WHAT WOULD BE THE PERFECT LIMO FOR YOUR DATE TONITE?
It is Valentine’s Day and cars have a somewhat sordid history on that day. You may recall that Mr. Capone used a garage to commemorate the occasion, back in the ‘twenties.
So, you may be excused if your first reflex when contemplating Valentine’s Day is not directed at the automobile.
But, it should be at least the second reflex.
After all, she would prefer a limousine, would she not?
But, what limousine?
You can’t get away with an old, stretched Lincoln Town Car, after all. You have to show some class. You’re a car person, and that means more is expected of you than corporate type with a credit card and expense account.
You have to do better.
Fortunately, there are choices.
There is, of course, the Rolls-Royce.
No, not the BMW version. The Silver Cloud version, in any of its permutations. A real Rolls. The kind that people drive when they intend to share mustard.
That would be a good choice, though it is a little short on legroom in the back. (Of course, if you could swing a Phantom V, you’d have that problem covered. But, the Queen probably won’t let you borrow hers and most of the rest are in museums.)
Then there is the Mercedes-Benz 600 “Pullman.”
There is something exotic about a limousine named after a railroad car.
This would not be a mere 600. It has to be the long version: the “Pullman.” The Pope had one. It was white.
The 600 was a product of that post-World War II mentality in Germany that wanted to prove to the world that, even if they didn’t win the war, they had the best machines.
So, they decided to build the limousine to end all limousines. As they lacked an engine with sufficient power to propel such a large vehicle, they designed one. Since it was to be the crown jewel, and they were German, they designed a V-8 that was the supreme V-8 of its day. 6.3 liters. Dual overhead camshafts. The car had an exotic air suspension and was reputed to handle better than many of the sports cars of the day.
(Eventually, Mercedes stuffed the same engine into the 280 series sedan, creating the 280 SEL 6.3. That car is still a legend, so much so that Mercedes exhibited one at the Chicago Auto show near the latest Benz with that nomenclature, the C Series AMG 63. Between the two, the older car was the one you’d want. But we digress.)
Then, there is my personal favorite:
The Cadillac Fleetwood 75.
My favorite year is 1969, but I’d do a 1966 with equal poise. (But not a 1965 – little known trivia point: the 1965 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 has the same bodywork as the 1964. Cadillac didn’t have enough time to change over before introduction. So, when you see a ’64 Caddy limo on eBay, but the seller says it’s a ’65 – well, it is.)
But, I want it to be a limo. Not a “town car.”
In that day, Cadillac sold two versions of the Fleetwood 75. One had a divider window behind the front seat. That was the limousine. The other didn’t, and it was called the “town car.”
I want the limousine.
The Fleetwood 75 of that day was a factory vehicle. None of this cut and stretch stuff that came later. The car came with “jump seats” – seats that folded up against the front of the divider, but could be pulled down in the event that you actually had to transport someone other than yourself and your companion in the back seat.
A Fleetwood 75 would be a very good choice.
But, this isn’t about us.
It’s about her.
So, what should it be, for her?
If you really, really are the sensitive male you pretend to be?
Chrysler’s got you covered, though you may have to deal with Bob Nardelli to get the ride.
They showed it in Detroit, and again in Chicago.
It started as a 300.
It is beautifully appointed.
But – and this is the part that’s key
In the back, it has provisions to hold:
Two champagne glasses.
And three bottles of champagne.