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I spotted an (insert obscure car name here) classic car today!

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Comments

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Oh, and now that I think of it, the '04 did have an issue with the plastic intake. I forget what the mileage was when it happened, though.

    That problem was supposed to be only for 96-02 models. Ford changed the coolant crossover to aluminum sometime in 01. Naturally with higher miles I guess anything is possible.

    I like your idea of an late model Town Car. There are deals to be had for sure. I don't like how on the 11's they no longer had rear air-suspension but that could be a blessing in disguise in terms of reliabilty.

    Nothing wrong with a Lucerne either, but in all honesty yes it is very similar to your Park Ave.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,634
    Nothing wrong with a Lucerne either, but in all honesty yes it is very similar to your Park Ave.

    Unfortunately with the Lucerne you pretty much have to find a Northstar powered sample to avoid having a heavy underpowered car. Why GM didn't use the 3.6/6speed combo in them is beyond my comprehension.

    A 3.8 or 3.9 powered Lucerne would be substantially slower than Andre's supercharged Park Ave. From what I've read a v8 Lucerne will offer about the same performance as a Park Ave Ultra, granted with an extra helping of 32v v8 refinement.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Why GM didn't use the 3.6/6speed combo in them is beyond my comprehension.

    I said that way back when too. It made no sense to me at all. The previous generation LaCrosse had it available at some point. Knowing GM they probably had to put in the 3800 to keep a union plant running or something equally stupid.

    It would probably be hard to find a Northstar Lucerne, I don't believe many were made. It would be much easier (any probably not that more costly) to just get a DTS.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,601
    A 3.8 or 3.9 powered Lucerne would be substantially slower than Andre's supercharged Park Ave. From what I've read a v8 Lucerne will offer about the same performance as a Park Ave Ultra, granted with an extra helping of 32v v8 refinement.

    Yeah, the engine choices are what makes me think twice about the Lucerne. The 3.8 is just overmatched in this car. I think the 3.9 has about 30 more hp and 25-30 ft-lb more torque, but don't know if that's enough to make much difference. And then, you have to get a Northstar just to get performance similar to my supercharged Park Ave. But, it still takes premium, and will most likely get worse economy.

    I'm also a bit leery of the Northstar because of repair costs and such, but it may be the older ones I'm thinking of. Didn't they improve them in later years? Also, I've heard the Northstar that the Lucerne uses is a little less powerful, but a bit more durable, than the Cadillac version.

    One car I'd really like to have is one of those long-wheelbase Town Cars they offered for a few years. IIRC, it was a 6-inch stretch in wheelbase, all of it in the B-pillar area. It made the back seat in these cars HUGE! It almost wouldn't make sense, because chances are I'm going to be DRIVING the car and not riding in the back seat. But, I still think it would be kinda neat!
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,371
    Unscientifically, it seems like I saw as many V8 Lucernes around as V6's...you could always tell by their four 'portholes' instead of three.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    edited January 2013
    those long-wheelbase Town Cars

    I love those! Incredibly huge in the back seat. For a few years in the early 2000s they made "Cartier L" models with rear heated seats and radio/HVAC controls (switches directly stolen from the steering wheel, parts bin engineering at it's finest!) in the rear armrest.

    Here is one: Huge!

    Little known fact that Ford Fleet also made a long wheelbase Crown Vic for taxi use. They pop up on Ebay from time to time.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    four 'portholes'

    I could be mistaken, I just figured since many Lucernes went into fleets that there would be more V6 models available.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,601
    I just did a search on cars.com. 30 miles from my zipcode, it lists 25 Lucernes, total. 5 are Northstar, 20 are V-6.

    The newest is a 2009 Super, with 57K miles on it for $21,654. I'm not a big fan of the revised grille treatment the Super got, but I could live with it.

    At the bottom of the barrel is a pair of 2006 CXS'es with about 90,000 miles, for $9995 each.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,601
    Little known fact that Ford Fleet also made a long wheelbase Crown Vic for taxi use. They pop up on Ebay from time to time.

    Yeah, I've seen pictures of those. IIRC, they put that added length into the rear door window, rather than doing the thicker C-pillar with the rear door extending under it.

    In the case of the Town Car, I think it was a 6" stretch that took the wheelbase to something like 123.7" and overall length to 223.4? I wonder if the Crown Vic was just a 6-inch stretch of its wheelbase, or if they took it all the way to 123.7"?
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,371
    Well, so much for my being 'unscientific'! Four sixes to one V8 is significant, for sure.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    edited January 2013
    In the case of the Town Car, I think it was a 6" stretch that took the wheelbase to something like 123.7" and overall length to 223.4? I wonder if the Crown Vic was just a 6-inch stretch of its wheelbase, or if they took it all the way to 123.7"?

    The CV uses the same 6" stretch. I think Wiki is wrong on the wheelbase. It shows the TC as being 3" longer. I don't believe that is accurate for 92+ models.

    In the boxy years the TC had a longer WB than CV/GM and even the AOD transmission had a longer tailshaft.

    ***Edit*** after checking a few sources it does appear that the TC is still on a longer WB.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,634
    Well just because the used market has far more v6 models vs. V8s doesn't mean you don't see a more equal number out on the roads. It's likely the v6 model is bought and dumped by fleets and owners probably won't be as happy with the v6 trim. My neighbor didn't keep his v6 lucerne 2 years.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 1,552
    The back seat in those Town Car "L" models is huge, but unless you are running a livery service I can't see the value in owning one. It's not like the back seat in the regular model is small.

    I think if I were you I would consider a 300 over a Charger. The interior is just so much nicer.

    You've mentioned the Lucerne before, but even though I like Buicks, I was never all that enamored of them. The 3800 would be overmatched, and the 3.9 is derived from the Chevy V-6s which I always thought were crude. BTW, GM never put the 3.6/6-speed combo in either the Lacrosse or the Lucerne. The Lacrosse 3.6 had a 4-speed. Something about the package with the 6-speed not fitting in the engine cradle or whatnot was the reason. I know I was surprised how tight the 3800 was in the engine compartment of my Lacrosse. The power steering pump was hard up against the firewall and barely accessible.

    2011 Buick Regal Turbo, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,601
    One thing that always threw me off is that, at some point wheelbases on those Panthers changed slightly. Starting in 1979, the Ford and Mercury versions were 114.3" and when Lincoln joined for 1980, its models were on a 117.3" wb, although the Mark VI coupe was on the 114.3".

    But, starting in 1993 (odd, since the changeover was 1992), my book shows the Crown Vic going to 114.4" through 2002, which is as recent as my book goes. I wonder if that's a typo though, because the Grand Marquis stays as 114.3 all the way through 2002.

    This same book shows the Town Car going from 117.3" to 117.4" in 1991, and then to 117.7" for 1998.

    Sometimes, I wonder if those are just rounding errors. For example, I've seen some of GM's '77-90 B-bodies listed at 115.9", and some at 116.0".

    For 1977, the Newport/New Yorker are listed at 124.0", 123.9" for 1978.

    And one oddity...the 1974 LeSabre is listed at 124", 123.5" for 1975, 124" for 1976.

    I'm sure most of those must be rounding errors, or in the case of the LeSabre, a typo. I can't imagine the auto makers doing such minute changes to the wheelbases like that.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,634
    BTW, GM never put the 3.6/6-speed combo in either the Lacrosse or the Lucerne. The Lacrosse 3.6 had a 4-speed. Something about the package with the 6-speed not fitting in the engine cradle or whatnot was the reason.

    Strange considering they found a way to put the 3.6/6 speed in the Impala.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 1,552
    Yeah, I know. They must have redesigned the cradle or the trans case. Or, they were lying.

    2011 Buick Regal Turbo, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,601
    It's likely the v6 model is bought and dumped by fleets and owners probably won't be as happy with the v6 trim. My neighbor didn't keep his v6 lucerne 2 years.

    That's what I'm thinking. When the Lucerne came out, its sales were way down compared to the LeSabre it replaced. However, the LeSabre was becoming a fleet queen, itself, with most of the Custom models being sent that way. With the Lucerne, they cut back seriously on fleet sales.

    So, the ratio of V-6 to V-8 models probably was more evenly split than most people would think. But, like you said, the V-6 buyers probably dumped them more quickly, where the V-8 owners would cherish what they had, and hold onto them longer.

    I probably could get by with a 3.8 or 3.9 Lucerne, as it's not all that often I floor the Park Ave, or my Ram for that matter. Most of the time, I'm trying to see how high I can get the instant mpg readout on the Park Ave to go (or in the Ram, get it to where the readout says ECO ON, which means it's running on 6 cylinders). But, it's nice to have that power when you need it!
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,602
    OK, I admit I did not keep up with this thread, but why are you looking at new cars? I thought you were going to buy the Ram, sell the Buick to the roommate, and use the ram and your fleet to back it up?

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,076
    Don't forget to look for a well-cared-for Pontiac G8!
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,076
    Trouble is, I think those long wheelbase models would probably be beat to heck because they were probably used in livery service.
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