In 1964 Citroen initiated a research project that had the objective of producing a vehicle capable of motorway cruising at over 120mph for long periods with unprecedented comfort, safety and reliability. The eventual outcome was the Citroen-Maserati SM. It combined the qualities of a competition-bred sports-tourer and a luxury limousine, to offer performance, comfort, and safety unprecedented then and perhaps still unmatched today. Its price was well over twice the price of the Citroen DS21 Pallas.
Looking back today, there seems to have been no sensible reason for building a 16 cylinder Cadillac. Caddy’s Sixteen arrived precisely in time for the Great Depression, when few people who could afford cars tended to think in terms of four or six cylinders and the handful who could still afford a Cadillac often preferred to keep a low profile in a Chevy or Ford. The Sixteen engine was physically beautiful, finished in glossy enamel, porcelain, polished aluminum, and chrome.
The Duesenberg Model J was conceived and executed to be superlative in all aspects. Its short wheelbase chassis was 142.5 inches, nearly 12 feet. The double overhead camshaft straight eight-cylinder engine had four valves per cylinder; and a displaced 420 cubic inches. It made 265 horsepower. The finest materials were used throughout and fit and finish were to tool room standards. The Duesenberg Model J’s introduction on December 1, 1928 at the New York Auto Salon was front page news. The first delivery came barely five months before the Black Tuesday, the great market crash of October 1929.
Great cars are never forgotten, and the original Lincoln Continental is one of them. In the early fifties, memories of that timeless 1940-41 design prompted dealers and would be owners to ask Ford Motor Company for a successor, the first new Continental since the last of the postwar continuations was built in 1948. The result was the unforgettable 1956-57 Continental Mark II.
The 1967-58 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham has often been compared to the 1956-57 Continental mark II. It has even been said that the Brougham was GM’s response to Fords’s second generation Continental. Truthfully, about all the two had in common were great styling and poor sales.
In the mid fifties, what Chrysler Corporation needed now was a car that would, in dramatic fashion, call attention to the firms sparkling new products, an “image” car that would build showroom traffic for its high-styled, fast stepping ‘55s. Starting with the New Yorker coupe, the 1955 Imperial grille, an impressive piece of chrome-plated bridgework, was substituted for the New Yorker’s more modest face. Under the hood, the engineers slotted in a revised version of the 331-cid hemi. It acquired a hotter cam, solid lifters, and twin four –barrel carburetors, which advance the horsepower to 300. Hence, the new name for the high-performance model became the 300.