Quantcast

Home » Last Call » Currently Reading:

Last Call: You Be The Judge Edition

Robert Emslie June 15, 2017 Last Call 23 Comments

In retrospect, the sad thing about this ad is that car buyers were judging their luxury cars by the Lincoln, and the Cadillac too, and they were coming up wanting in comparison to the new Luxury that was being offered by Germany and to a lesser extent by Great Britain. Ford touted that while other luxury cars were smaller that year, the ’77 Lincoln was still big. Today that seems like a pitiful pronouncement from a brand too deeply entrenched in the past. Geez, has Lincoln ever been great since?

Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day.  It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged.

Image: picssr

  • Lokki

    The problem was that, while Lincoln continued to build the biggest and fanciest candy boxes, the candy inside got cheaper and cheaper.

    • ptschett
      • outback_ute

        I was thinking John Candy, Uncle Buck, but wasn’t that a Mercury?

    • Rover 1

      Long an American problem in many fields, cost cutting and decontenting, (mainly build quality) to increase short term profits.

    • Maymar

      It’s still an ongoing problem – the new Continental has a lot right with it, but there’s plenty of touch points inside that are more befitting in a Focus.

    • Vairship

      Plus, any candy lover knows that even the quantity of the candies can’t be judged by the size of the box. Most of the length of the Continental is taken up by useless sheet metal, not actual passenger accommodation.

  • Sjalabais

    Death of Manuel: Fresh Norwegian numbers are devastating. In 2005 to 2010 an average of 13% (the doomed number) of new cars were automatics. From 2011 that share rose to 30% and in 2016 the share of new cars without a clutch was a mindboggling 90%. Gulp.
    (Source )

    • outback_ute

      13% is astonishingly low really

    • I think this is due to the attractive “slushboxes” of today, DSG, 7 and more gears etc., plus a strange hole in the Norwegian car taxation system:
      Some cars are cheaper with “automatic” than the manual, since consumption/emissions are better (which brings a tax relief in Norway that is bigger than the additional cost). Effectively, modern shlushies are simply a tad cheaper – probably exactly the reason that kept average buyers from upgrading so far.

    • crank_case

      I’m more surprised at how many dull cars in Europe are still sold with row your own transmissions.

      • Sjalabais

        Why?

        • crank_case

          If you buy a Nissan Quashqai with a 1.5 litre diesel engine or similar forgettable appliance, you don’t really have much interest in driving to begin with. e.g. I had an i40 on loan for a week and everything about it was relaxed, mature and mostly automated – auto wipers, auto handbrake, there was little point revving it out as there wasn’t much extra pace extracted and the car felt better driven in a relaxed manner. The manual gearbox was just weirdly out of character.

          Not to mention that despite dieselgate, diesels are still the mainstay and have a real narrow powerband, which a well programmed multispeed auto would be better suited to take advantage of. Even sticking with petrol, the days of cheap and cheerful Euro cars that had the no-frills drive-it-on-its-wingmirrors verve of the Peugeot 106 are largely behind us, most things are a lot more “mature” feeling now, especially above fiesta size. Better for peoples day to day motoring needs I guess, just a far cry from the cheeky, unpretentious, zingy “classless” Euro market cars of old when RWD escorts, E30 BMWs, biscuit tin Peugeots, MK1 Golfs and Alfasuds were everyday fodder.

          It would probably reduce running costs to go (torque converter) auto too, as most euro cars are FWD which makes changing a clutch more labour intensive, and lots of Europeans live in crowded tight cities too.

          It seems people just continue to buy manuals because historically they were bought by non-enthusiasts for reasons that no longer hold true. Economy (you used to get a lot of transmission loss, but now autos are often more economical, at least on paper), weight (less of an issue now the rest of the car is much heavier), and impact on performance (small engines are now more powerful with more mid range torque due to being turbo petrol or diesel, transmissions are faster). The other thing that holds them back is some local distributors still treating autos as a “luxury” option.

          As more cars go hybrid or electric, you’ll probably see the stick shift end of the market decline further (I would have thought Norway would have had quite a high ratio of autos because of this)

          • Sjalabais

            That’s probably among the best arguments I’ve seen online. Being fully aware that if automakers adopted my world view, they’d all be bankrupt due to priorities that are not aligned with what the market wants. Yet, I’d think that especially soulless appliances can get a notch more entertaining with a wee bit of control…but my colleagues who change from manuals to automatics all agree on how easy and wonderful it is.

          • I’d say entry price:when the automatic is 10% more of the car’s price, you don’t take it. When it’s about the same (as it has become often in Norway) , it’s a real choice and your arguments kick in.

            • crank_case

              What i find here in Ireland, is not so much it adding to the price in itself, but often being only offered if you take the highest trim level of that model. It reflects perception that an auto transmission is a luxury item though. When more people realize autos are more suited to the driving they actually do, they may switch over. The other weird anomaly in Ireland is if you pass your test in an automatic car, its noted on your license and you can’t drive a manual, so there’s a bit marked 1st timer cars with manual gearboxes. I don’t get it to be honest, learning to use three pedals is a nice skill, but can be taught to most people in half an hour, really the test should just focus on driving safely.

    • Inliner

      I’d guess (just a guess) that part of it could be due to the rise of electric cars (all automatic) since they’re taxed less (IIRC).

      • Sjalabais

        Definitely a factor here. All electrics and even most hybrids are automatics, but the trend is pretty dominant everywhere to get to these numbers.

  • dukeisduke

    It was later discovered by the hospital administrators that Dr. Roberts was using his black bag to sneak large quantities of injectable morphine out of the hospital, and onto the black market.

    • dead_elvis, inc.

      Day or night he’ll be there anytime at all…

  • Maymar

    I got the chance to drive a Chevy Bolt yesterday – ultimately, there’s no getting away from it being a tall heavy box. But, it’s a nice tall, heavy box, and there’s something endearingly goofy about being able to break the tires loose at 30mph in something affordable with green cred.
    Also, I kind of want to try it in stop and go traffic, considering you could literally drive without touching the brakes.

    • Vairship

      I’m hoping the Bolt will have similar depreciation as other electric cars – and that I can fit 4 big dogs in the back when the back seat is folded down. That way, it might replace my PT Cruiser in a few years.

      • Maymar

        I think unfortunately it might be a little too small for four big dogs – compared to the PT Cruiser, I think the footprint is just a little smaller, and the floor is a bit higher. It’s probably three big dog-sized, unless they’re happy lying on top of each other (are they Irish Wolfhounds?).

        I could also see the respectable range helping out the resale, unlike the Leaf/500E.

        • Vairship

          Yes, their other transports are a Tesla S85 or a Kia Soul EV. I *hope* the Bolt is close to the Soul in behind-the-front-seats space, but I’d have to measure.

          3 of the 4 are dogpile dogs (a Pitbull/German Shepherd/Yellow Lab mix, a Rhodesian Ridgeback/Doberman mix, and a full Rhodesian). The other dog (German Shepherd/Corgi/Basset Hound mix) prefers to have some more space around him.

          And yes, low floors are hard to find these days. The PT Cruiser is GREAT for the older dogs, especially since the floor is level with the (high) sidewalks. Really only the Transit Connect we had for a while came close.

          Funny thing is, even the Teslas lose quite a bit of value. Ours was bought 3 years old, in GREAT shape, at $38k I believe. Quite a discount from new!