Curbside Question: The Best Ford?

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.