Eleganté Embléms: Detroit Gets Classy

Illustration for article titled Eleganté Embléms: Detroit Gets Classy

I tell you what, my latest junkyard haul has me considering a name change to Brougham E. Landau (the E stands for Eleganté, with the accent).

Illustration for article titled Eleganté Embléms: Detroit Gets Classy

The upcoming Concours d'Lemons features a class called Most Eleganté, open to "Vintage neoclassics, Shaft-worthy pimpmobiles, Excaliburs, Zimmers." Contemplating the Eleganté concept made me realize how cheezily cool is Detroit's heavy hand with heraldic crests, emblems featuring names of royal horse-drawn coaches, and the like- only in America, suckaz! With that in mind, I spotted this Mark Cross emblem on a 1988 Chrysler New Yorker Landau at my local self-serve junkyard, and I had to have it.

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Illustration for article titled Eleganté Embléms: Detroit Gets Classy

A landau was a "social carriage" meant to haul four rich folks in bouncy, horse-poop-scented comfort back in the 18th century, but Malaise Era marketers in the Motor City made the name their own. This emblem now adorns my desktop computer.

Illustration for article titled Eleganté Embléms: Detroit Gets Classy

Respected fashion names can often be persuaded to put their names on Detroit's special-edition cars. Oleg Cassini, Bill Blass, Cartier, and many others have cashed in on this deal.

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Buick went with the "knighthood" theme for much of the Malaise Era.

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While we're talking class, how about this piece of commemorative wedding glassware that I found on the trash-strewn floor of the Mark Cross Edition Chrysler New Yorker Landau? Yes, Cassandra and Bernard had such true love at their wedding last year that they gave out shot glasses… which then ended up in a car destined to be ticketed, towed away, and junked. Eleganté!

Illustration for article titled Eleganté Embléms: Detroit Gets Classy
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Illustration for article titled Eleganté Embléms: Detroit Gets Classy
Illustration for article titled Eleganté Embléms: Detroit Gets Classy
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Illustration for article titled Eleganté Embléms: Detroit Gets Classy
Illustration for article titled Eleganté Embléms: Detroit Gets Classy
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Illustration for article titled Eleganté Embléms: Detroit Gets Classy

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DISCUSSION

I remember thinking the heraldry badge on my Dad's old Monte Carlo was really cool, when I was a kid. Looking back, it is pretty badass.