Excalibur (automobile)

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The Excalibur automobile was a car styled after the 1928 Mercedes-Benz SSK by Brooks Stevens for Studebaker. Stevens subsequently formed a company to manufacture and market the cars, which were conventional under their styling. [1]

Contents

A prototype premiered at car shows in 1963, fitted on a Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk chassis and using a 290-brake-horsepower (290 PS; 220 kW) Studebaker 289 V-8. Studebaker ceased engine production in December 1963 and transitioned all manufacturing to its Hamilton, Ontario plant, ending the availability of that engine. [2]

Stevens subsequently obtained engines from General Motors through his friends, GM executives Ed Cole and Semon "Bunkie" Knudsen. These were Chevrolet 327s in 300-brake-horsepower (300 PS; 220 kW) Corvette tune, making the 2,100-pound (950 kg) Excalibur a strong performer. With the standard 3.31:1 rear axle, acceleration from 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) took less than six seconds. [3] Projected top speed was 134 mph (216 km/h). [4]

Over 3,500 Excalibur cars were built, all in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. [2] The American comedian Phyllis Diller was a notable proponent of the Excalibur automobile, and owned four of them. [5]

The company failed in 1986 but was revived several times. [6] Production of the Excalibur continued until 1990. [7]

Excalibur SS (4633350948).jpg
1960s SS
Excalibur Series II Roadster SS in Paris.jpg
1970s SS
1984 Excalibur Series IV Phaeton (5409795985).jpg
1980s Phaeton
NeoClassicExcalibur.jpg
1980s SS

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References

  1. "Brooks Stevens, 83, Giant in Industrial Design". The New York Times, John Holusha, January 7, 1995. January 7, 1995.
  2. 1 2 "1964 Excalibur SS Pictures, History, Value, Research, News". Conceptcarz.com. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  3. "How Excalibur Cars Work". How Stuff Works. 11 June 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  4. "1967 Excalibur Series I SS-SSK Roadster full range specs". Automobile-catalog.com. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  5. "Excalibur History". Conceptcarz. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  6. "Is Third Time The Charm For Excalibur?". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  7. "Camelot Classic Cars, Inc". Excaliburclassics.com. Retrieved 15 May 2018.