Miller, Edmonton. Home Of The Whales.

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I did not know what to expect on a visit to a nearby suburb for their ” Guys And Dolls Car Show ” . It was a loose-end Sunday and I had plenty of time to saunter over. Well…

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It wasn’t a big show when I got there – the start of rainy spring weather had seen to that. I mean, if you have a roadster with no top and a few thousand dollars of upholstery you think twice about bouts of pouring rain – even if the show has some pretty big trophies, It is an outdoor venue and there is only so much you can do with paper towels and a sponge…

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So – Hardtops only. Usual suspects – Holdens, Falcons, a Mustang or so…and this . The only one of these I have ever seen. As unusual as it is big as it is stylish as it is frightening…

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The Chrysler Newport Custom ’68 harks back to the big cars that Chrysler made. It has a deceptively small turret between a long bonnet and long boot. Considered in some eyes, it is mis-proportioned, as was the Chrysler Business Coupe of the late 40’s. But it has front and back seats buried under the slope roof, and massive slab sides. The sides are the defining motif for the whole vehicle – sharply edged and heavily sculpted. You WILL NOT open those doors carelessly in the car park – not unless you want to do some major panel beating.

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The front is reminiscent of the Valiants of the late 60’s that we saw here in Australia, but on a wider scale. It is interesting that the designers did not feel it necessary to add vertical bars or strange grille work to this wade front – the horizontal says it all. Certainly a characteristic of the 60’s that there was so little emphasis placed upon the turn signals. At least they are not likely to get bashed about as modern ones are – they are buried deep enough in the chrome.

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The tail lights are again pretty tame, but look at the massive sweep of metal and glass down from the top and look at the expanse of the boot! Pity the rain kept the boot lid shut – I would have liked to see how much of that was actually usable volume. The rear-deck dealer’s plate made the whole deal for me – Edmonton. Northern city of my home province. Not so much a town as a state of mind. A terrible, terrible state of mind…

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Well, I am hopeful that this fine import will reappear in shows to come and that we will get to see inside the metallic blue cave that is the front seat. And see what the engine looks like – and the boot. I’m already pretty certain the interior will be a riot of cast-metal trim on edges – I remember the beige ’67 Dodge we owned in B.C. But given that this is a bigger deal in the Mopar range, I am hoping that it is more luxurious. We shall see. What a great cruiser to go down south with! Provided everyone chips in for the petrol.

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