This question was sparked when I saw pictures of the white ’76 Olds 98 coupe (bottom left) posted at the Cohort. What an endless tail! Was it the biggest of the mega-coupe era (1971-1979)? I had to find out, and spent quite a bit more time at automobile-catalog.com than I intended to. But it was for a good cause, obviously. And the answer was a bit of a surprise. In more ways than one. Or maybe not.
First, the fact that we’re looking at the coupe versions of these cars is arbitrary and irrelevant, in terms of them being the same length as their four-door counterparts. But the two-door coupe tends to accentuate the length of their rear ends, and there’s just something particularly excessive about a coupe this long.
The other reason I picked coupes was that I just assumed the longest production car of any in this era was the Cadillac Fleetwood 60/Brougham, due to its stretched wheelbase, 133″ compared to the Coupe DeVille’s mere 130″. More on that later, after we rank these six coupes.
#6. 1974-1976 Cadillac Coupe De Ville: 230.7″
The surprise loser in this contest.
#5. 1975 Oldsmobile 98 Coupe: 232.4″
That turns out to be 0.2″ longer than the 1976 version I showed in the tiled image at the top, but I wasn’t about to redo it for that little difference.
#4. 1975 Imperial & 1976 Chrysler New Yorker: 232.7″
It’s impressively big, but the 1974 Imperial had its wheelbase cut 3″ to 124″ from the previous years, in order to share more of its underpinnings with the Chrysler. That took a toll.
#3. 1977-1979 Lincoln Continental: 233.0″
I suspected that the Continental might end up the winner of this contest, but no such luck. It’s sheer bulk make it look the most massive though.
#2. 1975 Buick Electra 225: 234.4″
This might be a bit of a surprise, but the Buick’s slanted rear fender blades probably account for it being the biggest of the GM C-Bodies.
#1. 1973 Imperial: 235.3″
The winnah! The Imperial takes the cake, in more ways than one. Frankly, it looks a bit too big for its underpinnings, specially the very heavy front. And its close-coupled coupe roof makes the trunk look almost absurd. But if you love excess on the ends, the Imp’s your car. And the big surprise is that it’s not just the biggest coupe in the land.
It turns out that the Fleetwood 60/Brougham sedan is a mere 233.7″ long, which would make it only #3 in this battle of the behemoths. Which means that the 1973 Imperial is the longest regular mass-production sedan/coupe ever.
It looks like a mid-sized coupe got engulfed in a giant lower section. But that’s the mystery and awesomeness of the fuselage Chryslers. And if the LeBaron wears its crown a bit peculiarly, it wears it proudly. All hail the longest barge ever built!