America in the 70s (well, anytime between 1940 and 2010, really) was famous for churning out big, wallowy pieces of garbage that went around corners like giant pandas on rollerskates. And in 1995, as part of his Motorworld docuseries, Jeremy Clarkson spent a couple minutes telling us what one of these boats, the Lincoln Town Car, is like.
In short, it’s miserable. The only way you could like one of these cars is if it’s coated in nostalgia and you really aren’t concerned with handling, or fuel economy, or quality, or safety, or style. As such, I actually like it a lot, but I’m well aware that I’m in the minority.
If you don’t want to spend two minutes and nineteen seconds of your life listening to Jeremy complain, here’s a quick synopsis: it’s slower than drying paint; the brakes lock up if you look at them wrong; the suspension is made of a feather bed coated in butter; and the interior build quality is more or less on the level of those Fisher-Price telephones. It’s also very square, a style which sadly couldn’t be carried over to the carousel-sized steering wheel (though 25 years later, Ferrari is getting pretty close).
European levels of refinement are nowhere to be found; but, if you do want something to get you to church and back every week in the smoothest possible fashion, you can pick a lot of these behemoths up for very little money–you can get an absolutely mint Lincoln from the late 70s and 80s, like this Town Car or a Continental Mark V if you’re feeling particularly opulent, for less than the price of a new Corolla. Then, you can use all the money you save over a new car for your first tank of gas.