Taking a Walk on the Wild Side With Classic

Posted on August 1, 2000 by LCT Staff - Also by this author

The competing coachbuilder’s wife just wouldn’t take no for answer. She was drinking in the features of Classic Limousine’s new Wild Life stretch at a recent limousine show, enthralled by the passion-pit ambiance, complete with sensuously curved lounges, animal-print upholstery, hand-laminated burlwood trim, twinkling mood lights, and a mirrored partition etched with a tiger head. She informed her husband in no uncertain terms, “I have to have one of these.” It’s not known whether he eventually convinced her that he could build something similar, but the point was already made: Nick Giacobone of Classic has a gift for crafting the alluring, the enticing, the unexpected. It may not be a limousine every operator needs, but it sure is one they all want.

Of course, inborn talent needs honing, and Nick cut his teeth on that distinctively American art form—street rods, along with some custom work on Ferraris and Lamborghinis. He was a dyed-in-the-wool car guy first, and a coachbuilder second. Press him to show you his personal favorites, and he’ll take you over to a ’57 Eldorado Brougham, one of only 703 in existence that he says cost $26,000 each to manufacture, sold for $13,000, and is now worth a jillion dollars. He’ll show you his Guldstrand-powered Corvette with a Ferrari-style body, and a ’57 Belair two-door hardtop. His daily driver is a V12-powered SL600 Mercedes that he takes Momma out for Sunday drives in—but usually at triple-digit speeds. She enjoys cruising in the fast-lane, a trait that obviously runs in the family.

Back in 1984, Nick turned his attention from customizing rods to luxury sedans, stretching his first Lincoln 60 inches. From there a series of groundbreaking custom designs emerged from his fertile imagination, culminating in 1996 with the Wave, one of the most copied cars in the industry, according to Ted Carlson, Classic’s VP of sales & marketing.

Today, while everybody else seems to have gone computer crazy, Nick’s CAD system is still found in the gray matter between his ears. He describes himself as an artsy type who enjoys working in mediums of clay, marble, paint—and coachbuilding, of course. New concepts come to him as easily as most people breathe, and he continues to create new designs as the mood strikes him. “I like things that flow, that are smooth,” he says. That’s obvious from the serpentine, seamless interior of the Wild Life, one of his latest models, based on 120-inch stretch of a Lincoln Town Car.

The outside of the Wild Life received some artistic touches as well, such as a five-color pearl striping and grille treatment, along with Euro-style, masked-out headlights. There’s even an illuminated tiger-head logo (or operator’s signage, if you wish) in the one-piece side glass. The custom wheels are not just for show—they exceed federal specs for heavy-duty load rating.

Trick looks are all fine and good you say, but what does it do for the bottom line? Clearly this is not a car for a large-volume operator. It’s a specialty limousine that enables the little guy to compete with the big guys by offering something extraordinary. That’s generally true of Nick’s signature creations. Time and again operators have praised Classic for the impact these rolling artworks have had on their business, generating top-dollar bookings. If that’s what a walk on the wild side means, then count us in.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Global Partners Adds First Member From Asia

Asia Limo will help the operator peer group gain more international insights.

Operators Land Business Feature On MSNBC

The San Francisco/Silicon Valley area company rose from a weekend wedding limo service to a full-on luxury transportation provider.

Kelly Alderete Takes On New Role With The Driver Provider

The industry veteran has been tapped to become the company’s director of sales and business development.

Windy City Names Managers To Lead Client, Affiliate Growth

The company benefits from a deep talent pool that enables it to promote from within, owner George Jacobs says.

Many Good Reasons To Register Now For LCT East

Sign-ups opened online Aug. 1 for the industry's East Coast trade show Nov. 5-7. Register in August and get two hotel nights free.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment



See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - August 2017 $12.95 MILLENNIALS/FAST 40 ISSUE COVER STORY: * How to Score & Keep The Best Young Talent * *


Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close