“Pull up to the…” bumper? I love the artistry and persona of Grace Jones. Earlier this year, I had gone to see “Bloodlight and Bami”, a biographical film about that iconic actress, model and musician, and I highly recommend watching it. Suffice it to say that our featured long, black “limousine” (please allow me some artistic license) would benefit greatly from another rear bumper sourced from a donor car, but the rest of this car looked surprisingly solid when I photographed it in my neighborhood just over a year ago.
I was walking from work to my evening Red Line train back north to my neighborhood when I spotted a late model Lincoln MKZ in traffic, heading east toward Lake Michigan and Lake Shore Drive. What caught my eye about this car wasn’t its clean, attractive appearance (the newest MKZ has great lines, in my opinion), but specifically its trick, sliding-glass moonroof that retracted all the way back and partially over the rear window. What a cool feature! With that glass roof retracted, that MKZ reminded me more than a little of a modern interpretation of the Kaiser Manhattan four-door, pillared convertible of the 1950s.
This got me thinking, though. Modern luxury cars of today seem rife with technology that benefits nearly every aspect of the car, from safety, to information, to general enjoyability and comfort. These cars seem designed for maybe up to a four-year run with the initial buyer / lessee before being traded for something newer. How will that MKZ’s trick top perform ten years from now, what shape will the car be in, and how much of its high-tech gadgetry will still be either operational or even fixable for a reasonable price, as the car slides down the chain of secondhand (and third-, fourth-, etc.) ownership?
This Town Car, by contrast, is like a tank. It’s built like a tank, looks imposing like a tank, and gulps fuel (almost) like a tank. It’s an uncomplicated affair – a hulking, two-and-a-quarter ton, four-door luxury parlor on wheels, with 159 horses on tap from its 400-cubic inch V8 that powers the rear wheels. I doubt very much that this particular car’s appearance has changed much over the past ten years.
The contrast in my mind then remains that between the modern, spa-like comforts and conveniences of the MKZ, versus the simple-but-effective execution of the last, mammoth-proportioned Town Car ever produced. That this TC is still looking this good around age forty (a gazillion car-years old) is a testament to its robust, hearty nature. As a frugal man, myself, I like to think that something I’ve spent my hard-earned cash on will last and give me my money’s worth in the long run. As a hypothetical Lincoln shopper in the late-’70s, I might have felt that a new Town Car would be far better bet than a new MKZ would be in 2018, fine automobile though it is.
Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois.
Thursday, June 22, 2017.