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HarleyEarl

American Luxury in 1961

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American luxury cars in 1961. Cadillac and Imperial still had the futuristic, jet finned look while Lincoln went completely minimalistic. That Lincoln design signalled the end of unique, dynamic, futuristic, in your face, American automotive design.

caddy61yx7.jpg

61imperialuz8.jpg

lincoln61sedanca2.jpg

Edited by HarleyEarl
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Not a huge fan of the '61 & up Lincs- too bland in profile, tho the grille texture is wonderful.

Both GM & ChryCo hiccuped in '61-62 IMO, tho the Impy was in the '57 vein body-wise, I've never been sure what happened in the Cadillac studio, where the graceful smoothness of the '60 disappeared to. '61-62 Cadillacs have a plethora of creases and the front end is relatively 'mid-priced' in design. They're not bad designs, just not up to period Cadillac standards.

What's not to love about the over-the-top Impy: free-standing headlights, huge shark fins w/ gunsight taillights, push-button trans & a square steering wheel. Fantastic.

I would have to rank them purposely:

1. Imperial

3. Cadillac

7. Lincoln

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That Caddy interior design still holds up amazingly well some 47 years later.

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What's not to love about the over-the-top Impy: free-standing headlights, huge shark fins w/ gunsight taillights, push-button trans & a square steering wheel. Fantastic.

I would have to rank them purposely:

1. Imperial

3. Cadillac

7. Lincoln

Have to agree with you on the Imperial. What other country or culture would design and actually produce something so wonderful? So uplifting. Only in America. Someone actually thought of those crazy headlights and it was greenlighted. Love it.

Imperial Le Baron

impy61lebaronfn1.jpg

Edited by HarleyEarl
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I agree on the Imperial...it's a great design.

Chris

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Cadillac, Imperial & Lincoln interiors:

cadillac61interiorba3.jpg

imperial61interiorsbf3.jpg

lincoln61interiorka8.jpg

Nice hat, lady - hope you win!

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Imperial, please! Too bad they went kind of bland & boring after '64. Well, at least until '68. Not a big fan of the Imperial dash, though. Somebody was trying too hard at symmetry, IMO. The Caddy dash aged better.

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I'd rank 'em

1 Lincoln

2 Cadillac

3 Imperial

To me, the '61 Imperial looks too '50s with the fins and the free standing headlights are over the top in wierd, IMHO. Interesting nonetheless, though. But I just love the clean, crisp design of the Lincoln..very understated with minimal brightwork, a break from the '50s and the beginning of an uniquely '60s design trend...the Caddy is very crisp and angular, also an improvement over the '50s looking '60, IMHO.

Styling was pretty diverse back then--no one would ever confuse an Imperial for a Cadillac or a Lincoln or vice versa...

Edited by moltar
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Here's a stunning example of the '61 Imperial. Wow.

wow61sq7.jpg

That takes my breath away...wonderful.

Thanks for posting these pics...

Chris

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Why does it have the NATO logo on the trunk? :smilewide:

2qu3loi.jpg

Interesting..it was a product of its times...cool space age cold war design..

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I am going to repeat moltie's ranking of these three, when seen together. What a startling contrast between the three. The Lincoln defines the word elegance and conveys a quiet, confident, wealthy air with no trace of pretense. The Cadillac comes in at #2 for me, as it appears to be a car in transition. The Imperial, as imposing as it is, just looks outdated when viewed next to its contemporaries.
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It is interesting the very different design themes given they came out in the same year. The Cadillac and Imperial sharing only fins and Cadillac's were quite small by this time. Blu you are right, the Imperial does date when put up against the other two. On it's own, I like it alot. The Lincoln is really quite 'radical', completely stripped down design, in complete opposition to it's recent past. I tend to like clean design so I like the Lincoln but I still like the traditional, brash, American approach to car design better. It created some very memorable cars over many years.

cad61ui7.jpg

lincoln61ss0.jpg

imperial61ei1.jpg

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In an age where we're now forced to choose what color jellybean we like the best, I would argue that all three of these cars are equally cool for different reasons. There was no mistaking any of them for one another, which can't be said for hardly anything today. What I wouldn't give to have lived in a time when these cars were on the road in daily use.

PCS: that photo of the Packard factory in your signature makes me sad

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PCS: that photo of the Packard factory in your signature makes me sad

It pains me as well, but if we don't wake up as a nation and fight to keep our car industry and manufacturing base healthy, there will be many cities with buildings that look like this. In Delaware our Chrysler plant closed down for good on Friday 12/19/08. During the Korean war, that plant built tanks for the US Army, and was currently building the Dodge Durango & Chrysler Aspen. How long before the GM's Wilmington Delaware plant joins them?

Our local Philadelphia ABC news outlet Channel 6 reported on the event, check out who is sponsoring the report when you view it, she should pop up on the screen.

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=...&id=6564059

Here's another pic of it.

24gophw.jpg

And what it looked like circa 1956.

b49qts.jpg

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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At least that doorway you posted gets to be saved: the Packard museum in Ohio bought it at auction earlier this year for $161,000 and will be on display in the future. Another similar doorway was also recently purchased by the Packard Proving Grounds association and will be displayed there. It's a shame that area is just so completely devastated that all the old automobile factories can't be retrofitted for offices and apartments (I come from a city full of cotton mills from the Industrial Revolution that have been retrofitted as such with great success) and will eventually be torn down.

I also still remember hearing the news back in 1989 that the General Motors/Fisher Body plant in Framingham, Massachusetts would be closed. Now it's just a huge warehouse for ADESA, the auction giant.

As a lifelong New England resident, I still dream of happening upon a numbers-matching Framingham-built GTO in a barn/backyard/garage.

Edited by XP715
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As a fan of architecture, the destruction of Detroit as a city is the rape of the century in terms of destroying our heritage.

Sad, really.

Chris

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Thanks for the pic, keep posting....

Chris

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Here is the same entrance - from the inside

161aypd.jpg

Here's the best part: the Packard factory/corporate headquarters - all 3,500,000 square feet of it - can be yours for just $13,000,000!

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We don't build buildings like that anymore. Wow, that must have been so...elegant and classy in its day.

I wish I had $13 mil to blow, plus the rahab costs...

Chris

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As a fan of architecture, the destruction of Detroit as a city is the rape of the century in terms of destroying our heritage.

Sad, really.

Chris

Chris, I've never been to Detroit and I'm Canadian, but I have read enough to be equally sad.

We are seeing the shift in eras. Historical times. Most people don't give it enough importance.

When I see photos of industrial areas empty and crumbling, it gives me painful melancholy.

I think its dangerous in the longterm for a country to lose manufacturing capabilities.

gmfleetwoodzu9.jpg

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