Theme: Special – Curbside Classics Covers Special Editions

I just love Curbside Classics. They produce fascinating nuggets of US automotive history with a fond yet critical attitude. The comments are unusually good as well.

1976 Oldsombolile Delta 88 Royal Crown Landau:
1976 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royal Crown Landau:

Further, they seem to have access to the catalogues of GM, Chrysler and Ford if the detail on the technical specifications are anything to by. This article deals with ten obscure special models. I notice that their use of the term applies to what I’d call trim variants that had their own badging and equipment. In Europe “special” seems to imply a plastic sticker and some cloth upholstery of questionable taste.

1989 Lincoln MkV1 Signature Series: wikipedia
1989 Lincoln MkV1 Signature Series: wikipedia

I notice that in the US trim designations had the habit of becoming standard models. Furthermore the designation could even become a model in its own right. The Cutlass name was once the top trim of the Olds F-85 and then went on to become a model in its own right. Then the name was attached to a variety of quite different vehicles. The 1959 Continental Mk IV´s top trim was the Town Car and this was true for the Mk V as well, referring to the highest interior trim option. In 1981 the Town Car became a stand alone model. I can´t think of an equivalent car from Europe. Can you?

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

23 thoughts on “Theme: Special – Curbside Classics Covers Special Editions”

  1. Lincoln is even more layered in that the Continental was a model that became a brand that became a model. For European equivalents of that I suppose one can look at Jaguar that was a model that became a brand. Oh, and DS – but we hardly ever mention Citroen on these pages, do we?

    1. The Jaguar took the place of the SS brand which for some reason lost its appeal. The DS is perhaps close yet I feel it´s not the same as there is no continuity. Still, it´s a good suggestions. We never talk about Citroen here, do we?

    2. No, we don’t like talking about Citroen. For me, it’s self-consciousness that I’ve never mastered the ASCII code to produce the tréma over the e in order to produce ë. I’d rather ignore them than mis-spell them.

    3. I can think of two examples from Europe:

      One comes from a car maker almost unbeknownst to this site, called Citroën. Its BX estate was sometimes (?) called “Evasion” in France. After its demise, the name was recycled for their MPV (which on The Islands had to be rebaptised to “Synergy”.

      The other one is the Fox. This name went from a special series of the Polo to a regular trim level to a model. Wisely, they discarded the name when a successor was introduced, as it was too stained by the poor motor it was attached to.

    4. “BX estate was sometimes (?) called “Evasion” ”

      sometime – no ‘s’ needed here.

    5. You mean ‘sometime’ as in ‘at some point in time’ and not ‘sometimes’ as in ‘occasionally’? That would be a sensible explanation, although the one with the ‘s’ woudn’t surprise me with Citroën.

  2. Curbside Classics is indeed a great site, that I ought to look at more. The link you gave above drew my attention to the Oldsmobile Toronado XS, whose rear window I’ve not seen before.

    1. Yes you can. Right click on the picture, select ‘Copy image location, paste the link – just make sure the address ends in .jpg and most times it will work.

    2. I can’t help but think of the corners of my aquarium.

      Laurent is correct (as always) but my preference is to store the image in our media library first, then link to that. This is based on my assumption that, whereas all other sites are transient, DTW will stand the test of time, and I wish to ensure that, when website antiquarians look at this site in future centuries, they will view it in its intact glory.

    3. Indeed that’s the best way, for posterity. Is it possible to do that without saving the picture locally (i.e. on one’s hard-drive) first?

    4. That’s a good point, and I don’t think you can, though I store the images on my hard drive anyway, for posterity.

    1. Actually, I do. With that and the motorhome, I fear you might get the wrong idea about me. Or maybe I’ve got the wrong idea about me. I did buy a Bryan Ferry Album … once.

  3. That ad for the Landau coupe is terrific. In maroon, too. With ‘hood ornament’. What a car.

    1. well, I’m no big fan of Ferry’s career outside Roxy Music but one of his covers albums, “As time goes by”, is a perennial favourite. can’t recommend it enough, especially for listening while driving an old American saloon or sipping some g&t.

    2. I liked Bryan Ferry when I assumed there was a knowing irony to his covers but ‘as time went by’ I began to suspect it was serious.

  4. Simon: bravo on your answer to the question of “trim-to-model” transformation in Europe. I don’t know this “citreon” brand though. I’ll Google it!

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