10k Mile 1978 Lincoln Continental Diamond Jubilee

Marilyn Monroe famously sang that “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” If this is strictly true, then it will be interesting to see what our female readers really think of this 1978 Lincoln Continental Mark V. This particular car is a Diamond Jubilee Edition, and when it appeared in showrooms, it was the most expensive vehicle ever produced by Lincoln. This one is all that and more because it is claimed to have a genuine 10,113 miles showing on its odometer. It is looking for a new home, so if motoring in the lap of luxury appeals to you, then this is a giant of a car that might be worth a serious look. It is located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $16,600, and with the reserve now met, that new home would seem to be right around the corner.

Produced in 1978 to mark Lincoln’s 75th Anniversary, a total of 5,159 examples of the Diamond Jubilee rolled off the production line. They were available in two exclusive colors, and this is 1-of-2,602 that wore Diamond Blue paint. This particular car is said to have been a museum car, and only sports a few minor chips in what is claimed to be its original paint. This raises a bit of a conundrum for me, as there appears to be some inconsistency in paint color visible in this photo. I’m not sure if this is a trick of the light, but the inconsistency seems to be on a panel-by-panel basis, which might suggest some touch-up work at some point in this Lincoln’s life. Otherwise, the car appears to be very solid, with no signs of any rust issues in any of the supplied photos. As part of the Diamond Jubilee package, a Landau-style vinyl top was also fitted, and this seems to be in good condition. The same appears to be true of the color-keyed alloy wheels, and the external chrome and trim. Chrome was pretty minimal on the Diamond Jubilee, but what was an interesting touch was the “Diamond Jubilee Edition” script that was etched into each opera window. The letter “i” in Diamond even featured a simulated diamond chip, and this feature remains intact on this car.

At 4,870lbs, the Lincoln is a big and heavy car. Therefore, it needs a big and heavy engine. In this case, what we find lurking under the hood is a 460ci V8, producing 210hp. Now, that combination is never going to make the car a terror at the local drag strip, but it does make it capable of producing an 18.3-second ¼ mile ET. That’s actually a pretty impressive figure. Less impressive is the fuel consumption, which was confirmed to be around 10.1 mpg back in 1978. That means that as a daily commuter, the next owner would probably need to be a major shareholder in an oil company. However, for a spot of relaxed weekend touring, it really isn’t that dramatic. Being a full-blown luxury car, the 460 is backed by a 3-speed C6 automatic transmission, while power steering and power brakes are all part of the package. The owner claims that the Continental has a genuine 10,133 miles showing on its odometer, but doesn’t indicate whether he holds any evidence to verify this. I guess that if the car has spent an extended period of time as a museum piece, then the claim would certainly be quite feasible. The owner provides few details regarding this Lincoln’s mechanical health, although the supplied photos do paint a fairly positive picture. The tires are said to be in good condition, while the spare and the exhaust are both said to be original. What we don’t know is how well it runs or drives.

If you walked into a Lincoln dealership in 1978 and ordered your Diamond Jubilee Edition finished in Blue, then you received interior trim that featured Wedgewood Blue cloth with matching blue broadlace inserts on the seats. Many of the hard-wearing surfaces featured leather trim, including the top of the dash, the armrests on the doors and in the rear seat area, and the armrest on the top of the console. A really nice touch was the bespoke umbrella that was fitted to the inside that armrest. The carpet continued the luxury touch, with the floors wearing 36oz Tiffany cut-pile carpet, which extended into the trunk. Completing the luxurious trim was faux-timber insets on the console, door trims, and sections of the dash. Generally speaking, the interior of this car appears to be in quite nice condition. The major exception is the armrest of the console, which has a very obvious bend in it. Interestingly, this appears to be a very common flaw. I have seen a number of these particular cars over the years, and the vast majority seem to sport this issue to some extent. I don’t know whether this can be addressed, or whether a replacement would be the only option if perfection is a key requirement for the next owner. There are also some minor marks in the timber, but these are very hard to spot. Optional interior equipment was limited to a moon-roof and a 40-channel CB radio. The original owner chose not to tick those boxes, but that doesn’t mean that occupants will feel neglected when riding in this car. As well as air conditioning, there is power operation for the windows, locks, seats, and the passenger-side mirror. Add in cruise control, a tilt wheel, and an AM/FM radio/8-track player, and this is a nicely equipped luxury car in a 1978 context.

Rolling out of the showroom in 1978 at $20,529, the Lincoln Continental Mark V Diamond Jubilee Edition was one very expensive investment for those lucky few buyers who could afford one. Today, that same sort of figure is a pretty sound sort of an indication of what you could expect to pay for these cars on average. Nice examples can sell for around the $20,000 to $22,000 mark, while exceptional ones can push as high as $30,000 on a good day. If the color inconsistency that I have previously mentioned is a mere trick of the light, and if the mileage can be confirmed, then that does make this a fairly special example. Bidding hasn’t been frantic on the vehicle at this stage, and with the reserve having been met, this does open up some possibilities for interested parties. The general lack of interest makes it a very real possibility that this might be a classic luxury car that could sell for less than $20,000. If this is eventually the case, then it has the potential to be a very reasonable buy. As always, a personal inspection would be a very wise first move, but if it does checkout as being a good one, that would make it well worth considering if traveling in the lap of luxury appeals to you.

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Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Member

    As Adam says, “relaxed weekend touring” would today be this car’s calling. It is perhaps the epitome of the pre-downsizing personal luxury coupe, something now far removed from the automotive landscape. The right owner would have fun with this Lincoln.

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  2. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Good grief-this thing is within INCHES in length of my 1 ton long bed crew cab Cummins! The new owner would be well-advised to buy 2 used Pilots for the kids to help dock this land yacht wherever it goes…

    It looks like it’s in really great original condition and would’ve been a hit for many at Hot August Nights in Reno this year had the organizers not cancelled it already 😔. Hope to see that the new owner enjoys it anyway.

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  3. Chuck

    Don’t think the mismatched passenger door is due to bad light, it has been repainted.

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  4. Dusty Rider

    $20,529 in 1978 equals $84,950.39 in 2020. Wow!

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  5. Will Fox

    Mismatched panels indeed. For 10K miles, the pass. door doesn’t match, and the paint on that RF fender looks questionable too. Even the vinyl on the console lid is rippled and doesn’t sit flush. If what I see in the paint is simply a trick of light, I’d have to see more of this to be sure. Mark V’s are coming into their own realm as time goes by. The best ones are truly worth finding. Only Mark of this era more scarce are the `79 Bill Blass editions (Navy/white) with white interior. Most were built with the navy guts.

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  6. Bob McK Member

    I thought I was seeing things. So glad others agree that the door does not match. If the seller wants top dollar, it needs matching paint. Nice tank… I do love it. But the price is too high.

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  7. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Wonderful drivers. I owned many Lincolns in the 60’s 70’s and 80’s. Not for those looking for sports car handling or high gas mileage, but for those wanting a soft ride in full luxury comfort. The doors weigh more than a Kia. Lol 😀
    God bless America

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  8. bull

    My parents purchased a 1978 Cartier Edition new for my mother. I ended up with the car and kept it for many years.

    My Mom wanted another one so I purchased a nice used Blue Diamond Jubilee she once again drove until the size became a problem For the last 10 years she has had a Honda Accord which she says is the best car she has ever had!

    She’s only 94 years old!

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