Some might think luxury cars are pretentious and a waste of money, but there is clearly a big market for these types of vehicles as they have been part of the automobile world for many, many years. It might seem strange than even though the '70s saw some pretty tough times, luxury cars were still being produced by American automakers, and looking back, some of these are absolutely awesome, especially in terms of their design.
Today, we’ve compiled a list of 15 luxury American cars that existed between 1950 and 1970, with Ford, Chrysler, and Cadillac being the leading manufacturers in the luxury segment at the time. Our personal favorite might just be the extremely rare Imperial Crown released in the late '50s, and its iconic design was the inspiration for many luxury American cars released the following decade! Anyway, without further ado, let’s get started!
15. 1959 Buick Electra 225 Convertible “Summer Edition”
The Buick Electra 225 Convertible “Summer Edition,” also known as “deuce and a quarter,” came in many different forms, including a four-door sedan, station wagon, coupe, or convertible. Released in 1959, this massive 225-inch vehicle is the successor to the Buick Roadmaster that was quite popular at the time.
14. 1953 Cadillac “Series 62” Eldorado
The Cadillac “Series 62” Eldorado was first released in 1953, and it came with amazing features at the time. It had power windows, radio, a heater, and even optional air conditioning, which was very rare at the time. This particular model is very rare as only 523 were produced in total.
13. 1954 Chrysler Imperial
The 1954 Chrysler Imperial was the most luxurious car offered by the American automakers, and at the time, it competed with Cadillac, Packard, and Lincoln. It came equipped with a hemi V8 engine, and it was also offered in convertible, although only 650 units were ultimately sold. In terms of its engineering, it was tough to compete with the Chrysler Imperial.
12. 1955 Ford Continental Mark II
In the mid '50s, Ford decided to reposition its luxury vehicles into a new brand – Continental. The aim was to produce luxury coupes with great technology, and although these were some of the best cars they ever produced, the market response was far from favorable, and the Continental division was shut down only five years after its creation.
11. 1956 Dual Ghia
Not many are familiar with the Dual Ghia as the brand was only around for two years. The car manufacturers used to produce custom built convertibles based on the Chrysler platform. They were extremely exclusive, as only 117 were made, and most were owned by VIPs such as Frank Sinatra and Richard Nixon.
10. 1957 Imperial Crown
When it comes to iconic cars of the '50s, it is impossible not to talk about the 1957-1959 Chrysler Imperial Crown and its “forward look” design that paved the way for American cars over the next ten years. In its production, this car was produced with extreme attention to detail, and in nine years, only 132 units were produced!
9. 1958 Ford Edsel
Have you ever heard of Edsel? It was a division of the Ford brand, and it might be the most famous flop of the car industry. It was released in 1958, and although it was quite popular upon its release, sales quickly dwindled, with the American automakers explaining they released the wrong car at the wrong time as compact cars were beginning to be all the rage.
8. 1958 Packard
You might not be familiar with Packard, especially if you’re on the younger side, but this car manufacturer was once bigger than the likes of Cadillac and the symbol of luxury. The 1958 Packard was based on the Studebaker as both companies merged, but unfortunately, the company went bust the same year.
7. 1960 Chrysler Imperial Crown Limousine by Ghia
At a time when Cadillac and Lincoln/Continental were producing super luxurious vehicles, Chrysler came up with the Imperial Crown Limousine, showing that they too could produce high-end cars. Its main competitors were the Continental Mark II and the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham. Interestingly, this car was used by John Rockefeller for diplomatic transportation.
6. 1961 Chrysler 300G Coupe
Although the Chrysler 300G Coupe was released in the early '60s, its flamboyant design was based on the previous decade. This awesome looking elongated car and its fierce tail fins was sure to turn heads wherever it went, and it was quite the performer, too, with an engine able to deliver 400 horsepower.
5. 1963 Studebaker Avanti
The next car on our list is the 1963 Studebaker Avanti, which might just be the most memorable luxury car of the 1960s. This stylish fiberglass-bodied car featured a 298 Hawk Engine, and it is so loved by many car enthusiasts/entrepreneurs that it was still being made and sold until 2007!
4. 1963 Buick Riviera
The first-gen Buick Riviera was first released in 1963 and it featured the coke bottle look that was first introduced a year earlier by the Studebaker Avanti. The Riviera was an extremely popular choice at the time, and it remained in production for many years before being discontinued in 1999 after eight generations.
3. 1964 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk
How on Earth did the Studebaker brand die with such amazing looking cars? In fact, their vehicles were far more than just looks, as the American automakers were known to produce safe, modern cars that could match the style of European vehicles, such as the 1964 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk.
2. 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
In 1970, Chevy released the Monte Carlo, a personal luxury coupe based on the platform of the popular Chevelle. It came equipped with a V8 engine and was a decent performer, and the American automakers also offered a muscle car version of the Monte Carlo – the SS 454.
1. 1970 Lincoln Continental
The Lincoln Continental was extremely popular in the '60s, and in 1970, the American automakers released a more luxurious and comfy version that came equipped with the same 460 V8 engine. For some strange reason, this big American car hasn’t really caught on with many collectors, so you can still find one on the market for a pretty good price.