While Greece may currently be facing a jobs crisis, for decades Lincoln kept Roman numerals employed in the naming of their luxury coupes. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe MK VIII represents the last of that breed. But will its price suggest that buyers should grease the seller's palm, or just keep roaming?
Wow, with the exception of Monday's weirdo VW-Jeep, it's been nothing but two-doors here this week. Not only that but the low door count has been matched with equally parsimonious pricing, meaning that, after yesterday's 1974 Opel Manta's 74% win, we're on a Nice Price streak. Please though, don't you streak in celebration. You know, for the kids.
Speaking of kids, the prime demographic of the original sales target of today's swingin' 1998 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC was empty nesters, and guys that want to know if it's hot in here or it's just them. Whether due to choice or single digit sperm count, the big FN10 platformed coupe was sort of the anti-family truckster.
The history of Lincoln's halo coupes goes back to the late nineteen thirties when industrial heir and global gadfly Edsel Ford returned from a trip to Europe electrified by that continent's sexy designs that draped the rides of the elite. E Ford commissioned a custom design from Ford's head penman, Bob Gregorie and based on the already impressive V12-powered Lincoln Zephyr. Prepared for his 1939 Florida vacation, the smoothed out and channeled one-off Lincoln wowed not only Edsel but everyone who saw it. Ford thus ordered the hand-built car be offered to the public.
The start of U.S. involvement in WWII put production of the Continental on hiatus, and in 1943 Edsel Ford sadly succumbed to cancer. The 1946-48 Continentals - like almost all of the immediate post-war cars - were the nearly decade old designs slightly spiffed up. Those cars are the last V12-engined cars sold by a major U.S. manufacturer.
FoMoCo resurrected the Continental in 1956, not just as a car but as a separate brand sistering up with Lincoln. The Mark II was once again a nominally hand-built car, and at $10,000 was one of the world's most expensive. It was also jaw-droppingly beautiful and carried a vestige of its pre-war ancestor placing its spare tire under an imposing trunk bump-it.
While the MK II was a dramatic statement, it was far from profitable and the following MK III shared its basic body with the standard Lincoln and became available with four doors as well as a coupe. By the time the smooth and suicidal fourth generation arrived, the Continental brand had devolved into a model line in the Lincoln family. The Marks III IV and V produced from 1968 through 1979 proved the maxim that if it's not baroque don't fix it, and made a mockery of compact parking spaces. The sixth edition of Lincoln's personal coupe fitted that chrome and crass to a smaller, pantherier frame, but things really changed with the introduction of the Mark VII. Dropping from body-on frame Panther to Uni-fox the VII brought aerodynamics and the first inkling of handling to the marque. It was during this tenure that the Mark marque (Marky mark?) also dropped the Continental from its name like Skrillex drops the bass.
Ford's luxury brand went Hot Rod Lincoln with the introduction of the LSC or Luxury Sport Coupe, a range topper that made the transition to Mark VIII, and which is represented by today's merlot and blackout alloys edition. This 3,760-lb two-door sports Ford's quad-cam ‘In-Tech' V8, an engine good for 290-bhp in the facelifted '97-'98 models, and shared with the hottest Mustangs. Unlike the pony cars, all VIIIs came with Ford's 4R70W 4-speed automatic, a choice befitting their role as a luxury touring car and allowing drivers the freedom to squeeze the thighs of front seat passengers at their will. Doing that means only having to reach across the low central tunnel, a feature that leads to a sweeping dash that's as dramatic in its styling as it is plastic in its construction. Still, with a claimed 117,000 miles on the odo, the car looks pretty good both inside and out.
One of the Lincoln's most vexing features was its air suspension, replacing steel springs with rubber bags. In concept it's a pretty good idea, but in execution. . . well, has anybody ever gotten these things to work reliably for more than a couple of years? The fact that it's a pain in the ass to do so has created a cottage industry of companies that offer kits retrofitting air bag suspensions with traditional springs. This car has been so fitted, with an StrutMasters Kit, so it's got that going for it.
What it also has is a $2,600 price tag, and now it's time to see if that's low enough that you think someone should go for this Lincoln. Before you do, consider this one that's a butt-load cheaper, but does need paint, and is no where near as pimp as this red rider. With that in mind, do you think that for $2,600 this Lincoln will leave a mark? Or, would paying that much make this a coupe d'etat?
H/T to Rollo GRande for the hookup!
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