1978 Lincoln Continental: The beautiful classics

1978 Lincoln Continental: The beautiful classics

Engine V8 Horsepower 166 HP (122.176 KW) @ 3800 RPMTorque 319 Ft-Lbs (433 NM) @ 1800 RPMEngine Location FrontWeight 4660 lbs | 2113.74 kgTransmission 3-speed automatic SelectShift

Continentals of different generations evoked controversial feelings – from excitement to confusion. However, these fancy-designed luxurious cars had one thing in common: they did not leave anyone indifferent! 

Source: Wallpaper Cave

Continental of the 5th generation was the most extended production American model (5918 mm in length!) and Ford’s largest passenger vehicle in its history. On the one hand, the model was traditional, even conservative, like almost all vehicles of its class, luxurious and comfortable, emphasizing its prestige. On the other hand, it was a vivid symbol of the American auto industry’s sluggishness which continued to rivet multi-meter and multi-liter vehicles, completely ignoring the trends and the changing paradigm of its time. The absurd car size was excessive for the era of environmental friendliness when the whole world turned towards efficiency, downsizing, and improving safety and ecology. But the American auto industry did not want to adapt to the new realities, holding on to the old formula of “the more – the better.”

Nevertheless, new realities forced Lincoln to reconsider its views, and the 6th generation had to adapt to general trends.

The origins

Source:  Mecum Auctions

The history of Continental began in the distant 30s, and since then, it experienced more than one crisis, ups, and downs. Moreover, in the late 1950s, the luxury brand was on the verge of collapse: the model’s second generation was removed from production before the planned date, and the third generation that replaced it didn’t change the situation. Brand losses in 1960 reached 60 million, and the brand was about to close. The situation was saved by Elwood Engel, who was working on a two-door layout of the Ford Thunderbird. By Ford Vice President Robert McNamara’s order, this layout was modified and adapted for the 4-door new Continental. This explains the noticeable similarity in the design of two vehicles of different brands and classes. Both vehicles had checkered radiator grilles combined with the front bumper with a protruding chrome separator and twin round headlights in oval blocks. It was the luxury brand’s last chance to stay afloat. And it worked! Thus was born one of the best American automobiles of all time, the fourth generation of Continental, which remained relevant until the end of the 60s.

Moreover, the fuel crisis of the 70s, the depreciation of the USD, the fight against pollution, and the size reduction of full-size vehicles did not affect the fifth generation of this vehicle. The culmination was the release of 1978 with its record size.

The 1978 model year

Source: AutoEvolution

In the late 70s, the automobile received a massive Rolls-Royce-style grille, hidden headlights, and a “hump” in the form of a spare wheel on the trunk lid. In 1978, a glass sunroof was also optional. The 1978 automobile differed from the previous vehicles only in wide side moldings and bumpers with rubber pads. So on the side of the front fenders, there were functional blinds for cooling the engine compartment. In the last two years (1978-1979) of the spotted generation, the Continental reached a record length of 5918 mm, becoming the longest American production car on the market and the most significant Ford passenger car in its history. The model was equipped with a Cleveland V8 400 engine with a standard volume of 6590 cm3 and 160 hp. There was also an optional 7.5-liter V8 460 with 200 hp. However, it was sold everywhere except California. Standard equipment also included power-assisted disc brakes and a Sure-Track anti-lock braking system on all wheels. The luxury model naturally had complete power accessories and automatic climate control. It was offered in four designer series with exclusive colors and finishes, such as Bill Blass, Cartier, Givenchy, and Pucci.

Did you know?

Source: Streetside Classics

The limited edition Diamond Jubilee Edition was released in 1978 in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Ford Motor Company. The car had a dual exhaust V8 460 engine and bucket-shaped front seats with a center console. The model also included an electric sunroof and was offered only in two colors: Diamond Blue and Jubilee Gold. Models from the limited collection cost $22,000 each.

Contact us if you have this or another classic car to sell.

1978 Lincoln Continental: The beautiful classics

Engine V8 Horsepower 166 HP (122.176 KW) @ 3800 RPMTorque 319 Ft-Lbs (433 NM) @ 1800 RPMEngine Location FrontWeight 4660 lbs | 2113.74 kgTransmission 3-speed automatic SelectShift

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