8th Jul 2017, 14:21
The one thing I would agree with is that a 1976 LeSabre with a V6 would be a perfect trailer queen, as driving it would not be much fun :(
10th Jul 2017, 16:19
I think the thing here is that we're talking about luxury as deemed by preference. It's true that yes, big American cars from the 50s all the way up to the end of the last true body on frame Lincolns in the 2000s were different in terms of ride. From the 50s-on, many Americans preferred a sort of sluggish, floaty riding car. The idea was to put the car on HUGE springs and just roll over whatever on the roads and get as little feedback as possible, hence that oh-so-infamous living room couch ride quality.
Only issue with that is when you do that you also compromise handling. Cornering, turning, stopping and otherwise doing anything other than going in a straight line suffers. The driver feels very little road feedback. Why is that important? Because with a more responsive feedback, the driver can correct and adjust their driving "real time" versus how these old cars tended to handle, which is that due to all those squishy suspension systems, the reaction of the car is delayed, meaning you in turn will often overcorrect, over or understeer, or otherwise become slightly disconnected from the driving experience.
So when Americans started discovering the handling and driving qualities of cars made by BMW, Mercedes, Audi and whatnot, that desire for squishy ride quality began to slide. Right up until the late 80s the best selling luxury cars in the US were all domestic - AKA - Cadillac and Lincoln. But those companies were too slow to react, and probably because their buyer base tended to be older and were used to that handling quality, whereas younger buyers began getting luxury cars from the aforementioned European makers. That has had a long-term effect on their market share. The shame is that as of now Cadillac now makes models that get HIGHER marks for handling, speed and quality than BMW or Mercedes. Yet their sales are abysmal. BMW and Mercedes, and even Audi, which let's face it - is more like a German Buick / VW are all way ahead of Cadillac in sales.
So while I own a classic myself and love those old boats, it's the insistence on not adapting to the changing market that led to a total swap in brand preference in the luxury car market.
10th Jul 2017, 18:14
That doesn't mean most of us that truly actually owned a brand new late 60s, early 80s full size Cadillac or Lincoln like what we are stuck with today. You can't beat the wheelbase, ride and comfort of old. I would pay for the older big cars from Lincoln Cadillac if a 2017 version was out. 50s and up to mid 60s Lincolns and Cadillacs are simply out of this equation. Sure my family can dial in the ride and handling on a new Audi or even a MB if we chose the latter today. Or you could buy a supercharged 638 HP downsized manual trans Cadillac. But this discussion is superior ride, not pinpoint precision steering and close to 200 mph. It's ride. Somehow the primitive 50s era keeps popping up. If enough of us speak up, maybe we can get manufacturers to listen. We will be first in line. And no one says we can't also keep European counterparts to go with it.
10th Jul 2017, 21:07
@ 10th Jul 2017, 16:19:
Nailed it! Great post.
It's funny that the association of sporty handling with superior quality often works against the buyer -- a M3 suspension setup, for example, is both overly capable and needlessly uncomfortable on most city streets.
I think with the US's failing infrastructure, the pendulum will swing back towards a greater preference for compliance. Fortunately, with the advent of electronically-adjustable suspension settings, consumers can have both the sporty image with coddling comfort.
10th Jul 2017, 22:12
If you ask me, the reason Cadillac is losing sales to the German competitors is because they DON'T manufacture the traditional American luxury car anymore. I remember not to long ago in the mid-90s - mid 2000s, almost everywhere you looked on the road you saw a DeVille. Cadillac's flagship today is the XTS, which already had its name changed to the CT6 due to poor sales.
As far as Lincoln Town Cars; you still see a great deal of those on the road. A lot has to do with their stellar reliability. Many people including myself are holding onto them because they are the last of their kind. I've had my '96 for over 10 years and still have no problem with the handling and road manners, and yes I have driven BMW, Mercedes and Audi, and still prefer the soft American ride any day.
11th Jul 2017, 18:10
I recently purchased 2 new/newer European cars. Doesn't mean I do not miss and/or would like to even have a full size luxury Cadillac or Lincoln again, to go with these. This is a late 60s post, actually Buick. Certainly don't want to hear about a 50s car. Cost isn't an issue; would like to see a nice brand new Fleetwood or Town Car long wheelbase again. Loaded up. Any other tentative buyers?
11th Jul 2017, 21:31
First, the XTS is a completely separate model from the CT6 -- the former is a FWD car that shares a platform with the LaCrosse and Impala; the latter is a RWD car on GM's Omega platform. They are currently both on sale, side by side, at Cadillac dealerships.
Second, Cadillac claims the CT6 is not their flagship model.
Third, it is not an issue of the lack of interest in Cadillac, specifically. Sales of all cars are down across the board, thanks to the rise in popularity of crossovers. "Traditional American" luxury cars had been ceding market share to their CUV counterparts for over a decade by the time the DTS and Town Cars were finally culled.
12th Jul 2017, 16:40
My point exactly. Has nothing to do with European cars taking away market share at all. We are driving what is currently offered. So we have added Crossovers since 2010.
13th Jul 2017, 09:40
That's correct. We have a 2016 Audi SQ5 ordered new. Luxury combined with performance version. And you 17:43? Always very interested when asked. What current direction have you now gone to for a luxury model. Same exact question with what year and make?
13th Jul 2017, 14:22
I would say that purchasing an Audi contributes to "European cars taking away market share".
13th Jul 2017, 17:13
We also own 3 late model domestics. And 1 classic that was built in Van Nuys. All quite different. So it's certainly far more weighted to this side of the pond.
15th Jul 2017, 12:12
17:43. Are you the same guy that does long distance commutes to work in California?
16th Jul 2017, 01:30
17:43 asked what I drove. I promptly answered. Then I simply asked the same with no reply. This has happened on a few posts. It's kind of hard to exchange an equal free change of ideas when there is no idea what is actually being compared to.
Lastly, if you don't own such a vehicle or type, it's at least decent to say you only have an opinion. Vs an active direct ownership and knowledge of its maintenance history. My 2 cents.