Luxury in the Malaise Era: Window Shop with Car and Driver

·2 min read
Photo credit: Car and Driver
Photo credit: Car and Driver

Irony in iron is what makes the American luxury cars of the 1970s and 1980s lovable. These were cars built with things like “opera windows,” “carriage lights,” and “landau roofs.” High-performance never really entered the conversation as they all seemed to have lazy, soporific, low-compression V-8 engines choked by primitive emission controls. Bolting up to those low-specific-output engines were three-speed automatic transmissions and suspensions tuned like mashed potatoes. To distract buyers from the mechanical deficiencies, most luxury cars of the era are as over-decorated as Liberace's home. Quality? Why bother?

The challenge on this week’s exciting (meh) episode of Window Shop was, apparently, to find a luxo-barge from this era that you could enjoy ironically like an old episode of Barnaby Jones or a lava lamp. The budget was $25,000 . . . which is enough to get something that superficially in good shape but horrible down to its dissolving marrow.

One the episode’s finest contributors actually was dinked for finding a car that was too good for the challenge. That’s right, he found a car someone might actually enjoy driving as opposed to one that could wallow to Cars and Coffee at the Ann Arbor Arby’s.

Yes, that would be the Ann Arby’s. Special guest Adam Wade, whose hair looks great runs a YouTube channel called “Rare Classic Cars" His channel is totally delightful, filled with tons of trivia, and this week he's joined by the usual gang of mumblers including Jonathon Ramsay who contributes, K.C. Colwell who plays the testing game, John Pearley Huffman who migrates over from Road & Track, and editor-in-chief Tony Quiroga who orders everyone around.

Is it a great time? Hey, what else are you doing anyhow?

You Might Also Like