Rare Rides: A Year Later, Ghia's 1983 Lincoln Quicksilver

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides a year later ghias 1983 lincoln quicksilver

Today’s post serves as a couple of milestones at TTAC (for me, anyway); 200 articles written, and a year of Rare Rides. Since I did not plan this in any way or think about it in advance, I thought we might make this post a bit special. Bringing us back to the very first Rare Rides entry of one year ago, we have another concept car Ghia designed for Ford which never saw the production green light.

Presenting the 1983 Lincoln Quicksilver.

While the Probe concept from 1979 was all about the angular wedge, the Quicksilver offers a much smoother teardrop design to carry out its sedan mission. More on that in a moment.

Though several designs produced by Ghia wore a Probe name, the Quicksilver was a one-off for the Lincoln brand. For years, Ford was keen on investigating what aerodynamics could do for design, which they’d prove three years after the Quicksilver with the production Taurus and light bar Sable (mmm).

You might think underneath the sweeping lines of the body lies some European Ford chassis, perhaps a Capri or Transit. Nope, there’s an AC under there, specifically the 3000ME. On sale between 1979 and 1984 (a total of 101 cars), the 3000ME was mid-engined, two-seat, rear drive vehicle, equipped with a 3.0-liter V6 Ford engine.

Ghia extended the 3000ME chassis by 11 inches to accommodate the larger body, keeping the mid-engine layout and the manual transmission. Quite the odd arrangement for any Lincoln; think of the Quicksilver in 1985’s showrooms, next to a Town Car and a Continental Valentino. I mentioned before it’s a sedan — the rearmost side windows, louvres, and spoiler are for show. They’re merely decorations over the horizontal engine cover.

Around the front we find the only design feature implemented in production Ford models. Does it look familiar? With minimal changes, what you have here is the front end of the Probe for 1989.

It’s worthwhile to mention the deep-dish alloys, which are really working for me. I’d put them right on a Mark VII (LSC, of course).

The interior accommodations are starkly different from standard Lincolns of the time. Rounded surfaces and radial gauges remind the driver and passengers this is the Lincoln of a new age.

Despite the generous exterior proportions, rear leg room is not quite what one might expect. It’s another downfall of mid-engine placement, which eats up the rear third of the Quicksilver.

In the end however, the craziness of the Quicksilver was not realized. Stored for decades with the other Probe series design studies, it was sold around 2003 for the paltry sum of $8,000. Mecum sold it again in 2014 for $27,000, with proceeds going to charity.

Maybe after a second year of Rare Rides, we’ll find another Ford Ghia to showcase. I’m always telling Sajeev how the internet can only handle so much Ghia style at once.

[Images via Mecum]

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3 of 44 comments
  • Cactuar Cactuar on Feb 05, 2018

    I'm really liking the clean DLO on this car.

    • Jhefner Jhefner on Feb 05, 2018

      It also has a fairly flat tumblehome, so it has conventional windows instead of tiny "toll booth" slots like the Probe IV and Probe V. I also assume it is drivable, and not a push mobile.

  • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Feb 05, 2018

    Can't say I'm disappointed this didn't make it to production. Never been a fan of the wedge look, at least not this radical (nor on some famous 1980s super cars, just not my style). The idea of a mid-engine, manually shifted Lincoln is fascinating, but it shouldn't be a sedan since the rear seat is useless. Maybe a ultra-PLC (what could be more personal than a two seater?) with a dash of sport, with about 50% less wedge, a high-output 302 or 351 V-8 (it was 1983 after all) and fixed headlamps (yes, I know being 1983, they'd be sealed beam, but maybe by production, say 1986ish, they could've used modern flush headlamps). I do like the wheels.

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  • MaintenanceCosts I keep finding myself drawn to the Fox PLCs, both the Thunderbird and the Mark VII. They really got the design right by 1980s standards. The cars were reasonably sized but didn't look dinky like the 1986 Eldorado, they were comfortable and drove pretty well, and they were available with a 302 (that even got non-asthmatic in the late years).When I bought my first car - a 1987 Taurus - I also thought about Aerobirds, but I decided (probably correctly, given the number of carpools I was part of) that I wanted four doors.
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