Lincoln Continental Mk IV


pics Michael Fordham

Like a lot of people who grew up in these islands during the 1970’s, I first came across the Lincoln Continental via The Sugarhill Gang. Yes, those early rap stars from the boogie down Bronx, waving their hands in the air like they didn’t care in a hotel-motel kind of madness dropped the Lincoln’s name  next to its equally bling cousin the ‘sunroof Cadillac’. Ever since then, I’ve been more than a little fascinated by these cars.

Just as these blokes were representative of a lush, carefree exotic world full of dollar bills, shelltoes and gangster menace that was totally and utterly glamorous from the perspective of this side of the pond – so the Lincoln Continental came through with its sheer, over the top presence. It might have been ridiculously outdated and oil hungry by the early seventies when the MkIV was released, but man alive – bumping into this light lime greenish example at a Somerset car show recently, I was immediately struck at how beautiful, how completely unique and resonant was its design.

The owner told me that this car, fresh from the deserts of Arizona, (where it was used for ferrying the wealthy retiree back and forth from poolside home to golf club), has no more than around 20,000 miles on the clock, and that only light recommission was needed to make this pretty much showroom spec. The fact, also, that the 7.3 litre engine and the sheer size and weight of the car meant that £20 worth of petrol lasts approximately the distance between the average Somerset Village means that it’s safe to say that this is no daily drive.

But see this thing in the flesh and you’re reminded how madly divergent were the car cultures of the USA and the rest of the world. There’s a brash, super confident steeze about this thing that is endlessly appealing from the perspective of the worry-stricken motoring scene of 2013.