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Let’s get one thing straight right away: The Chevrolet Monte Carlo WAS a personal-luxury car. I have received at least a dozen emails and instant messages on this issue, mostly from car guys who insist that a personal-luxury car must come from a luxury brand. Not the case. For anyone who would like to spend time learning about the origins of the term, Wikipedia has a nice entry on the topic.
Among the seemingly countless tragedies and hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon the world this year, the upending of the normal American summertime car-show season ranks relatively low on the list. Still, it hurts to have so many car shows, car races, cruise nights, and other automotive gatherings either cancelled outright or postponed.
The bad news is that fewer than one of every hundred cars sold in the United States is a convertible. (I will spare you the fractional math required to pass along the number of manual-transmission-equipped convertibles sold on our shores last year, but it’s fewer still.)
While styling, performance, and rarity have been the traditional tickets to collectibility, vehicles that offer features—styling or otherwise—that are monuments to their era or simply aren’t likely to reappear also have a shot. It’s why we believe cars of the Fifties are so treasured today; their chrome, tall fins, and sheer mass so perfectly characterized the jet-aged optimism of the time, and it’s almost certain their likes will ever be seen again.
Americans have now enjoyed the services of the automobile for well over a century. It’s hard to imagine another development that did so much to shape the country as we now know it. But at just over 100 years of service, the car has nothing on football.
by Don Sikora II
Note: The following story was excerpted from the February 2019 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
Following the 1976 demise of the Cadillac Eldorado soft top, the 1982 Chrysler LeBaron—and very similar Dodge 400—helped restart the market for American-brand convertibles. While the earliest K-car-based ragtops are interesting for their own reasons, at the moment we’d like to take a look at one of their descendants, the 1996-2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible.
By Frank Peiler
I recently came across a couple photos of a 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith with a one-off body built by the Italian coachbuilder Vignale. This car was special ordered by a New Jersey man named Joseph J. Maschuch, and it was finished in the spring of 1955.
There are two things that the Editors of Consumer Guide respond to faster than all other things. It’s not fire, threat of personal harm, or even the promise of paid time off that elicits prompt action.
by Don Sikora II
Note: The following story was excerpted from the June 2018 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
Lexus calls its brand-new LC 500 coupe the luxury brand’s flagship. It also says it’s a concept car come to life, in this case the LF-LC concept first shown at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show in early 2012.