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Note: The following story was excerpted from the December 2005 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
In the decade or so since its 1955 introduction, the Ford Thunderbird came to attract a solid following from female motorists. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that the 1966 T-Bird convertible featured on these pages was intended to please a lady.
History has probably been unkind to the 11th-generation Ford Thunderbird. Ask your average enthusiast about the relative marketplace success of Ford’s retro-themed 2-seat convertible, and you’re likely to be told that the revived T-Bird was a flop.
Blame Audi, Saab, and Volvo if you like, but by the mid Eighties, turbocharging had a sophisticated European cachet to it, and a number of American carmakers were working to get in on the trend.
It’s a maxim, a song title, and something your friends might have tried to tell you before a blind date: It’s what’s inside that counts. For a car dealer trying to maneuver a would-be car buyer into a test drive, it’s all about the cabin experience.
As an automotive journalist, I am not predisposed to know much about fashion. That said, I do know a smartly attired individual when I see one.
It’s a fairly simple concept: You force more air into an engine to improve volumetric efficiency and thus increase horsepower. Turbocharging is so common these days that cars are very rarely named or badged as turbos. Every single 2020 Ford Escape, for example, is turbocharged.
By Frank Peiler
Buick’s 1963 Riviera is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful cars ever produced by any auto manufacturer. This svelte personal-luxury hardtop coupe artfully blended American and British style, and it changed the Buick brand’s somewhat stodgy image almost overnight. General Motors styling chief William L. Mitchell freely admitted to borrowing some of the ’63 Riviera’s key design elements. Its razor-edge roof styling, for instance, was inspired by certain 1950s English custom bodywork.
By Frank Peiler
It was early 1952 when Mercedes-Benz was in the midst of developing the 300SL sports car. The skeletal frame, drivetrain and suspension were beautifully engineered masterpieces. However, the original form-follows-function body looked like a half-used bar of soap with a cap stuck on top. Let’s say that in this post-WWII era of rebuilding, there wasn’t much of a design department at Mercedes-Benz that the company could turn to.
Note: The following story was excerpted from the October 2006 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine
Let’s say you’re not convinced that appearance is an important factor—maybe the important factor—that drives car shoppers to choose one vehicle over another. Then consider the 1947 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan. Despite being the most expensive two-door closed car in the Chevy lineup, it was still the most popular model of the best-selling brand in America in ’47.
Note: The following story was excerpted from the April 2004 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
The automobile was meant to foster travel and, by golly, here’s one that has. The Hupmobile convertible coupe featured on these pages has been to Australia and back during its lifetime.