While I was on John Deere Road last weekend, out of the corner of my eye I noticed a vintage Continental on the frontage road with a stereotypical elderly couple inside. I thought they were stopping at the gas station, but when the car continued past it I knew where they were going. It was about 11:00, you see, which is the perfect lunch time for folks of a certain age.
The side road goes only to two places past the gas station, a restaurant and a tire store. As I expected, it was parked at the restaurant. This one is not any old Continental, but a Collector’s Series, the last hurrah for boat-sized Connies.
It was a little rusty around the edges, but it was all there. The navy-leather interior, however, was still in great shape. Since most Collector’s Series Lincolns either have been kept as new, with zero miles, or restored by Lincoln aficionados, seeing one “in the rough” was a little surprising. I wish Ford would stop giving us Fusions with extra gingerbread–how about a “real” new Lincoln? Don’t even get me started on discontinuing the Town Car…
I’d like to see this Continental parked next to a new 2013 MKS so that we can compare the two and observe how Lincoln has fared in the last 34 years.
The only downside with the final 79 was that the 460 was no longer offered. The sole engine was the 400. One of these big 70s Lincolns is another car on my bucket list. There are still a lot of nice ones around. This one reminds me of my father’s white 78 Town Coupe, which was my favorite of all the cars he ever had.
The 2nd downside was the LTD dash with extra trim and loss of gauges.
The crappy dash came with the 78 as well as the 79. That was my one major letdown when Dad finally got a Town Coupe. That and the generic FoMoCo steering wheel that was in everything else Ford made. I think that the good dash with all the instruments was done after either the 76 or 77.
’77 was the last year for the “cool” dash with full gauges.
I sometimes wonder if that dash wasn’t part of the weight reduction program. This series went from a peak base curb weight of 5424 lbs in 1975, down to 4846 by ’79, according to the brochures. Where did those 400 pounds come from?
Isn’t there roughly 200lb difference in going to the big block alone?
about 150 according to this
Ah, I’m not used to dealing with the 400, normally the 351C.
77 was the last year of the handsome dash and for that reason 77 is my favorite. We had Buick’s and Cadillac’s back in those days, but even as a child I knew the Lincoln was more handsome and wished we had one.
I know, its still a downside on the 1979 even if it came out in 78.
I still see lots of these cars around locally. It seems a lot of people put them away and they are coming out of the woodwork now. Really massive cars by todays standards, but they were rolling living rooms, with Ford’s 1970’s ultra soft ride. They were not a car I ever cared for, but I can respect them for the representation of the last of the big three’s truly big cars. And on top of that, they were fairly well built and reliable. The big three knew how to build big RWD cars.
I “gave away” my 1979 Continental Town Car at Barrett-Jackson earlier this year. http://www.barrett-jackson.com/application/onlinesubmission/lotdetails.aspx?ln=1&aid=463
I hope it is being well taken care of. I am really starting to miss it…
Love that teal color!
Thanks, it was attention getting to say the least. Something from the 70’s that was not earth-tone too! It was a lot of fun. I was hoping for a price closer to 6,000 but it didn’t happen.
Why is it that you see Lincolns from this era but not Cadillacs?
I still see big 70’s Cadillacs, the 71-76’s not frequently, but the 1977 and up Cadillacs, tons of those are still around.
The Cadillacs were more prone to shall we say abuse by the 2nd 3rd or 4th owners who trashed them while the Lincoln didn’t have the same “desirability” from that type of future/final owner. IE Cadillacs were more likely to get wire wheels, lifted or lowered ect.
The Majestics, a Low Rider Group popular in southern California, Favors The Traditional Last Fleetwood 93-96 at The Moment. I caught about a dozen of them early one Sunday morning heading to a show. They Were all extensively customized with “body ink”
I’ve noticed that too. I prefer the styling of the mid-seventies fullsize Caddy’s, but they are almost non-existant. There are a few Eldorados kicking around, but that’s about it. Still see some of the 77-79’s around though.
There were plenty of mint or near-mint 1974-76 Fleetwood Broughams at various old car shows about 8-10 years ago (there were 3-4 for sale at the big AACA fall Hershey meet one year), but they seem to have disappeared lately.
What’s wrong with lunch at 11? 😀
Most of the TCs I see around here are Powder Blue or Yellow. Most seem to be driven by what I assume are the first or maybe second owners.
She wears White well.
Rust like that is something you don’t typically see on a car of that vintage around these parts (central Virginia).
But it is something I remember well from growing up in Pittsburgh! (Realizing of course that cars are much less rustprone today.)
My mother had a 1977 Town Car. I don’t remember any gauges as I was too young to care, I guess. I do remember it was H-U-G-E and she used to say that she’ll never see more than 8-9 mpg even if she rolled it downhill with the engine off.
One of my “Top 10 Before I Die”:
1979 Lincoln Continental Town Car Collector’s Series:
I don’t think we will see too many near-20′ long cars (with 6.5′ hood) in the near future, the Lincoln is longer and wider than a Rolls Royce Phantom. Today that is proper “town car” (as in small limousine) territory.
I agree though that if Lincoln (and Cadillac for that matter) need a proper flagship car, to increase the prestige of the brand.
I’ll still take the original ’70 any day for a number of reasons. It’s purity of form, Cord-like grill and no big bumpers, plus it still had the unsmogged, high-comp 460. The became more baroque as time went on.
Even with the bumpers, my favorite is the 74. It was the cleanest of them all.
Why am I not surprised that the driver of this car could not manage to park it inside the lines? It seems many cars of this vintage are parked and driven more than a little haphazardly. Kind of scary.
I can’t say I miss these old beasts. They were the zenith of buying your car by the pound, at least until light trucks and SUV’s caught on.
Lines used to be wider apart in the 1970s. Only later did the width of a “standard” parking space get narrower.
I got to Point this car for a couple of miles finding a place to park her after I had volunteered to move her. It was abouyt a 75 Town Sedan … the steering responded slower than we are now use to.looser also. but i could roughly see all 4 quarters …
that turquoise one is just gorgeous. the way i always dreamed mine would be, among many bill blass models etc,
Speaking of the Lincoln’s interior, has anyone else noticed that 70s Fords had the best new car smell ever? Strong, bright and sweet, it would put you in a good mood for the rest of the day. Like a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice in the morning.
I always liked the baroque look of these Lincolns. My preference would be one in white with green interior but I’d be happy with an aqua/turquoise/teal shaded one. The tall narrow grille, hidden headlights, wraparound marker lights and taillights are so elegant.
are the 400 V8’s harder to keep running vs a V8 460?
the 460s were made for more years and the 460s seem more desirable today so parts shouldn’t be a problem
whats it like for a 400 V8?
Others have more direct experience, but I understand that the 400 suffered from a very high degree of block casting failures. However, anything still around this long is probably one of the good ones. I don’t think parts availability is a problem. But the 460 was an uncommonly good engine, and its extra torque would sure be nice pushing one of these monsters around. Go big or go home.
The 400 Ford was a good engine. It’s just a tall deck 351C with larger main bearings. Many parts for Clevelands will interchange (heads, cams, distributor), but many major parts won’t (intake, pistons, crank). Generally, stock replacement parts are not hard to come by. There are SOME 400’s that had issues with cracking, but if you do your research, you can figure out if it’s a good or bad one by the casting number. The aftermarket is much more limited for the 400, but it can be built to make big power. I have a 400 Ford in one of my vehicles with 150K trouble free miles, no oil burning, leaks, and never had even the intake off.