Lasted from 1947 to 1951 and made under 100 cars
Playboy isn’t just the name of a media empire built by the late Hugh Hefner – it’s also the name of a short-lived automaker called Playboy Automobile Company, a firm which didn’t last long, spanning only from 1947 to 1951 when it went bankrupt.
It is said that Hef himself actually used the automaker’s name for his magazine which eventually ended up becoming a world wide sensation – he founded it in 1953 when the manufacturer had already gone bust.
Playboy Automobile Company built a total of 97 cars which were variations of the same design and pretty much all prototypes. It was a small two-door car what was available in a variety of body styles, including a convertible and a woody. Powering the little runabout were a variety of small power plants, but the most common was a 40 hp Continental engine that made it good for a top speed of 75 mph / 121 km/h and a 0 – 50 mph time of 17 seconds.
Some examples still survive today and they represent a very interesting albeit short-lived page of post-war American automotive book.