American culture has had a huge impact on us here in the UK for decades. From music, to clothes and even food, we have been influenced by those from ‘the land of hope and freedom’ in all respects. And of course, cars are very much a part of it, too. Britain in the ‘50s was a drab, dreary place. Still very much in a state of healing from the war. Soon though, we got bored of rebuilding and instead, wanted to have a bit of fun in our lives. Some colour, some flair if you will. Car makers were keen to capitalise on this need, and as such, jumped on the ‘fins and chrome’ bandwagon that had been put into motion years before by our American cousins.
Cars like the Ford Anglia, the PA Cresta, the Humber Hawk and many more all grew in style, they were all a bit more bold and brash. And the UK’s roads were all the better for it. This new style of car, which admittedly took a while to reach us, as it was really the ‘60s when they took hold, was a welcome change from the muted blacks and greys of cars past. However, for some, the UK’s cars weren’t enough. Some motorists wanted the real deal, proper Americana. Something that is still true today.
The American car market in the UK has always been booming. We like the fins, the chrome and the excess offered by these often gargantuan machines. A Lincoln Continental is actually bigger than Lincoln itself, but we don’t care. We love all that stuff. If we didn’t, the market wouldn’t be brimming with cool American cars. Cars (and a bike) like the ones we have here. So button up your denim shirt, ignore miles per gallon and choose your American steed from this little lot. All of which are available on Car & Classic Auctions right now.
1948 Ford Super Deluxe
If Biff Tannen from Back to the Future didn’t live in California, and thus needed a hard-top, this is what he’d buy (his car in the film was a 1946 Super Deluxe). And while we’re not suggesting you buy this original 1948 version and use it to chase people called McFly, we’re certainly not ruling it out.
Fitted with a 3.9-litre flathead V8, this Ford is a proper survivor car, having never been restored. It’s not mint, and instead has a nice bit of patina and age to it. It’s solid, it’s in excellent health and it’s ready to be enjoyed, to be fully restored or even turned into a hot rod. The world is your oyster with a ‘48 Ford.
1978 Lincoln Continental
In the 1970s, the Americans liked to do things big. And there are few finer examples of that than the legendary Lincoln Continental. A car so big, the front wheels are in a different postcode than the wheels on the rear. This 7.5-litre monster is not a car for the shy and retiring types. Instead, this is a car for the funky, for those who want to be seen. A triumph of automotive excess, this is pure Americana.
And of course, this isn’t any Lincoln Continental. Oh no, this is a Diamond Jubilee & Carrier model. When it was new, it was the most expensive Ford ever produced – only 8,520 were built. So this car is rare, it’s laden with every optional extra (including a Cartier clock) and it’s being offered with no reserve. One bid, and it could be yours.
1950 Studebaker Champion
If you’re looking for a vehicle that has history and heritage behind it, this Studebaker is for you. This famed American carmaker can trace its roots back to carriages and carts way back in the 1800s. A company that was bold and inventive, it burned brightly as a beacon for innovation, but ultimately, the company didn’t survive past 1967. It’s important, then, to celebrate these now rare cars.
The car we have here is a 1950 Champion, complete with that unmistakable ‘spinner’ central grill. Unlike the Starlight Coupe, the Business Coupe had a smaller rear window, but it still had that long rear end and massive trunk. A curious looking thing, it’s an example of just how creative the Americans could be!
1953 DeSoto Firedome Coupe
If you want a car that offers effortless grace and beauty, this is the one to go for. DeSoto was a bold, forward-thinking vehicle manufacturer that knew how to pen the lines of a car. Very much a premium brand, DeSoto stood as an alternative to the likes of Cadillac. That would go some way to explaining the impressive proportions of this 1953 Firedome model. But while it’s big, it is undeniably beautiful.
Powered by the coveted DeSoto ‘hemi’ V8, this coupe makes the right noises. It’s dripping with chrome, it’s filled with all the luxuries of the day and it has road presence like nothing else. This is a car in which to enjoy an idle cruise on a sunny afternoon, arm out of the window, ‘50s rock and roll on the radio. Bliss.
2008 Harley-Davidson Rocker
Maybe you don’t want a car? Maybe you want the wind in your hair and the addictive throb of a thumping V-Twin engine between your legs. Honestly, who doesn’t want that? This Harley-Davidson Rocker, then, is the motorcycle for you. It’s the defining American motoring brand, and one that drips with cool. Low seat, high handlebars, you’ll feel like Dennis Hopper in a heartbeat.
This particular Rocker is quite the find. It’s got full history, it is in exceptional condition and over the last twelve years, it has covered a mere 5,162 miles. It’s ready to ride, and when you do, you can bet you’ll be the envy of every other motorcycle rider. There are, after all, other motorbikes, but are any of them really as cool as a Harley? Exactly.