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Class Leaders For their Time

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Comments

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,515
    edited April 2010
    When it wasn't exactly cheap when new. And a loaded Avalon is well into the mid 30s, higher still with tax here...makes buying new a tough call.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    We had a Town car as a loaner from the dealership year ago. I called it overdone Crown Vic.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,168
    I can certainly believe those R & T comments concerning the 380 SEL.

    I guess I'd forgotten that the MSRP also put it in a price class by itself in the U.S., somewhere between the domestic luxury cars and, say, the Rolls. Of course, the Rolls was no match for the SEL from a design and performance standpoint, price notwithstanding. The only areas where the RR may have trumped the SEL was in exclusivity and, to some wealthy, but automotively challenged types, prestige.

    The most direct competitor to the SEL in the U.S. may have been the large Jag sedan, but only to the uninformed.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,515
    edited April 2010
    I have the article sitting beside me...the cars they compare it to were the (base prices) 30K BMW 733i and the 25K XJ6. The BMW was the closest thing, the domestics had nothing even in the same galaxy. A period Rolls then seems like an early 1960s car with a new body...I think they cost about 75K in those days.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,168
    Yeah, of course, BMW. Detroit's engines and suspensions were woefully outclassed by the two leading German luxury brands. About the most you could say for the domestics was that they were competitive in transmissions, and ahead of the Germans in A/Cs. Maybe Cadillacs and Lincolns were more reliable in terms of electronics, but I don't have any numbers to support that perception.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,515
    I am sure the domestics had less troublesome electronics, due to simplicity if anything. We all know how the Germans like to be complex simply for the sake of complexity. However I don't think the period Germans were bad in that regard, so it was likely never a real issue.

    The Jag on the other hand...
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    ...were eyeing up a 1982 Rolls-Royce Camargue at Carlisle this past Saturday. I peeked under the hood to to see that complex hydraulic system engineered by Citroen of all people. I pity the fool who takes that white elephant home. Both the Germans and domestics had it over Rolls-Royce for reliability and simplicity.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,515
    I think it's been a long time since RR was ever a class leader, other than maybe plushness and status.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    They sure as heck aren't a style leader! That Phantom looks like it was styled in the Kenworth design studios! Funny that there are so many more plebian makes that are far more attractive than RR
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,515
    Those cars are all about "because I can afford it". It's that point where money and taste diverge. Old ones were better in that regard, they at least had some class. I don't see the Phantom as particularly classy.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    The only guys I see in today's Phantoms are NBA players and very successful rappers. Old RRs may have been extremely unreliable white elephants, but they had an aura of elegance that bespoke royalty or old money. Today's RRs are all about the bling.

    Old Phantom:

    image

    New Phantom:

    image
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,515
    Bling might be where RR leads today. It's kind of an old money vs new money idea.

    I've always thought the earlier Phantom V was strikingly elegant:

    image
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    Very nice car, but I thought this was more your taste?

    image
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,515
    That car was probably the period leader for technological complexity and excess.

    I wouldn't want a pullman model though, rather an early SWB version, like this nicely-tired example from a 1965 road test:

    image
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    ...would be my personal luxury dream ride:

    image
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,304
    edited April 2010
    The Alpina B7. I drove one for ten days and several thousand miles- including some hot laps at Motorsport Ranch in Texas.

    image

    It's big and comfortable, but it still handles great and runs 0-60 in 4.4 seconds and the quarter mile in 12.8@114 mph. It also has amazing stopping power; the brakes haul the 4,700 pound sled from 70-0 in just 165 feet(only four feet longer than my MS3, which weighs @1,500 pounds less). Top speed? 186 mph.

    image

    I want it back!!! :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,168
    For all their deficiencies, I'd categorize the MGs (TD and A, especially), Triumphs TR2, TR3, and TR4), Austin Healeys and Jaguars (XK120 and XKE, especially) as real trend setters. These gave a category of American car enthusiasts that might not have been into hot rods something to get excited about. Would there even have been Corvettes, Thunderbirds or Datsun/Nissan Zs without the British sports cars of the late '40s and '50s? Unlikely.

    Unfortunately, the advanced and relatively reasonably priced '61 XKE was the last competitive British model of that genre.
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This discussion has been closed.