1978 Lincoln Continental Base from North America - Comments

1st Feb 2013, 09:20

First of all, the Cruze is selling no better than the Cavalier did in the 80's and 90's; in the mid-80's it was the best selling compact.

Second, why do you keep saying GM interiors were so bad and full of plastic, when your beloved Toyotas are no better? How much plastic and cheap materials are used in your Tacoma?

The 80's? I remember my old 84' Grand Prix was a base model (manual windows, locks and so on), but the interior was still nice quality, with comfy cloth seats and hardly any plastic except for maybe the A/C vents and a small portion of the lower door panels.

I remember my dad had two top of the line Buicks in the 80's; an Electra from 1982 and a LeSabre from 1985. Both of those cars had identical interiors, again hardly any plastic, but they did have high quality couch-like seats, lots of chrome accents on the door panels and dash, handsome wood grain, chrome window and lock switches, and so on. It looked like time was actually taken to design them, as opposed to today's bland cheap looking and boring colored interiors that you would find in most of the current European models, that are also very uncomfortable.

1st Feb 2013, 17:39

At the original reviewer:

These loads and loads of irrelevant comments are largely about new vs old GMs, and other pointless stuff. We live in an era where "discussions" quickly change subject to something that the participants find more interesting.

As for the Lincoln itself, I've never driven a car this big, and I'm sure that the ride is good, the styling is certainly impractical (long hood and truck), but it has a nice presence to it, and it's just classy to boot.

My issue with big 70's yachts is that they don't always fit me very well, thanks to their styling and BOF construction. I'm 6'1, and either my legs meet the dash or my head's too close to the roof. I'd still like to drive one though, just for the experience.

I will say that the ease of repairing things ourselves has been lost with today's need to minimize size and weight. No longer can we have long hoods nor decently sized trunks.

1st Feb 2013, 17:44

I don't really understand what is so bad about plastic in a car interior. It is durable, easy to clean and generally holds up better than fabric panels. My older vehicles that had upholstered panels in the doors easily got dirty and worn, and the only option was to replace them. Even the leather seats in my newer cars don't look, feel or hold up any better than the vinyl seat upholstery in some of my older cars.

I see references to "cheap plastic" and laugh. I'd much prefer paying less for a car that had plastic as opposed to metal or real wood in the interior. Real wood dash panelling holds up very poorly compared to plastic wood. I recently rode in a friends new Lexus, and noticed that the interior had every bit as much "cheap plastic" as my Ford. And this is not a put down. Plastics are lighter, less expensive and more durable. I greatly prefer plastic to virtually any other interior material.

2nd Feb 2013, 00:13

Buick (and all other domestic luxury cars) always had a decent interior in my opinion.

Some time ago I had a 1996 Century, and one of my favorite things about it was the nice optional leather seats and the good amount of room for a smaller mid-size car of that era. From what I recall, there wasn't much plastic used anywhere, inside and out.

2nd Feb 2013, 13:27

Actually I think the molds and intricate contour shaping vs metal in new interiors looks nice. I had a lot of problems with Acura, but I will credit the black exterior with black leather heated seats, combined with the black plastic marble-look console. They had nice amenities, except for their drive trains. I got more compliments on that marble look than the rest of the car. At any rate, it beats banging your head into an all metal dashboard in an accident.

2nd Feb 2013, 16:36

My greatest complaint about newer cars is the difficulty in performing repairs on the front drive models.

My current Ford Fusion (a 2006) has had a bad thermostat for three years. It causes no problem, as it just causes the car to run slightly cooler, which is actually better for the engine. My biggest gripe is that it causes the "check engine" light to stay on, and all my passengers notice it and think something is wrong with the car. On my older cars, changing the thermostat was at most about a half-hour job. On the Fusion it is a nightmare, which is why I haven't bothered to replace the very inexpensive ($25) part. And I flatly refuse to pay the $245 labor charges to have it done. If it were something urgent, I'd spend the day doing it, but as it is, it is just too big a hassle. I'll just let the engine continue to run cooler, as that will actually prolong its life anyway due to less heat stress in our torrid climate.

2nd Feb 2013, 20:36

If you think your car's dashboard is cheaply made, you should have looked at a 1977 or earlier model instead. The 1978 dashboard was new that year; basically a cleaned up Mercury Marquis dash. It really was flimsy and cheaper looking than the awesome 1970-1977 Lincoln Continental dash.

3rd Feb 2013, 17:30

The Continental had the same dash all the way through its life cycle (I believe 70-79). The Mark IV and V had a similar dash design to the large Mercurys and Fords, but the Continental had a straight horizontal dash that went largely unchanged up until 1980, when the new down-sized models were introduced.

4th Feb 2013, 00:29

Well the 78 was the only one that I found online locally, and I got it for $1,000. For the price I paid, I think I did good. I do wish I was able to sit inside a 77 so I could get a feel of the dash quality. The only thing is, I personally feel that the 77 on down Lincoln dashes look a little plain. While the 78 uses the Mercury dash, it looks more stylish to me, and I like the silver whitish faceplate and speedo design over the 77 dash, it looks luxurious. The 79's used too much wood-grain in place of the whitish-silver finish of the 78's, that looked cheap and cheesy IMO.

What I do love about the older dashes is how they have Temp, Oil, and ALT gauges. The 78-79's use dummy lights, which I hate so much! You don't know what the heck is going on with the car until it's too late.

I've gotten used to the dash over time, and I am not going to sell my 78 after the work I put into it, and get a 77 just for the dash alone.

I wonder how Cadillac's interior's were during the same era. Usually the older the better, but in this case, early 70's Cadillac interiors were crappy, boring, dull, and cheap looking, while the 74-76 Caddy Deville's improved inside the car. Caddy door panels though tended to crack, Lincoln used a thicker material on there door panels that resisted door panel arm rest cracking, but could split at the seams and start coming apart from there. But it isn't all that common in Lincolns though.

My old 72 Cadillac Deville's door panels all had cracks in them, and the door pull straps were loose and flimsy. Plus for some reason, that car rattled over bumps and pot holes badly, and wasn't nearly as isolated feeling as my 78 Continental.