Home Cars Forgotten Luxury: 20 Best American Personal Luxury Coupes and Convertibles

Forgotten Luxury: 20 Best American Personal Luxury Coupes and Convertibles

Vukasin Herbez June 26, 2018

  1. Studebaker Avanti

In the early ’60s, the Studebaker management decided to invest into a luxury coupe to fight poor sales. They thought that a new, fancy upscale model would attract more customers and turn the attention of the automotive public back to Studebaker. So, in 1962, they presented the sleek and modern looking Avanti.

The innovative design, construction, and technology were interesting, so the car received praises from the motoring press. The base version was not all that powerful, but soon Studebaker introduced a supercharged R2 option delivering 289 HP. Unfortunately, the Avanti was not a strong seller, which forced Studebaker to close its doors just four years later.

  1. Pontiac Catalina 2+2

The regular Catalina was a great looking and decent selling model. But in 2+2 form, it transformed into a true Gran Turismo with a luxury interior and fire-breathing engine. Since the Catalina was a full-size model, it was eligible for engines over 400 CID according to the GM rules of the time. This meant that the Catalina 2+2 came with the famous 421 V8.

And you could get the Tri-Power intake system, which was the same as on the GTO. It boosted the Catalina’s power to 376 HP. Also, buyers could order limited slip differentials, heavy duty steering, brakes and more. This made the Catalina 2+2 was well appointed, but unfortunately, it was expensive, too.

  1. Cadillac Eldorado 1982

After the enormous and legendary 1978 Eldorado, Cadillac introduced a smaller, more modern ’79 model. The car featured front wheel drive and better ergonomics riding on a much shorter platform. The smaller dimensions brought new driving dynamics. But in 1982, Cadillac introduced an interesting package they called the Eldorado Touring Coupe.

They marketed this car as a driver’s machine with a stiffer suspension and black wall tires. There was a minimal use of chrome and a bucket seat interior, too. Due to major modifications, the 1982 to 1985 Eldorado Touring Coupe was a competent, interesting car.

  1. Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe

Ford presented the 10th generation of the venerable Thunderbird in 1989 with a redesigned platform and more elegant, sleeker body. This was a luxury coupe with no sporty ambitions. However, the Ford engineers managed to sneak an interesting performance model that drivers considered a muscle car. Ant that was the Thunderbird Super Coupe.

Just like the Turbo Coupe, the SC had a smaller engine. But this time, they supercharged it to achieve a higher performance. The 3.8-liter V8 got a supercharger and intercooler as well as a high-tech motor management system. And it delivered 210 HP, which was respectable.

Many car experts praised the SC for its handling and braking capabilities. It also hit high top speeds, courtesy of its aerodynamic shape and clever engineering. Also, the acceleration from 0 to 60 mph was 7.5 seconds.

  1. Cadillac Eldorado ESC

The last and 10th generation of legendary Cadillac Eldorado from 1992 to 2002, marked the end of an era for one of America’s most respected nameplates. The last Eldorado was a quality-built machine filled with luxury and power. However, the market for such cars was dead, and so was this model.

The Eldorado Sport Coupe featured a 4.6-liter V8 engine and a sport-tuned suspension. Also, it had a host of electronic systems and discrete styling cues. Even though those cars are inexpensive today, they will be highly desirable classic in the future.

  1. Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

For years, Cadillac was without a proper performance series to compete with BMW or Mercedes. But finally, the V-Series was born. It was all that Cadillac lovers dreamed of with its powerful engine and world-class handling. Also, it had updated suspension setups and was in exclusive production. But the most successful was the second-generation CTS-V model they produced between 2008 and 2014.

Cadillac offered three body styles, so the CTS-V came as a sedan, a coupe, and interestingly, as a wagon, too. Under the hood was a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 producing 556 HP. This made the CTS-V the most powerful luxury coupe on the market. The suspension and the rest of the drivetrain were advanced and up to the task, so CTS-V was considered a full package and one of the best driver’s cars available.

Did you pick your favorite from this list of the best American personal luxury coupes and convertibles? Some are still rolling down the roads of America, while others have faded away. Maybe someday one of the big car companies will re-introduce one to the car world again.

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