My piece on the Oldsmobile Toronado XS yesterday revealed a high level of appreciation for personal luxury coupes from Curbivores – a lot of us are Brougham fans here, after all – but elicited a rather lukewarm response to the Toronado itself. So, tell me: what personal luxury coupe from the 1970s would you want instead?
The Lincoln Mark V is perhaps the most dramatic and stunning personal luxury coupe but, well, it’s a bit big. I realize that’s like saying, “I liked the horror movie but it was a bit too scary, don’t you reckon?” Nevertheless, I’d prefer something a little bit more sensibly-sized, like the downsized ’79 Cadillac Eldorado.
It may surprise you to learn that I’m not much of a fan of pre-downsizing era Cadillacs. Those Coupe de Villes and Eldorados from earlier in the 1970s are just too gargantuan and gauche for my tastes, but the ’79 has an undeniable presence and yet a cleanness of line. The detailing is on point and the interior is warm and inviting.
If we want to stretch the QOTD to include coupes that weren’t separate line models like the Eldorado, then a ’77-79 Coupe de Ville is my other favourite classic Cadillac. The cherry on the parfait is the availability of Cadillac-exclusive V8s: the 425 in the ’77-79 Coupe de Ville and the 368 in the first few years of the downsized Eldorado.
If we’re talking mainstream brands, a 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix is at the top of the list. There’s not a bad line on these and I like the ’77 headlights. Make mine a loaded LJ with two-tone paint and snowflake wheels and any of the available engines will do, just not the 301.
I’ve spoken before about my morbid fascination with the ’75-77 Dodge Charger and so I wouldn’t mind one of these…
…or the more attractive Dodge Magnum…
…or Ricardo Montalbán’s car of choice, the Chrysler Cordoba. With soft Corinthian leather, of course.
Finally, one other car I’d consider is the ’74-76 Buick Riviera. What can I say, I like underdogs. These are either reviled or forgotten and, while they don’t have the visual drama of the ’71-73 boat-tails, I think they’re quite handsome. I’ll take a ’76 S/R with the bucket/console set-up.
So, what are your choices?