More Formatting Questions: What’s Worth A Subhead?

1969 Pontiac Grand Prix advertisement

As the Riviera Project gets steadily longer—currently at 158 pages and 57,000 words—I find myself using more subheads within each chapter.

Some subheads are easily placed. For example, every model year of the Riviera gets its own subhead, as does each of the three special edition Rivieras.

Other subhead decisions are not so obvious. As an example, I discuss many personal luxury coupes in the Riviera Project—they were the Riviera’s primary competitors—but in my mind, there isn’t room for every one of them to get a subhead.

1969 Lincoln Mark III press photo

An excellent illustration of this repeating formatting conundrum happens over the 1969 and 1970 model years. Those years are part of the fairly lengthy (currently 18 pages) chapter on the second-generation Riviera, which ran from 1966 through 1970.

For 1969, Pontiac introduced the second-generation Grand Prix, while Lincoln introduced the Continental Mark III, based on the same platform as the fifth-generation Ford Thunderbird. In the following model year, Chevrolet introduced the Monte Carlo, based on the same A-special platform as the Grand Prix.

1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo brochure cover

Despite being designated as personal luxury coupes, none of these three models directly competed with the Riviera. In fact, the Grand Prix and the Monte Carlo were substantially downmarket from Buick’s pride, while the Mark III was more of a Cadillac Eldorado adversary.

Because the Mark III was an offering from Ford Motor Corporation, I think it is the more relevant and important competition to the Riviera. I’m leaning toward giving the Lincoln its own subhead and including the Pontiac and the Chevrolet within the other text.

What do you think?