Junkyard Find: 2000 Lincoln LS

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

When I walk the rows of a big self-service yard with rapid inventory turnover, my eye is tuned to catch old and/or weird stuff, which means that newer interesting stuff tends to get overlooked. I’ve been trying to shoot more 21st-century Junkyard Finds lately, since our current century started quite a long time ago, but it was hearing that our own Crab Spirits had scored a cheap Lincoln LS with perfect interior and bad motor (he’s going to swap in a Toyota 1UZ engine, which strikes me as a fine idea) that got me looking for junked LSs. It turns out that finding such a car is extremely easy, so here’s one I saw in California recently.

By the few accounts I’ve heard about the LS and its Jaguar S-type cousin, this was a very pleasant car to drive. Perhaps it wasn’t the Mercedes-killer that Lincoln (and Cadillac and Chrysler) had been seeking for decades, but it was a lot more advanced (and perhaps more appealing to car buyers too young to remember the Great Depression) than the Panther-based Town Car. It’s too bad that Ford opted for the only possible name for a luxury sedan more boring than the one Toyota slapped on its acronymic LS series: the letters LS not followed by some signifier of engine displacement. I wonder if Ford still owned the rights to the Utopian Turtletop name back in 2000?

The LS has got to be one of the best bang-for-the-buck, super cheap, used-car deals out there right now; perhaps even better than the Hyundai XG. A big cushy sedan with independent rear suspension, leather, smooth Jaguar engine, and (if you get the V6) even a manual transmission option. Junkyard parts availability is excellent, and “traditional” cheapskate Lincoln buyers think it’s suspiciously foreign and keep prices down (they’ll drive ’93 Town Cars to the Golden Corral with the hazards on as you blow by in your cherry $1,200 LS).

Here we see a ponderous, special-effects-laden piece showing the sort of Nietzsche’d-up Übermenschen who might have purchased an A8 or 7-series or S-Class in the pre-LS era, but were compelled by the obvious superiority of the LS to toss all those inferior German cars onto the ash heap of history (I like to use Trotskyisms immediately after mentioning Nietszche, for obvious reasons). OK, fine, so it didn’t work out that way for Lincoln.

This in spite of the fact that the ’03 LS totally left the ’03 BMW 540i in the dust. Dust! Get it?

There are those who travel, and those who travel well. This traveler swamping those hipster kayakers with the shock wave from his LS appears to be about one-third the age of your typical Lincoln buyer in 2000.

Sadly, the LS’s place in popular culture isn’t quite so exalted now.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Sjalabais Sjalabais on Aug 18, 2015

    The LS is everywhere on the parts of the internet that I frequent - as is the XG, btw. So I guess whatever odd taste you may have, you're being catered to. I had never seen the ads above before though. The first one is almost dripping with low self-esteem while the kayak killer ad is just weird. Comments are interesting on this one. Isn't there any way to create a "stripped down" LS, a sort of low budget car with only basic systems being maintained?

  • MrMag MrMag on Aug 18, 2015

    Speaking of Cheap Luxury. I used to own a Buick Park Avenue (first generation, '91-'96). It came with a bunch of options and was very comfortable and had good power (I thought so anyway). And if you get a '95 or '96 you get a 3800 Series II. Additionally, if you had the Ultra, it would be a Supercharged version (which came with even more available options). These can be had quite cheap now, and the parts availability is quite good; the 3800 series engine is in a lot of cars.

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