Thursday, July 31, 2014

And now something from Corinthians . . .

Uh-oh, look up ahead! Is that what I think it is? YES!
The car that brought Ricardo Montalban and Ween together, this is a 1976 Chrysler Cordoba! This car was originally intended to be a Plymouth with the hilarious name Grand Era, but after the gas crisis Chrysler decided to give it the overly luxurious treatment and raise the price under its own moniker. Behold the only "malaise era" automobile to be a runaway success! 
Much like yesterdays Monte Carlo this car would eventually move to the stacked-square-headlight look, but as soon as it did the sales plummeted. From '75-'77 though the Cordoba sported the large round headlight + smaller round turn signal front that gave it a distinctive look. It looks gaudy now but this was just what the doctor ordered at the time. Grand Era indeed.
Let's take stock of the personal luxury coupe trappings on this bedazzled gangster; formal "tombstone" grill, Landau roof, opera windows, opera lights, pin striping, and dimensions that somehow justify the extra large government-mandated bumpers.
Now to the main event! You've heard all about it folks, and here it is; Fine Corinthian Leather in the flesh! 
Being a personal luxury coupe it needs to have an implied sporty edge to it even though the size is more Cadillac than Camaro. For this reason we see the center console with tough-looking automatic shifter, and full gauge package (not including that under-dash add-on).
Dig that font that actually looks like it belongs on a cologne bottle from the '80s more than a huge coupe from the '70s. Those taillights are dynamic at the very least. When dealing with rectangles and squares the use of angles at least adds something to the mix.
I just like this little 3 story chrome side marker light. Again, with the red glass set deep on one side it's almost like a vignette of Brutalist architecture than a running light.
That little opera light on the landau roof is where they go too far! The advertisements for this when it was new would always show these off though, and they would always be lit up (at least lit as the well-dressed folks being helped out by the valet in some fancy setting).
When naming your car after a city in the Spanish territory of Andalusia you need to add strong, very Spanish-seeming details to your design. I don't know if that was the point of having a faux coin with a faux coat of arms on this ride, but I can't think of any other reason!
Well there we have it; personal luxury at its finest, and a proper counterpoint to yesterdays failings from a car of equal size from the same year. Now quick; everyone look up the song El Camino by Ween and let's all sing the Cordoba verse together!

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