CCOTY 1961: Pontiac Tempest? 1961 Continental? Jag XK-E? Or Maybe Someone Has A Better Nomination?

I’m not trying to dominate this CCOTY series, but unless someone else steps up, I guess it falls on me. And I’ve been racking my brain for a better candidate. CCOTY is about hindsight, as well as the candidate’s intrinsic qualities. The Tempest was another surprising car to come out of GM right after the Corvair, the only real attempt to build an American car along European principles, with a high-output four and a rear transaxle and independent suspension. It didn’t get the kind of budget and development to take its rough edges off. The CC for the Tempest (some of you have seen it before) is up, which explains why the Tempest got American automotive journalists excited. M/T called it right; it really was the most deserving that year. But its historical impact was minimal, at best; it’s almost forgotten now. Not so the ’61 Continental; or the Jaguar XK-E:

The new 1961 Continental undoubtedly left a more lasting influence on the luxury car market, showing the way forward with clean, slab-sided styling, and predicting a future where luxury cars were not sold by their over-all length (or pound).

I can’t believe I temporarily forgot that the XK-E arived in 1961. I must get to this fine example ASAP. It certainly deserves consideration.