The Cars of Austin, Texas


How do you capture the essence of a metropolis or city? What will make a individual position hum, sing and excitement? Is it the persons? The society? The architecture? Food items? It is, of study course, all of these points. And extra. For us at CarAdvice, it is, unsurprisingly, also the vehicles.

We are privileged to vacation around the entire world for our work, going to towns, nations around the world and considerably-flung corners we might usually never see in our lives. And aside from suffering from so several diverse cultures, one particular of the items that stands out for us is the sheer diversity of automotive tradition close to the world. In essence, the cars people individual.

CarAdvice‘s Tony Crawford has normally experienced a keen eye for the strange, and a new vacation to Austin, Texas once again afforded a person of CA’s illustrious founders the possibility to indulge in a little bit of carspotting.

A brief bit of heritage Austin is the cash of Texas and has often been a bit of an oddity in that oh-so-frontier point out. Progressive and fiercely unbiased, the self-styled ‘Live Musical Money of the World’ has adopted the unofficial slogan ‘Keep Austin Weird’. To outsiders and for people with an ear for music and an eye for art and cinema, Austin is maybe ideal known for South by Southwest, an yearly new music, film and interactive media pageant, which attracts people and artists from all in excess of the environment.

Austin also played host to Tony lately and snap-content-Crawford, as we contact him in the CA office environment (ok, not genuinely) was only way too content to snap a few shots of some Austin automotive oddities.


1950 GMC FC101 select-up

No-a single does decide-up vehicles quite like the Yanks. And this small General Motors Company elegance, with unique patina, was casually parked in downtown Austin when it caught Tony’s eye.

Run by 228ci (3.7-litre) inline six with 96hp (71kW), the GMC was distinguished from its Chevrolet 3100 stablemate – with which it shared a system – by a diverse grille style and a far more highly effective engine (the Chev was powered by a 216.5ci (3.5-litre) straight 6 pumping out 67kW) .

This certain illustration, officially the deluxe-taxi model, showcased a five-window structure which adopted a three-piece rear window that wrapped about the roof and forward to the doorway. As properly as earning for a lighter cabin ambience, the curved home windows also aided with rearward visibility.

Interestingly, in spite of remaining significantly rarer than the Chev 3100 of the similar classic, the GMC FC101 is worthy of only about two-thirds of the selling price on the collectable marketplace. Still, pristine, totally restored illustrations can sell for all around US$60,000 nowadays. We’ll just take ours with original patina while, thanks.


Land Rover Sequence III Stage A single V8

Who doesn’t appreciate a basic Landy, that venerable workhorse strutting its things off- and on-street for decades. And it looks the denizens of Austin (very well all right, at the very least one) is smitten by the tricky-as-nails off-roader.

This Stage A person instance, continue to resplendent with its first British rego plate (it is peeking out just at the rear of the spare), was run by the similar 3.5-litre petrol V8 as uncovered in the Assortment Rover of the day, albeit detuned to just 68kW (the Rangey had 100kW to engage in with). The Phase One particular also scored the Vary Rover’s LT95 gearbox and was the only Land Rover Series III out there with long term 4-wheel push.

The V8-run Stage Just one was usually only accessible in the prolonged-wheelbase (109-inch) as seen right here, despite the fact that 24 examples had been produced on the short-wheelbase system. Extremely scarce then, for all those Sequence III aficionados out there.

By the way, ‘Stage One’ refers to the initial phase of the British Government’s monetary financial commitment in the firm in an effort and hard work to strengthen Land Rover and Vary Rover products and solutions.


1980 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

It looks a little bit forlorn, parked up in the weeds and grass with black plastic haphazardly thrown above the top rated. Not significantly protection there. But in its prime, the Firebird was a lusted soon after muscle mass car, thanks largely to its starring function in the 1977 hit movie, Smokey and the Bandit, starring Burt Reynolds and Sally Area.

That movie star car featured a 400ci (6.6-litre) V8 pumping out 148kW and 441Nm. Apart from it did not. The motion picture star Firebird was really four 1976 vehicles, facelifted to glimpse like the new-for-1977 product. All four autos were being heavily harmed through the generating of the film, with one auto ruined filming the impressive ‘jumping above the dismantled bridge’ scene.

By 1980, on the other hand, American muscle mass autos became victims of ever-tightening emissions controls and Pontiac was compelled to reduce engine displacement of the Firebird. Two engine alternatives had been offered in 1980, both a turbocharged 4.8-litre V8 as normal or potential buyers could solution a marginally much larger naturally-aspirated 5.-litre. We’re not sure which motor lurks under the very long bonnet of this unhappy hunting 1980 instance but observing any previous muscle automobile in a point out like this, provides a tear to the eye.

Incidentally, Pontiac was so happy with the Firebird’s starring job in the film, it gifted Reynolds a brand name new automobile as a thank you. Reynolds held on to that car or truck for most of his existence, at last placing it up for auction – together with a swag of his other film memorabilia – in 2014. Anticipated to fetch all over US$80,000, the Firebird lastly fell less than the hammer for a amazing US$450,000!


1990 Cadillac Brougham Executive Limousine

Yeah, it’s tacky.

It’s well worth noting, just as these autos are converted in Australia, American-produced stretch limos are produced by third-get together mentor builders, one of the oldest and finest getting Armbruster Stageway.

While we don’t know the specific provenance of this parked up Caddy, or even if this an Armbruster conversion, what we do know is it started out its lifetime as a 1990 Cadillac Brougham with a 5.7-litre Chevy engine below that very long, black, helipad of a bonnet.

Ordinarily, all around 60-inches (152cm) had been extra concerning the front and rear doors while interior characteristics incorporated a bar, separate radio and entertainment program to the front, either a stable divider or a glass divider to make certain all those significant folks in the back again didn’t have to see or discuss to the driver up entrance, and ambient lights. Stylish.

This instance, parked in an unkempt property in the suburbs of Austin, has seen better times. The ‘Dream’ bling adorning the vertical grille is complemented ‘nicely’ by the gold cure on the front bumper bar. Let’s hope the owner’s desires haven’t been fully crushed and that just one working day, this as soon as-stately limo can receive some substantially-necessary enjoy and resume its everyday living ferrying VIPs or, far more most likely, teenage celebration-goers, close to the streets of Austin.

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