21st Nov 2012, 16:06

It is a well known fact that full size cars have been on the decline for the better part of 30 years, and the number one factor was that we went through 2 fuel crises in the 70s, and the elevated price of fuel since has exacerbated the situation.

Interestingly though, during those times in the early 90's through the early 2000's when fuel prices dropped, large vehicles again saw a spike in popularity. Vehicles like the Buick Roadmaster, Cadillac Fleetwood, Ford Excursion, Cadillac Escalade, and Lincoln Navigator are among some of the largest vehicles ever, and they were introduced during this time. However when gas prices started to rise, large vehicles started to wain again, and now the crippling CAFE standards are making matters much worse and that is very evident to me (50+ MPG by 2025???).

There are more small (tiny) cars being introduced all the time, even from manufacturers like Cadillac and Buick who had abandoned the small car since the early 90's. Now the biggest car either of those divisions makes would have been considered mid-size externally about 10 years ago. The fact is that Americans buy larger vehicles when they can afford to, but the sad fact is that if the government has its way, the manufacturers won't be able to afford to build them, even if we wanted to buy them in droves!

21st Nov 2012, 16:23

Just 3 short years ago GM and Chrysler filed bankruptcy, and Ford wasn't far from it. I wouldn't exactly say that happened because they were building cars people were just dying to buy! And to say that the full-sized cars were ancient and dated, well I personally would rather have dated over anonymous and generic. At least the older big cars were comfortable and had some distinction.

Lastly, if you dislike cars like this so much, then why exactly are you bothering to read a thread about a 1978 Lincoln Continental, because that car embodies these traits about as well as any.

21st Nov 2012, 17:37

Yes I do remember the 70's, I lived through that era, did you? That was also the time when CAFE standards were stricken and had everything to do with downsizing and engine CID shrinkage.

There are a lot more than just a few people who defend these cars, and yes many people do continue to buy large SUV's because they are the only thing left that represent a full-size car besides the Chrysler 300, and again, look how many of those you see everywhere.

"Sincere Yugo fans"? Let's get real.

22nd Nov 2012, 11:37

Around 5 years ago we had a severe gas price rise. 2 months later I went and bought a High Top Conversion Van with a 37 gallon tank. Got a great buy. I do the opposite of most people, and buy when the time is right. Instead of paying sticker for a small hybrid, I saved thousands on a fun vehicle. I later sold it and made a couple grand. Same with homes and doing flips. People are so fixated on fuel costs, that they may be paying far more for a vehicle. We have short commutes. Rather than buy some silly looking smart car, we did the reverse. I remember people cancelling their orders once gas dropped. And lost money on their deposits. I bought a 40000 mile garage kept 99 Crown Vic for 3k in the same time frame. Sure it was an old person's car. It ran flawless with ice cool air and was another free car. Meaning I sold it for more than I paid for it. No repairs at all. If you live close to work, you have just the price of fuel. I even recouped the cost of insurance spent when I sold it. Keep doing this and you are doing very well over time. I can't see paying a premium for little cars unless you insist on commuting 2 extra hours to and from work. Uncomfortable and lane skipping suspensions. You still have wear and tear as far as brakes, tires, depreciation etc. It's a false economy!

22nd Nov 2012, 17:17

Opinions are opinions, to each their own.

Personally, I am keeping my 1988 Caprice Classic Brougham until the end of time. I have driven many cars, and in my humble opinion this is the best one. The must comfortable ride ever, plush velour pillowtop power seats, ice cold AC, 6 passengers (adult) can sit in comfort, huge trunk, smoothest ride ever, V-8 power, 26 MPG highway in a full size land yacht, plus rear wheel drive handling.

Not to mention it is built like a tank and requires little to no maintenance, other than oil changes and tires.

As well it has ornate chrome trim, real chrome bumpers, landau roof, and the distinctive 80's Detroit luxury sedan look, which stands out amongst the modern FWD plastic commuter bubbles.

I will never let go of my Caprice; in my humble opinion this is the best car ever built, with 80's Town Cars and Crown Vics a close second.

22nd Nov 2012, 17:31

Personally I don't care for the Chrysler 300 at all. It does have some distinctive style, but personally I find the Dodge Charger a lot more attractive. The Chrysler is just too disproportionate. It has a wheelbase the size of a 70s Ford LTD, with overhangs that belong on a compact. Personally I don't care for that look at all. I think we deserve a much better large car to buy with less sporting aspirations.

22nd Nov 2012, 23:39

"These cars were basically obsolete and not taken exactly seriously in the automotive press."

F the automotive press.

23rd Nov 2012, 11:46

You are absolutely right. I have a 3 mile commute to work each way and drive a Buick Enclave that gets about 17 MPG mixed driving. Not horrible, but not great. I drive what I like though. I will always drive larger cars as long as I can, because I really appreciate the roominess and better ride they offer over small models. I also feel that they generally are more attractive looking. I am not wealthy, but fuel cost is not really a concern because of my short commute. A tank of gas (about $70) lasts between 2-3 weeks. It's too bad that many of the people who are spending hours in their cars with long commutes, are the ones who can't afford to drive larger more comfortable models because of fuel costs. I wonder what types of cars we would have if gas was still $1 per gallon. Most Americans buy small cars because they have to, not because they want to.

23rd Nov 2012, 15:28

I remember Donald Trump saying do the reverse in the bad economy. There's more opportunity. Homes, cars etc are all affected. I love buying after Thanksgiving, boats or cars, used, with cash. I often flip in the Spring. I stay away from inflated cars and interest loans. I live in the suburbs, but am near everything. I also have heard big 70s convertibles such as Eldorados are the new upcoming collectible, and are still somewhat undervalued. Buy good examples such as estate cars. Nice neighborhoods and garage kept vehicles are usually good places to look. Not always a guarantee. I look at ads on CL for example for wealthy suburbs. You can find a hidden gem with stacks of meticulous receipts and was in White Glove weekly. It's better to spend a bit more for a low mileage non smoker cream puff, than to try to make one out of a high mileage example.