CC Capsule: 1988 Lincoln Mark VII LSC – A 5.0 Mustang for Well-Heeled Grownups

1988 Lincoln Mark VII LSC c

Ford tried to position its Lincoln Mark VII LSC to compete against the hottest German coupes,  BMW’s 6-series and M-B’s 500-series. It had to be a clever ruse, as the LSC’s $25,000-ish sticker was way, way south of either of those Deutsche supercoupes. Nothing like comparing yourself to a car you can’t really compete with to raise your brand’s cachet. That’s not to say that the LSC wasn’t a plenty desirable car in 1988. It’s just that it was better framed as a 5.0 Mustang for wealthy adults.

1988 Lincoln Mark VII LSC a

The LSC’s standard mechanical features were a checklist of everything anybody could ever have wanted on an ‘80s American car, emphasis on American, starting with the fuel-injected 225 HP 5.0 V8 from the Mustang GT. At 3,700 pounds, the LSC outweighed the GT by 350 pounds, so I’d expect the LSC not to have as much grunt. And while you could get a 5-speed Mustang, the LSC came only with Ford’s AOD automatic.

But the LSC had to ride a lot better with its eight inches of extra wheelbase over the Mustang, plus its MacPherson struts up front, solid rear axle with gas-pressurized shocks and a sway bar out back, and auto-leveling air springs all around. And it had to stop with authority on its vented four-wheel disc brakes. The LSC even came standard with anti-lock brakes, which was still kind of a big deal in the late 80s.

1988 Lincoln Mark VII LSC b

I don’t know for sure that this is an ’88. The LSC’s visible changes were subtle at best from year to year. I know it’s at least an ’86, as that was the first year for both the CMHSL that’s barely visible through the dark tinted glass and the Lincoln badge over the front driver’s-side headlight.

That super dark window tint prevented me from seeing anything inside that might help me date this car, such as the driver’s-side airbag and revised instrument panel that were new in ’90. I’m saying 1988 almost entirely because that was the first year for the 225-HP 5.0, and that’s the engine I want this car to have.

1988 Lincoln Mark VII LSC d

I was surprised not only to find this LSC parked near my favorite watering hole, but also with paint in such good shape. My memory is that when these were all used cars on their third owners, the clear coat was peeling off of them all. I’ve even heard that a class-action lawsuit led to Ford repainting a lot of those for free. Maybe this was one of them. Regardless, this car’s chunky looks are still good after a quarter century.

Related Reading: We shared a comprehensive history of the Mark VII here.