Coupe: ” A closed two door car shorter than a saloon of the same model”
I’m not sure I agree 100% with the dictionary but two out of three ain’t bad. Below (as promised) is a list of what I consider the best, nicest, most desirable coupes of all time. This list will of course be contentious, is fluid and had I compiled it last week or next week it would have been slightly (or maybe even greatly) different. To be considered for this highly prestigious list a car could only possess two doors ( I admit some of these could also be described as two door saloons), needed to have the horses up front and had to have a permanent roof (no B pillar and/or a sunroof could only be described as advantageous). They tended to be rear wheel drive also but this was as a result of mostly being pretty powerful/old (delete as appropriate) not as a prerequisite to be included here. I also only selected one car per manufacturer which was a lot easier in some cases than others. To preserve a modicum of sanity (no laughing down the back) I restricted the list to only 5 yet I still himmed and hawed more than ever before.
5. Ford Mustang : Horribly predictable I know and the only American here. I’m not going for McQueen’s fastback though and will cast my vote for an early hardtop with a four barrel carb. Reasons? No B pillar (let’s overlook the fly window), I love the notchback style and the tail lights look way better on this than the fastback. Chunky V8 up front with barn door engineering everywhere else. Every dream garage needs a blue collar hero and this is mine.
4. Peugeot 406 Coupe : This could never be mistaken for a two door saloon. Pininfarina took a very drab mid-range French repmobile and somehow turned it into this wafer delicate portion of perfection. The only front wheel drive here and I’m deliberately overlooking the likelihood of notoriously expensive electrical gremlins adding to my mechanics wallet (after all it is French). The wafty 3.0 V6 please.
3. AM V8 : Despite the bespoke (over 1000 hours per car!) manufacturing process and all the heritage you could wish for this car can surely only be described as an old school bruiser. Power scoop clearly visible because despite the massive bonnet they couldn’t find space for the plethora (four to be precise) of double barrel carburetors. Now that’s my kind of problem!
2. 300 SE Coupe (W112) : Hands down the most difficult decision here. It could have been any one of more than half a dozen cars including of course the gullwing SL. However Geiger’s full size car which thankfully wasn’t burdened with the fintails found on it’s saloon brother’s rear wings has a presence and grace that just can’t be matched. Admittedly it was (under)powered by the venerable M189 2.8 which had plyed it’s trade since 1951 but this car is all about floating along in incomparable style. Being a straight 6 didn’t hurt either but just look at it, mesmerising no?
1. BMW M635CSi (E24) : This is it. The Daddy. Looks. Power (285 horses). Heritage. Straight 6. RWD.
I checked and the internet wasn’t big enough to list all the cars that came to mind while I was writing this post. That said very close calls from other marques included a Mark 2 Honda Prelude, Audi’s original Quattro and Alfa’s early GT. Is there a glaring omission? I don’t think so but tell me if I’m wrong. Mind you I’m glad that’s over, by far the most difficult post I’ve ever written!