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The giant American luxury sedan (land yacht) pretty much died out with the last Buick Roadmaster and Chevy Caprice....and these were mid-sized compared to the golden era of automobiles that couldn't fit in your living room. Many of us learned to drive on these behemoths, or spent long road trips lying at the rear window deck, before seat belts were the norm. They were ugly and they were beautiful, and when we borrowed them from our parents, they were great for sneaking 1/2 dozen buddies into the drive-in (in the trunk).

My mother had a '66 Galaxy 500, a '67 Fury II, and a '73 Fury III. I learned to drive on the Fury III and my Dad's '73 Pontiac Grand Safari. My mom's boyfriend took 5 kids and two adults (towing a tent trailer) on a cross-country camping trip in a '75 Buick 225. The first car I bought when I got of the Air Force in 1988 was a '75 Catalina (Pea Green inside and out).

While we gravitate toward high performance and sexy sleek sports cars, there's no denying how these lumbering family sedans are a part of why we love American cars.

Post your favorite land yacht photos and stories about ones you owned and/or drove.
 

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My mother's 1967 Plymouth Fury II was Hershey Chocolate Brown. It was rusted so bad that the dirt road dust came into the rear seat through the trunk. When the frame rusted to where it wouldn't pass state inspection, but the 318 still ran like a champ, she let us drive it around the old farm where we lived (3/4 mile dirt driveway). At the age of 14, I'd drive it out the driveway, taking my brothers and I to the school bus stop. Leave it parked at the end of the driveway all day and then run from the bus to get in it and start it up and drive off across the field so the kids on the bus could see us driving our car.
 

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My Grandmother believe it or not, loved Chryslers. I learned how to drive in 1971 on her 1969 Chrysler Imperial. Completely different cars from today. They were built purely for comfort. At 75 mph you just floated down the road. They had real power steering, meaning you could turn the wheel with a feather. Barely touch the power brakes and they'd lock up. Good thing there was a gas station at every corner of every major intersection because fill ups were frequent. But at 35 cents a gallon no one was complaining. My High School's driver's Ed provided 1971 Plymouth Satellites so I got to hear that beautiful sounding Chrysler starter often.
 

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My 1964 Starfire is the largest I have owned. I bought it in 1982 I would drive my 1957 Olds 88 J2 manual shift to car shows while my mom would drive the 64 convertible with the auto trans she got to liking it so much that I had to buy her a 1959 Olds 98 convertible of her own to get my Starfire convertible back. The 59' 98 is a few inches longer. In the September issue of Motor Trend magazine they did a Road Test of the Starfire convertible and in there they state that at "Measuring 215 inches from tip to tip the Starfire won't fit into everyone's garage , but has an enormous trunk capacity and plenty of leg room front and rear which is an exception in a convertible". The curb weight is listed at 4,460 lbs. The fuel mileage is listed at 10-12 city and highway cruising gave up to 14.5 on premium fuel for an over all average in 1,400 miles of driving of 11.6 miles per gallon. After driving my 64' Starfire I have to laugh at people complaining about the Challenger's poor fuel mileage of 14 city and 23 highway. And really love my Challenger GT's mileage of 18 city and 27 highway.
 

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The largest car my family ever owned was a 1994 Lincoln Towncar, does that count?

Man, that thing was comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The largest car my family ever owned was a 1994 Lincoln Towncar, does that count?

Man, that thing was comfortable.
1994 Lincoln Town Car definitely in the category of "last of the land yachts".

Here's another one from my past. My Mom's 1973 Plymouth Fury III. After the Fury II rusted out, she picked up a former unmarked Police Car. Had the Police 360 in it. When the rear springs began to sag, my brothers and I put air-shocks on it, complete with the air tubes running to nipples behind the tilt-down license plate where the fuel tank goose-neck was. When the snow would drift so deep in the driveway that we couldn't get out, she'd hop into the field, where the snow was only a foot deep, and drive to the main road across the fields.
 

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My brother totaled my father's '67 Buick Electra 225...., dad replaced it with a '71 Oldsmobile 98, which I totaled. Both were big boats.... The Buick had a 430 cid motor and the Olds a 455. Then dad bought a Mercury Marquis (with some Ford motoer...., 390 maybe?) after that but my brother and I had our own cars by then so neither one of us drove it. The old man drove the Mercury for years after that. Good thing he only had two kids or he would have been car shopping again. Always bought used and from the same guy which is why no brand loyalty.... My father was not a car guy. :surprise:
 

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Learned to drive my dad's 68 New Yorker 2 dr 383. Drove my parents Plymouth wagon (fury maybe) Owned a 68 2dr Polara convertible in the late 80's but was not work restoring.
 

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Got my license in a 67 Mercury Colony Park station wagon with woodgrain trim. :D

My Dad loved his station wagons.

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My first car was a 1976 AMC Matador stationwagon with 390 and a 2bl. I have never seen a picture of one. Talk about a boat! But all my friends and beer and everything you needed for a fun day at the beach would fit in the damn thing.

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A' 73 Polaris wagon that I still can't find the anchor to? Was lost while fishing the shallow of the bearing sea..a '75 Buick 225, man that thing had to be 35" long being conservative and brown to boot.. I'm sure there were more in the slip, but just recall the ones I remember seeing the Gorton's fisherman at the bow...ha ha
 

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I learned on my mom’s ‘66 Mercury Montclair. Three speed automatic with a 390. It had the option to put the transmission in D2, which started you out in second gear. Great for driving in snow.


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My Mom had a 72 Buick 225 with the 455. Used to flip the air cleaner lid when I was able to drive it...lol. A Guy
 

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I remember trips to Florida (midwinter recess) in the family’s Country Squire Wagon. 7 kids and the family dog. Mom and dad playing Neil Diamond on the 8 track there and back. Great memories.
 

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A guy down the road has a Cordoba with T tops sitting outside, rusting away. What a waste. I had a 76, 318, with a transmission that didnt really shift, it just kinda slipped from gear to gear. Alot like a modern CVT now that I think about it.

My first was a 66 Pontiac 2+2 with the 421 HO automatic. It got around 12 mpg on a good day. We have a local road that winds around a hill and has a 9% grade, this thing had enough torque to pull the steep side of that hill without ever downshifting.
 

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I never owned a land yacht,but my father owned a cool 1958 Chrysler Crown Imperial with a 392 Hemi engine. I think that it was one of the best looking and best riding cars of its time.

 

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My Mom had a 72 Buick 225 with the 455. Used to flip the air cleaner lid when I was able to drive it...lol. A Guy


Haha. The ol’ flip the air cleaner lid trick. Did that on my Mom’s Merc. Made a real mean sound when revving it up at the light, and of course it increased the HP by a couple hundred percent.


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