Monday, May 6, 2019

New Buggy

Being as I am a confessed curmudgeon with a burgeoning dislike of anything novel or different, it is no surprise that one of the salient features of my new automobile is that the Ford Motor Co had the decency to preserve substantially what has characterized this particular model (the Lincoln Continental) since its inception. The preservation of fundamentals has made my adjustment to the vehicle considerably more digestible than having to confront newfangled functions and accessories.

In the fall of 2016, after a fourteen-year absence from the Lincoln model line, a new tenth generation Continental went on sale. Previewed by a namesake concept car at the 2015 New York Auto Show, the 2017 Lincoln Continental is the successor of the Lincoln MKS. The Continental is manufactured in Flat Rock, Michigan, alongside the Ford Mustang. This is the first Continental generation since 1958 that is not assembled at the Ford Motor Company Wixom Assembly Plant.

Today's acquisition represents another of several such models I have owned. In keeping with that particular uniformity I as readily report that I dealt on each occasion with the good people at Lincoln Heights Ford on Richmond Road in Ottawa.

Lincoln Heights Ford

Getting a new car is normally at best an ephemeral delight. There are just too many contingencies which can work against the cause - among them absentmindedness, pot holes and other drivers (many of whom suffer the same accusation of old fogey as I). In my case it at least helps that I am obsessive - a psychological failing which nonetheless enables atmospheric pleasure when the ingredients are right. Thus notwithstanding my predictable mercurial behaviour the unfolding of today's commercial transaction was for the time being adorned with singular bliss. Though I deny it had anything to do with the outcome, the weather today was correspondingly unrivalled - perhaps the first real bit of Springtime we've seen. Nor could I resist attaching vernal serendipity to the proceedings. The absurdity illustrates my saccharin and temporary lapse from the prosaic to the poetic.

What however engaged me more pointedly was the mechanical performance of the new beast.  I won't pretend to disguise my lascivious correspondence with the automobile.  It is the one feature of virility I unhesitatingly adopt and avow. For me the pleasure of a smooth ride and a purring engine is nothing short of primordial.  As histrionic as I am wont to become it is nonetheless an unabashed and instinctive reaction.  Reluctant as I am to suggest it, I swear I discerned a perceptible improvement in the fundamental performance of the automobile. It seemed overall quieter; the road appeared smoother; the wipers and automatic high beams worked flawlessly; the sound system was better (and shamefully I have only now discovered where the CD player resides and how it is "sourced").

Admittedly it is bordering on the sublime to suggest that an automobile of this caliber can go much beyond the limits already attained. Yet the perception was there!

Though I have expectedly dealt at length upon the superiority of the vehicle, I am bound to observe that the human element supporting the mechanical manifestation is not to be overlooked. From the outset the responsive cooperation of David Cameron (on the financial side) was critical to the evolution.  This was followed in turn by the attentive care of Denis Duhaime on the delivery. Sustaining the corporate effort were the kind and gentle insinuations of Les Bell (dealer) and his staff (including Ann Cunning and Dean Wilkinson). They helped to round out the experience and to preserve the human factor so vital to a successful business.

It is tempting to excuse the frivolity of a new car as the last vestige of a decaying mind and body.  Yet when I was many years younger I recall having reacted similarly.  One difference is I now have the undeniable privilege of affording myself the indulgence at any time of night or day without worrying about what else must be attended to. There is little that surpasses an aimless drive in the country.

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