By on June 24, 2014

It’s possible that the Ghia-built 1957-58 Crown Imperial limousine was Chrysler’s effort to show the other members of the Big 3 automakers that they too could sell an extravagantly assembled and appointed ultra-luxury car and lose big money on each and every unit they sold, just as Ford did with the Continental Mark II and the General Motors did with the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham. More likely, though, Chrysler executives saw the Imperial limos as carrying on a nameplate that had graced Chrysler’s most elegant and exclusive cars since the 1920s. Perhaps more than the other big Detroit automakers, Chrysler had a reputation for innovative engineering and it used that reputation to give the Imperial some cachet. The Hemi engine, disc brakes, power steering and the Powerflite, Chrysler’s first automatic transmission, were first offered on the Imperial. Still, as the 1950s went on, Cadillac’s dominance in the luxury class went from strength to strength. Though Packard fell by the wayside, Chrysler managers soldiered on with the company’s luxury marque. (Read More…)

By on November 9, 2010

Calling a car from this period a monster is not exactly uncommon or uncalled for. But what if its own daddy called it that? Virgil Exner, the father of the definitive automotive fins created a sensation in 1957 when they appeared on the all-new “Suddenly it’s 1960” models. With a straight face, Exner then claimed they were rooted in aerodynamics and highly functional. But with the ’57s he painted himself into a corner; there was no where further to go with them except ever greater absurdity, quickly turning them into caricatures of themselves. Even Exner admitted as much: “by 1959, it was obvious that I’d given birth to a Frankenstein”. I credit him for his honesty, if not good taste. (Read More…)

By on January 1, 2010

fins in SF

I could spend three life-times finding Curbside Classics on the streets of San Francisco. Last time here, before I started this series, I found a running Fiat 600 Multipla parked on the street. Does that give you a fair idea of the potential? On the other hand, I get annoyed by the city’s traffic and parking, so I don’t spend anymore time then necessary there. But on New Year’s Eve morning, we bopped into an almost dead town for some time at Fort Mason and the waterfront. I wasn’t really looking to shoot anything, but then there it was, sitting in front of a purple building. For a moment, I thought I might have found a very elusive ’57 model, but until that appears somewhere, this ’58 will do, quite well. (Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • Re: Shattered! When Rental Cars Go (Sort Of) Wild

    FreedMike - Yep, I remember applying to Enterprise too. I wasn’t into athletics, so that was it for my potential employment there. No big loss…the...
  • Re: Ace of Base: 2017 Honda Odyssey LX

    tjh8402 - Minivans are truly vehicles that make your life easier. Every family, one with kids, one empty nester, and one with grand kids, has felt the same way. They all...
  • Re: Ace of Base: 2017 Honda Odyssey LX

    profk24 - The EX was really the value play on this gen Odyssey, IMO. Our EX has stuff that the typical minivan buyer would view as a must–power doors, 3-zone auto...
  • Re: Shattered! When Rental Cars Go (Sort Of) Wild

    tjh8402 - Jack your Amex Platinum can include Primary rental car insurance but you have to opt in through Amex and pay extra. This list is a bit outdated...
  • Re: Ace of Base: 2017 Honda Odyssey LX

    dchturbo - Minivans are where it’s at for practicality. You can fit a lot more stuff into one than into a minivan-based SUV. And they’re the best for...
  • Re: Ace of Base: 2017 Honda Odyssey LX

    OldManPants - “sorry.” Being Arbiter of the Universe means you never have to say that.
  • Re: Ace of Base: 2017 Honda Odyssey LX

    dchturbo - They are actually pretty similar vehicles, overall. I’d say it gets down to which one do you like driving more. My girlfriend was adamant about NOT...
  • Re: Ace of Base: 2017 Honda Odyssey LX

    PrincipalDan - (quietly raises hand…) It’s a bread box with wheels, it ought to have some good HP numbers so it can get out of its own way. (Yeah I’m...
  • Re: No Fixed Abode: The Final Frontier

    Kato - Sure, but it’s a lot shorter and way nicer to drive. A hitch rack is a PITA with a top-hinged tailgate, but they make hinged racks that swing out of the...
  • Re: 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman S Review – The New Classic Rock

    Chris FOM - Right, that was my point. Eric said Brian Johnson replacing Bon Scott was the most successful frontman replacement in rock music....

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote


  • Contributors

  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Seth Parks, United States
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Kyree Williams, United States