While there’s some debate about when the personal luxury car came into being, it is generally agreed upon that the 1958 Ford Thunderbird is the car that set the standard for all to follow. The standard being a mass produced coupe with an emphasis on comfort and amenities over performance. That doesn’t always need to ring true though.
Ask any owner of a supercharged Studebaker Avanti, Pontiac Grand Prix SJ, or Monte Carlo SS 454, and they will tell you just how a car can be luxurious and quick at the same time. Personal luxury is perhaps one of the most affordable ways to get into a sporty classic without breaking the bank. They are often overlooked in favor of more performance-specific models they already share many components with.
Here are four examples of how much car you can get in Good condition (or far better) for less than $12,000 ...
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Riviera T-Type was supremely pimpalicious right off the lot--no mods, lights, tint, or drops needed. It would be the perfect neck-twisting foil in any high-end collection.
You folks missed listing the Cadillac Allante. Loaded with amenities and most are senior owned and well kept. Comfy Recaro seating, plenty of trunk room - even with the convertible top down, and very minimal road noise when driving with the top down.
All of these cars are great until something goes wrong with them. Nobody now knows how to diagnose their problems and even if they do, the parts can be difficult if not almost impossible to find. And EXPENSIVE!
I sold a 1991 Cadillac Allante and a '93 Cadillac Sixty Special for just those reasons.