Yes, cars of today are all SO bland looking and it becomes even harder to tell a "big" Lincoln or Cadillac from an everyday mid-size Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Chevy, etc.
In my opinion Detroit gave up on building true American luxury cars over a decade ago. Now they know they can sell a gussied up mid-size for twice as much, who can blame them for doing so? But the consumer really suffers.
My grandparents had an '84 Grand Marquis they bought brand new and kept for about 12 years. I liked their '89 Town Car a lot better though.
I feel you on that one, modern cars all look basically alike. Something that I would like to add, that many people tend to overlook or not care about. All cars from the 1930's-70's and somewhat 80's used heavy gauge steel, including in some interior components.
There's something about opening a heavy solid metal door, with all metal chrome door handles and trim. Touching and feeling the stainless trimmings and little details of car, big chrome bumpers, that make the older classics so much more unique, higher quality and special compared to the mostly plasticky/pleather modern cars, which in a sense feel flimsy in comparison.
Opening and closing the hood on a 70's and 80's Lincoln, takes effort, but when you close that baby, you somehow feel satisfied and giddy knowing that you're driving mini tank. :)
The Town Car interiors were unique and more comfortable compared to modern Lincolns. Sure there's cheap plastics here and there in the 80's rides, but at least it looks nice, and doesn't feel like a window switch, or a button is about break to pieces and fall on your lap. The older stuff did hold up better IMO depending on the year; at least if you rubbed up against wall, or barely hit a street light pole, your whole bumper didn't explode or ruin the frame of the car. You just buffed and polish the scratches away, or got a hammer and hammered the dent out and you were on your way.
New stuff just looks so cheap and feels cheap, modern cars are disposable toys; this is why we as a country will never see a grand car like the classic Town Cars and Cadillac Fleetwood ever again, due to the fact that too many people today see a car as a grocery getter, kid picker upper etc...
Plus the cost to build one of these beauties today would cost a fortune, and automakers aren't interested in building a huge statement car anymore, and that is truly sad for all big car enthusiast like myself. Cadillac is finally getting back into the big car segment next year, but it still won't be nearly as huge and bold like the old Cad's from the 60's-70's. Now those were true full sizers. Following the Japanese and Europeans in automotive styling has ruined American car design.
There was day in age when American cars ruled in styling, they were beautiful, well crafted and stood out. This can't be said in 2014, besides for a few exceptions, newish American muscle cars are pretty nice looking. But what else is there? What else is truly uniquely American in auto design? I wish I knew.
"The fuel injection system lets the engine run rough sometimes, especially when idling. On some occasions, the engine stalled. This is the first thing that will be fixed."
Have the system cleaned. Rough idle could also be caused by a sticking idle air control valve or throttle position sensor.
"Cadillac is finally getting back into the big car segment next year"
What model would that be?
Thanks for the suggestion. As a matter of fact, the car is currently in the shop to have the whole fuel delivery system checked and cleaned. That should lick the problem.
You are so right. The only cars these days with any style at all are the American muscle cars. They are great homages to their past counterparts, but why does vintage styling have to be limited to that segment?? Chrysler had a lot of success with the 300, which incorporated some vintage cues (I never cared for the looks myself), but it definitely has a lot more personality than say a Buick LaCrosse or Toyota Avalon.
I would love to buy a luxurious full-size Buick, Cadillac, or Lincoln that was a homage to the great flagships of the 60s and 70s, that was just as well executed as the modern Challenger, Camaro, and Mustang. I am only 29, but I am sure a car like that would be a big hit among all the older Baby Boomers that drove and remember fondly those great land barges.
Here's an update from the author of the original review and owner of that particular 1984 Mercury Grand Marquis.
A few months have passed and substantial repairs have been made to restore the big Merc's full roadworthiness:
- New rear brake drums and shoes.
- New coil springs and shocks front and rear.
- Fuel injection system overhauled.
- New power window motor for front passenger-side door.
- New power antenna motor.
The Grand Marquis is now street legal in Germany and drives like a charm. Great care has been taken to replace the worn suspension components with OEM specification substitutes in order to restore the original cushy ride quality. Now the Grand Marquis simply glides over speed bumps, potholes and other nuisances. I love it.
The engine issue has also been cleared. This Merc was indeed built in Canada, but for the U.S. market and therefore to U.S. specifications.
Now that the fuel injection system has been rebuilt, the 302 runs very smoothly. Pickup is good and the V8 feels stronger than a mere 140 horsepower. Must be the 250 lb-ft of torque (at 1,600 RPM) from that five-liter engine. The Grand Marquis is not a fast car, but it certainly does not feel underpowered.
This is my fun car, not my everyday driver (that's what my faithful '95 Buick Park Avenue is for), but I try to spend as much time behind the Merc's steering wheel as possible.
A pleasant surprise is the Grand Marquis's fuel economy. With the fuel injection system in perfect working order, I get 12-13 liters per 100 kilometers in the city/country/highway cycle; that's approx. 19-21 MPG. Not bad at all for a big, boxy car.
Credit for that kind of mileage must go to the four-speed Automatic Overdrive Transmission that keeps engine revs way, way down - and shifts almost imperceptibly, even after 30 years; remarkable.
Anyway, the more I drive the Merc, the better I like it. This cruiser is here to stay.