Luxury cars

The Greatest American Luxury Cars Ever Made

The United States is best known for baseball, McDonald’s and NASCAR, the latter of which helped popularize the V8 engine. One aspect of the automotive world that also made its way into American motoring was the luxury car in the 1920s.

Many wealthy individuals in the 1920s wanted luxury cars and imported them from Europe, however, some American manufacturers saw this gap in the market, which led to the creation of the American luxury car market. Meanwhile, Cadillac, Packard and Duesenberg designed and built some of the most luxurious cars in the world.

Duesenberg went even further and built the SJ, which was the fastest production car in the world at the time.

America continued this trend of luxury cars, establishing them as worthy competitors to Mercedes-Benz and Bentley. So without further ado, here are 10 of the greatest american luxury cars never done.

11 1930 Cadillac V-16


1930 Cadillac V-16 Sport Phaeton by Fleetwood - CLASSIC.COM
by: Classic

The V-16 was the premium luxury car of the high-end Cadillac brand between 1930 and 1940. The V-16 was born at a time when the philosophy was: “the bigger the engine, the more luxurious the car”. “. ‘. As a result, Cadillac built a 7.4-liter V16 engine to outperform European V12-powered cars.


Cadillac Madame X V16 Sedan from 1931 completely restored
via rmsothebys.com

The V-16 was in production for 11 model years, with an overhaul in 1937 to keep up with new world design trends. Cadillac sold over 4,000 units during its run, an excellent achievement considering the V-16 was the most expensive Cadillac of the time, launched just after the Wall Street Crash of 1929.


ten 1932 Duesenberg SJ


1933-duesenberg-model-sj-sweep-panel-phaeton-front-via-sports-car-market
Via the sports car market

The Duesenberg SJ follows the philosophy of opulent luxury with beautiful bodywork and expensive materials. The SJ was fitted with a 6.9 liter supercharged straight-8 engine, producing a ridiculous 320 bhp – in 1932!


2-Via AutoEvolution
Via AutoEvolution

This massive power was added to the fact that the SJ had a top speed of 140 mph, at a time when sports cars struggled to reach even 100 mph. The most beautiful version was the Duesenberg SJ LaGrande Dual-Cowl Phaeton, with all four exhaust pipes exiting from the side of the engine compartment – just brilliant.

9 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz


1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz at auction
via artebellum.com

The 1959 Cadillac Eldorado is one of the most recognizable classic cars in history – partly thanks to its use in numerous films and partly thanks to Elvis Presley, who owned two of them. The Eldorado featured a naturally aspirated 6.4-liter V8 producing around 350 hp, mated to a 4-speed automatic.


1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz 2 Cropped (1)
via mecum.com

The Eldorado Biarritz was one of the most luxurious cars sold in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and unlike the normal Series 62 Eldorado, it was only available in a convertible top. The Cadillac Eldorado is truly one of the most beautiful cars ever produced.

Related: 10 Things Everyone Forgot About The Cadillac Eldorado

8 1963 Lincoln Continental IV


1961 Lincoln Continental convertible classic car
Via: BringaTrailer

The Lincoln Continental Mark IV is famous for two things: being John F. Kennedy’s official presidential car and having rear-hinged doors. The doors added comfort and luxury as they looked great and made it easier for the rear passengers to exit.


The greatest 1961 Lincoln Continental convertible classic car in green velvet color
Via: BringaTrailer

The Continental IV was available with a range of V8 engines, starting with a 7.0 liter and ending with a 7.6 liter. All versions of the Continental IV were equipped with a 3-speed automatic transmission. Another design feature that added to the luxury of the car was the fact that it was a four-door convertible.

7 1965 Buick Cote d’Azur


1963-buick-riviera
via skywayclassics

The Buick Riviera was marketed as a personal luxury car and was in production from 1963 to 1999. The first generation Riviera was available with the nail head V8, both in 325 hp 6.6 liters and 340 hp 7.0 liters, mated to a 3-speed automatic gearbox. Buick also offered a 360 hp ‘super wild cat‘ from 7.0 liters, upgraded with two 4-barrel carburettors.


Bidding Dilemma: Buick Riviera Vs. Ford Thunderbird
Hems

The Riviera offered luxury options such as wood inlays in the dashboard and leather-covered bucket seats – front and rear – as well as power windows and air conditioning. Whitewall tires were also an added option to enhance the exterior design, enhancing the extravagance of the car.

Related: Throwback to the 1963 Buick Riviera

6 1977 Lincoln Continental Mark V


1978 Lincoln Mark V Diamond Jubilee Edition: affordable classic car
By Facebook

The Lincoln Continental Mark V is the definition of a “land yacht”. It’s over 230 inches long, nearly 80 inches wide, and weighs almost 5,000 pounds, despite being just a 2-door coupe. The Continental Mark V was available with a choice of 6.6-litre or 7.5-litre, both V8s; unfortunately the US saw an increase in fuel consumption and emissions regulations resulting in the smaller engine only producing 180 hp while the larger engine produced 210 hp.


1978 Lincoln Continental Mark V Diamond Jubilee Edition: affordable classic car
By Facebook

The Continental Mark V was the epitome of American luxury coupes and although many companies tried to imitate the Mark V, all failed. The Lincoln Continental Mark V lives up to its name of being as big as a continent, while still managing to be a fantastic luxury car.

5 2003 Lincoln Town Car


Lincoln Town Car three quarter front 2010
By: Flickr

The Lincoln Town Car can be considered the cheapest 4-door version of the Continental. The Town Car is based on the Ford Crown Victoria, resulting in a naturally aspirated 4.6-liter V8 and a 4-speed automatic transmission.


2003 Lincoln Town Car rear view
By: Pinterest

The Town Car in all its model years sold very well and became a status symbol for the more affluent members of society. The Town Car was also available as a stretch limo, which is one of the most famous cars in the film industry.


4 2022 Cadillac Escalade


Cadillac-Escalade-2021-1280-0b
GM

The Cadillac Escalade, like the Lincoln Town Car, has become a status symbol. The first generation was nothing more than a rebadged GMC Yukon, however, Cadillac differentiated the model from the SUV it was based on for subsequent models.


2023 Cadillac Escalade V3
Via Cadillac

The current generation of Escalade has only been available since 2021, but has quickly become popular. This huge achievement resulted in both a diesel version with an impressive fuel range and a newly revealed high-performance Escalade-V version to rival the likes of BMW’s X7 M50i and Audi’s SQ7. The Escalade has been riding that wave of triumph since 2001, and the current generation is well on its way to continuing the model’s success.

Related: 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V and Our High Expectations

3 2012 Chrysler 300C


2011 Chrysler 300C V8 in White
by YouTube

the The second-generation Chrysler 300 may have been around since 2011, however, it is still one of the best luxury cars – due to its price. The 300 starts at under $40,000, and the optional V8 fits into that budget as well—one of the few remaining cars to offer it.


2020 Chrysler 300C
throughChrysler

The 300 is based on the Dodge Charger platform, but it features more upscale interior styling and materials, while still being a good car. The 300 SRT was still available in Australia until recently, making it an excellent 4-door muscle car with a more luxurious approach.


2 2019 Cadillac CT6


2020 Cadillac CT6-V
Via: Cadillac

The Cadillac CT6 was a large executive sedan produced by the American brand between 2016 and 2020. The CT6 was aimed at the luxury car market and competed quite well, but it was not as refined as some of its European rivals.


Cadillac CT6 parked in the sun
Via CadillacCompany

The one aspect where the CT6 was absolutely great was with the drivetrain. Lower spec models featured 2.0-liter turbocharged engines in various states of tune, two V6 engines (a 3.6-liter and a 3.0-liter twin-turbo) and one of the larger V8 engines in the modern times, the 4.2 litre. twin turbo black wing V8. The engine was only ever found in the CT6-V and produced 550 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque. It was such a good car that GM announced its discontinuation shortly after launch.

Related: Here’s why the 2020 Cadillac CT6-V will soon be a collector’s item

1 2020 Lincoln Continental ‘Coach Door Edition’


Lindon Continental Coach Door Edition
Via CarPixel

While the modern Lincoln Continental never quite captured the spirit of the classic versions, it was undoubtedly a good car. The 10th generation Continental was available between 2017 and 2020 and was based on the same platform as the Ford Taurus. The Continental was available with three different V6s, two of which were twin-turbocharged.


Lincoln Continental Coach Door Edition - Side View
Through Lincoln

While the Continental factory had much to be desired, Ford commissioned Cabot Coach Builders to redesign 150 Continentals to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Lincoln Continental. These special versions replaced the conventional front-hinged rear doors with rear-hinged Coach doors, mimicking the original. The 80th Anniversary Editions were all equipped with the highest specifications, including the Black Label trim pack and the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 producing 400 hp.


A detailed look at the Lincoln Black Label Continental

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