From Detroit’s Secret Files: 1980 Lincoln Siesta Signat


It must have seemed a good idea, at least initially. Gas prices had doubled after the last gas crisis. Economy was “in” and Lincoln had, well, nothing but Lincolns. As Ford would more and more often do, they would look to Europe. So in the spirit of another French inspiration, the Versailles, some bloke thought of the Signature Series and thought ………….smaller,

signât:  third-person singular imperfect subjunctive of signer

Nor was Siesta a misnomer, as “a midday or afternoon rest or nap, especially as taken in Spain and Latin America.” As it would give the baby Lincoln a true Continental flair. Designed in Europe, built in Germany, inspired by the French, the restful disposition of the Spanish and the Luxury of true American opulence.

It was truly restful with the added insulation and sound deadening. 512 lbs. of it……a lot of it in the doors to give it that true heft of substance. Rubber “donuts” were added to the steering and suspension to lessen the Teutonic feel that annoyed and woke up octogenarian American drivers. With the automatic attached to the 1.0 I-4 quarter mile times increased by an impressive 50%!


Time and time again it has been proven that Americans don’t “do” hatchbacks, especially in a luxury car. So the hatch was welded shut and a mail slot handle was installed to the new “trunkette”. It was certainly mailbox tight in structure.


Interior appointments were up to the standards of other Lincolns: thick cut mullet shag carpet, velour cloth or leather, plastique chrome, with plenty of faux (God bless the French!) nouveaux riche wood.


The studies were done, the prototypes were made. The brochures were airbrushed. But something seemed wrong. The proportions were a bit off some thought. But some thought it was the spiritual successor to the four-door ’67 Thunderbird Landau, the ’76 Mark IV and especially the 4 cylinder 1974 Mustang II Ghia that Henry Ford II (The Deuce) recently retired chairman of FoMoCo, would have loved. Alas, with resounding failure of the Cadillac Cadette, its virtual rival, all bets were off and the car was scuttled.