At $4,350, Is This 1988 Lincoln Mark VII A Legendarily Good Deal?

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

The dealer selling today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe MK VII describes the model as a “legend.” While that’s disputable, there’s no doubt that this big coupe is of a style that today almost only exists in legend. Let’s see how epic its price might be.

One of the things I liked about yesterday’s 2015 Porsche Cayenne diesel was how the interior door pull shapes were mirrored by the “oh shit” handles on both sides of the center console. Just why the driver needs an “oh shit” handle is beyond my comprehension, but the OCD in me does warm to the symmetry it provides.

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That was about all the warmth that still under warranty sport utility roused, and at $43,000 it didn’t get much sympathy as a value either. In the end, it fell in a pretty resolute 77 percent Crack Pipe loss. Still, those damn handles...

Have you looked at Lincoln lately? No, I don’t mean our 16th president—he is forever caught in the amber of time as a bearded and stovepipe hat-wearing symbol of greatness.

No, I mean the other Lincoln, the one named for Honest Abe, and which serves as the Ford Motor Company’s luxury branch. Lincoln, the car company, has been going through some hard times of late, not really knowing what they want to be, nor who they want to be buying their rides.

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This has long been an issue for the marque, and in the mid-Eighties and early-Nineties, they took a path toward satisfying an audience new to the brand, that of the sport coupé aficionado. That’s a group that has ever so slowly been dying from attrition, but we still have cars like today’s 1988 Lincoln Mark VII LSC as a reminder they existed.

What, you might ask, does the LSC part of that name signify? That’s Luxury Sport Coupe and while you may not be familiar with the category, let’s just note that when it comes to Mark VIIs, the LSC is the one to get.

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The basic chassis here is Ford’s Fox platform, shared amongst most every car line the Blue Oval folks built throughout the Eighties. That means that most parts for the VII are ubiquitous and cheap. The engine is a 225 horsepower edition of Ford’s long-serving 302 V8. You might remember these mills from this era’s Mustang GT. Backing that up is Ford’s solid citizen 4-speed AOD automatic, while out back lives a limited-slip diff.

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By today’s standards, this is a pretty big car. Being a child of the Eighties however, it’s not terribly heavy, weighing in at around 3,800 pounds. That means performance, while not scintillating is at least adequate. The LSC’s uprated suspension and four-wheel disc brakes meant that it could get through the corners without totally embarrassing itself too.

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This one comes in Arctic White over a lovely deep blue sea interior. All-in interiors like this are a wonderful throwback and this one seems to be in perfectly acceptable shape. There’s a reasonable 152,000 miles on the clock and if you check that you’ll notice that the odo, along with every other gauge, is crammed into a tiny space in the otherwise expansive instrument panel. That’s because Ford decided that the LSC needed a tach and fit four analog dials into a space originally designed for a fluorescent digital display.

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The light-bright dash wasn’t Ford’s only forward-thinking part of this model. If you saunter out to the nose you’ll note that the Mark VII has, like most cars today, a set of flush composite (separate lens and bulb) headlamps. Gaze in wide wonder because these are in fact the very first flush headlamps ever allowed on U.S.-spec vehicles. Yep, this is where they started.

These are a bit yellow and may need some TLC to clear up the matter. The rest of the exterior looks to be in fine shape with shiny paint and a bit more brightwork than is common today. Out back the vestigial spare tire hump melds into the tall trunk lid inauspiciously. The whole thing rides on Mustang Cobra wheels which look sporty but do seem to exhibit some curb rash. The factory basket weaves were a wonderful choice and are missed here.

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On the plus side, this Mark VII has one of Ford’s greatest contributions to auto technology, that being the keypad door lock. That’s a wildly underated featurethat’s almost exclusive to the brand.

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Both under-car and under-hood shots show some surface degradation, but nothing too serious. The car is in Pennsylvania, a state that requires safety inspections and does sport the appropriate and very unattractive window stickers denoting that it’s passed the test.

As noted at the outset, the dealer selling the car seems to think this is a legend. That’s not really the case, but the Mark VII, especially in high-zoot LSC form, is a fairly noteworthy notch on Lincoln’s bedpost. Its position as the first factory “hot rod Lincoln” of the modern era gives it a certain level of interest, and it’s arguably one of Ford’s more enduring designs.

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It’s not a car that engenders a tremendous amount of lust, however, and that’s why you can still find them fairly cheap. This one seems perfectly serviceable and without major need, and asks a mere $4,350. That’s not very much money, but there’s still a lot of other cars you could buy for as much—the Mark VII’s lesser sibling the Mustang GT among them.

That means that it’s up to you to decide if this LSC is worth that kind of cash. What do you say, is it worth $4,350? Or, is this a Lincoln that missed the Mark?

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You decide!

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Philadelphia, PA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Mark McIntosh for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.