North Korean leader's last ride was on a Lincoln

Automotive News | December 28, 2011 - 12:33 pm EST

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In life, North Korea's Kim Jong Il ranted against the running-dog capitalists of the United States.

But the Dear Leader rode to his final resting place atop a conspicuous product of American industry -- a 1975 or 1976 Lincoln Continental limousine hearse.

Unlike some of North Korea's slanted, often gruesome anti-American propaganda posters, the funeral photographs do not lie. As mourners wailed hysterically by the road, a procession of unmistakable luxury limos rolled past. First came the Lincoln bearing Kim's flag-draped coffin on the roof. A second Lincoln limousine bore a giant poster with a likeness of the Dear Leader; and a third, an enormous funeral wreath.

The hearses bore Lincoln's unique stylized compass design on the hood, so the cars were not knockoffs.

Obviously, the Dear Leader was a closet fan of the culture of the country that he and his father loved to hate. The Dear Leader was said to have a collection of more than 20,000 Hollywood films.

Memo to Lincoln's current leadership team: Kim Jong Il might not be the kind of smart, savvy luxury customer you're looking for these days. But his funeral cortege serves as a reminder of an era when Lincoln rivaled Rolls-Royce as a conveyance of choice for the highest and mightiest leaders all around the world.

For more photos of today's funeral, click here.

The North Korean hearses bore Lincoln's unique stylized compass on the hood.

Photo credit: REUTERS

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