Saturday, May 19, 2012

Samsung Transportation Museum Part Eight: Prestige Cars cont’d

More luxury automobiles at the Samsung Museum, still in chronological order.

1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SC Roadster

1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SC Roadster by Kate Tompkins
Yes, not only was the museum displaying the 1950s 300SL coupe and roadster, it also has an example of the 300SC. Unlike the other two, this one was built for comfort, but don’t think that meant it couldn’t perform. Wikipedia’s article on the 300 types say it was roughly equivalent to today’s S class. Top of the line, in other words. While this particular version is a sporty two-door, they also came in various four-door formats, with options including mobile phones and dictation machines (yes, back in the ‘50s!). The inline-six under the hood had fuel injection, putting out 173 horses. Naturally, it’s a rare car. Of the 200 300SCs built between 1955 and 1958, only 53 were roadsters.

1969 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI Limousine
1969 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI Limousine by Kate Tompkins

While the Rolls is the epitome of luxury cars, I’ve got to say it looks a little stodgy for something made in 1969. In fact, it doesn’t look out of place among the 1950s luxury cars I’ve already covered, with less interesting lines. And yet, according to Wikipedia, the Phantom VI only started production in 1968. Only 374 were ever made, from 1968 through 1991. Not surprising, given the limited market.
1969 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI Limousine by Kate Tompkins

There are apparently two in Queen Elizabeth’s fleet, including one custom-built in 1977 to celebrate her silver jubilee and presented to her by the British motor industry. The same car was used to carry Kate Middleton to her marriage to Prince William. You can see a picture of it here though not with the royal bride. The museum’s Rolls is a two-door (and left-hand drive), but four-door versions were also made.

1977 Lincoln Continental Town Car
1977 Lincoln Continental Town Car by Kate Tompkins

The Truth About Cars says this model was the last of the really big American cars. And at 233 inches long and somewhere around 5,000 pounds, it WAS big. I’ve always thought of Lincolns as a poor second cousin to the Cadillac (after all, how many Caddys are used as airport limousines?) but this one is impressive.

There were actually two other cars in this section, a 1972 Mercedes-Benz Pullman (sounds like it should be a train) and a 1982 Volvo 264 TE Landaulette. Sorry, no photos. I don’t even remember seeing the Mercedes. As for the Volvo, well, it was a Volvo station wagon from the ‘80s and totally didn’t appeal to me. I realize now that I should have shot it anyway—after all, it wouldn’t be in the museum if it wasn’t significant. So I apologize to any Volvo fans out there.

Next: the sports car section

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