(Originally posted on 8/8/18.) I’ve recently been exploring other parts of Chicago’s north side than those I’m used to visiting, including Rogers Park, the neighborhood just north of mine. This culturally, ethnically and economically diverse area is home to Loyola University’s North Shore campus (go Ramblers!), beautiful, old homes, a wide assortment of eating and drinking establishments to fit most any taste and wallet, and a chain of gorgeous lakefront beaches. I don’t know why I had never spent much time in Rogers Park in the years I’ve lived in nearby Edgewater, as it is a truly lovely area. I was on my way home from Leone Beach Park when I spotted our featured car in the parking lot.
The word “vast” came to mind as I took in this view of Lake Michigan, and also when looking at our featured car in full profile. The basic dimensions of the ’78 Town Car (233″ long, 80″ wide, 55″ tall) dwarfed those of the downsized, same-year Cadillac Sedan DeVille (221.1″ long, 76.4″ wide, and slightly higher at 55.3″ tall). The ’78 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham four-door, then in its last year, measured in at 231″ long and 79.5″ wide; I couldn’t find a measurement for its height, but let’s just call the Lincoln the size winner (by a hair) based on length and width.
I’m guessing as to the model year, as both the 1978 and ’79 Continental Town Car had the larger-diameter rear wheel cutouts in comparison to the ’77 which otherwise shared its styling with the latter two years of this design. Even from a distance, the sheer size of this classic luxury car was apparent, seeming to take up most of what are generously sized parking spaces. The dimensions of this TC seemed even more exaggerated in comparison to the midsized cars and SUVs parked near it.
I love its shade of blue. In the lyrics of the great Billy Joel, this car is surely a “true, baby blue Continental”. This Lincoln may not strike that much of a rock ‘n roll chord with me (it’s giving me more of a yacht rock feel), but I do wonder if its original owner owned and wore a polyester (leisure?) suit of the same color. That would have been a sight – or “out of sight” in ’70s parlance.
Standing on the pier looking northward toward the nearby suburb of Evanston gave me a sense of just how vast Lake Michigan is. After all, it is one of the largest bodies of freshwater in the world, much like this Town Car was the last of the biggies left at the very end of its decade. Similarly, I imagined that the interior of this Town Car was also a wide-open sea of soft, blue velour across acres of front and rear bench seat. Much like this gorgeous view of Lake Michigan as it compares to this beautiful, nicely kept Lincoln, sometimes nothing impresses more than sheer scale.
Rogers Park, Chicago, Illinois.
Monday, July 16, 2018.