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The rise & fall of the personal luxury car

Autocar Logo By Ronan Glon of Autocar | Slide 1 of 22: The personal luxury car segment rose to prominence as the muscle car chapter of American automotive history came to a close. Buyers who spent the 1960s doing burnouts in 500 hp machines were ready for more laid-back cars that nonetheless made them feel like they had spent their hard-earned dollars on something special.And, as the 1970s wreaked havoc on the automotive industry, especially in America, luxury became a considerably more important selling point than horsepower. Companies were no longer able to flaunt blisteringly quick quarter-mile times as sellling points but they could brandish Corinthian leather and opera windows instead. Enormous and lavish, the personal luxury car briefly became the automotive equivalent of the ranch-style home and an integral part of the American dream.Join us for a look at the segment’s meteoric rise and its lightning-fast downfall. PICTURE: Oldsmobile Toronado

In the 1970s, America’s largest automakers put luxury within the reach of millions of motorists.

The personal luxury car segment rose to prominence as the muscle car chapter of American automotive history came to a close. Buyers who spent the 1960s doing burnouts in 500 hp machines were ready for more laid-back cars that nonetheless made them feel like they had spent their hard-earned dollars on something special.

And, as the 1970s wreaked havoc on the automotive industry, especially in America, luxury became a considerably more important selling point than horsepower. Companies were no longer able to flaunt blisteringly quick quarter-mile times as sellling points but they could brandish Corinthian leather and opera windows instead. Enormous and lavish, the personal luxury car briefly became the automotive equivalent of the ranch-style home and an integral part of the American dream.

Join us for a look at the segment’s meteoric rise and its lightning-fast downfall. PICTURE: Oldsmobile Toronado

© Oldsmobile

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