Lincoln, Mercury and Edsel had a decent turn out at the Carlisle Ford Nationals. Both Lincoln and Mercury had representation from the 1950s to the 1980s and beyond. There were a good number of Edsels too, certainly far more than I have ever seen before in one spot. This article will cover all the Lincolns and Edsels, but not all Mercurys. The Cougars and the other sporty Mercs will be covered in another article later.
There weren’t many Lincoln’s from the 50s, but there was one, perhaps the nicest Lincoln of that decade, this 1957 Continental Mark II. Okay, so it’s not technically a Lincoln, but the Continental Division was so short lived, I think it’s close enough. This Mark II is in very good shape, and it definitely was not a body-off frame restoration. It looked to have had a repaint and some refurbishment, but it appears much of this car was fairly original.
I don’t think I have ever seen a Continental Mark II in person before, and they are a quite a substantial in size. At 218.5″ overall length, they were not much smaller than the big Lincolns from 1957. That said, its styling is elegant and nicely proportioned, so it carries its size well.
The engine compartment appeared to be cleaned up, but looked to be pretty original. Either that or it was overhauled many years ago as it did show signs of age and wear and tear. Note the exhaust manifolds exiting into the fenders. From there the exhaust was routed through the rocker panels and exited out the rear bumper. The big 368 Lincoln Y-block had a Carter 4-bbl carburetor, 10:0:1 compression, and was rated at a 300 hp @ 4800 RPM (gross). While it had decent power, this 4800 lb car were not built for performance, with a 0-60 time a little over 11 seconds.
This 1963 Continental convertible was the only 60’s Lincoln Convertible I saw at the show. 1963 was the last year for the original 1961 body, before it got it’s 3″ stretch in 1964. While the 430 cubic inch MEL engine remained, 1963 saw an upgrade from the 2-bbl to a 4-bbl Carter carburetor. This increased the power from 300 to 320 hp (gross). The owner chose to display the car with the roof partially retracted, which unfortunately spoils the cars nice lines. However, the top operation on these cars is quite complex and interesting. Jay Leno had a Continental expert on his YouTube show, Jay Leno’s Garage, where he explains the top operation on a ’66 Continental. I highly recommend viewing it; click here to watch.
There were a couple Lincoln Continental Mark III’s at the show as well. As most of us know, the 1969 Lincoln Continental Mark III was introduced in April 1968 as an early 1969 model. Unlike the previously astronomically priced Mark II, the Mark III had more pedestrian roots, much like the original Continental. These cars were based on the Thunderbird chassis, which in itself was just a variation of the full-size Ford chassis. The sole power plant for these cars was Ford’s excellent new 460 cubic inch 385 series big block V8. This engine had a 365 hp (gross) rating was a considerably more modern design than the big MEL engines it replaced.
The green example above was restored fairly close to original specification other than a few little changes like aftermarket chrome valve covers. Overall it was a nice example. The red Mark III wasn’t in as nice of shape as the green one above, as noted by the significant hood fitment issue. It had some other minor cosmetic issues and some modifications, nevertheless, the car is being enjoyed and loved.
There were a few later Mark Lincolns at the show as well. This Mark IV was a ’74-’76 model, with the big 5 MPH bumpers front and rear (maybe someone can provide am identifier for the exact year). It had some modifications, including big modern low profile wheels which were not in my taste (originals on the ground beside the car), and some engine performance modifications. As big as that Continental Mark II was , these cars had about 10″ in length and about 400 lbs extra in weight, much of this increase is from the huge bumpers attached to each end. I always thought the squared up blunt ends didn’t work nearly as well when the big bumpers were added to the Mark IV. For me the 1972 version is the best by far.
The later Mark V cars always seemed to have a more congruous styling theme, with the boxier body styling fitting better with the front and rear styling. While the styling on these cars made them look a little smaller than the Mark IV’s, in reality they were pretty much the same size. They did however lose some weight, now closer to the 1956-57 curb weight of 4800 lbs.
This ’79 Lincoln Continental was a real find. Let me first off say that I am not a fan of these big Lincolns from this era, but I can appreciate any nice car. Pictures do not do this car justice. It was an ultra-low mile super-well preserved car, and really was as close as you can get to a new ’79 Lincoln. You’ll see the carpet below still has the plastic covering in place. I spoke with the couple who brought the car to the show and they advised it was their son’s car. It was a one owner car that had sat in a garage most of its life. Interestingly, the father was telling me that he always drove small cars, yet his son developed the taste for these big cars. The father did admit to enjoying driving the Lincoln though, as he claimed the comfort was hard to beat.
This being a 1979 model, the only engine option was the Ford 400-2V engine. By 1979, this engine’s output was strangled down to 159 hp and 315ft-lbs of torque. This was a considerable drop from the 400’s 180 hp (SAE net) rating in 1977 and considerably less than the option 460-4V the year previous which made 210 hp (SAE net), but at least a 400 was over 100 lbs lighter than a 460. Note the engine compartment still has the assembly line marks present.
There were other Lincoln’s present from the 1980s to current models, including a sizeable number of Town Cars, but I can’t say I spent much time on them.
The one newer Lincoln that caught my eye though was this Fox-body Continental. While these cars are usually not something I’d stop and look at, one glance under the hood of this car brought me over. This particular Continental is powered by the optional BMW M21 turbo-diesel, which was also available in the Mark VII Continentals. I can’t say that I have ever seen one before, so it was quite interesting. The 2.4L diesel made 115 hp and 155 ft-lbs of torque, and was backed by a ZF made 4-speed automatic.
And speaking of Mark VII’s, there was a big showing of these cars at the show. The beautiful black example shown at the front of this group should be one familiar to CCer’s. That is fellow CC contributor MD Laughlin’s car. The car was the nicest Mark VII at the show, and was in amazing shape. I could have sworn I took some nice close up shots of the car, but I can only seem to find this one photo of the car. The Mark VII below was nice, but MD Laughlin’s was nicer.
My Favourite part of the Mark VII, Ford’s awesome H.O. 5.0L V8 engine (okay 4.9L)
The show was fairly devoid of 1950’s Mercurys but I did find this nice 1953 Mercury Monterey Convertible mixed in with some of the 1950’s Fords. 1953 was the last year for the flathead V8, and this one had the larger 255 V8 producing 125 hp @ 3800 RPM (gross). The list price was $2591 and a total of 7,719 were produced.
There was a good showing of mid-1960’s Mercurys at the show and some really nice examples as a I will show below. Up in Ontario, we had a lot more Meteors than Mercurys from this era and so seeing this many nice Mercs was a real treat. Almost all the Mercs that were from this era were the Maurauders, like this red ’64, which used the sportier and far better looking roofline (in my opinion) rather than the rather stuffy breezeway roofline. In 1964, the Monterey, Montclair, and Park Lane were all available as Marauders, in 2-door and 4-door variants, at a slight price premium over the breezeway models.
This blue ’64 Mercury Park Lane Marauder 4-door hard top was for sale over in the swap-meet side of the show. It was definitely one of my favourite finds at the show. The car appears to be a mostly original and solid with a good interior and about 70K miles on the clock. I thought the asking price of $8000 was reasonable for such a unique car. This particular car was powered by the 390-4V “Super Marauder” engine producing 300 hp @ 4600 RPM and 427 ft-lbs at 2800 rpm (gross). It also had air conditioning, a six-way power seat, power windows, tinted glass and a remote control side mirror. This car originally had a base price of $3413 and a sticker price of $4704.26. Only 3,658 1964 Park Lane Marauder 4-door hardtops were produced for 1964.
This ’64 Mercury Park Lane Marauder 2-door hardtop was one of 2,721 produced in 1964 and was absolutely stunning. The beautiful black paint, which was apparently 25 years old, with the beautiful white interior, which is original, just made this car pop. The owner of this car bought it in 1975 from a chicken farmer for $500.
These two 1965 Marauders were both less common colours which made me like them even more. The green Montclair Marauder above was very nice quality restoration that was done at home by the owner. It was severely rusted in the rear body but he did an excellent job making the body arrow straight.
The pride in workmanship was evident in this car. I noticed the Hemming’s Classic Car Magazine and found the article with full details on the restoration here.
The gold ’65 Mercury Park Lane Marauder was the top of the line Marauder that originally retailed with a base price of $3299. This particular car had a few minor performance oriented modifications, but have the optional reclining passenger seat.
While I was impressed with the number and quality of the mid 60’s Mercs, the numbers thinned out in the late 60’s. The ’68 Colony Park above was a nice survivor car that obviously didn’t live a pampered life. The big Merc wagon was powered by the torquey 428-4V engine.
It seems there were few late 60’s big Mercs around these days so it was quite nice to see this fine example of a 1969 Mercury Marquis Convertible. The big Marquis would have been powered by one of Ford’s 429 variations which were newly introduced for 1969.
There was also a healthy showing of the late-model full-size Mercs, but almost all were the Marauder variations. I am a fan of these late-model panther platform Ford’s and have driven most variations but I have never had the opportunity to drive a Marauder.
They seem to have a pretty healthy following today, but they still seem to not have quite the following or collectability of the 1994-96 Impala SS.
The mid-1960’s Comets had a pretty good showing, likely due to the fact that most were part of a club. The oldest was the ’64 above, and the majority were 1965s. There was a mix of cars, some restored to stock specs, some with the common muscle car type performance modifications, and even one had a late-model Ford 5.0 EFI engine swap. While Dad and I were looking at the Comets were asked by a club member to help with the voting on the best Comet. So we did spend some time looking at all of them to make an informed decision. In the end there was a clear winner for us.
This car here was the one that Dad and I chose for our votes towards the best Comet. This 1965 Mercury Comet Cyclone was a top-notch restored car. The effort that the owner put into this car to bring it back to factory specification was second to none. While I realize this car was restored to better than new, as someone who has done some restoration work, I can appreciate the research, time, effort and cost that it requires to bring a car to this level. It’s also nice to see something less mainstream restored to such a high level.
This particular Cyclone was powered the “Super Cyclone” 289 V8 made 225 hp (gross)and it also had the 4-speed.
There were a number of late 60’s and early 70’s Montegos, although almost all were the performance oriented Cyclone models. Several had some of the typical muscle car modifications like wheels and performance parts, while other’s were closer to stock specs.
There was a good showing of the 1970-71 models, which are my favourite Cyclones. The front end on the 1970-71’s is a bit over the top for some, but I like the over the top styling on muscle cars. The 1970-71 cars also had two of Ford’s best performance engines, the 351C-4V and the 429 -CJ and SCJ.
This 1971 Cyclone Spoiler might look odd to some and it should. Mercury didn’t produce any intermediate convertibles for 1970-71. This car is not exactly a clone, but a “what-if car.” It took the owner 2 1/2 years to create this car. He used a 1970-71 Torino convertible top which is controlled by a Mercury Montego station wagon rear window switch on the dash, and claims all parts used were Ford parts from various donor and parts cars. The car is equipped an M-code 351-4V, C6 automatic and the bucket seat delete option with the very 1970’s spectrum cloth. No word on if that upholstery was original to the car or added during the restoration.
For you brougham and malaise era fans, don’t worry, Carlisle had some of that too. This was a rather nice 1975 Mercury Monarch that appeared to be a surviving original car. Other than some repro Magnum 500 wheels, it didn’t look to be much altered from original. And at least it didn’t have the wheezer 250 six which might make it a bit better than the related ultimate malaise-mobile.
There was a good showing from the Edsel camp as well, certainly more Edsels than I have ever seen in one spot. There was a good mixture of the smaller Ford bodied Edsels and the larger Mercury bodied models. There was also a good variety of body styles including convertibles, 2-doors and 4-doors. While there were 1958 and 1959 models, unfortunately there were no 1960’s.
Here are a few of the smaller bodied Edsels (Rangers and Pacers). For 1959, Edsel was reduced to the Ranger and Corsair line, with all Edsels were relegated to the smaller Ford body. Above is 1958 Edsel Ranger 4-door hardtop, and a 1959 Edsel Ranger 4-door sedan. Below is a very sharp 1958 Edsel Pacer convertible. There were only 914 Pacer convertibles built for the 1958 model year, so this was a really nice treat to see such a nicely restored example.
Above is one of the larger ’58s, a Corsair 4-door hardtop. This fine example was one of 5,920. Below is the only other Corsair model offered in 1958, the 2-door hardtop.
This car was for sale in the for sale pavilion and it was quite the find. The car was originally sold in LA in October 1957 and the restoration began in 2008. It was an excellent restoration with no detail spared. This Edsel had a frame-off restoration which included a rebuilt 410 engine (with hardened valve seats), rebuilt transmission, rebuilt differential, rebuilt suspension, all new brake, fuel and transmission lines, all new chrome, all stainless trim polished, and rebuilt Teletouch motor and relays. For the money the seller was asking you could not have built this car. Again, it was nice to see something less common restored to such a high level.
The big 410 MEL V8 put out 345 hp @ 4600 RPM and 475 @ 2600 RPM (gross). Under its hood was immaculate and was restored to be factory correct. The owner noted it included factory correct ignition, charging system, and light wiring harnesses.
So that covers the Lincoln, Mercury and Edsel coverage at the Carlisle Ford Nationals. I hope you enjoyed looking at all these great cars. While the show may be heavily biased towards Mustangs, as you can see there is a wide variety of cars from FoMoCo. There is still more coverage to come from Carlisle. As you’ll soon see, the variety of Fords at this show is pretty broad.
2018 Carlisle Ford Nationals Series