The transition from the 1950’s to the 1960’s was an exciting time in the automobile industry. It was the Kennedy era. It was a time when America and Europe saw great post war growth. It was a time when people were able to enjoy luxuries previous decades hadn’t seen. The automobile industry used this and began to redesign older, outdated models of cars and create sleek, stylish and luxurious new models. Car designs were more cutting edge. Performance was important. Sleek, aerodynamic designs were in style. Performance and luxury were what the people wanted in their cars. Jumbo luxury cars became popular and are still admired today by car enthusiasts.
Here are the top 5 jumbo luxury cars from the 60’s.
1963 Buick Riviera
General Motors design head, Bill Mitchell was so impressed with a custom designed Rolls Royce he saw on a trip to London that he was inspired to create the first American personal luxury car, the Buick Riviera. He wanted the car to be a cross between the Rolls Royce’s elegance and the Ferrari’s sportiness. In the meantime, General Motors wanted to create a revival of the Cadillac La Salle. The result was the new Buick Riviera. GM even hired a Madison Avenue advertisement agency to market the new luxury car just like on the AMC show Mad Men. The car’s body was called “coke bottle style” because the middle was tapered and tucked in. A limited amount of cars with 340 hp debuted in 1963. The car had four roomy seats with a center console dividing the front seat. The Buick came in vinyl, cloth or leather upholstery. Walnut inserts were an option. Other extra luxury options included a tilt steering wheel, power windows, power driver’s seat, air conditioning, a remote controlled side view mirror and white sidewall tires.
1961 Lincoln Continental
Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln division was in danger of closing down during the 1950’s. Designer Elwood Engel thought about reviving the Thunderbird but, instead, came up with the plans for the larger, luxury 4 door Lincoln Continental. The car will forever remain synonymous with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In 1961 the fourth generation Lincoln Continental debuted. The car was available as a four door sedan or as a convertible. The car’s body featured a central post with outward opening doors. The V8 engine was powerful yet smooth. Like the Thunderbird, the Lincoln Continental featured a tilt away steering column.
1964 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk
Studebaker’s 1964 coupe was both sporty and luxurious. In 1962 the automobile company began redesigning it’s GT Hawk to create a luxury sports car. Brooks Stevens was the head designer of the model. The new design still retained the Hawk’s grille but added a more pronounced radiator frame modeled after the Mercedes Benz. The 1950’s style tail fins and trim were eliminated to create a sleeker more aerodynamic design. The rear window was flat and recessed. Roomy bucket seats were upholstered in cloth or vinyl. The instruments were more modern, large and easier to read. The powerful V8 engine offered a powerful yet smooth luxurious ride.
1962 Cadillac Coupe de Ville
The Cadillac sedan was a popular car during the 1950’s. The luxury Cadillac Coupe de ville was redesigned, and the second generation debuted in 1961. The car was further redesigned the following year. The 1962 Cadillac Coupe de Ville had tail fins and lines were removed to create a smoother, more elegant style. A full width flat grille was added to the car. The Cadillac script appeared on the radiator grille at the lower left side. The car had five tubeless black wall tires, a remote controlled review mirror, a heater and defroster. It also featured front cornering lamps. Along with the elegant and spacious interior, the V8 engine provided a powerful and luxurious automobile.
1962 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II
Rolls Royce Limited manufactured the Silver model from 1955 through 1966. The second generation was named the Silver Cloud II. J.P. Blatchley was the head designer of the car. The model was very similar to the Bentley but had a unique radiator grille. The Silver Cloud II had a better V8 engine. The luxury automobile featured a sloped trunk and roomier interior. The exterior was regal with its grill and prominent headlights. The 1962 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II was the epitome of the jumbo luxury car.