This was a car photographed by a friend of mine in Sweden some time ago. At the time she posted the pics, I went nuts. An unrestored Eldorado Biarritz? A blue chip collector car, one of 1,320 built, worth a ton? Just simply driven and enjoyed?
I’ve always loved Cadillacs. It goes way back to my childhood, when one of my favorite toys was a Pocket Cars ’75 Fleetwood Brougham in metallic blue.
While Facel Vega—which aside from half its name has no connection to that other Vega, s’il vous plait—had produced automobiles since 1955, the company itself dates back two decades, when M. Jean Daninos, late of Citroën and the military aircraft concern Bronzavia, founded Métallon, a fabricator of kitchen cabinets and sinks and, in 1939, established Forges et Atéliers de Construction d’Eure-et-Loire, (FACEL). The two firms combined and made aircraft engine components during World War II.
Today, let’s take a closer look at the Wixom-produced example of the road-going Chris-Craft…the 1958 Lincoln Continental Mark III. Some love them. Some hate them. But there’s no doubt the 1958-60 Lincoln Continental Mark III, IV and V were substantial luxocruisers.
The 1958 Lincolns and Continentals were Ford Motor Company’s no expense spared bid to out-Cadillac Cadillac. Their 131-inch wheelbase was longer than the Cadillac Series 62 and de Ville sedans, and only two inches shorter than the 1958 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special.
Most of you fine folks probably know me for my ever-present, ever-consistent positive posts on various and sundry 1950s to 1980s Cadillacs, Lincolns, Oldsmobile Ninety-Eights, Buick Electras and Mercury Marquis Broughams. It is indeed true that I have a serious soft spot for those land yachts, with their Broughamtastic power options, Sierra grained leather or crushed cranberry red velour, landau tops, opera lamps, opera windows and heraldic crests, but believe it or not, I do like other cars. Really!
I’m not going to delve too deeply into VW’s history in the ’50s, or in the Beetle in particular. You all know the story. In the early 1950s VW sent Ben Pon to the US to get some import sales moving. It was a pretty dismal failure. Even that import dealer genius, Max Hoffman, gave it a shot, sold about 2,000 VWs and was dumped by VW. But then magic happened.