Land Yachts are Sailing into the 19th Orinda Classic Car Show

(Photo Courtesy of Bea Haase)
Heavy-duty sedans, like Bea Haase’s Lincoln Continental Mark IV Cartier Edition, sail into town Sept. 9, when The Orinda Association’s Annual Classic Car Show features “Land Yachts.”

    It may have been your parents’ car, your grandparents’ or maybe your own, but there was nothing else like it. A full-size, elegant touring vehicle with a powerful engine and innumerable amenities, down to the stereo sound system and the velvety armrests. It was a sight to 
    It was a Land Yacht.
    Gigantic, American-made sedans from the late 1950s to the 1970s were known for their power and smooth ride. Some may be familiar: Cadillac Eldorado, Buick Riviera, Oldsmobile Toronado, Pontiac Bonneville and more recently, the Chrysler New Yorker.
    These marvels of style and engineering, Land Yachts, are the theme of the 19th annual Orinda Classic Car Show, Sept. 9, which benefits Seniors Around Town, a free ride service for Orinda seniors.
    Bea Haase’s 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Cartier Edition is certainly in this class.
    It belonged to her parents, who bought it for $9,269 and drove it only for long trips. It was state-of-the-art luxury and, as the name suggests, has an electric Cartier clock in the dashboard, although it no longer keeps time.
    The black beauty with burgundy leather interior is a virtual time capsule, having been garaged since it hit 40,000 miles. Haase said her dad figured a grandchild would want it someday.
    “He never anticipated gas prices rising as they did,” she said, and none of the grandkids have room for Black Widow. “It is an enormous car.”
    She said it is not a vehicle one easily parallel parks and the massive hood sometimes makes street visibility impossible when driving up hills.
    “The steering is a kick. It is very loose, not like cars are now,” said Haase.
    She has kept Black Widow in great shape and has shown it before.
    “I know Dad would be happy to know I have it and love it,” she added.
    The Black Widow and many other Land Yachts, along with a variety of beloved cars, will be on display in all their glory at the Orinda Annual Classic Car Show, which is free to attend. The $60 registration fee for cars and $35 for motorcycles benefits Seniors Around 
    This is the 19th show, a tradition started by Orinda Motors and continues with the help of employees Hans Hiller, Ray Kunz and Xavier Estrada.
    Bill Waterman, the show’s co-chair for four years, said the Land Yachts idea came to the committee when owners of Lincoln Continental convertibles brought their classic machines to an Orinda event.
    He liked how well-kept they are and seeing them reminded people of the time when American-made cars were really long and really large – like boats.
    “It was all about comfort and luxury,” he said.
    The theme is only a suggestion as all kinds of cars are welcome, from perfectly restored garage queens to workhorse daily cars.
    The show is family-friendly and located on the northern side of Orinda Village, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information visit

Celeste Altus can be reached at

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