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By April 22, 2014 3 Comments Read More →

5 of the coolest four-doors ever

Four-door sedans don’t usually get the love from classic car fans the way coupes and convertibles do. We think it’s time that changed. Here are five of our favorite four doors ever:

 

1.1962 Lincoln Continental: The ’62 Continental may be the coolest sedan of all time. Oozing with “Mad Men” and Rat Pack swagger as well as “suicide” doors that open opposite to each other, the car still shows up with regularity in movies and on TV shows whenever something over-the-top cool is needed to haul around a large entourage, much as the Continental does on the show of the same name.  A ’58 Cadillac Brougham will scratch the same itch if you simply must go with GM | photo courtesy RM Auctions
2.1948 Tucker 48: At lot of people know the basics of the Tucker story from the Francis Ford Coppola film of the same name. Few people, though, have ever actually seen one of these rear-engine beasts in the flesh. Even today, they’re simply stunning and never fail to make you think about what might have been had Tucker succeeded in marketing a rear-engine, air-cooled sedan to the masses. Certainly far more people than just Porsche 911 drivers would have learned about the joys of terminal oversteer.
3.Aston Martin Lagonda: Where some of the other cars on this list are objectively and undeniably cool, the Lagonda is a bit of an acquired taste, even for the “Tron” generation.  Except for the tires, there isn’t a curve to be found anywhere on this origami exercise of a car. It’s a catapult and an arrestor wire short of being an aircraft carrier, and the all-LED screen dash is something to behold (when it’s working). But there is something undeniably cool about this 1970s super sedan that was once a fixture at places like the London Playboy Club and every OPEC meeting.
4.1994-96 Chevrolet Impala SS: Until the late and much-lamented Pontiac G8 came out, this was the last rear-wheel-drive GM sedan to lust after. The stock Caprice was a bit of an awkward exercise with its aero design and faired rear wheels.  Fat tires, cool alloy wheels and a properly radiused rear-wheel arch did wonders for the Impala SS, as did the 5.7-liter LT1 V-8 that made 260 hp in the SS.  The few good ones that remain are becoming sought-after collectibles.
5.1951-54 Hudson Hornet: Incredible early 1950s pre-fin styling? Check. NASCAR domination? Check. Steve McQueen ownership? Check. Enough said. The Hornet qualifies as the coolest American sedan of the early 1950s.

Posted in: Features

About the Author:

Rob has been involved in the classic car hobby since restoring a Triumph TR4 in his parents' garage at the age of 16. He has written for Car and Driver, AutoWeek, The New York Times and FoxNews.com. Rob is the author of the book Ran When Parked: Advice and Adventures from the Affordable Underbelly of Car Collecting. He currently owns a Porsche 911SC, a Jensen Interceptor and a Triumph TR250.

3 Comments on "5 of the coolest four-doors ever"

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  1. ron says:

    4 doors , really? Give me a break….your are being brain washed….your whole generation is being brain washed into buying what the manufacturers want you to buy! What’s next , the amazing 6 door Corvette?

  2. Frank R... says:

    I’d expand that list of cool 4-doors. Ron may not realize that many a car guy has had to compromise between a stylish two door hard top or convertible, and the responsibility of having a family and work needs. Not only that, but way too many 2-door hardtops don’t have enough leg and/or head room for tall guys like me. As a growing teen in the late fifties, I was glad that my Dad had a four door so that I didn’t have to maneuver those PIA folding front seats to get into the back.

    Here are some more classic and contemporary “cool” four-doors:

    - 1967 black Chevrolet Impala Sport Sedan a/k/a “Metallicar” from the TV series “Supernatural”. Any car that has its own fan club has got to be cool, and Sam and Dean drive it.

    - The black Mercury 4-door hardtops (1968 & 1974) that Steve McGarrett drove on the original “Hawaii Five-O” TV series. Jack Lord and his perfectly done hair in anything else? That would be uncool.

    - Just about any 1957 two tone four door sedan definitely is right in there. Maybe not so cool as a 1957 two door hardtop or convertible, but miles more cool than anything on the road today, and they are crowd favorites at cruise and car shows. Just about any two tone ’57 MoPar 4-door, the ’57 Ford Victoria Sedan, the ’57 Olds Holiday Sedan, and even the hot-rod Rambler Rebel are great examples.

    - The 1963-69 Maserati Quattroporte (Series I) was a high speed grand touring sedan that rivaled GT’s of its time. The only thing missing was an Italian fashion model in the passenger seat.

    - The 1987-1991 Pontiac Bonneville SSE took what appeared to be the last gasp for full-sized GM sedans and tweaked it into a luxo-touring road car. I had an 1988 SSE and it rivaled many of the contemporary domestic sporty cars of the day both as to handling and performance. As to cool, I’d get the “Corvette wave” while driving through town.

    - Any two tone 1956 Mercury Phaeton 4-door hardtop would out-cool just about all of the cars listed by Rob Sass or me. It also was one of the very few cars that really did look cool with fender shirts.

    There you have it. I’d love to own any of these and most of those on Ron’s list.

  3. ron says:

    Ron does realize that sometimes compromise (discretion) is the greater half of valor…but after 37 years of professional restoration work ( my career) I just think 4 door cars are ugly! Just in case you are still on the fence….consider this….over the last ten years, I have seen a very definite trend away from two doors to 4 doors….if you stay on this path you will loose your right own a two dr. simply because the manufacturers aren’t making them any more! I’m sorry but there is absolutely nothing COOL about 4 doors! ask Richard Rawlings (Fast and Loud)….what sells ….2 door cars, not….. 4 door cars. Where are those Corvette guys when you need them? Grumble, grumble, grumble

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