By on October 7, 2015

18 - 1983 Lincoln Continental in California junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

In 1982, the 7th-generation Lincoln Continental went to the Fox Platform, elbowing the Fox-based Lincoln Versailles aside. These cars didn’t hold their value so well, which meant that you won’t see many these days.

Here’s a reasonably solid example I saw at a San Francisco Bay Area self-service yard two months ago.
02 - 1983 Lincoln Continental in California junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

I thought about pulling this digital dash for my hoard collection, but managed to resist.

09 - 1983 Lincoln Continental in California junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

It’s the good old Windsor 302 V8, which made 130 horsepower in the ’83 Continental. Not too bad for the final year of the Malaise Era.

17 - 1983 Lincoln Continental in California junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

Look, no carburetor!

06 - 1983 Lincoln Continental in California junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

The early 1980s may have been the low point for faux-classy “gold” plated plastic emblems on Detroit cars.

04 - 1983 Lincoln Continental in California junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

Auto-reverse was a futuristic option on 1983 cassette decks.

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171 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1983 Lincoln Continental...”


  • avatar
    energetik9

    I was never a fan of this car. This car was built years before I was driving, but it was hard not to remember that odd (unique) rear tire cover. It always struck me as so gradfatherish. You do have to love those infotainment and climate controls.

    I do remember auto-reverse cassette technology though!

    • 0 avatar
      RangerM

      I’d like to know the last year a cassette deck was available in a new car. (maybe overseas they still are?) My wife’s former 2001.5 Passat had one.

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        “According to experts who monitor the automotive market, the last new car to be factory-equipped with a cassette deck in the dashboard was a 2010 Lexus.”

        Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/automobiles/06AUDIO.html?_r=0

        • 0 avatar
          RangerM

          Thanks. I don’t remember the last time I saw music on cassette for sale, and I haven’t seen blank tapes for awhile. Records have been making a (small) comeback. I doubt tapes will. But, since I still have all my LPs carefully stored, hopefully the players will stick around.

          Only until I got a smartphone with enough memory (last October) did I give up on carrying CDs around. I gave up on owning a VHS about 5 years ago when I couldn’t buy blank tapes anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Cassette tapes are making a comeback like vinyl. Vinyl I understand, cassettes leave me wondering why.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            “Cassette tapes are making a comeback like vinyl. Vinyl I understand, cassettes leave me wondering why.”

            Because there is nothing better than blasting the cassette version of Van Halen’s Fair Warning through your Oldsmobile’s Delco stereo system. It makes “Mean Street” sound so right.

        • 0 avatar
          Aquineas

          Nice find. I was going to post that my 2004 Acura TL had one, but honestly I don’t think I ever used it once.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Lexus LS430, 2006. There were a few diehards who made a big stink when the LS460 came out without that tape slot.

        APaGttH, people will do anything — and I mean anything — to get themselves into a nostalgic comfort zone. It’s why I regularly troll Craigslist looking for a clean ’88-’89 Accord LXi/SEi. Although I also listened mostly to tapes in my youth and have no real wish to get any tapes.

        • 0 avatar
          Dave W

          There were a few “luxury touring cars” of the early 2k’s that had both a cassette and a CD slot. I don’t think it was to “get themselves into a nostalgic comfort zone.”. I think it was that for long trips (lots of these cars were marketed to middle managers and salesman who drove alot) it was easier to get books on tape then on CDs at most libraries (and I’m told Cracker Barrels) until into the late 2k’s. Now there are books on audio files but its still less hassle to get a CD then load up a zip drive with stuff I will erase after one listen.

          • 0 avatar

            My old 2006 Ford Ranger came from the factory with a combo CD/Tape deck.

            The only time I ever used the tape deck was with one of those tape to 1/8″ jack converters to use with an ipod.

      • 0 avatar
        cowboysanchez

        I was wondering the last car to be equipped with a radio-cassette but no CD is. The unit in the 2010 Lexus had all the bases covered with tape, CD, Aux and Sat nav.

        • 0 avatar
          Wscott97

          My nieces 2006 Hyundai Elantra only has a (stock) AM/FM Cassette. She wasn’t fond of that but grateful that she got a car. I know in 2007 the Elantra switched to standard CD player.

    • 0 avatar
      Shawnski

      Talk about bottom end issues “Poncho” man, Tin Indians were notorious for spun bearings due to oil cavitation. Just so we’re clear, a bad head gasket left untreated destroyed the bottom ends on 3.8’s; antifreeze and bearing shells don’t mix.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      I’m diggin’ that power antenna switch! Man, that was luxury! Especially when you forgot to stow it when you wnet in the car wash.

  • avatar
    banerjba

    Thanks for this. What a truly dreadful car. My family had a 1981 Ford Granada and then a 1982 Mercury Cougar (job related). The two were identical and this Lincoln really did not transcend those humble origins. The dash, body shape (except trunk), door panels and dash materials were too similar across all three cars. Our Ford had that left turn stalling issue that eventually caused an accident that could have killed our family.

    These were the last new American cars for a long time in our family and virtually everyone I know who owned a variant (the T Birds was almost the same too) went Japanese or European after these turds.

    • 0 avatar
      jdowmiller

      Completely agree. What utter garbage. My parents inherited an ’80-something Granada and we thought it was great…..until we realized it actually sucked. My parents inexplicably continued to buy American junk until they finally went Japanese FIFTEEN YEARS LATER with a Mazda Protege. Aside from the Granada, they also had an ’81 Grand Marquis. I remember it having an amplifier pull switch under the dash. Does anyone know if this Continental had that? Just curious. Final thought: 135 horsepower? Out of a V8? Gggggooooodddaaamm. Life SUCKED back then.

      • 0 avatar

        “Life SUCKED back then”…
        I have to agree, on several counts. Aside from some really great music from bands like Madness, Elvis Costello & The Attractions, and King Crimson, those early years of the ’80s were awful, compared to 10 years earlier. Muscle cars were dead, Porsche was using 85mph speedometers, digital was replacing analogue, and we had AIDS and Herpes to contend with rather than the afterglow of the sexual revolution. The only automotive highlight in my world was the advent of the GTI.

      • 0 avatar
        Exfordtech

        The CFI in these made a world of difference in driveability. Also that Granada and Cougar were likely saddled with the woefully underpowered 200 cube straight 6. This is actually more akin to a 4 door Mark VII. Same platform, but much better when CFI came along on the 5.0 V8. I worked for a rental company back in those days, and the fleet consisted of Mercurys: Lynx, Topaz (84/85), Zephyr (83), Cougar (82), Marquis (84/85), aero Cougar (84/85).
        The difference between the CFI 3.8 V6 vs anything else was a revelation. No more complaints about cold starting, stalling etc. Even the CFI Topaz was impressive for the day. Biggest issue was instructing customers to keep their foot off the gas pedal when starting. The Fox chassis was a competent platform for its time.

        • 0 avatar
          MRF 95 T-Bird

          I had a 87 T-Bird with the 3.8 V6 CFI. I can attest it was problem-free. Never an issue in any kind of weather.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            The 3.8 was also the base engine (along with the 300) in 1982 F-100s. It must not have been very good (it had possibly the lowest torque proportional to its horsepower of any engine ever put in a Ford pickup), because it was gone by the end of ’83.

            Between the introduction of fuel injection and diesels, the failed introduction of smaller engines, and the phasing-out of old boat anchor power plants, the seventh-gen F-Series had probably more engine choices over its seven years than any other Ford model run.

          • 0 avatar
            ponchoman49

            Except when they blow a head gasket or crack a head or blow the weak bottom end as so many have over the years.

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            Pretty sure that this is the same engine that motored on (pun intended) as the V6 option of the SN95 and SN97 Fox body Mustangs until the introducation of the Cologne 4.0L in 2005.

      • 0 avatar
        Shawnski

        And a boat load of smooth torque. Jdowmiller, You have a very poor perspective, and did not really experience that time. Japanese made generally inferior cars at that time. And they also showed signs of brilliance. You are not enlightened my friend.

        Poncho man, u speak of “weak” bottom ends on the 3.8, they spun bearings because of unrepaired head gaskets. Antifreeze, bearing shells, not good.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        The amplifier pull switch was found on the first few years of cars equipped with Ford’s “Premium Sound,” which added an extra amplifier and (in some cars) two extra speakers. It turned the extra amp and speakers on and off.

        Looking at a 1983 Lincoln brochure, it looks like Premium Sound was only available on the full-size car (what we’d later call a Town Car), not on the Continental.

        My parents had a pull switch on an ’80 LTD, and my grandfather had it on his ’82 Thunderbird. Our ’86 Tempo had Premium Sound, but no pull switch.

      • 0 avatar
        JREwing

        [i]Final thought: 135 horsepower? Out of a V8? Gggggooooodddaaamm. Life SUCKED back then.[/i]

        It was rated for 140hp in my ’84 Crown Vic. But that came at 3200 rpm. Peak torque was 240lb-ft just off-idle at 1600. They had a powerband comparable to a diesel pickup truck, and geared to match.

        Compared to today, yeah, it was slow. But it wasn’t terrible to drive. All that torque down low meant it moved pretty well, and the tall gearing meant the engine was loafing on the highway.

        I grew up right in the middle of the malaise era, so I really didn’t get a feel for what a powerful car drove like until much later in life. Compared to the 250 straight 6 pickup my dad had and the 74 horsepower Chevette my mom had, a 302 V8 Crown Vic or this 302 V8 Continental was astonishingly quick.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    But no other car caught my eyes and confused me as much as the car of the same period, the 1982 Cadillac Seville…was it supposed to be a hatchback look?

    Ya, the trunk molded spare tire look of the Lincoln was one thing…but this was a whole ‘nuther level!!!

    http://www.bing.com/search?q=1982+cadillac+seville&qs=PA&pq=1982+cadillac+seville&sc=8-21&sp=1&cvid=39626d71160140c2932e4a4d08586e58&FORM=QBLH

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      It was supposed to be reminiscent of Rolls Royces of yore. A moronic idea:

      http://momentcar.com/images/rollsroyce-silver-wraith-1955-2.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Makes me wonder the price difference between the Seville and this Continental, as they were similarly sized, it would seem. But I don’t have time to look it up right at the moment.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      It’s a game of “who wore it better” between the Seville, the ’81 Imperial, and the Conti. I think the Lincoln wore it best.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I think I agree. The Conti had a more modern smoothness, and looked more natural, with that nice flowing line, and a much more modern interior.

        http://www.favcars.com/images-lincoln-continental-1982-83-52555.htm

        To my eyes the Seville was very forced. Like “Oh we don’t wanna do this, but someone in marketing said so, so here.” It’s so truncated! The body line is unnatural. The interior is very underwhelming.

        http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/05/18/automobiles/600-rust-span.jpg

        And as much as I like the Imperial name, this coupe was not holding the name up properly. A de-badged, technologically fragile coupe on a Diplomat chassis that was more(!) expensive than a Cadillac or a Lincoln. I think not.

        http://imganuncios.mitula.net/1981_chrysler_imperial_coupe_1420122424915656153.jpg

  • avatar
    I've got a Jaaaaag

    Did these have an air suspension of some sort? I seem to remember most of the ones still on the road in the early 90s had really bad suspension sag.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      The air suspension was problematic on these and the Mark VII. Many owners have them fixed with improved strut kits or have them converted to springs out of Mustangs and T-Birds.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        There used to be a kit you could get from Ford to convert them (IIRC).

        Here is an aftermarket Mark VIII kit for $400:

        http://www.truckspring.com/products/Arnott-Coil-Spring-Conversion-Kit-Lincoln-Mark-VIII__C-2236.aspx?gclid=CMDU7cHVscgCFYmRHwodwQMCGA

      • 0 avatar
        Exfordtech

        I never felt the air suspension was problematic, it just required someone competent to diagnose and fix it correctly. Usually the biggest mistake made is to ignore leaks that are reasonably easy to fix which leads to an overheated and ruined compressor. They’re really not that complicated, and nothing rides as smooth or quietly.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I saw the cars when they were ten plus years old and they frequently had some sort of air ride problem. Town Cars were the least offensive and could be fixed with relative ease but the MarK VIIs and FWD Contis all seemed to have problems with their systems. I have no practical experience with the Fox Contis to say one way or another whether their system was good or not.

          • 0 avatar
            WhiskeyRiver

            These cars did not have air springs. “Adaptive Air Ride” didn’t come along until the 8th generation in ’88.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            WhiskeyRiver-
            My 84 MY Continental had an air suspension. Compressor and self leveling sensors. And it worked well.

          • 0 avatar
            dtremit

            ’84 introduced air springs; ’88 added variable shocks. Nice diagrams in the respective brochures:

            http://www.lov2xlr8.no/lincoln.html

  • avatar
    Joss

    Electronic Fuel Injection? The Volvo 164/264 had only had it 10 years. Even the more lowly 16 TX.

    The early eighties bustle back was all the rage with fwd Seville then Lincoln then the Imperial following.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    Look at all the haters today. I recently sold a 84 version of this. The faux wood dash trim makes me think this is a later ’84. Mine had the real wood that cracked and fell off.

    Mine was turbo diesel. I disagree with all the above posters (with obviously poor automotive taste). The air suspension and complete lack of cabin noise was enjoyable. The paint was a very nice hand masked tutone that was clean even in the door jambs. 4 wheel disc brakes. Autodim head lamps, heated mirrors and a rear seat that would make sex for the most miserable f*ck enjoyable.

    Y’all have either never lived, loved or enjoyed true american steel. I may be blind to ongoing styles and what is faux pas, but I recognize good build quality and solid platform engineering when I see it. This was the last true Lincoln Continental. Right wheel drive, fuel efficient Fox Body architecture, seamless inset hood to fender flushness, perfect door alignments and solid hinge design, complete cabin isolation through thoroughly engineered weather and flock stripping, real chromed steel accents, metallic paint flake and no god damned orange peel, seamless inset windscreen sealing, hood ornament, dual exhaust and an interior trim set so brash and plush it makes your girl friend scramble for the nearest sh1tty Pier One Imports. To top it off, the obscenity of luxury was accented with the smooth efficiency of a BMW inline six diesel / ZF 4 speed.

    God damn it do I miss that car.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      And so much classier than the Seville with its more pimp-mobile bent and self destructing 4100 HT V8.

      Give me this Continental anyday, the humble origins of the Fox body simply mean it is easier to do engine swaps.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        The ‘bustle back’ of the Seville was grotesque. The Continental had a smooth character line from the front all the way to the rear decklid. The throw back to spare wheel decklid housing / coach build days was subtle, and marketing prompted Wixom to tutone these beasts to subdue it when the ugly as f*ck Seville tanked the market.

        GM not only f*cked up on styling, their diesel offering at the time ruined diesel for mankind. No one bothered to take note of a superior offering after GM flooded the market with deadweight rant worthy grade sh1t.

        • 0 avatar
          Steven Lang

          I think the shrimp has jumped the proverbial sea.

          I agree with every single word you said about the Continental. Dad owned an ’86 with a 302 V8. A perfect four door car for his NY and NJ commutes.

          Once I went into college he got the last of the Mark VII Lincoln that were molderizing in the new car showrooms. Paid $22k for a $33k car. Unbelievable value.

          My condolences about that diesel. That’s one rare bird I have yet to bid and buy.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            There was a Mark VII LSC TDI on ebay just recently! Wow.

            http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lincoln-Continental-MARK-VII-LSC-524-TD-NEAT-ORG-2DR-TDI-IV-V-VIII-RIG-/261994931736?forcerrptr=true&hash=item3d001d6618&item=261994931736

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        The problem of Seville and “not enough class” is only remedied with Gucci Edition, featuring chromed luggage strap appliques, monogram interior, monogram headliner, monogram landau, and interlocking Gucci logo ornamentation. Available in bustle back and sedan configuration.

        https://i0.wp.com/hooniverse.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/gucci-museo-opening-09_195229864306.jpg_article_gallery_slideshow_v2.jpg?resize=724%2C382

        Comes with matching luggage as well, for when you travel with ultimate class.

        http://automotivemileposts.com/cadillac/seville/images/1979/seville1979guccinight.jpg

        http://www.trulydeeply.com.au/madly/files/2010/03/gucci-seville-08-21.jpg

        http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/image_content_width/hash/99/a1/99a144137c5dd19aaf00f5b33b04c4b3.jpg?itok=yk6gsrbc

        http://www.classiccarstodayonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Cadillac-1979-Seville-Gucci-e.jpg

        http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-t1DcOf8Pjss/Tkf3rv_DqmI/AAAAAAAE2as/gRMInq1f0-8/s1600/Cadillac-Seville-16.jpg

        • 0 avatar
          Roberto Esponja

          My father ended up owning a 1983 Seville Elegante that he got from a friend as payment for a debt. The interior in the Elegante was much nicer than the average Seville’s, I still fondly remember the center armrest console with the Cadillac crest and wreath, which I thought was a very classy touch. Although I still think Cadillac blew it with the 2nd generation Seville, I do miss the one that my dad owned and wouldn’t mind owning it nowadays. His looked just like this one:

          http://www.fleetofcads.com/charliebrown/charliebrown14.jpg

          And its interior looked like this:

          http://www.cheersandgears.com/uploads/monthly_05_2011/post-253-0-34697000-1304714480.png

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            The Seville without the faux spare tire was very sleek. I definitely preferred the Lincoln’s vertical tail lamps and their choice for wheels. The vertical lamps worked better with the character lines (IMHO).

            My brand hating blinded me and I honestly don’t even know if they offered the converted diesel in the Cadillac offering.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            The Olds Diesel was standard in the first couple years of that Seville, the first ‘Murican car so-equipped.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        CoreyDL,
        This makes me weep tears of joy.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          You can weep into a silk monogram handkerchief, which is in the glove box.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            I will now cry even more for my cleverly dampened, supremely packaged as to not impede Shaq O’Neil satisfying leg room, key lock glove box complete with interior illumination and felt cloth interior lining.

            Even the god damned glove box was so comfy I had to murder mice that would hibernate in it.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      It was a nice car, albeit with controversial styling. A lot of the “poo-poo’ers” here probably never drove or rode in one, they’re probably the same folks who nowadays lambaste Chrysler 300s.

    • 0 avatar
      GS 455

      Awesome comments tresmonos. Makes me want to get one. Hemmings Classic Cars drove one of these recently and gave it a really favorable review.

    • 0 avatar
      Rudolph

      ¿ Right hand drive I6 diesel ?
      What country , please •

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Right wheel drive is my poor internet lingo for rear wheel drive. Sorry for the confusion.

        Ford imported 2000 or so M21 BMW diesel engines with ZF 4 speed automatic transmissions and put them in Lincoln Mark VII’s and Continentals. They had a Ford specific head, but from what I could tell where all BMW / Bosch / Steyr from the head-down. I didn’t have to do much besides a fuel rail, injector and miscellaneous wiring.

        Blow back was literally a non issue in this beautiful mill.

    • 0 avatar
      jgcaulder

      +1, hell, +1,000!

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Those diesel Lincolns were stupid rare. You shoulda held onto it. Even the BMW 524td’s are uncommon and usually bring a premium versus the regular gassers.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        I dumped too much into it and was moving. Some redneck bought it off me for less than 2k and was hell bent on turning it into a veg oil burner. I didn’t have the heart to tell him the bosch fuel delivery wouldn’t allow for it and just cried like a baby when he drove away.

        I would have kept it had I owned property with a garage. Owning a boat and keeping this project going would have financially ruined me.

    • 0 avatar
      tonyola

      It’s not a 1984 model – 1984 is the first year when the front end got slanted-back grille and headlight housings.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Interesting. I wonder what made them use real wood in later years? I know there was a recall specifically for the trim (that my car never went in to receive).

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      x1,000 tresmonos. x1,000. The haters have no clue what they’re talking about. Beautiful cars, and impeccably appointed. You pulled up to a 5 star restaurant in one of these in 1983, it was placed in the front, for all to see.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Wow – I had no idea they put the BMW diesel in the 4dr too! I’ve seen a couple of the big 2drs with it over the years.

      Otherwise, well, I think you are smoking crack to think this is anything but a heap, but to each his own. 100lbs of tinsel ladle over a Granada does not a luxury car make. The BMW diesel was a nice engine for that era though.

    • 0 avatar
      JEFFSHADOW

      That is precisely why I just bought a 1983 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz. 64,160 original miles, one owner and simple minor repairs and ready to go. Sold for $125 at Copart.
      Quality American design, superbly comfortable (my 1985 Eldorado business coupe does not have the double pillow interior!)and that stainless steel roof!
      If I might need the 375 HP I drive my 1969 Toronado.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      My parents owned 3 of these in a row in the late 1980’s/early 90’s…

      The first one was a high mileage (for the time) 1986 model in dark metallic grey with a whorehouse red leather interior. Overall fairly reliable, however it did need one suspension airbag and some O-rings. The suspension would leak down overnight, but would fill right back up upon starting, so the dealer recommended not chasing it since it worked fine once the car was running.

      The only other thing that required replacement was a set of plugged catalytic converters, which was somewhat common at the time on high mileage cars. What a revelation after they were replaced – the car could finally get out of its own way!

      The second car was a two-tone medium/dark blue 1987 Givenchy model with dark blue velour. This car was in very nice condition overall and never gave us any issues (not even the air suspension!) during our ownership. Ultimately my Mom never “warmed up” to the velour interior, so my Dad sold it and bought the third and nicest one…

      …A 1987 model in Rose Quartz Metallic with a Taupe leather interior. This car was lovingly cared for by the previous owner, who even went so far as to have every door ding and paint chip fixed as they occurred to keep the car looking new. It only had around 55,000 miles on it when we bought it, and like the Blue Givenchy, it served us well with nary a complaint or repair until my Mom replaced it with a 1998 Crown Victoria. Even though the Crown Vic had leather and was well equipped, it just didn’t feel “special” like the Continentals did, including the high mileage grey car.

      Tres: Our grey 1986 had the flaky wood inside. At one point in time I was at the Lincoln dealer getting a set of leftover/obsolete floor mats for the car, and one of the parts counter guys remarked that if the car was within a certain age/miles, they had a customer satisfaction program to replace the flaking wood panels with the later faux wood panels like our two 1987 models had. Alas, our car had too many miles to be eligible for the satisfaction program and the panels were far too expensive at retail to bother with replacing them at our cost. I also fully agree with you about the “specialness” of these cars. I used to really admire the flush-fitted rear window with the painted molding surrounding the perimeter of the glass. This was but one detail among many that made this car a cut above it’s other fox body siblings.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Wait a minute… “lack of cabin noise” and a BMW diesel? In the same car? Product was readily available in the mid-’80s and I think you must have been partaking.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    God, peering into that stygian, snake infested engine bay with its gelded lump of a deadweight V-8 makes me celebrate modern auto technology, CAFE warts and all.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      CAFE is why we have 300+hp engines that can get 30mpg in the real world.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        CAFE is also why we can no longer have tall roofs and big windows.

        Guess which result I care about.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Bullsh!t. The ’84 Audi 5000s had a nice low beltline, HUGE windows, lots of space, a useful trunk opening, and a lower drag coefficient than almost any sedan on the market today.

          Cars are shaped the way they are today for three reasons:

          1. Because the “coupe” style with gangsta bunker windows and chopped roof is in style (Thanks Chrysler, with a runner up award to Mercedes).

          2. It is a cheap way to get that all important “five star” side impact safety award when more of the side of the car is steel than glass.

          3. Because idiots in styling clinics feel “safer” when they are sitting in a bathtub with the beltline at ear level.

          I put most of the blame on fashion – high beltlines and tiny windows are the tailfins of today.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            …Which means that the styling Renaissance that was the early-to-mid-’60s is nigh! Rejoice!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Which from a practical standpoint had little do to with the actual driveability of the car. Less window makes the car more difficult, if not more dangerous, to drive and park.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            You may be right krhodes, but it’s so much more comforting to blame all my problems on the government and CAFE!

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Why is every formerly tall and squarish CUV reappearing after every refresh with a lowered hatch height from progressively dropping the roof immediately after the B pillar (where driver’s heads still need to be, dammit)? And with an increasingly raked windshield as well?

            Is that not for aero and resultant mpg gains? What force is acting upon a manufacturer already as fuel efficient as Honda to cause a reduction in the rear internal volume of a model whose buyers clearly prize utility over style if not CAFE?

            The HR-V is my case in point for a new vehicle afflicted by CAFE from the outset and my greatest personal disappointment of the last few years.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            It’s styling. Why does no one want a minivan anymore? Why isn’t the back of my BMW wagon as square as an old Volvo? Why do the BMW X4 and X6 exist at all? Nobody wants to drive boxes anymore, other than a few Internet Forum wingnuts.

            The X4 gets identical highway mileage (28mpg) to the same-engined X3, FWIW. City is 1mpg worse, I assume the X4 is heavier.

            Neither are even close to a same engine AWD 328i wagon, (34mpg) which is both much lighter and has much less frontal area. And actually, for a really interesting comparison, the 3GT hatch gets identical mileage to the wagon, despite being “sleeker” to the eye. Which is also identical to the 328i AWD sedan, and the 428i AWD Gran Coupe (sleeker still). Four very different body styles, identical highway mileage, which is where aero comes into play. Identical city mileage too for all four in 2.0T AWD trim.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Your reference points are all German enthusiasts vehicles about which I know nothing.

            But I doubt optimizing any of them for fuel economy is the priority that it is in a 300K+ annual-sales CUV nor does it need to be at their US sales volumes.

            They’re not the same CAFE liability as serious sellers and therefore suspect as evidence for the presence or absence of CAFE influence.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            That is the platform that BMW sells about 1.5M of globally every year, and something like 300K annually in the US. If you don’t think they take fuel economy optimization VERY seriously then I don’t know what to tell you. If anything they need to be far more serious about it than Honda, because they don’t have a zillion really fuel efficient little cars to average things out over. Every MPG counts when you are close to the targets. The HR-V is styled the way it is because that is what currently sells, not because it eeks out a tiny fraction of an mpg more being shaped that way. Look at how hot the ridiculous Range Rover Evoque is these days!

            This BMW range makes a nice comparison because it is about the only one left with a wide variety of body styles on the same platform with the same engine and drivetrain. The only real difference is the back half of the body. And they all do the same on the test, so changing that is causing something less than 1mpg difference.

          • 0 avatar
            Grant404

            @krhodes1 – “Why does no one want a minivan anymore?” No one? Your presumably rhetorical question is based on a faulty premise. Here in middle class suburbia, minivans are at least as numerous as SUVs, CUVs, or whatever the trendy abbreviation for station wagons is this week. I work for a major school district in this area and every day see the parent parking lots of the schools and sports facilities very well represented with minivans, and I’m talking high-dollar, well-optioned models. A lot of people with children (and even some without) seem to realize that for the money, it’s hard to beat the room, ride quality, versatility, and content of a minivan. I’ve had one in my stable since the mid ’90s (now on my third), and even though my kids are grown and I don’t use it as an everyday vehicle, it sure comes in handy for special purposes as a comfortable, luxurious people hauler, occasional tow duty, or for trips to the home improvement store.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @Grant404

            No matter how many minivans you see in your neighborhood, the relative sales figures of CUV/SUVs vs. minivans say you are dead wrong. Where I am, no woman of soccer mom age will be caught dead in one. Almost without exception they are driven by aged grandparents, or Somalian immigrants. And the occasional practical Dad type ( I have two friends like this, the wives drive CUVs). The Mom-mobile of choice is a 3-row CUV/SUV, practicality be darned.

            The sales figures say my neighborhood is a lot more typical than yours.

            Personally, I love minivans. They are the answer to the question if you need to haul around a bunch of people and/or stuff around efficiently. But then again, my daily driver is a proper station wagon. With a stickshift no less.

          • 0 avatar
            Lack Thereof

            I call bullshit on your calling of bullshit, at least with regards to aerodynamic drag. You’re right about stupidly high beltlines being a styling choice, and all the other points.

            The 1984 Audi 5000 had a coefficient of drag that was .30

            The 2016 Audi S4, which is about the same size as the old 5000, has a coefficient of drag of .23

  • avatar
    Midway1095

    I don’t think the much-maligned Versailles was a Fox at all. It was definitely a Granada / Monarch, which traced their roots (not too deeply) to the Maverick / Comet and the Falcon before that, I do believe.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      You are correct, Midway1095.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      Yes, that should read “elbowing the /Falcon/-based Lincoln Versailles aside”.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Youre 100% correct. I came here to say this but decided to read and see if someone beat me to it.

      That said, I dont like this Conti. Id rather have a Mercury Zephyr with an Inline 6. Another Z-7 like my 78 would be the shitz.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      The Versailles’ was a tarted up Grenadea yeah. But its saving grace was its factory Ford 9 inch rear end and rear disc brakes. They were highly sought after by hot rodders in junkyard for many years because of that.

    • 0 avatar
      autojim

      You are correct, sir. The Versailles can trace its lineage back to the 1960 Falcon, along with:

      – ’62-’65 Fairlane (larger version of same basic platform design – common enough that the Falcon, Fairlane, Mustang, & Comet shared a shop manual in ’65)
      – ’60-’65 Comet
      – ’64-1/2-’73 Mustang
      – ’71-’77 Maverick & Comet
      – ’75-’80 Granada & Monarch
      – ’62-’91(!) Argentinian Falcon
      – ’60-’72 Australian Falcon

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    130 hp was not bad? Even the Olds 307 made 10 more at 140 and Chevy’s 305 made 150 both with lowly carburetors. Considering this mill had fuel injection that was a very low power rating for 5 liters of V8. The sad part was they had a 175 HP HO 302 in the Mustang and should have used some of it’s better breathing components in this car to make it stand out.
    Was never a fan of these other than the fact they had 4 wheel disk brakes. It was still a cheap tinny Fairmont underneath with poor quality control. I remember as a 13 year old kid looking these cars over and finding numerous sample defects on each including misfitted carpets, misaligned dash panels, exterior trim that didn’t line up, bad orange peel in the paint and worse a car with a paint drip on the rear lower quarter door.
    Apparently consumers didn’t care for them either as I never saw very many driving around and usually see 2-3 same era Sevilles to one of these.
    With that said I do miss the sound and feel of the smooth quiet V8 engines in these types of cars, the neat two-tone paint treatment, the smooth quiet rides and the beautiful velour colored interiors of this era of automobile. It gets so sickening looking at one boring black or gray interior after another that all look like they were penned by the same designer on today’s cars and SUV’s. And the cloth material is disgusting and super hard to clean and keep clean and feels akin to sandpaper. Lowest supply bidder is the name of the game today. The money all goes into the drive train and tech and safety nowadays.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      The poor QC sample you must have witnessed was probably built on a Friday night shift before Jobbie Nooner or summer shutdown.

      Even the rare junk yard Continental’s I have scoured for parts have evidence of great build quality. The three examples I have had recent personal interaction with were pristine. All were at the Woodward dream cruise.

      Hand application two tone in a manufacturing plant is no joke.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      You may have seen some with QC problems, but the Fox Conti was better than the Imperial or Seville. These may have been Fox bodies underneath, but it was actually a decent piece of badge engineering. No visible body panels were shared with Ford/Mercury siblings and it was built in Wixom, FoMoCo’s highest quality factory at the time. Up until the end, that plant had some of Ford’s best employees.

      Just talking about this car makes me miss Contis and Wixom.

    • 0 avatar
      Lack Thereof

      The fuel-injected 302 was still much nicer to drive than the carb’d options from GM et al, or the carb’d version in the mustang. From cold weather drivablity to the lack of any low-RPM stumble, it was light years ahead, and you’d forgive the lack of top end power. Good throttle response will always trump dyno numbers.

      One thing holding Ford back here, was that they took forever to computerize timing curves, and were using vacuum & centrifugal advances when GM had already moved those jobs to their ECUs (at least on many models). This meant Ford had less precision, and thus had to play it extra conservative with their timing specs, which I’m sure cost them at least 10 hp.

      I think by ’83 they’d eliminated the centrifugal advance, but still had a vacuum advance on the distributor for anti-knock under heavy throttle.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I have seen just two of these in person in my life. One was this two-tone arrangement, and the other was all dark blue IIRC. Both times I saw them, I can recall thinking “Oh that must be a Versailles.” But no, these are much better looking than the Versailles.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Surprised you didn’t photograph the driver’s side thermometer/rearview mirror, Murilee. :-)

  • avatar
    STS_Endeavour

    I grew up in the back seat of a ’74 and ’76 Mark IV, and later an ’88 TC Cartier; I remember this car well in the many brochures sent to our home. I was always a fan of what my pop loved and drove, and while I was enthusiastic about this era Continental, I just was never really a solid fan. Always something about the back. Not ugly, but not pretty. Mark VII on the other hand was very pretty.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    Has TTAC fandom gotten so young and foolish, it can no longer objectively discuss a 1983 Continental? I couldn’t believe the stupid comments I was subjected to.

    First off, this might not be a modern looking car, but it was definitely a modern car in many senses of the term, especially in 1983. Don’t be fooled by its styling, this car was excellent.

    It was a high quality rear drive, V8 powered, computer designed American luxury car. It delivered a silent ride with slight road feel to the driver. Its body on frame design isolated the cabin from the outside world. Its electronic dash was state of the art. It might be out of style in today’s world, but its quality and merits should no be overlooked by any auto expert.

    When Ford put the Continental upon the Fox platform, they made the car a much better, more modern machine. It became a roomy small car with better handling and better quality. The 302 was about as good as you could get, and really not a bad engine even today.

    The quality of the body work and the paint was admirable. The interior might be out of fashion now, but it was very good. We laugh at faux plastic wood today, but our fashion sense today will be laughed at in 30 years too.

    The Continental was no reason anyone decided to stop buying American brand cars. It might look like an American stereotype to younger eyes, but you know about stereotypes – they are for foolish people to believe.

    Good car. Sad to see it here.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      Welcome back, VanillaDude.

      Good points.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “a 1983 Continental”

      …was at the tail-end of a tech and culture utterly irrelevant to anyone and anything today. The people it was designed for are now mostly dead. Whaddaya want?

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        RideHeight,
        You’re showing your lack of automotive appreciation or general lack of anything historical.

        This was what bridged the gap from classic Detroit styling to the canned, economy box derived styling. This vehicle also represented everything that enthusiasts pine about Lincoln. You will most certainly miss the carryover DNA from this to the next two generations of the Continental.

        You must lead a very boring life, RideHeight.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          If I had to buy a new car today this Conti ain’t available. End of pertinence to me and most other people, if 99.999% can be conveyed merely by “most”.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            Your penance for the here and now is supremely annoying.

            Edit: penchant. Argh my grammar blows.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            What’ll have no relevance to the 99.99999% is your ugly tall CUV when you go to sell it in 5 years. Cars like this stand the test of time and fond memory. I’m pretty positive your jacked up Camry or whatever you drive won’t.

      • 0 avatar
        VanillaDude

        Obviously, understanding historical relevance requires more than your mental abilities, prejudices and capabilities allows. Respect and open mindedness will get you farther than the bigotries you revealed to us in this post.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “Respect and open mindedness will get you farther than the bigotries you revealed to us in this post.”

          Considering your comment history here over the years, this statement is a bit rich.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Welcome back. You were missed.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “The Continental was no reason anyone decided to stop buying American brand cars.”

      You’re right, you can’t blame this car. You can blame the demographic for this car beginning to age and die off, and you can also blame changing tastes. A few years later, Lexus modeled the LS on the Mercedes S Class, not Cadillacs or Lincolns. Why? Because the market had changed.

      And you can definitely blame Cadillac and Lincoln for not responding to that.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Lincoln was selling over 100K Town Cars a year back then. They were too busy counting that money and turning the Ranger into the Explorer. Too bad they didn’t try and stretch out the FN10 Mark VIII and make a more premium four door sedan. I don’t know if they would have gotten the materials right back then though.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Lol, they would NOT have gotten the interior materials right (or exterior quality, frankly). It would have been like 80% carryover from the FWD Conti, and 20% Sable bits.

          Ford simply could not do interiors (save – partially – upper trim TC from 95-97) in the 1990’s.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Mark VIII interior, while comfortable, has not aged well. The exterior, on the other hand, has aged quite well.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I do like the exterior (especially before the refresh), except for the tiny chrome turbine wheels they put on many of them.

            http://www.lincolnsofdistinction.org/rides/mark_viii98_lscstock/images/08.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The bolt pattern and offset for the FN10 and MN12 is a PITA. Can’t just swap Mustang rims like Crown Vic owners do. That being said, there are some decent aftermarket wheels out there.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That’s a shame, and I didn’t know that. I was thinking the Mark would look nice with some 96 Cartier alloys or 97 chromed Signatures on it.

            http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/3/2548/2261/31368630001_large.jpg

            These – were only avail in 97, but I’m not sure under what conditions. Maybe only with the Touring suspension option.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Agreed, bball, no way they’d have just stopped making Town Cars, but the effort to begin retooling the lineup to start making more competitive, forward-thinking cars should have begun around the time this Continental came out.

          It was almost 15 years until Lincoln brought out something that would conceivably compete with Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, et al (and given that it was the LS, I use “compete” pretty loosely). The state the brand was in a couple of years back is the end result of that failure – they’re just now starting to claw their way back.

        • 0 avatar
          Lack Thereof

          “Lincoln was selling over 100K Town Cars a year back then. They were too busy counting that money and turning the Ranger into the Explorer.”

          The Town Cars were barely enough to offset the losses of Ford’s other divisions. Ford was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy all through the early 80’s, and had to use the existing Fox platform to underpin as many cars as possible, because they simply didn’t have the money to develop more variants.

          Pretty much all of Ford’s development money was sunk into the Taurus program at that point in time. Lew Veraldi, the VP in charge of that program, used to tell the people working on it “We have been trusted with the last 3 billion dollars Ford Motor Company has. We better make a good car.”

          And then even though the Taurus came in $200 million under budget on development, sold like crazy, and “saved Ford,” Veraldi got absolutely reamed for it. They launched three months late, and went $200 over the cost target, both unforgivable sins. He was forced to decontent that $200 back out of the car in the ’92 refresh, before being shown the door.

          Ford in a nutshell.

      • 0 avatar

        Agree.

        Looking back, yes…Toyota designed the Lexus LS400 like an S-class. But in the details, it was anything but an S-class clone. It was a vision of what Cadillac or Lincoln should have been building.

        Besides the initial low pricing, high quality and good dealer experience, that is the real secret to the first Lexus’ enormous appeal.

        By 1990, plenty of successful Americans still wanted a big, powerful American car with road-owning presence, a soft ride, nice gadgets and easier to drive than the German stuff. Such cars just happened to be made in Japan. That the American car makers were too dumb to build this was their fault.

        Nonetheless, Tresmonos is right that this is a “bridge” car. If the ’17 Continental has some of its magic, Lincoln is on the right track to redemption.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          We’ll see about the new Continental. It’ll be a definite improvement over the MKS, and will sell on looks, but will it be a game changer for the brand? I would love to say it will be, but given the product specs I’m seeing, I doubt it.

          The MKX is probably a more important product for them right now, given the CUV mania.

    • 0 avatar
      kmars2009

      Agreed Vanilladude!

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      It is a Fox so it is unibody, not body on frame.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      My Mother’s old ’83 528e was superior in every way. From build quality to rust resistance, efficiency, to how it drove in the reality of what New England roads are like. And despite the past 15 years in Maine, it is still on the road, with something over 300K on it. And unlike this disco-era throwback, it still looks like something you would want to be seen in in 2015.

      Cheap leather, chrome, and plastic glitz with a two-tone paint job ladled on top of what was fundamentally a cheap mid-size car by the pound does not a luxury car make. Though I am sure the profit margins were epic.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        I wouldn’t be caught dead in that hideous nazi sled.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          “I wouldn’t be caught dead in that hideous nazi sled.”

          Well, let me go all VanillaDude on *that* statement.

          That 528 was one of the most refined and beautiful sedan designs of all time. I can easily conjure back the lust, jealousy and class hatred it and the Saab 900 made me feel back then.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            Different strokes for different folks. I loved the Saab 900. I still do. BMW styling just never struck a chord with me. But I do agree that era was the epitome of German auto design. It was unique which is why it stole the show from the big 3. A transitional design couldn’t trump something that trended well and was so fresh.

            But I would probably make horrible financial mistakes if a Mark III continental presented itself rust free and in good condition on craigslist.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      It’s just a shame the Fox Continental is stodgier looking and hasn’t aged as well as the Mark VII, and never got an LSC-type package.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I agree but the Conti just wasn’t viewed as a performance vehicle at that time.

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          True – it would’ve been interesting to see if a sleeker, more involved Conti would’ve sold and kept a few buyers from swinging towards imports, or if the Lincoln-Mercury dealers would’ve bungled it the way they did with the Merkur.

          • 0 avatar
            geozinger

            I think the Merkur *is* the reason why the Connie sedan never got a sporty makeover.

            And, you’re correct. Most likely they would have screwed that up. Grand Marquis and Town Car profits were like candy to little children. They wanted more but didn’t want to do what it took from a long-term planning view point.

    • 0 avatar

      The Dude returns (and abides).

    • 0 avatar
      roger628

      Except this car wasn’t BOF, it was a unibody, like all Foxes.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I’d rather have a Seville, the 4100 is easily replaced with an Olds V8. Probably a Chevy one too if anyone makes adapters.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    No comments about the negative DLO? Look how much door is ahead of the greenhouse!

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Electric powered smokers window! Once that baby went down, a clutch mechanism allowed the main window to open up to a world not dominated by your fine, hand rolled cigar.

      Edit: I didn’t even realize 1984 stretched the cab to include the above feature. I didn’t even fully appreciate my MY of car :(

      A true smoker’s delight – diesel and cabin ventilation.

    • 0 avatar
      VanillaDude

      Now you are just embarrassing yourself. It’s like watching second graders laughing at 12 string guitar and pointing out that it has too many strings.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Eh, he was more likely pointing out the differentiation between model years. The slanted fascia and further sloped windscreen did make it pop.

        The design change couldn’t have been cheap. That’s a lot of sheet metal to manipulate for a Mid Cycle Action back then.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I loves me a Foxy Conti.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    The Seville was better.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Except for the HT 4100 the Seville was a more advanced better riding and handling car (especially with the touring suspension) with more interior space. Some many not like the more chopped off trunk appearance however. Both had similar quality control engines aside.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    On our Xmas ’84 vacation to the East Coast family relations, my father was fortunate to acquire a Continental at the rental counter. The air suspension was magical: coupled with the excellent engine and transmission combo, it made snowy back road passes on the way to Bethlehem a non-event. My father commented how it was rated for far less power than his old monster Mercury wagon, yet was able to deliver it with greater consistency and tractability than the old cruiser.

    After a week’s use, we returned it and flew back to the islands. Shortly after our return, my father became increasingly dissatisfied with his 4000 series Audi, swapping keys with mom so he could run errands in her Zephyr wagon.

    Today’s kids think they’re being cool by criticizing how long the Fox chassis was used within Ford; what they fail to realize is just how good it was to span 4 decades and not be a drag on the company’s fortunes.

  • avatar
    55_wrench

    My late father-in-law was an insurance executive who was given one as a retirement gift. I never drove it, but was impressed by the interior leather and the ride quality.

    Sitting in the back seat I did notice that the body / interior sight lines were not centered..as if something was 3/8″-1/2″ off during the assembly, and It looked like the front bench seat was mounted off-center.

    It was black and in those years, (he also had an ’84 Mustang convertible in black), it seemed Ford had a hard time getting black paint to be..just really black. Park it next to a black Benz and the difference would jump out at you.

    Other than that, it was a wonderful car .

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    3700 pounds or so…slip in a $4500 Blueprint 408 stroker with a built trans and you’d have a pretty hot / cool ride.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      Modernizing 70s and 80s iron is relatively easy to do, and the benefits of increased power and decreased fuel consumption are a long term win-win.

      For those who’d rather rebuild what’s in there, I can’t even count how many new design cylinder heads are available for the 5.0, and a large percentage of those are CARB-approved so you know they’ll burn clean. Dial them back from maximum power and run an extra low restriction muffler or 2, and you’ll keep that wonderfully smooth, quiet ride with a much healthier shove when you mash the loud pedal.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    This is a ’83. The ’84 began the new front end. My Mom had a ’85 Valentino edition with a similar black top…but it was over the light gold. This car had attitude. It had the air suspension, and was quite cushy. Personally, I thought the Imperial looked better of the 3 bustle backs, with it’s hidden headlights. Unfortunately, when my parents went to buy a new car that year, the Imperial was no longer made. They considered a Fifth Avenue, but the Continental was so striking.
    I’m glad they picked the Continental. We looked like bitches driving it. Plus, how could you not love the Continental hump?
    Plus…nothing sweeter than having the guy who bullied you in HS, forced to pump you gas at Sunoco in the Continental. His jaw dropped.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I never cared for these, but I did love the Mark VII. I’d love to find an LSC in dark blue or black, maybe the emerald green that I think was final year only. Slightly inelegant looking , but I do love the thermometer in the base of the drivers mirror

    I thought the 90’s were the peak of “gold package”. You could find nearly anything on any dealers lot sporting a gold package. Toyota dealers seemed especially capable on that one.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Well, “gold package” and “Miami Centennial Presidential Congress Town Sedan” were largely dealer/aftermarket added. A factory spec brougham package, which is what this is, is a bit more serious. Toyota vehicles never had such a trim from factory like the Town Car and Fleetwood.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        Ah, these are factory gold emblems on the Conti, gotcha. I knew the 90’s stuff was aftermarket , especially the AstroTurf faux cabriolet roof with snaps on any Camry.

        From tresmonos words, these cars were well considered and might have been the best built 80’s Fords. Plebeian Fox underpinnings be damned.

        • 0 avatar

          My dad had a Fox ’85 Marquis Brougham for a few years as a company car. It was OK. Way better than what GM or Chrysler turned out at the time. The ’89 Maxima that replaced though…that was in a whole different league!

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          Narry a day goes by when I don’t see an 80 plus year old driver in there Camry or Avalon with those horrendous tops installed. They look so comical!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Up here in Big 3 land, I see those landau tops on MKZs/MKSs, XTSs/CTSs, and 300s on a daily basis.

            http://blog.consumerguide.com/landau-madness-the-best-of-after-market-vinyl-tops/

            NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The most egregious landau of those is the current MKZ. It’s simply not the right shape for landau, and also means you must go without the premium roof option, which is very “anti-brougham” in nature.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            That “One-Quarter Carriage Roof Package” on the 300 looks almost okay.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Agree on the 300. That roof is square enough that it works on it. Doesn’t even look -that- aftermarket.

            Clicking that article – I’m realizing quite a lot of those Montegos got a carriage roof.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    The Taurus based Continental that followed was terrible, by comparison. They simply lost their way stylistically.

  • avatar
    pbr

    Fox platform, you say? There’s a chump / LeMons car in there just waiting to be set free.

  • avatar
    jcaesar

    I liked the “bustle back” style of the Continental, Seville and Imperial at the time. They were going for a retro 30’s look. I bought an ’81 Imperial used and it was a sharp car. Cars back then definitely had more character!

    • 0 avatar
      kmars2009

      OMG!! I always wanted one…actually I prefer the ’83 model year, because they only made 1,427…but I’d honestly take any. I was 15 when they came out. I begged my parents to buy one, but at that point they turned Lincoln, after having an ’80 Cordoba.
      I promised myself I would one day own one…however, they are rare and many had EFI issues. Anyway, I am envious you had one.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    This was half written most of the day, finally finished it. Enjoy.

    youtube.com/watch?v=WRPbsW5j8bo

    LAST CALL

    Rick sat on the bar stool and cocked his head back while chugging the rest of the Iron City beer and slamming the pint glass on the bar. Feeling loose he started to shimmer to the loud music blasting around him in the dive bar. The alcohol was having its intended effects as a slight numbness began to set in. Looking to his right was a drunken girl in black jeans and a coat with leopard skin print pointing and yelling at a flat screen TV on the wall. Looking left he saw his brother Larry with his armed wrapped around a woman’s waist, sort of dancing with her. Thin, short black hair, with pale white skin and emerald green eyes, quite fetching he thought. A second glace he realized it was Larry’s girlfriend Cindy and shook his head. His head felt as if it was floating on its own as he watched Cindy open her velvet purse and produced a little white tablet to swallow. She handed a second tablet to Larry who slammed his palm to his mouth and swallowed with a gulp of beer. Rick was startled and stood up when he felt Tiffany fall on him.

    “Ohhhh sorry baby” she said picking herself back up “Can we go outside for a smoke?” .
    “Nah, lets get going” he replied while trying to maintain his balance. He turned and motioned to his brother.
    “Larry, lets bounce” Rick said when Cindy came to him and grabbed on his unzipped jacket.
    “My younger sister goes to Duquesne and she texted me about a party going on right now” Cindy said excitedly “Lets go!”.
    “Eh” Rick hesitated “Alright, but we’ve got to get moving”.

    The couples exited the dive bar onto East Carson Street as chilly October wind cut right through them. Tiffany lit a menthol cigarette with a neon Bic as Rick grabbed onto her and mumbled something about crossing the street. The pair led by slowly walking across the street as traffic was forced to stop on both sides and expletives were yelled by annoyed drivers. Larry seemed to walk a bit better than Rick, clutching Cindy by his side and feeling a new euphoria by her touch. Reaching the other side Rick broke away from Tiffany and passed two Civics until he reached his venerable but ancient Lincoln Continental. Standing under a spotlight, Rick turned the key left to unlock the two tone driver’s door and pulled it open. Reaching in to click the electronic lock switch so his brother and the girls could get in, he nodded to his brother as he heard the familiar click of the doors unlocking. Larry and the girls pulled open their passenger doors and together they simultaneously plopped into the plush but aged leather seats. The group slammed their doors shut to avoid the chilly air as Rick pulled a cigarette pack from his shirt pocket.

    “This is where you want to smoke Tiff, not out in that air” Rick said smugly.
    “Oh go f*ck yourself” she said laughing hard.
    “How drunk are you?” Larry asked as Rick popped in the car’s cigarette lighter.
    “I’m good” Rick replied “Besides you’re way drunker than me, I saw you stumbling”.
    Larry clutched his hand into a fist and then let one finger out at a time counting “Naw, just one, two, three, four; wait, five!” he exclaimed.
    Rick lit a Marlboro and felt its smooth smoke fill his lungs and then exhale through his nose. Handed the car’s lighter back to the girls with a nod.
    “We don’t need it thanks” Cindy said as Rick took it back and placed it in its holder. Clicking down the power window, Rick took a moment to enjoy the cigarette and then flicked the butt out of the window.
    “So where are we going?” Rick asked as he clicked his seat belt and slipped the key into the ignition.
    “Duquesne” Cindy said in a demanding tone.

    Rick turned the key and shifted the car into reverse while ignoring the loud “thunk” the car gave them. He felt loose, but was able to straighten out and while looking down at the Pac Man dash depressed the accelerator quickly in a jack rabbit start. The old worn tires were laid on the parking lot asphalt as the car leaped forward and turned right onto East Carson Street as its bumpers clipped one of the parked Civics as it went. Tiffany was thrown into her side’s door panel and Cindy on top of her as the car drove.

    “Whoaaa bro” Larry said as the car jerked onto the main road “I think you hit something”.
    “Ah f*** ’em” was Rick’s reply “Put your seat belts on”.
    “Already got it bro” Larry said as he held the belt out and looked at Rick with glassy eyes.
    “You f***ing as*hole” Tiffany yelled from the back seat. The car drove slowly in traffic to the 10th Street intersection as Rick plotted a mental course to their destination.
    “I think we need to turn here” Rick muttered to himself as the girls complained about the lack of heat.
    “Does the heat even work in this piece of s***?” Tiffany asked.
    “I don’t feel so good” Cindy said aloud in a low tone.

    Rick reached down and pulled on the HVAC control to blast heat, while waiting for the light to change. His right turn signal blinked fast indicating the bulb had burned out, but he felt his fingers squeeze the hardened leather steering wheel as the car turned right onto 10th street. The upcoming stop light at Muriel Street was green, so Rick gunned the Continental forcing seven of its eight working cylinders to really come to life. The digital dashboard rose from ten to twenty five and kept going as the anemic V8 attempted to showcase it’s one hundred thirty horsepower. Rick felt a slight thump as the car formally crossed over onto the 10th Street Bridge and the city skyline came closer toward them. The car’s speed kept increasing as they crossed the near empty bridge and saw a welcome green light at Second Avenue. Rick leaned back in is comfortable seat and left one hand on the wheel at twelve o’clock. Larry suddenly jumped out of his seat and attempted to grab the steering wheel jerking the car to the left as they came off the bridge headed toward the concrete pylon next to the Armstrong Tunnels. Rick slammed on the breaks and turned the wheel right as they headed into the inbound tunnel.

    “What the f*** Larry” Rick yelled.
    “You were about to hit that monster!” he cried out in fear. Now at thirty five surrounded by the Art Deco tiling of the tunnel, Rick yelled out to the girls
    “What did you give him Cindy?”.
    “X” Cindy replied.
    “Christ on a bike, you gave my brother ecstasy?” he said with his shaking hands holding the wheel.
    “Yeah, sometimes he freaks out” she replied in a nonchalant manner.
    “Alright, alright, alright” he said in an agreeable tone while taking deep breaths.
    “Where can I park?” he said as the car exited the tunnel and he stopped it waiting for a green light onto Fifth Avenue. “What about that lot?” he said as he pointed to the parking lot directly in front of them.
    “No, no, that’s Fisher Hall you’ll get towed.” Cindy said “But there’s an employee parking lot on the other side below it. I parked there all the time after I graduated”. Rick nodded ok and the Foxy Continental made a left on to Fifth Avenue and a quick right onto Boyd.
    “Now where?”
    “Hurry up and turn here” Cindy said leaning forward and pointing at Watson Street. The Continental slowly rolled down this alley and pulled into a near empty lot on the right side. Rick shifted the car into park and got out and around the front of the car to open his brother’s door.
    “You ok Larry” Rick said leaning into the car and holding Larry’s face to his.
    “Yeah I’ll be alright, I just keep seeing things” Larry muttered softly. Rick looked up at the girls standing next to their respective sides of the car.
    “I’d better take him home” Rick said in a suggestive tone
    “No f***king way” Tiffany said.
    “Let’s go the dorm isn’t far from here” Cindy chimed in. Rick unbuckled his brother and pulled him out of the car. His drunken stupor seemed to dissipate but walking in a straight line was still challenging. Placing Larry’s arm around him, he guided them away from the car and down the other side of Watson Street. He noted the sign above where he parked “DUQUESNE PHYSICAL PLANT PARKING ONLY. ALL VIOLATORS WILL BE TOWED”.
    “You sure the car will be ok here” he yelled out to the girls in front of them.
    “You’ll be fine” Tiffany replied as she lit another cigarette.

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      I’m on the road right now, thanks for taking me “home”. And it’s true, these and their ilk ( Seville/Eldorado, etc.), lived multiple lives in the rust belt . Retirement presents the mid level supervisors at the mills gave themselves or the retirees bought as a last rides, traded or sold to the next person who drove it until the suspension sagged too much or miles got too much. Last seen parked outside some undesirables house in the Hill District or McKeesport, sitting on its rusted out arches, because the airbags were long gone. I remember them a little being new, but mostly in their last stage. I had an 84 Eldorado and the 4100 V8 was no match for 19 year old me. But I always wanted the Mark VII instead. Closest I got was a 95 V8 Cougar.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        You’re welcome. I always wanted a Mark VII LSC too, and in 2000 I came close but the $3K was a bridge too far for my finances at the time. Being 19 and a part time employee did not equal cool car.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        The 1987-92 Mark LSC coupes were far better executed than these earlier Fox sedans with far more power underhood, better styling IMO, sportier interior and superior handling.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      You capture the pain of pointless drunkenness really well.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Thanks, I’ve had some experience with it. When I get to 25 I’m going to rewrite them all. My attention to detail in this one isn’t as fine as I would like (I rushed portions because my writing flow wasn’t as strong today).

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    It looks like nothing’s been taken from it except the wheels and tires. I would imagine it will stay almost like that until it’s taken to the crusher.

  • avatar
    scottcom36

    Imagine fitting that dash into another Fox body, like a Mustang. High class!

  • avatar
    wantahertzdonut

    My 2003 IS300 has a tape deck. It would auto reverse like this Lincoln, except like the factory 6disc CD changer, it is also broken.

    I think the only people that like cassettes (tapes) are kids who are too young to have experienced the “water ear” playback quality and haven’t realized how much it sucks to rewi d or fast-forward. I’ve seen a few new bands releasing their music on tapes. They’ll learn.

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