Land yacht (automobile)

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1972 Cadillac 75 sedan, length: 248.9 in (6,322 mm)

A land yacht is an informal term for large automobiles[1][2][3] that were mostly constructed between 1960 and 1975 in the United States.[4]

Airstream, a recreational vehicle (RV) manufacturer, have also used "land yacht" as a model name.

American cars[edit]

1960 Lincoln Continental, length: 229 in (5,817 mm)

Common features of American land yachts are very large exterior proportions, somewhat vague steering, large V8 engines and a soft ride.[5] They were designed "for the open road where living room comfortable seats made the front seat seem like a plush couch with a windshield and steering wheel in front of it."[5]

One of the largest production sedans were the 1974–1976 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 sedans that reached 252.2 in (6,406 mm) in length and weighed 5,500–6,100 lb (2,500–2,800 kg).[6][7] Many landyacht-type cars are four-door sedans or pillarless hardtop body styles; however large coupes, convertibles, and station wagons were also produced.[8][9]

Brands which produced land yachts included Cadillac, Lincoln, Imperial[10] and Buick.

After the oil crises of the 1970s and 1980s, U.S. consumers become more interested in fuel economy than glamor. Downsizing by the American car manufacturers resulted in a greater focus on more efficient mid-size cars. When General Motors stopped production of the Buick Roadmaster, Chevrolet Caprice and Cadillac Fleetwood, it marked the end of production for American land yachts.[11]

German cars[edit]

1969 Mercedes-Benz 600,
loaded weight: 3,048 kg (6,720 lb)

Cars built outside America are not generally referred to as land yachts, however several models from Mercedes Benz are of similar size and weight. The 1963-1981 Mercedes-Benz 600 has a length of up to 246 in (6.25 m).

In more recent times, the 2017-present Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman has a total length of 260 in (6.60 m),[12] which is almost 4 in (10 cm) longer than the 1974-1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five.

Airstream recreational vehicle[edit]

Airstream three-axle travel trailer

The Airstream recreational vehicle manufacturer uses "Land Yacht" as a model name.[13][14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Burkhart, Bryan; Hunt, David (2000). Airstream: The History of the Land Yacht. Chronicle Books. ISBN 9780811824712. 
  2. ^ "Definition of Land Yacht". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Dirven, René (2003). Metaphor and metonymy in comparison and contrast. Mouton de Gruyter. p. 504. ISBN 9783110173741. Retrieved 29 March 2017. 
  4. ^ Quinteros, Luis (10 October 2010). "Ten Great Land Yachts". Jalopnik. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Sutherland, Jim (4 February 2012). "Why Every Car Guy Needs To Pilot A Giant Old School Land Yacht Barge". Retrieved 29 March 2017. 
  6. ^ Flammang, James (1999). Standard Catalog of American Cars 1976–1999 (Third ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 978-0873417556. 
  7. ^ Niedermeyer, Paul (10 February 2013). "Cadillac Fleetwood 75 Curbside Classic: 1973 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 – The Longest Production Car Ever And The Red Giant Of Broughams". Curbside Classic. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  8. ^ Stone, Matt (19 August 2013). "American Dreamboats". Hagerty Classic Cars. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  9. ^ French, Laura (25 April 2008). "The Station Wagon: Though mostly gone, these noble land yachts had rich history". StarTribune. Minneapolis. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  10. ^ Kunz, Bruce (25 August 2014). "The Imperial Crown was Chrysler's top-of-the-line land yacht". Retrieved 29 March 2017. 
  11. ^ Krebs, Michelle (19 May 1996). "Buick Roadmaster; A Land Yacht Sails Into the Sunset". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  12. ^ Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman (UK brochure MBX222PL/0517). Mercedes-Benz Cars UK Limited, Tongwell, Milton Keynes, MK15 8BA. Brochure date May 2017.
  13. ^ Cox, Tara (2013). Airstream: The Silver RV. Shire Publications. ISBN 9780747814054. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  14. ^ "Land Yacht". Airstream. Retrieved 27 May 2015.