Decline of the
Personal Luxury Coupe
Why the decline of the classic styling of the great American luxury coupe? The answer may come as a result of economic inflation and modern America ’s growing need for the 4 door sedan.
As the price of living increased, so did the price of automobiles. No longer was it seen as practical to drive a personal luxury coupe. More and more consumers switched to affordable and gas efficient Japanese sedans, a trend that would eventually stunt the growth of the American luxury coupe.
Most large luxury coupes of the 1960’s – 1980’s, were powered by 8 cylinder motors. Both driver and passenger enjoyed the lavishness of recliner-like vinyl seats, plenty of leg room and supreme window scenery, courtesy of the classic luxury coupe's 5 foot-plus-size windows and doors.
Luxury Sport Coupe
American automotive engineers of the 1960's discovered the advantages of combining the excellence of a luxury coupe with super sport performance. This combination was viewed by many auto makers as excessive, but a concept just too hard to resist.
The 1960-68 Impala SS and the high horse power 1960-75 Buick Riviera were some of many well-known classic luxury sport coupes. The Chevelle SS and the Monte Carlo SS blazed through the 70's with a touch of luxury, and the 80's proceeded with the Buick Grand National, Oldsmobile 442 and Chevy Monte Carlo Luxury Sport.
Cadillac seemed to shy away from altering their traditional line of fine luxury coupes with the unconventional trend of muscle. Cadillac instead focused on presenting the upper-class with large and classy 2-door coupes.
Lowrider Luxury Coupe
Luxury coupes eventually slowed their roll soon after finding their way in the hands of the lowrider community. The short rear and long tapered hooded luxury coupe has always been the ideal design for lowriders. Some of several good-looking luxury coupe lowriders are the Chevy Impala, Caprice Classic, Cadillac Coupe Deville, Buick Riviera and Regal, Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, Monte Carlo , and Lincoln Mark IV.
Luxury Coupes of today
Modern day luxury coupes, all-though rare, still do exist. They come with a cost and are narrowly marketed to the wealthy. Today's luxury coupe market is dominated by European and some Japanese auto makers. Some examples include: Mercedes Benz E-Class, BMW 6 Series, Bentley Continental GT, and Cadillac CTS.