1978 Lincoln Continental Town Car: Your Best Bet’s A…Well, You Know…

As a member in good standing of the Lincoln and Continental Owners Club since 2015, I always have an eye out for interesting old Lincolns. That includes when I’m on the way to work, stuck at a red light, or perusing CL and ebay. Just last week I spotted this one on the electronic bay, and the condition was such that I was compelled to share it!

A triple Wedgewood Blue 1978 Lincoln Continental Town Car with the mighty 460 CID V8 and only 50,300 miles on the clock. Yowza.

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1989 Ford LTD Crown Victoria: Matlock Approved

1979 LTD Landau, spotted by your author in downtown Davenport.

Ford was not nearly as interested in downsizing their biggies as General Motors was in the late 1970s, but CAFE and the unbelievable success of the 1977 B-body GMs meant it had to be done sooner or later.

And so it was that the Panther replaced the Nimitz-class 1978 Ford LTD and Mercury Marquis. The Lincoln Continental and Mark V got a one-year reprieve and were finally downsized along with their Ford and Mercury brethren for model year ’80.

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The Ladies of Broughamville: Classic 1970s Brochure Art

Note: An oldie but a goodie, from the old site. -TK

1976 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham

1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado

Thanks to family friends who knew of my love of cars, on two separate occasions I got a large cache of old car brochures from the 1970s and 1980s, which made my addiction to vintage car literature much more acute. Thus began a wild and amazing spending spree on eBay starting in about 1999. By then, I was naturally a bit more interested in the lovely ladies featured in many of these 1970s brochures.

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Press Day At The 2019 Chicago Auto Show!

The Chicago Auto Show is an institution. I attended my first in 1988. I was in third grade, and my parents took me up. It was a revelation for eight year old me. Cars, cars everywhere! Two floors of cars! And concepts, and free brochures! Good Lord, this must be what heaven is like!

1988 Volvo 780 coupe. Yes, that’s me.

Suffice it to say, I was hooked. And while we didn’t attend every single year, we went most years between the late ’80s and late ’90s. There was always something to see. And we’d wander around Chicago as well. It was fun, being in the big city for the weekend.

Ferrari 512TR, 1992 Chicago Auto Show

The most recent year I attended was 2015, when my brother and I took a weekday off from work and drove up for the day. Since then, the weather has conspired to be exceptionally nasty, so as to prevent my willingness to make the three hour drive.

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Glasshouse For Sale: 1976 Chevrolet Impala Landau

I’ve been kind of blowing up RG with Broughams lately. “Klockau, geez man, ANOTHER ’70s tuna boat. Fercryinout loud!” Whoops. But hey, it’s not intentional. I just keep seeing vintage land yachts out and about, and have to immediately write it up. It’s an incurable issue with me. I love pretty much all classic and vintage cars, but it seems I always gravitate back to Broughamville. Caprice Classics, Fleetwood Talismans, Bonneville Broughams, 98 Regencys. I can’t help it, man!

1976 Impala Landau

So now that that’s out of the way, here’s another one. A 1976 Chevrolet Impala Landau coupe, espied by yours truly on one of the FB groups I’m on, Finding Future Classic Cars. A rare birdie. In 1976, Landau was king. And Chevrolet offered both Caprice Classic and Impala Landau trim packages, consisting of the aforementioned Landau vinyl roof in elk-grain vinyl, color-keyed wheel discs, sport mirrors and custom pinstriping.

1976 Caprice Landau, formerly owned by Jason Bagge.

Of the two full-size B-Body Landaus, the Caprice Classic was the clear sales winner, with 21,926 of the $5,284 coupes sold.

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1984 Oldsmobile Toronado Caliente: Triple Burgundy Beauty

In 1979, GM debuted its newly downsized personal luxury trio: The Cadillac Eldorado, the Buick Riviera, and the Oldsmobile Toronado. All three had been valued members of the General Motors fleet by that time, but in ’79, they all became front wheel drive.

It wasn’t always that way. The original Buick Riviera started out as its own model, albeit borrowing heavily from the full-sized Buicks, from inaugural 1963 through 1965. Then the Toronado appeared in 1966, with front wheel drive. The redesigned ’66 Riviera was on the same body, but retained rear wheel drive. Finally, in ’67 the front wheel drive Fleetwood Eldorado coupe came onto the scene.

From ’67 until 1976, all three E-coupes stayed this course: same body, but with the Olds and Cadillac front drive and the Riv rear wheel drive.

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1979 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham Sedan: My Favorite B-Body

I have always, and will always, have a soft spot for the B-body 1977-79 Pontiac Bonneville. Why? Simple. It was my first car memory.

Mom’s wagon, behind Dad’s 1951 Porsche 356, circa 1985.

I came home from the hospital in my mom’s dark blue 1977 Volvo 245DL wagon, but for some reason I was always drawn to my dad’s company car, a 1979 Bonneville sedan. And yes, of course I loved the 356! But before it was restored, Dad didn’t mind my crawling around in it and sitting in it while he was puttering around in the garage. So it was more easily accessible, ha ha!

Dad’s car was identical to this, except for the wire wheel covers.

Painted metallic brown with a beige top, beige interior and chrome wheel covers, it spelled solid, middle-class Midwestern prosperity. Perhaps because Dad mostly drove it to work, I seldom rode in it. We usually took the Volvo on excursions, at least as far as my then 2-3 year old memory serves.

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1972 Fleetwood Brougham: Black Beauty

As I type this, I am sitting on my couch due to extreme cold weather here in the Midwest. It was minus 23 degrees this morning and is now about -9. So I got a ‘snow day’ of sorts, though it isn’t snowing, and actually has been sunny all day. But when it’s cold enough outside to freeze a bottle of vodka, it’s prudent to stay inside.

So after making a pot of coffee, working on a C. J. Box novel and watching TV  most of the day, I decided to start looking at old cars online. As is my wont.

I ran across a good number of potential writing subjects but this was the one that really pushed my buttons.

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1988 Nissan 300ZX: Less Brougham, More Sport

In the late ’70s, the Datsun Z-cars lost their original sporting intent somewhat. While still sporty automobiles, plusher and plusher interiors, available two-tone paint and other items were making them Z-Broughams. But by 1984, Nissan finally decided to dispose of some of the 280’s Broughamier cues in an effort to recapture the model’s essential roots:

240Z

Early 240Z, spotted by yours truly at Lindsay Park Yacht Club last summer.

The original 1970 “24-ounce.” Although the new ’84 300ZX retained a nice ride, cushy interior and myriad power assists, it was somewhat closer to that original, sporty little two-seater.

300ZX

Like the 280ZX, it offered plush interiors, lots of sound insulation and a comfortable ride–but at the same time was quicker and had much-improved handling.

The 300ZX debuted in late ’83, as an ’84 model, and started the “Z31” generation with a bang, with the black-and-silver, limited-edition 50th Anniversary 300ZX Turbo, which was built to commemorate Nissan’s 50th year in business. The 1984 model was one of those transitional “Datsun 300ZX by Nissan” variants, but the following year it was badged solely as a Nissan.

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Quick Look: 1977 Chevrolet Malibu Classic

Well, the Brougham Whisperer, AKA Jason Bagge, has found yet another vintage example of GM rolling stock! This time it’s a once-common midsizer, the ’77 Malibu Classic sedan.

1977 Malibu Classic

Like so many of the cars he’s tracked down, this car more or less fell into his lap. He bought it from the original owner, an elderly lady who’d been using it daily for 40+ years.

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