Like it or not, some of those lifestyle classics were influenced by creative American styling.
A fascinating delve into people and their classic cars including the Vauxhall Wyvern, Singer Gazelle, Ford Zephyr, Vauxhall Cresta PA and the lovable Ford Capri.
Synonymous with the swinging American 40s design, the Vauxhall Wyvern was good a looking beast that had the bells and whistles to stand out from a laborious crowd. Clever bonnet lifting for easier engine access, independent front suspension and great luggage capacity made this an attractive proposition for a generation looking for something with bling.
Jive Cats singer, Flo McKeown tells the story of her convertible Singer Gazelle Series IIIA. Released in 1959 by the forgotten British motor manufacturer, the Rootes Group, it was awarded with small tail fins and even a larger windscreen.
Two toned overcoat gave the car a more flambouyant look, whilst twin carburettors replaced the standard single Solex, beefing the output to an eye-watering 60bhp.
The late fifties opened the flood gates to a whole new world of ‘wannabe’ American classics, imitating the stylish cruisers in every way possible.
The Ford Zephyr was one such car, looking sharper and more luxurious. Complementing the long skirts, lipstick and heels, this chrome dripping style guru was a huge success then and now.
Vauxhall Cresta PA
One of the Zephyr’s rivals was the Vauxhall Cresta PA, which were well known for their rather ‘busy’ 50s styling.
Tail-fins, wrap-around glazing, white-wall tyres and various two-toned coloured seating were all traits driven from the 1957 model Buick Special, which made its debut some 12 months previously.
No introduction needed, the glamorous Ford Capri launched in 1969 and was the final player influenced by the American market; namely the Ford Mustang.
The fastback coupé was the 70s petrolhead dream come true, with looks to die for and a price tag that made them an attractive proposition for any aspiring yuppie carrying the obligatory filofax.
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Did the American market influence you when buying a classic?