By on July 28, 2012

The (mainstream) staying power of GM’s B-body is pretty much history.  Panther Love shall live for the next decade or so, not much longer.  I was in this state of mind when auto writer extraordinaire Alex Nunez posted a picture to my Facebook wall, suggesting that the Chevrolet Caprice’s proportioning is somehow a worthy successor to these Iconic American Sedans.   My response? Relative to the Chevy Impala, sure.  But proportioning is more than having rear-wheel drive and a lot of real estate.  If you proportion it wrong, you create a Fool’s errand. You create the Chevy Caprice.

While we say Panther Love, we really mean Cab Backward design for an Iconic American Sedan. Can you dig it?

Cab backward is the complete opposite of what we see today. The passenger compartment doesn’t interfere with the natural placement of the engine, axles and front/rear overhang.  While the original Chrysler LH cars were a fantastic case study in Cab Forward awesomeness, the concept’s absolutely ruined today. Not that every car should look like a Rolls Royce Phantom…

But perhaps the Iconic American Sedan should! Just look at the Town Car’s massive hood and short A-pillar, compared to the Caprice’s vast wasteland of dashboard and visibility-hampering A-pillar.  And look at how tiny the nose is compared to the green house: like a body builder who reached their caves’ growth limitations. It’s disproportionately small. Iconic American Sedan?  Not a chance.

That said, you won’t see me giving the last Town Car a free pass, its proportions are still on the wrong side of the Cab Forward spectrum.

 

 

If you were there for the beginning of Panther Love, you’ll remember this photo. The 1988 Town Car had far better visibility from a lower belt line, the space between the dashboard and front wheel is unabashedly delicious, and the fascias make it clear: this isn’t an import wannabe.  Again, Iconic American Sedan. Not the only one, it’s one of many.

Not just many, a cornucopia of Automotive Americana. Sadly, the Iconic American Sedan has been under attack for decades.  Perhaps one day an empowered design team will have the right platform, the right motivation, etc and make a proper sedan for us Yank Tank Fans. Unfortunately, I won’t hold my breath.

 

 

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85 Comments on “Vellum Venom Vignette: The Next Iconic American Sedan?...”


  • avatar

    I’m going to venture a guess that you’re not a fan of the “Bubble” Caprice. I vaguely recall that they shifted the base of the A-pillar so far forward (six inches?) that they had to relocate the A/C evaporator from one side of the firewall to the other.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      If the acres of dash space in the 91-96 B/D Bodies is any indication, you’re right. Every time I drive one and then get back in my aero Panther I can’t believe the difference.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    ..the original Chrysler LH cars were a fantastic case study in windshield Forward lameness.

    There fixed it for you.

  • avatar
    86er

    This particular Holden Commodore, disguised as the Chevrolet Caprice, is the Iconic Australian Sedan. Which is also circling the drain.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    I suppose now would be an inopportune time to point out that the LH cars gained just as much room by stretching the wheelbase back as much as forward… and even then, they were saying that ‘cab backward’ would be an awful marketing slogan.

    Our family had (okay, still has!)a Dodge Diplomat with all of the classic yank tank proportions. I don’t miss driving that thing, you don’t so much steer as you do aim the car. I much rather prefer the front wheels pushed out, thank you.

    • 0 avatar
      amac

      “…you don’t so much steer as you do aim the car.”

      LOL! So true. That’s how I felt about a rental Malibu I drove a couple of years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      iainthornton

      Still though, to me at least there’s something epically cool about the Diplomat/Gran Fury/Fifth Avenue which wasn’t apparent at the time or until very recently. They’re pretty terrible though.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        There actually are two Diplomats and one Gran Fury running around town here in the Gallup area. They all look rough but at least only one stinks like the power plant is dying.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    “Perhaps one day an empowered design team will have the right platform, the right motivation, etc and make a proper sedan for us Yank Tank Fans.”

    They’ll also need to discover an energy source that is power dense, very cheap, and scalable to automobiles. Otherwise, the tyranny of aerodynamics will remain unbroken.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      “Aerodynamics are for people who cannot build engines.” – Enzo Ferrari

    • 0 avatar

      As I said, not every car needs to go cab backward. Fusion or Malibu? Absolutely not.

      Let this niche have their cake and eat it too. If we have SUVs, why the heck not?

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      “They’ll also need to discover an energy source that is power dense, very cheap, and scalable to automobiles. Otherwise, the tyranny of aerodynamics will remain unbroken.”

      I think I am calling bull on the cab forward design being neccessary for good aerodynamics.

      The Audi 5000s and the 1992-1995 Ford Taurus were conventional long hood designs, and had Cds of 0.30 and 0.32, respectively.

      Ford saw the Chrysler cab forward designs, and incorporated it somewhat into the 1996-1999 Ford Taurus. Along with a smaller nose and trunk, it had a Cd of 0.30. Incidently, the 2010 Ford Taurus has the same Cd as the 1992-1995 Ford Taurus; 0.32.

      The Chrysler Concord had a Cd of 0.288. The current production car with the lowest Cd; the Mercedes Benz CL E Class Coupe, does not look like a cab forward design to me, and has a Cd of 0.24.

      While it looked like the Cd of conventional production cars would bottom out at about 0.29; the 0.24 of the Mercedes looks like the practical bottom now. But, the current cab forward craze is more about styling than reducing drag; a more conventional car layout can be carefully designed to produce the same Cd.

      Oh, and in regards to the Panthers: 1992 Ford Crown Victoria – 0.33; 1989-1997 Ford Thunderbird – 0.31.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Personally, I place a lot of value on the visual esthetics of a vehicle. IMHO the Chevy “box” B car mid eighties…perfect, in all proportions. Close second, would have to be late nineties,Crown Vic.

    The Mopar “cab forward” was certainly different. However it never excited me.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    So, put a front storage compartment in front of the engine and give up some mileage for a taller greenhouse with less front slope? Given the added crash zone and smaller engine the loss to bad aero wouldn’t be a bad trade. Rigidity would suffer though wouldn’t it.

    The sedan version may be classic but the wagon possibilities are awesome. Get a trunk AND hatch.

  • avatar
    mr_muttonchops

    So apparently the Charger and 300 don’t exist. Huh.

    • 0 avatar

      Another problem, lack of overhang and insane beltline. But yes, those are cab-backward.

    • 0 avatar
      mistercopacetic

      I would argue the Chrysler 300 is a more honest interpretation of the “iconic American sedan” than the last Town Car. When I look at the 300, it looks like a modern interpretation of the 1988 Town Car pictured in the post–albiet with a shorter hood and softened corners. Without devolving into relativitism, the 300 may not be as “sharp” as the old Town Cars, but it stands out in any modern crowd. It is a confident design. When you pull up in a 300, you don’t have to apologize to anyone, because you didn’t make any compromises in choosing your vehicle. When I look at the last generation of Town Cars, they just look bloated, overwrought. There’s a difference between old and classic. I think the 300 will be seen as a classic, while the last Town Car was just old.

      • 0 avatar
        mr_muttonchops

        The town car of the late 90′s had a really nice design, given the limits of it’s proportions. When they chopped it all up in it’s redesign, they ruined it.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:98-02_Lincoln_Town_Car_Cartier.jpg before

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lincoln_Town_Car_–_01-28-2010.jpg After

      • 0 avatar
        dejal1

        When I see a Crown Vic, I wonder if the owner should have spent the money paying off the mortgage on their double wide.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Dejal1 A lot of Crown Vics and Buicks/Oldsmobiles were originally bought by people who thought Town Cars/Cadillacs were too ostentatious. A lot of the ones we see today are at the bottom of the long slow downhill slide into hooptieddom. It wasn’t unusual in flyover states to see a Crown Vic/F-150 or Buick or Olds/Silverdao or GMC parked in the driveway. Sometimes bought with one check, not 60.

      • 0 avatar
        Les

        My grandfolks living out in the countryside were an Olds/Chevy-truck (before there was a Silverado even) family until Oldsmobile was shuttered.. then they replaced their last Olds 88 with a 2005 Buick Lucerne… and were so thoroughly revolted by their experience with that car that it enjoys the infamy of being the last GM product they bought.. Granpa still has his old Silverado, mainly because he doesn’t wanna un-beautify his new 2012 F-150 by installing a gooseneck hitch in it.

    • 0 avatar
      Patrickj

      I’m not a Chrysler fan, but like the current 300. Very comfortable for a big driver.

      The gunslit windows have been improved enough to produce reasonable lines and windows big enough to probably keep kids from getting carsick in the back seat.

  • avatar
    redliner

    When viewed from the side, the upright styling of the town car reminds me of the side profile of the last Jaguar XJ (x-350). The key to a good looking formal sedan is a long hood with the front wheels placed as far forward as aesthetically possible with strong 3 box look.

    Personally, I prefer a strong 2 box shape, as in a shooting-brake, but no one makes one that’s within (or even slightly above) my generous budget.

  • avatar
    Nostrathomas

    Maybe doesn’t hit all your points, but I think the Chrysler Chronos concept could’ve been a solid iconic American car.

    http://www.carstyling.ru/resources/concept/98chrysler_chronos_05.jpg
    http://files.conceptcarz.com/img/Chrysler/98-Chrysler-Chronos-Concept-DV-09_MBC_02.jpg

    Still looks relatively fresh for 98 (and dare I say slightly Fisker Karma-esque).

    Speaking of which….the Karma is probably the most striking sedan to come out of the US (or frankly anywhere) in a while. It’s perhaps iconic for the wrong reasons, but if that thing was a “normal” car with an ICE, being sold by anyone with a relatively respectable history, we’d be seeing a hell of a lot more of them.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      It looks like they borrowed heavily from the 1953 Chrysler Ghia D’Elegance.

      http://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/last-nights-dream-1953-chrysler-ghia-delegance/

  • avatar
    Crosley

    Doing work under the hood wasn’t an issue until cab forward designs caught on. Opening up an older car (even from the 80′s) is such a beautiful sight for someone who likes to do their own repairs.

    Sadly, I doubt modern car engineers care about this feature in the slightest.

  • avatar
    Autopassion

    I still think that the full-size “bubble top” GM cars of the mid ’60′s are a great design.

  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    One word for the future of Yank Tank design: Ciel

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Personally, I think the 1st generation Chrysler 300 will be an iconic design. I know others will disagree. Lincoln needs to make a large sedan that reeks of understated masculine elegance; think an updated, but not retro version of the 1962 Lincoln. Cadillac needs to make a large sedan that’s elegant and a tad flashy. Pick one Caddy and update it. Both cars should be brash and apologetically American cars.
    Will this happen? Not as long as they keep chasing BMW/MB/Audi/Lexus/Infiniti. If I wanted one of those five brands, I’d go buy one.

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      I agree, the Chrysler 300 is one of the best looking sedans that’s come out of the Big 3 in a while. The only thing that stopped me from buying one was:

      A)Chrysler Quality (last Dodge I owned was junk)

      B) Official D-Bag Vehicle (something about these cars attracts the dregs of society)

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        My brother the cop told me their department refers to them as ‘ghetto Cadillacs’. I explained its not as if late models Cadillacs are expensive, so I couldn’t quite grasp the attraction myself. I suppose its the ‘yank-tank’ qualities which attracts the miscreants.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I also agree, but if you had said to me ten years ago it would be Chrysler of all companies to introduce such a platform, I would have sworn you were filling in a MadLib. Both Lincoln and Cadillac need to chose one model and get back to their roots. I fear by the time either marque gets their collective heads out of their asses, the segment will be almost forgotten,

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I believe that Chrysler had lots of help on the 300 from Daimler. The suspension of the 300 is virtually identical to the suspension of the 70′s era Mercedes-Benz 280SE, 350SEL and 450SEL.

        Regardless, the 300 has many of its own merits and qualities that endears them to potential buyers. Among the attention getters of the 300 are the Pentastar V6 and 8-speed automatic transmission, and for the wilder ones, the SRT8.

        Neither Lincoln nor Cadillac have anything like it in their stables.

  • avatar
    p0mg

    Small side note — I really have no idea what “Vellum Venom” means or what it’s supposed to convey. I could always look it up, naturally. But I sorta feel like I should have to use google to figure out what I’m reading about.

    Just a thought.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      It’s Sajeev’s ongoing automotive design critique column.

    • 0 avatar
      amac

      Thanks for asking that. I don’t know what it means either.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        It’s not really just random latin words. “Vellum”, in its modern usage, is thin translucent material used for drawings and blueprints. This refers to the column being about design.

        “Venom” (from Latin via French, but then is a big part of English language) refers to the (possibly poisonous) critique contained within the columns.

        Not so bad. If you do a search, search for the words individually.

      • 0 avatar

        th009 got it. Search each individual word…or read the first work in this series.

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/vellum-venom-2012-porsche-911-carrera/

        This explains it best.

  • avatar
    George B

    The sedan with my favorite proportions is the E38 1995-2001 BMW 7 series. Long, low, and wide, but also aerodynamic with the wheels pushed to the corners.

    http://quaxon.myblog.it/archive/2012/04/29/2000-bmw-740i.html

    Why can’t Ford blatantly rip off the E38 design and combine it with the Mustang platform? I like the performance and the price range of the Mustang, but its packaging and insurance cost are deal breakers. Put a timeless and expensive looking E38 BMW style sedan body on mid $20k mechanicals and rake in truck profit margins.

    • 0 avatar
      Nostrathomas

      That truly was a beautiful car. I love how there’s no unnecessary bulk anywhere.
      Shame that nobody builds something that lean anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      bph78660

      Ford tried that with the Lincoln LS. Nobody bought it.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        Looking at pictures side-by-side, the E38 has continuous horizontal lines that emphasize the low and wide look. The LS, in contrast, has door moldings that clash with the lines set by the front and rear fascias and rounded Lincoln shapes that detract from the horizontal lines of the car. The BMW looks aggressive while Lincoln takes the general shape but rounds off corners, making the design less aggressive.

    • 0 avatar

      I would also love an E38-ish Ford, that’s a pretty brilliant idea.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      As far as proper proportions go, the original Ford 500 is spot on. I’m one of the few people who thinks it was better looking than the current Taurus which, in my opinion, is a stylistic mess.

      It took me a long time to warm up to the 300, but the current one has matured nicely. They fixed the biggest issue which was that the design lacked finesse, particularly around the taillights. Interestingly, If you look at a new 300 in profile and then look at the Cadillac STS the same way, they have a lot in common. The 300 is the new American sedan. I rented one on a recent trip (a 300C) and loved it. It’s exactly what an American car should be: comfortable, masculine-looking and fleet-of-foot.

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      @George B

      The car you want already exists, it’s called Ford Falcon.

      @Sajeev –> ^^^

    • 0 avatar
      mistermau

      I had a 1997 Cadillac STS for a while, and have always thought it was an EXTREMELY handsome car. Long and low.

      http://www.theautochannel.com/media/photos/cadillac/1997/97_cadillac_seville_sts-1.jpg

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    ‘Perhaps one day an empowered design team will have the right platform, the right motivation, etc and make a proper sedan for us Yank Tank Fans. Unfortunately, I won’t hold my breath.’

    If Detroit built a real land yacht, i’d buy it. Sad fact is, they don’t, Commodore/Caprice notwithstanding.

    If gasoline were to hit below $2.50 US/gal (HA!), the Michigan trio would be wise to exploit this segment again. Some people WANT huge cars with thirsty V8s; and besides the box just what the hell is the REAL difference between Ram/F-150/Silverado and Charger/Falcon/Caprice? Bottom line, not much.

  • avatar

    My 2 cents as outsider. America which invented Great American sedan died some time ago. I remember from my childhood that American car was an envy of the world. Lincoln and Cadillac (as well as Packard) meant something. American car symbolized freedom, no limits and boundaries, individualism and aspiration of Americans to be different from rest of humanity. With boomer generation and Vietnam war it changed and now Americans are not different than other people. Government took away most of freedoms and set limits and boundaries. Unfortunately American car unlike European or Asian car was something that could not last for very long. It came to being after WWII and died with end of cold war.

    American sedan was not practical so even though was subject of envy no one really meant to own one so it could not go global. Law of evolution gave no chance for future. American car was a dead end of evolution. Also important that deindustrialization of American society gradually took place. Americans become conformists, relying too much on Government and ashamed of own culture (which always was ridiculed in Europe anyway but adored in Eastern block)- therefore aspiration for everything foreign and imported.

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      I think the deregulation of the airline industry has a lot to do with it. The giant american sedan was built to be really comfortable on long road trips. It no longer makes a whole lot of sense to do it; not only is it really time consuming, it ain’t a whole lot cheaper these days.

      Just my two cents.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        More fuel-efficient planes have helped a lot too. On a longer flight, modern airplanes approach 100 passenger miles per gallon. So unless you’re road tripping in a fairly full Prius, you’re unlikely to beat that.

        Smaller families probably have made a big dent, too; flying with one or two kids is a lot more economical than flying with four.

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      Man, I don’t know where you’re from, but I like that accent. And I have and will have one forever.

      Sadly no one has discusses the real “core” of what you wrote.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Wow, that really hit me hard. Aspiration to innovate has been somewhat replaced by the drive to make money. It’s the source of the de-industrialization. You can use that root cause all day long for numerous events and platforms in the industry.

      I’m part of that damned profit machine now that I’m launching a platform in Mexico. Inside Looking Out, my goal is to one day make decisions that push products into directions that used to represent the company I worked for.

      Thank you for your perspective.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    You know what killed the classic American car? Three things:

    1. Pillarless hardtops disappeared.
    2. Fixed rear side glass on coupes.
    3. EPA – sad, but quite necessary.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    4,000lb sedans are pretty much dead anywhere unless you can afford a BMW 7 or E class or Asian knockoff

    killed by lack of demand for a slew of reasons

    at best, the growth is in the Camcord type class and that class isnt where it used to be

    i reckon that the new LEO only Caprice is in itself, an anachronism. A 300kW 15mpg 4,000lb+ car is trying to move police departments back to the 1990s?

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    The Next Iconic American Sedan?

    I thought that was already decided some time ago when Toyota and Honda began outselling everything else.

    http://autos.yahoo.com/news/camry-edges-out-f-150-for–most-american-.html

    The article outlines all the qualities of an Iconic American Sedan, among them built in America, American-content, and popularity in America. In some cases, “designed in America” also applies.

  • avatar
    ajla

    The Chinese Park Avenue is a mad tyte ride, no matter what Sajeev thinks about the proportions.

  • avatar
    Joss

    My part of the world Panther = airport limo or taxi Cimarron.
    How’s that for class?

  • avatar
    Spartan

    Ford Taurus SHO – Not like the original, but a great highway cruiser that’ll haul arse, but has no interior room.
    Chrysler 300C – Bold American design, stonking V8 that’ll haul arse, but has terrible visibility.

    That’s all we get. If you want a Town Car-esque American vehicle, the best option right now, as crazy as this sounds, is a Ford F150 Platinum. I have one personally, and if you like Panthers, this is a modern Panther with a truck bed and lots of options / toys and a plush ride.

    The days of RWD, column shifters, bench seats, velour interiors, smokers mirrors, leaf springs (except for trucks) and V8s, all in one package, are over.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      We bought a new 1992 Towncar and kept it until 2008 when we bought my wife a Japan-built Highlander to replace the Towncar.

      Two different vehicles with different ride dynamics and handling characteristics and I can’t say that we miss the Towncar. In fact, if it was the best that there was in that class at that time, we’re better off now.

      Even the newest cars from Ford today are better than the old Towncar, in every way.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      I don’t know what a smoker’s mirror is, but I definitely want one in my next car.

      The Town Car’s only fault was outliving the 5th Avenue and Fleetwood by decades. That alone might make it iconic, but why would RWD, column shift, bench seat, leaf springs or a V8, “all in one package” be unacceptable? These are some of the things that make your Platinum F-150 a tremendous success.

      BTW, leaf springss were dropped from all cars (most?) in the late ’60s, early ’70s.

  • avatar
    MusicMachine

    I learned to drive in an ’83 Country Squire Wagon (wood grain sides). Large proportions for the day but as a novice driver, I was never unsure of where the car began and ended. I always had a keens sense of it’s dimensions.

  • avatar
    MusicMachine

    I’m not an expert but it seems newer full-sized trucks suffer from the cab-forward philosophy–starting with the Nissan Titan. Comments?

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I’m voting for the Chrysler 300. The look of the current generation continues to grow more and more on me. I really enjoy seeing one come up in my rearview mirror. The look is bold, distinctive, classy, and distinctly American. Although not as glorious as the Town Cars aircraft carrier flight deck hood, there is definitely a distinct 3 box shape to it, and no doubt that a big longitudal V8 could be under the hood. Looking at that side view of the Caprice, you could have told me a transverse FWD V6 was under there and I probably would have believed you had I not known better. It seems as though the fender flares are the only hit that it’s RWD. It’s funny how those Holden cars end up changing their appearance when they are Americanized. The Monaro and HSV Commodore are both great looking cars, yet they’ve ended up looking rather dumpy when turned into Ponchos and Chevies.

    I will also agree that its funny how the LH cars’ look has gone in the wrong direction. I loved the look of 98/99 redesign in all forms (Concorde, Intrepid, LHS, 300M) and thought they were all among the best looking sedans of any manufacturer (and certainly the Americans) of that time.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I must have missed the memo about the Town Car ever being an icon. Unless livery and rental car duty are conditions for iconic status, I’m just not seeing it.

    The Panther Love thing used to be kind of amusing, but it’s degrading into something as trite as is the manual transmission diesel station wagon shtick. The US auto industry wouldn’t have a chance in hell of surviving if it were to fixate on looking backward in an effort to create a market for a type of car that virtually nobody wants.

    Like it or not, the family sedan market has either downsized into midsizes or else moved into SUVs/ CUVs, while the luxury car market now speaks with a German accent. What little market there is for uber-American sedans is already being served by Chrysler, which is ironic when you consider that it has been operated by foreign automakers for most of the last fifteen years.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      The livery and stretch limo business goes for the iconic look. If you rented a limo and driver for your son’s/daughter’s senior prom, would you be happy if a stretch Corolla showed up?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “If you rented a limo and driver for your son’s/daughter’s senior prom, would you be happy if a stretch Corolla showed up?”

        If the best that the American auto industry can do is to make limos for pimply teenagers, then it’s no wonder that GM and Chrysler both filed bankruptcy.

  • avatar

    Talk about icons, I have been to Delaware for 4 days and did not see even one Town Car, also, in Vermont, I should notice stuff like that because I live in NYC and see these cars all over the place.
    In NYC, they are replaced with Camry, Escape, Altima and so on not the same size but if you drive one of these cars (also the CV) and need to pay for the gas from your own pocket, you simply don’t really care about icons, all these big cars will disappear in the next few years, nobody buy these cars for personal use anymore.
    My Grand Marquis was a great car and I really loved it until 2006 when gas prices started to go north of 3$.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    True iconic American design is dead sadly.

    The 1980 to 1998 Town Car is iconic. God I want one.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      If you really want one, Google “1998 Towncar”. Lots of links!

      Getting someone to part with theirs may be another challenge if it is in good shape. Those who currently own them are running them until they fall apart.

      I had no problem selling our 1992 Executive in 2008 and some happy ex-Air Force Sergeant’s wife is piloting that Yank tank around the rural areas of South Carolina now.

      There are none for sale in my area (Southcentral NM), but an estate sale in ABQ may be your best bet. Good luck!

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      I blame the 2010 article for reviving my interest in the ‘iconic’ American sedan. I bought my Lincoln Continental 2 months after the posting, although it isn’t a Panther.

      It will be interesting if a Lincoln based Mustang platform can retain an extra two doors (if the program even exists). I wouldn’t hold my breath, but there is a lot of time for a future program to mature / devolve.

      • 0 avatar
        Marko

        I wish Ford had done more with the DEW platform. The ’02-’05 Thunderbird was interesting and arguably the last bastion of a uniquely American segment (personal luxury), but it was ultimately a novelty and little else. The LS was gathering cobwebs by its demise, even if it had started out a solid effort. I remember hoping the cool Continental, 49, and Interceptor concepts would make it to production atop DEW, but no dice. But the next Mustang with its IRS might give Lincoln hope again…

  • avatar
    kkop

    The iconic american ‘car’ is alive and well; only it’s in the form of a truck now. Going by my driving environment (ATL burbs and North Georgia), I’d say the Town car’s (non-taxi) buyers have all migrated to F-250 trucks. Looking pretty good and gaudy too.

    Would love to own one, but my wallet and I settled for another iconic design family instead: 300/Charger/Challenger.

  • avatar

    The Next Iconic American Sedan has nothing to do with Town Cars versus convoluting together a case for some fleet-only Chevy.

    They still haven’t made it yet.

    Maybe the ATS?

    Will they ever do it?

    Panther love will live on at least past the life of the XTS.

    Why is the Camaro platform in its waning years already? Can the Americans absolutely not make an E-Class? Just given up? Sure seems like it. Would a REAL Cadillac be bad for GM? Who decided this half-asspirational plastic pricing ceiling for GM? Pathetic

  • avatar
    Wodehouse

    I had hoped that GM’s replacement for both the Cadillac STS and DTS would have been a great new American design, but, my first thought upon looking at the rear half of the new XTS was that it was not far from being a modern Buick/Olds “Aeroback” of the 1970s. The proportions are just…odd.


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