The Panther was basically a concept car with a stylish fiberglass body. They built it on a regular Packard chassis with an interesting drivetrain configuration. But although Packard had its V8 engines, the Panther used an older style, straight eight motors. However, they added a supercharged set up that helped deliver a hefty 275 HP.
Since the car was a light roadster with a fiberglass body and 275 HP, it delivered a lively performance by the day’s standards. The company made four examples, but only two are known to survive. Unfortunately, this move didn’t help Packard. So, after a few years, this once mighty company closed its doors for good.
Dodge La Femme
The La Femme, which is French for “woman,” was an interesting one year model from Dodge. They designed it for their lady buyers. So, it featured the equipment and color choices other Dodges didn’t have. Basically, the La Femme was a regular 1955 to 1956 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer with a special purse.
The La Femme accommodated makeup, a pack of cigarettes and a mirror because these were the usual contents of a purse back then. The color choices were pastel to match the dresses of the year, as well as women’s tastes. Even the seat upholstery featured a specially-designed feminine pattern.
1958 Imperial Crown Southampton Coupe
In the late 1950s, Packard was gone, so Lincoln and Cadillac had Chrysler’s Imperial brand as their main rival. Imperials were exquisite cars they built with a high regard to details, fit and finish. And so it was the same for the 1958 Imperial Crown Southampton Coupe.
With its fantastic styling and a long list of standard equipment, the Imperial was one of the best personal luxury cars in 1958. Also, it featured a powerful 413 V8 engine under the hood.
Studebaker Golden Hawk
Studebaker disappeared in 1966 after years of trying to stay relevant on the American market. But in the mid-50s, it was one of the best names in the business featuring a lineup of interesting models. But one of the best Studebakers they ever built was the elegant yet fast 1956 Golden Hawk. This car wasn’t as exclusive as some other models on this list.
However, it was one of the finest examples of the personal luxury class in that period. Conceived as a cool-looking personal luxury coupe, the Golden Hawk had a Packard-derived 352 V8 engine with 275 HP, which was impressive for the day. The performance was also significant with a 0 to 60 mph acceleration time of fewer than nine seconds.
This was a road trip through the exclusive world of American luxury coupes from the ’50s. If you found your favorite, you’d better start looking fast. These classic cars are becoming more rare with each passing day.