Your're right about the stress, just got quoted $1100 to replace the bull$*** AIR SPRINGS... like they couldn't just put real springs to begin with. The $1100 is for a conversion kit, not even OEM replacement, well now I did buy it when 6, not 10 years old (ain't that stupid) but it's a lesson learned for sure. Yes, I loved the ride, and the car still turns heads, but it's not worth it. Funny thing is I can buy a new one now with $20K down, however I would rather take that $20K & put it into a 2 year old Honda/Toyota, bought & paid for, without the bells & whistles that cost a fortune.
Well I only buy what I can get for cash, so I'm looking at 2-3 year old Hondas/Toyotas. Though I've been hearing about the decline in quality, I've been burned enough with American cars that I have a bad taste in my mouth... You're right on with the Town Car/Crown Vic/Panther platform though... these are probably the only American cars I'd recommend. Though I do enjoy those type of cars, I'm also looking for something with better mileage than those.
I personally like the SUVs. I am very sorry I missed out on one of the Blackwood pick ups. A bit pricey. Many are going over to Cadillac. Some of the over 50 set like myself that grew up with high performance, love the new Cadillacs. Corvette engines and 6 speed manual transmissions, extremely swift and a blast to drive. I remember we once thought anyone over 30 was old. Don't have to be if you are a true auto enthusiast with opportunities to buy the newest muscle cars out today. Corvettes, Camaros, Challengers, Shelby Mustangs; it's a great time to buy again.
Oh you'd be surprised my friend. To this day I still get compliments on this car, from both men and women, many, I can assure you, nowhere near old enough to collect social security (a lot of my coworkers, aged 30's to 50's, admire it, & were all blue collar people). It's a fun car when it works as designed, but the problem is, it often doesn't, & when that happens, hold your wallet!
I'm glad you didn't get that Blackwood, because if you did, I heard they're one of the most unreliable pieces of crap out there. IMO if you want a truck, get a Ford F-150, or one of those workhorse GMC's etc.
Um, the Blackwood was an F-150. The only difference was the Blackwood had a standard V8 and air suspension.
The "air suspension " is the kicker though. Unless you have the bucks, like we're all discussing here, you're better off with something durable. Air suspensions are for rich people, and IMO don't really offer much better of a ride for the headaches.
Reading these comments has been interesting. I have owned two Lincoln Continentals, My first one was a 1998. I bought it used and it was a one owner car, it had 58,000 miles on it when I bought it. The only repairs I had done were brakes, tires and a battery. I sold the car at 168,000 miles two years ago and still see it around town. My current Lincoln is a 2002 one owner car with 61,000 miles on the clock, and no problems whatsoever!
It should be noted I change my oil every 3000 miles, transmission fluid at 30,000 miles, and back flush the cooling system every two years. I also get 26-27 MPG highway.
After I sold my 1998 Lincoln, I bought a used 2003 Honda Accord EX; not a bad car. It was a one owner Honda. It had the VTEC motor. Prior to me buying, it had a new head gasket, timing belt and radiator at 143,000 miles. I had to put in both lower ball joints, transmission control module and thermostat. Also the valves were starting to make a noise, and the Honda dealer told me it needed a valve job.
I am sure if I kept sticking money into the Honda, it would have lasted. Bottom line is it was not that good on gas (30/31 highway), not that comfortable and not that dependable (I must say though it never left me stranded).
I can look on the Internet and read horror stories about any car made in the world; it seems you only hear about bad news, never the good.
My family always bought new Town Cars.
Sure these vehicles are more complex, and have many options, but they are bought for comfort, luxury, ride, and maybe a personal reward for hard work and success.
To bring up a Honda Civic or Accord is way off. If you buy a new expensive Lincoln, you know up front your costs are higher parts and labor. It's like the price of admission when you buy one. If not, stay away. You don't fret on repairs or fuel if you spend 50k on a new luxury car.
I think where people run into trouble is buying a used, so called bargain for ego or image wannabe status. That's the way it is. The first guy takes the big hit, but can afford it. The next guy buys a used one for the cost of a new Honda, to give an impression of success. Not everyone can write a check for 5 grand to fix an A/C unit like I did with a Mercedes once. They can't do it and run for the econo mode again. Buy a new Honda, not a used luxury car if you are on a econo budget. Not just that you afford payments and nothing else. Let the ones that can afford to buy a new one order one, and never complain about gas or repairs.
My dad ordered his for 2 reasons. #1 it was new, and #2 it was a new color as a change in pace. He took long trips and vacations in retirement, and had a new car and a warranty. Not a Honda person at all.
People that say you need to expect higher repair bills with a luxury car, are way off in my opinion. If you are going to pay $50K for a car, shouldn't you be able to expect it to hold up?? If I had thousands in repair bills like this guy, I would be looking for a different type of car as well. Most people do not think that way, and that is exactly why brands like Lexus and Mercedes have gained such a stronghold in the US luxury market in the last 20 years. People are sick and tired of paying out the nose for their cars.
It is unfortunate what has become of the modern American car, but Detroit had their head in the sand way too long, and in most cases the damage has already been done.
FYI I have always owned GM products. The most recent was a brand new Buick that stickered for close to $50K, but if it started requiring a lot of service, I would not see that as normal in any way, and may consider looking elsewhere for my next purchase.