avatar

    My Uncle Frank had a 62 Wide Track Convertible so that Grand Prix holds a special place but then Dad had a 66 Deuce and a Quarter so that one is special also and his good friend, Bev Watson, a super cool and suave guy, had one of this gen Rivs. Can I have one of each even though the roof is too short for this olelongrooffan? Nice cars and thanks for sharing them Jim.

  14. fede6882 Avatar

    I had never seen a 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix before, and now I can't take it out of my head… it is just gorgeous… the wheels, the tail lights, the front, the rear 3/4… I've just found a new love. Thanks Jim!

  15. McQueen Avatar

    See noe why can't Buick change the exterior on the CTS-V and wagon and get back to their badassness that they once so proudly displayed with splendor ?

  16. Buickboy92 Avatar

    Love those Buick's!

  17. ron h. Avatar
    ron h.

    i have been fortunate to have been a Buick (and Packard) man for many, many years. Have owned 1964, 65, 66, and 67 Rivs. still have a 65. also have a 63 Wildcat and a 65 Skylark Gran Sport. Currently rebuilding a 59 Invicta convert and a 58 Special 2dr hardtop. i will always have Buicks.

  18. Wildcat445 Avatar

    A bit late to the party (I was hunting for Wildcats), but I'm pretty sure that "Wildcat 445" is the 401 Nailhead, not the 425. The "445" was the torque output on these engines, not displacement. Our '65 had this engine. The '66 Wildcat was the only one to have a "GS" option. The "Wildcat 465" engine was the 425 cu in. Nailhead. If you want something really rare, a handful of the 425s were equipped with dual 4-bbl carbs.