Set of 12 automotive illustrations by the artist James B. Deneen
Special folio issue of the 12 prints that were also pictured in the Thompson Ramo Wooldridge, Inc. calendar for 1978. This year's calendar pictures 12 cars that were selected by the Milestone Car Society (MCS). Post WWII cars to qualify had to excel in two of these five categories: Styling, Engineering, Performance, Innovation and Craftsmanship.
1. 1953 Packard Caribbean
The lithe, low, rakish design of the 1953 Packard Caribbean reflected than company's response to the American public's growing appreciation for European sports cars. The car was powered by Packard's 180-hp 327-cid Thunderbolt engine, and options included rear fender louvres to enhance the appearance, as well as a hood ornament consisting of a cormorant, which had been the company's symbol for half a century. Other options included power steering and brakes and a continental rear tire. Convertible tops were offered in black and tan. The car was elected a Milestone because of its Engineering, Performance and Craftsmanship.
2. 1954 Ferrari 250 Europa
Auto racing was Enzo Ferrari's main passion in life, so it follows that Ferrari cars evolved out of competitive models. That was certainly true of the famed 250 series, which developed in 1952. The 1954 Ferrari Europa 250, though a roadgoing GT version, grew out of Ferrari's 1952 Mille Miglia victory with his 250 Sport. The Europa was equipped with a V-12 engine—Ferrari especially loved 12 cylinders—and all Ferrari V-12s from 1947 through 1964 are Milestone cars. The 1954 250 Europa gained that distinction for its Engineering, Performance and Innovation.
3. 1961 Porsche Type 356B Roadster
Ferdinand Porsche began building cars bearing his name in 1949, and the company has maintained a reputation for first-rate quality ever since—a truly miraculous achievement. One need only look at the record to verify it. Porsche introduced the Type 356 in 1949, the 356A in 1956, the 356B in 1960, and the 356C in 1964. Every one of those cars is a Milestone, and every one for every qualifying category: Styling, Engineering, Performance, Innovation and Craftsman-ship. Porsche-built cars are the only ones to enjoy this amazing distinction. Pictured is a 1961 Type 356B Roadster.
4. 1949 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible
1949 was Chrysler Corporation's 25th Anniversary, and the company went all out to achieve distinctive styling and performance. Its Town & Country convertible may be the shining tribute to that effort.
The car was plush inside and out, with white ash wood trim on the exterior complemented by full leather or leather and bedford cloth interior trim combinations. A buyer could select from ten color choices. Power was provided by Chrysler's Spitfire Engine, either by a 116-hp, 6-cylinder version, or a 135-hp, 8-cylinder type. Its Styling, Engineering, Innovation and Craftsmanship made it a Milestone car.
5. 1963 Corvette Sting Ray
From its inception in 1953, Corvette could boast not only that it was the only production sports car in the U.S., but also that it was the only U.S.-built car with a fiberglass body. Its 1963 Sting Ray broke new ground in a number of ways, not the least of which was styling. Its smooth rear deck was unbroken by any luggage compartment lid, and its wraparound doors simplified getting in and out. Also, the manufacturer put more weight in the rear to improve traction and maneuverability. Dual rear windows curved over the rear quarters provided better vision. It was elected a Milestone car for its Styling, Engineering and Performance.
6. 1946 Lincoln Continental
The 1946 Lincoln Continental was among that company's first post-war models, and its cabriolet design closely resembled the last pre-war models. Its long, low lines swept gracefully from the smart front grille to its smoothly tapered rear body contours. Its extra-wide doors and curb-level entrance facilitated passengers in getting in and out, and its lower center of gravity enhanced roadability and ease of handling.
Only 201 cabriolets were built, which should be delightful knowledge to a present-day owner. A 1946 Continental was the pace car for the first post-war Indy 500, and it was selected as a Milestone car for every category—Styling, Engineering, Performance, Innovation and Craftsmanship.
7. 1962 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II
Mr. Royce was a mechanical engineer and Mr. Rolls a pioneer motorist and aviator. The two formed the Rolls-Royce company in 1904 with the avowed intention of establishing a tradition of excellence in automotive manufacture. No one—absolutely no one—would challenge that they succeeded in doing exactly that. If there were no other proof, it would be enough that all Rolls-Royces from 1947 to 1964 have been elected Milestone cars. The 1962 Silver Cloud II shown here made it for Styling, Engineering, Performance and Craftsmanship.
8. 1957 Ford Skyliner
In 1957 Ford Motor Company introduced 21 new models, one of which was its celebrated "Skyliner." Ford proudly described it as the "world's only hide-away hardtop," not knowing at the time that it might also have called it the "world's only, the world's first and probably the world's last hide-away hardtop." In an entirely automatic process, the roof swung back and vanished beneath the trunk lid, instantly transforming the car into a convertible—an innovation that subsequently turned out to be a bit less practical than it was progressive. The fine-performing Skyliner was elected as a Milestone car because of its Styling, Engineering and, of course, its Innovation.
9. 1953 Studebaker Starliner Hardtop Convertible
Studebaker was founded in 1852 and began its second century of operation in 1953. To observe the occasion, Studebaker strove for a "European" appearance with its models of that year and, in fact, claimed it offered the first American car with a "foreign look." Its Champion Starliner Hardtop Convertible reflected the racy, sophisticated lines sought by the company's designers. The car was indeed low and wide, with considerably more window space than earlier Studebaker models. The company also boasted that its optional overdrive transmission reduced engine effort 30% without affecting road speed. The car's Styling, Engineering and Innovation earned it a place among the Milestone cars.
10. 1951 Hudson Hornet
When introduced, Hudson's 1951 Hornet immediately captured the automotive public's imagination. In its design, Hudson sought and achieved a sleek, streamlined silhouette and a massive front end, suggesting spectacular engine power. The engine itself was a new L-Head, 308-cid design offering 145 hp. Hudson claimed an exclusive with its recessed floor, step-down entry. The company also insisted the Hornet was the lowest-built car on the road, as well as the roomiest. A four-speed automatic drive was a novel option. The car became a Milestone for its Engineering, Performance and Innovation.
11. 1948 Willys Overland Jeepster
'Jack-of-all-trades' is probably the most apt description for the Willys-Overland Jeepsters. Willys called them sports cars, which some auto enthusiasts might consider an exaggeration. They were big, tough and rugged vehicles, perhaps more at home plodding over fields and up dusty country roads than they were on conventional highways. The 1948 version shown here was powered by an L-Head, 4-cylinder engine that chugged out 63 hp. This particular model was elected a Milestone car for its Styling, Performance and Innovation.
12. 1950 Oldsmobile "88" Holiday Coupe
Car manufacturers seem to reach peak years suddenly and—on the surface, at least—unexpectedly. People who remember the 1950s will recall that it was a golden time for Oldsmobile. Olds burst upon the scene with a splendid design propelled by one of the most talked-about engines ever to be put in an automobile—the celebrated Rocket. Billed as the "first true high-combustion engine of the future," the Rocket quickly achieved outer-orbit status. It was the power plant for Oldsmobile's 1950 "88" Holiday Coupe, one of the most popular cars of its era, and selected as a Milestone car for its Styling, Engineering, Performance and Craftsmanship—missing out only in Innovation.