Lincoln Continental mk V

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Keywords: Lincoln Continental mk V

Description: Given how starkly businesslike the last Car Lust was, I think it's time to celebrate one of the most fantastically flamboyant cars with which we have the pleasure of sharing our roads--a rolling purple fur coat; automotive go-go boots with...

Given how starkly businesslike the last Car Lust was, I think it's time to celebrate one of the most fantastically flamboyant cars with which we have the pleasure of sharing our roads--a rolling purple fur coat; automotive go-go boots with a live goldfish in the heel; a motorized cane with a carved grip in the shape of an eagle.

I'm speaking, of course, about the Lincoln Continental Mk. V, that rolling tribute to excess and adornment over substance; an in-the-metal triumph of sizzle over steak.

Snide wordplay aside, it should be obvious to anybody who reads this blog that I'm not being entirely sarcastic. I *love* this car.

Every aspect of the Mk. V serves as an eloquent spokesman for the past. Bury a pristine Mk. V in a time capsule, and when it's dug up several millenia later those quasi-human researchers will have a beautiful exhibit of everything that mattered in American culture in the late 1970s.

Large, powerful, slightly menacing in a cartoonish fashion, slathered with chrome and excessive ornamentation, and upholstered in boudoir-quality crushed velvet inside, the Mk. V is the 1970s served up in automotive form. And there's something about bolt-upright hidden headlights--nearly useless from an aerodynamic perspective--that screams late-1970s American luxury

The Mk. V is another excellent example of American big-car know-how at its best. To those accustomed to zipping around an urban environment in a Honda Civic, the Mk. V is a hopeless anachronism. Shift into a slower, pre-cable TV mindset, however, and the Mk. V shines.

The anemic 460-cubic-inch V-8 burbles along nicely without rudely disrupting you with excessive horsepower; the suspension bobs entertainingly over bumps, going well out of its way to cushion your backside; and the interior makes you feel cosseted and slightly drowsy in the same way you felt in your Grandmother's living room after a massive Thanksgiving dinner. Countless rappers have told us that pimpin' ain't easy, but as countless pimps could no doubt tell you, in the Mk. V at least it's comfortable.

Nowadays cars are almost uniformly dynamically competent. We've moved to an automotive culture in which most cars are toned, and quite often athletic. That leaves less room in the automotive world for cars like the Lincoln Mk. V--the automotive equivalent of a hairy, sweaty, obese man in a velour track suit--and, cheap laughs aside, I really do think that's a shame.

The video below, with entertaining funk-scratch soundtrack, comes from someone who bought their Mk. V at a police auction for $140. Given that the car starts (albeit laboriously) that seems like a great deal.

The pictures are from Automotive Restorations Inc.. and are of a '78 Bill Blass edition. Happily it is unrestored condition, just starting to show the patina of age.



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