I know this headline may cause some fuss but I never really understood American cars. The majority aren't overly fast, don't handle well and guzzle a lot of gas. But this Lincoln Continental changed everything.

DISCLAIMER: My experience with American cars is relatively limited and is mostly with older Mustangs, Camaros and the odd newer Lincoln & Chrysler.

I just didn't know where they were supposed to fit in. The build quality isn't that of a German or even a Japanese car. The fast ones can't corner, although they go great in a straight line. And they aren't (at least in New Zealand) priced very competitively.

I don't think like that any more though and realize I had it completely wrong. They're not meant to be any of those things. They are American. They are solid. They are patriotic. And they make you feel damn good when sitting in the front seat. I don't think I've had a bigger grin on my face than when I was sitting in this thing with all four windows down, cruising around the waterfront of Auckland City on a sunny day.

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After a trip on the motorway (highway) with the sun beaming into the car and receiving constant stares from other motorists it all began to make sense. This is exactly what this car was made for - cruising. The large sofa-like seats felt similar to riding on a cloud as we navigated New Zealand's coastal landscape. I reminded myself that this car was built in America, for America - the home of the road trip.

The afternoon I spent in the company of this vehicle completely changed my outlook on cars. They don't have to be fast. They don't have to handle perfectly. They don't have to be advanced, gadget-filled, life changing machines. They need to look good and make you feel like the coolest kid on the block while doing it. And this car, America, does the last two things very well.

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