The cavalcade of car makers that has called the U.S. home is long and rich in history. Some have survived to this day, while many more have fallen beneath the wheels of questionable planning or a fickle buying public. The ‘Auto Industry’ here in the States is composed of a small number – the questionably anointed Big Three – and a fair number of beachhead import makers. Over the years, there have also been the odd one-off makers that have attempted to join the ranks of the survivors, and not the trash heap of the failed.
Sadly, few have succeeded.
Most of the boutique car makers have started with someone else’s car – letting them do all the development heavy lifting – and then personalizing it with their own, well, personal stamp of individuality. Zimmer, Clenet, Excalibur, Panoz, Muntz, the list is nearly endless. And many of these can still be bought today, even though most of their makers have gone the way of Elvis.
Some of the American boutique makers are neo-classics, typically bought by people who have columns in front of their houses, and statuary with visible genitalia. Others are cars the are one thing but look like another- such as the 308-aping Mera, which turns out to be a Fiero under its fiberglass skin. With so many from which to choose, it may be hard to settle on a favorite, but I know each of you has one that is held close to your heart. My personal one is North American, but not U.S. – and that’s the 289 Cobra emulating Aurora. That uber-limited production car even tried to bring the AC-based roadster into the modern era by trying to meet full-on safety standards. A noble, but ultimately bankrupting goal. That’s mine, but what’s yours? What’s your favorite boutique American car?
Image source: [ Cartype.com]
Thanks to Longroofian for the question idea.
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