The irony of iron is what makes American luxury cars of the 1970s and 1980s adorable. They were cars built with things like “opera windows”, “carriage lights” and “landau roofs”. High performance never really came into the conversation as they all seemed to have lazy, overpowered, low-compression V-8 engines stifled by primitive emission controls. These engines with low specific power were fitted with three-speed automatic transmissions and suspensions tuned like mashed potatoes. To distract buyers from mechanical flaws, most luxury cars of the era are as over-decorated as Liberace’s house. Quality? Why bother?
The challenge for this week’s thrilling (meh) episode of Window Shop was, apparently, finding a luxo-barge from that era that you could ironically enjoy as an old episode of Barnabas Jones or one lava lamp. The budget was $25,000. . . which is enough to get something superficially good but horrible down to its dissolving marrow.
One of the episode’s top contributors was actually disappointed that he found a car that was too good for the challenge. That’s right, he found a car someone might actually enjoy driving, as opposed to one that might wallow in Cars and Coffee at Ann Arbor Arby.
Yes, that would be the Ann Arbys. Special guest Adam Wade, whose hair is stunning, leads a YouTube channel titled “Rare Classic Cars” His channel is totally delightful, filled with tons of trivia, and this week he’s joined by the usual gang of mumblers, including Jonathon Ramsay contributing, KC Colwell playing the test game, John Pearley Huffman migrating from Road & Track, and editor Tony Quiroga commanding everyone.
Is this a good time? Hey, what else do you do anyway?
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