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Stand By Your Limousine

[ 83 ] February 9, 2013 |

In what is the greatest deal in the world, you can buy Tammy Wynette’s custom 1977 Lincoln limo for $7950.

And check out that interior!

I wonder what kind of mileage that thing gets? 2 mpg?

Here’s some Tammy and George for your Saturday night. If I only had her gallons of hairspray, I could light them on fire and get the 14 feet of snow out of my driveway. And speaking of The Possum, he’s about to embark on his last ever tour. I hope he lives up to his reputation and doesn’t show up to his last ever show.

First, I love the 70s. Second, what kind of pain went into singing “Golden Ring” together after the divorce? Wow.

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Comments (83)

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  1. howard says:

    And i thought they were the old chevrolet set.

  2. efgoldman says:

    Apparently we both got lucky and didn’t lose power. Our plow guy finally showed up this afternoon, after mrs efgoldman and across-the-street neighbor had cleared enough to get her van out for church tomorrow. Which is cancelled.

  3. Does it have an eight-track player in it?

  4. Tnap01 says:

    Anyone know which medical research group is getting George’s liver?

  5. efgoldman says:

    First, I love the 70s

    Maybe so, but the Detroit iron of those days was absolute shit. I had a brand new ’74 Plymouth that, I swear, started rusting on the truck on the way to the dealer. The head of GM, at that time, drew a lot of negative attention by saying that the best car under 10 grand was a two-year-old Buick (it wasn’t.) There was the business with Chevy motors being put into Oldsmobiles (in those days they were different.) Ford Pinto; Mustang II; AMC Gremlin; Chevy Vega… shall I go on?

    • Major Kong says:

      If a Vega didn’t have rust it was still on the assembly line.

      • efgoldman says:

        I drove a Chevette for an emergency rental once. I was terrified every minute behind the wheel that a truck was going to blow me off the road, or that some driver wouldn’t see me and run right over the car.

        • jkay says:

          You know nothing of real Chevette pain and misery, efgoldman. It was the car I learned on. On the DC Beltway. Yes, with a stickshift worse than useless to the newb. And you haven’t yet mentioned that it couldn’t remotely climb, even nonhills, especially if you have to change gears. And it skidded at the slightest excuse.

          First car I bought for myself was Japanese, of course. It was a low end Honda Civic, and yet, my God, it really, really worked right, for real and had great gas mileage. I knew because my family’d had a Datsun 210; yes, I remember zipping past the long gas lines, neener ;-).

      • Sherm says:

        You could put your foot thru the floorboards in the backseat of my older brother’s vega if you weren’t careful. What a piece of shit. My chevette wasn’t much better, except that I got to fuck with people and tell them that I had a vette. People were often impressed, until I took them outside to show them.

    • Green Caboose says:

      Oh my goodness. I once spent a lot of time studying the 70s automotive transition from nearly-all-American cars to a shift towards foreign, especially Japanese, cars. A lot is made of gas prices, MPG, and the failure of Detroit to offer anything competitive in the compact car space. All that was true, and that probably opened the door to first the Germans (who could have made the market inroads that the Japanese did if they had a slightly better product and were a lot more responsive to the market) and then the Japanese.

      But concurrent with the gas price problem was the severe product quality problem. In the 1960s the big 3 had essentially been taken over by their accountant groups (what we today would call “Finance”). And most specifically, by cost accountants. Their sole goal was to reduce product costs, with the implicit assumption that revenues would remain unchanged. The end result was increasingly poor quality and decreasing innovation – but for quite a while profits grew. However, it made the industry as a whole vulnerable to new competitors.

      Each of the big three (yes, AMC was still around, propped up by the low-tech, high-popularity Jeep brand, but they barely count) responded differently. Ford probably did the best. They’d had accountant disease really bad – just look at the Fairmont-based Thunderbird and the Mustang II and late 70s Mustang – but they were able to shift to an engineering and marketing focus and launch a whole new line of cars in the 1983-1986 timeframe, and continued that innovation with successes like the Explorer. I never liked Fords personally due to their ergonomics and squishy suspensions, and I LOATHE that they more than anyone are responsible for the market in massive SUVs (yes, the Suburban dated to the 70s but like everything else GM had no idea how to market it until someone else showed the way) but there is no question Ford succeeded in the market.

      Chrysler responded by becoming better accountants. Everything in the 1980s except the late-70s-created Omni/Horizon was a K-Car, including the Minivan. Very little innovation – almost every change was merely cosmetic. But they competed with low prices to match their low costs and owned that market niche. They had to kick out Iaccoca (who had done a great job getting them focused) in order to shift to an innovative approach. And even then board-level gamesmanship nearly killed the company, but that’s a later story.

      GM, on the other hand, held on to the cost accountant viewpoint forever – I’m not sure they aren’t still dominated by this way of thinking. There are so many examples of this but I’ll stick to just two. First, the J-car – the same car with different trim levels was sold as a Chevy, Pontiac, Olds, Buick, and Cadillac – with price ranges from $7k to $17k. A cost accountant’s wet dream it violated almost every brand marketing principle in the book, hurting the credibility of every single brand in the stable (excepting only GMC). And, of course, it was as with all GM cars at the time a quality disaster. Second, the Fiero. Two-seaters were popular in the mid-1980s – shit, even Ford (in a decision from their cost accountant days) repackaged the Fairmont as the EXP two seater just to compete. But in order to gain approval from the cost accountants the GM engineers had to cut costs so much that: a) they had to marry the reused Chevette and Citations front ends to create the Fiero, and b) had to build it in an otherwise condemnable factory in Pontiac that still had 70-year old wooden floors. Still the Fiero sold well to the I-love-looks-who-cares-about-performance market for the first 2 years, but when the third year model fell from 90k units to 40k units (but now had a V6 and was attracting a performance following) the cost accountants dumped it.

      GM never got out of that mold – ruining the Saturn experiment as it happened and killing off other brands with penny-wise-pound-foolish decisions year after year.

      • Erik Loomis says:

        My 2nd car was a Pontiac 6000. It was the worst car ever made.

          • Robert Farley says:

            Was that the one we drove through the blizzard to Nebraska?

          • “My 2nd car was a Pontiac 6000. It was the worst car ever made.”

            Blasphemy! My family’s main vehicle when I was in high school was an 89 6000 LE, and it was a great car. Shockingly low maintenance and high mileage (would get around 30 highway), it handled well, had lots of space for people and cargo, and even had a bench seat in the front. My Dad and I drove it all the way across the country once and it finally died of extreme old age in 2002 at around 160,000 miles.

            I’m not saying the 6000s hadn’t earned their cameo worthy reputation for shittiness . . .

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fl8mQhxhE_Q

            . . . just that ours was really solid car. Underpowered, but very practical.

        • Major Kong says:

          GM had a bad habit of building a good engine and then wrapping a shitty car around it.

          They had great designers and engineers, but then the corporate bean-counters would get hold of it and start cutting corners.

          Pretty soon you had a car that looked good on the dealer’s lot but within 3 years was a mess of annoying squeaks and rattles.

          • hickes01 says:

            Kong! Current agree with you more if I were twins. I had 2005 Monte Carlo SS and it was awesome. Great engine, looked cool, excellent winter handling, decent fuel economy and yet I still dumped it at 70,000 miles. It had a great design, but the execution was poor. The thing would go like hell, but the heater didn’t work below 30 degrees. (I live in Minnesota) The windows never seems to close properly and it was always whistling and squeaking. I liked that car, but I didn’t dare keep it.

        • Malaclypse says:

          Nope. Eighty-something Buick Regal. Needed to have the sensor for the gas tank replaced (for a few hundred bucks) every few thousand miles. I finally said fuck it, I’ll use the odometer as a gas gauge. Then the odometer cable went out, so gas level was based entirely on mileage estimates in my head. Since I smoked a lot of weed at the time, that worked badly. When, one Monday morning, the car caught fire on the way to work, I pushed it into an abandoned field, took off the plates, and walked home happy.

        • Jon H says:

          I drove an 86 in college. I believe it was over 200,000 miles when it was run over by a truck in the middle of the night in, I think, 1994. I put a sign in the window, “for sale, cheap”, and a guy with a tow truck bought it as a project car for his kid. Paid me $200 , mostly ones.

          The only really bad experience I had with it was after I put a gas filter in backwards, eventually killing the fuel pump.

          Hit a deer carcass in western NJ, at 70 mph, and had no problems other than the rotting smell that developed and the blood spatter up the driver side front fender.

      • efgoldman says:

        The kick is, the first runs of Japanese imports really weren’t good cars at all. The Datsun (now Nissan) basic sedan – 200? – was made of solid steel, but with a lawnmower motor, more or less, hideously underpowered for its weight. The first Z sports cars were totally unstable on wet roads. Toyota imported sporty two-seaters (Celica? Don’t remember) that needed valve jobs in the first year or two. Early Hondas were rustbuckets.
        BUT: They were all cheap to buy, and they all got great gas mileage (comparatively). When I was waiting in alternate day gas lines with my 318 V8 powered Plymouth, the Japanese compacts were whizzing by.

        • Eggomaniac says:

          Pretty much every Detroit car my family bought in the 60s and 70s had issues coming off the lot.

          The best car we had at the time was my grandmother’s ’58 DeSoto, with the push-button transmission and the auxilliary gas-powered heater. It turned on a buck-fifty and got 7 mpg but it was still going ten years later @200,000 miles and seemed extraordinarily resistant to upstate NY’s salty winter roads.

          Dad took delivery c. 1963 on a Pontiac station wagon that was custom-ordered from the factory to get the trailer towing package. It was delivered with the tailgate unpainted. The dealer took care of the problem but you have to wonder how it even got on the truck at the factory.

          He bought a large Pontiac sedan a couple years later that had so many problems the dealer offered him a straight-up trade on the next year’s model.

          He also bought a 66 Mustang convertible that would stay in tune for about three days and had a leaky top. I managed to ‘total’ it just 2 years later by rear-ending someone at about 10 mph on a rain-slick road. The damage to the front of the car was more than the trade-in value (I walked away with a scratch, the other guy had a slightly dented trunk hood).

    • the lingonberry jam says:

      My father arranged for me to have a Mustang II after I exited the Army. Unbelievable spaghetti under the hood because Ford tried to meet EPA emission regs by bolting on kludges. Both metric and SAE fasteners. Prone to overheating; hideously unreliable. If you dropped that car in the ocean, it would sink intemittently. Crappy vinyl “brougham” roof, crappy plastic trim inside and out. The most valuable thing about the vehicle was the platinum in the catalytic converter; also, the cigarette lighter worked well.

  6. M. Bouffant says:

    Yow, he’s 81. If he doesn’t make that last gig I figure it’ll be ’cause touring finally killed him.

  7. Loud Liberal says:

    That interior looks like it was designed by the Daisy May Moses.

  8. Leeds man says:

    “If I only had her gallons of hairspray, I could light them on fire and get the 14 feet of snow out of my driveway.”

    Or, you know, a shovel. Kids these days.

  9. Mrs Tilton says:

    For $7950, does the bar come stocked? Or has George been for a ride lately?

  10. DN says:

    All this American car hate. I just don’t understand. This is Tammy’s car. If I hadn’t been busy getting married, having a kid, buying the leftmost corner of my house and mortgaging the rest – I would so buy that car. All this talk about Vegas and Chevettes and such like is so misdirected. This is Tammy’s Lincoln Limo – we should start a LGM fund so the proprietors can timeshare this beauty.

    • cpinva says:

      i’m curious how much it cost new? i figure it was way overpaid for, to the tune of probably $100,000? you know, for all that “custom” work, that after nearly 40 years, still looks cheesy. geez, it actually looks like something a funeral parlor would own, to transport the bereaved to the cemetary.

    • Richard says:

      If I lived close to Nashville, I would buy it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, I’m not sure it could make the drive to LA

    • Linnaeus says:

      All this American car hate. I just don’t understand.

      One thing you can often get left and right to agree on in the US is American car hate; a hate I don’t share, but I’m sure that being in a family with three generations of autoworkers has something to do with my point of view. Frankly, I’m surprised to this day that the auto bailout went through.

      • witless chum says:

        Too many liberals would rather buy a scab-made car for some fairly illusory, in my opinion, benefits. So long as there’s a UAW, I’m not driving anything they didn’t build.

  11. scepticus says:

    I once briefly worked in a band [which shall remain unnamed] that toured in Tammy Wynette’s used custom bus. (They lived in the bus, I rode on it for only a week.) The bandleader had a story about buying it, the central point being, Wynette was a barely functional addict. At one point, the deal required Ms. Wynette’s signature, and she was so out of it (pharmaceuticals/alcohol), the sale almost couldn’t happen. It did, but probably not legally.

    The bandleader was boasting about what a great deal he got (her staff just wanted to get rid of it, regardless of what she wanted). Of course, he used ‘the note’ as an excuse to repeatedly screw the sidemen out of pay at every opportunity. “I gotta pay off that note!”

  12. Mike E says:

    My first car has yours beat, 1980 Oldsmobile Omega. I believe the ad line was, “The last car you’d ever want to buy.” I wish I had purchased the popsicle-green 70s Volvo with suboptimal compression instead.

  13. Matt_L says:

    Growing up in So Cal we owned a K car, a 1980 Honda civic and a 15 foot’78 Chevy Maxi Van. The best thing was the Honda. Total sewing machine engine, no AC but it worked. My parents made me learn how to parallel park using the van before I could drive the Honda or take my drivers license test. The van was vaguely reliable, but the interior headliner and the paint started to degrade after five years.

    The worst care we had was easily the K-car. After driving it every day during my senior year of high school, I have an instinctive loathing for American automobiles.

  14. Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    If you do purchase this car, I hope you’ll get a Wayne LaPierre bobblehead for the dashboard.

  15. Gone2Ground says:

    That ride is all kinds of cool. If you owned a limo service anywhere near Branson or Nashville, I would think you could make a killing….just from pictures of tourists with the “TW” logo on the side.

    That car reminds me of the interiors of older homes in Las Vegas that I would see when I delivered flowers – all blue shag carpet and white wrought iron trim everywhere, and the flower recipients wearing negligees at noon.

  16. Marc says:

    Still looks like a great car.

    • Gone2Ground says:

      I bet it glides like a magic carpet.

      My ’81 El Camino was a great ride, even got pretty good gas mileage on the highway. I drove it 100 miles every day and was happy to do it.

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  18. […] If I actually had money and lived in L.A., I would be on this very fast. Alas, neither condition applies. But if I did have the money, you know what car I would park there? Tammy Wynette’s limo. […]

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