Pacific Palisades

1973 De Tomaso Pantera

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Designed by Tom Tjaarda, the Pantera featured exotic Italian styling coupled with a 5.8L Ford V8 engine. Ford imported around 5,500 Panteras between 1971 and 1975, selling them through their Lincoln-Mercury dealers. Early Panteras were notorious for their unreliability; Elvis Presley once shot a gun at his when it would not start.

Though Ford ceased importing Panteras after 1975, they were imported via the grey market through the 1980s. A total of 7,260 were sold between 1971 and 1992.

Pacific Palisades, CA

Photos by The Professor

1976 Cadillac Eldorado

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1976 Eldorados were promoted by Cadillac as the “last American convertible;” selling over 14,000 in total. However, Cadillac re-introduced the Eldorado convertible for the 1984 model year.

1976 was also the last year for the massive 8.2L V8 engine; the next year, a downsized 7.0L engine was introduced.

Pacific Palisades, CA

Photos by The Professor

1959 Messerschmitt KR200 Kabrio

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Made by the company far more famous for producing fighter jets for the German Luftwaffe during World War II, the KR200 “bubble car” was originally conceived as a result of temporary sanctions against aircraft manufacturing in the Messerschmitt factories. When the sanctions were lifted in 1956, the rights to the car were sold to a man named Fritz Fend, who established a company called Fahrzeug-und Maschinenbau GmbH Regensburg (FMR); hence the “FMR” logo on the hood of this microcar.

It produced all of 9.9 horsepower and was shorter than the wheelbase of a new Chevrolet Impala. The last picture shows a stark juxtaposition between the hulking Bronco and the diminutive Messerschmitt–it looks like a diecast model. Definitely a model for those with a secure self-image as their head sticks out a few feet above the top of the car.

Pacific Palisades, CA

Photos by The Professor