It’s hard to know what to say about the Lincoln Continental Mark III. On the one hand, it was an unabashed success for Lee Iacocca, even greater than his more famous Mustang and Chrysler minivan. On the other hand, his brief for the car was said to be “put a Rolls Royce grill on a Thunderbird”, and sure enough, while the design is elegant, it’s a bit of a mish-mash of Rolls Royce, Elwood Engel Lincoln, and pre-war car, and of course some of the design cues shared by all 1970s personal luxury coupes. It also shares heavily with the Ford Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar, which was of course the key to its success as a profit generator. Check out this 1969 Lincoln Continental Mark III for sale for $3495 in Eugene, OR.
And there’s the Rolls Royce grill. You can certainly see the influence of the earlier Engel Continental sedan and coupe, and there’s something elegant about that squared-off, formal shape and the low roof. But it’s marred by the grill and the swooping (like a prewar car) wheel openings, and the vinyl roof, though common at the time, doesn’t do the shape any favors. The pseudo-spare-hump on the rear trunk lid is also cheesy and unnecessary.
In the pro column, this car is powered by the 460ci Lincoln V8, with 365 1960s horsepower. Remarkably, the car was available with an anti-lock differential and SureTrak anti-lock braking, well before it was common in production cars (other manufacturers to pioneer this included Imperial and Jensen). This particular car has been stored since 1996, but is said to run well. Expect to do some resurrection work, but overall it gives a good impression.
Most cars had leather interiors, and luxuries like a Cartier clock, wood veneers, 8-track tape deck, cruise control, and power locks were all available. This car’s interior looks to be in good shape, but probably needs a thorough post-storage cleaning and leather feeding. What do you think about the design of this behemoth – would you choose it over the equivalent Imperial or Cadillac?