You think you know everything about Panthers? Well, ever seen an Arquis LS? I hadn’t, until very recently. Indeed, despite my collection of L-M literature from the late ’60s to the late ’90s, I never once saw mention of this. A regional model, perhaps? Let’s keep Red Panther day going just a bit longer, with this rare find.
I happened to be on the lot of the local
L-M Lincoln dealer, photograping a much more vintage CC on the lot, when I saw a blinding white Landau roof in the distance. Well, I do live in the Midwest, where such chrome- and Cavalry-twilled frippery is common among the more senior residents.
Unlike the more common GS model, this one is a top-trim LS, with alloys and leather seating. I can’t imagine more than a handful of Arquis LSs were built. The question is, were they prototypes, a dealer-added trim level, or some Iowa-only regional special? Why, it looks like they did nothing more than take the “Grand M” off of the rear nameplate!
As you would expect, this one was in fine shape, with clean paint, no door dings, and the pencil-thin whitewalls that were still available in the late ’90s and early Oughts.
The interior was equally pristine, with cushy La-Z-Boy benches in beige leather. You don’t drive one of these; you pilot it. I half-expected to see a Civic or Sentra hanging off the back, like a tender on a yacht.
Oddly enough, even though this is a rare Arquis LS, the aftermarket nameplates on the C-pillars said “Grand Marquis.” Clearly, there was some Landau-topped mishap and the proper–and scarce!–“Arquis” nameplates couldn’t be found. Still, a very nice car, for those of you who don’t break out in hives at the sight of vinyl roofs and coach lamps.