Business: Last of the Big Ones

Seemingly half a block long, the sleek, big car was as American as the Fourth of July. It captured Americans' expansive post-World War II mood and satisfied dreams of affluence. But demands for fuel efficiency and changing tastes have sent the regal road cruisers the way of the buffalo. General Motors shrunk its Cadillac Eldorado from 5,321 lbs. in 1976 to 3,897 lbs. by 1979. The Coupe De Ville also sweated off 900 lbs.; Chrysler stopped making any cars heavier than 4,000 lbs. last year. But Ford hung tough. Its 1979 Lincoln Mercury Continental Mark V weighed a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!