Curbside Classic Outtake: Continental Mark VII
No, there’s no Mark III, V or VI to be found here, at least for now. Just as well. But I’ve been sitting on this Mark VII for almost a year, from the looks of the daffodils blooming (and they are, hereabouts). But the Mark VII was a different animal altogether. Quite the radical break, but then Ford had more than hit the end of the road with the ugly, boxy wallowing stuff they’d been pushing out the door for decades. Their near-brush with bankruptcy in 1980 resulted in a whole new regime and approach: headed by the pragmatic but car enthusiast Donald Petersen. But development money was tight, so the Town Car became immortal. But a relatively low-budget solution to the dead-end Mark VI was handy in the form of the new aero-Thunderbird.
The LSC version got quite the gushing write-ups in the buff books, and the moniker “hot rod Lincoln” stuck. Well, compared to the gushy wallowing dogs that Lincolns had been for all-too long, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. If it didn’t have that damn fake tire hump in the trunk, I might have been seriously tempted after my time with an ’83 Turbo-Coupe Bird. Whatever; it’s a polarizing feature, and I know there are some not far from here who love it.
Its timing was good, because the German coupes were becoming insanely expensive. And as Ford figured out the benefits of modern port fuel injection, the power of the 5.0 V8 rose gradually, up to 225. Handling of the fairly stiff Fox-body was optimized, and although the seats were comfy, BMW owners were not going to feel welcome in this interior otherwise. But there’s no question about it, the transformation from the Mark VI to this VII was about as radical as it got. Of course association with the past Marks may have been an obstacle to some buyers. But it was a fairly decent seller, and helped see Lincoln and Ford out of its darkest years.
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I rented one of these LSCs from Budget at St. Louis Lambert Field. Drove it about 500 miles on business. The car was a dream in all regards. Quiet, nimble, power, handling, luxury, sophisticated, smooth. To each their own, I thought the styling was excellent. These cars, well preserved, command a better collectors value than the the Mark 8 that followed. edco
In 1985 I bought a 1984 Continental with the BMW 2.4 liter diesel. It got about 32 to 33 MPG. According to reports about testing, the BMW diesel in the Lincoln was the fastest diesel in any car in the US at the time. Said it would run circles around the Merc. 300 turbo diesel. Liked it so much that in 1988 I found a silver with dark grey interior Mark VII with the same BMW diesel. I was able to get 35-36 MPG running constant interstate speeds. I actually still have the car and am having it painted. I really do like these cars. I actually bought one on Ebay about 3 years ago for $1010. It sold cheap since the seller didn't have any pictures posted. I turned around and put it back on Ebay and it sold for over $3000. The way I like to make money. Pretty good return on my investment. Many years ago I harvested a 2.4 diesel engine from a 84 Continental from a U-Pull It yard a for spare parts engine. I have since bought a couple other parts engines so I Just installed the first one it in my 1990 Jeep Wrangler. Working the bugs out of it now. The BMW engine was also installed in the Vixen motorhome with a 5 speed manual transmission. Don't think I will ever get rid of my 84 Mark diesel. By the way, there is one on Ebay and it has 6 days left. Targa-hunter