Until you've been behind the wheel of one of these behemoths of the disco era, you don't know what a smooth ride is. Lexus made a fortune selling isolation, but this 1978 Lincoln Continental takes it to an entirely different level. This car is also a special treat for Lincoln collectors, as an extremely well-preserved survivor with just 61,745 original miles and fully documented. If you've been looking for one of these wonderful luxury machines, you'll not find any finer than this.
This one was also loaded with options, as shown on the original window sticker:
460 cubic inch V8
Custom paint stripes
Illuminated Entry System
Tilt steering wheel
6-way power bench seat
Dual map light
Appearance protection group
Right hand remote control mirror
Power lock convenience group
Forged aluminum wheels
Body side moldings
It all adds up to a bottom line of $13,014.00, which was a HUGE amount of money in 1978.
The 1978 Continental is arguably the best vintage with the cleanest styling, and this coupe's arresting color combination is a very welcome change from the all-white that was so common back then. In fact, the Midnight Blue with tan vinyl top combination is decidedly contemporary, proving once again that good taste never goes out of style. There are acres of sheetmetal, and every inch seems straight, clean, and as crisp as the day it was built, suggesting that someone truly cherished this big luxury car. The straight, slab-sided body lines up beautifully, and those wide doors open and close with ease. A single tan pinstripe that matches the interior and top runs from end to end, stretching nearly 20 feet along the sides of one of the longest coupes ever built. The original paint is shiny, there's absolutely no rust, and the car looks months old, not decades. Very impressive.
For 1978, Lincoln designers were restrained in their use of chrome. Of course, there's the trademark Lincoln grille up front flanked by folding headlights, and a wide bumper that still gleams with factory plating. A single strip of stainless steel trim runs along the tops of the fenders and doors, a defining design cue that dates back to the first four-door continentals in the 1960s. Everything, from the stainless rocker trim to the Continental hood ornament, is in first-class condition. Even the padded vinyl roof with its unique grain pattern is beautifully preserved.
The top engine in 1978 was Ford's smooth, powerful, effortless 460 cubic inch V8. Topped by a 4-barrel carburetor, the engine moves the Lincoln and spins all its power accessories with the silky torque of an electric motor, truly defining the word luxury. Like the rest of the car, the engine bay is immaculately preserved, from the corporate Ford Blue paint on the engine itself, to all the little markings and ink stamps that are still clearly visible throughout. Ideally suited for HPOF judging, this car will easily score very well in competition due to its astounding preservation. Not only that, but it runs as new, starting easily and idling almost imperceptibly, save for an ominous exhaust rumble thanks to an all-new dual exhaust system with Flowmaster mufflers and polished stainless tips. On the highway, it wafts along effortlessly, whispering at high speeds and needing little more than a fingertip on the steering wheel. There's simply nothing else that drives like a full-sized American luxury car.
Ford's indestructible C6 3-speed automatic shifts the gears, spinning a 9-inch rear with long-legged highway gears inside. The suspension is original in every way, duplicating the factory's smooth ride and reliable handling, and the power disc brakes are powerful enough to control this big cruiser. Take special notice of the condition of the floors, which have been undercoated from new (according to the original purchase order), and recently cleaned and detailed, but never replaced. There are new shocks all around, and the aforementioned dual exhaust system is nicely fabricated with a proper crossover. Highly polished factory forged aluminum wheels are simply spectacular with no curb rash or corrosion, and wear—appropriately enough—Continental white letter radials that actually look great on the big Lincoln.
The tan leather interior is as beautiful as the rest of the car, showing minimal wear and more exquisite 1970s luxury. Button-tufted leather benches would look equally at home in your living room and gives this coupe true six-passenger carrying capabilities. The original carpets show almost no wear, and the door panels are extremely nice, without even an indentation where the driver's elbow would tend to rest. Everything was included with your top-of-the-line Lincoln, including power windows, locks, cruise control, a tilt wheel, A/C, and an AM/FM/8-track stereo, and all of it works as it should. The brushed stainless steel instrument panel is upscale and elegant, again with everything fully functional. In back, the trunk is like new, with original mats, spare tire, and cover, and that black box you see there is for the built-in 1980s-vintage cell phone, another cool throwback item that seems to work really well in this particular car.
Documentation on this survivor is impressive, including the original sales invoice from Lehman's Garage, the original owner's manual, OwnerCard, original window sticker, and I bet you never thought you'd see a Lincoln build sheet, did you? This car has one that's complete, intact and legible. It has also won awards like Best in Class (original Ford) in the 2010 and 2011 Carolina Motor Madness Show in Fort Mill, SC, and Outstanding in Class (original Ford) in the 2010 Clover Jaycees Auto Show in Clover, SC.
Now that they are over the AACA's 25-year age limit, luxury cruisers of the 1970s are becoming increasingly popular as both show vehicles in HPOF competition and as tour cars, where their superlative road manners, full-sized comfort, and powerful V8 engines make them highly desirable machines. There simply can't be many Continentals nicer than this, and the 1978 version with the optional 460 is most definitely the one to own. A spectacular survivor, this lovely Lincoln will not disappoint at any level.
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