Journal: What’s Your Favorite Classic Land Barge?

What’s Your Favorite Classic Land Barge?

By Michael Banovsky
May 21, 2015

The one thing I absolutely love about land barges is that there’s something for every taste. No matter if you like driving fast or slow, or if a badge on the front matters all that much to you: almost every major car company has attempted a big sedan at some point. If you have time to find the right one, it may match your personality perfectly.

Let me explain, using the Maserati Quattroporte II.

With a production run of just 13 cars, you can say that the Quattroporte II is more a curiosity than a possibility for most enthusiasts, and you’d probably be right. Engineered on a stretched Citroën SM chassis and retaining its 3.0-litre V6 and front-wheel drive, this sedan is certainly not what you’d expect to see from the trident marque.

But to me, with its combination of traditional-looking Italian bodywork by Bertone and Citroën tricks like hydropneumatic suspension and turning headlights, the II is a rare crossover car. It was designed and constructed at great expense, and was one of the big factors in plunging both Maserati and its parent company, Citroën, into financial turmoil.

But now, if I had a budget for such a car, I’d get one in an instant. Which land barge have you fallen for, and why?

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3 years ago

Peugeot 505 was the best car I ever owned. Amazing comfort. I could sit in it for 10 hours driving across the US four time and get out feeling absolutely as good as when I started. No sore butt. For comparison, cars I have owned include: 1965 Mini Cooper S, Alfa Romeo Guilietta Sprint Speciale, Chevrolet Corvair.

Jason Najm
Jason Najm(@jason_najm)
3 years ago

‘89 Bentley Turbo R

Lucian G Totoianu
Lucian G Totoianu(@lucian_g_totoianu)
3 years ago


3 years ago

Jag XJ (up to and including x308) or… Ford Scorpio Mk1. Or Gaz-13 Chaika

Samuel Barman
Samuel Barman(@samuel_barman)
4 years ago


Robert Wyland
Robert Wyland(@rmwyland)
4 years ago

It would have to be 1967 2dr Thunderbird. Style, power, and luxury and you can fit a bicycle in the trunk without taking the wheels off!

4 years ago

Mopar 1970s

Jordan Schooley
Jordan Schooley(@fb_10153501328774238)
6 years ago

Chrysler 300D. Last of the famous letter series to use the Hemi engine. Topped 156 mph at Bonneville – in 1958. Waftability and serious performance – amazing combination.

Kevin Field
Kevin Field(@kevinscars)
6 years ago

I’m in a dead heat between the Monteverdi High Speed 375/4, and the Lagonda. Speaking of which, how about an article or video on any Monteverdi?

Charles Pasquier
Charles Pasquier(@fb_10153225376261187)
6 years ago
michel dupuis
michel dupuis
4 years ago

great choice !!

T Martin Higgins
T Martin Higgins(@fb_10153283626730690)
6 years ago

I’ve long been a fan of the land barge. Choosing one favorite is like choosing a favorite child – but if I had to choose one among the list I’ve personally owned, it would have to be the 1976 Buick Estate Wagon in hunger green with woody sides and tan corduroy 9-passenger interior and the clamshell rear door. It was at once luxurious, cavernous, great looking and unexpectedly swift and fun to drive. I still miss it.

Adam Kerr
Adam Kerr(@fb_13741716)
6 years ago

For me, it absolutely has to be the last of the Exner-designed Imperials, ’61-’63. 1961 is the most true to the designer’s vision – a jet-age, mid-century tour-de-force. Its heavy chrome and dramatic fins were already going out of style when it rolled off the assembly line, but half a century later it’s clear there will never be another design like it. Plus, the big-block Mopar engine, Torqueflight auto, and full perimeter frame make it both powerful and nearly indestructible.

Sid Widmer
Sid Widmer(@sid)
6 years ago

1963 Lincoln Continental please.

Russ Wollman
Russ Wollman(@twincamfiat)
2 years ago
Reply to  Sid Widmer

The purest elegance, perhaps the most refined, too.

Ae Neuman
Ae Neuman(@fb_1293493178)
6 years ago

for me it’s the last of the classic brick shaped Bentley turbo r’s.
classy, comfortable, fast, epically cheap !

David Van Wagoner
David Van Wagoner(@fb_10203196550549337)
6 years ago

Or maybe this 456 Venice GT Estate…

Ludwig Marx
Ludwig Marx(@ludwig)
6 years ago

Audi A8 D2 is simply the best proportionate car ever in my opinion.

aron green
aron green(@shoreorthopod)
6 years ago
Reply to  Ludwig Marx

I had a d2 s8… one of the best daily drivers ever… better than my panamera turbo s

6 years ago

Two cars, one was the early 80d Ferrari sedan that I believe was only a concept car, and something a little more obtainable is the late e38 bmws in long or short wheel base. I believe they are quickly becoming a connoisseurs luxury sedan and are aging so well.

Tom DesRochers
Tom DesRochers(@brown76)
6 years ago
Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger(@gtrslngr)
6 years ago

The one that never was . Should of been . And came within a hares breath of happening

The brutally elegant GG designed Bugatti EB112 .

All the mechanicals of the EB110 in glorious sedan form . To illustrate how close the car did come to going into production as I type this I’m holding a copy of the official GG sales brochure they gage out in order to gauge interest and generate future sales . From all that was said to the prospective buyers the car was within one evolution of being production ready .

Everything Bugatti should of become once VW-Audi took over the moniker rather than the obscene , vulgar and over the top piece of wretched excess VeryGoneWrong [ Veyron ] VW-Audi in the end became . All bets are ; had VW-Audi followed thru with the EB12 they’d of made a profit on every cars sold . Rather than losing almost a million per car that they are

Alternatively ? A 69 or earlier Cadillac [ its not about the big gentlemen . Rather its all about the bling baby ]

José Pinho
José Pinho(@fb_837393336314024)
6 years ago

Ok, there is only one, but it has four doors and comes with a lambo badge, for me it would be the Lamborghini Faena.

Sebastian Motsch
Sebastian Motsch(@fb_636012792)
6 years ago

Aston Martin Lagonda, hands down. But all the other vehicles mentioned are also quite desirable.

David Van Wagoner
David Van Wagoner(@fb_10203196550549337)
6 years ago

From Detroit…
1959 Oldsmobile 98 4-door hardtop.

Lucas van Genderen
Lucas van Genderen(@lancia71)
6 years ago

Agree on CX/XJ/E23/4porte. All good choices for EU originating cars.

Richard Sheets
Richard Sheets(@fb_10153461899762275)
6 years ago

76′ Cadillac Factory Limo. It’s as big as they got. I’ve had a big old Cadillac before and it’s like driving a couch.

Anders Holmberg
Anders Holmberg(@abarthista)
6 years ago

Bitter SC/4 Sedan would be my personal choice.

Doug Jacobs
Doug Jacobs(@prospero75)
6 years ago

BMW’s e23 7 Series. Legendary six cylinder that can be pumped up to extremes, and you can still find the odd one with a manual transmission. Add some beefy sway bars with poly bushings and you’ve got a lot of fun that looks good and rides great.

Antony Ingram
Antony Ingram(@antony-ingram)
6 years ago

Probably a Series 1 Jaguar XJ, though “barge” is probably unfair on a car that handled quite impressively in its day. In fact, any XJ up to the modern era would be my choice here. Style, cornering ability and a pillowy ride.

As a choice from left-field, any big Citroen. A CX would do, though I’ve always liked the wedgy look of the XM. Those came with a V6 too, and I’d say that six cylinders are a bare minimum when it comes to choosing a barge.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange(@365daytonafan)
6 years ago

I would go with the the later Quattroporte III especially in final Royale trim (more luxury and more power). Clearly meant to be a rival to the Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, Mercedes 450SEL 6.9 and the crazy Aston Martin Lagonda, I love the understated but at the same time imposing Giugaro lines, but also for the fact that it was weirdly available with a manual gearbox. Did Maserati think that once the chauffeur had dropped the captain of industry/ head of organised crime family/ dictator of a small country (delete as applicable) – owner off for dinner the chauffeur could go off and have some fun with the combination of manual gearbox and d.o.h.c. Maserati V8?