Cadillac Series 62 Convertible 1959

Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Side View
Since 1908, the Cadillac has been a high price tagged, quality car.  The 1959 Cadillac best characterises the American era of fins and chrome.  Inspired by the space program, Harley Earl designed the Series 62 Convertible.  It had the highest fins and a flamboyant body design, and surpassed even the flashiest custom bodies created in Paris by the likes of Figoni and Falaschi.

The Cadillac Motor Company was founded in 1902 by Henry Martyn Leland.  He named it after the very man who founded Detroit 200 years before, Sieur Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. Like other contemporary American cars, the first Cadillac had its design based on the Curved Dash Oldsmobile.  Unlike the Oldsmobile however, Leland insisted on accurately manufactured, standardised components.  The first Model A Cadillac and Fords somewhat later Model A are peculiarly similar in body design.  Both Cadillac and the Fledgling Model A Ford of 1903 had bodies built by the same manufacturer.

Buick Series 60 Century 1940
Buick Series 60 Century 1940 Interior
Technically, the 1940 Buick was almost identical to the 1939 model – the difference being a slightly longer wheelbase.  At the time, a change in the appearance of the radiator grill indicated the next year’s model which was the case with the 1940 Buick.  It had a bolder grille with horizontal cars instead of the 1939s delicate fleur-de-lys design.

Auburn Supercharged Eight 1936
Charles Eckhart started his carriage-building company in 1874 at Auburn, Indiana.  Following his retirement, his sons Frank and Morris took over.  They started building automobiles in 1903, after exhibiting their runabout in Chicago.  The company was taken over in the 1920s. Due to the Great Depression sales were low despite the exciting appearance and the vivid performance of the 1935 models.  As a result, production of this fine, American car came to an end in 1936 and the few 1937 models produced were actually built in that final year.

Ford Convertible Club Cabriolet 1937
Ford Convertible Club Cabriolet Interior 1937
Ford had a thorough redesign for 1937.  Gone was the fabric insert roof panel for the sedans.  The widows peak radiator grille resembled that of the more expensive Lincoln Zephyr with the egg-shaped headlamps also following suit.  The rod-operated mechanical brakes were replaced by cable brakes and the tendency for the engine to overheat was reduced by fitting a more efficient water pump.  Ford also introduced a smaller engine (60 BHP/136 cubic inches) which only became available in South Africa after World War II in the British-built Ford Pilot.

Jaguar E Type 1968
Jaguar E Type 1968
Jaguar had one of the best sales slogans ever: Grace, Space, Pace.  With the exception of the obese Mark X, all Jaguars are beautiful and if you overlook the sports cars, they’re also roomy.  Undeniably though, they’re all fast.  And indecently fast with no less than six victories at Le Mans. 

Probably the best-loved of them all, the classic E-Type is a symphony of sinuous curves suggesting the speed of its classic six-cylinder powered engine.  Ranked one of the best engine designs ever, its suspension is also expertly designed for safe handling, serene comfort and predictable cornering.  Production of the E-Type started in March 1961 with the last Series III V12s coming off the assembly line in 1975.  Today, Jaguar is part of Fords Premier Auto Group.

MG TF 1954
The MG TF 
Was clearly an interim car.  TD Sales rapidly declined after the introduction of the pretty Austin-Healy, which, like the MG was made by the British Motor Corporation.  As a result, management at MG gave the TD a facelift and produced the TF with the radiator grille slanted towards the rear, the headlamps faired into the front fenders and the tail raked to match the front.
MG 1969
 MG 1969  
Things were unsettled at MG towards the end of the 1960s.  Stringent safety requirements for automobiles in the US called for a redesign of all cars intended for the American market and caused the demise of the likes of Austin-Healey, among others.  A new three-litre engine, designed for the MG, necessitated a major redesign of the front end.  In addition, the British Motor Corporation merged with Jaguar Cars to form British Motor Holdings.  The MGC was introduced at the London Motor Show in 1967, and apart from the rather obvious bulge in the bonnet to make room for the Six, it resembled the MGB. Production was terminated after the creation of British Leyland. 

Messerschmitt KR200 Kabinenroller 1957
Messerschmitt KR200 Kabinenroller Side View 1957
Aeronautical engineer Fritz Fend designed the Messerschmitt and he also built hand-operated cars for physically challenged drivers at Rosenheim, Bavaria in 1946.  Fend approached his friend Willy Messerschmitt to manufacture cabin scooters for a developed version.  Production began in Regensburg in 1953.  As aircraft work was then forbidden for Germans, Messerschmitt was pleased to be involved in the project.  In 1956, the ban on German aircraft production was lifted and Messerschmitt sold the business to Fend and his associates to concentrate on aircraft work again.  The Kabinenroller (cabin scooter in English) was a cross between a scooter and a bubble-car, with a top resembling the canopy of a German fighter plane of World War II.  The story that it was constructed from leftover aircraft parts may only be an urban legend.