The Personal Luxury Car was born in 1958 with the introduction of the larger Ford Thunderbird. It was distinctive, sat lower than any other domestic produced coupe at that time, and it actually sold better (much better I might add) that the distinctive two-seat T-Bird the year before. And this was in a down year for the industry as a whole. It took a little longer for the other competitors to answer the call of the Personal Luxury Coupe but Buick was the first to answer with the breathtaking 1963 Buick Riviera. Three years later, Oldsmobile introduced their radically new Toronado with a twist: Front Wheel Drive. And of course Cadillac had to have their own Personal Car in 1967, and the trend continued through the 70s. So let’s take a look at four Distinctive Personal Luxury Coupes of the 60s and see if they’re distinctive enough for you to enjoy. Let’s start with a Buick Riviera from 1963. This was the legendary follow-up to the successful Ford Thunderbird, and according to most of the Auto Journalists, this was a design that was earmarked for Cadillac at the time. When Cadillac refused it, Buick stepped in to claim the prize. According to the dealer:
1963 Buick Rivera 2 Dr. Hardtop, finished in Bronze Mist Poly, a factory color which was freshened a few years back. This is the 1st year made. Equipped with the 401- C.I. V-8, Automatic 2spd. Dyna flow transmission, factory radio, a/c, tilt, power steering, power brakes, all new factory correct dual exhaust…..very solid frame, undercarriage.
The interior boasts rear door release handles that the dealer states was a rare option, but I’m sure they were standard. Mileage shows 10,484, which might be really 110,484. This is a beautiful example of a first year Riviera, ans is relatively well equipped with the exception of the Buick Road Wheels. Asking price for this very nice Buick is $13,800, which is somewhat affordable for the condition of the car. See the listing here, and maybe you could spend time on the Riviera, this one. With the success of the Riviera, Oldsmobile wanted to get into the Personal Luxury Coupe game, only this time with a twist. The 1966 Toronado was Americas only Front-Wheel Drive car at the time of introduction, and it was a game changer. By 1968, the radical Toronado styling had been toned down to acceptable levels (i.e. derivative) with the hidden headlamps moved within the grill, and the option of having a vinyl covered roof. But the car was still fairly distinctive, with a true fastback roof, and an unconventional instrument panel. According the the dealer:
1968 Oldsmobile Toronado 68,068 original miles, “SAME OWNER” since 1969. In Original Jade Gold Poly finish with excellent charcoal deluxe fabric interior, 455 C.I. V-8 / 375 h.p – 3 spd. automatic trans. With power windows, locks, power antenna, tilt, cruise, rear blower defroster, “ICE COLD” factory a/c, new redwall tires, new power window motors, many new parts and servicing. Car includes a “Wonderbar” am/fm stereo, and excellent interior. All paperwork, documents, receipts including original Nebraska title. A solid and very collectible time capsule. Just serviced and gone through it runs and drives super. An all original #’s matching car.
With 68,000 miles and most of the major components serviced, this should be a car that you could live with for quite a while without having to break the bank to keep running. The asking price is a reasonable $14,975. See the dealer listing here, and tell me if this FWD Coupe is the Luxury Coupe of your dreams. With the major engineering completed by Oldsmobile on the Toronado, Cadillac saw an opportunity to offer a distinctive Personal Luxury Car without a lot of investment. So in 1967, the FWD Cadillac Eldorado Coupe was introduced to great fanfare, and was the first “Personal” Cadillac ever offered by the division. This 1969 model received a few updates from the original including the elimination of the hidden headlamps, and a more conservative set of wheel trims, but is essentially the same as when introduced. According to the dealer:
1969 Cadillac Eldorado 2 Dr. in Gorgeous new factory specified “Cotillion White” with a Crimson red leather bucket seat interior, 83,605 actual miles, full power options, newer tires, cold a/c, all operational. An original car recently serviced and completely gone through. This is a solid car, runs and drives excellent. Truly a survivor and fine example of the breed.
The engine under the massive hood of this Cadillac is a 472 CID V8 rated at 375HP. The only transmission offered was the three speed Automatic. Mileage shows 83,605 Miles, and the asking price for this nicely finished Eldorado is $15,975. So is this the Personal Luxury Car of your dreams? See the listing here. The Ford Thunderbird was the originator of this breed of Automobile, and went through 4 generations before most of the competitors caught up. The 1958-60 Thunderbirds are called the “Square Birds” to the bird afficinatos, while the 1961-63 Thunderbirds were called “Bullet Birds” because of their styling, 1964-66 Thunderbirds were called “Flair Birds”, and the 1967-71 generation were called the “Glamor Birds”. This is the last year “Glamor Bird”, before the Thunderbird grew into the “Big Bird” for 1972, and it is a very nice example, actually carrying off the Glamour name quite well. According to the dealer:
1971 Ford Thunder Bird 2 Dr. Hard Top. This T-BIRD is a true, original, 2 owner time piece, with only 6,900 documented original miles. It’s like new, NO, it is new top to bottom. Powered by a 429 C.I “Thunder Jet” 4V (#’s matching) V-8 engine/ with automatic transmission. The miles are verified by a State issued odometer statement dated April 2010. “Wimbledon White” with black, like new deluxe fabric / leather interior. Equipped with power windows, locks, power seat, factory A/C, am/fm stereo and much more. This car also includes: owners manual, original factory build sheet, and original parts catalog too! Always garaged when not driven. ONLY a fair weather driven car. Runs, drives and looks like a new car. See all of the nice pictures of a car that has cheated time. Clean title. Most likely the nicest, lowest mileage 1971 T-Bird in the world.
Asking price for this Thunderbird is $21,800, which is reasonable for a car with less than 10,000 miles. So, what do you think of this White Bird? See the dealer listing to see if this isn’t the best 1971 Bird on the planet. [poll id=”95″]