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 a standard Studebaker car with special bodywork (and soon got an upgraded engine as well).
A prototype premiered at car shows in 1963, fitted on a Studebaker Lark Convertable chassis and using a 290-brake-horsepower (290 PS; 220 kW) Studebaker 289 V-8. Studebaker ceased engine production in December 1963 and consolidating all manufacturing to its Hamilton, Ontario plant, ending the availability of that engine.
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. Projected top speed was 134 mph (216 km/h).
Over 3,500 Excalibur cars were built, all in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The American comedian Phyllis Diller was a notable proponent of the Excalibur automobile, and owned four of them.
The company failed in 1986 but was revived several times. Production of the Excalibur continued until 1990.
- ^ "Brooks Stevens, 83, Giant in Industrial Design". The New York Times, John Holusha, January 7, 1995. January 7, 1995.
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