Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Lincoln Continental Mark V

It’s rare to see true American cars on our streets these days, and modern European versions now built to be sold here don’t count.

I refer to the era when they were known as ‘land barges’, and performance wasn’t about how quick, or even how well they handled, but on their luxury and ability to eat miles of straight highway.

The Continental earned its place in my special list when TV detective Frank Cannon (William Conrad) squeezed himself into his, and made it look like a small car!

But I was probably sold the first time I saw the oval opera window.

It may have been large (230-inches), almost the biggest car ever produced by Ford, but it didn’t have any problems playing its part in the series’ chase scenes. 6.6 and 7.5 litre V8s may only have been delivering around 200+ horsepower, but they brought enough torque to get more than 4,600 lb (400 lighter than the Mark IV) of metal to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds, which as quick for the day.

I couldn’t find a factory spec for that number, but enough people have looked after good examples of the car to have videos of them making the sprint, so you can time those.

Around the same time, a German V8 with less than 5 litres could deliver over 300 bhp – and even that was not considered to be highly tuned or stressed. While it produced less torque, it propelled a smaller/lighter car to 60 in less than 6 seconds, but could travel at 150 mph on the Autobahn.

Given its age, this example I came across in Glasgow is in great condition. I only spotted one nasty rust spot, and one broken piece of trim.

Just look how it fits into a standard Glasgow parking space 🙂

Lincoln Continental Mark V

Lincoln Continental Mark V

It was local, as I could see the name of Glasgow’s proper American car dealer.

Lincoln Continental Mark V

Lincoln Continental Mark V

Seems the appearance of slightly empty wheel arches and flares is not an illusion – seems they were designed to carry special Michelin rubber, wider than standard, but this didn’t happen.

Lincoln Continental Mark V

Lincoln Continental Mark V

This 1977 example is listed as having the 7.5 litre engine.

These were the days when ‘Power Everything’ was being supplemented by electronics, and gadgets that are little more than a few lines of code added to today’s mobile computers were them major features.

This was the first car with digital ‘Miles to empty’ display on its dashboard.

Lincoln Continental Mark V

Lincoln Continental Mark V

Coincidentally, the same car went sailing past me a couple of times later the same day.

I couldn’t follow it (another lie from the transport ‘activists’ – that traffic is so gridlocked in Glasgow city centre that you can walk faster). One set of traffic lights lured me after it – then it vanished when they turned green.

I saw it later, same evening, when the light shown above was lit – it’s amber/yellow. Gone too quick for me even to get my hand near a camera.


It’s not normal to see even one such car – on this day I saw TWO!

I don’t know what the other one was, but it was from the same era, and shaped similarly, probably black, but I couldn’t see any details below the windows as it was in traffic.

What was obvious was that it was tuned.

I had heard it before seeing it, and this was proper tuned/performance exhaust noise, not a leaky exhaust.

It  might have been a related model, but not a Continental – no opera window.


22/12/2018 - Posted by | photography, Transport |

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