It’s tough there if you like cars and you’re tall.
I’ve owned a 1988 Mercedes-Benz 560 SL before, like the kind Richard Gere would have driven in a gloomy Seattle fog during his Intersection days. It was a very cool car, but not a good fit for me. Literally. Measuring well over six feet in my usual boots and some sort of hat, I had to tilt my head and collapse whenever I needed to to see the traffic light turn green. Which, as you can imagine in a city like Los Angeles, is quite common.
I’ve never been comfortable in the little black coupe. Its tiny cabin, made even smaller by freshly padded leather seats, took its toll on my hamstrings and neck.
I no longer own it. But the Merc got me thinking. My brother is 6 feet 7 inches tall. My dad is 6 feet 4 inches tall. My aunts are around 6 feet. Many of my male uncles and cousins vary between 6’5 “and 6’6”. They would have cried trying to tuck themselves inside, not to mention a lot of other even smaller cars.
At least in modern luxury cars, the seats and steering wheels can be raised and lowered, and seat belts can be adjusted in height. And there will always be a bit more room for the feet and knees (albeit less street credit) in paddle cars that don’t have the third pedal and clutch of a manual transmission.
If they really need it, NBA players and models can also pay for customizers to lengthen and rebuild cars to fit their knees, shoulders, and elbows. (Cramming the knees under some steering wheels is a particular challenge for many.) Just removing the seat rails can help save an inch or two of headroom in some cases. But shouldn’t the most regular of us be able to have fun in a real car too, without always having to opt for an SUV?
Even convertibles present their own issues: First, tall people in convertibles often end up finding that their eyes are level with the top of the windshield, totally blocking our view of the road and the lights. traffic. It’s very distracting and boring.
And second, for those of us who are very tall or have disproportionate torsos, it can look a bit like a “circus bear” driving around town in a small roadster. Imagine Shaquille O’Neal in a Miata.
Here’s the problem: There are some great modern and vintage luxury cars, as well as sporty coupes, that offer plenty of room for those of us who have been told to stand last during the day. photo in elementary school. I now own a 1975 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. Long wheelbase version, it’s 17 feet long. The thing allows me to lay down like Gumby. I’m sure Naomi Campbell herself would be comfortable in the back, even with heels and a hat on.
Here are 10 similar winners that are both modern and vintage.
BMW M8 Gran Coupe
Ceiling height : 38.9 inch
Legroom: 42.1 inch
Price: US $ 130,000
In general, anything approaching 40 inches in headroom in a coupe is considered tall. The headroom of this 617-horsepower executive hooligan beats that of the Porsche 911 by almost 2 inches. The two- and four-door variants of the M8 line offer a great deal of leeway; the extra doors and extended wheelbase of the four-door version, which offers 57.2 inches of shoulder room, give it the edge for larger passengers and drivers.
Bentley Continental GT
Ceiling height : 40.1 inch
Legroom: 41.9 inch
Price: $ 207,825
The ultimate in British sporting luxury, the 626-horsepower W-12 Continental GT looks tall and muscular from all angles, including behind the wheel, and its interior will accommodate tall and muscular people as well. I’ve ridden many versions of this sleek coupe, but the most memorable would be a 350-mile road trip to Carmel, Calif., Before the Pebble Beach Concours of Elegance. Six straight hours behind the wheel did nothing to tighten my muscles; the car is deceptively big on the inside, like a big padded cocoon.
Ceiling height : 39.4 inch
Legroom: 41.5 inch
Price: US $ 343,000
Edged in a hair by Bentley, the 624 horsepower V-12 Wraith is still one of the most spacious and powerful two-seaters available on the market today. Cart-style doors make it easy for the tall driver to get in and out.
Mercedes-AMG GT R
Ceiling height : 39.5 inch
Legroom: Not released
Price: US $ 167,650
Mercedes claims the 720-horsepower GT R’s shoulder room is 58.3 inches, although it won’t share the official available leg length. I have driven this car a lot on several different press loans; he has long been a favorite. In 2018, it was even my best car of the year. I called him a winner with an uplifting personality and a garish eye for attention that would make even the most callous Manhattan mechanic smile like a 12-year-old. (Believe me, it was.) The AMG GT has a pleasantly ergonomic (albeit low) cabin with healthy visibility and plenty of head and foot room once inside, wrote. I at the time.
Ceiling height : 40 inch
Legroom: 41.7 inch
Price: 174,150 USD
Yes, there are two modern Mercedes-Benzes on this list, but the famous brand based in Stuttgart, Germany only makes a few of the bigger, nastier cars (in the best way). This 603-horsepower coupe is practical in everyday life, but the most futuristic and well-thought-out interior space and dashboard and the progressive and practical technology available in the market today make it also fun to drive so many cars. that seem more opulent or look much sportier.
Jaguar E-Type 2 + 2
Ceiling height : Two inches taller than the standard E-Type.
Legroom: Enough to fit a nearly 6ft woman like me both behind the wheel and, if she’s in the passenger seat, there is still room for a German Shepherd in the floor. The seats may seem low and tilted slightly, but it’s one of my all-time favorite old cars to drive, and the spacious cabin is one of the reasons.
Price: Around US $ 40,000, according to Hagerty
At the time of its construction, the E-Type was the epitome of British style: curved but sleek, fast and powerful, and – in this elongated 2 + 2 four-seater format – long enough for the lankiest of English rock’n ‘. . ride royalty. It might sound low, but this car is over 15 feet long, with a slightly rounded top like a bubble to allow for maximum headroom.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL
Ceiling height : With the famous racing-derived tubular frame that required gullwing doors, there’s enough room for your cowboy hat and more. In fact, you will reach the heights to close these fabulous doors.
Legroom: Enough that 12 hours a day in the thing doesn’t drive you crazy.
Price: US $ 896,000 on average, according to the Hagerty Price Guide, but well over US $ 1 million for the best examples from the best years. (Between 1954 and 1957, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL was offered as a butterfly coupe; between 1957 and 1963, it was offered as a roadster.)
Widely regarded as the first modern supercar, the 300 SL seems virtually cavernous compared to most other two-seaters of the era. When I drove one in the Silvretta Classic and later in the Mille Miglia rallies, I was shocked to find that at the end of each of the multiple days of driving, I wasn’t crumpled and squeezed into one. ball of sore muscles. The foot wells were long enough to completely straighten my legs; the steering wheel conveniently detaches and hinges upwards for easy access to the driver’s seat. I loved every minute inside this car, and at the end of the rally I didn’t want to give it up.
Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow
Ceiling height : Fit for a queen – including her crown.
Legroom: A long wedding dress train is no problem here, all aboard.
Price: US $ 20,000 for a conductable example.
The Silver Shadow is the perfect example of a car that doesn’t cost a lot, but makes you feel like a million dollars. With the added perks of high-pile lambswool carpeting, illuminated mirrors placed in the C-pillar, and even footrests for the rear passengers, the interior trim does a lot to make the car opulent.
Ceiling height : 39 inch
Legroom: 41.1 inch
Price: US $ 21,000
American-made cars from the 1950s and 1960s are a great segment to consider for those who are taller. The generously proportioned Lincoln Continental surpassed its Cadillac rivals with unusually graceful styling and a smooth ride.
Ceiling height : Let’s just call it better than most other vintage Ferraris, which appear to have been designed for the typical (and usually short and light) race car drivers of the era.
Legroom: 46.1 inch (rumored)
Price: US $ 66,700
It’s easy to like the 308 Dinos, Mondials and Testarossa of the Ferrari world of the late 1970s and 1980s, but for tall people these cars can feel restrictive, with lots of blind spots. (My 560 SL would look like this Silver Shadow in comparison.) Instead, look around the ’90s for something a little more livable. The F355 was one of the first Ferraris created to excel as a daily driver, not just a race car or weekend toy, so it featured a more spacious cabin, better sightlines and more seats. comfortable than its predecessors, while retaining the historic and unmistakable design of Ferrari. which looks more like the Ferraris of the Miami Vice era than its successors. More: Shaq himself had one!