1954 Lincoln Capri Coupe: Road Race Car

This morning, let’s talk about the 1952-55 Lincolns. They replaced the first all-new postwar 1949-51 Lincolns, and while were much more modern looking and finally came in that hot new bodystyle, the two-door hardtop, they also were a little less distinct that Lincolns of the not-so-distant past.

Of course, most gearheads today remember these primarily as the “Road Racing Lincolns” due to their achievements in the Carrera Panamericanas of the early to mid-’50s, but there was more to them than just that. Despite their power and handling prowess, they were, for most well-heeled buyers, good-looking, plush, modern luxury cars. There was no more Continental, no more long-wheelbase limousines. And for many, Lincoln seemed to be chasing Olds and Buick instead of Cadillac. But there’s no denying their clean good looks.

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1954 Kaiser-Darrin: Henry J’s Sports Car

Finding any Kaiser-Frazer automobile is not easy these days, sixty-three years after the last U.S. made motorcar was sold to its new owner. But the rarest of all is likely the Kaiser-Darrin sports car. A fiberglass two-seater meant to draw folks into K-F showrooms to ooh and aah over, and maybe drive out in a Manhattan or Special sedan. But it was too little, too late. By the time of its debut, the writing was already on the wall for K-F.

1954 Kaiser Darrin Folder-01 (800x618)

Henry J. Kaiser may have been a shipbuilding maven, but when it came to selling cars to retail customers, he was a babe in the woods. He complicated things by binding the hands of the one person who actually knew the car business, Joseph Frazer, largely because Henry J’s ego got in the way. “The Kaisers NEVER retrench!” as he was fond of saying, despite the evidence of lackluster sales in 1949-1950. Amid this drama of Frazer’s exit, crashing sales and hundreds of unsold cars sitting around the massive Willow Run factory, came the Kaiser-Darrin!

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