1978 Lincoln Continental Base from North America - Comments

8th Feb 2013, 16:50

The MKZ is by no means a Town Car. My family drove Town Cars up until 2009 and then switched to an MKZ. It is, purely and simply, a Ford Fusion with 10 grand worth of ego tacked on. And we also own a Fusion, so it's easy to compare the two. The Town Car started downhill after the awful restyling of 1998, and the last ones were basically Ford Crown Vics with the price doubled. Still very nice cars, but nowhere near as unique and distinctive as earlier models from the 70's to mid-90's.

And I have no idea where the idea that Chevy's S-10 was unreliable came from. Friends of mine have driven these little trucks well over 200,000 miles with very little trouble.

Regarding practicality, no large car is "practical". They were never meant to be. They were meant to be plush and comfortable, and say "Look at me! I'm rich and don't care about the environment!". That was always why my rich family bought them, and they made no bones about it. Fortunately more wealthy people are becoming aware of the need to protect our environment and natural resources, and drive more sensible cars. There is nothing wrong with owning beautiful older cars. My family owns three restored classics. However there is no way we'd dream of driving any of them as daily drivers.

And when my wife's large truck-based SUV is ready to be retired in another 200,000 miles or so, I am sure we will downsize to a more sensible and economical crossover such as a Ford Escape or GMC Terrain.

8th Feb 2013, 18:16

Some people just like to stir up controversy for fun. I bet you had fun on the debate team in school.

I just heard on the radio that Americans are keeping their cars longer than ever (over 11 years). Guess that kind of blows your theory that everyone is flocking to these new tiny econo boxes with brand X styling.

I know I for one won't be buying any more new cars if the EPA has their way and raises the corporate fuel mileage to 54.5 MPG. I would rather drive a 20+ year old vehicle, than pay hard earned money for a God awful sub compact car that rides like a donkey cart.

8th Feb 2013, 23:23

The biggest piece of junk I ever owned was a 2009 Camry (with a review posted on this site). Before that I had a Grand Marquis. From experience I can tell you that the Mercury had much more room than the Toyota, and I do believe that you and I got into this in the comments section of my own thread.

9th Feb 2013, 17:14

I'd rather people drove big, gas guzzling SUVs than the golf carts people drive over in Europe.

9th Feb 2013, 20:19

I'm a big guy, but I find it a major waste to pay for a lot of empty air around me. As long as I can sit in the driver's seat and not rub against any part of the car, I'm very happy. I recently test drove a number of small cars such as the Toyota Corolla, Chevy Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, Nissan Versa and Nissan Sentra. Every one of these cars was plenty roomy enough for me to sit comfortably. My own Ford Fusion and Mustang seem positively cavernous.

Personally I'm tickled pink with the new projected fuel standards. I hope they rise to 100 miles per gallon. We are so spoiled on driving around in cars that are vast volumes of empty space. The reason Mom downgraded from a Town Car to an MKZ was the fact that just parking the Town Car was a hassle, and a 90-pound woman who seldom even has a passenger with her does not need to drive an aircraft carrier. And of course the laws of physics dictate that no small car can possibly ride as smoothly as a two and a half ton behemoth, but smaller cars do not ride all that bad at all. Advances in suspension systems are making possible a very acceptable level of comfort in even sub-compacts.

10th Feb 2013, 01:29

As for interior leg room, and interior room overall in these older cars, I don't trust specs entirely. For example, in my 78, the manufacturer states that front seat leg room is 42 inches long, and rear seat leg room is 41 inches. There's is no way on god's green earth that the rear seat legroom is only 41 inches long in a 70's Continental!! It looks and feels more like 45 or 46 inches long. Even with the seat all the way back, my 6'1 tall friend knee caps aren't even close to touching the front seat backs.

This goes for the same up front; there's more front seat leg room than what is being advertised in the books IMO.

Another good example of my observations is that I also own a 94 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, and the specs on that car for the rear seat legroom is 43 inches. No way is the leg room that much in my car, it doesn't even feel nor look like it. From looks alone, I would guess 41 inches max, but not 43. The 78 Lincoln with the lower specs printed, has much much more leg room up front and in the back seat than my Fleetwood. I've sat in both cars just to see and feel which car is bigger inside, and overall the 78 Continental blows my 94 away in interior space, it feels gargantuan in comparison! But the books would say otherwise. You can't believe everything that is printed, especially on some of the older cars, just like curb weight; the manufacturer might state this or that vehicle weighs 4500 lbs, when it really weighs around 4700-4800lbs on a scale so they can sound modest. So sometimes manufacturers can exaggerate, underestimate, and find ways to fool the consumer. The human eye ultimately dictates what's real and what's not real.

10th Feb 2013, 17:43

Yeah, but the only cars that will meet the CAFE standards for 2025 will be Smart cars and maybe possibly a Prius. But honestly, you should be proud that here in the US we've held out against the pressure. Unlike in Europe, where politicians are free to do as they please.

I think environmentalism should be valued to an extent, but not forced onto people through economic pressure, penalties, and the like.

10th Feb 2013, 18:31

I saw that commercial too, and frankly I think the mid-90s Town Car looked better. One interesting thing I found out about the MKZ that interests me is that it has a programmable suspension, much like the Continental had from the late 80s up until they quit production. I would be curious to see how the "comfort" setting rides. Supposedly it is designed to please those who are fond of the big floaty cars of the past, but I have my doubts. I wish more manufacturers would take advantage of technology like this, or at least have a smoother suspension as an option, especially in larger luxury models. It really puzzles me why every cars seems to need to have sporting aspirations these days. Not everybody wants to drive a 2 seater with a souped up engine that can corner flat at 50 mph.