1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Convertible

1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible
1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible

1972 was the last year for the classic second-generation Cutlass, and the last year of the Cutlass convertible until it was revived in 1990. Despite this, it was the best-selling convertible in America, with 11,571 sold out of 298,881 Cutlass Supremes total that year.

Cheviot Hills, CA

Photos by The Professor

2012 Aston Martin Cygnet

2012 Aston Martin Cygnet 2012 Aston Martin Cygnet 2012 Aston Martin Cygnet 2012 Aston Martin Cygnet

Stolid and unassuming, this ugly duckling may be one of the rarest cars I’ve ever come across in the wild. Some executive in Warwickshire evidently thought it would be a grand idea to take a £11,000 city car, slap on an Aston Martin badge and a fancy interior, and sell it for £32,000. That’s $51,000. For a Toyota iQ. It’s no wonder this project fell flat on its face, as the quota of 4,000 sales a year was never even approached. And by never approached, I mean it was never even in the realm of possibility. In three years of marketing this car, Aston Martin shifted fewer than 150 units. That’s 50 a year. Take the Bugatti Veyron, for example–the most expensive, most exclusive supercar the world has ever known. Bugatti capped production of this engineering masterpiece at 450 units, to ensure rarity. That’s still three times as many Veyrons on the road as Cygnets. So if any of you happen to live in London and you spot one puttering past, snap a photo–they won’t be around for long.

London, England

Photos by The Professor

1977 Volkswagen Beach Buggy

1977 Volkswagen Beach Buggy1977 Volkswagen Beach Buggy1977 Volkswagen Beach Buggy1977 Volkswagen Beach Buggy

 

The 1977 is an educated guess based on the license plate, but in all honesty I have no idea what year this (car?) is, nor do I know who manufactured it.

The beach buggy craze was ignited by the introduction of the Meyers Manx in 1965, which was created by Bruce Meyers and made by crafting a custom fiberglass body and placing it on a shortened Volkswagen Beetle chassis. Since Meyers’ design was ruled unpatentable, other companies jumped onto the bandwagon and started to churn out their own fiberglass buggies. It’s estimated that over 250,000 copies of the Manx were produced, including the one pictured here. This ultimately crippled Manx’s company, which folded in 1971.

This particular example was spotted in the California beach town of Venice, an appropriate location for the quintessential beach car.

Venice, CA

Photos by The Professor

 

1987 Merkur XR4Ti

1987 Merkur XR4Ti 1987 Merkur XR4Ti 1987 Merkur XR4Ti 1987 Merkur XR4Ti

Part of a failed venture by Ford to introduce some of its European-market Fords to the United States, Merkurs were targeted towards European luxury buyers. The brand lasted just five years and shifted fewer than 70,000 units, consigning it to the depths of the automotive doldrums. The clumsily-named XR4Ti was an attempt to market the award-winning European Ford Sierra XR4i to American buyers. However, the unfamiliar brand name and inflated price (over $36,000 adjusted to 2014 dollars) caused the car to be a massive flop, with just over 42,000 sold in five years. It’s quite rare to spot one on the road, and even rarer that someone notices its rarity, as its rather anonymous 80’s styling is easily forgettable.

Interlochen, MI

Photos by James Kennerly

1954 Packard Patrician

1954 Packard Patrician 1954 Packard Patrician 1954 Packard Patrician 1954 Packard Patrician 1954 Packard Patrician 1954 Packard Patrician 1954 Packard Patrician

The last real flagship of the famed Packard line, the 1954 model was the last to boast Packard’s straight eight engine before  a new V8 was introduced with the 1955 restyle. Just 2,760 found buyers in 1954, showcasing the decline of the Packard marque, which would disappear after 1958.

El Segundo, CA

Photos by The Professor

 

 

1965 Chrysler New Yorker

1965 Chrysler New Yorker 1965 Chrysler New Yorker 1965 Chrysler New Yorker 1965 Chrysler New Yorker 1965 Chrysler New Yorker 1965 Chrysler New Yorker

The 1965 New Yorker was a fresh redesign penned by Chrysler’s chief stylist Elwood Engel, with many styling features resembling the famed 1961 Lincoln Continental, also designed by Engel. 21,110 buyers sprang for the sedan in 1965, no doubt attracted by the 340 horses under the hood.

El Segundo, CA

Photos by The Professor

1951 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe Convertible

1951 Chevrolet Deluxe Convertible 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe Convertible 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe Convertible 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe Convertible 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe Convertible 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe Convertible1951 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe Convertible

Steve McQueen owned one of these, and drove it in the final movie of his career–The Hunter (1980). His sold for $84,000 in 2013. With a standard 3-speed manual and an optional 2-speed Powerglide automatic, nearly 50% of the Stylelines sold were with the Powerglide, like the example pictured here.

This one was spotted at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA.

Los Angeles, CA

Photos by The Professor

 

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