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Car Tales: Excalibur, As Sharp As A Sword

‘The name of the magical sword wielded by King Arthur in the English Arthurian romance.
‘We like seasonal references here at Beverly Hills Car Club.
1983 Excalibur Series IV Phaeton for sale
‘And legend has it that Arthur – he of the Knights of the Round Table – won the English throne by pulling a sword from an anvil sitting atop a stone that appeared in a churchyard on Christmas Eve. ‘Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil, is rightwise king born of all.

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”Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil, is rightwise king born of all England.’ So wrote Thomas Mallory of the provenance of Excalibur in his magnificent 15th century version of the Arthurian tales, Le Morte d’Arthur.
1983 Excalibur Series IV Phaeton side view
‘It was said that when Excalibur was first drawn in combat, in a battle testing Arthur’s sovereignty, its blade shined so bright it blinded his enemies.
‘The 1983 Excalibur Series IV Phaeton certainly shines and shimmers. But we would hope that no one who buys from us the model of this car we presently have at Beverly Hills Car Club will have any such foes at this time of peace and light.
‘This 1983 Excalibur Series IV Phaeton, a first-class road machine, is featured with 2 tops and finished in tan and maroon combined with a burgundy interior.
‘Equipped with an automatic transmission, V8 engine, four-wheel disc brakes, Rochester Quadrajet carburetor, dual exhaust outlets, VDO instruments, body-color hardtop, convertible soft top, wood dashboard, vintage spotlights, side pipes, center fog lamp, Hella-branded headlights, mud flaps, chrome bumpers, wire wheels, BFGoodrich whitewall tires, three-spoke steering wheel, and dual side-mounted spare tires.
1983 Excalibur Series IV Phaeton rear view
‘Amenities include air conditioning, cruise control, Alpine radio, glove compartment, an ashtray, dual-side mirrors, power windows, sun visors, door pockets, and dual trumpet horns. In addition to the equipment, this 1980s’ classic comes with an assembly manual booklet and service receipt copies.
‘This is an excellent opportunity to jump into the ownership of this extremely beautiful and sought-after Series IV Phaeton that is mechanically sound.
1983 Excalibur Series IV Phaeton interior
‘The Excalibur automobile was a car styled after the 1928 Mercedes-Benz SSK by Clifford Brooks Stevens for Studebaker. The SSK was the last car designed for Mercedes-Benz by Ferdinand Porsche before he left to found his own company – I bet you can’t imagine what that business might have been called…
‘For his part in 1944 Brooks Stevens formed The Industrial Designers Society of America. After his death in 1995, the New York Times called him ‘a major force in industrial design.’
‘Fewer than 40 SSKs were built during its production run: over half of those were damaged or destroyed during car races. Only some four or five models have survived. In September 2004 a 1929 model was auctioned at Bonhams in Chichester, England, for $7.4 million, making it the second most expensive automobile ever sold at that time. And the SSK owned by fashion designer Ralph Lauren won best-of-show at both the 1993 Pebble Beach Concours de’Elegance and the Italian 2007 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
‘And so to the Excalibur, styled after the 1928 Mercedes-Benz SSK by Brooks Stevens for Studebaker. A Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk chassis was employed on the prototype that premiered at car shows in 1963. But at the end of that year Studebaker stopped producing the Studebaker 289 V-8 that had been used.
1983 Excalibur Series IV Phaeton engine
‘Accordingly Brooks Stevens linked up with General Motors and used Chevrolet 327s. They had a top speed of 134 mph; 0-60 mph was 5.3 seconds. And they could out handle the 289 Cobras of the day.
‘With headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, over 3,500 Excalibur cars were hand-crafted. A popular culture icon in the 1980s, the beautiful, fast and elegant Excalibur would garner a crowd wherever it went.
‘As befitted its name, the Excalibur was as sharp as a sword.
-Alex Manos, Owner
Excalibur buyer Alex Manos

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