There is something about it. Let me explain. When you take ingenuity and combine it with design, engineering, styling, power, mix in some physics and all you have to do is simply add gas, then you truly get an all-in-one package – a chromed out, two-toned, tail-finned classic car.
Most Americans have a love affair with their cars! I know I do. It started at a very young age with a Matchbox collection of which some have survived with me to this day. As an enthusiast and collector, it is an addictive hobby; one that drives the passion to be in constant pursuit of the next acquisition.
The data, websites, television shows, YouTube channels and rising popularity of car shows throughout the world underscore the prominent attraction of these creative classics.
Let’s take for example the 1960’s classic Lincoln Continental. A true timepiece. What separates this car from let’s say Harley Earl’s LeSabre, a quintessential American look in GM cars? Most designers, including that of the Lincoln Continental, truly believe that a car’s ability to transport people is only one area of its appeal. The other is in the design of the cars to attract consumers. Simply put, design works. It creates an excitement even in our present automotive market, yet the vintage cars are still highly sought after and turning heads everywhere on the roads.
Ok- back to the beloved Continental… In an age of optimism, the American concept of a unique design was different to the austere European models. Americans loved the long, wheel based, heavy framed structure with a soft ride and high powered engines that fueled the love of the driving experience.
However, it was the beginning of the end in the late 1960’s with the introduction of stricter safety regulations and gas shortages which curtailed the pending designs and led to smaller, more fuel efficient cars. Yet these designs caught and wildly excited the American consumer and increasingly became world famous examples of America’s singular preoccupation with automotive style and performance, as is so well demonstrated in the Continental.Jason Paynter is a classic car appraiser, collector and unabashed enthusiast. He is also author of the new book, Drop, Throttle, Oversteer: Collecting & Investing in Classic Cars, available at Amazon! He lives in Louisville, KY with his beautiful wife and three sons who are (heaven help him) almost all of driving age.