Skip to main content

One 'mad' list of cocktail cruisers

Hagerty's 'Cocktail Cruiser' list inspired by 'Mad Men'

I call them cocktail cruisers -- the sporty yet elegant cars that epitomized American optimism before Kennedy was shot. These cars marketed with images of women in gowns and gloves and men in suit coats preparing for a night out on the town in a new Sport Coupe or convertible (usually a Thunderbird, Coupe deVille, Grand Prix, Chrysler 300 or Ford Galaxie).

Other cars have been marketed similarly, but what separates cars from the cocktail cruiser era from the others, is that these early-1960s cars were actually BUILT for a night on the town with interior mood lighting, a lounge-like interior atmosphere and names for all the cars' gadgets, which were only rivaled by the mixed beverages poured by the bartender.

That wonderful era is gone, but at least the cars live on. We also get glimpses through movies and TV shows, such as "Mad Men." Hagerty assembled this list, which has some similarities to the cocktail cruiser lists you've seen on the blog and in my editorials. Check it out for yourself.

How to Drive Like the MAD MEN: Top 10 Cars of the MAD MEN Era

Hagerty Picks Stylish, Sophisticated Collector Cars that Epitomize the Don Draper Lifestyle

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Since its premiere in
2007, the popular AMC show "MAD MEN" has renewed an interest in the
sophisticated lifestyle of the early 1960s. For professionals of this
era, the ultimate sign of success was a new car.

Hagerty, the country's leading provider of collector car insurance,
has put together its picks of the collector cars that the most powerful
and influential professionals of the MAD MEN era would have driven.

"Collector cars are a unique way to show off your sense of style and
express your personality," said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty. "The
early '60s especially were an era when quality products and
cutting-edge design still ruled in America. The ten cars on our list
are great examples of the understated and sophisticated design style of
this period, and their solid value today makes them a smart way to
capture the essence of MAD MEN era."

Below are Hagerty's picks of "How to Drive like the MAD MEN: Top 10
Cars of the MAD MEN Era."

 1. 1963 Buick Riviera: When Cadillac decided against
producing the Riviera, Buick enlisted McCann Erickson ad agency to
convince GM brass that the car should be a Buick. GM styling chief Bill
Mitchell drew inspiration from Rolls-Royce and Ferrari. Owners knew the
value of a powerful, yet beautifully understated car with plenty of
room for the mistress and weekend's luggage. And the iconic 1963
Riviera certainly filled the bill.
2. 1963 Corvette Sting Ray: The 1963 Corvette was
perhaps the last truly elegant Corvette before the muscle car era
arrived with all its ducts and scoops. A man could "expect a subtle,
extra measure of attention and respect" by arriving in such a potent
3. 1961-63 Ford Thunderbird: With the 1955 Thunderbird,
Ford introduced Americans to the concept of a personal luxury car. By
the early sixties, the boys from Dearborn had perfected the notion. Big
power, big comfort, "suddenly, you're in Thunderbird Country."
4. 1961-63 Lincoln Continental Sedan: Conceived just
before the beginning of the design-by-committee era, Elwood Engel's
magnum opus was the last mass-produced automobile to be designed by a
single man. A 1963 print ad showed the Continental, with doors open in
welcome. Below, the tagline stated: "For 1963, we have enlarged your
private world and provided you with added power."
5. 1961 Chrysler 300G: The G's styling was unabashedly
50's. But with up to 400 horsepower available and one of the best
suspension and brake packages available, the big Chrysler was more than
met the eye. Though outwardly traditional, its looks concealed inner
6. 1963 Studebaker Avanti: Studebaker was among the last
of America's independent automakers. Styled by a team led by famed
industrial designer Raymond Loewy, the Avanti was Studebaker's last
gasp. A Hail Mary Pass of a European-style GT, the Avanti was a lasting
icon of an era when the fiercely independent were heroes. While
Studebaker succumbed to a creeping death, Avanti production continued
into the 1980s.
7. 1962-63 Cadillac Coupe De Ville (perhaps they meant 1961-64 or 1963-64): No list of great
1960s cars is complete without a Cadillac. The Coupe De Ville was a
neon sign announcing the "arrival" of a top executive. Young
businessmen did not want or even yearn for a new Cadillac, they aspired
to one.
8. 1962-64 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk: Although
Studebaker went out of business in 1966, it wasn't because their
products lacked style. The GT Hawk was fast, elegant, and understated.
Though larger and more staid than its Avanti stable mate, the Hawk was
still a bold statement of independence.
9. 1963 Buick Electra 225: Though it was built by GM's
"near luxury" division, the Electra 225 carried plenty of prestige.
Four vents on each front fender indicated Buick's largest available
engine and the big 401 cubic-inch V8 provided enough power to make even
Cadillac owners think twice. Though not as flashy as the Cadillac, the
Buick was grace and style made manifest.

10. 1963 Ford Galaxie XL Convertible: If the world or
even the solar system simply wasn't big enough, there was the Galaxie.
With a whopping 119" wheelbase the Galaxie convertible wasn't a car
you wanted to parallel park in Manhattan. Which is why the French
invented valet parking. True story, sweetheart.

Hagerty Insurance Agency, Inc. is the leading insurance agency for
collector vehicles in the world and host to the largest network of
collector car owners. Hagerty offers insurance for collector cars,
motorcycles and motorcycle safety equipment, tractors, automotive tools
and spare parts, and even "automobilia" (any historic or collectible
item linked with motor vehicles). Hagerty also offers overseas
shipping/touring insurance coverage, commercial coverage and club
liability coverage. For more information, call (800) 922-4050 or visit

Where to Bid

Car Auciton

Check out the Old Cars Auction Calendar

The Old Cars Auction Calendar has the when and where you are looking for when it comes to classic car auctions.