I just read a review of modern mid-sized cars that featured pictures of them taken from the same point of view. All of them were the boring non-color so popular these days. You could hardly tell one from another. It is sad that all of today's cars have become boring, unexciting appliances. Today's toasters and cappuccino machine have sportier styling. I miss the days when you could actually tell a Ford from a Chevy, and cars came in real colors. Somewhere along the line Americans have lost all interest in cars as anything other than point A to point B transportation.
Just buy a Cadillac CTS 556 HP 6 speed Tremev manual and call it a day. 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds. That's as fast as a Viper V10 or the new Corvette Supercharged.
How much technology do you want? I maintain we are giving Europe a run for the money. And with vehicles that do not need valves adjusted in 4000 miles and are extremely reliable.
It's a shame fuel costs are driving people into lines that specialize in small light vehicles. I know what I prefer to drive. And in fact am doing so. Take 4 buck a gallon gas away to half like it was 10 plus years ago. Then read the production statistics. With all the higher volume recalls on imports, it must be over the gas pricing to buy them still.
I agree with you that the interiors in the last Town Cars were far too cheap and plasticky. But to say that the interior in your '82 isn't is far from accurate. If the plastiwood in your Lincoln convinces you, I have some swamp land in Florida to sell you. I remember the wood trim in my grandma's '84 Grand Marquis actually peeling off in places. And much like the newer models, the interiors of the 80s Lincolns were very similar to Ford and Mercury; maybe even more so.
As long as the EPA is allowed to run amok, the big car is effectively dead. Who can afford to build a large car when in 12 short years it is mandated all car lines average 54.5 MPG?? We may not even have mid-size cars anymore. At least with SUVs, they are somewhat exempt from these ridiculous standards.
I am sure they are not going to take away a car you have already purchased. Keep them garaged and well maintained; you will be fine for many years to come.
I have a classic that gets 8.5 MPG. My friend has a mint garaged 66 Corvette 427 4 speed that gets 7.5 MPG. We joke about it, but it's part of the ownership. Best money I ever spent, and it's appreciating. The last thing you worry about is fuel. The collector insurance is inexpensive, and limits you to 2500 miles annually in most cases.
Do not worry, the collector car hobby is far from dead. Where I would be concerned is ones that suffer massive depreciation on a new vehicle to get a higher fuel # go to work vehicle. Then the insurance, new car payments, wear and tear. The high mileage racked up has to affect resale. The part that baffles the imagination is those that drive 40-50 miles to work one way in their high MPG vehicle. They justify it as the gas utilized vs wear and tear, higher insurance etc. The biggest deterrent to me is if you work 8 hours a day and commute 2 hours more, that equals a 10 hour work day you give away. I would be rather be home with my family and playing out in the back yard while there is some daylight left! Load the family up in a nice convertible on cruise nights and have fun.
My last comment here, basically because it - like many conversations online - isn't a debate, but rather back and forth arguments amongst people who made up their minds a long time ago. I - like anyone else - has the right to express my opinion. I - as also mentioned a zillion times own BOTH a classic American car and a Toyota. Yet I'm told I 'should' go back to the Toyota thread? That makes no sense.
But anyway, what is certain is that time marches on. Tastes, fashion, and design all change and continue to do so. A company is like an organism, and the products they sell are designed to meet those demands. Hence why big boats from the 70's aren't made anymore. Nothing more than the desires and demands of an ever-changing consumer base. We can all appreciate the things of the past (trust me - my house is full of collectibles) but at the same time be realists and appreciate change and new ideas. If someday Americans demand to have those huge cars again, companies will only be too happy to oblige.
The 1950s to 1977 Lincolns were the best built of the bunch in terms of interior quality. In 1978, Lincoln adopted and pimped out the Mercury Marquis dashboard (which was more cheaply made) for use in their vehicles to save money. If you look closely, the 1980s Lincolns use the same 1978-1979 dash; the gauges and controls are just switched around.
The 1990s Lincolns were a step in the right direction for many; hence the overwhelming success the 1990-1997 models enjoyed, despite the more understated styling. While I do enjoy owning the 1982 Lincoln, I can't help but think that it's an economy version of the larger 1970s big Lincolns. When I recently saw a 1977 Lincoln Town Car, I was damn impressed at how mighty and uncompromised the car was. My 1982 Town Car is a great looking car, but it would look better if proportioned a tad better, and given a couple more inches in length, especially towards the trunk area.
I love big cars, but let's face it, a world of only small and economical cars would be Heaven on Earth. Less pollution, more abundant energy, more room for parking and far fewer people injured in crashes, because all serious injuries and deaths virtually always involve small imports being crushed by large domestics. We are spoiled on monster-sized vehicles. It's really time the U.S. joined the 21st century. To me the EPA future mileage requirements are hardly ridiculous. I think they are far too lax. A 100 MPG average would be more appropriate, and we already have the technology to do that if the oil companies would let us.
And you understand that the EPA's CAFE standards only affect the middle class. Rolls-Royce and Bentley just suck it up and pay the damn fines for violating the fuel efficiency requirements, and incorporate the fines into the MSRP. All this "Going Green" crap is all aimed at the middle class, nobody else. All this "cutting back" garbage is solely aimed at further reducing the standard of living for the middle class. The rich will just live even more extravagantly than before, and the middle class will continue to dry up until it's all lower class.
Back in the 1950s to the early-1990s, the USA and Europe enjoyed high standards of living; seeing shorter work hours, almost no weekend/holiday work, benefits, unionization, great pay, and little to no competition in the workplace. Globalization and neo-liberal policies adopted in the 1980s ruined it all. I feel really bad for the youngins, they're all being screwed over.
And you also know what else? The future CAFE requirements say another thing. Gas prices are never going down again, in fact they'll probably be about $10 a gallon by 2020-2025. Combine this with the stagnant wages, and the middle class will be very hard pressed to survive the coming decade.