1978 Lincoln Continental Base from North America - Comments

30th Jan 2013, 12:51

But would it be a good idea if Cadillac had decided to keep making cars that only appealed their traditional demographic? For obvious reasons that isn't a sustainable model. GM had to totally reinvent the brand and change long-held perceptions. Those who wanted to buy upscale, sophisticated luxury had moved on to the European brands decades ago. Cadillac was so outdated that it's taken over a decade to change that around.

If you want to see one model Cadillac that is for sure right up there with the European sedans, the ATS has won wide and positive praise across the board. It's a true sports sedan with rear wheel drive - as it should be. What's more, it was engineered in the US. It's a uniquely American car. I do appreciate that Cadillac is still very different looking from any of the competitors.

30th Jan 2013, 16:08

As a car enthusiast, I have never been a fan of front wheel drive. In many years of driving, I have owned only one front drive car that was better on snow than our rear drive cars. It was a 1988 Dodge Daytona.

My wife and I currently own a front drive mid-sized sedan, a rear drive sports car, and a large truck-based rear drive SUV. By far the worst in snow is the front drive sedan, while the big rear drive SUV is the best. It handles snow as if it were dry pavement. Last winter my wife was caught out of town in a heavy snow, and made it home without a hitch in the SUV. The front drive sedan is a total nightmare on snow, and virtually impossible to steer.

30th Jan 2013, 16:38

Tell me... what is wrong with having a car that floats over the road with quietness and comfort? As far as GM being "plasticy", have you ever taken a good look at a Honda Element or a last generation Celica? Talk about plastic, those two cars represent Joan Rivers.

A few months ago I went on a road trip where a 2011 Camry was used, and the interior is full of plastic and cheap materials such as the headliner.

30th Jan 2013, 17:13

You think the "floaty" 90s GM cars were plasticky?? What do you think 99.9% of the Cruze's interior is crafted from? Steel?

And styling is definitely subjective, but I would not describe the Chevy Cruze as an attractive car at all, it is merely a bland looking compact car. Personally I would take any GM "floater" over one of these. Sadly, gas mileage would probably not be all that significantly different either.

30th Jan 2013, 20:14

I don't think so as the performance segment loves Cadillacs. And the over 50 crowd that would normally go to a European sports sedan feels the same.

30th Jan 2013, 23:58

Cadillac? This a Lincoln review.

31st Jan 2013, 08:36

Same class; that's why there are comments on features and benefits. Before you buy next, go around.

31st Jan 2013, 09:57

No kidding. The comments on this review have, as so frequently happens on this site, degenerated into disagreements that have strayed far afield from anything pertaining to the original review.

What do long-winded arguments about politics, Greenpeace or restaurant food in the 1950's have to do with the '78 Lincoln ownership experience?

31st Jan 2013, 15:52

What's wrong with floaty cars with plasticy interiors? Nothing. But they have fallen out of popularity. Like I said - if the only people who buy cars like those are from a shrinking demographic, then that's not enough to keep a brand afloat. So like any good company, car makers have moved on to making cars that more people want.

And what I meant by "plasticy" wasn't meant to literally indicate "Plastic", but the overall cheap shoddiness that was epidemic in most American cars from the 80's-90's. I recall being in high school, and the driver's ed car was a 1990 Lumina. The interior of that car was frankly AWFUL. The door rattled and shook. The dash squeaked as the car moved. There were HUGE gaps between parts. I distinctly remember this even as a kid. The controls were cheap and flimsy feeling. But what's more was that the interior of this car - along with basically the entire GM lineup - was that they were totally uninspired and about as boring as one could possibly imagine. I'm not the only one to state this. Europeans to this day still deride American cars for their awful interiors; much of that criticism coming from the experiences with American cars from the 80's and 90's.

Like I said - the Cruze I rented was about 1000% better inside and out than any American car I've driven or ridden in from the 80's and 90's. The design, choice of materials, the layout, fit and finish, tolerance and precision fitting, switchgear and feel, sound dampening, interior lighting, and comfort were light-years ahead of the cars GM made 10-15 years ago. What's more, this same car is also praised by the automotive press and it also sells well in the EU, where it also gets positive press. It's not just me that thinks the quality of American cars has improved. Their sales are clearly improving, and what's more, car sales have jumped dramatically. Prior to that, cars - especially small cars - were a small part of their business, while most sales came from large trucks and SUVs. Cars like the Cavalier were afterthoughts. Now that the Big three now make good medium and small cars, the sales tell the tale.

So some can say that today's cars aren't appealing to them. That is fine. But clearly these cars are selling better, they are winning awards, and since more people like them, those that don't are in the minority.

1st Feb 2013, 05:50

Many high end Europeans brands also envy my domestic. Valves that do not need adjusted in 4000 miles. In the shop at frequent intervals, an engine that doesn't need to be dropped to do a tune up. Oil leaks and electric issues. And mine is made by GM.

1st Feb 2013, 08:04

I am the original reviewer here of my 78 Continental, and I am simply shocked after reading page upon page of comments about some very "off topic" stuff that doesn't even relate to my review at all. I am also surprised on how many people have commented as well.

The car has needed a lot of work in the last 2 months. I replaced the water pump, water outlet housing that cracked, a couple of belts, brake pads/rotors, a leaky freeze plug and a few other things.

If there is one major advice I'd like to give to people here is to make sure you change your coolant! Never add straight water to the cooling system. After I flushed my car, the water pump started leaking, freeze plug started leaking and the amount of rust and corrosion coming out of the water hose was ungodly GROSS! Keep this in mind, please!

What is so great about this car, is that I repaired everything myself. That is the joy of owning an older vehicle like this; everything is a lot more accessible and the parts were dirt cheap. The more I drive this car, the more I love it, it's an amazing feeling getting behind the wheel of a car of this magnitude. I read a lot of hate on here from people that are talking trash about these big cars, well maybe it's not your cup of tea, but it sure is mine! We need to at least allow ourselves to experience something different, something out of our comfort zone in order to appreciate, and understand how and why certain people like what they like, and why people like myself and others that love these big classic luxury cars of the past, we can't get enough of them.

Regarding new cars. I believe nothing has really changed in the last 30 years when it comes to interior materials; plastics still rule at the end of the day, even in my 78. But the difference is the quality of the plastic, the PVC material has vastly improved in new cars of today compared to the cheaper, extremely flimsy plastic of cars from the 80's-90's in American cars. The fitment and rigidity of these new plastics are also far superior in some aspects to the older cars and will not crack over time. But not all is great, you can still find some "cheapness" in all new cars of every make, some things are still flimsy, but not nearly as horrible as in some 90's cars that I can remember. Foreign makes like Honda and Toyota didn't suffer from this problem as they focused heavily on quality in the 90's compared to Ford, GM and Chrysler.

That being said, the 70's weren't known for great interior quality either. The door panel quality on the these old 70's Lincolns are solid and plush feeling compared to Cadillac for instance of a similar vintage. No cracks in the vinyl, or flaky material coming apart. The chrome trim looks very nice and of good quality. Even the some of the fitment is solid and tight, but other parts of the interior like the dash is not. The dash may look nice, just don't go about pressing on it with your finger or else you'll start to hear creaking or plastic flexing. I fixed all that with some foam tape I stuck in between some gaps in the dash to quiet things down. But I feel that I shouldn't have to do that in any car, especially a luxury car. This is a 70's car after all, so it still suffers from certain 70's era things.

This car still triumphs many cars I have owned in the past in overall enjoyment. Although it's slow as hell, it rides like a dream, and commands a presence that the majority of modern cars today simply don't have. Oh yeah, and the vacuum controlled headlights are awesome! It's cool to hear it operating when you pull the knob to open and close the headlight doors! I really like small things like that in old cars, it brings out its character that cars now lack severely.