The Ford Model A may have been the very best car of its time, certainly at anywhere near its price. But since that time, the Ford Motor Company has, more often than not, displayed a maddening tendency to offer attractive and compelling vehicles that come with significant flaws and trade-offs.
Engines? Think of the flathead V8, the Y block and the more modern U. S. spec Cologne V6. Transmissions? The inefficient Cruise-O-Matic and the troublesome units in the more modern Taurus and Windstar. Structurally? Ford has been behind some of the most rust-prone bodies (and even frames) offered by anyone, anywhere. Or sometimes, it was just overall flawed execution, as in 1949 or 1957.
In writing about Jimmy’s Grand Marquis, I wondered aloud if the Panther-platform car was Ford’s all-around best since the Model A. So now, I am curious. What is your nomination? I will withhold my own ideas for now and turn the floor over to the collective genius of the Curbside commentariat.