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Clean Fastback: 1982 Lincoln Continental


When you picture a fastback, what do you think of? I immediately go to the classic Ford Mustang, which was available as a Sportback throughout the 1970s. But that was a sporting vehicle, and the hatch-style rear works on cars like that. Despite the seller considering this 1982 Lincoln Continental here on eBay a fastback, what’s more notable is its mere 46,000 original miles on the clock with a Buy-It-Now of $4,500. 


Truthfully, the rear end is more commonly known as a the bustle-back, which was quickly considered to be a design well past its prime when it was introduced. The interior, however, was a bit more modern with a digital cluster and a sloping center console. You could access the luxurious confines without the aid of keys, thanks to Ford’s then-revolutionary Keyless Entry System.


The Continental is equipped with a 131 b.h.p. 5.0L V8, yet another incarnation of Ford’s venerable power plant. With under 50,000 original miles, there’s likely lots of life left in this malaise-era Lincoln – but it’s trapped inside a generation of the Conti that never found much favor with car shoppers. Here’s something I never knew: for a brief time, a diesel engine sourced from a BMW 5-Series of the same era was an option.


Here you can see in full-view the controversial rear end. It’s hard to imagine Lincoln thought the fake spare tire storage lump on the rear was still a good look in the 1980s, especially as consumers started migrating to more compact brands like Honda and Toyota. I think this Lincoln is still many years away from being a collectible, and the price is certainly a touch too high for a low-mileage but otherwise ordinary domestic sedan. What price do you think it should command?



  1. jim s

    seller is taking offers, but the free shipping goes away. since it has a rebuilt title seller needs to post a vehicle history report and any repair bills/photos of damage. if miles are true and past damage was as stated this could be a nice driver. nice find.

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    • Ed P

      In Illinois: A rebuilt title is issued to a vehicle that has been brought out of salvage by a state-licensed vehicle rebuilder. The salvaged vehicle is reassembled with refurbished parts by the rebuilder. Once a vehicle has passed all of the Illinois state inspection guidelines, the title will transfer from “salvage” to “rebuilt.”


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    • Richard Brown

      I agree! Plus as worn as the seats are, it looks more like 146,000 miles. My ’89 Town Car seat still look new with 80,000 miles.

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  2. MountainMan

    Sure don’t see this era Conti very often. With 46,000 miles and looking as good as it does the $4,500 ask isn’t too far off from what I would think it’s worth. For some reason the link won’t open on my tablet so I can’t see what the ad says is the reason for the salvage title or when the title was branded. I don’t know how collectable this will ever be but would make a kinda cool driver and is surely comfortable with the cushy seats. What’s going on under the rear bumper? Looks like something hanging down? Maybe there’s a better pic on EBay?

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  3. Scotty G

    I’ve always wanted one of these and a ’80-’85 Seville bustleback, just because they’re both so unusual. I think the price is right on but I wish it had a darker color scheme. I seem to remember there was a burgundy and black two-tone and maybe a brown and tan two-tone? Maybe some others, too. Nice find!

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  4. Roseland Pete

    That rebuild title makes me nervous. What sort of damage did the car have that the insurance company decided it wasn’t worth repairing?

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  5. Ed P

    Pete, I am wondering if the car has flood damage. That would be easy to hide not like serious body damage. I don’t see any repaired body damage. Any body else?

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    • Roseland Pete

      Ed, I was wondering the same thing myself. I don’t think an insurance company would total an expensive car for a fender bender.

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  6. Charles

    In 1986 I worked as the used car manager for a large chain of dealerships in Georgia.

    A customer traded in a Lincoln similar to this one. I remember it well. It was four years old and had 54K miles on it. It had obviously been well cared for with near perfect paint, and near perfect interior. With the 302 engine it ran like a clock. The problem was the electronics and power accessories. The digital dash unit was not working. The AC controls were bad also. If the AC controls had worked the AC unit needed a new evaporator. Three of the power windows and the electric locks did not work. The power seat was stuck with a bad motor. We searched for used parts and could not find what we needed for the car. Prices of new parts were costs prohibitive, easily exceeding the value of the car. After countless hours having the car problems diagnosed and searching for parts, we attempted to wholesale the thing at the auction with no reserve. It would sit for a few weeks at one auction, and then we would have to ship it back. The dealership spent a fair amount of money having the car shipped to various auctions and such in an attempt to sell it. Finally after It sat around for a couple of years here and there, we sold it for salvage. No, don’t want one. Thanks anyway.

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  7. Leo


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  8. ClassicCarFan

    ..as per Scotty G comment, I think the correct term for this rear styling would be “bustle back” like the Cadillac Seville – which was itself trying to capture style of the Hooper bodied Rolls Royce’s of the 1950s? Beauty is a subjective thing of course, but I think both the Seville and this car were epic fails… stand-out ugly bugs even amongst many contender from the big three’s malaise era.

    It’s probably quite a nice-driving car under that kitsch styling, and it does seem to be in good survivor condition, but hard to see it being very desirable or valuable?

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  9. Blyndgesser

    This is an interesting prospect because it’s a Fox platform car. Anything you can do to a Fox body Mustang, you can do to this car.

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  10. Donnie

    It is not a fox platform it would be a ltd or crown vic platform something like that

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  11. Donnie

    it has a frame not a platform

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  12. Ceezy

    Wouldn’t mind having one of these, can’t find them this nice in my area. Would make a great driver, easy to maintain and you don’t see them very often.

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  13. charlie Member

    Somehow the Seville was far more attractive, to me. I have always wanted one, and, I guess, now is the time to pick one up when nobody else does. The 4/6/8 cylinder engine was a problem in the first ones, but they handled well for the time.

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  14. Spankymcfairlane

    This car is a unibody car that was built on the Fairmont platform. My mom and dad had an 82 and an 87. Low points were experimental ABS and air ride on the 87 and VV carburetor on the 82 if anyone remembers those. On the other hand they both rode very nice and handled very well for being a bigger and heavier car. They were a unique looking car that my mother liked because of the compliments she got and the keyless entry system meant she would never lock her keys in the car again. I liked the 87 because of the 302 EFI. Very nice cars. I wish I had one today and an 83 Chrysler Imperial to go with it.

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  15. Keith

    The 81-83 Imperial did the “Bustle back” design so much better. But they, along with these Lincolns, are an acquired taste for a rare group of people. Having had both an 82 Imperial and a Versailles, I guess I’m one of those people. Price is a little high on this one though, the seller should be happy with $3750.

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  16. Johninfl Member

    Spanky is quite correct! My family had 2 of these with the air suspension. I always wanted one of the pre 84 models without the air suspension simply for the simplicity, but the VV carb was a PITA as I had a Ford LTD wagon with one. The price on this one does seem a bit high as overall condition shows lack of care over the years. But such is the life of a luxury car after the first owner, a roll of the dice for subsequent loving owners…..

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  17. Dan Calderon

    I am about to buy one of these. Mine is an 83 beautiful condition the paint is flawless on the outside the interior leather is very good considering it is almost 40 years old. I am only paying 2K for 64k miles on it I will post pics later.

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