Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

The whole idea of a “Hot Rod Lincoln” may be long in the past, but with Cragars and a big 460, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mark III might just be an effective reminder. That is, if it doesn’t cost too many Benjamins.

Okay, we have to talk. Specifically, we need to have a word about last Friday’s 1968 Chevy Corvette convertible roller. Now, I know it was missing an engine, and was in need of a good bit of sweat equity. But people—it was only $4,500!

Even lacking its original mill, once restored it’s easily going to be a $25K to $30K car. That doesn’t explain the 56 percent Crack Pipe loss it suffered, a result that truly surprised me. I’m not going to throw shade at you all over it or anything, but honestly, I did not see that coming.

If you want to be seen coming then you could do far worse than to drive this 1969 Lincoln Continental Mark III. “Large and in charge” is the phrase best describing its impressive presence and audacious old-school style.

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If Lincoln still made cars of this nature, they wouldn’t be able to give them away. That’s because few people want big personal coupes any more. That sad fact makes these old ones all the more dear to those who do covet them.

Now, this is not the Hot Rod Lincoln made famous by the rockabilly song of the same name. Then again, that song wasn’t even about a Lincoln car. Instead it was about a hodgepodge car made up of a Lincoln Zephyr engine, a shortened frame and a Ford Model A body. The whole idea of the Hot Rod—a big-ass motor crammed into the smallest chassis possible—is embodied in that concept.

It may not be a hot rod, but it does have a motor that is huge by modern day standards—a 460 cid V8. The rest of the car though, is just as expansive as that engine in its use of space.

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Sporting a steel body on a large perimeter frame, the Mark III is also heavy, tipping the scales at a whopping 4,739 pounds and making the 460 really work for its living.

The 385-series V8 offered up 365 (gross) horsepower according to the factory. That was facilitated by a huge four-barrel carb that could have singlehandedly caused the ‘70's gas crisis. A Ford C6 three-speed automatic would serve as the Mark III’s only transmission offering.

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This one comes in Maroon over a red leather interior and sports a black vinyl roof. The style is the epitome of the personal coupe popular at the time, and while the Mark III is little more than, as Lee Iacocca demanded, a “Thunderbird with a Rolls Royce grille” the design has aged spectacularly well.

Add the willfully antiestablishment Cragar wheels as here and you’ve got something that will draw stares across the auto enthusiast spectrum. Those wheels are apparently add-ons in the car’s sale, but I’d want them regardless.

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The ad says the car comes with just 76,000 on the clock and a clean title. The seller claims that it “Runs, drives and looks great!” All the power options work, a feat made possible according to the ad by the repair of a front window motor and a couple of switches. A tune up (remember those?) and a fuel sender replacement round up the recent work.

Pop open one of the impressively long doors and you’re greeted by an interior that’s not just representative of 1960s American luxury, but also of 1960s American build quality. This car is fully 50 years old, but everything in there looks to be in good shape. There’s no discolored plastic trim nor undulating dash pads owed to a life in the sun. It’s all a little more baroque than might be desired by modern tastes, but damn if it isn’t classy.

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The exterior has not aged quite as well. From the pics, I would say this is a 10-foot car—maybe 20. Overall the body looks straight, the vinyl roof seems unmarred and all the chrome appears bright and shiny as you could want. The paint is a bit on the creaky side, however.

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The seller is forthcoming regarding the issues, which is appreciated. Those issues include a boot lid that has a bit of rust and some paint popping, as well as some crazing in the top coat on the scuttle. These may each be addressable locally, not requiring a whole-car redo.

The seller says he’s selling the car because he needs space, and honestly who can blame him: this is a very big car. It comes with what might be considered a not-so big price, that being $15,000. The ad claims that’s not negotiable, and recall that the Cragars (mandatory inclusions in my mind) are extra.

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What’s your take on this cool old Lincoln and that $15,000 price? Does that make it a President’s Day sale? Or, is this a Mark III that’s priced to make you not give a number II?

You decide!

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Chicago, IL Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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