Our Lincoln Mark Series coverage continues today, and we pick up at the end of 1958. After Ford dumped many millions into the Continental Division and quickly shut it down, the company then spent a lot more money to develop an all-new unibody platform for Lincoln’s usage. In an attempt to woo customers away from Cadillac, the new Lincolns for 1958 wore some of the most shocking styling ever to come from Detroit.
All three of Lincoln’s new “models” were really just trim levels of the same car. Said models included Capri, Premier, and the top-tier Continental Mark III, which was not a Continental except in trim badges. At least it had a Breezeway window! At the 1958 launch of Lincoln’s new unibody line there was a steep recession across the globe, as lots of Americans decided they didn’t actually need a new car every year or two. Nevertheless, the Continental Mark III made up 62 percent of Lincoln’s sales that year. Lincoln veered off on a revised course in 1959, hoping to improve its lot with some more “new” models.
Americans have got a fever, and the only prescription is more crossovers. Virtually every automaker trying to do business in this country has some sort of lifted wagon – if not a handful. Large ones, small ones, performance ones, economy ones. No convertible crossovers anymore, thank goodness. They’re shoehorning a crossover into nearly every possible market segment.
Here, we have the 2023 Mazda CX-50, with a name very much like their popular CX-5. And it’s very close in size to said CX-5. Of the six distinct non-electric vehicles offered by Mazda, four are crossovers – but why did they bring us something so very clearly similar to something they’ve been selling well for many years without replacing it?
Oh, and don’t give Mazda any ideas about a Miata crossover, please.
It’s of no surprise to anyone that new vehicles can be hard to find these days. Some production has been throttled thanks to supply chain challenges, more than a few dealer lots are bereft of product, and everyone seems to be at the end of their rope.
But spare a thought for customers in Japan who wish to buy a new Lexus LX. According to reports, the wait time for one in that part of the world has grown. To four years.
Shivon Zilis, a top executive at Neuralink, gave birth to twins last year. The father was Neuralink — and Tesla — boss Elon Musk.
This happened in November, just weeks before Musk and singer Claire Boucher, who performs under the name Grimes, announced the birth of their second child.
The tasty RS 7, with a 4.0L bi-turbo V8 belting out nearly 600 horsepower packed into a slinky sportback body, is the sort of delightful lunacy which acts as a speedy tonic to the raft of dour crossovers and SUVs which crowd parking lots at the mall. A new exclusive edition – a trim infuriatingly spelled in all lower-case letters – ratchets up the rarity even if it doesn’t provide any extra German horses.
The price goes up, too. A lot.
In yet another example of want-it-can’t-have-it from companies which sling cars on both sides of the pond, Honda has introduced a Limited Edition of its spellcheck-vexing ‘e’ all-electric city car. Appearing next to the machine is one Max Verstappen, who appears to somehow be standing on his own without support from ex-F1 race director Michael Masi.
We return to Kia’s large sedan history today, at a point shortly after the launch of the K7. Kia’s full-size front-drive for the 2010s, the K7 was called Cadenza in all export markets, and was a successor to the unfortunately styled Opirus (Amanti in North America). Kia hired Peter Schreyer from his longtime employment at Volkswagen Group in order to usher in a new stylistic era at Kia.
Though it went on sale for the 2010 model year, Kia wasn’t quite ready to send the Cadenza to the North American market. With the market’s general rejection of the Amanti in mind, Kia called on Schreyer to refresh the Cadenza and lux it up before its North American launch.
Americans continue to buy vehicles nearly as fast as they arrive on dealer lots, as the nation is rife with stories chronicling perpetually empty lots and some establishments making bank with obscene markups.
We’ll leave those latter two topics for another day. Meanwhile, despite a consumer hunger for new cars, the market is down sharply compared to this time last year – double-digit percentages, in fact.
Editor’s note: This is the first in an occasional series.
Enzo Ferrari. You probably know who he is, thanks to the eponymous car brand he started in 1947 — but what you probably don’t know is that il Commendatore was already a legend, years before he hung out his own shingle … and the twin-engine, Alfa Romeo Bimotore racer from 1935 is a big part of the reason why.
This wasn’t some crazy, “let’s see if we can” sort of project, either. This twin-engine terror was born out of necessity — the necessity to beat the German Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz “Silver Arrows”, anyway.
I’ve always had mixed feelings about Lexus’ NX compact crossover. I’ve found it to be fairly sporty – in general, and not just by staid Lexus standards – and overall more engaging to drive than the larger (and highly popular) RX, but also a bit cramped inside. Not to mention that the NX, like most Toyota and Lexus products, just seemed a step behind when it came to infotainment.
Lexus addressed two of those criticisms with the current model and did so quite nicely.
The Big Idea
When one’s employer tells you that you are required to go to San Diego, California for a company event I guess most people’s reaction would be “hey, I hear they have a great zoo there”.
I suspect I am slightly an outlier in that my first thought was “I should buy an old car and drive up the Pacific Coast Highway and consign the car with a shipping agent to transport it home”.
Yes, yes – we’ve talked about this subject and the related topic of ceramic coatings in the past. We promise we’re not repeating ourselves, at least not until we’re safely ensconced in the Old Age Home for Recovering Gearheads. We’ll be in the wing where they keep folks who had an odd affinity for terrible ’90s GM cars, like the Oldsmobile Toronado Troféo.
Maybe it’s just automotive Stockholm Syndrome, but after 15 years of testing vehicles, a huge percentage of which have been crossover SUVs, I’m ready to say it: Crossovers aren’t so bad.
Yeah, I know, you’re going to ask me to blink twice if I am OK, but hear me out.
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- MRF 95 T-Bird The hideaway headlamps on these and other Ford vehicles of the era could have issues mostly vacuum related. Usually the vacuum hoses that ran to the actuators would deteriorate. The “coffee can” reservoir which was mounted in the front header was rarely an issue because it was protected from the elements. The other coffee can reservoir used for the HVAC controls and actuators and mounted under the passenger side wheel well had a tendency to rot away. I once replaced one on my 70 Mustang when I noticed that the vents were acting janky. Later model Fords like Fox bodies used a durable plastic globe shaped one. The radio on these 69-70 full-size Fords mounted on the left side of aircraft style instrument cluster within the drivers touch probably disappointed many young people. “Mom will you change the station?” “Andy Williams is so square”.
- MichaelBug For me, two issues in particular:1. It can be difficult for me to maintain my lane on a rainy night. Here in southeastern PA, PennDOT's lane markings aren't very reflective. They can be almost impossible to make out when wet.2. Backing out of a parking space in a lot with heavy pedestrian traffic. Oftentimes people will walk right into my blind spot even if I am creeping back with my 4-way flashers blinking. (No backup camera in my '11 Toyota Camry.)Michael B 🙂
- Tagbert When you publish series like this, could you include links to the previous articles in the series so that we can follow through? Thank you. Edit: now I see a link embedded in the first paragraph that goes to the previous story. It wasn’t clear at first where that link went but now I understand.
- DungBeetle62 When you're in one of these, you life in a state of constant low-level nervous about 90% of the time. But that other 10% kinda makes up for it.
- Garrett Instead of foisting this problem on the car companies and the people who buy cars, make those who possess liquor licenses and those who purchase alcohol take on the economic cost of this problem.