By on May 2, 2017

1979 Lincoln Continental Bill Blass Edition, Image: © Forest Casey

It’s difficult to imagine this happening today: Picture a major domestic automaker announcing the last hurrah of its largest, most opulent personal luxury car with the usual array of special edition models. But instead of letting its own designers handle the “collectible” trim-and-paint kits, it employed a fleet of famous, mostly European fashion houses to send off their last-generation model in style.

From 1976 until the early 1990s, Lincoln did exactly this for its flagship Continental coupes.

Lincoln Continental exhibit at the Forney Museum of Transportation, Image: © 2014 Forest Casey

Cartier, Givenchy, Emilio Pucci were among those tapped by Ford to work their magic on the Continental, but there was one American designer hired to re-fashion the Mark V: WWII-vet and all-around badass, Bill Blass.

For 1979, the New York-based Blass chose a nautical theme, with two-tone paint, a contrasting gold pinstripe, and a choice of roof configurations including a “carriage top” (pictured here), which gave the massive coupe a cabriolet look. According to the brochure, the styling was meant to resemble “an all-American yachting party on the Fourth of July.” Because of the labor-intensive paint job and remodeled roof, the Bill Blass accessories added $2,744 to the standard cost of a Continental, more than any of the other designer editions from that model year.

1979 Lincoln Continental Mark V Bill Blass Carriage Top, Image: © Forest Casey

The Bill Blass-badged Continentals were assembled at the end of the Mark V’s model run, from June 4 to 8, 1979. In many ways, they represent the height of 1970s excess, where luxury cars were as long as mobile homes and efficiency was an afterthought. There’s a reason the 1979 Mark V’s headline innovation was a digital gauge that estimated when you would run out of fuel. After this, the Mark VI was announced with its 14 in. shorter length and acceptable gas mileage (17 city/24 highway miles per gallon). Though fuel economy improved, the core Continental audience was not impressed, and sales slipped roughly 50 percent between 1979 and 1980.

1979 Lincoln Continental Bill Blass Edition Front Fender, Image: © Forest Casey

It’s tempting to view the Mark V as an artifact from another time. Considering the complexities involved in modern brand associations, I’m not certain the Continental Designer Edition would be possible today. Would competing high-end luxury houses dare to go head-to-head with one another for sales? Would a high-end European designer want to associate their brand with an American automaker today?

For its part, FCA has been eager to incorporate other brands in its vehicles, from the John Varvatos-styled 300C in 2014 to the Fiat 500 Gucci Edition in 2013. Those associations make sense to some degree, but it’s questionable whether stereotypically American brands like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger would be a good fit to style a top-end Cadillac or Lincoln. Hilfiger might still be considered too downmarket; Lauren, with his museum-quality collection of European classics, is likely too upmarket to be interested.

As modern automakers, Cadillac and Lincoln are focused on showing the public they can deliver a luxurious experience without the need of external association. There probably won’t be a top-of-the-line Cadillac CT6 by Fleetwood or a 2018 Lincoln Continental by Carrozzeria Ghia. Chances are good that Lincoln won’t release a new Bill Blass Edition Continental, as good as that would look.

2017 Lincoln Continental by Bill Blass

The brand partnerships that make the most sense are local. An association between Lincoln and Shinola would be logical, though upholstering a Navigator interior with Shinola leather would likely come with considerable cost when the Detroit-boosting brand’s medium-sized bag lists for a cool $895. Shinola’s clocks would look cool in a modern Continental, and you wouldn’t need to fit a ridiculous Bentley-esque watch winder as all Shinola watches are battery-powered. Now that Cadillac is officially a New York brand, it would be interesting to see a CT6 Rag & Bone Edition or an XT5 styled by Kate Spade (or Jack Spade).

For now, all we can do is browse the auction catalogues and admire this artifact of excess: a 40-year-old faux-convertible that measures a mile long, a product of a time when all-American styling could be presented without irony — the 1979 Lincoln Continental Mark V Bill Blass Edition.

1979 Lincoln Continental Bill Blass Edition Profile, Image: © Forest Casey

All photos and 2017 Lincoln Continental Bill Blass Edition mockup by author.

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119 Comments on “Parked in Drive: 1979 Lincoln Continental Mark V Bill Blass Designer Edition...”


  • avatar
    shedkept

    I had nearly erased these cars from memory. Thanks for ruining a perfectly nice morning.

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      Agreed. This whole misplaced nostalgia of “these cars were around during my formative years, therefore they’re noteworthy” isn’t totally lost on me, but since these cars were before my time – and genuine pieces of crap – they were all mostly gone by the late 80s when I started paying attention to cars. Thankfully by then the automotive market had a lot more to choose from in a LOT more segments. AND most cars by then didn’t handle like a barge at sea. Also a plus!

      • 0 avatar
        SaulTigh

        They’re gorgeous and you’re wrong. Thank you for playing. :)

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          Ooooooo! Be still my heart! I wish I could do all of those heart emoticons right now :-) I feel like a teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert :-)

          Can you please mock up an ’18 Navigator with the Bill Blass, Pucci, Givenchy, and Cartier trims? I think I might die. THAT is what Americans need to be driving.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Try driving one in mint condition. You feel like the King of the Road. And if you drove a Mark IV during their time in production, you were treated like one.

        • 0 avatar
          pdq

          Exactly – and when you come barrelling up at 80 mph behind someone loafing along in the fast lane on the freeway, they see that aircraft carrier sized hood and move the hell out of the way.

          It’s easy to bash these cars as being inefficient and excessive as we sit here in 2017, 38 years after they were built. It would be no different than in 1979 bashing cars built in 1941. It’s not a fair comparison.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        I think we’re about the same age.

        I find these vehicles to be both tremendously fun project cars and interesting historical items; and would be happy to read an article about baroque 70’s luxo-barges every day.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        These are about the only thing Detroit made during the malaise era that wasn’t crap. Well, the powertrain was crap, but other things weren’t. Much better build quality than most malaise cars.

        • 0 avatar
          bikegoesbaa

          The powertrains were only crap in terms of hp/liter and fuel economy.

          They were also smooth, quite reliable for the era, and possessed loads of torque that made them such fun to drive.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            “Reliable for the era” isn’t very good when you’re talking about the early smog era.

            It would be very tempting to toss the strangled OEM 400 or 460 and replace it with a fuelie, computer-controlled 460 out of an early ’90s truck.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            That is very tempting indeed.

            I’ve owned 3 of these cars with the 460/C6/9″ combo and they are stout and easy to work on.

            I think “crappy” might be an overstatement. They’re ineficient but otherwise pretty good.

          • 0 avatar
            Jagboi

            “It would be very tempting to toss the strangled OEM 400 or 460 and replace it with a fuelie, computer-controlled 460 out of an early ’90s truck.”

            They were not great either. I had a 97 F350 and the 460 in that was rated at 235hp. Fuel pig too, best I ever did was 13 mpg – imperial gallons!

            The 460 just isn’t an efficient engine.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Your best option would likely be simply slap an aftermarket TBI on the 460, add a GearVendors overdrive, and call it a day. You could then even up the axle ratio and add a limited slip diff and still come out ahead on fuel economy.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I averaged 6 mpg in my ’97 F-350 dually, 460 V8 gasser and I loved it! Slam the gas and it’d jump, no waiting around for a turbo to spool up. 0-60 in around 10 seconds. They all came with a factory restrictor-plate, easy to remove.

            Funny it had the Gear Vendors OD and 4.10 gears. It’d do 50 MPH in reverse!

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      Actually, AMC was the first with these designer editions in the early and mid 70’s…

      https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/hcc/2012/06/Cassini-Meets-the-Matador/3712791.html

    • 0 avatar

      I worked with a guy who had the tiny version of this car. He loved it to death….

  • avatar
    ajla

    Lexus LS500 HR Giger Edition
    Buick Envision Lan Yu Edition
    Dodge Durango Kid Rock Edition
    Chevy Sonic “SEGA” Edition
    Nissan Sentra ICP Edition

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Is that the Forney Museum by chance?

    In any case…I love the Mark V.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Sick, sick stuff. More please.

      • 0 avatar

        It is indeed the Forney Museum of Transportation, back in 2014 when they were showing an exhibit on the Continental. Great eye! Interesting and diverse collection – really loved checking out Amelia Airheart’s Kissel Gold Bug. Thanks for reading.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          The museum is a lot of fun, particular for train buffs.

          • 0 avatar
            CaddyDaddy

            FreedMike. Very good catch on the Forney. I was at the Cheyenne Depot Days last year and witnessed the tear down and assembly of the 844 Challenger and the Big Boy. Next stop is a trip in the Fleetwood B. down to Forney next chilly Spring weekend!

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Yeah, those are incredible machines.

            I’m not a train buff, but that place has to be absolute nirvana for someone who is.

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    “For 1979, the New York-based Blass chose a nautical theme”…

    …Thus setting the bar for the term “land yacht”.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    What I don’t understand about these older land-yachts is why they have so much front overhang.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Pure style. Nothing else. Check this pic:

      https://icdn-3.motor1.com/images/mgl/3wM9x/s1/lincoln-mark-v.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        SaulTigh

        And that’s a 460 big block in there if I’m not mistaken.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        It doesn’t look good, though. It would have looked better if they’d kept the elongated hood, but pushed the wheels further forward, not to mention have been easier to drive.

        I guess maybe they tacked on some extra length to give it longer hood to cabin ratio versus its plebeian sisters…but it’s kind of a weird look to me.

        • 0 avatar
          Corey Lewis

          I always thought the overhangs were a platform issue, since they didn’t have very many to use. Just a giant coupe on a sedan platform.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          Kyree, Actually they were quite easy to drive. One finger on the steering wheel, aimed using the hood ornament, turn up the Quadrophonic 8-track and cruise.

          Backing up could be slightly problematic in a Mark. So I took my driving test in The Old Man’s partners 1970’s Town Car instead.

          Nothing like parallel parking one of those beasts while you are being marked. However the ‘tester’ was so impressed that he asked part way through the test to switch seats so that he could drive it for a while. Guess that guaranteed my passing, even though I was going for the more substantial ‘Chauffeur’s license’.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      So much car, so little cabin space relatively speaking.
      $2,744 in late 70’s dollars for a trim package? Wow, just wow.
      So much hood to protrude out at a tight intersection in order to see past parked cars to spot oncoming traffic.
      70’s ginormous tack on chrome bumpers were lame too.
      Vinyl roofs! Again, lame.
      Early emissions control measures absolutely f***ed up drivability and fuel efficiency too.
      To my mind the 70’s were a dark age for cars. with a few exceptions.

      • 0 avatar
        operagost

        The GOVERNMENT required huge bumpers to meet the 5 MPH crash standard.

        • 0 avatar
          bikegoesbaa

          Did the GOVERNMENT exempt the Audi 5000 from the same standard? Because its bumpers were not huge.

          I’m pretty sure the answer is “No” – leading me to conclude that 1970’s Detroit just chose to comply with the GOVERNMENT regulations in the laziest and cheapest way possible.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            nope. the 5 mph bumper standard was meant to prevent a collision of up to that speed from damaging safety equipment (lighting) and the cooling system. in 1974, the rear bumpers were also included, and as well a “corner impact” test was added. Cars which gained big battering rams after the standard was implemented had to do so because the headlights and tail lights were out in vulnerable positions. Set very far forward and/or pushed out to the corner of the car. The Audi 5000 didn’t need an enormous bumper because the way it was styled didn’t leave the headlights in such a vulnerable location. In contrast, a car like the Mercury Comet had the lights right at the corners, so it had to have a massive underbite to protect them.

            https://i2.wp.com/www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/IMG_2651.jpg

            and cut it with the “Detroit” stuff, please? The ’74 Challenger didn’t have enormous battering rams; the bumpers were bigger than ’70-’72 but the way the cars were styled left the lights less vulnerable and didn’t need huge bumpers to protect them.

            http://carswithmuscles.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/1974Challenger_4.jpeg

            are you going to blame “Detroit” for what Mazda had to do to the RX-2?

            http://www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/comment-image/166272.jpg

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          It strikes me as odd as we went from required 5 mph front bumpers to no bumpers at all. How did this happen?

          • 0 avatar
            Geekcarlover

            Regulations changed. The 1974 I-beam style bumpers were intended to protect the lights, grill, and other parts of the car’s body. In the 80’s laws changed to protect pedestrians. Also manufacturers hid the hard bits under plastic cladding for both style and aerodynamics.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            Bumper regs only apply to passenger cars. SUVs and trucks are exempt.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            we decided it was more important for cars to protect the people inside (and outside) than worry about the headlights and taillights. Those enormous chrome battering rams did nothing to protect the occupants in any collision at road speed.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            Protect the headlamps by keeping them behind their metal covers, and drive instead with your Touring Lamps on.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      And rear overhang. That last picture is screaming for another foot or two of wheelbase.

    • 0 avatar
      kefkafloyd

      The Olds Toronado, Buick Riviera, and Cadillac Eldorado (GM E-Bodies) were longitudinally mounted FWD V8 setups, so the long hoods were necessary for the engine and such.

      The Continental had no such excuse, since it was RWD. They did it because they could.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Rivera was FR layout until 1979.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_Riviera

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        Actually, the Unitized Power Package was very compact (or at least compact within the context of a 400+ cu in V8). The Toronado’s and Eldorado’s hood length and front overhand were a product of “that’s how personal luxury coupes were” rather than of the powertrain.

        There are some pretty cool images and diagrams of the UPP out there: https://ateupwithmotor.com/model-histories/oldsmobile-toronado-1966-1970/2/

        • 0 avatar
          kefkafloyd

          Ah, the UPP’s trick was all vertical. Without the accessories and such the engine really is that compact… as much as a 400+cu in. V8 can be.

          My uncle had an old Toronado and I used to help him work on it (to the extent that I could as a teenager), but he never took the engine out, and I remember the bay being completely full. But looking at cutaways of the Toronado, they really did push the firewall very far forward (thanks to the savings of FWD). So much of the length is not in the hood, but in the bumper/fascia past the hood. It really is a humongous overhang.

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            The Ate Up With Motor article hints at some interesting what ifs. What if the General had gone in the direction of using the UPP in a smaller car and with a smaller engine (an Olds V6 that may or may not have become the 60-degree V6 of the ’80s and ’90s)? It could have served them well in the ’70s. The UPP may have been subject to a Ford patent, which would have been a strike against it.

            It’d be nice if someone took advantage of the FWD/flat floor concept, but apparently the market’s thirst for consoles and for optional AWD won’t allow for that.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Even if consoles weren’t a thing, and the vehicle had no AWD option, the rib would still be there, both for torsional rigidity and because you have to route the exhaust pipe somewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Stretching the fenders and trunklid was much cheaper than redesigning the frame or the greenhouse, so that was where the extra “bigness” usually went. The giant 5-mph bumpers also added to the perceived bulk.

      • 0 avatar
        Willyam

        There it is. You had to hang a 429460 right between the wheels, and the frame specified where that would be.

        Side note: I lusted after the neighbors 1976-ish Thunderbird (same platform in the Mark IV). Dark green outside, green vinyl top, green inside, and green dash lights, I’m supposing. They were elderly, and kept it in a carport. They said $1700 would take it away when I was 16, but my father prevented such a merger, as all he saw was FOUR-HUNDRED-HOW-MANY-CUBIC-INCHES?

        He was probably right…sigh…though you could have nailed a Chevette, tugged it out of the plastic grille, and driven on home.

    • 0 avatar
      ScarecrowRepair

      Longer wheelbases make larger turning circles. These things still have to navigate city streets.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        It’s like a city bus in that regard. :-)

        I’m not being sarcastic; buses really do have short wheelbases relative to their overall length.

    • 0 avatar
      doug-g

      Long hood, short deck was the look then and I think they did it mainly with sheet metal hung on a shared frame with shared components.

    • 0 avatar
      TR4

      Overhang is in Ford’s DNA. Take a look at this:

      https://www.damninteresting.com/the-atomic-automobile/

    • 0 avatar

      Blame Iacocca. He made them put it on the Mustang and first Mark III. Caddy and others followed suit.

    • 0 avatar

      Cause it was free. I always laugh that the engine is set 3 feet behind the radiator…..

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    YES.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Very nice vehicles for their era. Well loved by the audience they were marketed to.

    A fine vehicle for it’s time.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      You have a point (actually, several.) My neighbor (when I was a kid) had a shiny new mid-’70s Lincoln Continental personal luxury barge. It was monstrously huge – its forte wasn’t speed, ease of parking, space efficiency or quality, but perceived elegance.
      I remember him doing 3-point turns in the driveway and dirt next to his house, because he had bought one of those water-filled floating ball compasses and had glued it to the dashboard, and was trying to see how well it worked. I remember him complaining that something in the car’s electronics was interfering with the magnet, so it wasn’t orienting to north like it should have been.
      I wasn’t impressed with the car, or the floating compass.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Doesn’t have to be a luxury car. I saw a Etienne Aigner VW Cabrio at the grocery store the other day, and there were lots of Eddie Bauer Explorers sold in the ’90s.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      Don’t forget the LL Bean Subarus.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Or the Walking Dead Hyundai Tucson.

        • 0 avatar
          Corey Lewis

          Well that was A) for losers and B) not a designer!

          *And the Tucson they’re using was made after the zombies took over, which I always found impressive.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Tucson: Designed for zombies, but made for you.

            Hyundai. New Thinking, New Possibilities

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I have it on good authority that the Walking Dead Tucson was, in fact, designed by Philip Blake.

            (Explains why it’s lame.)

          • 0 avatar

            For sure — I knew someone would bring up the Eddie Bauer Explorer and the LL Bean Subaru. Still think those brand associations would make sense, even though neither Eddie Bauer nor LL Bean are as popular as they were back in the ’90s.

            I’m just happy nobody decided to make Abercrombie & Fitch special edition during that brand’s height in the 2000s. The air vents would have shot out A&F’s infamous “Fierce” scent…

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            Everyone here is gonna be too old to understand an AF reference. Haha.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @Corey – I get the A&F reference (or even that a popular pun was Abercrombie & Bitc*).

            I’m just trying to figure out how “abs” translate into interior design. Perhaps seats like that one on the Mexico City subway that was designed to promote conversation about assault?

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            Well you’re a worldly and experienced gentleman, so I’m not surprised you know it.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            LL Bean not as popular as in the 1990s? I see far more people wearing the Bean Boot now to be ‘trendy’ than I ever did when I was a kid growing up in New England in the 80s and 90s and hated wearing them because they were ‘dorky’. Of course now I embrace it and wear them “because, you know, I always did growing up in CT and all.” Which is true, but…

            Same thing as Sperry TopSiders.

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            “Everyone here is gonna be too old to understand an AF reference. Haha.”

            Some of us are old enough to remember the brand pre-reboot. I’m still kicking myself for losing a pre-WWII Abercrombie rain poncho that I’d inherited from my grandfather.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    The Old Man drove only Lincoln Marks throughout most of the 1970’s.

    Generally the ‘Designer Editions’.

    Our absolute favourite was the 1976 Pucci edition. As I have mentioned many times, it would be the first vehicle in my ‘dream garage’.

    1979 was his final year and after that he switched to Cadillac. The looks and style of the Mark IV’s were much more too our liking. The Mark V’s seemed too ‘angular’ (squared off) perhaps due to the vertical tailights. As to the interior a Mark should have a velour not leather interior.

    Here is a 1976 Pucci (interior and exterior) in all its glory:
    http://www.mjcclassiccars.com/1976-lincoln-mark-iv-pucci.shtml#

  • avatar
    427Cobra

    geez… CLEAN THOSE WHITEWALLS! I remember my dad looking at a burgundy Mark V back in the day… gorgeous… with the color-matched turbine rims & burgundy velour interior. Unfortunately, he didn’t get it. Years later tho, I bought a ’98 Mark VIII LSC… Spring Feature Edition… 1 of 117… awesome road car… perfect for road trips… fast, comfortable, quiet, and economical.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I parked cars in college and my best tipper drove one of these.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    This is an odd one.

    -Parked on street.
    -Top very clean.
    -Whitewalls dirty.
    -Clearly maintained throughout years.

    I wonder if this has recently fallen from the original owner to a relative/etc., wherein it will begin a slow decline into beaterdom. (Which on this sort of vehicle doesn’t take too long.)

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, this one is rare in more ways than one. It’s parked in an apartment complex called Village Green, which was one of the first large-scale apartment / condo developments in L.A. I’m not sure if the roads around the complex are subject to street sweeping – I’ve driven by about a hundred times and this Continental is always parked in the same spot. Maybe I should leave the guy a note and a bottle of Bleche Wite…

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      “I wonder if this has recently fallen from the original owner to a relative/etc., wherein it will begin a slow decline into beaterdom. (Which on this sort of vehicle doesn’t take too long.)” Sadly true. I recall a family friend who bought a 1970ish Sedan de Ville or Calais from the proverbial little old lady in about 1985. (I think it was a ’70; it definitely was the ’65-’70 generation.) At the time of purchase, it was a little weathered at the rear end because it was too long for the woman to park in her garage with the door closed. Apart from that, however, it was in decent shape. After less than a year of being daily driven and street-parked by the friend’s 16-year-old son, it was totally beaten to hell.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    If I were ever to own a big Detroit boat, a 1977-78 version of one of these with the 460 would be my choice. They are well made by the standards of the time and I love the clean angular style. Unfortunately, I don’t think Ford ever made one the way I’d want it: steel roof, moonroof, leather interior, 460. The steel-roofed versions tended to be the base models without the 460 or the fun goodies.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      I feel like you’d hate yourself while driving such a broughammobile.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Dal is cultured and sophisticated, therefore he can appreciate the brougham along with a love of Japanese luxury and C-max.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I’d only hate myself for driving improperly executed brougham such as a first-generation Panther Town Car. The Mark IV and V are correct.

        I might get seasick, but could deal with that.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          It may not be an early 70s to mid 70s Brougham-a-licous Lincoln but I’d totally rock a late 80s Cartier or an early 1990s Jack Nicholas Golden Bear Town Car. Got to have the factory dual exhausts.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I can’t get past the interior quality with Panthers. It was shite even by standards of the time from the very first Panther all the way until the very last.

            If you want a boxy ’80s Brougham-mobile, go with a B-body Cadillac.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            Two weekends ago I ended up behind an early ’90s Jack Nicklaus Town Car, and I got to explain to my family what exactly it was which made that a special edition.

            They were not impressed.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @dal, Boxy Cadillac? ONLY if it was the late 350 V8 towing package model (very rare) or the 1977 to early 80s model with the 368 V8 – which at least was a Cadillac BIG BLOCK ENGINE by God!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            All can be remediated with a 4100/307 swap (to something else).

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @28 – Yes I have driven the Olds 307 Qudrajunk in a much lighter G-body Cutlass Supreme and GM should have been ashamed to ever put that engine in a Fleetwood Brougham or a B-body wagon.

            They also should have been placed in the stocks and publicly pilloried for not coming up with a TBI system for that engine by 1988 at the latest.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Fortunately, 350s are a dime a dozen, fit just fine, and provide perfectly adequate power.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            A mighty 350 Brougham to tow your Legend…

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            BOP to Chevy is a minor hassle. Going 307 to another BOP engine is a breeze.

            I don’t know too much about 4.1 swaps, but I assume it is harder than 307 ones so for those I’d probably do a full 425/TH400. Although on the Eldorado and Slantback I think you’re stuck with the Olds 350 and 403. Never did anything to an E/K-body though.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      the major problem with these old barges is the recirculating ball – 4-link steering setup. When new, they’re tight for like 0.0005 seconds, then the on-center slop is considerable.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Those turbine wheels are sweet- they may disappear quickly depending on the neighborhood it’s in.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    “an all-American yachting party on the Fourth of July.”

    That’s marketing that gets it, and it made me laugh.

    The CT6 and Continental need more overhang.

  • avatar
    ajla

    These and the IV are okay, but my heart belongs to the 3 and 7.

  • avatar
    Joss

    I think limited edition colors back then were generally in better taste.

    Today Star Wars Rogue in black or white only. The Cinq Gucci came only in black or an aged looking matt white. Nismo is limited to black, white or silver. No bright color, no pastels.

    These days it seems to be silver-white-black appliance world.

    At least the edition oil barges tried to capture colors from the Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg era.

    • 0 avatar
      la834

      The new Lincoln Black Label is the modern equivalent to the ’70s designer editions, just without hyping the designer’s name anymore. The new ones do feature real colors, like a Continental with a glorious color-keyed blue interior. I’m hoping all-red and all-green interiors will follow. If they do, I’m ready to buy.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    FWIW I prefer the JADE edition in its green glory.

    http://tinyurl.com/m2tmoj9

    The color of money. :-)

  • avatar

    “That’s a nice car, Huggy.”

    “Your damn right it’s a nice car, Starsky. It’s a 1976 Lincoln Continental Bill Blass Edition. They’re not coming out for another year. But I know somebody who knows somebody who stole it for me.”

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    There is much irony in Blass choosing a nautical theme for this boat.

  • avatar
    Pig Hater

    I’d rather see Chevy or FoMoCo release a Walmart Great Value Edition.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    This is my “win the lottery car,” but with a 6.2 swapped in.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Went to prom in one of these. Felt like a king that night.

    Been downhill ever since.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    While the Bill Blass was quite the looker, I personally preferred the Pucci edition, I am also quite fond of the Collector’s Series…especially the Williamsport white edition. These were beautiful cars. Perhaps one day I will own one…along with a 1983 Chrysler Imperial. Talk about SWEET!

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Listed locally:

    terrehaute.craigslist.org/cto/6049512584.html

    I can totally see late 70s PLCs and other big land yachts pick up some steam in the collector sphere as so many were discarded as something best forgotten. And while 2 door 60s muscle cars stay out of reach for many budding old car enthusiasts, some of these traditionally less desirable options might be a good option.

  • avatar
    mike1041

    I drove one of these from Ontario to Virginia and I felt like a Commadore. Heads turned wherever I went and hands were outstretched in anticipation of a large tip. Between fuel and gratuities the cost of this trip doubled. But man the ride was great. It was a great cigar smoking car. I had the swagger of a rich dude for a few days. Mooring the beast on a parallel parking street was an adventure.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @Mike1041: Drove a less than year old ’75 Mark IV (Silver) from Toronto to Florida. You are correct felt and was treated like a King. Also got a great deal of interest from the ‘fairer gender’, from a number of generations.

      Also unfortunately at one point attracted the attention of a Police Officer and his dog when late at night, at a 7-11, I locked the keys in the vehicle and had to fish them out.

      Just one of the three times that I have had uniformed Law Enforcement Officers pull their weapons, twice they were American.


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