Not the fastest, but very reliable
This car lived most of its life in the California/Nevada desert -- and while that helps prevent rust problems, the heat and sun is not good on the interior components and belts/hoses. Much has been replaced on this car due to same.
During my ownership (I would estimate at 90000 miles) I had to replace the starter.
The head gasket blew at around 100000 miles.
Seats are currently being recovered as the fabric gave out roughly 10 years ago. Again, due to the climate the car was kept in.
The brakes have always been a bit softer than I'd prefer. Likewise, suspension and steering show some play. All of this is changeable.
Some owners report rust-out problems (even in fair climates) at the firewall on the driver's side -- due to a drainage issue with the cowl. I've watched for this problem, but have not faced any issues with this on mine.
The cabin is big, bright, and airy, with good visibility. Excellent headroom (39.3"), legroom (41.0"), etc. It is like driving one's living room down the street.
The look of the car is sharp, with good mid-century design elements and some of the finest in post-tail fin sculpting. It always has a graceful, pretty look.
It is not an especially fast car. The original 6-cylinder (this one has the optional dual-throat carburetor) engine only gives you about 138 hp. Nevertheless, it makes up for this by providing decades of reliable driving with minimum upkeep.
Gas mileage for an older car is incredible. This can pull down 20 miles to the gallon, which I never thought I'd see.
Like the interior, there are acres of room under the hood (less so in the V-8 model), making this a good "first car" for someone who intends to do their own under the hood maintenance. I'm very pleased with this car, and hope to drive it for its next 40 years.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 13th July, 2004