Bill Blass’ Pickup: Lincoln Continental Mark VII

The Lincoln Continental Mark VII is one of those cars that’s a bit of a sleeper at the moment for collectors. With handsome looks and reliable 5.0L V8 power, it has the makings of a cheap collector car you can buy and enjoy. But what if you could take that one step further, and own a classic and a prototype that never saw factory support? Enter the Mark VII Ranchero, or Avalanche, or whatever cute moniker you want to apply for a custom Continental pickup. Find it here on craigslist for $9,500, and thanks to Barn Finds reader Pat L. for the find. 

The idea of a parade or flower car is not a new concept. However, it’s not a trend we really saw extend past the coachbuilders’ heyday of the 60s and 70s. What’s nuts to me is this looks pretty well done, especially considering the likelihood this conversion was performed in someone’s backyard. A quick Google search reveals no evidence of a professional shop performing this conversion.

The rear glass looks surprisingly well integrated, and a custom bed cover is even included. Of course, with conversions like these, the details can be hard to get right and shortcuts can be seen up-close. From a distance, however, this conversion looks to have accounted for basic geometry and the dual rear axle with a precise swoop of metal in between the rear wheels is an impressive design feature.

Up front is the Mark VII face you know and love, and it kills me they left the hood ajar. So many other places for gaps and flaws to appear and they don’t close the gap on the one body panel that should remain unaffected by the conversion? Anyhow, perhaps I’m incorrect and some small bodyshop on the high plains made such a creation – and if they did, I’d love to see the details provided in the comments below.

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Comments

  1. CapNemo CapNemo Member

    Putting the ass in blass. I mean, gosh look at that car!

    13
  2. sir mike

    Just don’t get it….

    6
    • LARRY

      That back window is integrated nicely..but I would have left one rear axle not two..except for the two rear axles nicely done and props to the builder

      7
  3. 71FXSuperGlide

    Oh Dear God, no, even with the decimal place moved one to the left. It looks like some strange sort of automotive caterpillar.

    9
  4. Ralph

    Finally, a worthy collector car appears on this site, its about time!

    13
  5. canadainmarkseh Member

    I like the concept but it is to long behind the rear set of wheels. I think that this length makes it look awkward and that much back swing would make this even more difficult to maneuver. The build quality looks really good based on what I can see in the pictures. This car would be difficult to store because of the length unless you own a ware house. Interesting find though.

    4
  6. PaulG

    It appears that the hood being ajar is the least of the issues…
    With a single rear axle it “might” have been a build that looked correct.
    Too much time on your hands was playing in the background…

    7
  7. Sam61

    Like it…needs an operable tailgate (maybe re-skin the tailgate from a ranger or f150 with mechanism and nix the rear bumper).

    This would be a great tow car for the GMC motorhome I wish I had…some yin/yang GM-Ford karma.

  8. Todd Priest

    Why do such a thing to a cool car? If I had the extra $10k, I’d buy it only to burn it and put it out of it’s misery.

    3
  9. local_sheriff

    I won’t deny the workmanship going into this one seems good; question is rather how does it drive?!
    Probably a vehicle better suited for parade duties than regular street driving. Anyone who’s driven a 3axle truck with no possibility to unload the 3rd axle will know there’ll be much binding upon cornering. Not to mention this would possibly have crappy grip on the drive axle on slippery surfaces. Or did the builder make it a tandem drive when he first was at it…?

    2
  10. CanuckCarGuy

    The MK VII is a bucket list car for me. When I see this, I imagine it was involved in a horribly disfiguring accident, and this was the only way it could be saved.

    The Mark VII has a luxury-muscle vibe when unmolested, especially in the LSC trim…I always saw it as the 5.0LX for the “mature” crowd….the Mark VIII jumped the shark in my opinion.

    1
  11. Mountainwoodie

    I’m a little young to be driving a Lincoln Mark VII but I’ll bet you’d gather quite a crowd at the local Home depot on Saturday morning.

    Should fill the suburbanites with envy…….

    2
  12. Wayne

    I love “Utes” but this has gone too far to the rear. A single axle with normal overhang would have been good. Especially considering the quality of the build. Hmmm, I’ve got one of these, I wonder………..

  13. Brian Scott

    Intelligence often means knowing that just because you can, does not mean that you should.

    4
    • charles Flowers

      My thoughts exactly, WHY??!!

  14. the one

    Definately build a custom cabover camper! The rear suspension should handle the extra wieght. Just a thought.

    2
  15. Fran

    Take on pair of wheels on the rear of the car and it might work.

  16. George sapia

    Not sure why one would put dual axle just to carry a body?

  17. Healeymonster

    Well the exterior looks to be decent. Not to sure whats going on in the bed though. These Mk’s were lincolns first attemps at a all bagged suspension. But looking at the bed it appears they may have gone a different route here. Too bad as the bags were very easy to service/replace. They rode quite nicely as i recall. Had this been done with a single axle, the saleability would be much higher IMHO.

  18. Wayne

    I just looked at my MK VII and noticed the following mods to the original.
    Cut the roof at the rear of the side rear window.
    Cut the body across the rear of the front trunk opening.
    Cut sides along the body line below the rear window.
    Slide rear roof/glass assembly forward to meet front part of roof.
    Cut rear body off vertically right at the back of the rear wheel well. (A)
    Cut rear body off vertically right in front of the rear wheel well of donor vehicle.(B)
    Graft rear section (B) to rear of main body (A)
    Start welding!
    Devise rear suspension for second (Rear axle for section B)

    I did this because parts of the pictured car look out of proportion. Where they are actually still the factory “designed/produced” lengths.
    Just so you know.
    It still looks hideous in my opinion. If you going to go to this much trouble to build a custom Ute from a Mark VII, then stretch the wheelbase and make it look proper. I do agree with “the one” that the only “practical” purpose for this vehicle would be a slide in camper. And the best vehicle to do that to would be an Eldorado/Toronado where you could use torsion beam rear axle(s) (if you decide you need 2) and keep the overall height really low for better stability. And still have plenty of torque for towing and pulling hills.

    Sorry, just rambling thoughts of an old goofy mind.

    2
  19. David

    Personally, i love it. This is clearly an intention built “Parade Car”. The stretched out length and full weight of the bed is centered over the axles. So much about this car is amazing: The back window, the widows peak between the back wheels, the completion of the bed, and the outstanding body work … c’mon … This crazy thing is really sweet.

    4
  20. Al

    Bad idea, well executed. No thanks.

    2
  21. rod444

    What an excellent base on which to build one’s own plywood camper – fitted, of course, with windows from a discard pile at Home Depot and a screen door from a garage sale, but only if it has an AC window unit hanging out one side powered by the generator chained to the bumper.

    Put a Cummins 5.9 in it and drive it across America. C’mon, you know you want to.

    1
  22. Johnmloghry Member

    There are plenty of Continentals made into Rancheros out there with one rear axle so why not one with two rear axles? Perhaps if the axles were designed to pivot when turning like GMC did a few years back then you might be able to minimize rear tire drag and wear.
    God bless America

    1
  23. Andrew Franks

    I agree with the person who said bad idea, well executed. I don’t know what to do with this. Very bizarre, which is a reason to own it, put all your friends in the back and on a dry day (the rear wheels look exposed in the box) take everybody to lunch.

  24. Del

    Wow. 900 dollar piece of weird

  25. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Trying to figure out what the two box sections protruding from the front of the bed are for? Maybe a designed-in lift for a bed cover?

    This is bizarre, so I say go all the way: Waterproof line the bed, (with a jacuzzi jet pump setup) and fill it with hot H2O. Rolling Party!

    2
  26. John

    Abomination.

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