Yesteryears Automobiles: 1964


A look at the best 1964 had to offer

Michael Schlee


With the American Auto Industry in a crisis like it has never faced before, I thought we could take a look back at the past 100 years of American Vehicles to see the highlights (and lowlights) of an industry on the edge of collapse.


Pontiac GTO

Pontiac GTO

This is a new feature that will become a regular segment for this blog.


Key Developments 1964:
• The biggest news of the year is the launch of the Ford Mustang on April 17, 1964.
• The Corvair gets a revised rear suspension amid safety concerns.
• Cadillac introduces the ‘automatic’ climate control in some models.
• All vehicles are now required to have a seatbelt for front passengers.
• Studebaker is now only making cars in Canada.


Top 5 New Models:
• Chevrolet Chevelle – All new for 1964 with a choice of 6 cylinders and V8s.
• Ford Mustang – One of the biggest hits in the automotive industry, the Mustang debuts as a 1964 ½ model.
• Ford Thunderbird – All new for 1964, it was bigger with an upgraded interior
• Pontiac GTO – Featured a 325HP 389cid (6.4L) V8 for under $3300.
• Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser – A new full-size wagon with ‘split level styling (see the windows mid-roof?)


Top 5 ‘Hottest’ Models:
• Buick Wildcat – Had a 425cid (7.0L) V8 with either 340HP or 360HP.
• Chevrolet Corvette – The split window on the rear windshield is gone.
• Chrysler 300K – Came in both hardtop and convertible. Featured a 413cid (6.8L) 360HP V8.
• Dodge Dart GT – The small Dart had a 274cid (4.5L) V8 making 180HP stuffed into it to make it a speedy little compact.
• Studebaker Avanti – Could be had with an engine producing 335HP in top R3 form.


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