3rd Jul 2017, 16:28
I'll add to what others have said: This car, along with most of the other full sized American cars of the era, might have been marketed as "luxury" cars, but beyond the usually over-stuffed seats and gobs of carpeting, they are not. Most of the underpinnings of these use ancient drivetrain and frame components, that in many cases had been used in cars from the 50s. If you don't believe me, my '55 Mercury will actually work perfectly fine using parts from any number of 70s Ford and Lincoln components. Back then more emphasis was placed on styling and the interiors, while the mechanicals were rehashed over and over again.
By the 70s there were PLENTY of corners being cut too and it shows. While European and Japanese automakers had moved to FWD cars with tight unibody construction, many of the land yachts sold here were still the same old-fashioned ladder framed things with huge engines that produced pitifully little horsepower and torque.
Sure - cars like these are a real hoot to drive. Mine wallows around like a happy whale on the back roads and then just floats along on the freeway. There is basically zero feedback in the steering or ride. Just a big slab of steel gently bouncing along.
But as far as luxury? Ever wonder why it's easy to still spot 70s Mercedes cars on the roads and hardly any of these land yachts from the same era? It's because they are not luxury cars. Just mass-produced, malaise era, re-badged products from an era when the US auto industry was in turmoil. But I'm glad some people are taking care to preserve these, because they are a part of historical vehicle record.
3rd Jul 2017, 17:27
Uh, um, no. I stated in 20:28 what it is I own, and am definitely not the individual whom is concerned about unsprung weight. My question is why a Tacoma is being mentioned. What's next, Corvette?
3rd Jul 2017, 18:51
We were discussing newer luxury cars. Late 60s and up, as with the review. My parents even had a loaded V8 LeSabre with air. I drove it to high school, and although not my favorite Buick, it was nice. I was mainly talking about new loaded Cadillacs and Lincolns that we owned new. Not Tacoma, Volt and mid 50s Mercury that I would be surprised if it even had a V8, few power options or even air. Having owned Mercedes, the ride was not as nice as a late 80s, fully loaded Town Car. That we owned new and it rode like a dream.
3rd Jul 2017, 22:05
They're some truth to what are you saying, but IMO, although the 70s wasn't the greatest time for luxury American cars as far as quality goes, and sure many are just "rebadges", they still reign supreme in driving comfort, and that is all that really mattered to people back then, and even now.
Sometimes old tech or the way things were built is actually better than the new stuff. The old full-framed luxury cars of the 70s rode extremely well, had massive interior space, and tons of trunk room. No modern luxury car today can compare to the size and comfort of the older Cadillacs, and Lincolns and in this case Buick. The reason American cars didn't change much from the 50s-70s is because they didn't have to. Things were fine the way they were, and big frame cars worked perfectly without issues until the gas crisis hit. That is when everything changed, and the downsizing era began for the worse. Sure a 70s Mercedes might have felt more solid, or had better interior materials, but the thing rode like crap over potholes and crumbling streets. You couldn't fit 6 adults, let alone 5 if you had to, unlike a full-size American luxury car, which never had this problem.
Believe me, I like to drive modern day cars for everyday purposes, they are quick, agile, get great gas mileage, and are reliable, but as far as comfort goes, they still can't compare to the serene ride of the luxury cars from the 70s. Their unit-body structure simply cannot block out road noise, or isolate passengers as well like a heavy frame car can. It's technically hard to do from an engineering standpoint as the body isn't strong enough compared to a separate frame to absorb harsh road impacts. They also need extra sound deadening materials to help quiet the car, which adds weight and adds extra cost to the car. Going over a large bump or pothole transmits a lot more energy, and vibrations into the cabin vs a full-frame car. Every unit-body car I've driven doesn't ride as nice as my older full-size Lincolns and Cadillacs do; it's technically impossible unless the manufacturer adds additional sub-frames, and heavy bracing to help damp NVH.
Modern day luxury rides also have shorter wheelbases and less wheel travel compared to back then, and this makes the cars ride choppy and bumpy.
4th Jul 2017, 00:23
So let me get this straight. A Buick ,Lincoln, Cadillac with an "ancient" drivetrain is not considered a luxury car because of what's under the hood? So what. The engines were reliable all along; thanks to CAFE & government standards they lost HP and performance.
Speaking of FWD, I can remember in 1985-1986 when GM full-size cars such as the LeSabre/Electra Delta 88/98 and Bonneville were all switched over to FWD. These were reliable cars, but many were disappointed about the radical change. Thus the Caprice, Fleetwood hung around in RWD form a lot longer than expected.
As for seeing older cars around, I would say that you have it backwards. I live in the deep South and see many more GM and Fords as opposed to imports.
4th Jul 2017, 12:01
The Tacoma was mentioned as we do not see any first hand experience owning "New" luxury cars through the late 60s-80s, which I have both owned and driven. Some were my parents' car, but I drove them frequently. And they were marketed as such, and were very much indeed luxury models. Maybe you have a Volt and a mid 50s Mercury, and read articles. I am talking Lincolns and full size Cadillacs. Not downsized later models. Not even Buick or Olds models. Please expand exactly what options your 55 Mercury has as compared to the review model or newer before downing American luxury cars.
I agree the 50s era in many cases are quite archaic. What parts can exactly interchange with a model you have to one 20 years ahead? I had a 50s car; no air, hard to drive with a 6 volt battery. It was nice to look at, but driving was a chore. So even its battery could not be interchanged with later models. Even our 67 LeSabre had a V8, air and all powers.
If you want to compare to present day European models, they are very nice too. We have an Audi Crossover now and a new Porsche 911. So any Corvette comparisons I may have are now past ownership. Can't help you. It was not in the luxury car sedan realm, it's a 2 seat sports car. So a luxury model with 4LT optioned, but not same comfort or ride. If I only had that style car, no first hand ownership or driving could give any real merit in comments. Which can be never be compared to a late 80s Town Car as a one I really liked with far better ride. Wish I could have taken you for a spin to see what I am saying here in that Town Car. Extremely nice car, especially when it was brand new. You have to really spend time behind the wheel and live with cars to truly know. If you do not think that was a luxury car, I hope others join in. Maybe they may agree with my thoughts.