The luxurious comparison
Who doesn’t want to see some antique vehicle such as a forgotten late-20th-century Detroit subcompact convertible or something else? But there are several factors.
In the middle 1970s, Detroit figured out that a great big coupe with a long hood, Simu-Leather™ or velour interior, and vaguely sporty design touches made malaised-out car shoppers feel like signing on the line that is dotted. Personal luxury! Everybody made personal luxury coupes during the middle 1970s— hell, even BMW got into the act— and we’ve found a pair of the most archetypal examples of the breed for you.
According to the experts, the Chrysler Cordoba wasn’t the first personal luxury coupe, but— thanks to Mexican pitchman Ricardo Montalbán’s famous TV advertisements— it stands in our cultural memory as the most iconic personal coupe. The Cordoba was based on the Chrysler B platform, which makes it first cousin to the Duke Boys’ 1969 Charger and Richard Petty’s NASCAR-dominating ’64 Belvedere. Of course, by the time the Cordoba was introduced in 1975, horsepower levels were down a bit compared to the B-bodies of the 1960s . . . but you’ll have no problem turning cash into power with your Cordoba.
The problem these days, unfortunately, is finding a suitable project Cordoba; what you’ll need is a “real” 1975-79 B-body Cordoba (not one of those downsized 1980-83 versions, based on the decidedly unluxurious Plymouth Volaré chassis). In fact, there’s no point in even fooling around with the 78s and 79s, with their rectangular headlights.
When it comes to Pontiac Grand Prix, the scene is little different. Instead of the cheezoid gold-plastic medallions that decorated just about every possible surface of the Cordoba, the Grand Prix had a mean-looking split grille and sculpted body lines that struck the eye harder than a SAVAK enforcer’s truncheon smacking an unruly human-rights activist.