Category Archives: Lincoln Continental

Jag-u-ahs lurking in the urban wild

 

About to pounce

About to pounce

Being the creature of habit that we are, we take the same route each morning for an non-motorized jaunt.  This circuit never fails to bring us into proximity with a ’69 Jaguar, an XJ 6 as it tells us in a huge font on the trunk lid.  No, we’re not going to call it a “boot” lid because boots are worn on one’s feet.   We admit the car isn’t in the best of shape but we do know it runs.. it dutifully goes from one side of the street to the other and doesn’t accrue parking tickets.  There’s a significant gash on the left side front door — you can almost see the window mechanism within and it wears just two out of four wheel covers.

Holy relic

Holy relic

Still, we’re fond of this old Coventry-born trouper.  It has an air of an old money aristocrat (or, perhaps, gone money) that lends it a certain dignity in decay. You can almost smell the moth-eaten Harris Tweed.

Lump taker

Lump taker

Look at the “cathedral” style tail light lens – a shapely work of art crafted by Joseph Lucas Limited,  the UK parts supplier that has long been the butt of rude jokes uttered, quite predictably and drearily so,  by “car guys” who think it’s funny to tell the same joke countless times. Har!      In the tighter shot, you can actually read the numerals ’68’ in bas-relief but we’re betting this is registered as a ’69 because it wears year-appropriate, federally mandated, side markers.  Sorry about all the geeking out but this car was in production pretty much uninterrupted (except by many strikes) from introduction in 1968 through three mild updates over the course of an almost quarter century run so it’s quite a significant piece.  It was, almost sheepishly, replaced by a series of Ford-fostered XJs, the styling for which was unabashedly based on their swingin’ sixties forbear.

Place of worship

Coventry cathedral

Extreme CLOSE-UP!

Extreme CLOSE-UP!

This car is a real inspiration to feral aficionados, especially because it is, arguably, a bridge to unite the automotive kind, like us, and the feline oriented ones — like us.  That leaping hood ornament is the link.

Faded Jag's "good side"

Faded Jag’s “good side”

The left side (where the steering would most definitely not be in home market cars) is quite unblemished but we’re tempted to take up a collection to buy hub caps.

Nice kitty

Nice kitty

This one is powered by the same 4.2 liter straight six used in the XK-E, officially ‘E-Type,’ but c’mon, who says “E-Type” if they’re not smoking a meerschaum pipe?  Which is to say there’s a powerful cat lurking under that formal facade.  Actually this generation XJ was quite a radical departure for Jaguar.  E-Type acceptance — there, we said it — may have emboldened Jag to discard post-war styling  that related more to the ’30s and ’40s than to the ’50s and ’60s.  The XJ6 was competitive with Mercedes S-Class, BMW’s 7 series and all manner of Lincolns and Cadillacs.  Because of, ahem, mobility issues, they’re much less common than those pretender makes.  As you are, doubtless, aware, Jaguars of this period, marked by the British auto industry’s fast fade into non-existence, don’t have the best reputation for reliability.  It’s a fact that there quite a few were converted to GM 350 V8 power in the ’70s and ’80s, a very decisive way to deal with questionable UK components and build quality.

Slick Brit

Slick Brit

It’s always exciting to behold an XJC, a somewhat limited production variant of a car that’s already highly regarded for its beauty if not its utility.  This XJC 12, a pillarless two door “hardtop” version that is, in some ways, the ultimate expression of the XJ. This example is one of just 1,873 12 cylinder ( 5.3 liter) cars built, both left and right and drive. That’s  out of a total of 10,000 for both 6 and 12 cylinder models produced over a span of just four model years, ’73 – ’78.

White cat coupe

White cat coupe

The big bumpers of this ’77 compromise the machine’s inherent grace but it’s still lithe looking for such a heavy car. That vinyl top was applied out of necessity.  Explanation: because the car’s structure lacked the bracing that a solid pillar between the front and rear side windows affords, it had some tendency to flex which would crack the paint on the roof.  Necessity, being the mother that it is, prompted Jaguar to adopt the American look of vinyl topping but we think they pulled it off quite tastefully.  Please note the lack of opera lights and/or gratuitous stuffing and tufting as one would expect in an analogous domestic car that relates to this niche market such as Cadillac’s gargantuan Eldorado or Lincoln’s Continental Mk V, offering in Bill Blass, Cartier, Givenchy and Pucci designer editions.

Crack the code in style

Crack the code in style

One on this on each side: ambidextrous fill-ups

One of these on each side: ambidextrous fill-ups!

Feral Cars Field Scout Bonnie Ruttan captured this big bumpered XJ, probably an ’80 or ’81, on the mean streets of Pasadena, CA. The roulette wheel-themed steel wheels are a sporty but, somehow, generic, touch.

Rubber bumper buddy

Blue pate special

To the best of our knowledge the motor hasn’t been swapped out for a GM 350 as found in Chevy Malibus, Olds Cutlasses and all manner of Buicks and Pontiacs though we do understand that a member of nobility must do what one can to keep up appearances and occasionally avail oneself of trustworthy transport.

Place your bests, black or alloy

Place your bests, black or alloy

We found this pretty awesome ’73 XJ6 in nearby Wilton, CT. It’s a low mileage (70K) beauty in great shape offered for a mere $14,500.  What could possibly go wrong?  Just to confirm we’re not blowing smoke about switching to Chevy power click here to see about modular conversion kits to put an American heart in your British kitty.

Cat's eye view

Cat’s eye view

Dig this French commercial for the XJ from back in ’76.  The tag line translates to “Jaguar, one of two or three better things that a man should demand of life.”  This has us thinking about the the other one (or two) things implied here.

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.

Note: While we strive for factual accuracy in our posts, we readily acknowledge that we we sometimes make inadvertent mistakes.  If you happen to catch one please don’t sit there and fume; let us know where we went wrong and we’ll do our best to correct things.

It has a passion, the Continental

Red and no longer dead

Red and no longer dead

There’s nothing like reviving an iconic name from history to bolster the fortunes of a flagging brand.  At the very least, it gets consumers nostalgic about the glorious past and builds awareness.  It seems to have worked for Chrysler (“300”), Chevrolet (“Impala”) and Volkswagen (“Beetle”) and now moribund Lincoln is getting into the act.  Ford’s luxury brand that hasn’t really offered any luxury cars of late changed its name to The Lincoln Motor Company but its range of offerings were just warmed over Fords with more sound deadening and thicker seat cushions. Model designations seem to have been chosen at random from a box of Alpha Bits — MKS, MKZ, MKT, MKX, MKC — grabbed nobody’s attention. Matthew McConaughey’s commercials did make some noise: the sound of many millions of fingers scratching millions of heads.    This past week TLMC took the wraps off its Continental Concept at the New York Auto Show and the buzz began in earnest. It’s clearly, ahem, “influenced” by the current Bentley Flying Spur (see  comparison photo) and Bentley has accused Lincoln of outright plagiarism.  Come to think of it, Continental is also a Bentley model so this may get interesting in terms of litigation not that anybody’s threatened that. Bentley’s chief designer, Luc Donckerwolke —  a fine English name if ever there was –threw down the gauntlet when he publicly mused, “Do they want us to send them the product tooling?”

Plain or peanut?

Plain or peanut?

All of which gives us an excuse to look at some older (Lincoln, not Bentley) Continentals caught in the wild and to rev up the old Victrola to hear Fred Astaire croon, “It’s quite the fashion, The Continental.

Do we have to spell it out for you?

Do we have to spell it out for you?

Over the years, starting in 1939 and continuing with some interruptions until 2002, the Continental nameplate has been affixed to both sedans and convertibles as well as two door coupés , the later usually sporting the “Mark” designation (as in Mark II, Mark III and so on).  The very last “Mark” was Mark VIII but, truth be told, Ford repeated Marks III, IV and V as part of a “do over” program that began with the introduction of the Mark III in 1968, as opposed to the 1958 Mark III.  We know what you’re thinking so go ahead and breathe a sigh of relief because there definitely won’t be a midterm.

Money pit for FoMoCo

Money pit for FoMoCo

Feral Cars Field Scout Matthew Reader found this ’57 Mark II posing glamorously the other day.  Despite the fact that when new it cost more than a Rolls, Ford lost money on every one sold.  The cost of prestige can be steep and unprofitable.  Still, we think it’s on of the most distinguished designs of the ’50s and flies in the face of be-finned, chrome dripping, excess that typified the era.

Land shark!

Land shark!

Did somebody just say “excess”?  Here you go: it’s a 1960 Mark V convertible loitering by the side of the road. This behemoth weighed almost 5200 lbs, measured 19 feet from step to stern and could be counted on to get a solid 8 – 10 miles per gallon.  We kinda love it.

White flight

White flight

Breezin'

Breezin’

We caught another Mark V, this one a four door hardtop, in motion.  Dig those “Dagmar” bumper bullets and the “breezway” rear window, a feature that sister brand Mercury featured over the years.  It’s a great way to let fumes into the car to lull the rear seat passengers to the land of nod.

Aircraft carrier wanna be

Nothing succeeds like excess

Speaking of huge, here’s a ’79 Continental Town Car that has its predecessor beat in the length department by another half foot.  Those oval portholes, the half padded roof treatment and the B-pillar opera lights  and fender skirts presaged the whole “Dynasty” look by a good two years. We don’t have much to say about the somewhat older one seen below except that it may very well have been hit by a meteorite and seem none the worse for wear. Certainly, nothing that a little duct tape couldn’t handle.

Needs some work

Needs some work

Suicide mission

Suicide mission

Say “Lincoln Continental” and chances are someone will respond with “suicide doors” or “JFK.”  Here’s a dusty ’63 convertible– yes, the same model year as the one that wasn’t able to get through Dealey Plaza unscathed.  Those rear-hinged doors in the back make ingress and egress a breeze and it’s kind of shame that Ford The Lincoln Motor Company didn’t see fit to equip the new Continental with this signature feature since that’s what, inevitably, springs to mind and Bentley doesn’t have them.

Formal looker

Formal looker

Tight!

If you were a Mafia don in ’62 this is what you’d drive — so much trunk room!

This ’62 Continental sedan says “New Frontier” in no uncertain terms and we applaud the fact that vinyl roofs hadn’t yet been foisted upon us. This is the car we wish the new Continental recalled but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards.  Pity.

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 11.51.36 PM

 

We think the Continental Mark III a/k/a “The French Connection Car” presents better in black but it’s unfortunate that this one seem to have its “eyes” stuck open.

Straight outta Marseilles

Straight outta Marseilles

We never "tire" of this classic look

We never “tire” of this classic look

The Mark V was produced from 1977 to the 1979 and was is the biggest of all “Marks” and  the best seller:  an average of 75,000 of these big boys were sold in each model year.  This example also sports that wide-eyed look.

Those fender gills help it breathe

Those fender gills help it breathe

By ’82 Continental was back as a sedan but significantly downsized from the aircraft carrier class of which it had been part.  The truth was that underneath that “eleganza” exterior with “bustle back” styling, was the platform upon which the lowly Ford Fairmont was built.  Talk about selling the sizzle sans steak!

The bustle makes a comeback!

The bustle makes a comeback!

Two tone baloney

Two tone baloney

The Mark VII, introduced in 1983, shared much with Ford’s Thunderbird and Mercury’s Cougar but held its own for nine model years.  This one is an LSC, the performance variant, and if you don’t look too closely it does sort of resemble BMW’s 635CSi except that BMW hasn’t, to date, ever built a car with a fake spare tire stamped into the trunk lid.  Their loss.

Mark-ing time

Mark-ing time

Bimmer wanna be

Bimmer wanna be

As noted, the last of the “Marks” was the Mark VIII.  We found a ’97 LSC that seems to have some issues with its clear coat, not to mention the rear-mounted cell phone antenna. Those “salad shooter” wheels are aftermarket so don’t blame The Lincoln Motor Company for this particular lapse of taste.

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 11.56.55 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 11.55.51 PMIt’s a fact that your President Nixon gave Brezhnev a Continental when the latter visited the former at Camp David in 1972.  We just love this dramatization of that wild encounter.

We think this low mileage (66,800) ’69 Continental Mark III with brilliant read leather interior offered in nearby Beverly, MA for under $13,000 would make a great addition to your fleet.  We’re happy to help you make the “connection.”

 If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.

Not so stinkin’ Lincoln

Faded glory

Faded glory

We found this ’72 Lincoln Continental sedan, one of 35,561 built that year, with some “needs” and just assumed it was a derelict waiting for the crusher.  Intrigued, we moved in for an onsite analysis and noted the following:

  1. It’s  parked on a street from which it has to be moved regularly lest it be towed
  2. Its tires seem to hold air
  3. Vehicle registration is up to date

Based on empirical evidence we declare it to be a feral car and not a smoldering pile of refuse left to moulder curbside.  Or both.

This one-time luxury barge, finished in medium blue metallic, is held together with acres of duct tape and a length of strategically situated chain; that trunk lock assemblage is a testimony to humankind’s innovative spirit.  Despite appearances, our conclusion is that this is, in fact, a motor vehicle that is, at the very least, in a semi-operative state.

Some fine grit sandpaper will have her looking like new, right?

Some fine grit sandpaper will have her looking like new, right?

Talk about potential!  Looks like the vinyl roof is a bit threadbare but we prefer the natural look so, to borrow a phrase from Barbara Bush, spoken about Hurricane Katrina refugees sheltered in the Astrodome, “This is working very well…”

Hideaway headlights! No need to Windex the glass.

Hideaway headlight: no Windex needed!

Frankly, we find this ghost ship from the time of Watergate both frightening and inspirational.  If ever there were to be a Feral Cars Hall of Fame, this behemoth — close to 19′ in length — would be a shoo-in.  It’s got flair, swagger, patina and is probably capable of motion.  Did we mention the chain secured trunk lid? What more could you really want?

Maybe it doubles as a Brinks truck?

Maybe it doubles as a Brinks truck? Yes, that sticker has months to go before it expires.

We found a shot of, perhaps, this very car undergoing final post-assembly inspection a mere 42 years ago.  Don’t you think that inspector would be thrilled to know his work paid off in the very, very long run?

The quality is baked right in

The quality was baked right in and the vinyl top adhered so well

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.

 

DRIVEN was a wild ride

FeralCars is delighted to have played a role in last week’s DRIVEN installation at Palm Springs’ Stephen Archdeacon Gallery, attended by scores of cognoscenti in town to celebrate Modernism Week.

Art parked

Art parked

“Bob,” a swanky orange Mercury Bobcat begged the question, “Would a Pinto, by any other name, would still explode on impact?” Bob, along with an anonymous though glamorous, in a 1984 K-car kind of way, Chrysler LeBaron convertible greeted guests at the event celebrating the ‘car noir’ art of Eric Nash, hosted by ZZ Top’s Billy F Gibbons.

DRIVEN co-conspirators: Matthew Reader, Bob Merlis, Billy F Gibbons, Eric Nash

DRIVEN co-conspirators: Matthew Reader, Bob Merlis, Billy F Gibbons, Eric Nash

Matthew Reader, a/k/a “Mr. Palm Springs Modern,” curated the collection of cars deployed in the area that included a “Smokey and The Bandit” style Pontiac Trans Am, complete with “screaming chicken” hood treatment, an Oldsmobile 98 the length of three Smart cars, a Lincoln Continental Mark IV plus a “plain Jane” Ford station wagon that is the subject of one of Eric’s pieces.   His set design sense was spot on with matches strewn around the Bobcat along with a gasoline can, a vintage lunchbox exhibition in the “wayback” of the Ford wagon and a literal “trunk show” of women’s shoes in very large sizes next to the Olds.

"Atlanta to Texarkana and back in twenty eight hours? That ain't never been done before." "That's cause we ain't never done it."

“Atlanta to Texarkana and back in twenty eight hours? That ain’t never been done before.” “That’s cause we ain’t never done it.

Kickin' it Oldschool

Kickin’ it Oldschool, curbside

After sundown, Feralcars presented a breathtaking slideshow in which 190 images were projected on an outside wall of the gallery.  We’re told that some of these could be seen from the International Space Station but this has not been confirmed.

Pura Vida powered non-Pinto

Pura Vida powered non-Pinto

Let’s take stock: great art, legendary rock ‘n’ roll star host, curated cars, Feralcars slideshow. And, oh yeah, our friends at Pura Vida Tequila were kind enough to send along Sara Abbas who most artfully and responsibly poured the finest agave-based cocktails we’ve ever enjoyed at an art installation.

Portrait of the artist with a portrait of a feral Ford wagon

Portrait of the artist with a portrait of a feral Ford wagon

Life imitates art

Life imitates art

When she pours she reigns

When Sara pours she reigns

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

Continental drifter

Soon to part: Continental Mark III and current owner

Soon to part: Continental Mark III and current owner

You may have read a previous post that concerned the ’69 – ’71Lincoln Continental Mark III, called by some “the French Connection Continental.” If not, you can catch up right here.

We hesitate to feature another one of these so soon but this ’71, wearing Paint Code S (Gray Gold Metallic),  comes with some very impressive stats, a charmingly variegated finish and, oh yeah, it’s looking for a home.  We’re not used car brokers so you’re on your own here but we were very impressed with the info provided by soon-to-be former owner Keith Burke.  The car is all original, for better or worse, but we think  mostly for the better.  To wit, it’s only got 42,900 miles on the clock and his asking price is south of $4000.  On the “for worse” side of the issue is the fact this Mark III spent quite a few years outside. That’s “outside” as in “outside in Iowa” which is, we’re told, not the most hospitable circumstance for the preservation of fine automotive finishes.  It’s resting in Palm Springs at the moment, by the way.

Nothing to hide or be ashamed and something of a mark of authenticity.

Nothing to hide or be ashamed of and something of a mark of authenticity.

We like it the way it is and the rust you see doesn’t seem to be invasive or advancing.  The cool move, of course, would be to strip away the vinyl top which was only a clever styling trick to hide weld seams on the car’s roof.  Have some go-getter body shop sand the seams away and paint it all one color.  We’ve seen one like that and it has some very serious presence.  The vinyl treatment reminds one of a hairpiece on a bald guy: you know he’d be more dignified without it.

The interior is original and in excellent shape and, apart from the rust found mostly where the vinyl top ends and reality begins, this car is most impressive at a distance. Yet, we think it can get through the age of HD even with that crackled paint and rust which is, technically, oxidation and that has something to with oxygen and that’s what we need to breathe so it can’t really be all that bad, can it?

Again, nothing to hide except, perhaps, an imaginary spare tire.

Again, nothing to hide except, perhaps, an imaginary spare tire.

The ever so eleganté faux spare tire in the back it wears its crackled finish patina in a lovely Grey Gardens/Sunset Boulevard kind of way, don’t you think?

If you’re interested in contacting Keith let us know and we’ll connect you.  We have no role or participation in any commercial transactions that may result from such a connection and, no, we don’t mean the French kind, either.

Speaking of which, we found this terrific clip from the film that features the car in several scenes, both in New York and in Marseilles.  Go get ’em, Popeye Doyle!

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com  OR through our Facebook page.

Include your name, location of the car and some thoughts about the vehicle and we’ll look into getting it the attention it deserves.