(first posted 5/24/2012) Virgil Exner is most often associated with the era of sweeping fins and other spacey design affectations during his tenure at Chrysler. But his most influential and enduring work was in ushering the whole neo-classic/brougham design era, and it all started with this 1963 drawing for a magazine.
In 1963, shortly after his departure from Chrysler, Esquire magazine contacted Virgil and his son Virgil Jr. and asked them where car design was headed, especially in the light of the growing interest in classic cars at the time. Exner always had one foot firmly in classic design, as his love (and repeated use) of the classical grille and toilet-seat fake spare tire trunk lids so obviously showed.
The Exners made four drawings, of a Mercer, Stutz, Duesenberg and Packard Revival. And although the Mercer roadster did get built, thanks to some support from the Copper Marketing Association, it more reflected Exner’s previous XNR roadster and the fuselage styling that first appeared on the 1960 Valiant than true classic lines.
These cars, along with some additional Exner revival drawings, were turned into a popular series of scale plastic models by Renwal. Perhaps it was them that really primed a generation with “Broughamitis”.
In 1964, the Exners happened to acquire a remaining un-bodied Bigatti Type 57C chassis (for $2500), and designed a revival body for it, which was turned into reality by Ghia. The Exners showed it at car shows in 1965, hoping to attract financing for a production run, but without success.
Inspired by Exner’s revivals and wanting to cash in on the family name while it still had caché, the Duesenbergs approached Exner about a production revival carrying that storied name. This became a serious undertaking, and the Exner’s invested considerable time and effort in the 1966 Duesenberg Model D concept, a large sedan based on Imperial underpinnings.
Its design owed much more to the Stutz drawing from 1963 than the Duesenberg. It’s a long sad story, but at the last minute, one of the investors backed out, and the whole project to sell them for $20k ($135k adjusted) collapsed. Exner was crushed, and never recouped his considerable investment of time.
The Duesenberg was originally designed to have 16 or 17 inch wheels, but there were no modern tires being made in those sizes then. The solution was that Firestone took a very large 15″ tire, and added a second whitewall right at the bead, which is intended to make the wheel look larger than it really is. That problem would be easily fixed today; put some 22s on that baby!
Henry Ford saw the Duesenberg Model D at the Exner Studios in 1966, and was obviously very smitten.
The 1969 Lincoln Continental Mark III arrived three years later in 1969, a highly flattering imitation of the Duesenberg indeed. And the rest is (well-known) brougham history.
Although the Duesenberg never took off, it did inspire a similar project, the Stutz Blackhawk, also designed by the Exners, and which went into limited production, and lingered around in various further permutation for way too long. The original 1971 version seen here was the beneficiary of Pontiac’s new 1969 Grand Prix, which had also adopted the neo-classic proportions, and donated (sold, actually) its chassis to the Stutz cause.
The Stutz initiated a whole genre itself, the beyond-the-brougham era of garish Superflys and Bugazzis (above). Thank you Virgil!
If it don’t go – BROUGHAM IT!
Go Brougham or Go Home.
It’s positively Broughamalicious!!!
Its a Broughout!
Her favorite color is Brougham. (For all the Trace Atkins fans out there.)
Car cruises were never so sexy. And Trace is a great guy BTW….
The C-pillar of both the Stutz and the Duesenberg had quite an influence on the C-pillar of the 1974-78 Imperial/New Yorker Brougham, I’d say. (Example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/that_chrysler_guy/5948478824/)
Actually the Dusenberg design overall makes me think of the design of the suicide door Thunderbirds.
I agree. The sketch below was the starting point.
And that brings to mind a 4-door version of the ’80 Imperial.
I look at these Exner drawings and see all kinds of things that eventually made it to production. From the the Stutz revival, the ovoid wheel wells – 69 Chevrolet, and the sweeping sail panels – 1968 Corvette Stingray.
The front of the Blackhawk ended up on the 73 Monte Carlo and on the Cordoba.
And of course, the Mark III is all over the Duesenberg.
Virgil Exner had a way of anticipating trends. Unfortunately, he was often too far out ahead of them. His early 60s Mopar work had more in common with GM designs of 10 years later than with current styles. Exner’s downfall was perhaps his tendency towards the bold and brash. Very much like Wayne Kady of a generation later.
Oddly (or perhaps not) his most restrained designs(the 1957 Chrysler Forward Look) was his most successful.
See, the Mark III evolved on sort of a parallel track. It was conceived by Iacocca (in a late-night brainstorm, by all accounts) — as a Thunderbird with a Rolls-Royce grille — about a year before Henry Ford II would have seen the Exner Duesenberg. It received production approval in March 1966 and went on sale in April 1968. Even if Henry II saw the Exner car before that, I think it’s unlikely to have had any direct stylistic influence, just based on timing. However, Henry definitely liked that sort of thing, and I’m sure the neo-Duesenberg would have been right up his alley.
On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that Iacocca saw Exner’s Esquire drawings and had them in the back of his head, so maybe in that respect.
I would imagine that many of the details of the Mark III design were also done by anonymous designers who had also seen Exner’s drawings and were influenced by them. I would suspect that automotive stylists are much like jazz musicians. When someone influential comes along, everyone’s work is affected to some degree. One stylist’s ideas will create an idea in another stylist, and on it goes. A lot of riffing can go on within a set of parameters or within a stylistic theme. And once you have seen (or heard) a stylistic expression, you can’t un-see or un-hear it.
Sleuthing exactly what influenced what is very difficult indeed. Design, whether it’s interior, architecture, clothing or cars is constantly being defined by what other folks are doing.
Your guess that Iacocca saw the earlier Exner drawings is a good one. These were influential, and retro-classicalism was in the air; Brooks Steven’s Excalibur came out in 1963 too. It was the new thing.
But undoubtedly some of the stylistic details of the Mark III have to be credited to Exner’s drawings and/or the Duesenberg.
Although interestingly, Dave Ash said that had it not been for Iacocca pushing for the neo-classic look, Ford Styling would have rejected it out of hand. He said if he (Ash) had presented the same idea to Gene Bordinat without Iacocca, Bordinat would not have been pleased. So, it was the trend, but Iacocca was sort of riding the wave.
I like how you place these overtly classic inspired cars as a progression of Exner’s Chrysler show cars and production autos as well.
I’ve preached this before but I think it bears repeating- The Continental Mark II(even the FWD Eldorado is a 60’s bladed Mark II, only in the power dome hood and the way in which the blades recall fins is it a “Cadillac”) is an important step in the progression towards classic era inspired retro-mobiles and “personal luxury cars”- the Mark III is in many ways an update of the Mark II as much as it is inspired by Classic era themes.
Of course, neo-classicism didn’t just appear one day on the pages of Esquire. It had never completely gone away; the lingering influence of the most powerful automotive design era was impossible to ignore, and its influence could always be seen. But the 1963 Esquire drawings were a significant turning point, and specific design details of those drawings did directly influence a whole generation of cars. In 1956, it would have been too soon to put a classical grille on the Mk II; modernism was still too dominant. But by 1963, the post-modern era was emerging.
That last picture is a prime example of what we at Ford in the late 70’s-early 80’s called the Inner City Decor Group, although it is missing the landau irons on the C pillar…
Sad that Don K didn’t elaborate. You still out there, Don?
I’ve only seen one of these cars in person. Back around 2000, I was getting gas at an old time station (which has been torn down and a new bank built at its location). Sitting there was a Stutz Blackhawk similar to the black 71, however, this car was white, with gold trim all over the place, WWW tires, and side pipes. The attendant said its owner had it up for sale, around $10,000.
Anyhow, I never saw the car after that. Cadillacs with carriage roofs are downright conservative in comparison.
In 1975 I was driving Sunset Blvd. just as it comes into Pacific Palisades. I stopped at a light next to a Stutz Blackhawk, looked over at the driver next to me, and it was Dean Martin.
Dean looked over at me and smiled. Raised his hand in greeting just as the light changed. Left me in the dust, with a smile on my face as I finally grasped the meaning of the Stutz’s personalized license plate:
Yes, back in the ’70s, the California DMV actually issued Dean Martin vanity plates reading “DRUNKY.” Nowadays, they’d not only refuse such a request, they’d breathalyze you on the spot and confiscate your keys.
And whatever happened to Dino’s Drunkymobile, you ask? Well, what do you expect would happen?
Ahh…the good/bad old days. I remember in the mid ’70s my old man got popped for a DUI. The punishment? A $125 ticket, and had to pay to get his car (a 1969 Chev Townsman wagon) out of impound.
The hilarious thing is none of these prominent radiator shells ever actually held water.
McMansions of Automobilia.
…any more than the lumps on the back held an actual spare tire.
Now I know what this faux classic style reminds me of. Remember Early American TV sets? You know, from before they had electricity?
That one is a late 1950’s-60’s RCA color TV. They hadn’t figured out how to make a non-round picture tube as they had done with the increasingly squared off black and white TV’s.
Here’s a typical color console TV from 1973, after they figured that out.
The truly classy people got an entertainment center incorporating the TV, stereo record player and AM/FM. Some (my engineer uncle’s) even included a reel to reel tape player.
“The hilarious thing is none of these prominent radiator shells ever actually held water.”
The radiator on Dean Martin’s held several pitchers of gin martinis.
I remember building a model of the Stutz when I was a kid.
Pass the Broughamo Seltzer…
I think the pix at the top of the post is actually quite nice, not like the weird things that eventually became Stutzes. I wonder if the actual production Stutzes had been longer, if they would have looked better?
I feel like I’m in a Brougham time warp here… 😉
Sadly, this fake retro-badging continues today with BMW-Royce and VolksBentlAtti. The upper crust must really like this.
Edit: Waht a Bigatti be? Bugatti?
Exner’s Esquire sketch, although far from restrained, is at least attractive and stylish. Excessive, yes, but not emetic. Not the work of a crazy person.
The designers/builders of the real 1970s/80s Neo Stutzes, on the other hand, just didn’t know when to stop. The design philosophy seems to have been, “If two chrome gewgaws are good, then 20 will be 10 times better!” They’re a moron’s idea of what a luxury car should look like. Or maybe a pimp’s. Klass with a kapital K. Too much of a good thing. A pompous, pretentious showoff of a car.
I can tolerate a fair amount of eccentricity and even frivolity in automotive design, but the Blackhawks (and the later, even gaudier Bearcats), on top of being overdressed, are just too WEIRD for me. I like lines that flow, not pointlessly zig-zag. I like design elements that seamlessly meld into a unified whole, not fight one another for your eye’s attention. Then there’s all the obvious fakery: the fake spare tire hump; the fake sidepipes; and the 1930s-style two-piece windshields that were on the early years (before, I’m assuming, buyers told the company how much they hated the center pillar and it was replaced with a conventional curved one-piece). They are silliness made steel. Vanity writ large. (And also priced high: these were the most expensive American cars at the time, costing considerably more than an Eldorado.)
“The Stutz Blackhawk — The car for people with more money than taste!”
^ Great commentary. Reads as if Tom Wolfe has visited the pages of CC!
I Had No idea Exner was behind That car—- and the ensuing Broghamness….
I Had No Idea The Stutz Blackhawk was styled Before The Gp it rode on……..I can see the 67 T-Bird in it as well……The Eggshell came before the chicken in this case.
Elvis had a couple of GP based Stutzes . . . .
Figures.. He would.
the black car seemed to turn out in the 69 mark car…but also the 68 thunderbird….suicide doors and the roofline are very close….
IIRC Hot Wheels made a 1/64 version of the BlackHawk.
They did; I have one.
Very interesting article, Paul.
That Duesie is a real missed opportunity. Classier than the Stutzes. The Saoudis and Presleys would have loved those!
Just one thing: that Exner / Ghia Bugatti was a Type 101C, the only post-war Bugatti — about 7 built in 1951-53 — that particular one being the last such chassis left over at the Bugatti factory in Molsheim. Ghia shortened it by 18in to make this a two-seater, but otherwise it was still a 3.3 litre DOHC straight-8 and solid beam front axle as in the pre-war Type 57. Main differences were the hydraulic brakes, Cotal-Maag gearbox and lowered chassis. Hopelessly outdated in the ’50s, positively antique ten years later.
There was no Bugatti factory left to make these, as the assets were sold by the Bugatti family to Hispano-Suiza/Messier (subsequently known as SNECMA aerospace) in 1963 or thereabouts, so I doubt Exner or Ghia ever thought to make even a limited production run.
Style-wise, I don’t like what Virgil did there (the motoring press weren’t impressed either at the time), putting a granny in a miniskirt, blonde wig and platform shoes like that. The “production” Bugatti 101 of 1951-52 [pic below] was not much prettier and cost an eye-watering 3m Francs (1m Francs more than a Talbot or Delahaye!) hence why Bugatti only made a handful Type 101 chassis before calling it quits. Two other Type 101s were bodied by outside firms (Guillore and Antem), and both of these are better looking than this Exnerosity.
The first pic of the “Stuz Revival” is kick arse. I’d love to have seen that in the metal.
The 70s versions are truely cringeworthy.
I just commented on these cars in another thread, without realizing you’d given them the honor already, Paul. Always felt they were a mixed bag – the Mercer, Esquire Stutz, both Duesenbergs and the later Renwal Jordan were quite nice; the Renwal Pierce Arrow had its moments, but the Bugatti feels bloated and the Packard was a blob, and as noted above, the production Bearcat was both extreme and an unfortunate precedent.
Interesting that of the original Esquire designs, the least successful, in my opinion, was the Packard, the classic brand that lasted the longest. I wonder if the recency of true Packard designs – including Dick Teague’s 1955 Request and ’57 Predictor clouded the Exner’s design process?
Here’s a shot of the Renwal model Packard. The castings weren’t as crisp as contemporary AMT, Revell, Monogram or Jo-Han models, and the subtle two-tone green color scheme doesn’t help, but overall, not a happy design. You can’t see it here, but the vinyl landau roof covering continues onto the front half of the rear deck, a very odd detail.
Has anyone seen the actual Esquire issue that featured these drawings? I ask, because I’ve only seen profile drawings, and you almost get the feeling that when Renwal decided to make 3D models, the actual front and rear end design details had to be quickly fleshed out. But maybe not.
I built this model maybe in `68. Did not do justice to the picture that showed a longer, lower sleeker car with crisp lines. When compared to the others however, it seemed like it could have actually have been produced in real life. It did have some features that would have been seen on `66 and later Rivieras, Toronados, Eldorados, MK llls, and Monte Carlos. Would have been a nifty personal luxury coupe that would have done justice to the Packard name, and that 12 cylinder had the power to back it up.
The Renwal model is valuable to model car collectors. They were available as motorized slotcars or display models.I had the display model version that I paid $1.00 for back in the day. It was molded in two tones of green, black and had clear red and plated parts plus the 12 cylinder motor, but even though it was nicely produced, it looked like a blurb of wax when it was built.As a lifetime scale model car builder, I wish I still had it.
Peugeot had a Brougham model in 1899, Cadillac in 1916. No neoclassical of course, but also long after that style was first used on carriages.
The Deusy has a lightness that the Lincoln sorely lacks. If they had made them I think they would be far more valuable now than a used Mark III, they’d have a cachet that the Lincoln’s end-of-the Roman-Empire gaudiness obviated.
The Bugatti nose reminds too much of Edsel too soon afterward but otherwise a nice shape.
The Stutz looks awkward and forced. Like the Excaliber, the wide tires don’t work with those fenders. And he often had trouble integrating round headlights, now he’d be able to shape headlights to work better with his designs.
Fake stuff –toilet seats, external exhausts, radiators– was Exner’s weakness. But anyone reaching high has some trait like that.
That’s an interesting take on the headlights. On one hand, nearly all cars had round headlights up to a certain point, so in order for a design to be ‘classic’, one would think the headlights would have to be round.
OTOH, I can’t imagine someone like Exner not taking advantage of the ability to free-form headlights into a design. It’s a shame he died in 1973, long before the advent of composite headlamps in the US..
He did actually get this into production for a couple of years though.
…and I’d not want to live in a world wherein he hadn’t.
As an elementary-school kid in the 60’s (and model car builder), I remember reading about the Renwal kits. I never actually bought any of them or built them (the local stores I could get to at the time didn’t carry them), but I sure wanted them!
I THINK I first read about the ‘new’ Duesenberg in My weekly reader, of all places. I thought THAT was a cool car, because I had the Monogram Duesy phaeton kit.
You can get one today. It only takes money.
On the other hand, I saw them and didn’t want them. So many cool real cars to build.
A missed opportunity for a revival would had been the Jordan. http://www.madle.org/evival.htm (the one at the bottom) A Oldsmobile Toronado or Pontiac Grand Prix chassis would had been a good basis for a revived Jordan.
Basing an ostensibly revived Duesenberg on the Imperial was practically counterfeiting, as it wasn’t really the “outsourced” body that made a Duesy unique, but its advanced engine & mechanicals.
I saw the maroon 1966 Duesey at the ACD museum a couple of times a few years ago.
I imagine it may still be there on display? Very large and heavy vehicle.
Why does the last article photo, the white coupe,
remind me so of a Lincoln?? That “curved-on-only-
one-axis” windshield positively SCREAMS FoMoCO!
Because it is a Lincoln. it’s a customized Mark IV.
That’s what my gut told me roger. But the article neither
states nor captions it as a Lincoln.
I just assumed that folks knew the Bugazzi was a tarted up MkIV. What else could it be?
Guess I’m not a big follower of Bugazzi, so I never made
the connection. Just one of many cultural connections
in life I never made! 🙂
The 1963 Stutz Revival drawing reminds me of Bill Mitchell’s Pontiac Phantom. This 1977 design proposal was rejected by the GM board and largely forgotten. Ronnie Schreiber wrote an article about it a couple of years ago: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/bill-mitchells-swan-song-phantom/ I’ve included one of its many pictures below.
I remember seeing the Phantom at the time – I believe that Motor Trend even featured an article about it – and thinking that it looked dated.
Remember that in 1977 the first-generation Cadillac Seville, and GM’s new downsized full-size cars inspired by that Seville, were all the rage. The Phantom looked bloated and dated, particularly with the renewed interest in both fuel and space efficiency in the wake of the first fuel crunch.
The Phantom concept was definitely not of its time and besides the triangularly pointed raised hood, doesn’t say ‘Pontiac’ to me. A “normalized” version would have made a great Bizzaro World ’68 Riviera.
I vaguely remember seeing the Esquire article and perhaps seeing the Ren-Wal models on store shelves. These types of “what-if”, and “flights-of-fancy/fantasy” cars intrigue me but they also strike me as a bit too….OTT. But then, that’s the point, isn’t it?
Just this week I picked up the latest copy of the magazine Automobile Collector and in the section where they feature pictures of their version of curbside classics was a Blackhawk. It just struck me as being what it was….a way over decorated faux classic. In other words, what these classic revivalists always (seemed to?) forgot is that many great classic designs are simple, un-adorned cars.
I think that we have to mention the early 1980’s Cadillac Seville in this group. I know that it has been written upo here before https://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside-classics-american/curbside-classic-1980-cadillac-seville-gms-deadly-sin-no-17-from-halo-to-pitchfork/
But I always thought the Virgil Exner had a little bit on influnce on this design.
Speaking of which, some of you may have seen photos of the custom Seville Opera by Grandeur company before. These usually kept the wheelbase of the Seville but shortened the passenger area into a two seater so the front could be stretched to fit spare tires in each fender. Pictured is a first gen Seville, but they kept offering them for the second gen as you will see in the next reply.
Because – and now I’m getting back to what I originally wanted to post – a couple of Sevilles have been built as what seems to have been called the Formal Sedan, where they kept the passenger area intact but stretched the wheelbase to fit the new front, which I think doesn’t look entirely terrible considering the bad taste that pimpmobiles display in the first place. At least they’re not as disproportionate as the coupe.
This was before run-flat tires. You only need one more spare in case all 4 tires get shot out at the same time.
I saw one of these in my local Pick-A-Part last year , very good condition , it had obviously been in a garage or carport for years : very dusty but nary a scratch on it , no one wanted the pimpmobile stuff , the rest of the car was picked clean of the stock Caddy bits in two weeks , should have been saved IMO .
OMG. That Grandeur Opera Coupe…..just…. hurts my stomach! (My eyes! My eyes!)
Renwal model kit illustration for Virgil Exner’s 196x Bugatti
Renwal model kit illustration for Virgil Exner’s 196x Dusenberg
The door cutlines for the back seat of this one are pretty awful. These deviated from tasteful, but there’s no thought given to it being in metal. Knowing what the Stutz revival looked like, it’s for the best.
Renwal model kit illustration for Virgil Exner’s 196x Jordan Playboy
Renwal model kit illustration for Virgil Exner’s 196x Mercer
Renwal model kit illustration for Virgil Exner’s 196x Packard
Renwal model kit illustration for Virgil Exner’s 196x Pierce-Arrow
Renwal model kit illustration for Virgil Exner’s 196x Stutz
Terrific pictures here .
In Los Angeles it’s a fairly common thing to see celebrities out and about .
Oddly , quite a few live just up the hill from me .
Alex Tremulis also drew some classic revival designs. Some of the design themes can be seen, (if you squint) in the second gen Caddy El Dorado, Toronado, 1970 Riviera, etc.
Oops. wrong pic. I would rock this thing right now!
Let’s try another pic.
No fake side pipes on this baby!
And of course no broughamitis and pimpmobile discussion is complete without Wayne Kady’s 1967 vision of a Cadillac V16.
1967? So the Seville bustleback treatment goes back that far. Wow.
The large wheels with the disc covers with small row of rectangular openings around the outside remind me of the Bugatti Royale’s (probably intentional!).
Here is a 1925 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost with similar wheel treatment although it is a cover not an alloy wheel like the Bugatti.
The driver better have very good depth perception if he ever hopes to park it.
Always thought those bordered on comical and tacky. Like somebody went to a junk yard and picked up a bunch of spare parts and built their own car. A Grand Prix hood, GM power window switches, a gold-plated Ford part thrown in here or there…..and the stars fell for this.
At the risk of introducing politics, but without trying to be partisan, I think this era of car design evidences some early flashes of the “make America great again” sensibility that is in our headlines today. Exner’s broughamanship was not created to be political; I think he was responding to the fact that car design had evolved aggressively for a few decades and now it was time to look back. Nor was the Brougham aesthetic the only stylistic school of the day—in fact, far from it. So why did it become the dominant American style of the period? Because Americans were becoming aware that their nation was slipping in its world standing. Our cities were falling apart. Industry was moving abroad. Our natural environment was taking a beating. We lost in Vietnam. Imported cars were proving to be better than many of our own. Cheap gas was disappearing. Instead of responding constructively to these realities, we tried to turn the clock back to when America was great. So screw building economical, nimble, space efficient cars; let’s keep proving to ourselves what a “real” car is: an extreme version of all that it was before the brown stuff started striking the ventilating device.
An interesting point. As the ’60s dawned, the generation that had fought WW2 was approaching middle age, one of their own (JFK) became President and lowered the top marginal tax bracket from the wartime levels they had been at for 20 years.
The postwar auto industry had molded itself around that reality, that there was no real market for anything above the Cadillac DeVille series. The Continental Mark II had been a money-loser for Ford, GM never expected to make a profit on the Eldorado Brougham (the other ’50s Eldorados were a trim package) and the Series 75 limousines were a vocational model built mainly for car services and the funeral trade.
As for the Europeans, Ferrari built race cars that under the relatively lax rules of the day, you could put a license plate on. Their few buyers expected to make sacrifices (relative to their wealth) to own one. Rolls-Royces were charming antiques that being foreign sold their lack of newness as a positive much as VW did at the other end of the market.
The look backwards was a first step in the search for how to serve a nascent/coming ultra-luxury market that hadn’t existed in a quarter of a century. Of course, after the brief sidetrip into model kits aimed at a demographic who’d be driving Super Beetles, Camaros and vans in the late ’70s, the aesthetic they first tried for would be much more influential on the mid-market and on the same WW2 vets who by then were well into late middle age.
A couple of new thoughts popped up after re-visiting this post. After the rocket/ jet/ spaceship influences petered out in the early 1960’s we find that cleaner styled cars like the ’61 Lincoln, ’61 Buick, ‘and 64 Imperial were setting the trend in higher priced models. The ’62 Chevy and ’62 Ford brought the clean look to the mass market. Except for Cadillac who held onto fins until 1964, most manufacturers had clipped off the fins with varying success. After a run of cleanly styled cars the hunger for ginger bread reappeared, and the manufacturers were ready to satiate that appetite. What would the hot new thing be?
The neo Classic look was developed by designers like Exner and Mitchell and his GM cohorts, and while their designs were extreme, certain themes were adopted and incorporated into new models. If you think about it, the original Mustang previewed the look. Long hood/short deck, reward placement of the passenger compartment, “formal-ish” roof C pillars, flat body sides, and a distinct center grille. All broughammy cues, just on a smaller scale. Strange to think that the original pony car gave birth to the brougham!
Built the Renwal Stutz model when I was a kid. Use to display it next to my Visible V8…
The guys who brought us the AMC Barcelona remembered classic luxury cars. That made the fake padded vinyl roof on the Matador coupe fastback palatable to them. For those of us who don’t remember the classic luxury cars these toilet-seated trunk decks inspired – we’re at a loss to appreciate these things. Hood ornaments? WHY? Opera lights? Weird. The extra two foot long hood that was empty space? Sorry, NO.
Having gone through the entire neo-classic brougham era and driving cars that had more glued-on chrome-plastic parts than what was functionally necessary, thank you for presenting the reason we suffered through it all.
1979 Stutz Bearcat. A convertible version of the Blackhawk.