Hot rod Lincoln

BY Larry D'argis. Jun 17 04:00 am

Henry Ford purchased Lincoln from Henry Leland in 1922. An upscale luxury model, it was brought into the Ford family to help bridge the gap between the utilitarian Ford Model T and other luxury marques offered by competitors. Ford’s son Edsel was the chief stylist on the Lincoln line and in 1939 he designed the Continental. Available as a two-door coupe or convertible the Continental styling was unlike the regular Lincoln line and appealed to the country club set. Well received and highly regarded, it sold well both before and following a four-year hiatus in production, due to the Second World War. In 1956 The Continental Division was established and it produced the two-door coupe Mark II models. Beautiful hand-built automobiles, the $10,000 price tag saw most purchased by movie stars, bankers and world rulers. Production ceased after only two years.

Many felt the four-seat Thunderbird that debuted in 1958 was chosen to be Ford’s personal luxury conveyance and it fit the bill until the late 1960s. Lincoln re-emerged in 1969 with the Continental Mark III. Again, drawing on the historical image of the Continental coupes, it offered huge comfort and class and paid homage to the long-hood, short-deck tradition of the previous Mark series. For 1970, the only changes were concealed windshield wipers, upgraded signal and tail lamps as well as a new interior upholstery theme, with genuine walnut veneers in place of the simulated oak and rosewood previously used.

One look at the Mark III coming, going or sitting in a parking lot, you knew this was a distinctive automobile for discerning owners. Power came from a new 460 cubic inch V-8 engine producing 365 horsepower at 4,600 r.p.m. and was backed by a smooth three-speed C6 automatic transmission. Along with many opulent standard features came an option list longer than the Rae & Jerry’s Steak House menu.

In 2013, Coe Peersman of Winnipeg spotted an online ad that led to him purchasing a 1970 Continental Mark III. A recent graduate — he secured a job and went looking for his first car. “I always liked classic cars, with their power and aggressive looks and it was something I could afford,” says Peersman. He travelled to Winkler, met the couple who owned the Continental and struck a deal.

With 136,000 original miles, when Peersman purchased the car it still featured the factory Raven Black paint, black vinyl top and dark green leather upholstery. He installed new intake manifold gaskets to fix an air leak, new brakes and gave the big V-8 a much needed tune-up. Equipped with most of the available options, the Mark III rolls down the road with power everything including, air-conditioning, tilt wheel, cruise control, AM radio, power windows, power door locks, power seat and remote mirrors.

Since acquiring the Mark III, Peersman has had it out to several Sunday Night cruise nights at the Pony Corral Restaurant on Grant Avenue and has been enjoying driving it. “The ride is amazing, it’s smooth and just glides along,” says Peersman. Having just graduated and earned his diploma in the two-year automotive technician program at Red River College, Peersman is hoping to land a position in his trade and carry on in the automotive field. Peersman’s future plans for the Mark III are a full restoration to return the car to showroom condition.

The Continental Mark series escalated in 1972 with the introduction of the Mark IV, incorporating the opera windows in the pillar of the roof and much plusher interiors. It continued with the bigger is better theme until the model was downsized in 1981. Restyled in 1984 and wearing the Mark VII badge it continued until its final incarnation as the radically restyled Mark VIII from 1993 to 1998 as a grand touring luxury coupe.

Today, the earlier Mark III models are more in demand than the later cars, due to their styling and more powerful high-compression V-8 engines. There’s an air about these cars that has held true for many decades. If you drive something this bold it makes a statement. You’re successful, you appreciate the finer things in life — and you're not shy about everyone knowing it.

57ford@mymts.net

More News

Mustang rides again, four decades later

BY Larry D'Argis. Jan 12 04:00 am

The 1970s weren’t a particularly kind decade for performance vehicles. Most of the fire-breathing options found on muscle cars of the past had been reduced to nothing more than an appearance package with a stripe or two.

Rising costs for fuel and insurance took their...

Road Runner restoration revved up

BY Larry D'Argis. Dec 29 04:00 am

For 1968, Plymouth was searching for a low-cost, intermediate muscle car. Stuffing a powerful V-8 into the cheapest and lightest body style available wasn’t a new idea and savvy buyers had been doing it for years just by checking off the right boxes on the option list.

...

Chevy's magical 'Milestone Cars'

BY Larry D'Argis. Dec 22 04:00 am

The 1955 to 1957 Chevrolets have long been sought-after classics. The middle child 1956 model received a minor restyle over the ’55 offering, which included a new full-width grille with rectangular park lamps and ribbed taillight housings with domed lenses. The driver’s...

Enthusiasts luck out with barn find

BY Larry D'Argis. Dec 14 20:00 pm

The Ford Mustang is the original pony car. In continuous production since 1964, Ford has sold millions of them to a wide base of customers and today its popularity is as strong as ever.

From its humble beginnings as a parts bin car that borrowed heavily from the Ford Falcon,...

1942 Plymouth a true 'survivor' car

BY Larry D'Argis. Dec 08 04:00 am

When we look at a barn-find vehicle, we’re really referring to something that has been in long-term storage. Neglected and not maintained in any way, they can often require considerable work to the fuel, electrical, braking and exhaust systems before they can be driven again.

...

Online ad leads to nearly flawless Nova SS

BY Larry D'Argis. Nov 24 04:00 am

The compact Chevrolet Chevy II hit showrooms in 1962. The Chevy II was designed as a no-nonsense conventional model to take on the successful Ford Falcon — something the European-inspired Chevrolet Corvair had failed to do.

While it did gain market share, by 1965...