One of the consequences of Canada’s high gas prices is the prevalence of propane conversions. In the Greater Toronto Area, a fair number of vehicles, typically in fleet use as taxi cabs, airport limos or construction vehicles, get converter to run on propane gas. The conversions are expensive, running approximately $5,000, and if you want to see any return on your investment, you better run the car well into the six-figure range of the odometer.
Continuing with our look at long forgotten (and some not so long forgotten, but forgotten just the same) concept and show cars from the major automobile manufacturers. Part One, Acura to Chevrolet, is here. Part two, Chrysler to Ford, is here.
Sure, once you see it, the Honda SSM (Sports Study Model), first shown at the Tokyo show in 1995 and styled by Pininfarina, was obviously the concept for what became the S2000 roadster. The question is do S2000 fans even remember the SSM? (Read More…)
Today’s edition of Monday Mileage Midget is brought to you by the state of Florida.
Palm trees. Retirement communities. Traffic signals and double yellow lines that are treated as mere suggestions. Florida has become an economic juggernaut thanks in large part to cheap housing, plenty of sunshine, and legal loopholes that allow well deserving retirees and unethical douchebags to live on the cheap.
There is one other unusual reality benefit of living in Florida… low mileage cars.
By the time the last few years of the Mercury-ized version of the Ford Crown Victoria rolled around, every single Grand Marquis sold was an Ultimate Edition. Back in the late 1990s, however, Mercury shoppers had more choices. Including, apparently, a Safety Edition. Here is an example I found in a Denver self-service yard last week. (Read More…)
The holidays, no matter your religion (or lack thereof), is a time when many a car freak has the downtime to think of something they’d really want. Another car? Maybe. More cars? Possibly. But I suspect many a Piston Slap reader is all about doing something to their car over the break. Here’s one of my projects: the Talking Lincoln Mark VIII, or MK-T for short. (Read More…)
We make fun of the personal luxury coupe now, just as we make fun of leisure suits, WIN buttons, and Freakies cereal. Still, the rest of the world (except perhaps Australia) never experienced the glory of the huge, inefficient, vaguely sporty coupe with floaty ride and deep-tufted velour interior, and this is their loss. (Read More…)
The super-Malaise-y Granada/Monarch was replaced by the Fox platform-based Fairmont/Zephyr in a process that lasted through the late 1970s and early 1980s (a Fox-based Granada lingered on until 1982). The Fox was like science fiction next to the well-seasoned early-60s chassis that came before, and car buyers who wanted a sporty two-tone coupe went right to their Lincoln-Mercury dealers to buy Zephyrs like this one. (Read More…)
Until about the mid-1980s, the German-built Ford Capri was a fairly common site on the American street (well, at least it was a common sight in California, where I grew up). Available in the United States through 1978, the Capri was sold as, simply, “the Capri.” Because Mercury dealers sold the things, the car became known as the Mercury Capri, and the identification became more confused when the Fox-based Mustang-sibling Mercury Capri came out with Mercury badging. Since that time, really tedious anoraks have jumped down the throats of those who made the mistake of referring to the European Capri as a Mercury, and the rest of us don’t care. The Capri has mostly disappeared, but every once in a while I see a completely thrashed one in a junkyard. Here’s a ’75 that I found a few weeks ago in California. (Read More…)
When I saw this 1964 Mercury Park Lane convertible at the Ford and Mercury Restorers Club meet a few weeks ago, I immediately knew what it was. Actually that’s a fib. I didn’t actually realize exactly what car this was until I saw the informational panel laid out in front of the Merc. Then I knew immediately what it was. Earlier this year TTAC ran a post of mine about the car companies’ pavilions at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. The Detroit automakers went all out and Ford, working with Walt Disney’s team, came up with a novel way of exposing fair visitors to Ford and Mercury cars.
It was a mild winter here in Minnesota, so it promises to be an early spring. And with spring comes the promise of new automotive projects. Right now we are in the pre-spring thinking and planning stages. Attached is a photo of my possible project. Some background would be helpful. (Read More…)
After the Miata (introduced in the United States as a 1990 model) turned out to be an instant hit for Mazda, the marketing wizards at Ford decided to put Mercury badges on the Australian Ford Capri, a four-seat sporty convertible, and beat Mazda at its own game. Sure, the ’91-94 Capri was a Mazda under the skin (it was based on the 323), and it had front-wheel-drive, but so what? (Read More…)
Regular reader here. To the matter at hand:
On a recent visit to Mexico, this Mariner was in front of me begging for a bad cellphone pic. Don’t get me wrong, after-market badge-upgraded cars are pretty common there, but this already badge-engineered Ford Explorer (Mercury Mariner – SM) badge-engineered once more to a “Lincoln Mariner 4wd V6″ was too ironic to let go. Please note the extra Lincoln badge thrown in for good measure on the dealer license plate cover. Make no mistake, it is a Lincoln.
I assumed that this would bring a smile and a chuckle to an ardent Ford guy like yourself. Hope you enjoy it and keep up the good work!
Best regards from Sweden,
Francisco (Read More…)
We’re on a 1973 roll here in Junkyard Find land, with a ’73 Luxury LeMans yesterday and a ’73 Super Beetle the day before, so I’m going to keep it going with another car from the year everything went to hell. The Montego was the blinged-out, gingerbread-encrusted sibling of the Ford Torino during this era, so it made sense that Mercury would sell a Brougham edition. (Read More…)
“MR2turbo4evr”, today is your lucky day: you suggested that someone would appreciate my critiques on Lincoln products, and maybe you are right. But this self-proclaimed Lincoln-Mercury fanboi was pissed when his favorite version of Ford’s CD3 platform, the Mercury Milan, bit the dust. But I digress: what to do when you are a designer tasked with making every Lincoln look like the MKR concept, even if that ridiculous grille maybe (MAYBE) works on a sedan with Town Car levels of decadent proportioning, and no other Lincoln?
If you worked on the 2010-2012 MKZ, I suspect you bit your tongue, did your job, cashed your paycheck and told your family how much they meant to you. This applies to the MKZ more than the re-skin of the MKS, MKX and the all-new MKT. Or maybe working on such a half-hearted design isn’t so bad for a car designer, because job satisfaction is a relative term. That’s where fanbois who’ve lost their way get lost in their own thoughts. (Read More…)
Brougham. To (increasingly elderly) car shoppers nearly to the dawn of the 21st century, that word meant class. Luxury. Success. A brougham was a type of horse-drawn carriage… or it was an option package applied to a car made by GM, Chrysler, or Ford; even Nissan jumped aboard the Brougham bandwagon. Mercury might have been the most broughamic marques of them all, which makes today’s Junkyard Find the zenith of broughamhood! (Read More…)