Second Chances: 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III

In 1970, if you drove an Imperial LeBaron, Cadillac Eldorado, or this Lincoln Continental Mark III, you were clearly someone with status. Back then, a luxury car was truly a luxury car, with features and quality reserved for the flagship models only. Not just anyone could attain one of these roadmasters new. Find this 20K original mile 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III in Forest, Lake, MN for $6450 here on craigslist or saved here.

The first Continental Mark III in 1958 wasn’t exactly a success. It was a gaudy, complex leviathan that swilled petrol and frightened small children with its ‘Godzilla ate Tokyo’ looks. Introduced in late 1968 as a new personal luxury coupe, Lee Iacocca decided to give the Mark III name a second chance at winning over the upper echelon. Thunderbird sales weren’t exactly growing and Cadillac kept winning more and more market share, so Lincoln took a stand against the Eldorado and introduced their own handsome coupe.

Based on the controversial fourth generation T-Bird, the Mark III was smaller than a full size Continental. Power came from a 460 V8 with 4 barrel carburetor, putting out 365 HP and matched to a Select-Shift automatic only. The styling was a mix of Lincoln and Rolls-Royce, with a chop top and mini pontoon wheelwell cut outs thrown into the design. Not what you would call a beautiful car, but handsome, with sharp lines and a stately chrome, stand up waterfall grill, which RR did not appreciate. And continuing the tradition of the Continental Mark II, a trunk lid wheel hump, sans rear mounted spare, announced to tailgaters that this was truly a special car. For 1970, the Mark beat out the Eldorado in the first Motor Trend King of the Hill contest, something it would do many times over the years.

Brown paint with a black vinyl roof was an interesting choice for someone to have made almost 50 years ago, especially considering the nearly unlimited choices available. The exterior on this example looks very nice for having spent most of its life in a barn. Brown paint is great at hiding rust, which there is some peaking out of the wheel wells. The rear quarter panel is said to have been damaged during storage, but the dark paint makes it difficult to see what that damage is beyond a dent or two. The vinyl roof was standard in 1970, and this one looks nice and complete, without any bubbling creeping up or splits. Michelin Radial tires were also standard this year, a first for an American car. Be ready to replace if those are also original! The 460 looks original and clean, though the running condition isn’t divulged. Be prepared to clean out a few cob webs since the car wasn’t driven for decades.

The interior is absolutely spotless. That is real Walnut on the dashboard folks! No critter damage or water stains are seen here. The black cloth and vinyl seats don’t even have a seam coming apart. The Rim-Blow steering wheel looks complete and the AC is from the factory. Though the seller brags about the fiber optic taillights, they were not known for being reliable, developing cracks in the clear plastic lines over time. Also developing cracks were the miles of vacuum lines which control a lot of features on these cars, including a lot of the luxury gadgets and the hidden headlights. Once a leak begins, you’re Lincoln starts to develop the dreaded stink eye, with one headlight door open and one closed. Or the look of surprise, as these cars look more Phyllis Diller than Kim Novak when the headlight doors are open.

There are a lot of cars you could spend your hard earned dollars on, but this handsome Mark III combines power, luxury, styling, and class all in one unique ride. Do these Lincoln’s still command the road for you?

Comments

  1. Andrew

    I own a 1971 Mark III. It’s been an ongoing battle to get her back to 100%. She’s about 90% done with only the climate control and A/C to rebuild. I dropped a high performance 460 in her with a mild cam and 750 Holley. Straight long flow headers. She sounds pretty mean. Definitely not your grandpas Lincoln!

    Like 1
  2. Blindmarc

    Gas monkey bought one from a car dealer for 4K and it was rustfree. They want too much for something that gets 10 mpg.

  3. Mark

    George Barris did a custom job on one of these for the movie “The Car” w/ James Brolin. He made that Lincoln scary looking. Anybody remember that flick?

    • David Washington

      Yes so this is that car i have the movie and I was looking for that car.

  4. James Burdzinski

    My Father had a 68 1/2 the. A 71. Bronze over Brown for 71. Which they used in their 71 catalog. He was a freelance Artist back then drove mostly Lincolns since i was born i came home in a 62 Blk cherry Continental. Now i have tracked it down sitting in a garage in Canada . Road Trip. ! It was given to the doctor i was named after. And we went to Canada as kids. He also told me he has my Parents first car. Dads Aunties 2month old Hammydown 41 Plymouth . Anyway. I have 2 68 4 dr .sedan Mark lll. And a Super Rare delete top. !

  5. Rob M.

    Reminds me of the car they tore apart on The French Connection.

  6. SC/RAMBLER

    Personally I prefer a 1971 72 Pontiac grand prix. As far as Lincoln continentals go this is my favorite.

  7. DETROIT LAND YACHT

    My first car was a 69 Imperial 2 door coupe.Room for six large humans…and two in the trunk. Love these old land yachts. Even the “personal luxury coupes” had Rubenesque proportions. 6k is a little high for this puppy…but it’s worth keeping on the road.Am I evil for wanting to rip the top off…and make it a convertible?

  8. Madmatt

    This car is almost a twin to one that a
    customer had at my dads shop,in the early 80’s.
    The guy ended up buying my dads 56 T-Bird,he
    was a Ford guy too!These have always had a following,
    and these are sure to go up in value!

  9. FarmerBoy

    When my grandfather passed away, my father spent his entire inheritance on a beautiful sky blue Mark III (68 or 69 ?). It had a white top with (I think – maybe) the interior all in white. Gorgeous car but he only kept it a couple of years – traded it in on a 67 GT500 Shelby. If this was blue and white, I’d be on the phone now.

  10. rustylink

    hopefully no French guys have stuff a couple hundred kilos of “h” in the door sills…

  11. On and On On and On Member

    How did they ruin this look with a Mark IV.

    • Buick Fan

      EEKS, you like this better than a MK IV????

  12. Buick Fan

    Is this the same car that had the cool convertible version that concealed in the trunk or was that one model back?

  13. gene

    My Mom had one new and it was a great car. For all the weight it would easily get 18mpg on the interstate. Plenty of power around town. Those wheelcovers weight a lot and tended to go flying. I replaced at least 3 from junkyards after Mom paid dealer hundreds for the first one lost. Ours had full leather interior, I like the cloth centers. I still have the personal owners name dash plaque and if I find one in triple dark blue would install it there if this nice and under $10,000

    • Buick Fan

      It blows me away that these cars got decent gas mileage…my 6 cyl minivan doesn’t get 18 mpg!

  14. Don

    I bought a 71 MK III new. It was powerful. Get rubber in all 3 gears. BUT, with the cruise set at 75 on the hwy, I would get 19 mpg on premium fuel. All the time. Never checked town mileage. It was an awesome car. Sure do miss the old Lincolns.

  15. chris cunnington

    I have owned a total of 9 Marks , First car was a 71 III ,asked my wife to marry me in a 70 III, a 58 II drove me from my wedding, Had two 78 V s, drove my new daughter home from the hospital in a Cartier VI, drove 3 – 96 and 98 VIII s for 11 years every day for 350,00 mi. . You could say I am a Mark guy.
    Mk III is my all time favorite need to find a low mi. one in good shape and not outrageous price that’s why I am here.

    Like 2
    • fred l. scates

      Chris may have news for you

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