TTAC News Round-up: Pumped About Porsche; GM's Going To Trial; And Diesel's Dead, Baby

Man, people are really pumped about the cool, expensive cars they just bought.

That nugget of wisdom, Russia’s perpetual Cash for Clunkers program, VW’s appeal to Colorado and Washington buyers and GM’s knows what way the wind is blowing now … after the break!

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Piston Slap: Get Your M+S, Be the All-Season Tire MD

Kai writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I could use a good, concise opinion regarding all-season tires. Researching this on the internet is more confusing than researching “chest pain” on WebMD, so you get to be the doctor on this. We’ve got a 2007 Honda CR-V, which my wife drives in 4-season weather about 1,000 miles/month. There are no major snow months here but there is a bit of rain and a couple good snowstorms a year. The CR-V is a great little car, light on the back end despite being 4WD and has 18-inch rims versus the OEM-fitted 17-inchers.

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Junkyard Find: 1983 Lincoln Continental

In 1982, the 7th-generation Lincoln Continental went to the Fox Platform, elbowing the Fox-based Lincoln Versailles aside. These cars didn’t hold their value so well, which meant that you won’t see many these days.

Here’s a reasonably solid example I saw at a San Francisco Bay Area self-service yard two months ago.

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Could the Ford Taurus Be Imported From China?

The Ford Taurus, once the flagship in Ford’s range, apparently has fallen on hard times.

Sales are down 28 percent through July, it hasn’t done much to outrun its perception as a perennial fleet queen and police fleet buyers are picking the Explorer-based Interceptor over the sedan. Automotive News details the fall and rise and fall again of the Ford Taurus (thanks mostly to former Ford CEO Alan Mulally) and throws in a little tidbit in the middle:

If sales keep falling, analysts speculate Ford could eliminate U.S. production of it and … import the small volume it needs here from China …

Oh boy.

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Ford Building Next-Gen Lincoln Continental in Michigan

Ford will build its next-generation Lincoln Continental at its Flat Rock, Michigan plant, which also produces the Ford Fusion and Mustang, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.

The announcement was made Wednesday by Ford’s Executive Vice President John Fleming at an event in Dearborn, Michigan.

The announcement comes ahead of negotiations with the United Auto Workers, which represents roughly 50,700 Ford employees.

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Lincoln MKS Axed, Continental To Be Assembled Elsewhere

The 2016 Lincoln MKS will be the last of its kind, as the brand will cease production when the calendar rolls over.

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Could Aviator, Not Continental, Begin the End of Lincoln's Alphabet Soup Naming Scheme?

Updated with statement from Lincoln at bottom.

If rumors prove true, Lincoln could end its love affair with MK alphabet soup names with a new Aviator based upon the new Ford Explorer.

According to a second-hand source, TTAC has been told Ford engineers are working on a project internally called ‘Aviator’ based on the new Explorer. The source also stated there will not be a next-generation Ford Flex and will kill off the Lincoln MKT in the process.

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QOTD: How Would You Rename All The Lincolns?

Continental. Zepher. Coronation. Lincoln has some great names in its history – much better than the MK-add-a-letter-here nomenclature of today. Actually, if your model naming scheme is best described as nomenclature, you’re probably doing it wrong.

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Lincoln Turning To Proper Names For Future Models

Just as Cadillac embraces an all-new set of alphanumeric naming schemes, Lincoln is deciding that proper names may be better after all.

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Piston Slap: Reverse Light My Way Home, General Motors!

Jon writes:

Sajeev,

I read this column on lighting, thanks for the information! That leads me to a question…

What is up with Chevy/GM truck and SUV reverse lights!?!?!?! Why do they come on when their drivers use their lock remotes?????

It is crazy going through parking lots these days with all the SUV reverse lights coming on for no good reason. Help me understand please.

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Junkyard Find: 1979 Lincoln Continental Town Car

Malaise Era Lincolns are common sightings in high-turnover pull-yer-part wrecking yards these days, since there’s not much interest in preserving these cars. We saw an extremely clean 1976 Town Car in California a few months back (it’s still on the yard, and very few parts have been pulled since I photographed it), and now I’ve found this rougher (but not at all rusty) ’79 at another San Francisco Bay Area self-serve yard.

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Junkyard Find: 1976 Lincoln Continental Town Car

The last Continental we saw in this series was of the iconic 1961-69 generation designed by Elwood Engel. Its successor was built for the 1970-79 model years, and these cars lost the suicide doors and Lincoln-specific engines but gained even more angular styling. The Town Car option package was aimed at the real high rollers of the Malaise Era, and I’ve found a very solid, refrigerator-white example (photographed at a Northern California self-serve yard last week) that’s sure to make Sajeev Mehta weep bitter, brand-loyal tears.

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Junkyard Find: 1967 Lincoln Continental

The 1961-1969 Lincoln Continental, with its suicide doors and slab sides, is recognized by most as the styling pinnacle of the Lincoln brand in the postwar era. Very nice early examples are worth pretty decent money, but a ’67 in beyond-basket-case condition is worth whatever scrap cars are fetching per ton. Here’s a thoroughly used-up ’67 that I found recently in a Denver wrecking yard.

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The United States Government Has Gone Too Far This Time

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

In an act of almost incomprehensible stupidity, ignorance, and just plain mean-spiritedness, the Federal Government of the United States of America has apparently struck a blow against motoring enthusiasts across the country.

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Piston Slap: Stupid Question, or Stupid Answer?

TTAC Commentator tresmonos writes:

Sajeev,

I recently wrote you about my dilemma of m y dying cavalier and should I purchase a ST Focus when they come out. My question is: how easy is it to convert a v belt to a standard ‘grooved’ serpentine belt? My ’84 Diesel Fox body has mostly sat since I’ve started my new job, but back when I had time and excellent southern weather to work on it, I had rebuilt the alternator, rewired the main line from the alternator to the battery (removed the high voltage line from the main loom) and was messing around with different pullies to see if I could solve the age old dilemma that plagues these diesels: thrown v belts.

The v belt drives the alternator and the water pump. Diesel Fox’s are rare as those v belts get tossed, octogenarians would limp their beloved Lincoln home, then crack their Ford meth inspired, paper thin, specific head to a BMW M21. Sad grandma and grandpa.

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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 the 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.