The Lincoln Mark VIII was truly one of the last of its kind. In just two decades, from the 1970s to the 1990s, the personal luxury car market had gone from one of the hottest segments to one of the tiniest. With the 2002 discontinuation of the Cadillac Eldorado, the American personal luxury coupe was officially dead. Despite the various vinyl and cloth “simulated convertible” roofs that were omnipresent among personal luxury cars, functional convertibles never really gained traction in this segment after they went briefly extinct in the mid-1970s. That’s not to say that there were not aftermarket conversions.
With its elegant looks and classic proportions, the Lincoln Mark VIII was a perfect candidate for aftermarket coach builders to transform into a convertible cruiser. One source says that 23 of them were made in 1994, retailing for an estimated $65,000 each. I don’t know what kind of structural enforcements were made to it, but I will say that the responsible coach builder did an excellent job at integrating the convertible roof into the design – it almost looks like it could be a fake “simulated cabriolet” roof.
Its beautifully designed interior looks just as fine in the open air. I hope those seats are heated though.
I found this particular example on eBay back in March 2010, and have had it saved in my extensive archives of car photos since. The Mark VIII was a proud vehicle to end Ford’s long line of personal luxury cars. Is there a better way to own a piece of automotive history than driving it off into the sunset with the wind in your hair?