As most of you probably know, the early 1980s was a tough time for convertibles. Of course, that presented an opportunity for small shops to pop up and do convertible conversions of varying quality, and as the 1980s progressed, mainstream manufacturers were getting back in the game – see the Miata or Chrysler’s K-car based convertibles. However, there were still opportunities for the coachbuilders – among them, Straman most famously did conversions on everything from Honda’s CRX to various European exotics. In between those two extremes, imagine the person who wants something more grown-up than his ’85 Mustang convertible – perhaps its platform-mate, the Lincoln Mark VII, if only someone would chop the top off properly. Thankfully, Ford had an arrangement with Custom Coachbuilders Unlimited, so on that note, have a look at this 1989 Lincoln Mark VII convertible for sale for $2495 somewhere in southern New Hampshire.
Though the car is really in pretty decent condition, there is a bit of oxidation of the 1980s metallic paint and yellowing of the headlight lenses. However, hopefully this speaks to the car having spent a good chunk of its life in a sunnier, dryer climate. With turbine-style alloy wheels, foglights, analog gauges and bolstered seats, this looks to be an LSC, which also means quicker-ratio steering. By 1989, all Mark VIIs shared the 302 HO engine, good for a supposed 225hp, though this was restated to 205hp in the early 1990s. Of course, being a Fox-platform car, many upgrades should cross over from the Mustang. Much is made of the convertibles rarity, with several cars pictured online wearing “1 of 12” license plates. Which is true, as long as you read the disclaimer that says 12 were made each year for 9 years.
Still, it’s a pretty rare find, which probably leads to the $10-20,000 asking prices on examples in excellent condition. The car is said to run well, but to need work on the paint and the top material – the top itself is said to function fine. The radio and power seat are also said to need repair, and the car only shows 92,000 miles. And while you’re thinking about all the engine upgrades you can make to the car, let’s hope things like chassis stiffeners, bigger brakes, and more can also cross over. A few cars were also offered with special upgrades including a manual transmission conversion, though you’d have to be pretty dedicated to choose this car and then want to do that.
That said, there’s plenty of room for this to be a financially reasonable decision. The interior looks pretty clean (recognizing there are no pictures of the driver’s outboard seat bolsters), though there is some friction wear on the driver’s visor where the top meets the a-pillar. Looking a bit more closely, perhaps those seats have been reupholstered in vinyl, but you’ll only be able to tell once you’re there. Of course repairing the top will not be as simple as getting one for, say, a Miata or an MGB, and it’s probably got a nice headliner and insulation, but you’re likely not the first to blaze that trail. Considering its minor issues, this grown-up Mustang still seems to have plenty of life in it.