The reviews have been highly favourable. Other than those about the roll-out nightmares in August of this year at the start of the new model. But assuming it’s not all hype, Ford Motor Company appears to have addressed the problems and the associated bad press.
My first car was a 4-cylinder pea-green Ford Mustang, standard transmission. My father and I went shopping for it when I was in Toronto attending Osgoode Hall. It cost about $4,500; he paid for it. Since then I have owned a lot of cars – Pontiac Grand Prix (brown), Pontiac Grand Prix (black), Buick Regal, Olds Cutlass (emerald green convertible), Olds Toronado (blue), Olds Toronado (white), Buick Park Avenue, Buick Riviera (red), Buick Riviera (black), Buick Enclave, Ford Mustang (black), Lincoln LS (grey), Lincoln LS (black), Lincoln Town Car, Cadillac XTS, Lincoln MKS x 4 (black), Lincoln Continental x 4 (black). Significantly they have all been domestic cars – even though I once tested a Jaguar and a BMW. The dealerships were Burns GM (later Thurston) in Almonte, Orr Motors in Stittsville, Bennett Motors in Carleton Place, Reid Bros in Arnprior, Myers Cadillac in Ottawa and Lincoln Heights in Ottawa. The decision to buy domestic cars was prompted by the perception that they were cheaper than imports, there was less waiting time for replacement parts and routine maintenance was more convenient.
For most of my life I bought cars with bank loans or leased them (when that later became a popular option). Early in my working career I was drawn to the Lincoln Eldorado (possibly because Patty Flesher had one) but it was out of my price league – especially at a time when interest rates averaged 18% per annum.
Cars have long been important to me. I first awoke to the attraction of cars when I was 14 years old attending St. Andrew’s College. My roommate’s father had purchased a 1964 red Ford Mustang convertible, 8-cylinder. I think it may have been the first year of its production. I recall the spring day sitting in the back of the car, driving down the winding driveway from the school to the front gates, top down.
My next recollection of a noticeable car was a black Buick Wildcat which appeared at the school. On another occasion at a football game at Trinity College School I saw the black Ford Thunderbird owned by Carr Hatch’s parents (who owned Brights Wine in Southern Ontario). Subsequently in the school parking lot I recall having seen the black Chrysler Imperial belonging to the parents of a British student.
I am told that my paternal grandfather drove a Packard limousine with a chandelier in the back. The most memorable cars of own father were a Ford Galaxy 500 convertible and a copper-coloured Mercury.
While I know cars are a losing proposition I have never learned my lesson. I remember seeing one of my friends insist on buying used cars only. He had more money than anyone else I knew at the time. My own sister is watchful of her expenditures and she keeps her cars until they are old enough to vote! I excuse the automotive indulgence by equating it with a love of mechanical precision – the same way I like watches and fine pianos. That hardly qualifies as pragmatic “investment” but it certainly satisfies my ambition to do what I enjoy. It is some defence that I drive a great deal. My current car for example – a Lincoln Continental which I bought on May 6, 2019 has 15,881 miles on it. I know this because I just pressed the Lincoln Way App on my iPhone and saw it.