Automotive Mileposts

2009 Site Updates


"" December 31, 2009

Image: 1971 Lincoln Continental CoupeOur final car for 2009: 1971 Lincoln Continental Lincoln's Golden Anniversary (50 years) was commemorated in 1971 with the announcement of a limited edition Town Car. Sales fell for the second year in a row, prompting more robust styling changes for 1972 in an attempt to increase sales (it worked). For 1971, though, Lincoln would have to contend with minor updates to the front and rear of the car, as well as focus on quality control. The 1971 Lincolns were the best built to date. Visit Planet Lincoln 1971 and enjoy your stay!

"" December 30, 2009

View our 2010: HAPPY NEW YEAR! greeting.

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Automotive Mileposts presents our 2009 Holiday Greeting Card for all of our visitors. Thank you for your support of the site, and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season for you and yours. Our theme this year is a retro 1955 Christmas in aqua. Think Christmas in Miami Beach, with the cool aqua water in the ocean and soft, warm breezes stirring the air. Stir in a few friends and family, polish the snow off your new Continental Mark II that you drove down from New England, and you've got it!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Everyone at Automotive Mileposts!

"" December 7, 2009

1966-1967 Ford Thunderbird Contoured Headliner Used for just two years on most two door models, these molded, contoured headliner panels included a center roof console and built-in recesses for the sun visors. They allowed Ford to offer something interesting overhead, perhaps in preparation for the lack of a convertible model after 1966. The adhesive holding the vinyl material to the cardboard panel failed after a few years, which led many T-birds of this era to the auto trim shop for repairs, some of which were executed better than others.


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"" November 29, 2009

1974-1975 Cadillac Eldorado Tubular Arm Rest This rather odd torpedo-shaped front seat arm rest was provided on late production 1974 Eldorados with 50-50 divided seats, and early production 1975 Eldorados with the same seating configuration. It was apparently not popular with Cadillac's customers, and is sometimes missing from cars today.

"" November 20, 2009

Rare Option: Ford Thunderbird Autolamp and Automatic Headlamp Dimmer Unknown to many, an automatic headlamp dimmer option was authorized by the factory for installation on 1964-1969 Thunderbirds. This option isn't mentioned in owner's manuals, shop manuals, or even as an available accessory in brochures, but it was indeed offered. Ford used Guide-Matic units during this time, and the availability of this option has created some controversy and confusion even among Thunderbird "experts." Also discussed is the 1974-1976 Autolamp option.

"" November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving Thunderbird Our annual Thanksgiving Thunderbird page returns this year, all about what was going on in 1969 on Thanksgiving Day. This feature started over six years ago, with the story of Los Angeles radio station KHJ giving away a new Ford Thunderbird as a Thanksgiving Holiday promotion. Since then, we've added something new each year to the page. This year we included some 1969 trivia and a few statistics. For instance, did you know that a ticket to Woodstock cost $6.00?

"" November 14, 2009

1978 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Custom Biarritz Classic This was the end of the line for the full-sized Eldorado, and at the last minute Cadillac Division teamed up with American Sunroof to create a special edition model of which just 2,000 copies would be made. Distinctive with its duo-tone paint and interior trim treatment, some believe Cadillac pushed good taste to the very edge, while others feel it was an appropriate send off to Cadillac's last full-sized motorcar.

"" November 12, 2009

1970 Lincoln Continental The first altogether new Lincoln Continental in nearly a decade, the 1970 Lincolns were bigger in every dimension and offered new features and luxuries while retaining the traditional Lincoln "look" that was so important in the luxury car field.

"" November 10, 2009

1972 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency Built to honor Oldsmobile Division's 75th Anniversary, the Regency included a timepiece designed by Tiffany & Company. A sterling silver key ring was registered at Tiffany's, and if the keys were ever lost they could be placed in any mail box, and Tiffany's would return them to the registered owner. Only 5,000 were built for 1972, and the Regency became a full-production model the following year.


"" October 21, 2009

Sequential Rear Turn Signals Introduced on the 1965 Thunderbird, sequential turn signals have been a factory-installed feature of very few cars. Standard on the 1965-1971 Ford Thunderbird, 1967-1973 Mercury Cougar, 1969 (Chrysler) Imperial, and now re-introduced on the 2010 Ford Mustang. They have, however, enjoyed a robust after market following, with owners converting just about anything with three taillights to sequential signals.

"" October 10, 2009

1977 Lincoln Continental Fixed Glass Moonroof Option This is one you don't often see, offered for just three years on the 2-door and 4-door Lincoln Continental models. Not officially available on the Continental Mark V, although we've heard reports that a couple of them were built that way, but at this time those reports are unsubstantiated. Two different glass sizes were used depending on the model. Some background is provided on the 1954 Mercury Sun Valley as well, which is likely the inspiration for the option.

"" October 7, 2009

1952-1979 Lincoln Would you like to live the Continental Life? If you enjoy all things fine, especially in the motorcar you choose to drive, chances are you would. Lincoln has a long and distinguished history, and experienced a period of uncertainty prior to its landmark 1961 design. AM will cover the 1952-1979 period, beginning with the 1970 and 1971 model years, which are being worked on now.

"" October 3, 2009

Anti-Lock Brake Systems In development and testing for over a decade before being installed on any cars, this system was sophisticated for the time and worked very well. Available at first on expensive luxury cars, most customers weren't interested in paying extra for the option, but it was made standard on the 1970 Continental Mark III.

"" October 2, 2009

1969 Cadillac Contents
1970 Cadillac Contents Both sections are now online! Cadillac set a new all-time sales record for 1970, as well as bid farewell to three models! The 1969 models were the first styled to emulate the popular Eldorado, which was not exactly your traditional Cadillac when it was introduced a couple of years earlier. During both years, Cadillac built 11 models in three series on four wheelbases!

"" October 1, 2009

1970 Cadillac Contents The first step toward publication of the 1970 Cadillac section, advertised to be the spirit of the seventies by Cadillac at the time. Work is well underway, and should be complete and ready for proofreading soon.


"" September 30, 2009

The History of Golde Sunroof/American Sunroof Corporation (ASC) The story of Heinz Prechter, founder of American Sunroof Corporation (ASC) and how all those cool sixties and seventies cars were built with holes in their roof!

"" September 25, 2009

CARS/Cash For Clunkers Death List You might be surprised—even shocked—to see the vehicles turned in under the recent Cash For Clunkers program. In what reality is a 2005 Thunderbird a clunker worth only $4,500? We note some of the more shocking examples, including some collectible cars, and provide a link to the full list. Read it and weep.

"" September 21, 2009

1969 Cadillac Contents We begin our coverage of Cadillac's standard models by adding the 1969 Cadillacs to the site. They join the 1967-1970 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorados, which are already online but have received a few updates as well. Cadillac sold its 4-millionth car in 1969, and the entire line had a fresh, elegant new look. (Specific data pages will be coming online over the next few days.)

"" September 18, 2009

1978-1979 Ford Thunderbird T-Roof Convertible This option, introduced mid-year 1978, allowed you to invite the sky inside by removing two tinted, tempered glass panels over the front seat. Offered for just two years, it was another reason why this series was such a popular seller at the time.

"" September 16, 2009

1979 Ford Thunderbird The final year of the most popular 3-year styling cycle in the Thunderbird's history! 1979 included new standard features, new options, new paint colors, new interior trim choices, styling updates, and other refinements—all of which made 1979 a great year to fly the Bird.

1970 Oldsmobile Toronado GT In this article, we separate the facts from the myths, and identify exactly what components are unique to the GT option, as well as how to document original cars with the GT option.

"" September 12, 2009

1979 Thunderbird Heritage Edition in Light Medium Blue The exclusive Heritage was initially offered in two monochromatic color combinations for 1979: Maroon and Light Medium Blue. This page illustrates and describes the features specific to the blue model.

1978 Ford Thunderbird This section is now live, with production figures, specifications, paint codes and color combinations, interior trim codes, vinyl roof colors and codes, lists for standard features and optional equipment, and more. With all the choices offered in 1978, it's easy to see why the T-bird was so popular.

"" September 5, 2009

The prep work continues on the 1977-1979 Thunderbirds. We've added the 1979 Ford Thunderbird Contents page, which is the main navigation page for that section. Most of the links aren't live yet, but they will be soon. We normally try to publish these pages first, as they establish a point for linking to all the other pages for that year, make, and model. An article, The Only Way to Fly, appears on the page.

"" September 4, 2009

1957-1960 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham We've added the main contents page for this line, along with some preliminary information on interior trim codes and exterior paint codes for the 1957 and 1958 models. The 1959 and 1960 cars will follow soon with this same information. This is just being provided in this form temporarily, we'll still have individual pages for everything as we always have. These cars were incredibly complex for their time, and they are still pretty incredible even when compared to today's cars, and that's pretty amazing given the 52 years that have passed since they sat in the showroom!


"" August 28, 2009

1978 Ford Thunderbird We begin publication of the 1978 Thunderbird section today, with a new article on the Contents page. A special page dedicated to the Diamond Jubilee Edition is already online, and we've linked to it from this page as well. Work is underway on paint codes, interior trim, options, etc., and those pages will be coming online over the next few days.

"" August 27, 2009

Lincoln vs. Cadillac: The Lincoln Ride Design philosophies differed between the top two luxury brands in America, and Lincoln learned a few lessons along the way as it fine tuned and improved on its ride. By the mid-seventies, even a majority of Cadillac owners reportedly preferred the Lincoln ride over their own car!

"" August 24, 2009

1979 Ford Thunderbird Heritage What becomes a legend most? Imitation! Following a record sales year for the Thunderbird, Ford was cautious with changes to the T-bird for 1979. The most luxurious of the line for the year was the new Heritage Edition, a continuation of 1978's Diamond Jubilee Edition, which offered a high level of standard equipment, and made it one of the best equipped cars on the road at the time.

"" August 21, 2009

1969 Continental Mark III VIN and Date Codes Explained Since the new 1969 Continental Mark III was introduced early in April 1968, that meant the 1969 models were being built alongside the 1968 model Lincoln Continentals and Ford Thunderbirds. This required Ford to take special precautions to document Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) and build dates.

"" August 20, 2009

1966-1972 Oldsmobile RPO Codes While doing research for the 1966-1970 Toronado, we spent a great deal of time decoding the Oldsmobile Regular Production Option (RPO) codes, and thought you might appreciate knowing what they were as well. These codes are a series of 3 alphanumeric characters that identify the equipment a car originally left the factory with, so they are important when verifying the authenticity of a car.

"" August 17, 2009

Phase Two Begins:
1977 Ford Thunderbird We kick off Phase Two with a car that proved the appeal of the Thunderbird was more widespread than anyone knew. A new look, a new price, a new size, but still unmistakably Thunderbird.

"" August 14, 2009

Automotive Mileposts Announcement:
We kick off Phase Two of AM today with the announcement of the first car to be published in that section of the site. We received many requests to finish the 1970's Thunderbirds, so we decided that majority rules and the first car to be published in Phase Two will be the 1977 Thunderbird! It will be followed closely by the 1978 and 1979 models. Look for them soon!

"" August 10, 2009

Automotive Mileposts Announcement:
With the publication of the 1970 Toronado today, we complete Phase One of our site roll out. This means that the basic, core information we provide for every specific year, make, and model in that part of our site is complete. We will continue to update and add more data to the cars featured in Phase One, however. The core data only constitutes about 60% of the total information we intend to provide, so there's still a lot more coming for the cars in Phase One. Check our Site Construction Schedule for more details, and we'll announce the next car(s) to come online within the week! Thanks for your support!

1970 Oldsmobile Toronado It is one of the great road cars of all time, and the last of the first generation Toronados. With the publication of this year, we complete the Oldsmobile Toronado section of Phase One of Automotive Mileposts. The 1970 Toronado also receives the distinction of being the very last car to be included in Phase One of the site! We saved one of the best for last, that's for certain.

"" August 9, 2009

Why CARS/Cash for Clunkers Is A Bad Deal Opinion regarding the current C.A.R.S. (Car Allowance Rebate System). Is it really as good as they say it is, or is it a disaster for the environment and a real missed opportunity to help people?

"" August 7, 2009

The story of Oldsmobile's muscular personal luxury car continues! Now online:
1968 Oldsmobile Toronado
1969 Oldsmobile Toronado

"" August 1, 2009

Ho-hum driving's out! Toronado's in! Announcing the debut of the first two years of the first generation Oldsmobile Toronado to Automotive Mileposts:
1966 Oldsmobile Toronado
1967 Oldsmobile Toronado


"" July 24, 2009

1970 Ford Thunderbird Exterior Paint Colors Additional image added of Burgundy Fire Two Door Landau with Special Brougham Option, along with samples of each paint color.

"" July 23, 2009

1971 Continental Mark III Exterior Paint Colors Updated to add representative color samples.

"" July 11, 2009

1970 Continental Mark III Exterior Paint Colors Page updated to include color samples, new Mark III image, and Ditzler paint codes are now included.

"" July 6, 2009

1969 Ford Thunderbird Exterior Paint/Interior Trim Availability Just updated with a new color combination (Morning Gold paint with Dark Ivy Gold interior) that sounds like it would be a sharp color combination.

1969 Ford Thunderbird Paint Codes Updated to include paint color samples to allow easier identification of the colors and codes.

"" July 5, 2009

1969 Continental Mark III Paint Codes We've updated this page with additional information and sample paint shades displayed with the paint codes. Did you know there were 4,852 different color combinations available for the 1969 Mark III? Talk about the luxury of choice!

"" July 2, 2009

1967-1971 Ford Thunderbird and 1969-1971 Continental Mark III Air Conditioning Tune Up (Technical Articles Series) A step by step guide to making sure you're getting maximum cold air flow from your factory air conditioning system.


"" June 26, 2009

1977 Continental Mark V Dove Grey and Blue Luxury Group Announced as a "Spring Feature Car" at mid-year, this optional trim package combined two standard colors to make a striking statement. The two tone leather interior pulled it all together, and reminds us of what we've lost with today's new cars—the luxury of choice.

"" June 7, 2009

1974-1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman With a price starting at $1,800, the ultra-luxurious Talisman trim option for the Fleetwood Brougham cost more than a brand new 1974 Chevrolet Vega!

"" June 3, 2009

1978 Continental Mark V Diamond Jubilee Edition—Jubilee Gold Version One of just two distinctive color schemes offered, the DJE cars were built to commemorate Ford Motor Company's 75th Anniversary, and were the most luxurious cars ever built by Lincoln up to that time.


"" May 6, 2009

1965 Thunderbird Town Landau Show Car Unknown to crowds at the time, this show car was a preview of things to come for 1966!

"" May 2, 2009

1960 Thunderbird Stainless Steel Hardtops Two cars were built to demonstrate the use of stainless steel in automotive applications, and cars created some unique challenges during assembly.


"" April 26, 2009

AUTO BREVITY: High Level or Supplemental Brake Lamps Introduced as an option on the 1968 Thunderbird, these lights became styling touches on the 1971-1978 Toronado and 1974-1976 Riviera and disappeared for a few years before making a comeback as a safety feature in modified form.

"" April 22, 2009

AUTO BREVITY: Side Marker Lights We explain Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, which required side marker lights or reflectors on all vehicles effective January 1, 1968.

"" April 21, 2009

AUTO BREVITY: Cornering Lamps First introduced on the 1962 Cadillac, these bright beams of light illuminate shadows, reveal the location of curbs and ditches, and make driving at night safer.

"" April 19, 2009

1969 Lincoln Continental Town Car Interior Option Details of the sumptuous new leather interior trim option offered for the first time in 1969.

"" April 17, 2009

1960 Imperial: Imperial of Imperials? Is the 1960 Imperial the most revered Imperial of all? This new article makes the case for this car.

"" April 12, 2009

Classic Car Parts Auctions Take a browse through our live classic car parts auctions pages. We've dressed many of them up with new images and additional information. Our auction pages are sorted by year, make, and model—making them the best way to find exactly what you're searching for. (More updates to these pages to follow.)

"" April 11, 2009

Classic Car Clubs and Events New events just added—lots of events scheduled for 2009, so start making plans to attend the events of your choice now. (More updates to follow.)


"" March 9, 2009

Thunderbird Mileposts We've updated this feature...more on the way.


"" February 28, 2009

1969 Cadillac Eldorado Optional Equipment Prices updated to be more specific, and new options added.

1969 Eldorado with Power Sunroof Thought by many to have first been offered in 1970, a show car with power sunroof was built for the New York Auto Show in March 1969, and cars with the feature were available for purchase late in the model year.

"" February 15, 2009

1968 Eldorado Biarritz Towne Coupe Cadillac stylists created a special Eldorado to tour the 1968 auto show circuit. It is most notable for the absence of a roof over the front seat area.

"" February 8, 2009

Now you can search eBay's entire inventory in real time for these models:
Buick Riviera For Sale
Oldsmobile Toronado For Sale
(Chrysler) Imperial For Sale
Cadillac Eldorado For Sale
(Lincoln) Continental Mark Series For Sale

1964-1979 Ford Thunderbird Reclining Passenger Seat Option A popular option when first introduced, it later became somewhat rare for a period of time. Could this have been due to the manner in which it was marketed by Ford?


"" January 19, 2009

Mid-Century Modern Thunderbirds AM takes a look at two popular mid-century television shows that featured Ford Thunderbirds as supporting cast members.

"" January 12, 2009

We're bringing back AM Radio! (Automotive Mileposts Radio) It's still in beta, so it's not 100% yet, and it currently only works with Internet Explorer browser. Click on "Favorites" for recommended stations. To stream, you must keep this page open, but we will have a fix for that soon. Enjoy, and remember to turn on your speakers! (Link removed as this feature has since been discontinued.)

"" January 10, 2009

Looking for The Showroom? Look below...we've moved it! We're updating this page to load faster, provide more information, and make it easier to see what's new on the AM site. We're working on it this weekend, so please be patient while we make changes. (Update: work continues during the week of January 11-17.)

"" January 1, 2009

Unique Visitors Up 139% in 2008 Automotive Mileposts would like to thank everyone for their support of the site in 2008. We had a great year, with a big increase in our unique visitors over the previous year, and this was following an increase for 2007 of 132% over 2006! Unique visitors is the gauge of a website's audience size, or "reach" in other media, and indicates the popularity of a site. We know we couldn't do it without you...thanks for being so loyal for so long!

Classic Cars For Sale We've updated the Classic Car Auctions section of this page to improve clarity and make it easier and faster to locate exactly what you're looking for. (This page is scheduled for several more major revisions during 2009.)
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