Curbside Classic Outtakes: An American In Paris And The Ugly American

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer
curbside classic outtakes an american in paris and the ugly american

OK, I know there are a lot of American car lovers all over Europe, and finding a Mustang and Corvette is not that big a deal. But seeing American cars out of context never fails to make an impression on me, as it did when I was a kid in Austria: they just look out of place here. This early Corvette looked like it was a 12/10 version, fighting to make progress through a sea of little hatchbacks. I could see the driver sawing at the big wheel, and the burble of the V8 would makes this a ’55. A handsome beast among the natives, and a refreshing change. Unlike the other one:

I guess it was inevitable. Too bad it wasn’t parked in front of a Smart, instead of the delivery van. Someone doesn’t mind paying close to $300 for a fill up.

This Chrysler coupe on the other hand looks almost right at home, at least scale-wise. But then it was designed for a time of high oil prices, which has always defined the difference between the Europeans from the Americans.

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  • Ciddyguy Ciddyguy on Oct 07, 2010

    Back in the early 60's, my Dad, Air Force, got transferred to Germany and eventually to Scotland and when they left Jacksonville Fla in I think 1961 to fly to Germany, they decided to get a newer car to take with them across the Atlantic and bought a gently used 1960 Dodge Dart Seneca, a 2 door coupe if I recall my Mom telling me correctly (At the time they were still driving their 1955 Merc if I recall) and the reason was my Dad thought with 3 little girls, it would be much safer to tool around Europe in that big US car rather than get a car in Europe as they were so small in comparison, heck much smaller than the smallest cars made today over there if I'm not mistaken to a degree. Anyway, it did serve my Mom well while in Germany as some of the male drivers over there thought they could cut her off and since she had that HUGE car, well, guess who won? :-) If you guessed my Mom, you'd be more than right as she was not about to let a little German arrogance get between her and her destination, LOL. They drove that car up through Switzerland on their way to Scotland a year later and lived on the economy in the little town of Prestwick until being transferred back to Jacksonville in 1964. They replaced the Seneca with a '64 Dodge 330 station wagon (new) for the long drive out here to Washington St where we all still live late that summer. But even then, there were a fair amount of American cars plying the roads of Europe for a variety of reasons and I'm sure some of them were military owned fleet cars.

  • OliverTwist OliverTwist on Oct 07, 2010

    If you travel to Switzerland, you will see many more American cars there. My family and I visited my aunt in Zürich in 1982: we went to a suburban town outside Zürich for shopping. What astounded me the most was about one out of three cars there were American. Even the Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Cadillac, and Chevrolet models with full ECE compliance (flagpole mirrors, taillamps with amber turn signal indicators, etc.). In Paris, I saw several Lincoln Town Car limousines, including the latest model. One of them had taillamps with amber turn signal indicators (which is not OEM from Ford but custom-made). The most popular American vehicles in Germany are Ford Mustangs as well as the pick-up trucks with Dodge Ram (Cummins diesel version) as more popular than Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-Series.

  • TheEndlessEnigma $150k for GM build quality. $150k for GM parts and material quality. Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • Rusty The panther platform is one of the greatest vehicles platforms ever produced. This author is a moron.
  • Bullnuke It may be awhile before these show up on US shores. The MV Fremantle Highway has just started demo/reconstruction in Rotterdam after the large fire when transporting its last shipment of electric Porsche products.
  • Fie on Fiasler Big, fast and thirsty does not equal good. True luxury is not cobbled together by the UAW.
  • Inside Looking Out I see it as gladiator races - only one survives in virtual world.