Junkyard Find: 1989 Lincoln Mark VII LSC

junkyard find 1989 lincoln mark vii lsc

Ford began selling Lincoln Mark Series cars starting in 1956, with the hand-built Continental Mark II, then mass-produced the first go-round of the Mark III, Mark IV, and Mark V for the 1958-60 model years. Fast-forward to the 1968 model year, for which Lee Iacocca decreed that a luxury-for-the-well-off-masses Thunderbird-based Mark III would be built, and we get to the period of Lincoln Marks that I’ve covered in this series; we’ve seen discarded examples of the III through the final VIII, but no Mark VII… until today.

The Mark VII was the smallest and most nimble of all the 1968-1998 Marks, based on the same Fox Platform as the Mustang. Built from the 1984 through 1992 model years, the Mark VII dropped all Continental badging for 1986 and became, simply, the Lincoln Mark VII.

These cars are tough to find in junkyards today ( Mark IV s and Mark VI s remain plentiful), but this one got hit in an expensive spot and ended up taking that final tow-truck ride to this place.

For 1989, you could choose one of two flavors of Mark VII: the Bill Blass and the LSC. Each started at $27,218, or about $54,400 in 2020 dollars. That was just a bit less than half the price of a new BMW 635CSi coupe that year.

There was a time, extending well into our current century, when the 5.0 HO engine in this car would have been yanked within hours of appearing in the junkyard, since this is the same 225-horse V8 that went into the hotter Mustangs of the era.

Here’s the air compressor for the adjustable air suspension. You often saw these cars sagging low, sometimes just in the rear and sometimes all the way around, after failures in the air system.

The LSC was supposed to be sportier than other Mark VIIs, so it didn’t get the space-age digital dash. The Electronic Climate Control, with its jarringly contrasting typefaces, came as standard equipment.

The audio system was serious stuff for 1989; an eight-speaker system came standard in all Mark VIIs, and buyers could opt for a JBL 10-speaker rig with an extra 140-watt amplifier.

Remember the “I Like Turtles” meme of 2007? Decals were available, it turns out, and this Lincoln wears one.

To understand the handling of the Mark VII, you had to do three things: 1. Drive it. 2. Drive it. 3. Drive it. In fact, it handled pretty well, like a heavy Mustang.

Move over, Mercedes and BMW!

For links to more than 2,000 additional Junkyard Finds, Treasures, and Gems, visit the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.









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  • Kinsha Kinsha on Sep 24, 2020

    Had a young executive friend who has since passed back in either 84 or 85 who purchased one of these with the BMW turbo diesel in it. I remember him bringing it over my house after he bought it, and let me drive it. I can distinctly remember that drive all those years ago, and him in the passenger seat saying floor it. He wanted me to hear the turbo kick in. I remember being unimpressed with that drive train, but the car itself was dazzling to me back then.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Sep 29, 2020

    My dad had one, an '89 LSC (in 88.5 they got the Mustang GT 5.0 HO). There was a lot to love about it: the exterior styling was nothing short of magnificent, it had blue perforated leather seats, it had a comfy air suspension paired with anti-roll bars the size of your thigh, and it had the kind of bank-vault solidity I associated with a proper Mercedes-Benz. He called it his "old man's Mustang." By the time he got it, he legitimately was an old man, so I got to drive it a lot. But somehow it didn't quite come together in the driving. The big motor was geared tall for the EPA test, so performance wasn't thrilling. Over a big bump or dip, the soft independent front suspension would bottom out and the crude live rear axle would jounce and skitter. The vaunted 140 watt JBL stereo was fine, but not impressive. Those swooping rear pillars created absolutely epic blind spots that made the car frankly dangerous for high-speed passing. The dash styling was disappointingly old-fashioned for something so modern on the outside. But the biggest problem was just that it was made by Ford. The first hint of trouble was when the tacky plastic trim on the doors detached itself. But worse, the alternator malfunctioned...and somehow, in a car where everything was electronically controlled, Ford hadn't included adequate protection against spikes or surges. So stuff just randomly stopped working correctly, at the most inconvenient times. Example: you say it's a hundred degrees out? Neat, because the climate control just decided you want MAX HEAT, and there's nothing you can do to convince it otherwise. So I *know* better, but I still really want one. Teenage me was sure that the signs of success for 50 year old me would be having one of these cars, a circular driveway, and gray hair expensively styled. The driveway isn't happening in my condo, and there's no way in hell I'm paying a hundred bucks for a haircut, but I *could* still have the car. I found a high-mileage but beautifully maintained example, and it's taking every ounce of my good sense not to fly up and get it.

  • MaintenanceCosts The sweet spot of this generation isn't made anymore: the SRT 392. The Scat Pack is more or less filling the same space but it lacks a lot of the goodies, including SRT suspension, brakes, and seats. The Hellcat is too much and isn't available with a manual anymore.
  • Arthur Dailey I am normally a fan of Exner's designs but by this time the front end on the Stutz like most of the rest of the vehicle is a laughable monstrosity of gauche. The interior finishes suit the rest of the vehicle. Corey please put this series out of its misery. This is one vehicle manufacturer best left on the scrap heap of history.
  • Art Vandelay I always thought what my Challenger really needed was a convertible top to make it heavier and make visability worse.
  • Dlc65688410 Please stop, we can't take anymore of this. Think about doing something on the Spanish Pegaso.
  • MaintenanceCosts A few bits of context largely missing from this article:(1) For complicated historical reasons, the feds already end up paying much of the cost of buying new transit buses of all types. It is easier legally and politically to put capital funds than operating funds into the federal budget, so the model that has developed in most US agencies is that operational costs are raised from a combination of local taxes and fares while the feds pick up much of the agencies' capital needs. So this is not really new spending but a new direction for spending that's been going on for a long time.(2) Current electric buses are range-challenged. Depending on type of service they can realistically do 100-150 miles on a charge. That's just fine for commuter service where the buses typically do one or two trips in the morning, park through the midday, and do one or two trips in the evening. It doesn't work well for all-day service. Instead of having one bus that can stay out from early in the morning until late at night (with a driver change or two) you need to bring the bus back to the garage once or twice during the day. That means you need quite a few more buses and also increases operating costs. Many agencies are saying for political reasons that they are going to go electric in this replacement cycle but the more realistic outcome is that half the buses can go electric while the other half need one more replacement cycle for battery density to improve. Once the buses can go 300 miles in all weather they will be fine for the vast majority of service.(3) With all that said, the transition to electric will be very good. Moving from straight diesel to hybrid already cut down substantially on emissions, but even reduced diesel emissions cause real public health damage in city settings. Transitioning both these buses and much of the urban truck fleet to electric will have measurable and meaningful impacts on public health.
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