Popeye Doyle has his eye on you.
We’ve long referred to the sophisticated and sinister Continental Mark III as the “French Connection Lincoln,” a reflection of its role in the William Friedkin film as Marseille Mafia mogul Fernando Rey’s cush ride on the mean streets of New York. Later, he ships it back to the heroin smuggling capital of Western Europe, a kind of mechanical ‘mule.’ A Mark III cruising Manhattan with French plates is, let’s face it, a cool move even if no illegal substances are involved. This revisit of Edsel Ford’s vision of personal, sporting luxury was brought forth when, in 1965, fresh from his triumphant launch of the Mustang, Ford capo Lee Iacocca reportedly issued an edict along the lines of “put a Rolls Royce grille on a Thunderbird and we’ll sell it as a Lincoln.”
His highest common denominator approach brought profits quickly as the ’69 – ’71 generation of Continental was a significant sales success. The first model year saw production come within a mere 500 units of Cadillac’s more entrenched Eldorado. This splendid, very much in service, “III” wears jaunty blue and white livery and sports the de rigueur vinyl roof. We’ve seen at least one that left the factory without such and the roof line, unadorned, makes the design all the more intimidating.
Tales of the tires or, as Swamp Dogg so poetically put it, “Pucker up while I’m backin’ up.”
Couldn’t help notice that a latter day pretender to the Mark III’s heritage is parked directly behind this Nixon era, pre-Watergate, stunner. It’s a Mark VII built in the same Wixom, Michigan plant as its forebear but quite subdued and only minimally flamboyant. Yes, they dulled it down in the 80’s and early 90’s but there is still that faux tire hump, a hold over from the glory years.
Fernando Rey piloting his “Connie” near the Tri-Boro Bridge:
License plate research indicates French baddie’s “voiture américaine de grande luxe” was registered in Bourges.
We found a ’71 Mark III on Ebay in a color that the official designation, “Light Goldenrod Yellow,” doesn’t begin to describe. It’s a MUST SEE The “Buy It Now” price of $19,900 seems fair in light of the paltry 32,000 (original?) miles. Get your bid in now and use this beauty at home and abroad!
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