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Anyone notice Kim Jong Ill's Last Ride?


Steve Braverman
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Maybe he was a car collector, and the Lincoln was his favorite? Dictators do tend to have a stable full of all types of mobility. He may have had an appreciation for the large and reliable cars we produced in that time frame. Dandy Dave!

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Guest Jim_Edwards
Makes one wonder if the country is like Cuba in terms of vehicles if that is the best they can do? (Interesting to people like us but come on, a '72 Lincoln for a head of state?? Seems odd to me...) Wonder what else they are nursing along...

I think we'd all be a bit surprised at how much "old American Iron" is still in daily service around the world. A lot of folks got some silly notion the Big 3 weren't building good cars in the 1970s but we see a lot of evidence that must not have been true in the eyes of much of the world. '70s Lincolns may be one of the easiest cars around to maintain as even though 33 years have passed since the last big ones were produced with a 460 the parts support is unreal. I don't know I would call maintaining one "nursing along." Overall, they are a far superior road car to anything produced since. I'll take my '78 Town Car over it's last produced name sake any day of the week and I have one of those name sakes.

Edited by Jim_Edwards (see edit history)
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Jim, I agree these certainly appear to be well maintained but I was wondering more about what the general population in N. Korea is driving. Politically simillar to Cuba, I imagine private car ownership is rare, and was kind of envisioning an everyday car with say, 300K on the clock. I think you can get amazing miles and years of service out of many vehicles, but here in the US we either tire of a car and are in a position to replace it, or a decision is made when the last straw is something that exceeds the value of the car to repair, with the exception of a major accident. If so inclined, one could keep just about anything on the road if they are maintaining it and willing to repair whatever needs repair, as is seen in Cuba. Although I would think the harsher environment is a factor in N. Korea.

When I see these cars I always wonder what took them so long to stick a Mark grille up front - they were not ugly, but looked too much like a Mercury or LTD IMHO - had to impact sales when you could get a really nice Merc for a lot less. Shortly after that big change they came out with the sucessful ads - "The Lincoln Town Car, please" essentially saying all the GM cars looked alike...

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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Guest Jim_Edwards
Jim, I agree these certainly appear to be well maintained but I was wondering more about what the general population in N. Korea is driving. Politically simillar to Cuba, I imagine private car ownership is rare, and was kind of envisioning an everyday car with say, 300K on the clock. I think you can get amazing miles and years of service out of many vehicles, but here in the US we either tire of a car and are in a position to replace it, or a decision is made when the last straw is something that exceeds the value of the car to repair, with the exception of a major accident. If so inclined, one could keep just about anything on the road if they are maintaining it and willing to repair whatever needs repair, as is seen in Cuba. Although I would think the harsher environment is a factor in N. Korea.

When I see these cars I always wonder what took them so long to stick a Mark grille up front - they were not ugly, but looked too much like a Mercury or LTD IMHO - had to impact sales when you could get a really nice Merc for a lot less. Shortly after that big change they came out with the sucessful ads - "The Lincoln Town Car, please" essentially saying all the GM cars looked alike...

Steve I think the average North Korean is running recycled Reboks!

Interesting observation about Ford products of the '72-'77 era. Except for length of the vehicles there was little difference underneath the sheet metal of all full sized Ford products. One could actually get a Ford LTD Brougham or a Mercury Grand Marquis with an interior that was every bit as plush as a Lincoln. I once had a '77 LTD Brougham that in my opinion had a more plush interior than the '78 Town Car I recently acquired. I know it had better sound deadening and maybe a slightly better ride. As for the grille on the pre 1978 Town Cars not having the Mark grille, I think that may have been because Iacocca wanted to keep the Marks unique. Once he was out of the picture and Henry II was running things a lot of the luxury went as did styling. Henry II was definitely a chip from his grandfather's shoulder. Interestingly no Ford family member has been truly successful at running Ford since the Depression. Must be something in their genes!

And the grilles on many GM products of the era looked like they came from a Ford product to boot. Mainly because Lincoln and Mercury were gaining market share and design leadership at GM had degenerated to "me too" once Harley Earl retired.

Edited by Jim_Edwards (see edit history)
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I suspect the total mileage on the Lincolns is not that much, considering their age.

Remember . . . those Lincolns were prior to the later downsizing (and all that that meant to the size and structure of the vehicle). Therefore, they were heavier cars and structurally stronger cars than Cadillacs were at that time (by observation).

What was in our USA Presidential Fleet at that time? I don't recall, but suspect there's a website somewhere to detail whether it was Cadillac or Lincoln.

Still, an interesting revelation! An NPR newsperson even commented on the "looks like a '70s Lincoln".

Regards,

NTX5467

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As poci1957 implied, it's either a 1975 or '76, as the non "Mark" Lincolns went to the "classic" grille in 1977. I'll guess 1976 based on the hub caps.

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1975-76 ft end's virtually the same, but the key in the photo's are the wheel covers. Todd got it right, it's a 75.

D.

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The limos at the funeral were cool. But if you watch the footage, you will you will see to the left of the Lincoln limos, a 1975,76 Lincoln two door convertible. It was being used by the press to take photos of the funeral.

To help foster a US -North Korea freindship, we should give them a membership to the AACA and the Lincoln owners club.

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1975-76 ft end's virtually the same, but the key in the photo's are the wheel covers. Todd got it right, it's a 75.

D.

The hub caps is why I said 1976, because they are exactly like the ones on our car, which was bought new in 1976 by my grandfather. The ad that Tom posted shows a different hub cap for 1975.

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NBC News ran side by side video of Kim Jong Il's funeral today and Kim Il Sung's funeral in 1994. Exactly the same vehicles were used. In fact in every respect they were identical, down to the size/frames/surrounding flowers of the portraits on top of the vehicles.

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Politically simillar to Cuba, I imagine private car ownership is rare, and was kind of envisioning an everyday car with say, 300K on the clock.

If you ever want to scare yourself silly, start looking at pictures of North Korea on Google Earth. Pyongyang is criss-crossed with huge 4/6/8 lane highways that look very modern, and are totally empty! Seriously you could count the cars in the whole city of millions if you stripped about eight guys naked!

That society looks like what the earth would be like if there were a human equivalent of the Borg ( Borg (Star Trek) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ).:(

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NBC News ran side by side video of Kim Jong Il's funeral today and Kim Il Sung's funeral in 1994. Exactly the same vehicles were used. In fact in every respect they were identical, down to the size/frames/surrounding flowers of the portraits on top of the vehicles.

==================

If you ever want to scare yourself silly, start looking at pictures of North Korea on Google Earth. Pyongyang is criss-crossed with huge 4/6/8 lane highways that look very modern, and are totally empty! Seriously you could count the cars in the whole city of millions if you stripped about eight guys naked!

That society looks like what the earth would be like if there were a human equivalent of the Borg ( Borg (Star Trek) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ).:(

________________________________________________________________________

Wikipedia also says 70% of the population rides bicycles.

D.

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Still --- considering the North Korean disdain for the USA, it was surprising to see the use of the big Lincolns from the 1970s -- when they could have used Soviet Russian big cars which were still their version of the 1955-1956 Packards -- ZIL.

Actually it's quite in keeping with Kim's "taste", as it were.

Korean Dictator's Final Ride Was In a Vintage Lincoln Continental - Yahoo! News

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I agree. It is stretched, but when I enlarge a copy of the photo, I only see two door handles on the side of the car.

Could it be that the center "doors" are not doors, but are part of the limo where the bar, sink, refrigerator and ice maker are? Just a thought.

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Guest Siegfried
Still --- considering the North Korean disdain for the USA, it was surprising to see the use of the big Lincolns from the 1970s -- when they could have used Soviet Russian big cars which were still their version of the 1955-1956 Packards -- ZIL.

Amazing isn't it? They hate us, and what we stand for, and have achieved as a free society, but they use our products. Go figure.

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Thought Kim's cars were pretty cool - what a way to go!

A classmate of mine's parents had one of those huge Lincoln sedans - dark green - like riding on a stack of pancakes!

I believe Saddam Hussein had some collectible cars and the Shah of Iran and others - good idea for a book - "Cars of State" or something.

Vatican collection has a Graham Paige built for the Pope - (I think the only 'offical car' made in the USA?)

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Thought Kim's cars were pretty cool - what a way to go!

A classmate of mine's parents had one of those huge Lincoln sedans - dark green - like riding on a stack of pancakes!

I believe Saddam Hussein had some collectible cars and the Shah of Iran and others - good idea for a book - "Cars of State" or something.

Vatican collection has a Graham Paige built for the Pope - (I think the only 'offical car' made in the USA?)

These were not a collector cars. They're the primary (armored) state limousines for the North Korean President/dictator. They apparently have been for some time, as the car carrying the portrait of Kim Jong Il has been confirmed as the same car that carried the coffin of Kim Il Sung in 1994. It is known they were purchased on the black market (likely used), but no one knows when.

I doubt either of them see many miles. Where is this guy going to go?:confused: he already owns the best real estate (and everything else) in the almost only country in which he's welcome, and it's a pretty small country.

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Our own Linc400 should be pleased that 1975 Lincolns are still the parade cars of choice if you are a Communist dictator. And chosen over a bunch of late model Mercedes from the look of the photo. Todd C

:D

I hadn't paid any attention at all to the funeral until I heard about the Lincolns.

Looks like 1975's to me based on the white insert in the black bumper molding. I wouldn't go by hubcaps as it looks like not all of the cars had the same ones. And the non-factory chrome plated headlight doors are tacky. But otherwise they look pretty good.

Lincoln did not make any limos in these years. It looks like they could be Maloney conversions, but anything is possible. Bizarre that they are carrying the casket on top of the limo instead of using a hearse. They should have called me. My friend has the matching Lincoln hearse that could have been used.:D

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