Even in this era of six figure Porsches, and other once-affordable classics also accelerating in price, you can still find something interesting for a tenth the cost of a new Kia if you know where to look. Granted, that won’t always get you a sports car, and it won’t always get you something for burning through back roads, but it will get you an interesting car that was once the top of a manufacturer’s line. And it doesn’t even have to be from the fully depreciated late 1980s, early 1990s era – you can get a ginuwine, Nixon-era (nearly) car with a lot more style and probably less total cost per mile than the new Kia. You can find this 1974 Lincoln Continental Town Coupe for sale for a mere $1500 in Napa, CA.
So the odometer reads 58,300, which the seller claims to be the total count, but short of any documentation you should expect more on a car this age. That said, the miles are academic on a car this age – you should really be looking at condition, recent maintenance and repairs, and how it drives. And this one looks pretty nice – you can certainly see some even oxidation from years in a dry, sunny climate, but overall it makes the impression of a clean car, perhaps owned by an older person who only drove a couple of times a week.
Town Coupe is pretty much the English translation of Coupe de Ville, and that’s what this one is – imagine nowadays if Chevrolet tried to sell a muscle car called “Cheval” (horse) as a direct competitor to the Mustang. Of course, with all the alphanumeric or made-up-word model names cars go by, there’s not much room for such sneaky copying. The interior on this car certainly shows its age, but looks clean and intact, which is what you’d hope for.
The car is said to have a new transmission, new rear shocks, Edelbrock 750 carburetor, air conditioning, and brake booster. The cost of those parts plus installation has to easily run beyond the asking price for the car. The seller is selling to move into his own place (why not just live in the car? it’s big enough) and disturbingly, admits that he has the squirts for the car in the trunk. The car runs the 460 4V engine, which gave 225hp. Interestingly, they were produced through 1997 for use in trucks, mobile homes, and the like, and are popular for drag racing, so parts should be easy enough to find. Furthermore, the later engines used fuel injection, so if you’re having trouble with reliability or looking for better mileage, your local junkyard might have one they can pull for you.
The rear looks pretty clean too – all around the car, you can see design cues inherited from the 1961 Continental. While this car won’t win any beauty contests, it is fairly understated compared to some of its contemporaries. This one shows a minor dent on the right front fender, and the headlight doors seem to have failed, but otherwise looks to be a clean, original car. And for the price, why not pick up this coupe for the town? Just like the Porsches, you’re not likely to lose money on it.