We love all things weird and thanks to our sleuthing we’ve found really strange cars with even stranger stories: from luxury pickups to the finest leather, corporate squabbles to cartoon ducks.
1975 Chrysler Cordoba
Who can forget the soft Corinthian leather of the 1975 Chrysler Cordoba? This personal luxury coupe is renowned for its memorable advertising campaign spearheaded by the legendary actor Ricardo Montalban. Even if you weren’t even driving yet when these ads first hit the airwaves, you might have heard your parents laughing about the “fine Corinthian leather” (as it was often misquoted) that adorned the interior. If you haven’t seen the commercial you might not appreciate the humor, but trust us, it was one memorable campaign for what, in the end, was a rather wonky car.
The car bristled with facsimiles of old Spanish coins to emphasize the exotic elegance within and without. Chrysler (and Montalban) were quick to emphasize the soft leather, thick carpeting, and wooden veneers and knobs. The foreign name of the car was consistently mispronounced. While small for the time (it was Chrysler’s first attempt at a downsized personal coupe) it was still 3,700lbs with eight gas-guzzling cylinders that produced surprisingly paltry horsepower.
The undeniably attractive car was popular at first, but sales declined as drivers discovered that the leather trimming couldn’t quite make up for an unusual vehicle. Finally, despite all of the attention paid to the leather, the Corinthian trimmings were an option rather than a standard feature.