We’ve seen a number of examples of this vintage Lincoln over time, a car that was the end of an era for big bodies, delightfully large displacement engines, and bold appearances. They are truly a car with either fans or detractors; there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground.
All of these featured Lincolns possessed a certain dignity and age immunity to them, which to me often seemed reflective of their lives having been somewhat easier, and perhaps more pampered, than most. Then I found this particular Lincoln, a car that appears to be making a bold claim of having had more swashbuckling adventures than any of the others. If one is so inclined as to believe its dignity has been compromised, this Lincoln certainly compensates for that in perseverance and stubbornness.
This Continental was parked near one of those stores in which one can procure an abundance of life’s little necessities for the princely sum of one dollar. Being out running errands in a decent rain shower is certainly more adventure than its siblings were experiencing when captured in pixels as all the others have been found on sunny days. Would any of the other Lincoln owners have deigned to drive their Lincoln around town in the rain to purchase toilet bowl cleaner or razor blades? It seems unlikely.
There was a distinct yet unquantifiable something about this Lincoln that vehemently disagrees its sunniest days are well in its past. It’s argument makes sense; if it’s sunniest days were indeed over, somebody would not have gone to the effort to replace at least three different body panels. Can you imagine the weight and awkwardness of carrying that hood? Or the fun of lifting it into place for mounting onto the hood springs? Somebody truly loves this Lincoln, and they love it for what it is.
As I photographed our tri-toned Continental, I was very curious what sort of person was the current caretaker. Male or female? Young or old? Every possible scenario I could think of made a degree of sense in one way or another.
The setting presented some irony. A Lincoln, a 1970s symbol of success but now in a condition that isn’t, parked at one of a countless number of faceless strip malls helping the owner carry on with life. A Lincoln, faded from its initial glory, looking longingly at the world headquarters of the Bass Pro Shop, another 1970s success story that is still in its ascendency. A Lincoln, its tarnished luster abundantly clear to anyone, still doing what it was meant to do. Perhaps the destinations had changed but there is little doubt this Lincoln carried its loving owner to the store in smoothness and utter silence.
Contemplating all this while sitting in the car and waiting for my wife to finish in a different store, this Lincoln smoothly and silently cruised by in front of me. This Lincoln is twice the age of its male owner; something about seeing this tells me this young man is well on his way to success, his Lincoln being a formidable tool to aid him in reaching, and achieving, all his destinations in life.
Found March 29, 2019
Corner of Sunshine and Campbell