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AM Blog:
June 2010 (Archived)

Image: 1978 Cadillac SevilleNEW ONLINE:
1978 Cadillac Seville

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Post 2: Friday, June 25, 2010 5:50:35 PM

Image: 1979 Continental Mark V Collector's Series1979 Continental Mark V Collector's Series in Diamond Blue...did you even know such a thing existed? If you didn't, don't feel bad. Lincoln built just 197 of them in this color! Everything else was the same as the "standard" Collector's Series cars, except for the exterior paint color.

However, the Diamond Blue shade isn't the rarest color for the Collector's Series Marks. Only 125 were built in Silver. We've had the page for the Silver Collector's Series online for some time, but never got around to putting the Diamond Blue one online. So, we remedy that today.

Forthcoming will be a page on the White ones, but you already knew those existed, right? Have a good weekend everyone!

Friday, June 25, 2010 11:18:58 AM

Image: 1978 Cadillac Seville1978 Cadillac Seville represented the best sales year for the first generation 1976-1979 Seville. The Seville was outselling everything it competed with, from Mercedes-Benz to Lincoln Versailles. Changes were minimal for 1978, which makes them difficult to identify, but the confusion would expand the next year, as changes to the 1979 model were also virtually non-existent, as far as anything visual goes.

A new Elegante trim package option was introduced mid-year, which included a distinctive duo-tone exterior paint job in two different color combinations, and 40/40 front seats with a functional center console between them. A Diesel engine option was also offered at mid-year, allowing Seville to compete even better with the Mercedes. There were a few mechanical upgrades, and the usual shuffling around of interior and exterior colors, but why mess with success? Sales for the Seville would drop off after 1978, and a new body style was waiting for 1980.

Sunday, June 20, 2010 3:40:23 PM


Image: 1977 Cadillac SevilleAs our gift to you, we are previewing our latest classic car section today. We know there are a couple of Dads out there who have 1977 Cadillac Sevilles so consider this our gift to you on your special day. The 1977 Seville was little changed from 1976, but the changes made were good ones. A new grille was inspired by the after market grilles being installed on so many '76 Sevilles you rarely saw a stock one in some parts of the country. Four-wheel disc brakes were a significant improvement in braking ability, and a new factory AM/FM radio with Citizens Band jumped on the latest craze sweeping the country. (Cue up the song Convoy here...)

You could get a new Seville with a matching plain metal roof, or in any of 16 color-coordinated Tuxedo Grain padded vinyl roofs at no charge. There were some interesting demographics coming to light about the people buying Sevilles (see the Production Numbers/Specifications page for details). And, last but not least, a comparison between the Seville and the Lincoln Versailles. (Also on the Production page.) This preview is just for blog readers, so enjoy, we'll make the announcement to the rest of the world tomorrow...and Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 18, 2010 6:31:53 PM

Image: 1976 Cadillac Seville1976 Cadillac Seville was Cadillac's first smaller luxury car, designed to do battle with the luxury imports from Mercedes, Jaguar, and BMW, which were beginning to make inroads into the American luxury car market share. No one really understood the attraction at the time, due to the rather boring exterior styling, plain interiors with firm (hard) seats, and high price tag. After the gas shortage of late 1973-early 1974, Cadillac knew it was time to do something.

Cadillac's first entry into the smaller luxury market was a sensation. Styling was conservative but distinctive, and different enough from the typical Cadillac to stand out. Interior luxury was in a league way ahead of the imports, as were the luxury features and special Cadillac touches not available on the imports. Powered by a 350 CID V-8 built by Oldsmobile, Cadillac fitted the Seville with electronic fuel injection which made performance lively.

The Seville took Lincoln by surprise, as it had nothing that even came close that it could compete with. This put Lincoln Division on a mission to rush its new smaller car to market. The Versailles debuted in 1977, and sold well during its short first year, but sales dropped off for 1978, forcing Lincoln to make more changes to disguise the car's modest beginnings. The Seville had rather modest beginnings as well, but Cadillac did a better job of covering it up!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 6:26:41 PM

Image: 1970 Ford Thunderbird Tridon Show Car1970 Ford Thunderbird Tridon Shown Car was a show stopping design. It was based on the production 1970 Thunderbird Two Door Hardtop, which had the Sportsroof sloping rear roof design. The Tridon featured a tinted roof panel that stretched from one side of the roof to the other. It is said that this design was the inspiration for the Brushed Aluminum Wrapover Tiara and opera window design introduced on the 1977 Thunderbird Town Landau model. Other custom designs on the Tridon included fully enclosed rear wheels, concealed headlamps, and a high back bucket seat interior with full-length center console, upholstered in synthetic lambs wool!

Very little has been published about this concept car, and we think it was certainly one of the more daring designs introduced by Ford over the years. Since we just published information on the 1970 Lincoln Dual Cowl Phaeton, we thought this would be a nice addition to the site as well, and would give you the chance to compare the two designs. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 13, 2010 8:09:27 AM

Image: 1970 Continental Mark III Dual Cowl Phaeton Show Car1970 Continental Mark III Dual Cowl Phaeton Show Car marked the return of the hot rod Lincoln and was a big hit touring the auto show circuit during 1970-1971. The car was neither a dual cowl nor a phaeton, and it had stock running gear hidden beneath its custom body. but it was racy looking with red band tires, special wheels, and a two tone prismatic silver metal flake and charcoal gray metallic custom paint job.

A red leather and corduroy interior and a rear windshield that was attached to the front seat backs made this concept car really stand out when on display. A styling excercise, it was never seriously considered for production, but it did test public reaction to future designs being considered.

Post 2: Saturday, June 12, 2010 12:53:37 PM

Back in 2007, we ran a contest on the Top 100 Automotive Innovations and to compile the list, we took nominations from site visitors. Once we got to 100, we closed the nominations, and allowed everyone to vote on their favorite three innovations. A guy named Joe Moore won the contest by matching the top three and the $100 prize. We published the winner's information on Labor Day, Monday, September 3, 2007, but somehow failed to identify the winning innovations! (Oops.) We just received an E-mail from Joe asking when the winning innovations were going to be announced. Well, we honestly thought they already had been!

Thanks for the heads up, Joe. We guess the Top 10 Automotive Innovations update got lost in outer space somewhere. At any rate, it's online now just a short couple of years later and we thought we'd post this for those who participated in the contest (we had over 1,000 nominations submitted!). It's interesting to see what people considered the top innovations, and which ones won. We're sorry we dropped the ball. Have a good weekend, everyone!

Saturday, June 12, 2010 10:08:03 AM

Image: 1975 Chrysler Imperial Crown Coupe1975 Chrysler Imperial
This represented the end of the line for the Imperial. For years, Chrysler's finest motorcar fought a good battle but lost coming in a distant third in sales in the domestic luxury car market. Long admired by automotive writers and testers, the Imperial was respected as among America's finest, but wasn't able to effectively compete with Cadillac and Lincoln. Imperial's all-new styling for 1974 made it one of the most beautiful cars on the road, but sales were disappointing, and dropped even further for 1975. Sadly, near the end of the model year, two respected publications ranked Imperial as the best choice in American luxury cars, and the 1975 Imperial came in second worldwide, behind Mercedes Benz. It was too late to change Imperial's fate, however.

But instead of retiring peacefully, the Imperial appeared in Chrysler showrooms and on brochure covers for 1976—as New Yorker Broughams! Now, the New Yorker was certainly not an entry-level automobile, but it was more on a par with the Buick Electra 225 or Oldsmobile Ninety Eight. Nevertheless, the Imperial became the New Yorker, standard features were made optional, and the base price was slashed. The end result was a huge increase in sales. The decision was a good one for Chrysler's bottom line, but disappointing to Imperial devotees at the time. Read all about it in the 1975 Imperial section.

Post 2: Tuesday, June 08, 2010 1:59:40 PM

The Showroom: Our latest is a Lime Gold Metallic 1969 Ford Thunderbird Fordor Landau. Great original condition, black Alligator-grain vinyl roof, and RARE black Brougham Cloth bucket seat and console interior. This body style and seating configuration is the rarest of the year in a T-bird.

This car is loaded with almost everything except for a power sunroof, power windows, and rear lamp monitor. It does have Tilt-Away steering wheel, speed control, reclining passenger seat, power door locks, overhead warning lights, AM/8-track, rear window defogger, Automatic Climate Control, deluxe wheel covers, and more. Check it out if you've been looking for a 4-door T-bird.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010 9:30:03 AM

Image: 1974 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron CoupeIMPERIAL 1974 is now online! Unknown to many at the time, Chrysler never intended to build an Imperial after 1973. Due to slow sales, Chrysler's product planners couldn't justify continuing to spend money on such a low volume car. While work was being completed on other 1974 models, the Imperial was intended to be quietly discontinued at the end of the 1973 model year. The chance viewing of a waterfall grille on a designer's drawing board by a Chrysler executive resuscitated the Imperial for 1974, and put it on the fast track for introduction with the other 1974 Chrysler models, which were well ahead of the Imperial in the design stage.

What rolled off the assembly lines in the fall of 1973 were perhaps the finest Imperials ever built. Perhaps not as unique as in years past, but still very distinctive, very luxurious, and very rare. Imperial's third place spot in the premium luxury market was predictable, but sales were disappointing even by Imperial standards for a year when the Imperial was all new, and Cadillac and Lincoln weren't. It's an interesting story that extended Imperial's life cycle for a brief period. We hope you enjoy reading about the 1974 Imperial.

Thursday, June 03, 2010 7:22:00 AM


As of May 31, 2010, has been online for ten years. We've actually been online longer than that, but that was the date we registered our domain name and made it official. Over the years, the site has changed appearance, had several logos, moved to new servers, upgraded servers and improved performance, and expanded the assortment of classic cars to be covered on the site.

What started out as a personal luxury car site dedicated to the Ford Thunderbird, Buick Riviera, Oldsmobile Toronado, Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado, and Continental Mark III, IV, and V has now grown to other luxury and specialty models. We want to tell the story of the American luxury car during its most significant era—the nineteen fifties through the nineteen seventies. This was the period when full sized American luxury cars were the envy of the world. They were big, stylish, and at times over-decorated and of questionable quality. But they were admired the world over, and having one in your driveway or being seen in one was a symbol of success.

These cars are rolling works of art. And they should be preserved for the American treasures that they are. Just as a great building or monument is recognized for its role in our history, it should be noted that America would not have succeeded as it has were it not for the American automobile. The automobile allowed people to travel great distances and see friends, family, and places that they likely wouldn't have seen without a car. And the luxury cars made those outings even more special by pampering its occupants in the finest fabrics and with the latest conveniences. The American luxury car was a part of the family, and often given a name to suit its personality (or that of its owner). It was a part of family reunions, weddings, and the transitions a family experiences. It always waited nearby, ready to take us from where we were to where we were going.

The American luxury car is a part of our history, it helped to define our culture, and memories of those big, sleek machines gliding along the nation's roads are etched forever in the minds of generations. Automotive Mileposts celebrates the American luxury car, and we thank all of you for coming along for the ride. You have been so loyal for so long, despite periods when we had to rework pages to make them display better, which put us behind schedule on publishing new information.

In the big scope of things, our 10 years is no big deal, and since our anniversary happened to fall on the same day as a more important American holiday, we felt we should wait a day or two for this announcement. Again, thank you for your support and we look forward to more great things in the years to come.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010 8:20:30 AM

For sale in The Showroom: 1964 Ford Thunderbird Convertible in RARE Samoan Coral with white top and black vinyl interior. Wire wheels, Tonneau Cover, factory air (needs recharging or repair), power windows, power driver's seat, reclining passenger seat, etc. Nice original condition with original paint. Seller advises no rust, ever. Recent top and tires. If you've been waiting for a stand out sixties Thunderbird Convertible to come along, this could be it! A previous owner installed a '66 taillamp assembly, so the car isn't 100% correct, but could be restored back to original appearance with a little effort.

Post 2: Tuesday, June 01, 2010 12:17:41 PM sets new traffic record for May 2010! Thanks to all of our faithful readers, AM has set a new traffic record for the third month in a row. Our traffic was up .6% for the month of May, and is up a whopping 36.7 percent since February. We couldn't do it without you, thank you very much!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010 7:00:49 AM

It's hard to believe June is already here. The classic car events are well underway now, and we hope everyone is coming along with the projects they had scheduled for this year. We're currently working on the 1974 Imperials, and they have an amazing story to tell. The May 2010 Blog has been archived, but is available by clicking the link in the left column. Have a good week everyone!

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