The past three Wednesday editions of our Question of the Day post centered around the most gracefully aged designs from everyone’s favorite decade: the Nineties. We discussed American vehicles, moved onto Euro rides, and most recently discussed Asia.
But what happens when we flip the question around, and think about designs that aged in the worst ways?
Make your Mark so Sanjeev doesn’t have to.
Yes, I’m riffing on that infamous 1980s Car & Driver promotion about doing something-something or we’ll shoot this dog.
My coffers are almost empty: TTAC’s readership needs to send questions to answer on Piston Slap. Because, if you don’t…
TTAC commentator confused1096 writes:
Sajeev, I need some insight and good advice from yourself and the B & B. Here’s the problem: After my wife’s back surgery we no longer use my ’99 Buick Riviera Silver Arrow (#120) since it’s not comfortable for her to sit in (too low down, shape of seat etc.).
Reader Request: discuss the Lincoln Mark VIII, preferably the second generation’s modest restyle. He likely didn’t care for my reply, as it follows my disapproval of the Original Testarossa versus that rolling abortion that disrespectfully ended Ferrari’s most iconic series.
Then I parked beside a 2000 Mercury Sable on a fine Houston evening.
G’day from Down Under. Big fan of the Vellum Venom column of yours. Car design, and more importantly the smaller details of car design have always fascinated me, even though I couldn’t design a car if my life depended on it. The first bit of design that really hit me was the first appearance of BMW’s “Angel Eyes” on the E39 M5.
Anyway, I’ve always wondered when and more importantly why have the “pull-type” door handles become the norm?
Last October I was able to purchase a car I had been swooning over for about 15 years: A ’98 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC. It has about 108000 miles and is my daily driver. During the summer months I generally prefer to ride a motorcycle, so I need to do something with this car. Selling it is out of the question, as it only has a few cosmetic blemishes (that will soon be tended to), so it will require some…more.
My question is, what do I go with first; Supercharger or 5-6 speed?
It started innocently enough: Derek Kreindler posted the above photo on Facebook for nothing more than a few social media lulz. Which triggered a memory on my end of Al Gore’s Internet: of a cellular phone residing in the console of my Lincoln Mark VIII. Even worse, it reminded me of the way-cool hack to make it work in the digital age. The conversation went downhill from there, and the boss man suggested I blog all about it. Won’t you join me in the cellular madness?
I haven’t recommended a new Lincoln in well over 20 years now.
With rare exception, the brand never lives up to the hype of whatever a Lincoln was supposed to represent at various times in recent history. The ultimate luxury coupe that was the Mark VIII. The import fighting LS. The Lexus/Mercedes wanna-be that was the Lincoln Zephyr. All of them were flops in the new car marketplace for a long list of good reasons.
Even the Lincoln SUV’s, then and now, seem to be little more than overpriced Fords with razor thin chrome accents. While the current alphabet soup of names makes it nearly impossible to recommend any new Lincoln without delving into a smartphone for confirmation that the MK-whatever is indeed an MK-whatever.
There is only one Lincoln truly worth it. The Town Car. An old one. A well used one. But maybe not as used as this one.
Dear Steve and that other Dude,
As you well know, I am a little hooked on old-school American iron, preferably of the V8, high performance wannabe-GT cum Land Yacht variety. Problem is, they are letting me down in terms of basic transportation to work. Not that my Cougar and Mark VIII are complete turds, that guy with that Piston Slap column would have my ass if it came to that. But the occasional part needs replacement, and every recent modification (defective hi-flow fuel pumps, limited slip differentials assembled rather poorly) left me stranded and car-less for many days…and, well, you see my point.
I have a working budget of anywhere from 20-40k for a vehicle that’s new or lightly used. The ideal vehicle should be well proportioned with good visibility (no buffalo butts, I didn’t go to Industrial Design school for that crap), be RWD and not be a stereotypical European money pit that’s nearly impossible to repair in my garage. The ability to tune/tweak would be a plus and being more practical than my two coupes wouldn’t hurt, either. Not that I want another tuner car that’ll leave me stranded for one reason or another. Oh, and a stick would be nice.
PS: I am not interested in Panther Love. I wish you people would stop pushing these damn things on your readers. The only ones I’d consider are the “fat panthers” from the mid-90s with all the good stuff inside. I am not interested in taking a new, reliable “skinny” one and making it fat with parts from the junkyard. Been there, done that and already won the Fox Body trophies.
The Mark VII and the Mark VIII get a passing grade for effort, but that’s not good enough in the car business. There was no way these coupes could could begin to offset the damage that was simultaneously being done to the brand by that lame-assed 140 hp V6 powered Continental sedan. Dressing up this Taurus to compete with the Mercedes W124 and Lexus LS 400 was just a revival of the deadly sin they committed with the Versailles. There may have been enough suckers to buy this pig in a poke v.2, but they were all over seventy years old. Not the way to build a viable brand, especially in the face of the most withering competition for luxury car dollars ever.
In my CC hunts, I come across quite a few Lincolns with air suspension issues. Usually, they’re just hunched down on the suspension stops in a Citroen DS or lowrider imitation. But this one has been catching my eye for quite some time, because it gets driven like this. I suspect it’s not intentional, but I do tend to lag in my awareness of the latest automotive cultural fads. Given that this Mark VIII is also lacking a rear window adds to my theory.
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- ChristianWimmer The 240D was frigging FAST……compared to the base 200D and 220D models which we had in Europe. The 200D had 55-horsepower and the 220D had 60-horsepower. Later the 200D got a power boost to 60-horsepower which resulted in Mercedes axing the 220D. It was a 60-horsepower 200D which I once got to drive. The car belonged to a friend and had the manual transmission. 0-100 km/h according to Mercedes was 33 seconds. Ok, it was surprisingly agile - from 0 to 80 km/h (could keep up with modern traffic), BUT 80 to 100 km/h took forever! At 80 km/h and in the proper gear you could be flooring the pedal and the needle barely moved upwards. So I guess for a city vehicle or roads limited to 80 km/h it’ll do fine - and we have many such roads in Germany.
- Tassos staying within the same family, I'd much prefer the 300. However, a 2006 recently sold also quite unjustifiably pricey, Not when you can get an Awesome Mercedes S550, of a far more recent vintage (2013) for almost the same price!!!!https://carsandbids.com/auctions/9Q1d4Vk9/2006-chrysler-300c-srt8
- Tassos https://carsandbids.com/auctions/r4e4R4mA/2013-mercedes-benz-s550-4maticWhy don't you try this? It's four times the car the unreliable little red wagon is, it's 1000 times more luxurious, it's far more powerful than you'll ever need, it's a FOREVER car, susprisingly economical to run, AND fit for a KING, not a JANITOR. Oh, and you save over $5000, which can buy you a really Ruling Class Bottle of wine... or several cases thereof.
- Tassos Holding cellphones in one hand while driving and being distracted by them is the idiot's recipe for disaster.And there are millions and millions of such morons. As Mark Twain said, the average American is not very smart, and half of all Americans are even dumber than that. I believe this is true of most other nations as well.
- Tassos I am not paying $25,000, even in worthless biden dollars, for a 7-year old, unreliable, non-luxury used small wagon. Are you kidding me?