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The Greatest Car Companies and their Icons.


Gunsmoke
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The Greatest Car Companies and their Icons

I’ve studied automotive history for many years, have had an interest in old cars since birth, and have yet to read an article on just what one person thinks are The Greatest Car Companies and their Icons. So I thought I’d take a shot at confessing  my own ideals. The exercise would be easier perhaps if divided between pre-war (1890-1945) and Post-War (1945-2022), but like most old car fiends I never take the easy way.  In arriving at a list, I decided “profitability” of the company/business and other aspects of a purely “business” nature would not be a factor as that would require substantial un-interesting (at least to me) research and analysis and debate (including the pre-war German Government’s role. (note some content is from various Wikipedia sources)

However any exercise needs a few governing parameters. Mine were:

1. Marque Company (in one form or another) had to have manufactured car for 75 years or more.

2. The Company brand objective has to have been solid and consistent throughout its history.

3. The cars have been universally recognized as a good-high standard for their sector or period.

4. At times, the Company would have produced Iconic cars or such Innovative cars as to affect the industry.

 5. Some of the Marquee Cars will have generated a long term visceral positive reaction among knowledgeable car enthusiasts.

While many enthusiasts might quickly compile a top 20-30 Great Car Companies within these parameters, sorting them into a top down list of 12 will eventually show some bias.  At end of piece I have included photos of the Iconic cars mentioned for the 12 makes. From my parameters, 3 companies have earned the top positions, Ferrari, Rolls Royce and Mercedes Benz (arguably could be in any order), and for different primary reasons.

 

1. Ferrari (1939-2022) has from its beginnings set the standard for high performance sports cars for road and track, and smoothly merged those standards into touring cars as well. Throughout its history, the company has been noted for its continued participation in racing, especially in Formula One, where it is the oldest and most successful racing team, holding the most constructors' championships (16) and having produced the highest number of drivers' championship wins (15). Ferrari road cars are generally seen as a symbol of speed, luxury and wealth.  In June 2018, a 1963 250 GTO became the most expensive car in history, setting an all-time record selling price of $70 million. While the product goal and market has remained the same throughout its history, corporate ownership has changed over the years. They maintain a reputation as the most valued and collectible cars in the world.

2. Rolls Royce (1904-2022)/Bentley. While Ferrari aimed at the best in sports cars, Rolls-Royce (1904-2022) took aim at the highest of quality Luxury Touring Cars. Targeted initially at Royalty and successful businessmen, no dollar was spared in delivering a gold standard. Throughout its history, the tenets of high quality and luxury as set out in the stunning 1907 Silver Ghost , remained constant. For a 40 years period 1931-1971), they took control of the Bentley franchise, and its reputation for fast and quality sports and racing cars. While the RR luxury sedans are universally recognizable (with their huge tombstone radiators), the Bentleys were the favorite of the sporting class, and maintain a faithful and considerable following.

3. Mercedes Benz (1901-2022) If Ferrari and RR confined themselves to niche markets (performance and luxury touring), Mercedes Benz is considered a luxury car manufacturer who built high quality cars for all sectors of the marketplace. During their over 100 year history, icons like the 1930 SSKL and 1955 Gullwing share the stages with their great Grand Prix cars of the 30’s, their F1 cars of today, and luxury sedans popular with Presidents, Kings and Queens.  Mercedes-Benz is the largest seller of premium vehicles in the world, selling 2 million passenger cars annually.  The slogan for the brand is "the best or nothing".

 

The photos depict some of the Icons of these 3 marques and the remaining 9 marques. (note the Type 154 Mercedes GP of 1939 is misplaced last, should be with the other Mercedes photos. Perhaps an administrator can relocate it?)

 

 Any list of The Greatest Car Companies has to recognize the roles they played in bringing this form of transportation to the masses. That as a major parameter leads to Ford, and Volkswagen.

4. Ford Motor Company (1903-2022) Henry Ford has been often credited with putting America on the roads, and accomplishing that by shrewd business decisions early in the Company history. Under the firm hand of Henry, the keys elements of assembly line productivity (design/engineering, supply, process, workforce retention and buy-in, marketing and simplicity) were combined to deliver a low priced but reliable everyman’s car, the ubiquitous Model T, of which some 15M were sold between 1908 and 1927. In later generations, while focusing on their main objective of serving the needs of the masses for basic transport, they delved into memorable and iconic niche markets with the 1955 Thunderbird, the 1965 Cobra and later the Ford GT40 which proved to be a Ferrari beater. Today Ford continues innovation in trucks, EVs and adjustments to the modern reality of building vehicles for the masses.

5. Volkswagen (1930-2022). Much like Ford 25 years earlier, the “Peoples Car or Volks Waggen” was the attempt by this German company to build a low priced high quality car for the masses. The innovative rear engine “beetle shaped” result became an iconic model which in one form or another continued in production for 60 years and 21M units, serving for many years as “the worlds car”. Even today variants in front wheel drive are sold throughout the word. While the VW “Beetle’ established the company’s reputation for quality control and sound engineering, they moved into other markets, including diesel engine cars, luxury cars and trucks.

 

The next 3 have proven long term records for high quality, design excellence and iconic models, BMW, Porsche and Jaguar

6. BMW (1928-2022) BMW Began its high profile in 1936 with the BMW 328 Roadster (fewer than 500) an almost instant favorite with the sporting crowd. The Company’s steadfast reputation for quality, technical advancement and taut, well handling touring cars for over 50 years has made them a favorite for many discerning drivers. In the modern touring sedan marketplace, many place them at the top.

7. Porsche (1939-2022) Perhaps no other Car company has survived longer on one basic concept car than Porsche.  Starting in 1939 (and following Ferdinand Porsche’s key development work on the Volkswagen Beetle) ,  Porsche set out the basic design of the model he would manufacture independently, and initially based on the VW concept and parts. It would become an icon, eventually transitioning through the late 40’s/50’s 356 series and the later 911’s. The sleek, high quality, rear engined sports car, became a favorite of many generations and are highly prized today, regardless of year of manufacture.

8. Jaguar (1922-2022) With the Swallow of 1922 and SS100 of the mid 1930’s (both under the Swallow Company), Jaguar began making a name in the British industry in 1945 when Swallow became Jaguar by building high quality and well mannered cars. It moved into the sports car field with the early 50’s XK 120/140/150 series which led to great success in racing, and Jaguar used their growing popularity to deliver to the marketplace the iconic Jaguar XKE in 1961-1975, considered by many enthusiasts as one of the most beautiful mass produced car designs ever. Through this period, their sedate but refined  sedans remained popular.

Rounding out my list of 12 are Bugatti, Aston Martin, Audi and Alfa Romeo.

9. Bugatti (1909-2022)  Going back to 1913 with the Type 13, and through the type 35, (and its descendants very successful in European racing circuits) the monumental Type 41 Bugatti Royale and many sport/touring series culminating in the Type 57 (and its variants), the horseshoe shaped radiator on the stunning cars is etched in the minds of all enthusiasts. Ettore Bugatti and later his son Jean designed some stunning cars, combining the fields of art and engineering to an impeccable standard. While the company and its name disappeared for a number of years, its recent iteration carries on the attention to design and engineering the elder Bugatti established for the Marquee.

10. Aston Martin (1913-2022) Beginning with the Aston Martin Ulster in 1932, this small company quickly established a reputation for sports car performance. Following the introduction of the David Brown (DB) family in 1947, the early 50’s DB 3/4/5 series became a serious competitor on the race track. The Aston Martin DB5 of James bond 007 fame has placed the marquee in the world’s limelight for 60 years.  Although the marquee has survived in production for over 100 years, ownership has changed hands many times.

11. Audi (1932-2022) For many enthusiasts, the nearly incomparable Audi C-3 and D-3 of the late 30’s European grand prix’s (the first rear wheel drive GP car) introduced them to the brand. The Company began with a merger of smaller companies including DKW, NSU and Horch, thus the Auto Union tag, later to become AUDI. Their product line focused primarily on sedate high quality sedans through most of their history, and they established a history of designing and equipping them as great rally and touring cars. The Audi Quattro was one of the first serious 4WD cars.

12. Alfa Romeo (1910-2022) In the 1930’s Alfa began to compete seriously with the major European marquees, building and racing small light and well engineered sports/touring cars. Enzo Ferrari was the first A/R guy to lead their racing team, in 1929, establishing Scuderia Ferrari, before going independent in 1939. Eventually they could not compete with the government sponsored cars from Mercedes and Audi, and went on to become a predominant producer of well mannered sports cars up to present.

 

Only so much room in a list of 12 so some companies who produced Icons or prolifically, such as Packard, Hudson, studebaker, Maserati, Lamborghini, Honda, Toyota, and Volvo, Citroen, Renault, Peugeot didn’t make my list. Other highly praised marquees who produced some stunning or high quality cars also did not qualify based on their short histories or very limited production numbers, like Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg, Pierce Arrow, Maybach, Horch, Delage, Talbot-Lago, Isotto- Fraschini, and Hispana Suiza.  Finally, some companies were huge business successes and produced lots of “ordinary cars” but nothing generally considered high quality, desirable and iconic, like GM, Chrysler, Fiat, British Leyland, and I’m sure there are others. Have I missed an obvious one? Bruised someone's ego? Lots of time to edit this and make it a “baker’s dozen”! I may very well do that based on feedback from the experts, and fellow critics!

  

  

Ferrari 250 gto.jpg

1992 Ferrari F40.jpg

1907 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.jpg

1931 Bentley 8 Litre.jpg

2019 Rollls Royce Ghost.jpg

2019 Bentley Continental.jpg

1930 MERCEDES BENZ SSKL.jpg

1955 MB Gullwing.jpg

1925 Ford Model T.jpg

1967 Shelby Cobra 427.jpg

Ford GT40.jpg

1939 Volkswagen.jpg

1980 Volkswagen.jpg

1938 BMW 328.jpg

1939 Porsche type64.jpg

1957 Porsche 356.jpg

1964  Porsche 911.jpg

1938 Jaguar SS100.jpg

1961 Jaguar XKE.jpg

1928 Bugatti Type 35.jpg

1929 Bugatti Royale Type 41.jpg

1938 Bugatti 57SC Atlantic.jpg

1935 Aston Martin Ulster.jpg

1965 Aston Martin DB5.jpg

1938 AutoUnion Type D.jpg

1932 Alfa Romeo.jpg

1939 Mercedes Benz W154.jpg

Edited by Gunsmoke
added Studebaker (see edit history)
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20 minutes ago, Gunsmoke said:

6. BMW (1928-2022) BMW Began its high profile in 1936 with the BMW 328 Roadster (fewer than 500) an almost instant favorite with the sporting crowd. The Company’s steadfast reputation for quality, technical advancement and taut, well handling touring cars for over 50 years has made them a favorite for many discerning drivers. In the modern touring sedan marketplace, many place them at the top.

It has not always been a bed of roses for BMW by their attempts to market only high-end cars.  The 502, 503, and 507 were very expensive cars to build, despite their high asking price.  The volume was never enough to make BMW enough cash to survive, and were 4 hours away from a takeover by Mercedes Benz in 1959, when a last-minute reorganization of finances involving the Quandt family and the banks, pending on the release of a high-volume model, the rear-engine 700.  Unfortunately, the 700 gets overlooked by almost all other BMW models, previous and subsequent, but if the 700 wasn't allowed to become a big success that put BMW back in the black, there would be no BMW as we know it today.

 

Craig

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
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Interesting list and a fair argument for most.  You were very generous with Jaguar.  I would have given them a much smaller window.

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John 348: My 2 toughest decisions were on excluding GM and including Bugatti and Aston Martin. Bugatti had so many iconic cars, but a long break with no cars, may even violate my 75 year rule. Re GM, while they dominated production in the NA market for 40 years, their product line was terribly bland IMHO (chrome, fins, big blocks in luxury yachts, and a few years of Muscle Cars (usually over-powered straight liners), one notable exception for me being the 1950's Corvettes (before they started to fatten them up) and the early 30's Cadillacs. Could never envisage paying $200K for a GM product.

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I'm surprised you'd find favor with the '50's era Corvette over it's '60's counterpart.

While the 50's Corvette had nice styling, it was still based off of Chevrolet's big old X frame, less than stellar drum brakes, pretty basic old school technology wrapped up in a nice body style.  Skip ahead just a few years where a frame redesign, independent rear suspension, 4 wheel disc brakes and a completely new exterior put the Corvette on par with most European sports cars of the era.

 

1575322791_redsting.jpg.775fad605c84ae27a3f42555811ca5b6.jpg

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40 minutes ago, Gunsmoke said:

John 348: My 2 toughest decisions were on excluding GM and including Bugatti and Aston Martin. Bugatti had so many iconic cars, but a long break with no cars, may even violate my 75 year rule. Re GM, while they dominated production in the NA market for 40 years, their product line was terribly bland IMHO (chrome, fins, big blocks in luxury yachts, and a few years of Muscle Cars (usually over-powered straight liners), one notable exception for me being the 1950's Corvettes (before they started to fatten them up) and the early 30's Cadillacs. Could never envisage paying $200K for a GM product.

Points well taken, while I am a Chevrolet enthusiast, I was never a Corvette fan but it is one of the few GM models that always was brand specific and stood alone since it's inception, that is why I mentioned it. All of the GM styling points you mentioned were just reflective of the times and economy in the US, and was very short lived. 

Good thread, and interesting topic  

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John 348, your comment "All of the GM styling points you mentioned were just reflective of the times and economy in the US, and was very short lived." I think sums up very nicely the problem the big 3 had, they were fad chasers, and styling merchants, rather than being true quality car companies. Explains why they never established a signature vehicle, the Corvette being an exception (although I was never sure what it was supposed to be), first generation were pretty roadsters, next generation powered up styling exercises, later and up to now, not sure what to say, highly personalized playboy's car maybe. Other than NASCAR, not sure Chrysler or GM ever made a race car of consequence. 

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3 minutes ago, joe_padavano said:

I think you need one more qualification on the list:

 

6. Did not prostitute itself by selling an SUV model.

 

1668532770_Screenshot2022-04-25at18-34-37FerrariPurosangueOfficiallyTeasedasCountdownContinues.png.ed0aeb0b8bf7162b915d3964c3c11e5d.png2021_jaguar_f-pace_4dr-suv_p340-s_fq_oem1920px-2018_BMW_X6_xDrive30d_M_Sport_Aut480390-aston-martin-dbx-2021-le-prince-d170117_alfa-romeo_stelvio_06.jpg

There would be no list.  Only Bugatti. 
 

Bugatti of the last 20 years, while producing unbelievable modern cars, has absolutely nothing to do with the original company.  

Edited by Cadillac Fan (see edit history)
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Also rolls Royce is owned by BMW.  Bentley is owned by VW.  They should be separated if you are including the current offerings.  

 

What are your thoughts on companies that made great pre ww2 cars, but have made junk since.   There are a few on your list.  
 

put another way, what new car from the manufacturers listed would you buy today?  
 

 

hard to think of Jaguar over the last 25 years as high quality.  (S-type, x type- chains tensioner issues) Same with Alfa.  Or Ford ( small car transmissions.  Infamous 5.4 death rattle). 

Edited by Cadillac Fan (see edit history)
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23 minutes ago, joe_padavano said:

I think you need one more qualification on the list:

 

6. Did not prostitute itself by selling an SUV model.

 

1668532770_Screenshot2022-04-25at18-34-37FerrariPurosangueOfficiallyTeasedasCountdownContinues.png.ed0aeb0b8bf7162b915d3964c3c11e5d.png2021_jaguar_f-pace_4dr-suv_p340-s_fq_oem1920px-2018_BMW_X6_xDrive30d_M_Sport_Aut480390-aston-martin-dbx-2021-le-prince-d170117_alfa-romeo_stelvio_06.jpg

They are just Euro Jelly Beans, no original concepts they are just chasing an already established market no iconic designs I think of

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joe-P said add "6. Did not prostitute itself by selling an SUV model." I could not agree more, although it would have dropped MB, BMW, VW, Ford, Porsche, perhaps others. Have never owned an SUV and I consider them conceptually a camel (a horse designed by committee). They are as a rule not sporty, have marginal utility (most you cannot get a sheet of plywood in), and their high riding 4WD nature make them expensive to build, maintain, fuel and since they are primarily for getting groceries, the companies load them with every bell and whistle possible. The original Land Rovers were a serious vehicle for rugged terrain touring, as were early Broncos, Toyota Land Cruisers, some Jeep products, and some other early vehicles of this genre. But they were not called SUV's, and were pretty utilitarian. My son just bought a 2022 Suburu Crosstrek 6 Speed manual, well made vehicle but the poshness of the inside suggests it is not intended for anything other than boulevard cruising. And an operators manual 1" thick.

Cadfan - The research delineated the significant ownership changes of all the marquees over their business history, even Ferrari. Over 100 years, I am sure every company (perhaps RR an exception) would have had a hiccup, quality control issue.  

 

Edited by Gunsmoke (see edit history)
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I have to pick a nit - the "marquee" is the sign in front of a theater.  You mean "marque."

 

I like the reference to SUV/CUV's as "camels."  The terms I use are less complimentary.  Bad physics isn't much of a feature to me. But if you were running a car company today, you would build them because your customers want to buy them.  It some ways I imagine the situation was similar during the 1930's.  As the luxury market shrinks, do you call your cheaper model a new, unestablished name that doesn't dilute your brand (LaSalle) or use your main brand's power to help sell it (Packard 120)?  Most today have taken the latter approach.  Hence 4 door Chargers, the current Mustang electric CUV, Alfa Stelvio, etc.

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I don't know whether you are trying to vet the company itself, or one, or some of the cars produced? Does survivability make a company great? Does a great car coming from a failing company somehow taint that car? I really don't know the answers, and I wouldn't presume to speak for 130 years of automotive history. 

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38 minutes ago, bryankazmer said:

  Hence 4 door Chargers, the current Mustang electric CUV, Alfa Stelvio, etc.

 

Good Grief!  Did FORD just run out of model names?

If they simply have no imagination left and need to recycle older names, there are plenty of others they could have re-used.

Edsel springs to mind....

 

mustang.jpg.ae2a328313b18652cd596baa13b00d6e.jpg

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1 minute ago, GregLaR said:

 

Good Grief!  Did FORD just run out of model names?

If they simply have no imagination left and need to recycle older names, there are plenty of others they could have re-used.

Edsel springs to mind....

 

mustang.jpg.ae2a328313b18652cd596baa13b00d6e.jpg

Actually my friend bought one and it is pretty impressive!  And fast!

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I will add Studebaker to the 'just missed the list" section for now (I had forgotten them). As for Marque/Marquee, I originally typed in Marque and spellcheck told me to ad an "e". Will have to go to the source for advice,....yoohoo, Sister Holywater!

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6 minutes ago, Gunsmoke said:

I will add Studebaker to the 'just missed the list" section for now (I had forgotten them). As for Marque/Marquee, I originally typed in Marque and spellcheck told me to ad an "e". Will have to go to the source for advice,....yoohoo, Sister Holywater!

Sister Mary Harmonica told us that "marquee" is the big sign showing the movies playing at the theater (the-AY-ter if you're from Indiana) and "marque" is a brand name.

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9 hours ago, GregLaR said:

 

Good Grief!  Did FORD just run out of model names?

If they simply have no imagination left and need to recycle older names, there are plenty of others they could have re-used.

Edsel springs to mind....

 

mustang.jpg.ae2a328313b18652cd596baa13b00d6e.jpg

It worked for Porsche, so Ford expects it will work for them.

 

As already said, it will keep up with a two-door in a straight line.

 

Craig

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7 hours ago, GregLaR said:

Let's eat Grandma!

Let's eat, Grandma!

 

Punctuation saves lives.

If one finished the sentence with "Let's eat Grandma's stew.", it would be the END of one's life in our family's case!  🤮

 

Craig

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It is tough to not see GM on the list for many reasons.   As a company that has been in business since 1908, and if including Buick, 1903 they have set templates for many parts of the auto business.

 

First the modern business model of the modern corporation that was set up by Alfred P. Sloan when he became head of GM in the early 1920's.  This model still lives today.

 

GM hiring Harley Earl and setting up the Art & Color department.  This set up the industry standard for the annual model change and put art into the car business.  Many of his design cues lasted well into the 60's. 

 

Harley Earl was also responsible for the Buick "Y Job".  Probably one of the most iconic and longest living standards of concept vehicles of the 30's and still considered a standard to this day. 

 

GM was definitely considered a leader for many decades including having more than 50% of the North American market because the company knew what the customer wanted.  The company was on top of customer sales until the finance people got control of the company and ran it into bankruptcy.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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11 hours ago, GregLaR said:

 

Good Grief!  Did FORD just run out of model names?

If they simply have no imagination left and need to recycle older names, there are plenty of others they could have re-used.

Edsel springs to mind....

 

mustang.jpg.ae2a328313b18652cd596baa13b00d6e.jpg

 

Sadly this is no different from other companies. Remember the 1980s when everything Oldsmobile sold was a "Cutlass"? In 1988 Oldsmobile sold:

 

Cutlass Supreme Classic (RWD)

Cutlass Supreme (FWD)

Cutlass Ciera

Cutlass Calais

Cutlass Cruiser

 

 

 

 

Cutlass.png

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GM’s Cadillac certainly belongs on the list.  As long as I can remember the Cadillac brand was the standard of luxury.  If you had a Cadillac you had one of the best cars in the world.  Lincoln tried to be there and had a few models at times that were close as well as Chrysler with its Imperial line but Cadillac was always Cadillac (except when the Cimarron and Catera came into play).  When you took your “last ride” it was usually in a Cadillac with the family right behind in the Fleetwood.  My vote is for Cadillac!

Edited by TerryB (see edit history)
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15 hours ago, John348 said:

Actually my friend bought one and it is pretty impressive!  And fast!

Just goes to prove , there is a butt for every seat.

A couple of friends and I were having a get together the other day. Both Friends are arch Mustang guy's , several Shelby's GT 350's and 500's, 60's , 70's Boss's { including a 429 } , A C.S. continuation car etc. Plus an original TA series 70 Boss and a SCCA B sedan, 66 Fastback in previous ownership { my old car }. No doubt 7 figures of Ford vehicles currently owned between us [ Mine are mainly Ford of England these days }. We all agreed the new " E " Mustang was essentially a electric mini van, regardless of any " impressive attributes " or speed. Hard to see a E Mustang ending up in any of our ownership.

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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9 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

Just goes to prove , there is a butt for every seat.

A couple of friends and I were having a get together the other day. Both Friends are arch Mustang guy's , several Shelby's GT 350's and 500's, 60's , 70's Boss's { including a 429 } , A C.S. continuation car etc. Plus an original TA series 70 Boss and a SCCA B sedan, 66 Fastback in previous ownership { my old car }. No doubt 7 figures of Ford vehicles currently owned between us [ Mine are mainly Ford of England these days }. We all agreed the new " E " Mustang was essentially a electric mini van, regardless of any " impressive attributes " or speed. Hard to see a E Mustang ending up in any of our ownership.

Very true, always heard the phrase "rides like a Cadillac" or in my business the customer is paying for a "Cadillac" quality work, so make it perfect. it always was known to be an American standard of high end quality, owning new one made a statement that you have arrived and achieved success in American life. Now maybe not so much 

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4 hours ago, joe_padavano said:

 

Sadly this is no different from other companies. Remember the 1980s when everything Oldsmobile sold was a "Cutlass"? In 1988 Oldsmobile sold:

 

Cutlass Supreme Classic (RWD)

Cutlass Supreme (FWD)

Cutlass Ciera

Cutlass Calais

Cutlass Cruiser

Now there's no Oldsmobile to call a Cutlass.

 

Ford is the best for recycling model names to completely different cars; sometimes over a 60-70 year period on three different continents.  The "Capri" name comes to mind.  

 

Lincoln Capri, 1950's

Ford of England Consul Capri, early 1960's

Mercury Comet Capri, mid-1960's

Ford of Germany Capri & Capri II, 1970-78

Fox-body Capri, 1979-'86

Australian-assembled, Mazda-based 2-seat Capri, early 1990's

and Ford is still teasing the Euro market with Capri concepts.

 

Craig

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19 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

Just goes to prove , there is a butt for every seat.

A couple of friends and I were having a get together the other day. Both Friends are arch Mustang guy's , several Shelby's GT 350's and 500's, 60's , 70's Boss's { including a 429 } , A C.S. continuation car etc. Plus an original TA series 70 Boss and a SCCA B sedan, 66 Fastback in previous ownership { my old car }.  We all agreed the new " E " Mustang was essentially a electric mini van, regardless of any " impressive attributes " or speed. Hard to see a E Mustang ending up in any of our ownership.

Your local Ford dealer might be able to order you a brand new six-figure GT.

 

Craig

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13 minutes ago, John348 said:

Very true, always heard the phrase "rides like a Cadillac" or in my business the customer is paying for a "Cadillac" quality work, so make it perfect. it always was known to be an American standard of high end quality, owning new one made a statement that you have arrived and achieved success in American life. Now maybe not so much 

I'd say Cadillac's period was about 1950 - 1975.

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Cadillac's absolute postwar accomplishment for matching Rolls Royce and Mercedes Benz with its 600 was the 1966 Fleetwood Brougham.  It used REAL wood for ALL the inside trim, and there was a LOT of it, including fold down rear tables. https://www.leftcoastclassics.com/1966-cadillac-fleetwood/extras/closeupgallery/     And the seating was genuine leather, and it was NOT a copy of either Rolls-Royce or Mercedes Benz in design or execution.  IF ONLY Cadillac maintained this high standard of quality, and did not go for the grossly baroque 1970's styling which did copy them to a big extent, and on the inside, replaced the real wood with plastic and only a few square inches of leather when the crushed velour was not specified for the seats.

 

Craig 

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10 minutes ago, 8E45E said:

I think you can buy one now.

 

And the Maverick name was used on an SUV in England in the early 2000's.

I think you can buy one but don't think they can actually deliver. 

Looked like it gets 40 mpg and only 20 thou buy in.

I got this from a TV interview from the NY auto show a week or so ago.

I've been meaning to drop by the local Ford dealer.

 

Edit, I just googled and may have misunderstood.

Google shows a few dealers that have them. But Ford is not even taking orders because of the overwhelming interest and sales.

Edited by JACK M (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, 8E45E said:

Your local Ford dealer might be able to order you a brand new six-figure GT.

 

Craig

One of my two friends has already considered a GT. But he prefers the late 1960's early 70's product. Has his eye out for a GT 350 R. Last one sold for something like $800.000.00 . He wasn't aware it was for sale at the time , but after the fact thought that was a reasonable price. Most importantly he has the means to be involved with cars at this price { I sure don't ! }.

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If I were to show pictures of VW Beetles, I would have shown it this way.

1936image.jpeg.11ac65e7eac16aa9b74e2f277884a7fc.jpeg1937image.jpeg.3fad099fc3439248c77ab1230a6febcc.jpeg 

Final shape 1938 with Dr. Porscheimage.jpeg.8e9ff661a775b9e420d3785fc3431353.jpeg

 

 official unveiling of car and factory cornerstoneimage.jpeg.37540a0898ed9c4705e2ef38e5a9bd52.jpeg

image.jpeg.3783ca2338b3fc9773198e2a49543b56.jpegVolkswagen 1973 Beetle Sales BrochureSuper beetle

This modified car below doesn't cut it,

1980 Volkswagen.jpg

Non factory sunroof with non-factory wind deflector, non-factory wheels, removed body side molding on a deluxe car, no anodized bright trim in window rubber, and I imagine a non stock engine

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Thanks Pfeil for the excellent photo essay on VW's. You obviously have access to some great archives. Last 10 days I have been dealing with a severe sinusitis/bronchitis bout and needed something to do. Had a draft of the written stuff, but no assembled pictures. So I culled them quickly off internet as needed. My favorite of all the photos I included is the Dr Esders Type 41 Bugatti Royale Roadster. What a huge 2 seater, must have been an amazing car to see rolling down the street in 1930's. Original met it's demise, but has been recreated as you may know. 

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