How could your 55 Mercury Montclair make a 78 Continental look like a compact, when the Lincoln is 22 1/2 feet long in overall length?
15:22 here we go again quoting inaccurate information. Unless your '55 Mercury is a limousine, please tell me which '55 model was 22 feet (264 inches) long! The longest regular production car ever was the 1974-1976 Cadillac Fleetwood at over 233 inches. The 1955 Mercury was 206.3 (about the size of a modern large car) inches, while a '78 Continental was about 232. Once again, you are quite wrong.
Sadly most younger people are only concerned with how much Gee Whiz electronic gimmicks a car has, and could care less about a car's styling or performance. I think that is why, with a few rare exceptions, all cars now are bland and boring, and only come in black, white or shades of gray.
I am sorry to hear this, but just because two small Japanese cars don't do their part to protect against domestics, doesn't mean that they can't stand up to "full-framed cars".
Weight is what made a big difference there, I'm willing to bet that both cases involved Hondas. I happen to know that outside of crash tests, Hondas tend to be idiotically delicate in accidents.
I know someone who was in a low-speed accident at a stop light in a Honda Civic; they lived from the accident, but the car was smashed pretty badly.
You're right when you say technology has come a long way. Unfortunately most modern car manufacturers don't take advantage of it. I mean when you see 1960s and 1970s luxury barges with power locks, power windows, automatic climate control, and automatic parking brake releases, you wonder why some of those features don't exist on most vehicles today. It's just sad that a lot of vehicles have sacrificed a lot of neat things for the sake of fuel economy.
I mean the switch to smaller cars isn't bad for the average person, but when you see every car (even domestics and luxury vehicles) trying to look like a Toyota Camry, you know you've got a problem there.
In the 50s the car to have as a successful professional in America was typically a brand new Cadillac. It was a dream in middle America to own one. The mindset was that you achieved success, and respect in the community. Both my grandfather and father were very proud to own brand new Cadillacs. Gas was peanuts and was never discussed.
In the early 60s my father switched to Continentals, which won industrial design awards. And then he bought 80s Town Cars up to his death.
I think some commenters on here are young and single, or do not have children. We took some amazing family trips and vacations in these cars. Taking a family trip was an adventure. There would be a pile of maps in the car and full service gas stations along the way. On long trips you cannot beat them for comfort and room.
Overall in the 50s I think that people did not drive as much as today to work and for daily errands. There were not huge malls and the variety of businesses. Jobs were plentiful and there was rarely a need to drive an hour each way to work. Small cars in the 50s and 60s were just not plentiful until cars like the Mustang were introduced. I do not remember seeing many VW Bugs or the like in the 50s. I am sure they were out there, but not real evident or noticed Most mothers stayed home then, and middle class homes for the most part had one car. Many families owned a large station wagon; yet another large car.
Now gas is close to $4 a gallon. People commute far to work for varying reasons and it's hard to quit and find one within a couple miles from home.
My memories of these large luxury cars has always been favorable. I grew up an era where there were no child seats or seat belts, and less cars on the road. I remember riding in rear faced seats in station wagons. There were simply less people on the roads, no malls, and less huge interstates here. Unless you grew up in this era, you will likely not understand any of this. I do not ever remember being stranded anywhere in these large cars. We had some flat tires on the tire technology of the day. But I remember having ice cold air conditioning, the twilight sentinel auto dimming the lights at night and power options in the Cadillacs. And cool suicide doors on the Lincolns. And great leather and 30 cent gal gas.
The current state of the auto industry reminds me a lot of a Lincoln commercial poking fun at the newly downsized GM full-size luxury cars. A valet at an upscale restaurant or club was trying to collect cars for people, and kept getting the wrong one because he couldn't tell an Oldsmobile from a Cadillac and so forth, because they all looked pretty similar. Then a guy comes up and says he has the Town Car, and the valet can easily spot the large distinctive Lincoln amidst the sea of generic cars. Well today it is much much worse, it's hard to tell a Toyota from a Buick, or a Lincoln from a Hyundai. Very sad in my opinion.
You miss my point completely. 15:22 was trying to say that people have an affinity to cars they grew up around and remember fondly, and probably put them on a pedestal and embellish them. Well I was just pointing out that that certainly can not be true in my case.
And as far as saying that modern cars are better, well you are very correct in some aspects. I will not argue that most modern cars are safer, more reliable, more powerful, and in many cases built better than a 70's car. Plus I really like a lot of the new gadgets like back-up cameras, heated seats, electronic climate control, etc.
However in my opinion and many others, I feel that the older cars win out in style, size, and comfort hands down. That is just my opinion, so quit putting words in my mouth and trying to force your opinion on others. Enough said!
Another consideration on a car like this is storage. I just added another garage 20 x 20, which is detached. If you have a larger vehicle, I would recommend carriage doors that swing out. There are some nice door designs out. I can easily park a car such as this, and even now my full size truck fits. Buying an older car, my advice is to always garage it.
I have a small enclosed Wells Cargo Rear Drop Ramp as well for my bike. Plug in the battery maintainers, and take them out and have fun, vs bickering about who has what. Keeping cars in great condition, in most cases you will enjoy them, and even break even or make money on them later.
I have fond memories of taking the long 10-hour drive down to the Gulf Coast in our old Lincoln Town Car. It was like riding along on the living room sofa: comfy and smooth as riding on a cloud. Now in our new MKZ (a Fusion with $10,000 in snob appeal) we might as well be riding in a Camry. Nothing compares to the old land yachts in decadent comfort.