Buy American With “The American List”

The new Continental is a genuinely brilliant automobile. I’d take mine as a Black Label in Rhapsody Blue with the Chalet interior, three-liter 400-horse AWD and every factory option. Once you do that, you’re looking at seventy-eight grand, but the equivalent Funfer BMW costs fifteen stacks more and isn’t as nice inside. I’d say that the Continental heralds a genuine return of American-made luxury. (Unless you think Tesla already got there, of course.)

The problem for me is that I don’t really have $78k lying around. If I did, I think I’d spend it on a base Viper. In either case, however, I’d have the satisfaction of buying American. Would you like to experience that same satisfaction for somewhat less than the $78,000 price of a Black Label Continental or even the $44,300 of a Continental Premier? Then check out The American List at A Continuous Lean. It’s more of a guideline than an authoritative document on sourcing, but it’s a good place to start. And somewhere between Alden and Zippo you’ll find something that is just right for you.

64 Replies to “Buy American With “The American List””

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Everywhere but the Burgerkingring, where both of them will have to yield to an Impreza with the boost turned up to “ephemeral”

  1. Bryce Himelrick

    If I had 78k lying around it’d either go to an Evora 400, 997.1 turbo and keep the rest, or a brand new grand sport, if they would make that car in Lime Rock green it would easily be my first choice

      • DirtRoads

        You guys and your green rigs.

        I confess, however, to loving a metal flake green 2 liter 124 Spider. It was a great car.

        I’ve always been rather fond of the English hunter green, too.

  2. Rob

    First, thanks for the link to The American List. Just the kind of thing I have been looking for.

    And second, I really wish you would stop talking up the new Continental. Because I am trying to ignore how hard I want one of these things. I haven’t had a chance to read your R&T article on the Conti yet, but I did get my copy in the mail.


  3. phr3d

    Why stop with the “Buy American” list? Buy local. In your home state. But then, why not buy from your home town instead? Or better yet, your own neighborhood. Or your own property. Grow your own food, raise your own pigs and chickens, tan your own leather, churn your own butter. Build your own cars (with parts you built yourself, of course).

    The ability for misguided “patriots” to advocate inefficiency in the face of overwhelming consensus among economists is one of the ironies of the wealth provided by international trade.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      You might be new to this site, but I drive an Accord that was built in the plant where I worked for two and a half years of my life. I was responsible for many of the machines that eventually stamped my Ohio-built car out and assembled its many Ohio-built components.

      This much-vaunted “efficiency” will eventually efficiently lower us all to, in the words of Neal Stephenson, a Pakistani bricklayer’s idea of prosperity.

      There is no morality in economics. The invisible hand is an inhuman one. And the “wealth provided by international trade” accrues to the Washington/San Francisco junta, not real human beings.

    • Orenwolf


      Is it better for me to get food grown nearby, or flown in from China or CA? What about locally made furniture versus flown halfway across the world? They use the same processes to make those (Hell, in the case of food, they almost certainly use better processes up here, which matters to be because I consume it!).

      Sure, it doesn’t make sense fo everything to be bespoke – if we went back to carriage builders for all our cars they’d fall apart all over the place and more importantly be scarce and expensive as hell. The same is true of electronics at the moment – it would take literally years to try and create a local infrastructure to make most electronics at a massive increase in cost.

      But, in a place like Canada (and to some extent, the USA) where raw materials are processed in great quantity, it is undoubtedly more efficient to use steel, petroleum, wood, and other organics produced locally than abroad (especially since our raw materials are often the source of many of the items!).

      Jack, I’m confused by your choice, though – why not something like an Escalade? Isn’t that far more domestic?

      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        The Escalade has a Mexican engine and Chinese electronics.

        The Accord engine is made in Anna, Ohio. Most of the suppliers and sources for the Accord are within ninety minutes’ drive of my house.

        • arbuckle

          Unless they’ve changed it in the 3 last months, the L86 version of the 6.2L that goes in the Escalade is built in either NY or Ontario.

          The V8s GM builds in Mexico are the LS3, the 4.8L, and any version of the 6.0L.

          The trans on the Escalade could come from Toledo or Mexico.

        • DirtRoads

          Yabut…. the profit from making those Hondas doesn’t go to DC or Frisco, it goes sailing merrily back across the ocean to Japan.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            DC and Frisco can burn to the ground for all I care.

            GM took the profit from record truck sales years and spent it in China.

            Honda took the profit from record car sales years and built two new plants in Ohio.

          • yamahog

            Conversely the profit from cavaliers was non-existant and if you think that markets are efficient at allocating resources, then you’ll agree that a corporation that loses money is functionally evil.

            Honda sends profits back to Tokyo (after they pay for new plants and American salaries, and including the profits from the cars they export from America). GM sent loses to Americans and sent profits to China. Which one is more worthy of the opportunity to sell cars to Americans?

  4. Apuleius

    Used Continentals will hit a good depreciation point when I’m ready for my first old-man car. I sort of can’t wait.

    In the meantime I’m struggling to convince family and friends that a purchase of a new Mustang GT at middle-age does not constitute a dewy-eyed nostalgia for my LX 5.0 youth, it just means I can finally afford a great car that I really desire.

  5. Kevin Jaeger

    I haven’t driven a Continental yet but I have to say I love the look of them. One day I’ll decide I’m too old for my Mustang and the Continental will definitely be on the list.

  6. Michael

    One more thing. I love that glass roof. When I was shopping for my cheap used 2009 S-197 Mustang GT, the glass roof closed the deal. Screw the bad weight distribution.

    I’m surprised that ford stopped offering it after the 2014 model year.

  7. MrGreenMan

    I console myself over the heartbreak that there will be no future Taurus that I will be able to get one of these gently used, like a reborn Town Car, within the next 3-4 years.

    I followed one of these down the road in my last-gen Taurus. They are grander in every possible way. The D4 platform looks so consummately American; we have Chinese tastes to thank for that stroke of luck.

  8. Bigtruckseriesreview



    the Continental had nice seats and better build quality than the CT6, but it was too small and too boring.

    $70,000 buys a Hellcat.
    $75,000 buys a Jeep SRT.

    I feel bad for Lincoln cause the G90 is a better car and costs less.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Alright, I’ll bite: Better how? No faster, not as luxurious, doesn’t have a sound system to match the Revel, can’t match the seats.

      • Bigtruckseriesreview

        “Luxurious” is highly subjective – based solely on personal taste.

        The G90 is larger, has way better fit and finish, has more interior tech amenities and doesn’t cost as much.

        Go test a loaded $72,000 G90 and then compare it against the $78,000 Continental.

        Sure the continental’s seats look cool, but the car itself is too small.

        And if you want a V8 you can get one – with AWD.

        The Continental and CT6 have a hard enough time justifying their prices when compared to the G80…

        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          It’s three inches longer, same width and height.

          We’ll have to disagree on the quality/interior issue — I was just at Detroit and I wasn’t super-impressed by the G80 Sport or the G90. “Very nice for a Hyundai” was the best verdict I could come up with.

  9. arbuckle

    I think the CT6 would be a million times more appealing with a V8 and the Conti would be a thousand times more appealing if it was $10K less.

    • Bigtruckseriesreview

      CT6 interior is too cheap in addition to the lack of a V8.

      The CTSV V8 should be optional with upgraded brakes.

      Cadillac’s not even trying to excite people anymore.

      They’re basically just building cheap limos and the money is moving to BMW/ Mercedes/

      • Lucas Zaffuto

        The Cadillac (every Cadillac) should come standard with the V8. I know its German and Japanese competitors don’t, but that is kind of the point, isn’t it?

  10. Sseigmund

    The American List needs a lot of work. It’s heavily oriented towards clothes, shoes and bicycles and ignores huge categories of goods still made 100% in America. I guess the boys at A Continuous Lean don’t shoot guns and have never been to the Shot Show? The new Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 surely deserves a place on the The American List. Firearms have remained one of the last bastions of manufacturing in this country. We also make a metric F___ton of great ammunition, and let’s not forget Leupold & Stevens turning metal and glass into fabulous optical tools in Beaverton Oregon for 110 years.

    Can’t wait to get one!

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Agreed, but there are certain categories of items, like firearms, where you don’t have to work very hard to find a USA-made product.

      Regarding the Smith: why would you buy this over a Glock or a USP, other than patriotism, which is a valid reason?

        • Lucas Zaffuto

          Can confirm, been there. Fun fact: random people that work there get pulled away from their desks throughout the day for QA testing units from the production line at the firing range. It happens so often that a lot of people hate being at the firing range as it has become a chore for many of them.

        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          Appreciate the correction… the last time I bought a Glock they didn’t have any American production.

      • Sseigmund

        I shoot a Glock 34 with custom trigger, grip, sights, etc. I love it. I was given an M&P Pro a couple of years ago by a friend and while I didn’t hold out much hope it would stand up with the tuned 34, I’ve become kinda smitten with it. Handguns are like clothes, they either fit perfectly and feel right or they never see the light of day.

        Someone already pointed out that many Glock firearms are now made in Georgia.

        Try the M&P M2.0 and see if it doesn’t make you look great and feel like a rock star.

        • Sseigmund

          Oh, and I don’t think the USP is a good value proposition. In my hands, it feels clumsy and the trigger needs help. Not much aftermarket support. Not against European firearms, they just have to work for me.

    • Athos

      Badger airbrushes are still made in the USA.

      Expensive kitchen aid mixers too. There are probably heaps more things out there.

    • DirtRoads

      Damn, I lived in and around Beaverton for four years and never knew that. And I did get out more…

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Note that if Honda was considered to be headquartered in the USA then it would be #2 on the line. But the vast majority of the management structure is here in the USA, and Honda has done more to reinvest profit into US manufacturing than almost anyone else.

      • FrankCanada

        I call BS on all this Honda is as American as apple pie nonsense. How come every time the Yen strengthens vs the US dollar, Honda, Toyota et all freak out. Would they be able to compete with the Big three, without Japan, the Japanese government, and currency manipulation, I don’t think so.
        Also, GM Europe (Opel) feels like the cars are developed and made for that market by Europeans. Honda USA products look & feel very Japanese & foreign, & if they felt too American, you get the feeling Tokyo would step in & correct the matter.
        They sell, on not being an American car to the masses, but try to sell on how american they are to people who care about domestic content.

        Very sneaky

  11. Josh M

    An off-lease 3.0 Conti might be an interesting choice after I offload the Accord to my son in a few years.

    *ambles over to the Lincoln configurator*

  12. yamahog

    Thanks for sharing this list and for operating this website – after the snide comment about clicks on this website and buying Shinola watches, I realized that you don’t run ads on this side. I appreciate it, but if that ever changes let us know so we can disable ad-block.

    I subscribed to R&T and I really enjoyed your article about collector’s items – really enjoyed your angle on scarcity as a function of how often things were used up in ways that you’d be nostalgic for. And I never heard that the key to understanding the 70s is that there was nostalgia for the 50s but it’s another fascinating thought.

    Hope 2017 is off to a great start! MAGA!

    • DirtRoads

      I second the thank you, Yamahog. Jack and Bark both are writers who have once again interested me in autojournos, whereas before I found (I think it was TTAC?) them I was stuck with occasional links to Jalopnik and suffering the malaise of reading review written by people who have never known life with points and condensers. It is my vaunted opinion that if you don’t know history, you are not going to be well-equipped to tell people about the future, or even now, because you have little to compare it to.

  13. hank chinaski

    Ok, I’ll see if I can upgrade from a Fusion to a Conti on our upcoming rental for a trip out west.
    It’s another good example of your ‘Ford one night stand’ body design theory as styling goes, though.

  14. Orenwolf

    There’s more to it than profit. Local domestic suppliers and workers are paid to make them. It’s not about the 10% or whatever they skim off the top, it’s about the 90% they reinvest in locally sourced raw materials, parts, plants, and people.

  15. Sseigmund

    Since many readers are into cars, I would like to mention S-K tools which are made in America.

    “Today, SK continues to manufacture each of our nearly 3000 products in the United States, with forging facilities in Colorado Springs and a brand new manufacturing and distribution center in Sycamore, IL. And as we’ve grown, so has our commitment to providing quality, American-made innovation to the toughest tradesmen in the world.”

    Check out the X-Frame!

    • Felis Concolor

      Forged in COS? Woo! Ah, 1 block west of the local Grainger shop; I’ll see if they’re open for visitors later.

  16. Ken

    Jack – Any suggestions on a nice American made wallet? Or at least a quality one not made in China?

    I was set on buying a Bellroy till I found their FAQ:


    We make our products in India and China. We’ve found that in India we can work with incredibly skilled crafts folk and in China we can access amazing technology. We think smiles somehow find their way into a product and we work hard to create and maintain happy work environments.”

  17. Felis Concolor

    I’m not surprised at the lack of coverage for Zu Audio; despite producing a full range of the best widebander designs available today, they’ve suffered at least 2 near-death experiences in the past 17 years before exclusively returning to their winning customer-direct system. This all but ensures they have nothing but good old word of mouth advertising, with the occasional writeup online and in print to keep their name in mind among potential customers.

    Jack, I’ll suggest you contact Sean and see if you can visit their facility sometime, or possibly catch up with them at an audio show to sample their wares. I’ve long thought you would already be rocking a pair of Soul Superflys or ordering a set of Druid MK Vs to be color matched to your favorite Boxter, S5 or Continental.

  18. Charlie

    Gotta comment on the SK x-frames; they have the smallest arc to grab a tooth of any ratcheting tool I’ve ever used. It’s got a clockwork feel to it; i’m really glad that ideal made something of SK.

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