(click image for full size)
Once upon a time, Car and Driver used to poll its readers for the best cars, rather than have the
advertisers editors make those calls. Since 1967 seems to be a bit of theme here lately, and certainly was a good year for cars, let’s take a look at what they chose. Update: But before we do that, here’s the original ballot, which limits the options to those that C/D selected. Shall I send mine in?
And here are the winners.
Probably the biggest difference in this kind of poll is that it tends to be more backward-looking, based on owner’s experience or feelings about cars in the past, than what is the best new car in each class. That’s most painfully obvious in the choice of the Jaguar 3.8 Mk.II as the best intermediate sedan. It wasn’t even sold in the US anymore in 1967 (except as a special order), and its best days were definitely behind it. But the love for it was obviously still strong.
The win by the Rover 2000 as best compact sedan (followed by the Corvair), as well as by the 2000TC as best sports sedan under 3000cc is also interesting. I suspect few readers had personal experience with one, but it’s advanced engineering and highly-praised qualities (by the press) undoubtedly played a big role. The BMW had not yet quite reached its ascendency, at least not with the readers. I suspect the Rover and BMW would soon swap positions.
The Corvette Sting Ray won the big honors, as best Sports/GT car over 3000cc, and as best all-round car. I guess the definition of “all-round” was a somewhat vague one, as the Corvette hardly made an ideal all-round car. But the C2 certainly still had a very attractive set of qualities, despite it being in its last year of production.
Hindsight really puts some of these choices in perspective. No Cadillac on the Luxury/Personal car list, despite it doing so well on the C/D’s 1965 Luxury Car Comparison? Your turn to re-write history, with the benefit of hindsight.