Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Car Pr0n #77

In keeping with the theme...


1977 Lincoln Versailles. Perhaps one of the most flagrant cases of "badge engineering" that's not the Cadillac Escalade. Take a Ford Granada, execrable in its own right. Then slap a Lincoln badge on it, some rich Corinthian leather, and double the price. That's a Lincoln Versailles. SCI-FI and I used to go back and forth with odd, esoteric trivia. The Lincoln Versailles was one of the answers (others included "frizzen pan" and "David Rice Acheson", FTR).

The Versailles was one of those utterly forgettable cars of the late 1970s/early 1980s like the K-car or the Monza. Borne out of the ongoing gas crises in the 1970s, cars were downsized from the mammoth land yachts they had been and burdened with horrific emission controls that throttled horsepower down to ridiculous levels (the early 1990s Chevrolet 1500 pickup with the big block 454 was rated at something like 205 horsepower. Yes, the same motor that put out 455 horsepower in the Chevelle. Some of it was ratings taken from the rising part of the power curve, but still...)

It's one of those things. We look at the bland styling of cars today and lament that "they don't make 'em like they used to," but that statement is only half-right. While the styling of cars in the 1950s/60s and early 1970s might be more attractive, the technology in the earlier years was downright primitive (a choke? Really?) and in the later years outright awful. We've gotten to the point now where a generic sedan with a six cylinder engine (think Nissan Altima) would kick the ever-lovin' snot out of pretty much anything in the 1960s shy of the AC Cobra.

But then again, no one ever went for a joy ride in an Altima...

That is all.

11 comments:

wrm said...

Heh. Over here a Ford Granada looks like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Granada_%28Europe%29#/media/File:1982_Ford_Granada_2.8_Ghia_X.jpg

Your assessment is still accurate though.

ShallNOTBeInfringed Original said...

Had the 87 equivalent town car. MMM sweet ride and could be that '77's twin. I'd still have it but wifey kept bottoming out(hon it's not a truck) and I didn't feel like fixin the exhaust every 6 months anymore.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

You could make the Granada run great just by blocking off he EGR valve. That system was good at killing the power of an engine.

libertyman said...

Another awful car from the American Baroque period.
What were people thinking, I wonder?

We have come so far.

Anonymous said...

My first thought was 'that can't be the most desirable new car for 1977!' Then I researched and found out it was. What a sucky year it must have been for piston heads.

Al_in_Ottawa

Wolfman said...

I will admit, though, every time I see a car from this era I am tempted to drop in an up-chipped drivetrain from the mid-90s, something with a bit of oomph, just to see how fast it'll go in a straight line. It doesn't take a lot of work to turn that 205 hp 454 back into a real engine.

Old NFO said...

Wolfman's right, BUT the damn things wouldn't turn worth a crap OR stop... sigh

Will said...

Old NFO:
But, but, this is the USA! It shouldn't have to stop or turn!

Whoa, bit of time warp there... Last time I drove my big block '57 Ragtop, I was smoking it through all four gears down the Garden State Parkway, from N. Wildwood to the Wildwood exit. Complete with drum brakes... (early 70's, not summertime, no traffic)

Ahh, to be young and du..., well young again, anyway.

Anonymous said...

the main contribution of this car is that it was equipped with Ford's 9" rear axle (bulletproof) fitted with rear disc brakes from the factory. this supplied a lot of 'rodders with a nice upgrade for their home builds.

Jim said...

That Lincoln can be tweaked into a credible car, just with some modern suspension bits, and dropping in a new crate engine and computer.

Makes it into quite the sleeper.



Jim
Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Knucklehead said...

Saw an immaculate '56 Chrysler Windsor wagon tooling a back country road yesterday. Couldn't get a photo unfortunately.