As I found out, there are quite a few people abroad who love American cars—and not just obvious ones like Mustangs and Corvettes. There are DeSotos in Sweden, AMCs in New Zealand, and Cadillacs in Austria. But what is it about these automobiles that attracts people to them? The answer seems simple enough; they have big engines, big interiors, and even bigger personalities. If you grew up in a world where a VW Passat was considered "big," imagine how crazy an Eldorado would seem! American cars are truly unique in that sense.
Recently, I had the chance to talk with Tom Bringewatt, the owner of a 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV in Germany. I asked him a few questions about what it's like to own an American car in Europe.
I drive a 1997 Audi A4 Avant, but I'm on the search for a VW Golf Mark 2.
When did you buy the Lincoln?
I bought the car in January 2015, then I had a broken motor, and in October I got it fixed so I can drive again.
We have a very big American car scene in Germany, in the summer months there are many US car meetings and shows in Germany.
What do people say about the car?
Other people wonder about the size of the Mark IV. It's a meter longer than the VW Passat, and the Passat is considered a long car in Germany!
I try to use every sunny day and car meeting as a reason to drive my 30 liters/100km (7.8mpg) car!
Why do you love the car?
Its still the best looking car of this time, the 'clap' lights (concealed headlights) are very nice... I love everything on this car—every detail, and the 460 (7.5 liter) big block gives the power for the best car on this planet!
Even though we may look down on our automotive past, it's exciting that there are people around the world like Tom, who recognize what makes these American cars so special. Hopefully he will continue to drive and enjoy his Mark IV for years to come. I'd like to thank him for sharing his story with us!