It's also demographics. With families getting smaller, they just don't need the space of a full-sized car, especially when there are SUVs and crossovers today that offer even more space and are capable of doing more, while delivering better fuel economy. Back then, the market was less diverse, but now, with so many choices offering a better deal for families and CAFE breathing down automakers' necks, full-size cars are unfortunately destined to be less of a deciding force in the auto market. Back then, the seating for six actually came in handy, but nowadays, you're lucky if an average family can use all five.
Also it is worth noting that the standard of living has fallen for the great majority of the population since the 1970s, so they can't afford nearly as much car as they could back then.
It's either these cars were well kept, or completely neglected. I have similar experiences with my 78 Continental; the top was trashed, rust that rotted out parts, the rear deck panel that I had to fix. It also has missing trim that I had to acquire through hunting through junkyards. But over time, I started to slowly bring my car back to its originally condition.
The major concern I found to be problematic on my car are the small rust spots that randomly pop up here and there. Because of all the trim, you get water that sits underneath the chrome trim on the fenders and doors, that tends to create rust issues.
The problems overall have just been headaches if anything, and have cost me lots of $$$ over the years, but these cars are just so awesome to drive and to be seen in; that I'd rather put my money into a car I truly love and care for, than drive around in another blandmobile that has no class, no sense of style, and is simply too small for my friends to ride in.
This is the ultimate luxury cruiser that unfortunately too many people think are "grandpa mobiles" and uncool for a young person to drive. I'm here to tell you that can't be further from the truth! These Lincolns are bad ass, they have a presence, they look classy, are comfortable as heck, very reliable, strong, and smooth as glass on the roads. End of story.
That's why I've been driving a '96 Town Car for the past 7 years. It now has 191,000 miles on it.
Back in the 70s you just got a lot more car for your money. It's not as though most cars like this cost $60-70K in today's money. For example the price of a Buick Electra from the mid-70s inflation adjusted is very comparable to what we pay for a mid-size sedan today (low to mid $30K). Today cars still cost about the same, you just don't get nearly as much for your money.
While I don't care much for Lexus automobiles, I like their current commercial that describes how we have been conditioned over the years to accept ever smaller engines and cramped interiors. Just park a car like a Honda Civic next to a mid-70s Impala and that will become extremely obvious.
The only flaw with your people carrying comment is kids have far more stuff to carry. Athletic equipment and more activities. That's why people buy large SUVs, minivans, crossovers etc.
Yes, you put this same comment on every review that has anything to do with 1970's cars. Presumably, if we were still driving around in cars designed back in that era, it would prove that our standard of living had not declined?
The only children who have more to carry than in the 1970s are the children of the rich and upper middle class. Most children have much less than back then. Though, to be fair, this is also the only class that can afford to buy new cars.
How come there are so many young adults in my area making high disposable incomes? I am outside Phiadelphia (Exton Pa). In fact most of Chester County is that way. Young adults commonly driving luxury crossovers, sports sedans everywhere. Possibly they continued their education and work in the high tech and pharmaceutical. It's no different than the past. You can go right to work blue collar or seek out the higher paying jobs. My first high end cars came around 27. Not old in my opinion.
"The only children who have more to carry than in the 1970s are the children of the rich and upper middle class."
Or college students, or young landscapers without a job, or young auction guys, or young people helping out on their family's farm.
If we still drove stuff like in the 70's, we'd be seriously backwards with our car industry, still sticking to awful handling, tiny brakes, minimum MPG, short roofs, lackluster interior space vs overall size.
And cars would cost more for all the wasted metal in them.
Are you kidding?? Back in the 70s it was not uncommon for children to crawl around in the back of station wagons without safety belts. My mom and her sister sat on the floor on the transmission hump in the back of their car. Now kids even up around 6-8 have to be latched into a child seat depending on their size. I won't even begin to mention the endless array of electronic devices these young children inappropriately have.
The new SUVs and mini-vans do use space more efficiently than the big sedans and wagons of yore and are externally smaller, however I would love to still buy a true large American sedan. In the last 30-40 years it wasn't families driving the full-size sedans anyways, it was largely mature married couples who no longer had children at home.
The luxury car segment typically cares very little about MPG. More about luxury and comfort for passengers and long trips.
My family has done annual 2000 mile round trips to Florida with Cadillacs and Lincolns. Roomy with ice cold air conditioning. The best of all were new Town Cars. Even as far back as the 50s, these cars were not purchased by young kids. It was typically a successful business owner or the like. Otherwise you would buy a new Chevrolet. It was a status symbol more so in years past.
The over 60 crowd I know like the new Cadillac sedans and usually have a nice crossover as well. Again gas is not a issue. And many still have no car loans. They retired and want a really nice car to drive.
I still like the models that were not designed in a wind tunnel. I liked the front ends of the various Marks and Town Cars. There's something special about these cars when new. Opulent spacious new leather, and I always liked the instrument panels. Air so cold you could wear a suit in a hot summer evening. If they made a true full size like the ones we had up until the 1980s, we would buy a lot again. On trips these cars are a dream to drive and own. New, not well worn; a very big difference.
I actually rode sitting between the buckets in our new 1960 MGA. I was 5 years old. No seat belts, no seat belt laws. Less cars on the road perhaps, but we rode in the back shelves of cars or laying in the back of station wagons too.
A middle class person may not have been able to afford a Lincoln or Caddy. But there were big Buicks and others almost as big.