30K Miles: 1977 Lincoln Versailles

It’s interesting that the North American version of the Lincoln Versailles was based on the Ford Granada, but the Brazillian version of the Ford Versailles was based on a Volkswagen. Or, I think that’s an interesting bit of trivia. The seller has this nice-looking 1977 Lincoln Versailles listed here on eBay in Robbins, Tennessee and the current bid price is $5,800, but the reserve isn’t met.

The look is unmistakable and we’ve seen several Lincoln Versaille examples here on Barn Finds over the years. I don’t know if I’ve seen one in this Light Chamois color before here, other than seeing one parked on the side of the road once, a later model with the half-vinyl top. Lincoln offered the Versailles from 1977 to 1980 and in the last two years, the roof was revised a bit for a more formal look.

The Versailles was only available in a four-door sedan configuration, but I did this quick two-door version a year or two ago and I have to wonder if it would have helped sales. Probably not. It was considered more of a compact car in its day and as with the also “compact” Cadillac Seville, it was reportedly the most expensive Lincoln at the time.

That rearview mirror has to be glued back onto the windshield but otherwise, the interior looks great as far as I can see. The exterior was basically a Granada with a different hood, trunk lid, and roofline, but the interior… well, it wasn’t that different other than nicer seats, door panels, dash, sound-deadening material, and plush carpet. I’m not sure what this photo is for but the carpet could use a good cleaning. The trunk is luxurious and the back seat looks basically like new.

The engine is Ford’s 351 cubic-inch V8 which would have had 135 horsepower. Ouch. The seller says that it runs and drives like new and other than a ding in the hood, which they mention, this looks like a very nice example of a head-turning luxury car. Let’s hear those Lincoln Versailles stories!

Comments

  1. Todd J. Member

    Straight from the “How The Mighty Have Fallen!” file. When the name “Lincoln” was applied to this model, Edsel Ford probably started spinning in his grave.

    Like 17
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I guess, a prime example of “if some nice trim is good, more must be better” mindset. And if buyers could be had, even at really high prices, one can see why the manufacturer tries it. Enthusiasts cringe, but it works…. most mass-market manufacturers do this, even today, to some degree, in some fashion.

    As always, good job Scotty.

    Like 13
  3. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    The Granada wasn’t a bad car, just a cosmetic redux of the Falcon I suppose. And yes, this is just lipstick- on- a- pig engineering, no different than the hideous Cadillac Cimmaron or the Limited Edition Vega Estate Brougham Bill Blass Golden Anniversary Bicentennial Edition.

    Like 15
  4. Bud Lee

    This car screams I’m rich and cheap at the same time .

    Like 26
  5. Dave Painter

    Hmmm, for sale at a monument company. Estate buy? Probable.

    Like 4
  6. Dusty Rider

    That side molding doesn’t do this car any favors.

    Like 4
  7. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    Scotty that two door version looked really nice. I’ll bet it would have helped this car’s image.

    Like 3
  8. Stan

    Very nice example of the well appointed Versailles.

    Like 6
  9. Howard A Member

    Oh Lincoln, you were once so proud, look what they reduced you to,,a freakin’ Granada and while I abhor any political sayings, but the “pig with lipstick” thing surely applies here. This car had a split personality, it was either the poorest Lincoln, or the fanciest Granada. The Granada was a good car, just not Lincoln good, but Ford, and others knew, just the name would sell cars. Nothing really new had come along in cars, and dressing up mediocre cars as fancy ones, would sell, for a while. The 80s changed all that, but can’t rip on the poor schmoe in the mail room that finally came home with a Lincoln.

    Like 6
    • Psychofish2

      It was the most expensive Lincoln in the line, just as the Seville was for Cadillac.

      From the article:
      ‘It was considered more of a compact car in its day and as with the also “compact” Cadillac Seville, it was reportedly the most expensive Lincoln at the time.’

  10. DON

    “Light Chamois” tan and that horrid orange interior and trim . The worst colors Ford (or anyone else) could have come up with , and Ford used it on everything from the Pinto on up.

    Like 10
    • Psychofish2

      Sort of like British Leyland’s “Hearing Aid Beige” in the UK.

      Like 1
  11. Dave Brown

    My mother bought a new Mercury Grand Monarch Ghia. Her car and this Versailles are truly kissing cousins. The Seville was a much better executed upscale version of Nova. The Versailles could be much less expensively purchased as a Mercury. I remember seeing the Versailles introduced on TV. I was looking at a new rear projection TV at Macy’s when a baby blue Versailles commercial aired. I’d never seen one before. The car looked good on the commercial but upon actually seeing one at our my local Ford Lincoln Mercury dealership, it was extremely similar to a Mercury Grand Monarch Ghia. It fooled no one. The next generation of Versailles seemed poorly conceived too. It was obviously related to a Ford Fairmont. This was called badge engineering. That is exactly what Lincoln has become for many years now. It’s a plush Ford! This supposed luxury brand can’t even produce an automobile as well engineered as a Honda Accord. ALL they make now are SUV’s. What a sad ending for Lincoln!

    Like 8
  12. Mercury Man

    I once owned a ‘77 Versailles, silver with Wedgwood blue leather. It was a very nice car and garnished many compliments. My Versailles was perfect, never in inclement weather, and obviously never salted. The ‘77 model was the only year that the 351w was offered, in ‘78 they went to a 302 with an early version of injection. The ‘79-‘80 models were more “pimped” and in my mind not desirable.
    If the car offered here was the same color combination as mine and low mileage I would be waving my bidder paddle right now.

    Like 5
  13. Troy

    my best friends mom had one and with her permission we borrowed it to take his little brother to a strip club for his 18th birthday the car hit a patch of ice then a guard rail so we didn’t get very far. She was in tears at the sight of her car so we spent the rest of the weekend hunting parts from a pull a part yard to fix it for Monday morning

    Like 4
  14. Lothar... of the Hill People

    Making a Lincoln Versailles out of a Ford Grenada is like making a Cadillac Cimarron out of a Chevrolet Cavalier.

    That being said, for the right price (which sure isn’t $8,000) I’d drive this thing and drive it all over the place. I think it’d be fun.

    Like 6
  15. Oddimotive Cason Oddimotive Cason Member

    I thought these were all sacrificed to provide disc-brake-equipped Ford 9-inch rear ends for Mustangs. Nice to see one still whole!

    Like 4
  16. Steve

    IMHO, that might be the ugliest color Lincoln ever offered.

    Like 2
    • Emel

      I think i threw up a few times….in that color.

      Like 1
  17. Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking car. I find it more attractive than most Lincoln cars of the same vintage. It’s just the right size for anyone who likes Lincolns, but neither need nor want a behemoth of a car.

    Like 1
  18. Tony

    I worked at a Lincoln Mercury dealership when these were new. They seemed to be reliable cars and were super quiet with all the sound deadening. I preferred the Marks but these had a good quality feel to them despite the smaller size. I think the interior color is gorgeous, similar to colors often seen in exotics like Bentley and Ferrari. Give me an interior other than black ANY DAY!

    Like 2
  19. JoeNYWF64

    I would prefer this ’75 Monarch black with black interior, but i know i won’t find one …
    https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/-QYAAOSwUvVczFbx/s-l1600.jpg
    tho in the ad it’s odd seeing crank windows & floor shift with no console.

    • Psychofish2

      How I wish I could find a new one without an asinine suitcase sized console, Joe.
      At least make it a delete option. Please.

  20. Gerard Frederick

    Horrible when new, horrible now, horrible in the future. What a way to insult Lincoln.

    Like 1
  21. Emel

    This car is pretty ugly on several different levels. I’m sure one can figure those out ! lol

    Like 1
    • bone

      Compared to the junk we have today ? Nothing wrong with a 4 door sedan , although the color is awful !

      Like 1
      • Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

        The junk we have today? I mean…yes todays cars tend to all look alike (like angry ninja’s in your rear view mirror if you ask me) and they are more complicated than ever to work on, not to mention expensive, but they are safer and more reliable than ever. 200-300k miles is common now. I’d love to know how many Granadas went on for that many miles and also how much it cost the owner to massage it along.

        Like 1
      • Gerard Frederick

        Todays cars are like todays F1 racing, or todays motorcycles —- tremendously mediocre and boring in their sameness. The upside is, the advances in metallurgy, electronics, the giant chemical improvements in lubricating oils have all contributed to tremendous longevity, sadly at the cost of individualism and the quasi inability to work on any components. The computerized interconnection of all systems result in weird scenarios, such as insane costs to repair just about anything. For example, the horn and the cover of the gas tank on my VW Passat are computercontrolled and cost an arm and a leg to get repaired.

        Like 1
  22. Emel

    Come to think of it…after looking at it again.
    It’s an enlarged Ford Granada. Yeppers ! haha

    Like 1
    • Psychofish2

      Hideous, still. Embarrassing. Like the Cimarron was to Cadillac.

      At least Lincoln put in some extra effort.

      100 years of Lincoln. Ford spent the last 40 turning it into Mercury.

      “Water fall grille? Check. Wall to wall horizontal tail lights? Check.

      I think we have a new Lincoln here.

      Quick! See how many ad buys Motor Trend wants for it’s Car Of The Year Award !” -Ford executives.

    • DON

      Actually, it is a Ford Grenada , just more upscale with trim and options . If you were around in the 1970s you would know that dealerships selling Lincolns ,Cadillacs and Chryslers were like ghost towns . No one wanted a gas guzzler and companies were scrambling to get people into their show rooms. The Versailles , Seville and Cordoba were the result , and all sold fairly well . This is also the reason why Buick got the Apollo , and Olds got the Omega, both basically Novas .

      Like 1
  23. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Worth buying just to add a continental kit behind the one already built into the trunk. .

    Like 1
  24. JoeNYWF64

    It does have 4 wheel disc brakes at least! – not sure if they were ever avail on Monarch or Granada …
    https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/-i8AAOSwzjxjMjZ~/s-l1600.jpg
    Looking at this CANADIAN ad again,
    https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/-QYAAOSwUvVczFbx/s-l1600.jpg
    since unleaded was not readily avail in Canada then, can i assume ’75 – ‘?? Fords destined for Canada did NOT have cat converters?! If so, were engines detuned to compensate? – if not, i would think they would be quicker than their American counterparts with cats!
    Also note the FORD-MERCURY dealer sign above – in the USA, wasn’t LINCOLN always also a part of the dealer signs?

  25. theGasHole

    I had a ’77 Versailles a few years back, with the 1 year only 351 engine, silver with silver leather interior. It also had front buckets and a floor shifter, which was so unusual Ford actually had me send them a photo of it.
    Anyway, the styling wasn’t/isn’t everyone’s cup of tea to be sure. I personally thought mine was pretty cool, was like driving a sofa, and the front seats would go into what we called “pimp mode” in that they would recline all the way flat.
    Ford did actually put extra work into the Versailles (at least for the 1st Gen, and yes there was a 2nd Gen), taking them to a separate assembly line and proving ground of sorts.
    The late 70’s were surely not a good time for car styling and we know performance was horrendous, but the Versailles is at least….distinctive. The colors on this one though really don’t work.

    Like 2
  26. David R Member

    At least GM put styling into upgrading their Nova to a Cadillac. The first generation Seville was sharp. Ford really phoned this one in as a reaction to the new Seville. It looks exactly like a Granada.

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