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Thread: Best Big 3 Land Yacht

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    Speedster Member Stude Shoo-wop!'s Avatar
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    Best Big 3 Land Yacht

    We all know about those massive wallowing barges of cars from the 50's to the late 70's that were ensconced in enough fake wood to make a Viagra commercial and enough chrome to bedeck Buckingham Palace. These were the bread and butter of the Big Three for the longest time. My question is this: what is your favorite one and why? All brands from the Big 3 are welcome even those lesser known ones such as Desoto.

    My personal favorite is a three-way tie between the 1972 Pontiac Bonneville, the 1964 Mercury Park Lane, and the 1956 Dodge Royal Lancer. All 4-doors!




    Jake Kaywell: Shoo-wops and doo-wops galore to the background of some fine Studes. I'm eager and ready to go!

    1962 GT Hawk - completely finished in driveable condition.

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    Of these three choices, I would pick the 56 Dodge all day long.
    Joseph R. Zeiger

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    Speedster Member Stude Shoo-wop!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 63t-cab View Post
    Of these three choices, I would pick the 56 Dodge all day long.
    Come on! I was asking for your OWN favorite land ship, not mine.
    Jake Kaywell: Shoo-wops and doo-wops galore to the background of some fine Studes. I'm eager and ready to go!

    1962 GT Hawk - completely finished in driveable condition.

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    57 Mercury Turn Pike Cruiser convertible.

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    Silver Hawk Member bezhawk's Avatar
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    Lincoln Mark III
    Bez Auto Alchemy
    573-318-8948
    http://bezautoalchemy.com


    "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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    President Member ddub's Avatar
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    I'm with Bez.
    Don Wilson, Centralia, WA

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    1962 Chevy Bel Air Buble Top, and if it was the 409 all the better. though I do like the looks of the 55,56 Dodge Royals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stude Shoo-wop! View Post
    Come on! I was asking for your OWN favorite land ship, not mine.
    Joseph R. Zeiger

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    !958 Lincoln four door. A definite land yacht. Our neighbor, who was the high school auto shop teacher, had one and let me drive it a few times. When you began to turn a corner the outside fender would raise up until the turn was completed. It certainly was comfortable car.

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    63-64 Buick Riviera

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    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
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    For sheer opulence, a 1966 Cadillac Fleetwood, or Lincoln Continental, or Imperial of the same year when the Big Three luxury cars reached their postwar pinnacle.

    For performance, a 1970-1/2 Plymouth Gran Coupe (2 door sedan).

    Craig

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    Speedster Member toymobile's Avatar
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    Buick Electra, hands down the most comfortable riding and always had enough engine under the hood to cruise with any of the other X cars.

    Johnny

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    Golden Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    Well...many of you who are familiar with my rantings over the years already know of my visceral hatred for just about anything GM. It is sorta like a nasty divorce, where one party feels horribly betrayed. My reaction was after buying two brand new 1983 Buicks. My rantings and certified letters not only had GM engineers & executives calling me, but correspondence from the well respected Paul Harvey after I chastised him for putting his reputation on the line for accepting them as a sponsor.

    That said, my opinion is that all the top of the line interchangeable (Branding) GM sedans would get my vote. There were other makes with well made cars of the era, but the sheer number of GM sedans, dealerships, advertising, public acceptance, and aftermarket support, allowed them to make them in huge numbers, with enough profit to make them well. Add to the numbers, and the huge drop in value of the late model sedans in the "Used Car" market, even relatively poor families could ride in affordable luxury.

    While Plymouth (Chrysler), Rambler, and even Studebaker, were beginning to use cheap vinyl, thin plastic, and even glued on decals, (Scotsman) GM was still using inside chrome & stainless interior window garnishing, and not putting plastic molding around instrument switches that would rub off in a couple of months. Ford had some great runs with their Merc & Lincoln brands, but the big stumble with the Edsel (not a bad car in my opinion) really hurt their image. I'm not saying that these cars (GM) were all that much greater than some others, but they overwhelmed the market with a popular selection that could be serviced, and repaired in just about any town by an average mechanic with a handful of tools.
    John Clary
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    In 1980 I bought (for a winter beater) a 1973 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron 4 door hard top in order to save my Indy Pace Car Trans Am from the ravages of a British Columbia winter. It was equipped with the rare TNT 440, triple black(Vinyl top, body and rich brocade interior complete with front and rear heat and air. Oh I forgot to state that it was the former limousine for IBM executives in Alberta for when they flew into the two main cities(Edmonton and Calgary) and their identification was still on the door. It just seemed so wrong that such a huge car could light the tires on the one/two shift.
    I have had tons(literally) of beaters and this was definitely my favorite.
    Bill

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    My dad had a late 60's Olds 98 very similar the one below currently on Boston Craigslist. He bought it "used" from the local Oldsmobile dealer when it was traded in at about a year old (some wealthy old fart bought a new one every year, they must have liked to see him coming into the showroom). I'm sure he paid a pretty hefty price for the day. It was a monster and I remember the vanity on the back of the front seat, with a place for Kleenex and lights, woodgraining, etc., pretty fancy after riding in the back of a 1963 F-85 station wagon. Actually you get a lot of car for the money with the relatively low prices for these big luxury cars today.

    Here's the listing: https://boston.craigslist.org/sob/ct...401850871.html
    Dan Peterson
    Montpelier, VT
    1960 Lark V-8 Convertible
    1960 Lark V-8 Convertible (parts car)

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    What comes to mind is when we had two of this description of car as our everyday drivers (back in their era). They were a 1967 Imperial Crown Coupe and a 1968 Buick Riviera GS. We kept both of them for about eight to nine years. They were a tight fit in our outer garage which had interior dimensions of about 18' wide by about 19' deep.

    I have owned several others, such as a 1959 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special.

    In 1960, where I worked part time, the company car was a red with black leather 1959 Continental convertible. What made it especially nice was that I did not have to feed it.
    Last edited by studegary; 01-08-2018 at 02:40 PM. Reason: added not
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    President Member Colgate Studebaker's Avatar
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    In that era of automotive history I was working as a mechanic for my father in law in a Texaco station in Wisconsin. I had almost every make and model of these cars in my clientele and the one I liked the most was the Buick Electra 225 Limited. Very nice interior, good looking, and plenty of comfortable go. It wasn't bad on gas either, relative to others. The '69 was my favorite, what a boat! Bill

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    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    I drove my great-grandparents 1959 Ford Galaxie 500 Town Sedan a couple years in the 1990s. Car only had @60K miles on it and was equipped with the 332 V8 with the Cruis-O-Matic - even with all that sheet metal, it would bark the tires on the 1-2 shift... Car below is not the same color as mine - my car was geranium (think coral) and white.

    *Sorry - the car below is a four door hardtop - mine was a four door sedan - but body dimensions would be the same.*

    Last edited by 62champ; 01-08-2018 at 01:06 PM.

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    President Member 63 R2 Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselJim View Post
    57 Mercury Turn Pike Cruiser convertible.
    I had a '57 Merc Turnpike Cruiser convertible back in the '60s. I foolishly traded my '47 Merc convertible for it. I wish I had both cars now....

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    President Member 63 R2 Hawk's Avatar
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    I owned 4 Olds Toronados, a '66, '67, '70 and a '79 Toronado diesel I bought new....big mistake, that one! I loved driving the others, amazing cars.

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    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by studegary View Post
    In 1960, where I worked part time, the company car was a red with black leather 1959 Continental convertible. What made it especially nice was that I did have to feed it.
    I'm glad it was you who had to feed it, and NOT me!

    Craig

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    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    I loved the looks of my 65 bonneville with three dueces and 8 lug wheels.

    How the heck do you put up pictures now?
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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    President Member Noxnabaker's Avatar
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    1960 Imperial coupe red/red (had that), 58-60 Lincoln turqoise metalic + same years T-bird bright turqoise & -53 Cadillac 4-door baby blue but not Fleetwood.
    If not so big cars & exept for Studebaker: -55 Chrysler New Yorker 4-door, -57 Chrysler 300 coupe & 55-56 Dodge 4-door with Hemi & a -61 V200 Valiant red/red.


    Josephine
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8E45E View Post
    I'm glad it was you who had to feed it, and NOT me!

    Craig
    Sorry. I left out the "not" - now corrected. This makes at least two mistakes online this noontime when I was rushing.
    Gary L.
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    SDC member since 1968
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    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post

    How the heck do you put up pictures now?
    I just copy and past the URL...


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    I think the 1966-69 Plymouth VIP would fill the bill. Lots of luxury and available power plus one of the sixties best car names- VIP Very Important Plymouth! You even got the space age fuselage style with the '69 model.

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    President Member Jeff_H's Avatar
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    Thought this may be an appropriate place to post this:



    Still frame captured from a 8mm home movie. A family reunion/gathering at a cousin of my Mom's house in St Paul, MN in I think 1971. I was a 5yr old running around somewhere. There is a 1970? Green Chevrolet on the far left. The brown car on the right is my maternal grandparents 1970 Ford LTD. I am not certain if that woody wagon is a '69 Chevy Estate wagon or??? Its even got a extra cargo "pod" on the roof. Those 2 grey things on top of ~that~ are actually mail boxes on posts on the other side of the street but happen to be right there in this clip. Not sure whose it was, could have belonged to my aunt/uncle as they had like 5 kids at the time the film was shot. On the other hand, may have been Mom's cousin whose house this was at since they had 6 kids!

    That pink/purple girls bike with banana seat is a classic...

    I don't really remember that '70 LTD so much as the '74 they had next. That thing road like a cloud.

    EDIT: on more research, I think the "woody" is a 1969 Ford LTD Country Squire. Definitely not my aunt/uncle as they tended to have GM stuff.
    Last edited by Jeff_H; 01-08-2018 at 06:49 PM.

    Jeff in ND

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    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    Jeff - wagon looks like a 1969 Ford Country Squire


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    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
    I loved the looks of my 65 bonneville with three dueces and 8 lug wheels.
    Though I like '65's slightly more, this '66 was just stunning in black:



    Craig

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    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
    That pink/purple girls bike with banana seat is a classic...
    It would have been right at 'home' in the "Muscle Bikes" section at MCACN!!







    Craig

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    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 62champ View Post
    I just copy and past the URL...

    Wow that is a great looking Bonne! Mine was a four door ht with turquoise on bottom and a white top.

    Now could you please elaborate on your picture instructions? What is a URL? Do I have to click on one of the cryptic pictures above in this window?
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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    President Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Of all the cars I've owned this is the one I would want back the most if possible...1964 Pontiac Bonneville. It may not be a true land yacht in the sense of others posted here, but it was, as far as I'm concerned, the best car ever bolted together. It was big...it was fast...it was beautiful...and it was economical on gas for a car its size.

    My dad purchased it new and when I graduated high school he gave it to me. It served as a team bus for our college intramural softball team (it carried ten people once), got me through all kinds of bad weather...it was never stopped by snow and was extremely reliable and trouble free. It had the 389 ci/303 hp engine and turned 24mpg on the open road at a steady 70-75mph.

    I drove that car for years until I was run off the road by someone who ran a stop sign...the car was never the same after that. It broke my heart when I sold it in the 1990s...the buyer really only wanted the engine. I hope that engine is still powering some car somewhere.





    Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

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    President Member Michidan's Avatar
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    Nice cars. The cold weather here lately has kept me out of the shop, so I've been getting my car fix by going through my books and reading up.
    This discussion jives with something I've had not really noticed before ... just how long the 4 door hardtop body style survived.
    Honestly, I thought of these as more of a late 50's thing, plus the Lincoln Continental and maybe a few others. But no, 4 door hardtops were available in most any line right on through 1969 and farther.
    I am a 2 door snob for sure, always have been. But these are cool. It's a shame that more don't come out for car shows. I'm sure rust took a big toll on them here in Michigan, but I would think a few must be out there.

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    President Member r1lark's Avatar
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    '65 thru '67 Mopar 'C' body cars. Had a '66 Fury hardtop, best riding older car I ever had. Have my eye on a '65 Chrysler 4-door hardtop but the guy won't sell it yet. Here is a pic of a similar car:
    Paul
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    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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    Interesting to see what some people think is a "land yacht." Looks like it's mostly just size, irrespective of number of doors. I guess that would include all full sized cars from the mid 50's-late 70's.
    some of mine:
    1955 Chrysler 300
    1956 Imperial, 4dr
    1956 Lincoln-2 dr. htp.
    1962 Pontiac-bubble top
    1963-65 Riviera-I own a 63 and a 65, but never really thought of them as land yachts.
    1966 Olds Tornado
    all Jaguar four door sedans late 60'-, but again I wouldn't have called them land yachts either.

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    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
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    "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

    Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
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    '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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    1974 Lincoln Mark IV.
    I had one for a while around 2003. I called it the Pimpmobile.
    2 door. White on white with white interior. Quite the car. Lush looking, lush feeling, lush riding. I had to park away from other cars to be able to open those loonng doors.
    Dangerous as hell when the engine would quit. [Some kind of module that would fail. I always kept a spare in the trunk]
    Power steering, power brakes, everything power would quit and leave you with no control of the car.
    That happened one to many times.
    But what a sweet ride while I had it.
    South Lompoc Studebaker

  37. #37
    President Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    My dad had a '76 Mark IV...same problem with everything quitting. It was finally narrowed down to the control module and no more problem after it was replaced. The car was beautiful but it couldn't pass anything...including a gas station. My issue with it the cheap wood appearing plastic dash inlays. If Ford couldn't have put either real wood or a realistic substitute they shouldn't have tried with such obvious phony plastic.
    Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hallabutt View Post
    Interesting to see what some people think is a "land yacht." Looks like it's mostly just size, irrespective of number of doors. I guess that would include all full sized cars from the mid 50's-late 70's.
    some of mine:
    1955 Chrysler 300
    1956 Imperial, 4dr
    1956 Lincoln-2 dr. htp.
    1962 Pontiac-bubble top
    1963-65 Riviera-I own a 63 and a 65, but never really thought of them as land yachts.
    1966 Olds Tornado
    all Jaguar four door sedans late 60'-, but again I wouldn't have called them land yachts either.
    In 1963-1964 I owned a 1962 Pontiac Catalina hardtop. It had the convertible top shaped roof. In 1962, Chevrolet had the Impala with the same roof as my Pontiac and they also had the Bel Air Sport Coupe that people now refer to as a bubble top. Please explain your "1962 Pontiac-bubble top".

    EDIT: In 1961, Pontiac did have a roof line that could be referred to as a bubble top.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    President Member christophe's Avatar
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    Here is my favourite. It's linked to a guy named Mc Garett...

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    A '68 Mercury! My Mom and Dad had a Colony Park Station Wagon version of that car that they bought from my Great Aunt after her husband died. This was in 1971. It had a 390 V-8 with a 2 barrel carb. I loved the amount of power the car had, and that wasn't even the biggest engine available. Unfortunately, a ride on any secondary road at all made the back seat passengers seasick. Way too much roll and slop. I guess if we had bought heavy duty shocks and/or springs for it, it would have been a much better car to ride in, but we didn't know any better back then.


    Quote Originally Posted by christophe View Post
    Here is my favourite. It's linked to a guy named Mc Garett...

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