Land Yachts: Postwar American Luxury Convertibles

Land Yachts

Hershey, PA (November 13, 2018) The AACA Museum’s feature exhibit from November 16, 2018, through April 28, 2019, is called “Land Yachts:  Postwar American Luxury Convertibles.”   The exhibition will showcase the beauty and the glamour of the full-size American convertibles built from the immediate post-WWII years through 1976 when Cadillac produced what was then believed to be the last American convertible.


During this era, the convertible symbolized youth, freedom, and the joys of the open road.   Convertible drivers appeared to be unencumbered by the practicalities of ordinary life.  They enjoyed seeing what was around them and also enjoyed being seen.   The cars conveyed a glamorous image, even attracting some drivers who rarely put the top down, but enjoyed the status of driving a convertible.   Public figures favored convertibles to be visible to the public, including President Eisenhower’s ride in a 1953 Cadillac Eldorado during his inaugural parade.   Also, for most of this period, the traditional full-sized American cars got progressively larger and more luxurious, hence the description “Land Yachts.”


During the 1970s, a variety of factors caused Americans to rethink the desirability of a convertible.   The prevalence of air conditioning made closed cars more comfortable in warm weather, and vinyl-roofed hardtops gave them a stylish, youthful appearance.  Increasing crime, pollution and safety concerns also eroded Americans’ will to drive open cars.   The addition of government fuel economy requirements numbered the days of the “land yachts.” However, for those who love the style and panache of the great postwar luxury convertibles made in America, they will be alive and well represented in Hershey!


While visiting, guests can also enjoy a Dodge Brothers display guest curated by the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Dodge Brothers Club also on view during this same time.  From Mid-November through January 6th the Museum galleries will be decked out in the holiday spirit with dozens of decorated trees, model train displays and more.    The AACA Museum’s retail store is also a great place to purchase those unique holiday gifts.  As we head into cooler weather, it’s the perfect time to explore some new featured exhibits.