The Truth About Cars » personal luxury coupe http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 20 Dec 2014 16:36:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » personal luxury coupe http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1965 Ford Thunderbird Landau http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/junkyard-find-1965-ford-thunderbird-landau/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/junkyard-find-1965-ford-thunderbird-landau/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 14:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=960825 A perfectly restored example of a 1964-66 Ford Thunderbird is worth plenty. A beat-up example, even a non-rusty California car, on the other hand… well, it’s one of those cases where you can start with a thousand-dollar car, apply 15 grand to get it into pretty nice shape, and end up with a car worth […]

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05 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinA perfectly restored example of a 1964-66 Ford Thunderbird is worth plenty. A beat-up example, even a non-rusty California car, on the other hand… well, it’s one of those cases where you can start with a thousand-dollar car, apply 15 grand to get it into pretty nice shape, and end up with a car worth $9,500. This cruel math is the reason that today’s Junkyard Find was spotted at a San Francisco Bay Area wrecking yard a few weeks back.
22 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe body is rough (though not rusty) and the interior smells like a mixture of mildew and Porta-Potty, but this car still has much to offer someone restoring a nicer T-Bird.
06 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNow this is a proper landau roof!
11 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinMy ideal car interior would combine mid-60s Thunderbird and mid-80s Subaru XT controls. Throw in some early-90s Chrysler Whorehouse Red velour and it would be perfect.

01 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1965 Ford Thunderbird Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1976 Chrysler Cordoba http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/junkyard-find-1976-chrysler-cordoba/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/junkyard-find-1976-chrysler-cordoba/#comments Mon, 27 Jan 2014 14:00:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=725114 So far in this series, I’ve had no luck finding Chrysler Cordobas from the first couple years of production. We’ve seen this ’78 (which provided me with a beautiful Corinthian Leather garage couch), this ’79, and this ’80 prior to today, and now we’ve got a genuine, Ricardo-approved 1976 Cordoba. I spotted this car during […]

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08 - 1976 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinSo far in this series, I’ve had no luck finding Chrysler Cordobas from the first couple years of production. We’ve seen this ’78 (which provided me with a beautiful Corinthian Leather garage couch), this ’79, and this ’80 prior to today, and now we’ve got a genuine, Ricardo-approved 1976 Cordoba.
10 - 1976 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinI spotted this car during my trip to Southern California two weeks ago. Rust-free California car, right?
11 - 1976 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinWell, sort of. The rainy winters in coastal California tend to keep the metal beneath vinyl tops moist, and cheap weatherstripping (i.e., just about all the weatherstripping used by Detroit during the Malaise Era) tends to let water into the trunk. So, on cars like this you’ll see pristine quarter-panels and nasty roofs.
16 - 1976 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinCheck out the heraldry on the taillight lens. Such class!
17 - 1976 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinHmmm… the other taillight doesn’t seem to match. Which one is correct for 1976?
05 - 1976 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin318 or 360, you don’t want to know the horsepower numbers. Move along.
07 - 1976 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinWire wheels and Radial T/As!
02 - 1976 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinFiat needs to bring back the opera light.

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Junkyard Find: 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/junkyard-find-1976-pontiac-grand-lemans/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/junkyard-find-1976-pontiac-grand-lemans/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 14:00:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=476159 “Personal luxury” became one of the few showroom bright spots for Detroit during the darkest days of the Malaise Era. The definition is a bit fuzzy around the edges, but the basic formula always involved a midsize-or-bigger two-door with a generous helping of disco-grade bling, maybe with some heraldic crests and pleather upholstery. Chrysler had […]

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Personal luxury” became one of the few showroom bright spots for Detroit during the darkest days of the Malaise Era. The definition is a bit fuzzy around the edges, but the basic formula always involved a midsize-or-bigger two-door with a generous helping of disco-grade bling, maybe with some heraldic crests and pleather upholstery. Chrysler had the Cordoba, Ford had the Cougar, and GM had the Grand Prix, to name just a few of many examples of the genre. Why, even dowdy AMC got into the act with their Matador Barcelona. So many of these cars were built that you’ll still find examples now and then at self-serve wrecking yards. By 1976, personal luxury was being applied across whole lines, with broad strokes. Today’s find is one of the last of the big A-body LeMans family, built before the LeMans became a cruel Daewoo joke.
You had your Luxury LeMans, of course, but that car just wasn’t grand enough for the America of Watergate and the Fall of Saigon.
The French Cathouse Red interior fad reached its zenith with Japanese cars of the late 1980s (though Chrysler was still using up its stockpile of red velour well into the 1990s), but The General sure didn’t pull any punches with this car.
The Pontiac 350-cubic-inch V8 was one of the more reliable pushrod V8s of its time, but I’ve learned that I just get depressed when I look up horsepower figures on Malaise Era Detroit engines. Let’s pretend that this one made, say, 340 horses and leave it at that.
This clock almost certainly stopped working before the end of the 1970s, so I didn’t buy it for my collection. It looks cool, though.
Pontiac wasn’t going to let those 5 MPH crash bumpers take away their cars’ pointy snouts!

01 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/junkyard-find-1977-pontiac-grand-prix/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/junkyard-find-1977-pontiac-grand-prix/#comments Thu, 18 Oct 2012 13:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=464077 When shopping for personal luxury coupes in the late 1970s, you might have bought the 1977 Mercury Cougar (seen in yesterday’s Junkyard Find), or maybe a Chrysler Cordoba, or perhaps even an AMC Matador Barcelona. If you wanted to go with a General Motors product for your long-hooded, big-on-the-outside/small-on-the-inside coupe, Pontiac had just the car: […]

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When shopping for personal luxury coupes in the late 1970s, you might have bought the 1977 Mercury Cougar (seen in yesterday’s Junkyard Find), or maybe a Chrysler Cordoba, or perhaps even an AMC Matador Barcelona. If you wanted to go with a General Motors product for your long-hooded, big-on-the-outside/small-on-the-inside coupe, Pontiac had just the car: the Grand Prix!
The Cougar had Cheryl Tiegs as pitchwoman and the Matador Barcelona had crypto-Spanish provenance, but the Grand Prix had these classy emblems on the quarter windows.
Not to be outdone by the Cordoba’s small round taillight medallions, the Grand Prix boasted big hexagonal octagonal medallions.
301 cubic inches under the hood. How many horsepower? We’ll just say that this engine made fewer horses than the base 1.6 liter four-cylinder engine in the 2013 Kia Rio and leave the rest to your imagination.
A full set of these Pontiac rally wheels can fetch dozens of dollars these days, thanks to the enormous quantities manufactured. I like these wheels so much that I used them on my 1965 Impala sedan.
The Cougar’s suspension was “Ride-Engineered,” but Pontiacs had Radial Tuned suspensions.
Once again, much as we like to make fun of these cars, I must admit that they were actually pretty good daily drivers. Thirsty as hell, of course, but what big Detroit car wasn’t back then?

23 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1977 Mercury Cougar http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/junkyard-find-1977-mercury-cougar/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/junkyard-find-1977-mercury-cougar/#comments Wed, 17 Oct 2012 13:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=463944 We make fun of the personal luxury coupe now, just as we make fun of leisure suits, WIN buttons, and Freakies cereal. Still, the rest of the world (except perhaps Australia) never experienced the glory of the huge, inefficient, vaguely sporty coupe with floaty ride and deep-tufted velour interior, and this is their loss. You’re […]

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We make fun of the personal luxury coupe now, just as we make fun of leisure suits, WIN buttons, and Freakies cereal. Still, the rest of the world (except perhaps Australia) never experienced the glory of the huge, inefficient, vaguely sporty coupe with floaty ride and deep-tufted velour interior, and this is their loss.
You’re not going to see this no-apologies shade of green on any car interior made after about 1983, and that’s everybody’s loss.
You don’t want to know the horsepower output of this 351M engine . It will just make all of us feel vaguely depressed (hint: it’s less— a lot less— than the base four-cylinder in the 2013 Camry). The good news is that it churned out sufficient torque to get this 3,800-pound brute moving pretty well.
Ride-Engineered!
This car or the Cordoba?


Chrysler had Ricardo Montalban. Mercury had Cheryl Tiegs.

23 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1977 Mercury Cougar Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-1970-lincoln-continental-mark-iii/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-1970-lincoln-continental-mark-iii/#comments Fri, 10 Aug 2012 13:00:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=456199 We’re going to take a break from the Turbo Era Junkyard Finds and take a look at the kind of car that our resident lover of Ford personal luxury coupes really appreciates: a down-but-not-out (yet) 1970 Mark III in Denver self-service wrecking yard. It’s bit rusty and the paint probably started looking bad while Gerald […]

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We’re going to take a break from the Turbo Era Junkyard Finds and take a look at the kind of car that our resident lover of Ford personal luxury coupes really appreciates: a down-but-not-out (yet) 1970 Mark III in Denver self-service wrecking yard.
It’s bit rusty and the paint probably started looking bad while Gerald Ford was still president, but this car still has presence.
Thanks to optimistic gross power ratings and a who-gives-a-damn-about-oxides-of-nitrogen high compression ratio, the 460-cubic-inch V8 in this car was rated at 365 horsepower. Fuel economy? Gas will always be cheap!
This grille would look good hanging on my garage wall.
The transmission hump made it a bit less roomy than its front-wheel-drive Eldorado competitor, but who puts a passenger in the middle of this kind of bench seat?


“The automobile of celebrities, stars, and world leaders.”

28 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 24 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 25 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 26 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 27 - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1979 Chrysler Cordoba http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/junkyard-find-1979-chrysler-cordoba/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/junkyard-find-1979-chrysler-cordoba/#comments Sat, 07 Jul 2012 13:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=451616 After yesterday’s Junkyard Find, which was AMC’s answer to the very successful Chrysler Cordoba personal luxury coupe, it seems only right that we look at the car that inspired AMC’s marketers to start searching maps of Spain for car names: the Chrysler Cordoba. Here’s a ’79 that I spotted at a Denver self-serve yard last […]

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After yesterday’s Junkyard Find, which was AMC’s answer to the very successful Chrysler Cordoba personal luxury coupe, it seems only right that we look at the car that inspired AMC’s marketers to start searching maps of Spain for car names: the Chrysler Cordoba. Here’s a ’79 that I spotted at a Denver self-serve yard last week.
Cordobas sold pretty well, but they aren’t considered particularly collectible nowadays. This means that junkyard visitors still see a steady stream of the plush Malaise Era Chrysler coupes; I found this ’78 in the same junkyard during the winter.
Unlike that car, today’s Cordoba lacks the optional Corinthian Leather upholstery that we associate with the Cordoba (though it was available in other Chrysler models well into the 1980s). I so admired the Corinthian Leather bench seat in the junked ’78 that I bought it and used it as the basis for a classy garage couch.
The stack of sun-bleached Denver parking tickets tells us the reason this car ended up getting towed and scrapped.

21 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1979 Chrysler Cordoba Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/junkyard-find-1972-lincoln-continental-mark-iv/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/junkyard-find-1972-lincoln-continental-mark-iv/#comments Wed, 25 Jan 2012 14:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=427963 Ah, personal luxury! It’s hard to imagine anything more personally luxurious than a 4,906-pound two-door with 460 cubic inches under its 50-foot-long hood and an interior done up in classy brown-and-cream two-tone. You don’t see many cars with the transmission gear ratios on a plaque in the engine compartment. The Cartier Edition Mark IV came […]

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Ah, personal luxury! It’s hard to imagine anything more personally luxurious than a 4,906-pound two-door with 460 cubic inches under its 50-foot-long hood and an interior done up in classy brown-and-cream two-tone.
You don’t see many cars with the transmission gear ratios on a plaque in the engine compartment.
The Cartier Edition Mark IV came later, but this ’72 still got the Cartier clock. I tried to find a working Lincoln/Cartier clock in the junkyard for years, and finally gave up in despair. Cartier’s low-bidder clock supplier probably got $1.47 apiece for these.
This Mark IV had some rust issues involving the vinyl top. It appears that the car’s final owner removed the vinyl, saw the horror beneath, and sent the car straight to The Crusher.
In fact, The Crusher lives just a few hundred feet from this car’s final parking space. Here we see it in full, car-eating operation.
Let’s hope someone rescues these nice interior components before this car gets eaten.
The Mark IV came with an early type of ABS called “Sure-Track.” I’ve never experienced Sure-Track in operation, so I have no idea how well it worked.
At some point during its 40 years on the planet, this Lincoln got a name from a label-maker-equipped owner: Big Gulp!

46 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 01 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 02 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 03 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 04 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 06 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 07 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 08 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 09 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 10 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 11 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 12 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 13 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 14 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 15 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 16 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 17 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 18 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 19 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 21 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 22 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 24 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 25 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 26 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 27 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 28 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 29 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 33 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 35 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 36 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 37 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 38 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 39 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 40 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 43 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 44 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden 45 - 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Curbside Classic: 1946 Lincoln Continental – The Most Imitated American Car Ever http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/12/curbside-classic-1946-lincoln-continental-the-most-imitated-american-car-ever/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/12/curbside-classic-1946-lincoln-continental-the-most-imitated-american-car-ever/#comments Tue, 07 Dec 2010 16:54:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=375951 This car is a jaw-dropper, a true classic, and a lucky find that rivals the CC logomobile, but it’s misnamed. By all rights, it should be the Edsel American. It was Edsel Ford’s fine taste and encouragement that made the original version of this trend-setting car happen, and in the process created a car that […]

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This car is a jaw-dropper, a true classic, and a lucky find that rivals the CC logomobile, but it’s misnamed. By all rights, it should be the Edsel American. It was Edsel Ford’s fine taste and encouragement that made the original version of this trend-setting car happen, and in the process created a car that set the template that every American personal luxury coupe/convertible has been trying to measure up to ever since. An aggressive face on a very long hood, a close-coupled body, a short rear deck, and dripping with the aura of exclusivity and sex: a timeless formula. All too few of the endless imitators got the ingredients right, or even close, as our recent Cougar CC so painfully showed. But that didn’t stopped them from trying, just like I never stopped looking for this Continental after I first saw it almost two years ago. It was well worth the effort.

Since the original Continental has a lot of history attached to it, we’re going to step back a bit and put in into context. A more comprehensive background can be found in my Lincoln History Up to 1961, but here’s the semi-condensed version: Unlike his father, Edsel Ford had a very artistic side and was a lover of fine cars. Travel to Europe exposed him to the latest styling trends, and his oversight of Lincoln during the classic era resulted in superbly designed cars.

The Depression essentially ended the era of these expensive toys and also ushered in the aerodynamic era. This resulted in a radical re-thinking of the automotive configuration, with pushed-forward passenger compartments, small pointy hoods and long tapering bodies, sometimes with rear engines. Lincoln adopted John Tjaarda’s radical rear-engined concept, but toned it down and adapted it to use main-stream Ford mechanicals. The resulting 1936 Zephyr (above) was quite successful, because unlike the similarly advanced Chrysler Airflow, it kept at least some semblance of a traditional pointed hood, even if shorter in proportion to the rest of the car than its predecessors.

For sedans, this re-arranging of the automotive real estate was eminently logical for the roomier interiors that resulted. But it really wasn’t so suitable for coupes and convertibles. As handsome as this ’37 Zephyr coupe is, it lacks the raw visceral appeal that the long-hood classic-era cars exuded so powerfully.

Now there were perks along with the endless pains of being Henry Ford’s (only) son. Edsel had commissioned a number of one-off “Specials” and customs since he was sixteen, including three sporty cars that represented his vision of sophistication and latest European trends. All three of them were thus dubbed “Continental”. He came up with the basic concept and certain details of these cars, and handed them over to Bob Gregoire to make the renderings that resulted in the hand-made final results.

In late 1938, Gregoire drafted the latest of the series (he claimed in thirty-five minutes) with input from Edsel, and the resulting car was shipped the following March to its happy new owner in Florida, where the Fords spent much of the winter.  The 1939 Continental was built on the Zephyr chassis, but the passenger compartment was now well set back (again) resulting in that long hood, and the whole body was lowered and the side-boards completely eliminated (sectioned and channeled). It was a superb reconciliation of the traditional with the streamlined trends, and an instant classic. And the exposed spare on the rear quickly became known as the Continental Spare, an affectation that still haunts us today.

Ironically, our featured car lacks the eponymous spare, and its owner may even go so far as to customize the rear end to eliminate any lingering clues to its disappearance. Now that’s a gutsy move, and one I can respect. A Lincoln American indeed, if not an Edsel.

Edsel was bombarded with open check books as he drove his new toy around Palm Beach (one per mile, he claimed), so he called back to Dearborn and ordered the Continental to go into production. As it was essentially a hand built car, only some four hundred were produced in 1940. The first one was given to Mickey Rooney, which quickly had the rest of Hollywood fighting to be seen in one. Like most successful halo cars, its impact was way beyond the sheer revenue numbers.

After a brief two-year run, the Continental hibernated through the war, and re-emerged in 1946 with a drastically re-styled front end. I will admit to generally preferring the original’s more delicate prow, but ironically perhaps, the ’46-’48 Continental’s much heavier and bolder front end actually completes the enduring formula that would be copied so prolifically.

The restyle is also the equivalent of a sex change operation: the original is a delicate, graceful and feminine car, none of which comes to mind when confronted with this butch bomb. So strictly speaking, the Continental was aptly named for its first edition, but what reappeared after the war was utterly all-American. Understandably so, since the swagger in America’s psyche after WWII was all-too obvious.

Perhaps that also helps explain why the ’46 Conti has been the object of endless replication; it so utterly embodies the self-confidence and all-time high national testosterone levels that winning the biggest war ever induced. No wonder there was such a huge Baby Boom. And no wonder older guys were the primary target for its off-shoots. And (again) no wonder that the peak years for the personal luxury coupe market was during the seventies and eighties. Our war heroes were hitting middle age, and Viagra hadn’t been invented yet. But instead of buying a Mark IV, they should have gone out an hunted up the real thing instead, because this car is guaranteed to get your sperm count up.

I say this from experience (no, not my own). In 1973, I had an evil landlord in Iowa City. Henry Black was his name, and he would trade rent for slave labor from his starving student tenants during the summer to build additions and whole houses to his ramshackle slum called Black’s Gaslight Village. He was a big, heavy-set ornery old cuss, and walked with a cane (which he also treated as a weapon), and must have been well into his seventies. And he kept a quite young and attractive wife under virtual-house arrest in his big old Victorian. We only ever got peeps of her through the front door when we paid the rent; he never let her go anywhere, especially in his only car, a mean black ’46-’48 Continental coupe just like this one. Maybe he was worried about all the young male students. It was all like some Gothic novel.

I worked for him one summer building a cottage for future student tenants out of old railroad ties, creosote smell and all (this was before students financed their lifestyle, spring breaks in Mexico and summers in Africa with endless student loans). It was also before building permits were mandatory. Anyway, I vividly remember  riding with him in his musty old Continental to the hardware store, where he’d wait outside. Being twenty at the time, it was a bit hard to imagine, but old Henry Black was still fathering little kids with his locked away bride (unless students were sneaking in). The kids actually got to come out once in a while.

If I’ve digressed inappropriately (again), sorry; but the memories of hearing the flathead V12 in Henry’s car cough to life and his ivory-handled cane sliding against me in the curves are irrepressible after being exposed to this beast today. But if you’re wondering why there’s no engine shots, it’s because the troublesome Zephyr V12 is long gone; a healthy sounding Chevy small block does the burbling instead. And it may well not be the first transplanted engine either; the twelve had such a bad rep folks were tearing them out back in the late forties already and replacing it with the flathead Lincoln V8 that succeeded it.

The Zephyr was not an expensive car, so Ford had his engineers cobble up a budget twelve that was not much more than the Ford V8 and a half. But undersized water passages exacerbated the flathead’s intrinsic thermal issues, and as a result bores warped, rings wore out, oil burned and didn’t get properly circulated for other reasons as well. It only made some 120 hp from its 292 cubes, so performance was none too impressive in the 4,000 lb Continental, even when it ran properly. Admittedly, the post war engines had many of their ailments fixed, but the bad rep stuck.

I first ran into this car on the street a year and a half ago, and almost had an accident (in my pants). It’s not like I was expecting to find an original Continental at all, but then this comes burbling down the street. I caught up to the driver at a light, but he was in too much of a hurry to stop for photos. And I’ve been lusting for it ever since. Well, good things sometimes happens to those that lust hard enough, and I finally caught up with it again on a rare sunny December day here. Drew, its owner, bought it a couple of years back, and is still mulling over its future. A chopped top maybe?

Or maybe not; Drew is tall like me, and the Conti is none too roomy already. This is definitely a “personal” coupe, and not nearly as big, at least on the inside, as one might expect. But whatever direction he takes it, I’m sure it will serve him well, even into old age, should he feel the desire or need to keep it that long.

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