This will be my last posting for Hooniverse Showdown Weekend, and I thought I would throw in a little Tastelessness into the mix. Picture this: It’s 1978, and you’re in NYC, and you and your lady want to go to the hottest nightclub in town. That my friend was Studio 54, where the elite went to party down and have a great time. Some of the guests who partied at Studio 54 included Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Rick James, Liza Minnelli, Jerry Hall, Margaux Hemingway, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Salvador Dali, Brooke Shields, Francesco Scavullo, Janice Dickinson, Cher, Joan Collins, Martha Graham, Deborah Harry, Robin Leach, Donald and Ivana Trump, Rick Hilton, Diana Ross, Ryan O’Neal, Mariel Hemingway, Richard Gere, Jack Nicholson, Reggie Jackson, and Sylvester Stallone. Your’re dressed in your best polyester shirt and two-tone platform shoes, while your lady sports the Farah Fawcett do, and her latest flared slacks and halter top, topped with a linx fur you bought her. You had your choice in luxurious rides back then that the valet would park for you, and they were dressed to the hilt as well, with 1/2 padded vinyl roof treatments, chrome trim everywhere, rear false spare tire trunk indentations, fake wire-wheel covers, stand-up hood ornaments, and either fake leather interiors, or plush velour. Here are five choices that would have been seen at the scene that was Studio 54. So which one would make you Fly?
The oldest car in this comparison is this 1972 Lincoln Continental Mk IV, and it was still quite fashionable in 1978 with its flashy color scheme, vinyl covered roof, and its porthole opera window. It was the perfect accessory to go with your polyester shirt and bell-bottom pants. According to the dealer:
Rare 1972 Lincoln MK IV 2 Dr. Coupe in “Lt. Yellow Gold Poly” with a black leather interior, both in excellent shape, This car is powered by a 460 CID V-8 with a “Select-Shift” Automatic transmission. Full power options, AM/FM / 8 track, tilt, cruise, Cold A/C with auto temperature control, and power antenna. All original books, manuals, build sheet, original window sticker and more. Just serviced and detailed. This car has 26,900 original miles! This time capsule runs and drives excellent.
Wow, a first year Lincoln Mk IV with only 26,000 miles on the odometer. You could really feel like “Super Fly” in this Disco Queen. All of this luxury and size is really more affordable than you think. The asking price is only $10,975, which is really Hyundai Accent money. So is this the car to relive your Saturday Night Fever fantasy? Look at the dealer listing, and tell me what you think.
Next up is Ford’s answer to the very popular Chevrolet Monte Carlo, newly restyled in 1973, and outselling almost every mid-sized car since its introduction. The Ford Gran Torino was introduced in the fall of 1971 as a 1972 model year. it went through a lot of changes to satisfy the new bumper standards, and as a result, it started to look dowdy. So Ford simply took the Gran Torino Coupe, married the Mercury Montego front bumper and sheetmetal, added reworked tail lamps, grill, and a set of twin opera windows, capped the fenders with aluminum trim, and you have the Gran Torino Elite, ready to take you to the land of the never-ending night club scene. According to the dealer:
1974 Ford Grand Torino Elite, 2 Dr. Coupe. “One Owner”, 20,700 actual miles, high gloss black with gray interior. Vehicle has always been garaged. Powered by a 351 CID V-8, and a Cruise-O-Matic Automatic transmission. Equipment includes cruise control, power steering, power brakes, A/C, and Factory 8 track player. Drives great and just serviced, ready to enjoy, and is collector quality.
OK, so the Gran Torino Elite isn’t as flashy or luxurious as some of the other cars here, but take a good look at it. It has the Thunderbird Grill, a neat-o stand-up hood ornament, A vinyl Roof, and how can you ignore those twin opera windows. It’s one styling cliché after another. With just over 20,000 miles, the asking price is $14,800, which really isn’t that bad at all. This is the most invisible of the Disco Era cars, so take a look at the listing, as see if this is the one for you.
Mercury had their own version of the Personal Luxury Car in the Mercury Cougar XR-7. Gone is the Cougars of old, with their chassis shared with the sister pony car, the Ford Mustang. No, this cougar rides on the same platform as the Ford Torino, and to a lesser extent, the Lincoln Mark V. This Cougar is finished in the color of choice for the decade, Champagne. It has it all, including 1/2 vinyl roof, chrome encrusted grill, Cougar hood ornament, and more. According to the dealer:
1977 Mercury Cougar “XR7″ 2 Dr. Coupe. “One Owner” vehicle always garaged and pampered. Equipped with a 302 C.I.D. V-8, and Automatic transmission. Equipment included cruise control, tilt, clock, Ice cold A/C, and Factory AM Radio. The car is finished in gorgeous “Champagne Metallic” with a brown & creme interior which is also excellent. It has 55,614 “ORIGINAL” miles. All original books, manuals are included. The paint, interior, engine compartment and undercarriage are all amazing throughout. Always garaged and it shows.
The XR-7 was a car for the period, with many of the 70s fashion icons posing as spokes-models in period advertising and brochures. It was meant to be the car for the beautiful people. Remember, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Jaguar were just starting to become the car of choice for Hollywood Legends, but their reliability was spotty then, and their climate control systems couldn’t match the domestic product, and their Automatic Transmissions were suspect as well. While overstyled, these cars were snapped up for what they were, smooth riding, luxurious, and dependable. This Cougar, with just over 55,000 miles is going for $6,950. Take a look at the listing here and re-live the Disco era on a budget, and see what you were really missing.
If Champagne really does nothing for you, how about this 1978 Cougar XR-7 instead, finished in a color the “Brown Car Appreciation Society” really digs. This has everything the previous Cougar has, with the addition of a set of “Bitchin’” Crager S/S Rims. And instead of Vinyl and Cloth for the interior, this Cougar is slathered in the best imitation leather seats I’ve seen in a while, slippery enough for you and your date to slide into the back seat, if you know what I mean. According to the dealer:
1978 Mercury Cougar XR-7 2-Door Coupe, 302 C.I.D. V-8 with Automatic Transmission, “Dark Brown Metalic” finish with Brown Vinyl Interior. Car shows 114,884 Miles and still runs strong. Garaged and Pampered, and is truly a rare find. Runs and drives excellent.
This is a car that should appeal to your inner Bee Gees fantasy of arriving at the Disco, with your lady at your side while the valet parks your period correct Mercury Cougar at the front space in the parking lot. It shines, gleams, and holds all the promise that era brought, right down to the under-powered 302 found under the hood. Sure it has over 100,000 miles, but it still gleams, and it is offered at $3,975. See the listing here and tell me this; At that price, does this car make you want to get up and Boogie?
Our last contestant is this 1978 Lincoln Continental Mk V. This is a car that defined the era, and has all the over the top styling clichés, like the 1/4 tan vinyl roof with opera window, the upright chrome grill with stand-up hood ornament, the rear tire bulge on the trunk lid, solid chrome wheel rims (with no visible cooling holes!), bladed fenders, massive body side molding, and that is just the exterior. Inside is a two-tone interior, thick plush carpeting, massive doors, no headroom, and slippery leather seating surfaces. According to the dealer:
Truly an amazing time capsule! Only 9,986 original miles! A true survivor from a multiple vehicle family, always serviced regularly and driven mostly on open highway when driven. Fully loaded…( including power moonroof) and ready to go! The car has always been garaged when not driven.
This car has it all: Automatic Climate Control, Quadrasonic 8-Track Tape Player, Twin Comfort Lounge Seats, Inside Trunk Release, Cruise Control, and that gigantic Moon Roof. This car just makes you want to go and purchase a “Pimp Hat” and take your Disco Queen out on the town, livin’ large. For a car with less that 10,000 miles, the asking price is only $12,975. See the listing here, and tell me is this wouldn’t make you feel like a Mac Daddy.Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.