HarleyEarl

New Lincoln Flagship Planned

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Lincoln Town Car May Live On Despite Plans for New Flagship Date Posted 09-26-2005 DEARBORN, Mich. — Lincoln's current flagship sedan, the Town Car, will live on after the company's new flagship comes to market. Although the new flagship, known internally as E386, will arrive in model-year 2009, the Town Car will live on through at least 2010. Supplier sources familiar with the automaker's plans say Lincoln could relegate the Town Car to fleet sales once the new flagship arrives. Lincoln is planning to overhaul its sedan lineup, and recently said it will kill its midrange LS sedan in favor of another vehicle with a similar position in the lineup. The car that will roughly occupy the LS' place in the lineup, known as D385, will arrive in model-year 2008 on Ford's D3 platform, and E386 will use a long-wheelbase version of the architecture. Both new sedans will likely use Ford's new 3.5-liter V6 and perhaps an optional 4.4-liter V8. Although Lincoln will position D385 and E386 similarly to that of the LS and Town Car, the models are said to be quite different from Lincoln's current cars. "It's nothing like an LS," said a Ford spokesman of D385 in a recent phone interview with Inside Line. D385 should go on sale in about two years, and Lincoln will most likely not call it "LS." Suppliers say it will have standard all-wheel drive. E386 should follow about a year later. What this means to you: Fans of the Town Car will be sad to hear it may eventually be available only as a fleet model. (InsideLine)
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I thought that the Town Car was already fleet only, hehehe.... But seriously how does Lincoln expect to compete with Cadillac, BMW, etc. if it doesn't offer a vehicle that is "something" like the current LS? It seems to be that there are some product positioning problems over at the Blue Oval between Lincoln, Volvo and Mercury. Personally if they are not sending Lincoln to the big leagues they should kill it or Mercury otherwise it would seem they are competing for the same customer.
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I like the LS :( . I mean sure it is heavy, underpowered, and expensive, but I think it looks good. They should just make it bigger so they can put the DOHC 4.6L in it :) . David
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I always liked the LS...could never understand why it didn't catch on in a bigger way. This was the only bright spot at Lincoln.
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I believe that not being like the LS is a positive not a negative attribute. I think GM & Ford are on the verge of the best generation of vehicles that Americans have produced in 40 years. Possibly ever. The Zephyr takes on the CTS. The LS replacement takes on the STS. The Town Car Replacement would take on the ULS or Sigma DTS.
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Lincoln was never really different enough from Ford and Mercury to really land in the big leagues. Imo, the last great Lincoln was the '61-'68 (? not sure of the last year) Continental.

I think the LS was too generic looking. In their bid to look "continental", they took out every Lincoln styling cue. Proof that even good hardware and chassis configuration can't overcome a boring exterior design.
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The Zephyr only takes on the CTS (and wins) in the interior department. The CTS is superior.
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...But seriously how does Lincoln expect to compete with Cadillac, BMW, etc. if it doesn't offer a vehicle that is "something" like the current LS?...

[post="21586"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

I believe Lincoln isn't interested in competing with Cadillac or BMW for now - more like the M35-45 with the D385 and the ES&LS with the Zephyr&E386.

Also there could be more than one car coming to 'replace' the (Lincoln)LS - Rwd isn't quite dead yet. The Panthers still have 2 phases of upgrades coming, cy2006 & cy2008. Edited by 2b2
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The Zephyr taking on the CTS....I have never heard anything so improbable in my whole life. Not in the same league, not even on the same planet.
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The Zephyr only takes on the CTS (and wins) in the interior department.  The CTS is superior.

[post="21688"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Even that's a toss, IMO. Personally, I prefer the look of a PC over a wicker furniture set.

The current Town Car is practically fleet anyway and is nearly irrelevant in the non-livery luxury sedan market except maybe a '95 DeVille Concours and even that was sportier.
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Back in the 50s 60s and 70s Cadillac outsold Lincoln by such leaps and bounds it made for a few jokes. If Cadillac had its curretn lneup AND a BOF car called Brougham, or Fleetwood, and a personal coupe called Eldorado it would STILL be outselling Lincoln by leaps and bounds instead of by a small margin. The only year Lincoln got the best of Cadillac was in 1997 because of the Navigator. Another braniac move: denying Caddy a big SUV when they even discontinued B-bodys to make th ose damn tanks. <_<
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Back in the 50s 60s and 70s Cadillac outsold Lincoln by such leaps and bounds it made for a few jokes. If Cadillac had its curretn lneup AND a BOF car called Brougham, or Fleetwood, and a personal coupe called Eldorado it would STILL be outselling Lincoln by leaps and bounds instead of by a small margin.

The only year Lincoln got the best of Cadillac was in 1997 because of the Navigator. Another braniac move: denying Caddy a big SUV when they even discontinued B-bodys to make th ose damn tanks. <_<

[post="21777"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


1) Cadillac still handily outsells Lincoln without the old stuff. A BOF car makes no sense in today's Cadillac lineup. Maybe for Chevy as a police/taxi/fleet sedan, but that's it.

2) Cadillac was denied an SUV as it was in GMC's larger plans to move upscale in the late-90s, starting with the Yukon Denali. GM saw how well the Navi did, determined Cadillac had more street cred than GMC, and moved the Denali over in '99 as the first lame-o Escalade. Even then, people at it up.
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Fly: why don;t you talk to limousine/ proffesional car converters and Funeral homes and ask them why 99% of stretched limousines and many other custom prof. cars are built off of a Lincoln instead of a Caddy. You Sir are a BOF car hater. You constantly try to say they belong in the last century... you remind me of the import guys always bitching about pushrods while they drive around in 15 second Hondas. <_<
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Back in the 50s 60s and 70s Cadillac outsold Lincoln by such leaps and bounds it made for a few jokes. If Cadillac had its curretn lneup AND a BOF car called Brougham, or Fleetwood, and a personal coupe called Eldorado it would STILL be outselling Lincoln by leaps and bounds instead of by a small margin.

The only year Lincoln got the best of Cadillac was in 1997 because of the Navigator. Another braniac move: denying Caddy a big SUV when they even discontinued B-bodys to make th ose damn tanks. <_<

[post="21777"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Lincoln was more of an old money brand though, hence smaller sales. I like both Cadillac and Lincoln, but Cadillacs were always flashier than Lincolns. Even today, Lincoln has more conservative styling, not necessarily a bad thing. I love cars like the '61 Connie...clean, simple lines. Lincoln definately had it over Cadillac in the 80s and part of the 90s though, especially with the Mark VII and Town Car. It's too bad Lincoln has fallen so far from grace...I'd love to see it competing with the revived Cadillac of today.
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I also love classic Lincolns. I just happen to be more of a Cadillac guy myself. My favorite Caddy is the 1962 Coupe Devile or Deville ragtop... LOVE those. :wub:

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That being said I do LOVE the 1961 Continentals. They are such fabulous cars, weather a hardtop or a convertible I'd love to own one!

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I think the LS was too generic looking.  In their bid to look "continental", they took out every Lincoln styling cue.  Proof that even good hardware and chassis configuration can't overcome a boring exterior design.

[post="21686"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


I agree that the LS was too generic looking, but I think they did try to get some Lincoln cues in there- particularly from the side. The tail lights and side marker lamps were clearly a riff on the 60's cars, as was the soft hoizontal spline-line between the lights. I really liked the way the planar surface of the upper fender went from vertical at the A pillar to practically horizontal above the lights.

For me, it's the same case as some of the 80's FWD GM cars. It's almost as if they were designing them for other designers: the details are really gorgeous, but the whole package is kind of a snore. I wonder if it's a bean-counter deal. If you only have so much money to bend that sheet metal, there's only so much you can bend.

But I stilll think the LS is a very nice looking car. But if Lincoln had anything resembling Nads, they would have built this:

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Fly: why don;t you talk to limousine/ proffesional car converters and Funeral homes and ask them why 99% of stretched limousines and many other custom prof. cars are built off of a Lincoln instead of a Caddy.

You Sir are a BOF car hater. You constantly try to say they belong in the last century... you remind me of the import guys always bitching about pushrods while they drive around in 15 second Hondas. <_<

[post="21843"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


You, sir, can't read well. The only cars for sale today that really do belong in the last century are the Ford Panther cars, not because they're BOF, but because they have very little to offer the average buyer - lazy V8s, floaty rides, and an extrodinarily ridiculous MSRP vs. equipment level for the Town Car. There is something seriously wrong when you can get stability control on a $17,000 Scion and not on a $50,000 Lincoln.

Sadly, these cars could be so much more than what they are even on their platforms. I've said this countless times that they're caught in a Catch-22 that will forever preserve their mediocrity - Ford already made back what they put into engineering the cars and is apparently happy with selling half-baked vehicles for whatever profit they earn. Even then, they don't sell well enough to non-fleet buyers for Ford to invest in meaningful updates besides an uglier two-tone paint scheme on the Mercury...and because there aren't updates, they don't sell well.

Ford had a fantastic opportunity with the Maurauder, but they botched by giving it a lame-ass engine mated to a lame-ass setup with lame-ass white-faced gauges and calling it a 'Muscle Car.' No one bought it because they saw it for what it was - an expensive Crown Vic LX Sport, which no one also buys. Where's the convertible or 427-esque restyle that Ford taunted us with? Nowhere because Ford does not care.

It has nothing to do with BOF vs Unibody, its about Ford keeping a car around so long that it becomes irrelevant in the marketplace. It would've been very easy to rebody the GM and and TC with a selection of higher-output V8s and a strong six, tighter exterior dimensions, a trunk you can use, bucket seats, a more-than-two-spoke steering wheel, stability control, floor shifter, and styling that belongs in this decade. Imagine a 427-like Ford and a Continental-concept-like TC. Hotness above and beyond what they sell now.

You misjudge my dislike of Ford's BOF cars as hatred for all BOF cars because you're giddy over the fact that they're BOF, RWD, and have V8s. You're ready to just accept that you can pick up an '01 CV Interceptor for $5000 at a government auction, jump curbs, and be happy with yourself. Well, I'm not - maybe because I can see what Ford, Mercury, and especially Lincoln once was. Maybe I can see that its because they - like you - are content to let their cars be the golden childs of police forces, geriatrics, and limo companies that those big cars are laughed at by everyone else in the automotive industry. Maybe I can see that Ford could've at the very least put some damn thought into making each one of those cars more appealing, both in a design sense and equipment sense. Maybe I'm just upset that Ford is content with how things are instead of thinking how great things can be.

And maybe I understand that Cadillac's purpose is not merely to provide cheap, volume-discounted base trim sedans to aftermarket livery firms that chop up cars to make them gaudy stretch limousines. Maybe, just maybe, Cadillac is supposed to be the best we as an automobile-producing nation has to offer the world, not just our own country. And a redux of a 1996 Fleetwood with its floaty ride, massive dimensions, and lack of appealing features just isn't it.

I say that with love towards the Fleetwood because, damnit, I'd buy one. I almost bought a Roadmaster for Chrissake, so you can pull your head out of your ass. But I also realize that Cadillac is headed in the right direction, that a car that's big for bigness' sake won't sell as well as a well-sized beautiful sedan that's worthy of really being called a flagship.

And on a related note, you remind of, well, you. You throw false accusations at me for my opinions, yet what do I see in every other thread? "...too bad its FWD." "If its wasn't FWD..." "Cursed with FWD..." "...FWD is crap and unappealing." "FWD sucks." Substitute 'FWD' with 'unibody' or 'automatic', and that's a whole bunch of your posts, even when its irrelevant to the subject at hand or simply part of some random, cheap potshot at a vehicle you have no interest in anyway.

Its not about your preference or even that you make it mind-numbingly, painfully apparent to everyone here that it is - its your hypocrisy in dishing it out but not taking it. If some criticizes something contrary to your opinion, you have to make accusations like you did with me. Rarely do people go after you saying you're a unibody hater or a FWD hater even though you pretty much are (though you own a FWD and two unibody cars?????). C'mon. You're better than that. Grow up.
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I believe that not being like the LS is a positive not a negative attribute. I think GM & Ford are on the verge of the best generation of vehicles that Americans have produced in 40 years. Possibly ever. The Zephyr takes on the CTS. The LS replacement takes on the STS. The Town Car Replacement would take on the ULS or Sigma DTS.

[post="21636"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


My thoughts exactly. Lincoln is serious about playing with the majors now, but will continue to only give a half hearted attempt. I think the main reason is money. They'll continue to use existing platforms/powertrains, etc., atleast in the near term future. The Zephyr will take on the $30+K entry class. The E385 will be a step up, with the M/STS/GS/E/A6, etc., and the E386 will be the flagship competing with the big boys. Ofcourse, the Zephyr will lean on the softer side of lux, really competing more with the ES330, and a maybe a sports package for FWDs like the TL and A4. I'm really happy that since the E385 won't be RWD (lack of platform), they have the forsight to include AWD as standard equipment. The sames goes for the E386. It's a mistake to not offer the E386 with anything less than the V8 as standard equipment. Though the upcoming S-Class may offer a S350 here, no other lux maker will have anything less than a V8 as standard in their flagships. I really am fond of Lincoln, and I wish them the best. My dad and grandad both had Towncars, and my uncle had a Continental. With a few tweeks Lincoln's design language can really be sharp. The Zephyr is 90% there, IMO.
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The Zephyr reminds me of a Mercury Zephyr from the 80s...dismal Lincoln.

Bring back some flash, Lincoln, before it's too late.

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Get a little whacky like you used to be:

Posted Image Edited by HarleyEarl
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1) Cadillac still handily outsells Lincoln without the old stuff. A BOF car makes no sense in today's Cadillac lineup. Maybe for Chevy as a police/taxi/fleet sedan, but that's it.


Fly: this sounded to me like another "BOF sucks" comment... only when I called you on it did you start bringing up stability control and Ford's lack of updates to the Panther cars.

I'm not like most people... (thank god) I'd rather NOT have crap like stability control. The way I see it it's just another overly complicated and mostly useless option that adds weight, complexity, and maointenance to my vehicle's cost.

The sophisticated air ride/ stabilitrack suspension on my '97 STS is not worth the extra cost over the basic air ride in my '86 F.B. I could replace BOTH my rear (air ride) shocks for under $150 in the Brougham while ONE shock in the '97 STS is $500. Untill Arnott came around this was the biggest pain in the ass/walet repair that these cars could give you.

I NEVER said that the CV/GM/TC were modern, competetive or revolutionary... I DID say they were to be comended for being BOF, unlike GM they did not give up on the classic formula. I'll be the first one to say the cars should get more power by way of more displacement, better transmoisions, a complete restyle and better refinement.

You think your precious Aurora is God's gift to luxury/sports sedans... it's a great car but no hard core enthusiast will ever choose it over a BMW 3/5 series, Lexus IS/GS or even a CTS. I think you know the two primary reasons why. http://www.cheersandgears.com/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/AH-HA_wink.gif Your hatered for BOF cars is obvious and you constant references to them being the Geriatric car of choice seems ot stem from your resentment of all those elderly people on the roads down in Florida.

Here's a tip: MOVE!

And I'll take a '96 Fleetwood over any FWD Olds any day with possibly the exception of a few Toronados. Why is it that you find the B-body Fleetwood has a "lack of appealing features"? You say you'd buy one but you make fun of it in the same post... don't you think a LS6/No* and a 20 year newer ground up desing would do Cadillac proud?

I'd much rather see a BOF Cadillac that harkens back to the 50/60s then a cheap, gawdy CTS knockoff wiht FWD (BLS). Why are you assuming that GM can no longer make a decent BOF vehicle... if it's just Ford BOF cars you despise then why say Caddy shouldn't make a BOF car? Wouldn't they steal most of a market wholy owned by Ford if their product was far superior. I agree GM could make a much better BOF car than Ford... I've said this a million times God D@mn it. I use the example of the Mass State Troopers all the time.

Perhaps we will never agree on this... but then I'll never understand why it has to get so nasty. :unsure:
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TMP:

Back in 1996 as a senior in HS I thought the Sentinel was one of the best concepts of all time. So fluid but yet sharp and modern. I remember telling my friends that if Lincoln makes this car it will become an instant classic just like the '61 Conti. Why hey dropped the ball I don't know. Weather it woudl have ended up FWD/RWD, unibody or BOF the styling alone would have sold this car. It looks as fresh today as it did in the mid 90s. I still love it.

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Harley:

I remember seeing a photo in one of my HS textboks wiht JFK sitting in one of these funky '59 Lincolns. They're a bit gawdy but still wicked cool. I stared at the photo just in awe of the car. Think h0ow much Lincoln changed between 59/60 to 61. Crazy. Downsizing is the only word I can think of.


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I really like those overstyled Lincolns from that period. They just scream Americana and optimism.
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Where is the tooling needed for a GM BOF car?

There's your answer.

If we were having this discussion in 1995, then the scenario would be completely different. GM got rid of BOF as far as cars go. That's a fact that you not only have to deal with but work around since its apparently such a drag on GM's product portfolio.

Unfortunately, you have be realistic in today's environment. GM has a fraction of its historic market share and even less of yesteryear's profits. Right now, I would argue with what I feel is an accurate assumption that its far more financially feisable to continue building what they're building RWD unibody cars. Here's a fact for you to think about: the rumoured upcoming ULS is the Fleetwood - not the '92-'96 interation that did have the imposing look but limited appeal, but the Fleetwood of yore that was heralded and recognized as the best Cadillac had to offer. I don't see the point in going back to a BOF chassies simply to satisfy the needs of what in actuality is a limited-profit market.

Yes, limousines are expensive, but who do you think makes that money? Superior Coachworks or whoever else is splicing the cars together, not the manufacturer of the base automobile. Have you noticed something about the limousines, too? They're the cheapest, base models of the Town Car or DeVille (and yes, Virginia, there are DeVille limos). Its a fact that automakers cut deals with volume and fleet buyers, so how much actual cold, hard moola do you think Ford is making off the sale of each limo-to-be? Bets are not a whole lot.

You want to know something I want? I want a Buick Regal Cielo. Remember that concept car from awhile back? Not the goofy tangerine-looking one, but the one ASC (I think) did for GM out of a regular Regal GSE. Had the convertible appeal with the hardtop rollover strength and stackable roof panels that didn't take up much trunk space. I want one with chrome wheels in Santa Fe red. And you know what? GM can do it. They sure as hell can do it because they built one a few years ago and they can certainly have run up a line at Lansing to do it. But they didn't. Wanna know why?

Because GM can't make everything you and I want. They have to make things that'll sell in volume for a profit. And if they can do that, then every now and then we get something special, like a rather kick-ass car for not that much money - a Solstice, a Regal GS, a Camaro, whatever. But GM can't make money making what would amount to be a boutique car that'll sell predominately to fleets where profit margins are thinner and frankly not worth the investment.

Again, my argument against a new flagship Cadillac being BOF:
1) Its easier to build using existing tooling.
2) Where's the BOF tooling? Not here anymore.
3) Who cares if its BOF? You, and people who buy the cheapest they can in lots and cut them up. Seriously, not many. Not enough to make a difference.

Now, I've always been in favor of GM having a fleet division: GM Fleet. What do they do? Make fleet cars for your taxi companies, police agencies, etc. What's unique in GM Fleet?
* An electric two- and four-seater mobile home runabout (like the Ford TH!NK)
* A midsize I4/V6 sedan (like the Classic, but safer)
* A big, fullsize V6/V8 sedan (like the Caprice)
The two actual cars in GM Fleet would have one bodystyle and a few colors. They'd have cloth/vinyl seats, 4-speaker AM/FM radio, and a CD player. The midsizer, hell, can be a Classic for all I care. The fullsizer will be a big BOF car like the Caprice. GM Fleet would adopt the Ford/Lassiez Faire plan of not really caring about these cars - the bodystyle would change, oh, every 8-10 years with minor updates in technology. The engine selections would likewise change, using what's available from the rest of the lineup. Customers of GM Fleet could order whatever the hell they want for their cars from a catalog. Costs would be minimal because of the long lifecycles of the bodystyles.

There you go - a near-government-issue car made specifically for buyers who don't care what a car looks like as long as they can make a limo, taxi, or squad car out of it. Plus, you can pick it up dirt cheap five years down the line.

The would help get GM the police market back from the far-inferior and fire-issued Crown Vic. I agree and always have that it was dumb for GM to cede that specific market to Ford simply because GM made so much a better can than Ford can even today. With the livery market, a Town Car isn't 'better' to a limo driver than a DeVille; its just easier for the Coachworks to cut up. Big loss. People with real money will buy the ULS anyway.

As far as making fun of the Fleetwood, yeah, I will and say I also like it in the same paragraph. For me, it lacked certain appealing features - for one, someone in the used market was hard-pressed to find one with a CD player, even a '95 or '96. Pretty ridiculous for a Cadillac, IMO. Ditto with the Roadmaster. Also, I prefer the ride of the G-body cars - smooth, boulevardier, but not overly-sprung like some B-bodies. But, what are you saying, I can't like a car and make fun of it at the same time? I love my Aurora, but damnit if it isn't a boxcar. It could drop a fridge and still be heavy. Plus, the wheels are an inch too small and if I painted them green would look like those holiday snack trays. Another cu ft of trunk space wouldn't hurt either.

So, whatever bullshit this was about...

You think your precious Aurora is God's gift to luxury/sports sedans... it's a great car but no hard core enthusiast will ever choose it over a BMW 3/5 series, Lexus IS/GS or even a CTS. I think you know the two primary reasons why.  Your hatered for BOF cars is obvious and you constant references to them being the Geriatric car of choice seems ot stem from your resentment of all those elderly people on the roads down in Florida.

Here's a tip: MOVE!

...I'm going to ignore because, you know what? I think you're better than that, even with your senseless 'yuppie bashing' and single-mindedness in what an enthusiast is. You're telling me the local radio disc jokey who has an M5 and talks about Bimmers all day on the radio to show off how much money he has but doesn't even wash them himself is more of an enthusiast than someone who honestly and ernestly is passionate about his car for what it is? C'mon.

I've met Saturn enthusiasts that are more the real deal than some BMW drivers who espouse about superior handling and Car & Driver awards while a thick layer of brake dust covers their front wheels. I would think you of all people would recognize that a 'real car enthusiast' is one who cares about their car regardless of its popularity, its price, its features, or what set of wheels propels it.
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No wanting to write another 7 paragraphs: the tooling for the BOF cars I speak of? What about al the SUVs that have BOF design, remember like the Escalade adn Suburban... I'm sure those could be downsized and modified for les than the cost of a WHOLE new unibody chassis. And it's not about profit wiht the stretched limos as it is about advertising. A few Devilles get turned into stretched limos but most are T.C. and ask Anyone who work for a coachbuilder: (I know a few) they'll tell you Cadillac going unibody made the pieces of junk. I've tried to defent FWD/unibody Cadillac before to people in this proffesion and they all tell me to come by the shop next time they cut open a Deville. In the end they make a compelling argument.
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Buick would be the perfect brand to carry a BOF vehicle. It would fit perfect with the upscale image their looking for.
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