Last post on Feb 24, 2013 at 10:32 AM
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Classic Cars, Coupe, Convertible, Truck, Sedan, Wagon
#506 of 526 Re: Restorability of Modern Cars [srs_49]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Aug 20, 2011 (8:03 am)
There's already an aftermarket in engine management systems, like for running a fuel-injected V8 crate engine in a '55 Chevy---but I don't know as they would design one for an old Benz or Lexus.
#509 of 526 press request
by kirstie_h HOST
Jan 09, 2012 (2:44 pm)
Have you ever bought a used car, only to find out later that the vehicle had suffered flood damage? A TV news show is working on a story about the resale flood-damaged vehicles, and would like to help tell your story. If you’ve ever been a victim of this practice, please send your contact information and a brief description of your experience to predmunds.com by no later than January 16th, 2012.
#513 of 526 Evolution of Luxury '46-Circa '79 vs. '80-Present
Feb 08, 2013 (4:33 am)
Detroit defined luxury in the first three decades after WWII. With few exceptions, mega size, big engine displacement, convenience features such as PS, PB, AC, power seats and windows first appeared on high end GMs, Chryslers and Lincolns. Vinyl tops and abundant chrome trim dressed up the exterior. Soft velour seats and rich carpeting did the same for the interior. Of course, a soft, floaty ride was generally prized over better control, and brakes were marginal. The '52-'54 Lincolns firmed up the suspension some, in an effort to provide better road holding. Chrysler/Imperial took the balance of ride and stability a step further with the introduction of the torsion suspension in '57. For example, these cars leaned a lot less than the competition on curves, and the steering was quicker, though very light. It wasn't long, though, before Chrysler softened the ride. Most Americans still valued soft, quiet isolation.
The main exception to American luxury in the late '40s-late '50s that stands out in my mind were the Jaguar sedans and XK sportscars. The dimensions were trimmer, as were firmer suspensions. No vinyl tops. The interiors featured bucket seats covered in leather and beautiful wood dashes. Power was supplied by DOHC I-6s of moderate displacement instead of big block OHV V8s. Many Jags were equipped with 4-on-the-floor, with or without overdrive rather than column shifted automatics. Rollers and Bentleys were always factors in high end luxury, but limited due to cost of ownership. They always turned heads.
By the '60s Mercedes and and BMWs appeared in greater numbers, and by the '70s these Germans, and to a much lesser extent Audi, became the cool ones to own. Understated luxury rose in popularity as large, nouveau riche receded. Volvo, Saab and other Euro brands were near luxury outliers. Lexus, Infiniti and Acura were a variation on the German business model, but with greater emphasis on value.
Cadillac and Buick, Lincoln and Chrysler are still trying to define themselves in the luxury segment.
What comes next?
Feb 08, 2013 (5:16 am)
I forgot Packard. Packard was a factor in the near-luxury and luxury market from '46 through the early '50s. It deserves to be remembered.
Feb 09, 2013 (9:18 am)
Fashions tend to come, go and, sometimes, return. Will vinyl roofs, velour seats and opera windows ever be considered upscale again? As odd as it may seem now, I wouldn't rule one or more of them out forever. At some point people may tire of leather and restraint, and will want a new look and feel. Today's luxury will look very yesterday.