NASA couldn’t have built this automobile, a lot less the heirs to Joseph Lucas, the British electronics’ well-known “Prince of Darkness.” Still, I’d kill to have one of these vehicles, and the O-scope and multi-meter to fix it. The glamorous Imperial marque was, by the late ’60s, lowered to a trashy, pseudo-luxury harlot walking the streets for its pimp, the Chrysler Corporation. By 1971, only the Imperial LeBaron was left and it shared the monstrous slab-sided “fuselage” styling of corporate siblings like the Chrysler New Yorker and the Dodge Monaco.
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Later new comers joined profiting from the rise of electric powertrains, with NEV manufacturers such as NIO in 2014, Li Auto in 2015, HiPhi in 2019 and BYD in 2020 producing luxurious electrical and hybrid automobiles. Luxury vehicles could be a status symbol for conspicuous consumption. However, since many European luxury car buyers shy away from conspicuous consumption, brands offer patrons the option of eradicating exterior badges that identify the model name or engine measurement. The Pininfarina-designed Fiat 124 Spider debuted in the U.S. in 1968 to an eager viewers. With ample trunk space and sufficient room in the cabin for two people to not touch shoulders, the roadster shortly became a road trip classic.