CC Outtake: The Rare “Arquis LS” Custom Brougham Landau

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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