1981 Other Makes Series IV
Excalibur wasn't the first to combine classic styling with a modern, high-performance powertrain, but they were likely the most successful. Designed not as kits, but as fully finished high-end luxury cars that competed on equal footing with the likes of Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz, they were extravagantly expensive cars that frequently found celebrity owners. With high quality materials and a virtually hand-built body and interior, they were unique products of their time that offer their own special brand of nostalgia today. Few people will mistake this 1981 Excalibur roadster for a real Mercedes SSK, but everyone who sees it knows the Excalibur is something special. Driving this car will make you a one-car parade, and it will be impossible to travel anywhere without being noticed. You will receive A-list service from valets, and children will wave to you without even knowing why they're doing it. It's a special car. Fortunately, you'll be proud to be seen in it, since this one is nicely preserved with a white paint job that shows off the luxurious curves to full advantage. The fiberglass body remains in good condition with no signs of accident damage or botched repairs, and though there are the usual signs of age, this car remains impressive from any angle. We don't believe it has ever been used as a daily driver, and the mileage might very well be original although there's no official confirmation. Today, as it was then, the Excalibur is a special car for special occasions. The supple tan leather interior is perhaps the Excalibur's calling card. While the bodies were extravagant, the interiors were opulent without being gaudy, functional without being over-engineered. In a nod to the past, there's a full array of round gauges on a flat woodgrained dashboard, and most of the controls will feel familiar if you've driven, say, a C3 Corvette or early '80s Cadillac. The view out over that long hood is unparalleled in modern motoring, and the deep leather buckets are sumptuously comfortable. There's even a reasonably-sized back seat that will carry adults, a trick you just can't manage in your XJ-S or Mercedes SL. Despite its vintage looks, however, the Excalibur offers its passengers all the amenities, from A/C (needs to be serviced) and a powerful stereo, to power windows, power seats, a tilt steering column, and an automatic transmission. Out back, there's a fitted trunk wearing matching tan carpets, and while the top is power-actuated, it does need a little help just because of the size of the assembly. a burly small block Chevy V8 punched out to 383 cubic inches, the Excalibur is a potent street machine, although it's likely that its owners cared more about the big small block's effortless torque. Installed less than 5000 miles ago, it runs superbly and uses all the familiar parts you'd find in a GM performance car of the period, so maintenance is cheap and easy. Even with a low-profile air cleaner, the engine is really packed in under that long, louvered hood but service access is still quite good. Unfortunately, those side pipes are not functional, but it does use long-tube headers to feed the exhaust system stashed under the running boards. The engine spins a TH400 3-speed automatic transmission, which was also rebuilt when the engine was installed. The suspension is GM, too, so it's easy to service and it sits on real wire wheels, including those in the fender wells, all of which carry wide whitewall radials that add the perfect period touch. Thrilling to drive and better at attracting attention than a Lamborghini, the Excalibur is for the discerning hobbyist who appreciates the classics, but yearns for something more. Call today!