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Kim Jong-Il Takes One Last Drive -- In A Lincoln Continental

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Funeral procession for Kim Jong-il, led by a Lincoln Continental

Funeral procession for Kim Jong-il, led by a Lincoln Continental

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If you're an American of a certain age, it was hard not to watch news coverage of Kim Jong-il's funeral procession, lined with thousands of keening North Koreans, and not think of that Simpsons episode about the charlatan called "The Leader". And if you looked a little closer, there was more irony to be found: as the New York Times pointed out, the "Dear Leader" was carried to his final resting place in the back seat of a Lincoln Continental.

That, in a nutshell, sums up Mr. Kim's life: he despised the U.S. so much that at times, the U.S. was all he could talk about. It was a curious obsession, like Tipper Gore's fight to censor music in the 1980s, or Rick Santorum's non-stop attacks on the LGBT community. The fact that Kim's Lincoln was nearly 40 years old was perfectly appropriate, since Kim's political and cultural policies kept his country mired decades behind the rest of the world.

And yet, despite his brutal, repressive, bloody dictatorship that's left millions of innocent North Koreans starving and impoverished, there are a few things we'll miss about Kim Jong-il:

1. There'll probably be fewer updates to the "Kim Jong-il Looking at Things" tumblog. Sadly, "Kim Jong-un Looking at Things" just doesn't have the same pizzazz.

2. With Kim and Saddam Hussein gone, we're down to just one measly Axis of Evil*. The thought of a Unicycle of Evil would be kind of hilarious, except Mahmoud Ahmadinejad isn't particularly funny (unless he's talking about gays in Iran).

3. We probably won't get another glimpse of Kim's sleek, impeccably maintained Lincoln Continentals until Kim Jong-un bites the big one, which could take years. If anyone has a great idea for smuggling them out of the country, drop us a line.

Here's hoping for a brighter future -- one that sees North Korea re-connect with the rest of the world, and one in which the name "Kim" becomes synonymous with peace and stability, not just repression and sham marriages


* We're aware that the country of North Korea, not its former leader, Kim Jong-il, was the "axis" to which President Bush was referring. Just let us have this one, okay?

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Comments (12)
  1. WOW is this writer a gay liberal?
    who cares about this views.

    It is about the car. A great car to say the least.
     
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  2. How about more info on the car. What year? Are the side mirrors an aftermarket add-on? What about the headlight covers?
     
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  3. There's actually a lot of debate around issues like that, as the NYT article mentions. Most folks seem to agree that the Continental is a 1975 or 1976 model, although it's clearly been modified. For a rundown of the many speculations, visit http://www.professionalcarsociety.org/forums/showthread.php?t=7505
     
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  4. There's a lot of discussion around issues like those. Most folks seem to agree that the Continental is a 75 or 76 model, though it's been heavily modified. For a complete rundown of all the speculations floating across the interwebs -- and there are many -- check here: http://www.professionalcarsociety.org/forums/showthread.php?t=7505
     
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  5. Love the Pep Boys fog lights with chicken wire screens.
     
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  6. Comment disabled by moderators.

     
  7. Maybe so, but even if it is a ZIL, you can't ignore the fact that Kim had a Lincoln grille and hood ornament installed. Whether or not it's technically a Continental, he sure wanted it to look like one -- and that's the real irony.
     
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  8. It's most likely NOT a Lincoln. More likely, it's a Russian (perhaps even old enough to be Soviet) made ZIL (perhaps a modified ZIL 4104).
     
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  9. Sorry, folks, but that is absolutely a Lincoln, despite the "pimpmobile" mods. Look at pics of the later "square" ZILs like the 41047 & 41052; not even a passing resemblance...
     
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  10. My Dad had one of those Lincoln's in 1975, but it was a Towncar not a Continental. Our neighbor had a Continental Mark IV which was a Two door hardtop and it was a 1975 as well.
     
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  11. Kim Jong Il was able to accomplish one thing Henry Ford couldn't do, take his last ride in a Ford product. Henry Ford took his last ride in a 1948 Packard hearse as they couldn't find a Lincoln hearse in Detroit when he died. I spotted this watching CCTV on #265, Dish Satellite on the day of the "Dear Leader's" funeral. However, I think he rode in the casket on top of the Lincoln, not seated inside it. CCTV described the Lincoln as a hearse, but I wonder if there were any any real hearses in North Korea?
     
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  12. He rode on the car in the box on the top.
     
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