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Ultimate Luxury and Limousines

The 1960s saw the final flowering of the separate chassis luxury car. These huge, heavy, traditional, and opulent cars were gradually replaced by fighter, more efficient, modern, monocoque luxury models, with significantly higher performance and sleeker, lower lines. The decade also saw the appearance of much smaller luxury cars based on mainstream models, ideal for city driving.

GAZ Chaika, 1959


Engine5,522 cc V8
Top speed99 mph (159 km/h)

A close copy of a 1955 Packard, the Chaika was built until 1981. It was strictly for party officials, academics, scientists, and other VIPs who were approved by the Soviet government.

Cadillac Calais, 1965


Engine7,030 cc, V8
Top speed120 mph (193 km/h)

Every Cadillac was a luxury car; this model featured curved side windows, remote-controlled exterior mirrors, variable ratio steering, and heated seats.

Nissan Cedric, 1962


Engine1,883 cc, straight-four
Top speed90 mph (145 km/h)

Rarely seen outside Japan at the time, Nissan’s large sedan was inspired by U.S. styling but fitted with a 1.5-2.8-liter engine. It was Nissan’s first monocoque design.

Nissan President, 1965


Engine3,988 cc, V8
Top speed115 mph (185 km/h)

Nissan’s ultimate car for 1965 was a better model than the Cedric, with a 3.0-liter V6 or 4.0-liter V8 and, from 1971, ABS. One was used by Japan’s prime minister.

Mercedes-Benz 300SEC, 1962


Engine2,996 cc, straight-six
Top speed124 mph (200 km/h)

One of Germany’s finest cars of the early 1960s, the 300SEC had a race-proven, fuel-injected six-cylinder engine in a sophisticated coupe or convertible shell.

Mitsubishi Debonair, 1964


Engine1,991 cc, straight-six
Top speed96 mph (154 km/h)

This luxury car for the Japanese market was styled like an early 1960s U.S. car. It stayed almost unchanged until 1986. A bigger engine was added in the 1970s.

Mercedes-Benz 600, 1963


Engine6,332 cc, V8
Top speed130 mph (209 km/h)

From 1963 until as recently as 1981, Mercedes offered this large sedan for VIPs to travel in an insulated cabin at speeds of up to 120 mph (193 km/h). Only 2,677 of them were built.

Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III, 1962


Engine6,230 cc, V8
Top speed110 mph (177 km/h)

The last of the separate-chassis mainstream Rolls-Royces was traditional and indulgent, but with a wonderful wood and leather interior; it also had V8 power and modern twin headlights.

Checker Marathon Limousine, 1963


Engine4,637 cc, V8
Top speed90 mph (145 km/h)

Checker built taxis from 1923 to 1959, and then produced a few taxi-derived cars, station wagons, and limos. This eight-door limo offered a roomy interior.

Bentley S3 Continental, 1962


Engine6,230 cc, V8
Top speed113 mph (185 km/h)

The stately Bentley S3 also came in a coachbuilt “Continental” version, which was a faster and lighter model with an aluminum body and sportier lines.

Humber Imperial, 1964


Engine2,965 cc, straight-six
Top speed100 mph (161 km/h)

The ultimate Imperial model was discontinued for 10 years by Chrysler’s Rootes Group, but they brought it back in 1964-67 as this comfortably equipped, big sedan.

Lincoln Continental Convertible, 1961


Engine7,043 cc, V8
Top speed115 mph (185 km/h)

The 1961 Continental was one of the most influential auto designs of the decade. It had power-assisted seats, windows, brakes, steering, and transmission

Rolls-Royce Phantom VI, 1968


Engine6,230 cc, V8
Top speed101 mph (163 km/h)

Huge, heavy, and entirely custom-made, this was the ultimate status symbol for rock stars or royalty. Based on a 1950s design with twin headlights added, 409 were built up to 1992.

Chrysler New Yorker, 1960


Engine6,767 cc, V8
Top speed122 mph (196 km/h)

In 1960 Chrysler began producing its first monocoque construction bodyshells. The New Yorker was the longest and most luxurious, 

Radford Mini De Ville, 1963


Engine1,275 cc, straight-four
Top speed95 mph (153 km/h)

Harold Radford coachbuilders offered Minis completely reworked with luxury interiors, tuned engines, and special exterior finishes. Customers included British actor Peter Sellers.

Jaguar MkX, 1962


Engine3,781 cc, straight-six
Top speed120 mph (193 km/h)

A wide 1960s luxury model with monocoque construction, independent rear suspension, and wood and leather interior, this car was ideal for the U.S. market.

Daimler DS420, 1968


Engine4,235 cc, straight-six
Top speed110 mph (177 km/h)

Jaguar based this classy limousine on its MkX/420G platform but extended it at the back. This model was built by Vanden Plas, then by Jaguar from 1979 to 1992.


It is a quote. The Definitive Visual History Of The Automobile 2011

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