Classic AutoRAI 99: post-war cars:
Chrysler, Edsel & Ferrari
tail fins disappeared on American cars during the sixties, but this conservative full-size
Chrysler Windsor still boosted some pretty impressive examples. All 1960 Chryslers were
designed by Virgil M. Exner, Chryslers vice president of design and famous for his
"finned look" styling.
The Windsor series were the entry-level Chryslers and the most popular body style was the 4-door sedan like on this picture. 25,152 of these cars were sold in 1960 and prices started at $3814. All Windsors were powered by a big 6277 cc V8 engine that produced 309 hp @ 4600 rpm. It propelled these 1750 kg cars to a top speed of 175 kph. To give you an impression of its size: length was 547 cm, width was 202 cm and height was 139 cm.
Ford Motor Company's
Edsel marque is a classic in its own right. It was introduced in 1958 as a more upmarket
model line to that of Ford and to complement that of Mercury. It turned out to be a dismal
failure and by 1960 the production of Edsel cars was stopped and the marque disappeared,
leaving Ford about $250 million lighter.
The reasons for the Edsel failure were, in hindsight, obvious: it was the wrong car at the wrong time. Although it's styling was sound, it came as a disappointment at the time (as a "radical new styling" was promised). The market gap between Ford and Mercury models was nearly non-existent and the built and dynamic quality of the cars left a lot to be desired.
The Edsel Pacer range was powered by a 5916 cc V8 that produced 303 hp @ 4600 rpm and gave the cars a top speed of a rapid 180 kph (it actually accelerated better than it could brake). A total of 2235 Bermuda Wagons were sold in 1958, 1456 units for the 6-person version (like on the picture) and a mere 779 units for the larger 9-person version. Nowadays Edsels become more and more popular as collectors cars and a well-kept '58 Edsel will cost you more now than at the time of its introduction.
Most famous of all Ferrari roadcars is the 250 GT. It's successor was the
275 GTB, which was introduced in 1964. It's Pininfarina designed aluminium body showed the
classic voluptuous lines that made these cars icons, but it now featured a modernized and
enlarged engine. The displacement of the V12 went from 2953 cc to 3285 cc and engine power
from 240 hp to 260 hp @ 7000 rpm. In 1966 a four (instead of two) overhead camshaft
version replaced this engine and it was even more powerful: 315 hp @ 7500 rpm. From 1966
till 1968 only 350 of these cars (also known as 275 GTB4) were produced, of which the car
on the picture is a nice example.
The BB 512 (which means Berlinetta Boxer 5 liter 12 cylinder) was a
mid-engined sportscar that was inspired by the Ferrari Grand Prix cars of the late
seventies. Like these Formula 1 cars it featured a 12 cylinder boxer type engine (two rows
of 6 cylinders placed opposite to each other which made for a flat engine and reduced
vibration). This 4942 cc engine cranked out an impressive 396 hp @ 6800 rpm and gave this
1515 kg car a top speed of a respectable 302 kph.
Production years for this model were from 1976 till 1981 and only 206 cars have been produced, which is very little even for Ferrari standards. Subsequently well-preserved cars of this model are very expensive to buy nowadays.
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