I happened to be stopped at a light near my house when a surprise pulled alongside. So it only took one shot to get a decent one of this example of Lincoln’s bold leap into the 1980s future. Introduced in 1983, by 1986 it was badged as a Lincoln without any Continental name confusion, but beyond knowing it’s at least a 1986 by dint of the CHMSL, I’m at a loss to figure what exact year it would be, having been produced for a full decade through the 1992 model year.
Still, with 5 liters (give or rather take 100ml or so) of displacement, and some ongoing refinement throughout the years, this was a far more attractive package of Mark to those then skewing toward the usual Euro-suspects. At least, that is, compared to what had been on offer prior, even in what here is presumably the Bill Blass trim, and clearly not the LSC version. A way to sort of get what the aero-Thunderbird was offering, but with the ability to spend more money on the acquisition. The horrific placement of the Ghent dealer tag pegs this as a longtime local – Ghent was a longtime Ford/Lincoln/Mercury dealer here in Fort Collins, although I was not aware of this prior to today, now Ghent is known as a Chevy dealer in Denver with no trace left up here.
You’ve come a long way, baby, indeed. Actually this generation harkens back to the Mark II much more (in my mind) that the ones in-between, which while they certainly have their fans and attractions, can also come in for a significant amount of derision from other quarters.
An excellent bit of retrospective product placement found a Mark VII featured in the last season or two of “The Americans”, one of the better shows featuring plenty of vehicular eye-CCandy; having recently re-binged the series, I realized I had not seen a Mark VII about in quite some time, so this one was very welcome in the metal. Nowadays nobody drives personal luxury coupes on TV (or anywhere else) anymore, a far more likely ride of choice would be an example of the photobombing new 3-row Jeep Grand Cherokee, seen in white above. But for a brief moment in time, the Lincoln was the star of the intersection.
Automotive History: Lincoln Continental Mark VII – The Forgotten Car by Phoenix
Curbside Classic: 1989 Lincoln Mark VII Bill Blass – Who Are You Wearing? by Brendan Saur
These are beautiful cars that have aged remarkably well – the featured one even has dual exhaust, so perhaps it has the better performing 302 instead of one of the lo-po ones. The specifics of when the Mustang 302 arrived have escaped me.
This one really needs the wheels of the brochure car. These wheel covers really detract from an otherwise great package.
Those are not wheel covers. They are alloy wheels with two rows of actual laced wire spokes. The spokes are decorative and don’t contribute to the strength of the wheel. Those are my favorite Lincoln wheel.
Its a better looking car than the Cadillacs of the era and better looking than older Lincoln coupes,
I think the Mark VII keeps improving with age. It has a muscular stance and a rather masculine elegance to my eye. For some reason, I’ve always preferred the Bill Blass version over the LSC.
A rare site, but very attractive. Even better than the TBird, to my eyes and markedly better than the Cougar. And best in black. I think being an ‘86 or newer it would have the HiPo 302.
From memory the 84/85 was 150 HP, 86 was 200 HP, then the rest of the run thru 92 was the full 225 HP of the Mustang. All were fuel injected.
The best seats are in the late 80s LSC, the best wheels are early 90s. I owned a couple of each and LOVE those cars. Then a couple VIII’s which while also great, started to feel a bit large. The air suspension on ANY will cost you $$ guaranteed.
Great catch, Jim. Like you, I haven’t seen one of these in years. The Fox Platform Cougars and T-Birds are all but gone as well, sadly.
If this is a one owner prized possession, the guy should’ve removed that hideous dealer badge the day he brought it home. Unless it’s riveted in place! My Dad and I always made this a tradition upon acquiring a new car, a tradition we continue to this day. Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t badge removers as was all the rage in the fifties. The badges that come from the factory are of course acceptable.
Where have all of these great Foxes gone? Even the next gen, Mark VIII and the MN12(s) are all but gone from the roads.
When I came of age to buy a car I was in California where the dealer name was on the license plate frame. So I never ran into the dealer badging the car on the trunk. Having said that and if I had lived elsewhere I would have told the dealer under no conditions were they to put holes in my car for their badge when delivered otherwise sale off. I hate those things on MY car. Now did anybody ever do that in other states before they took delivery…? RetroStang Rick took them off after which leaves mounting holes back in the days.
Yes on the rare instance that I buy brand new I make clear to the dealer that if any badging is added OR the front bumper gets drilled for a plate, DEALS OFF.
The first car I ever had a loan on was a lightly used Fiero GT, and when I noticed the dealer had added a badge RIVETED to the rear bumper I about flipped my biscuit.
Never saw another riveted badge, and the ones stuck on are easy enough to remove then polish away the residue.
I’m unlikely ever to buy a new car, but yeah, built into the deal would be a clause obliging the dealer to pay me monthly in perpetuity for driving their rolling billboard—or else they could opt to leave their badges, placards, plate frames, and decals the hell off my property.
+1+2! Billions of $$$ are spent on advertising in America annually. Somehow, every new car buyer, when arguing to the nickel over price, lays down and plays dead when the dealer thinks that they will advertise on the back of THIER car for free. Fuck the dealer. If they want to advertise on MY car, then cut me a deal.
It would be interesting to know whether anybody’s car buying is ever positively influenced by the dealer badging on another person’s car.
Fortunately, after my Dad’s ’66 Impala, or maybe the ’68 Impala, I forget which now, the dealer badges were applied with very strong adhesive tape, rather than riveted as in the olden days. The ’73 LTD had a metal AL PACKER FORD emblem, but it was taped on. We very carefully pried that up, and fortunately did not scratch the paint.
I feel the same way that Daniel does. They can freakin’ pay me to advertise for them. Fat chance that would ever happen.
Most dealers around here use the license plate frames. My Mustang and Civic both still have theirs mounted… as an unseen spacer to keep the metal Maryland license plate off of the painted surface! So they actually CAN serve a useful purpose after all.
In the case of the Mustang, CARMAX also silkscreened a decal on the trunk lid. I took a plastic tool and carefully scraped it off. A little polish and wax and the offending evidence it was ever there was gone. ;o)
First thing Dad always did when he got a new car was scrape the dealer decal off the back window. Fortunately in Australia they don’t bolt badges on.
I still love the design, and in fact the very premise, of these Mark VII’s.
There’s one that I see around here occasionally, and I came across it on the road last year — it’s a beautifully-maintained black 1990 LSC. In this picture below, you can see the owner has a towel across the rear parcel shelf (presumably to keep the shelf carpet from fading).
Wow, you didn’t even have to go to a junkyard to find this one?
It looks to me like a Bill Blass trim, with a little insignia in the pinstripe right under the Lincoln emblem on the C pillar. What year I cannot say, but I would guess somewhere around the middle of the run?
I am usually the CC contrarian, but not today. I loved these when they came out and I still do. This was FoMoCo’s best platform and best powertrain in the period and was a very good looking car in its time (and still is, for my money). Lincoln accomplished a lot with mostly off-the-shelf components on these cars.
The placement of the dealer badge is horrible. I have a love/hate relationship with dealer badges. For any newer car I would not allow a dealer to apply one. But on an older classic it gives a better sense of the history. Just as long as its not placed like car above. That ones looks like a small ill fitting mustache.
As for the car itself it remains a handsome design. The hinted at continental spare works better than it has any right to do.
Incidentally, the Ghent Motors building (I think Ghent closed in 1997) was located at 2601 S. College Ave., where a Mazda dealership is now.
The building itself appears remarkably preserved from when it was built for Ghent in 1966.
But that dealer badge is horrendous there on the tire hump.
The same people that own the Mazda place also own the Ford/Lincoln dealer on the south end of town. That building (the one you posted) is a very light and airy building, it’s kind of cool to be inside it when it’s snowing outside. The featured car was actually found/shot exactly a mile east of the dealership, all considered midtown nowadays.
The prior location of Ghent was right in the middle of old town, now the site of the Elizabeth Hotel, probably our nicest one, built/owned by Pat Stryker, our local philanthropist and heiress to the Stryker medical stuff.
Although metal dealer badges were rare in California, they were some. Ellis Brooks Chevrolet in San Francisco used them, with a distinctive design that I suppose was intended to evoke SF’s hills.
Looking at the wheels, it’s probably pre-1987. I just sold my 1989 Mark VII LSC with only 87,000 miles on it.
I still drive my 1991 Mark VII LSC with only 110k miles on it.
Sold a 1984 Bill Blass Edition in 2007… it was a toad engine! lol
Had a 1992 parts car for awhile also.
However, I loved my muscle cars ( 1967 Cougar XR7, 1965 GTO, 1970 & 1971 El Camino SS) but since those are way out of my price range now (wish I knew then what I know now!!) My 1991 Mark VII has power, comfort and I’m getting about 24 MPG so that is a perk also…and it sits along side my 1997 Ford F350 Diesel (7.3)Crew Cab long bed pickup!
This is a pic of my 1989 but my 1991 is also white with the burgundy interior…
I keep my mother lsc mark7 I’ve painted it and drive now.