Monday Mileage Midget: Vecchio Combustible Paradisio!

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang
monday mileage midget vecchio combustible paradisio

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.

Here we have a 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with only 3,289 miles.

I love the interior on this one. It just screams out, “Road trip!” with those large cupholders and the virtually untouched seats.

And here we have a 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with only 10,702 miles. Pardon the sun glint but I’m not the one taking these pictures.

Finally, if you are willing to go a bit beyond the usual automotive blue plate specials, there is…

A 2005 Honda Pilot EX with AWD and 15k miles.

A loaded up for 1994, Ford Ranger STX. ABS, Cruise, 5-Speed, Ice Cold Air, AM/FM Radio with the all too essential cassette deck and alloy wheels. A ride that may have cost less out the door in 2009 than it did back in 1994. This one has 22,375 original miles.

Finally, if you find yourself owning a lifetime supply of Grey Poupon and houndstooth sportcoats, you can buy yourself one of these.

A 1997 Bentley Brooklands. Gorgeous. 30,021 miles. Need I say more?

Well, if I must. This may have been one of the last old school designs that you could get before bulbous bling started to take over. The difference between the Bentley Brooklands of 1997…

and the Bentley Brooklands of 2008

is a classic representation of how elegance in automotive design gave way to gaudiness. The most recent generations of the Grand Marquis and the Pilot represent much of the same. Well earned prestige, that ended up completely subverted by those who thought the protruding plasticidity of Escalades and fingernail thin chrome treatments would be the way of the future.

Mark my words. The 1997 Brooklands will be a classic for all the right reasons. The 2008 model won’t be nearly as well received when it comes time for tomorrow’s classic car shows. It may be a hot auction commodity by then. But only because they sold so few of them.

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2 of 15 comments
  • Ron B. Ron B. on Feb 25, 2013

    The 2008 and all post 2008 Bentleys look like VW designed them.....

  • Kyree Kyree on Feb 25, 2013

    I am a huge Bentley fan. And I don't think there's anything wrong with the late Bentley Brooklands. For all intents and purposes, it is very reserved for a car of that class, especially when compared to the Mulsanne-based coupe that will eventually replace it. It still has a classic shape (just updated for that era), and I think it'll be quite well-received in the future. As you all so eloquently pointed out in your "The DONKinental's Got to Go" article, the Continental (and the new Flying Spur, which by the way is hideous without having even come out yet) will be worthless. Both the first and second-gen Continental have too many era-specific technology interfaces, and because of their finicky natures, probably won't be preservable in the future. This Brooklands, on the other hand, seems to have classic technology, particularly the tried-and-true Bentley/Rolls-Roye 6 3/4 V8, which was around before fuel-injection. The Mulsanne still has that engine (for now; it'll probably get replaced with a derivative of the Audi 4.2L V8), but even the Mulsanne, with its smattering of Audi electronics, will do better than the Continental in the future. The Continental's equity is in the badge and name; it's really just an overgrown Volkswagen with British coachwork...

  • SCE to AUX I like the concept, but $6k just gets you started. I'd have to outsource the bodywork, which is a real problem on a project like this.Still, the result would be a fun vehicle that reflects what many people want today - a small unbloated utility truck.
  • TheDoctorIsOut Try and keep it as light and focused as it always has been and as analog as possible. For those who can appreciate it (and fit into it) there’s still something special about a car that can be driven at 90% of its potential for most of the daily drive.
  • SCE to AUX Let it die with dignity - no electrification. That would kill the spirit of the original.Mazda needs to think about survival and market share, not tinker with a niche car with waning sales, or dying on Wankel Hill.Maybe their body and paint engineers could help Tesla once Mazda folds.
  • Lou_BC H-E-L-L-C-A-T
  • EBFlex "EBFlex speaks more truth."It's sometimes a burden being right all the time.