Tag Archives: Automotive Nostalgia

Vintage: “1955 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible” (Classic Driver)

From Wikipedia:

1955 Cadillac Eldorado Interior Classic DriverThe Cadillac Eldorado is a premium luxury car that was manufactured and marketed by Cadillac from 1952 to 2002 over twelve generations. Competitors and similar vehicles included the Continental Mark series, Buick Riviera, Oldsmobile Toronado and Chrysler’s Imperial Coupe.

The Eldorado was at or near the top of the Cadillac line. The original 1953 Eldorado convertible and the Eldorado Brougham models of 1957–1960 had distinct bodyshells and were the most expensive models that Cadillac offered those years. The Eldorado was never less than second in price after the Cadillac Series 75 limousine until 1966. From 1967 on, the Eldorado was built in high volumes on a unique two door personal luxury car platform.

Classic Driver logoFor 1955, the Eldorado’s body gained its own rear end styling with high, slender, pointed tailfins. These contrasted with the rather thick, bulbous fins which were common at the time and were an example of the Eldorado once again pointing the way forward. The Eldorado sport convertible featured extras such as wide chrome body belt moldings and twin round taillights halfway up the fenders. Sales nearly doubled to 3,950.

Website

 

1950’s English Sports Cars: “1956 Austin-Healey BN2”

From Wikipedia:

1956 Austin-Healey BN 2 100 BN2 Le Mans ‘ M’ Interior Classic DriverThe Austin-Healey 100 is a sports car that was built by Austin-Healey from 1953 until 1956.

Based on Austin A90 Atlantic mechanicals, it was developed by Donald Healey to be produced in-house by his small Healey car company in Warwick. 

Healey built a single Healey Hundred for the 1952 London Motor Show, and the design impressed Leonard Lord, managing director of Austin, who was looking for a replacement for the unsuccessful A90. Body styling was by Gerry Coker, the chassis was designed by Barry Bilbie with longitudinal members and cross bracing producing a comparatively stiff structure upon which to mount the body, innovatively welding the front bulkhead to the frame for additional strength. In order to keep the overall vehicle height low the rear axle was underslung, the chassis frame passing under the rear axle assembly.

Classic Driver logoLord struck a deal with Healey to build it in quantity; bodies made by Jensen Motors were given Austin mechanical components at Austin’s Longbridge factory. The car was renamed the Austin-Healey 100.

The “100” was named by Healey for the car’s ability to reach 100 mph (160 km/h); its successor, the better known Austin-Healey 3000, was named for the 3000 cc displacement of its engine.

Apart from the first twenty cars, production Austin-Healey 100s were finished at Austin’s Longbridge plant alongside the A90 and based on fully trimmed and painted body/chassis units produced by Jensen in West Bromwich—in an arrangement the two companies previously had explored with the Austin A40 Sports. 14,634 Austin-Healey 100s were produced.

The 100 was the first of three models later called the Big Healeys to distinguish them from the much smaller Austin-Healey Sprite. The Big Healeys are often referred to by their three-character model designators rather than by their models, as the model names do not reflect the mechanical differences and similarities well.

View more photos at Classic Driver

Classic Cars: 1954 Ford Crestline “Skyliner” Featured A Glass Roof

From a Classic Driver online listing:

1954 Ford Crestline Skyliner Classic DriverIn 1954, Ford added a new niche model to the top-of-the-line Crestline series : the Skyliner. The car had a glass roof section over the front seats, made of blue-green tinted acrylic and letting a diffused yet filtered light through. Ford claimed that 60% of the sunrays were filtered out.

The Skyliner offered a very light interior, with a soft green glow : the perfect car for the drive-in cinema, and a a great view of the future’s past, developed in an era obsessed with Jet Age design features. The Skyliner was only in production for one year, and in total 13.144 examples were sold.

Read and view more

Classics: Famed Italian Car Designer “Pininfarina” Turns 90 (1930 – 2020)

Pininfarina Logo

On May 22nd (1930), Battista “Pinin” Farina founded Carrozzeria Pinin Farina in Turin. The company was designed to build special car bodies for individual customers or in small production runs. The Corso Trapani plant had 150 employees on a covered area of 9250 square meters. In June, the following news appeared on an automobile periodical: “And now the popular nickname “Pinin” used by the whole of the Turin motoring world when talking about Battista Farina, was officially about to become used throughout the country, as a result of the recent Company changes which led to the founding of S.A. Carrozzeria Pinin Farina“. At the Paris Motor Show Pinin Farina exhibited Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Isotta-Fraschini and Fiat cars. The Lancia Dilambda, the first official Pinin Farina special, appeared at the 1931 Concours d’Elegance at Villa d’Este. His first accomplishments in the 1930’s included the Hispano Suiza Coupé and the Fiat 518 Ardita.

Heritage-1939-AlfaRomeo-8C-2900-CabAero

In the Thirties the car was a good that was reserved for a minor élite, almost a plaything for a narrow circle of bold, blasé youngsters. Yet Pinin felt sure that these unlikely, noisy jalopies, which also happened to be expensive, would change quickly to become outstanding and entirely respectable tools of individual mobility. One of the early ads says: “Luxury and grand luxury cars”.  Cars were destined to ruling houses, diplomats, maharajahs and even some Middle East sheiks who were beginning to collect some of the first oil royalties, for actors and actresses, more foreigners than Italians. Pinin wrote: “In September I sold a Dilambda spider cabriolet to the Queen of Romania, I began to have some of the nobility amongst my customers”.

pininfarina-design-90-years.jpg

 

Pinin immediately embraced the cause of modernity and aerodynamics. In his view, it was the most natural way (in so far as it was the most respondent to the “nature” of the object) of solving the problem of the autonomous and original formal identity of cars. Aerodynamics, he was to write in his memoirs, was the “form of speed”. At the 1935 Milan Motor Show Pinin exhibited the Alfa Romeo 6C Pescara Coupé aerodinamico. One year later, the Lancia Astura Cabriolet tipo Bocca: elegance and craftsmanship for a small series of streamlined, richly finished cabriolets which introduced the unprecedented notion of the legitimacy of making a certain number of replicas of a custom-built model. Then the Lancia Aprilia Aerodinamica was built, a revolutionary berlinetta where an astonishing Cx of 0.40 was intuitively and empirically achieved. Aerodynamics was no longer a symbolic element, a metaphor of speed; it had now become a real standard of efficiency.

Pininfarina Design  90 Years.jpg

Pininfarina website

1930’S Racing Cars: Amazing “Bugatti Type 59” Reunion (Classic Driver)

From a Classic Driver Magazine online article:

Bugatti Type 59 Classic Driver photo 2019During this year’s Monterey Car Week, all four of Bugatti’s hallowed Type 59s were reunited for the first time since 1935. We spoke to the man who pulled off arguably the most historically significant automotive rendezvous of the decade…

In the fabled legend of Bugatti’s racing cars, there is one model that is so beautiful and so elusive that is stands at the top of every enthusiast of the great French marque’s wish list: the Type 59. Along with the input of Jean Bugatti, who had been one of the Classic Driver logodriving forces behind the introduction of the twin-cam engine, Ettore Bugatti created the ultimate expression of his jewel-like Grand Prix car.

Read Classic Driver article

Classic Car Nostalgia: “1965 Ford Thunderbird Convertible”

From Wikipedia:

1965 Ford Thunderbird Convertible Classic Driver December 2019The revised model was initially offered as a hardtop, convertible, Sports Roadster with dealer-installed tonneau cover and wire wheels, and Landau with vinyl roof, simulated landau irons, and wood grain interior appointments. Total 1964 sales were excellent: 92,465, up nearly fifty per cent from the previous year, but with only 50 Sports Roadster kits were sold from the factory. The 1964 Thunderbird was the only car of this generation to have the word ‘Thunderbird’ spelled out on the front hood instead of a chrome Thunderbird emblem. The only transmission available was the Cruise-O-Matic MX 3 speed automatic.

Classic Driver logoThe fourth generation of the Ford Thunderbird is a large personal luxury car produced by Ford for the 1964 to 1966 model years. This generation of the Thunderbird was restyled in favor of a more squared-off, “formal” look. The Thunderbird’s sporty image had by that time become only that: the standard 390-cubic-inch 300 bhp (224 kW) V8 engine needed nearly 11 seconds to push the heavy T-bird to 60 mph (96 km/h). The softly sprung suspension allowed considerable body lean, wallow, and float on curves and bumps. Contemporary testers felt that the Buick Riviera and Pontiac Grand Prix were substantially more roadworthy cars, but the Thunderbird retained its leading market share.

To view more photos: https://www.classicdriver.com/en/car/ford/thunderbird/1965/725139