Big American luxury cars of the '70s were unlike anything that came before or since, and the biggest, most luxurious of them all had to be the Lincoln Continental. By the time this 1979 Continental Collector's Series was built, Cadillac had already downsized, making it the undisputed champion of the luxury car wars. With wonderful preservation combining with a faithful repaint, this is one of the finer examples of its type anywhere and it's definitely the most sheetmetal per dollar in the collector car world.
Basic white looks great on a luxury car, and it's the ultimate finish on this limited-run Lincoln (1 of only 4 available colors on the Collector's Series), showing off the design in all its decadent greatness. Finish quality is quite good – an attribute of tantamount importance to the Lincoln name – and the resulting strong driver-quality respray shows that when this luxury 4-door was repainted, the restorers new they were working with something very special. The long, straight almost gothic lines of the last of the land yachts have aged well and still look attractive today. Traditional Lincoln styling cues abound, including the bright strip of trim that runs along the tops of the fenders and doors, a feature that first showed up with the 1961 Continental. The rubber filler panels for the bumpers remain in very good condition (although like most, they're not a 100% color-match to the rest of the car) and if you're familiar with these cars, you already know that these parts deteriorate fast if the car is exposed to the elements. The white vinyl top looks great, ostensibly turning this special Continental into a Town Car, and the overall look is quite uniform, so someone has obviously always loved this car. Nice chrome bumpers, a tall, vertical gold grille, and folding headlights complete the look.
The interior is about the size of a Manhattan starter apartment and as luxurious as a penthouse suite. Blue Kashmir velour on tufted seats is both durable and comfortable and shows little wear, as you'd expect from a car that's been babied. Ornate door panels have controls for the split power front seats, windows, and locks – all framed in fairly convincing faux wood. The weather seals are still supple, so this car seals up like a tomb and just whispers along on the highway, and thick carpets underfoot certainly help with that effect. Other features include automatic climate control, cruise control, automatic dimming headlights, and a rather sophisticated Cartier clock. The back seat has enough room for the starting front line of the LA Lakers and the beautifully finished trunk will carry all their gear and then some.
Ford's 400 cubic inch V8 (aka the 6.6L V8) was the only powerplant available in the Continental/Town Car in 1979, and it's a good choice. Smooth, torquey, and almost completely silent, it moves the massive sedan without ever feeling like it's working hard. It's quite original and nicely maintained (although not overly detailed), with many of the factory markings still visible under the hood. It's got the proper replacement parts, but with so few believed actual miles, most of the equipment hasn't been broken in yet. It starts easily and idles so smoothly you'll be tempted to hit the starter again, and the single exhaust system offers just a distant hum to advertise the engine's operation. A 3-speed automatic transmission shifts almost imperceptibly and with towering highway gears in back, this is perhaps the best long-distance cruiser you'll ever drive. Factory "turbine" alloy wheels remain in excellent shape and carry 235/75/15 whitewall radials that finish the look perfectly.
They called this a "Collector's Edition" and perhaps it's time has come. We'll never see cars like this roaming the highways again, so take advantage of this opportunity to drive perhaps the finest example of Lincoln's last land yacht. Call today!