1978 Lincoln Continental Base from North America - Comments

8th Mar 2013, 15:13

I still chuckle about my wealthy but totally clueless friend who boasted that his new 5-series BMW was so good in snow because of its front-wheel drive!!

8th Mar 2013, 16:10

That is true. With the internet, one can locate most parts for almost any car. Aesthetic parts are far harder to obtain though. I remember looking for a few simple decals for my Cadillac Brougham, and they were almost impossible to obtain without visiting a junkyard.

A huge aftermarket exists for most mechanical parts, which is good for us old car fans. The internet makes it easier and cheaper than ever before to get parts.

8th Mar 2013, 19:22

"these days try and find a car that DOESN'T come with everything

listed above as standard and then some"

Sure, I'd be glad to:

2013 Kia Rio.

2013 Chevy Sonic.

2013 Toyota Yaris.

2013 Ford Fiesta.

2013 Hyundai Accent.

2013 Nissan Versa.

9th Mar 2013, 14:46

Most of the cars on your list (all entry-level subcompacts) DO come standard with ABS, A/C, power steering, rear window defogger and floor mats. No, they don't come as standard with automatic, but neither did any subcompact years ago either.

Actually, out of the hundreds of models available, being able to only come up with six to (inaccurately) state your case isn't very persuasive, is it?

9th Mar 2013, 16:32

Beware of cheap aftermarket parts. I bought a chrome grille that rusted in 8 months. And fenders that are stamped from original fenders, not the dies. Offshore, cheap, ill fitting, and rusted prematurely. You get what you pay for. It's a real waste paying shipping as well on crappy quality.

10th Mar 2013, 19:17

The statement being made was find a car today that doesn't come with a long list of standard equipment. Six examples were listed to prove the point that there are new cars that don't.

I really don't understand what the problem is here.

11th Mar 2013, 02:39

I drive a big body 80's Caprice Box Chevy.

Full size, rear wheel drive, V-8 Detroit iron is the best.

Nothing can compare in ride quality, luxury and durability.

I really don't need a big car like this, but who cares, it was cheap to buy and it's cheap to maintain; very affordable luxury.

Take advantage of these cars while you can; the newer cars are never going to compare in ride quality, and soon everyone will be driving overly computerized smart car like compacts; disposable, planned obsolescence, appliance like plastic cars, with no soul or beauty.

11th Mar 2013, 09:23

I special ordered a new truck with no carpet and wind up windows. It would have cost less to buy one off the lot optioned. Many times there are option packages grouped together. I have a Labrador, and wanted to have it be easier to clean when he swims. Air conditioning is pretty much standard, and so is a radio now.

11th Mar 2013, 17:13

All the cars listed in comment 19:22 come with thousands of dollars in mandatory safety equipment. That alone adds about $8000 to the cost of the cars. An Indian car company considered marketing a sub-compact car here that sells in India for $2500, but they discovered that bringing it up to U.S. safety standards would raise the price by $8000. Americans refusing to buckle their seat belts resulted in mandatory air bags, and that alone adds about $3000 to the price of a car.

12th Mar 2013, 11:25

Since this is a Lincoln full size luxury car, why not remain on topic. I remember my dad writing checks around 50k and picking his new one up. No discussion of India, compacts, or Yaris type vehicles. It is typically an upper class vehicle purchased new, over and over. Unless it's a Cadillac or Mercedes afterwards. At least that's our experience. Some business owners usually bought new ones for the tax deduction available at the time. It's usually not scraping a few bucks together and knocking off options.

13th Mar 2013, 23:22

"Since this is a Lincoln full size luxury car, why not remain on topic."

^^This! Owners/enthusiasts of classic luxury cars are probably not interesting in reading endless comments about compact cars.

14th Mar 2013, 11:19

To take your comments further, it applies to all forms of transportation. I just went to the Philadelphia Boat Show last weekend. You can barely get in the convention center with thousands of people. Not everyone is in the econo mode looking at 13 foot pond boats. There was a lot of interest in the 50-100k boats at the show. Same with cars. This is a luxury segment vehicle. Even older versions, it's not about driving a stripper bare bones vehicle. There are other reviews if that's your thing.

There is something special having a well restored vehicle to enjoy on occasion. You will always have the ones that like to rain on your parade. Have fun, life is short. How many mint classics do you see parked at a doctor's office, unless it's their own? I have been extremely healthy, no doubt due to owning some great cars for fun.

22nd Jun 2013, 16:19

"'70s land yachts were full of gadgets. Remember the Caddy that had rain-detecting wipers?"

No 1970s Cadillac had rain-detecting wipers.

26th Jun 2013, 11:59

I remember in the 60s (and I believe the 50s), Cadillacs had the Twilight Sentinel on the dash, which dimmed the headlights automatically with approaching cars. I had a 70 Fleetwood Limo with the rear seat stereo override and the power window divider. Rode like a dream.

30th Jul 2013, 11:41

Well I'd like to talk about my silver '78 Continental Town Car 4-door for a bit, to help bring the thread back on track. This is the first time I've posted, so I'm not the original guy who recently bought his.

I bought mine in 2007 and have been using it steadily as my daily driver, 12K miles a year, and it's the favorite car I've ever owned.

As I love to drive and restore old cars, and have been jokingly referred to as the "Jay Leno" of my town, I have been pressured over the years to get rid of some because "no one should have that many cars." So that got me thinking - if I WERE forced to just keep one, which would it be? Tough call, because nearly each one of my cars has a different purpose:

The '77 F-100 idles like a big purring cat, is great for hauling things and getting around town, but is not geared for highway trips. The '79 Accord LX 5-speed was my first, and is the best light-footed long-distance budget moon buggy - drive her in the mountains or deserts, she don't care - she'll get you there. The '85 Supra P-type straight-6 5-speed is no fun to shift in town, but eats up the highway miles, sticks to the road like glue, and is tight as a tick after all these years, with incredible build quality. The '68 Mustang, with all the hidden tricky performance parts I grabbed off of Boss 302s and Boss 351s in the junkyards, back when you could still find them, is for when I want sheer hammer-down torque off the line, with instant punch that no computer today gives.

But..... I think I'd have to keep the '78 Continental, above all these... it just comes out on top somehow, with so many intangibles that make driving it more than the sum of the parts. Sure, the junky plastic '78 dash is inferior to the '77. Yes, the vinyl top (worst idea ever) has led to serious rust issues. Yes, the 400 motor was stifled with smog equipment worse than the Boston Strangler, and runs hot. Yes, it eats up tires, axle bearings, shocks and GAS (8.5 MPG/12.5 MPG)! Yes, the front vent windows like to come apart off their tracks and fall down in the doors. Yes, you have to leave a lot of following distance because the front disc-rear drum braking combo mean that without practiced skill, emergency braking leaves you skidding and slewing like a fresh-caught tuna thrown across a slippery deck. Yes, having idiot lights instead of gauges is... idiotic.

BUT: All of these sins somehow melt away when the Conti is in its element... tearing up the highway like a big ol' dinosaur (Bruce Springsteen), big V-8 barely turning over... R12 A/C blowing like a kidnapped iceberg... Quadraphonic (surround-sound) 8-track player cranking out an Elvis show... the long frame gently undulating and rocking with nary a rattle like a giant waterbed as you effortlessly steer with one finger, the men's-club/Victorian library leather seats absorbing any road rough that survives the high-profile whitewalls and suspension... getting out after a 3-hour stretch and your lower back feeling refreshed like after a nap, instead of having been kicked by a mule... the intrigued look on teenagers' faces as they see the headlight doors do their thing... the constant hollering at gas stations: "hey man, you wanna sell dat?"... the genteel, quiet but muscular resonance of the well-tuned V-8 cruising through the parking lot like a big silver shark on the prowl...

The lines look like the battleship Missouri... probably intentionally so, as World-War-II vets were in their mid-50s when this was designed. The combination of the long hood and shorter trunk, with the slab-slided, knife-edge fenders and the partially covered rear wheels, make the '77-'79s look like the last big, proud, confident hunk of American metal ever made, just because we could. I do believe that this three-year span of Lincolns was the last collectible big car that Detroit ever made.... the last of the land yachts. The combination of build quality, styling, ride quality and confidence gives these big Contis something special, despite their faults...