Custom Cut: 1978 Lincoln Continental Shorty

GAA! What is that? This isn’t Tom Cruise’s new ride (ok, no more short jokes), this is a 1978 Lincoln Continental Shorty. This is one funky ride and it’s on Craigslist with an asking price of $3,500 or will trade “for antique car from 1920s up to 1970.” This crazy custom is northeast of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

For such a short car it’s odd that there are only two exterior photos. Well, other than this one which shows.. the windshield? I’m not sure what the seller is trying to convey with that photo, and then not showing any of the other side or the rear or the front or anything. For a car that was originally 19.5-feet long, this Lincoln Continental is probably still bigger than anything that we own even with part of it missing! The seller says that “the vinyl top is shot and it does need some body work above the rockers but they are flat areas and an easy fix.” I wonder if it would have looked different (i.e., better?) if the rear wheel arches would have been left with the partially-covered factory style, which was new for 1978, instead of making them fully round and then putting huge off-road-like tires on the back? Who knows, it’s all up to each person as to what looks good or not.

The interior looks pretty nice, although it could use a good cleaning. Those are recovered seats, aren’t they? That couldn’t be original, luxurious Lincoln Continental seat fabric, could it be? I know that Jesse and Josh have had a lot of experience with Lincoln Continentals, I wonder if they have ever thought to cut one in half, take out a big chunk of it, and then weld it back together again? I think they probably have better sense than that, but I’m biased. It’s always painful, for me at least, to see a fantastic car like a 1978 Lincoln Continental being chopped apart and turned into an oddball custom like this. Although, another part of me has to admit that it would be pretty cool to drive this one around and see what the reactions would be; they would probably range from amusement to terror and everything in-between.

This Lincoln Continental Town Car Custom could probably, technically, be considered a business coupe now without a back seat and with a bit of extra storage in the trunk where at least part of the back seat compartment would have been. The seller says that the “power seat in good condition and works fine, power windows work fine, heat and blower work fine lights and wipers too,,,still rides like a 78 lincoln but was a 4 door that was cut down to a 2 seater.”

The prior year, in 1977, the Lincoln Continental was the longest mass-produced car in the world, other than limousines, at 19.5-feet in length. It also wasn’t a lightweight car weighing in at 2.5-tons! I wonder what weight reduction occurred here when they chopped off the rear seating area and Humpty-Dumpty’d it back together again? 1,000 pounds maybe? One thing for sure, this 400 cubic-inch V8 isn’t light and it isn’t a stock engine. This engine is a “400 modified runs very good, no smoke or knocks or leaks, has a 4 barrel holley, edlebrock intake, dual exhaust, 36″ stainless extensions, sounds great.” What do you think of this chopped Continental?


  1. Johnni B


  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but so is ugliness!

  3. Anthony


    • JW

      Anthony you beat me to that comment and I totally agree.

    • Blyndgesser

      From the looks of it, the middle part rusted away and the owner just welded the ends together.

  4. Allan

    My Momma always said that if I didn’t have anything nice to say…..

    Like 1
  5. Mr. TKD

    Nix. Nay. Nein. Negative. Nicht. No.

  6. Jeffro

    Dr. Frankenstein called…he wants his car back.

  7. DrinkinGasoline

    Waste of chrome smoothies….

  8. Ed P

    Now my eyes hurt.

  9. terry

    It certainly looks better than all the tri five 4 door Chevys that have been shortened.

    Like 1
  10. Dovi65

    [SIGH] just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD

  11. Landerso

    Bring a supply of Dramamine. The wheelbase looks shorter than the overhang, so I suspect the ride motions are pretty nautical.

  12. RoughDiamond Member

    In the event of a rear end collision, the occupants may sustain a brain concussion from a flying speaker.

  13. Matt K Member

    I always thought that they were a bit long…

  14. rando

    Ok, here’s my idea. Since they went to the trouble of radiusing the rear openings, let’s make it a GASSER. Straight axle in front, get the nose up a little – real gasser class cars were supposed to be close to level. Big block with a tunnel ram. leave the vinyl top and gut the rest. roll bar, racing seats. Lace paint job. Wait, never mind- the meds are wearing off and it just seems stupid.

  15. grant

    1990’s redneck stereo tech? Check. Snow tires? Check. Harbor Freight cutting torch and welder? Check. Hold my beer and watch this….

    • Mike H. Mike H

      Yeah, that speaker placement is nearly guaranteed to remove one’s head when the car comes to a sudden stop.

  16. Mike H. Mike H

    Perhaps the seller refers to the engine as “Modified” because he makes the common mistake of thinking that the Ford 400 was called the “400M”, which people take to mean “modified” (by the way, that’s not what it means)?

    From Wikipedia:

    351M/400 identification confusion.

    There exists debate as to what Ford meant by the “M” designation of the 351M. Some claim the “M” stands for “Modified” – being modified from a 400-V8 with a shortened stroke – though others claim that the “M” refers to the Michigan Casting Center, where the 351M began production. Some say that the “M” designation has no official meaning, and that it was just Ford’s way of distinguishing the 351M from the 351C and 351W.

    Likewise, Ford’s use of the 400 block in the creation of the 351M engine has resulted in the 400 mistakenly being referred to as the “400M” or “400 Modified.” This is despite the 400 having been the design basis from which the “modified” 351M was derived and it was in production several years before Ford used the “M” designation. Further confusion arises from Ford printing “351M/400” on the emission stickers for the engine. The “351M/400” referenced the engine family, and some confused this with the engine name. This sticker also listed the engine displacement below the engine family. Ford’s official name for the 400 V8 contains no additional designations – the proper nomenclature is simply “400.”

  17. nessy

    This “thing” has been online for sale for a looong time. I can see why..

  18. John

    Lincoln, Lincoln what have you been drinking?

  19. HKD

    I saw the car last week, just happened to be driving by where it lives and the wheel base does not look as short as the pictures would suggest. It does look odd, and I don’t think there rear wheel and tire combination helps.

  20. dan

    I’d be embarrassed to drive it to the scrap yard

  21. Joe

    Kill it with fire!

  22. Rex Kahrs Member

    Seems Presidential now that I look at it.

  23. JRATT1956

    Some 20 inch wheels and a solid blue paint job just might improve it enough that I would want to drive it. Then again now that I think about it, maybe not.

  24. Joe Howell


  25. ckkurtz Member

    I really want to say something about this car. But I’m not sure what.

  26. Jumping g

    The is a twin of this car running around Keyport New Jersey . The owner has Elvis theme in the car …

  27. David Miraglia

    They murdered my massive town car…

  28. fordfan

    I have seen this monster in person here in monmouth county nj and it looks super ugly

  29. Earl

    Some things you can’t unsee!

  30. Derek F

    So much FAIL. I can’t see anything here but parts.

  31. Harvey

    looks like a rodeo clown car, but no offence to a rodeo clown

  32. Jose Cantu

    I’d give 20 bucks to the owner if he would promise to take it to a salvage yard and put it out of its misery.

  33. Zaphod

    There are midget pimps?

  34. Mark S

    There is this thing call steering axis inclination, I’ll try to explain. When the engineers design a front spindle they take into account some basic geometry the arm that the tie rod attaches to is set at a specific angle based on wheel base. With the steering straight ahead the spindle arm is on a straight line from the centre of the spindle to the centre of the rear axle. This is critical in keeping the tires from scrubbing when entering a corner. If you have ever looked at a double front axle semi truck turning you will notice that the rear front axle turns tighter than the front front axle because it has a shorter distance to travel. This is a good example of steering axis inclination. This car will scub the front tires on every turn no matter how slow you are going and no amount of aligning will fix it. This car is ruined.

    • Ohio Rick

      Are you referring to right side wheel base or left side? On this car they’re probably different.

      • Mark S

        I’m referring to the path the wheels will follow when turning the spindle arms are given a set angle based on wheel base. Have you ever noticed the when you turn the inside wheel is turning a tighter circle than the outside wheel. When you change the wheel base you throw that out of wak and the tires are forced to scrub in order to make the turn. This is so important on trucks that they make the spindles removable so different angle arms are available for different wheel bases.

      • Rick

        Mark, that was just an weak attempt at humor. Actually, with that short a wheelbase steering geometry is just one of many handling issues a driver would have with this thing.

  35. RicK

    pretty sure its the same vehicle used in that horror movie from the 70s “The Car” (starring James Brolin oooh). Bet it does wheelies!

  36. RonZ1971

    I would paint it a crazy green, black tint the windows, flat black the chrome, put on flat black big wheels, and then in gold script on the rear quarters name it “Lincolnstein” ya know a Frankenstein Lincoln. Lets scare the villagers.

    BTW Thanks to all who post and comment on this site, I learn a lot and have a lot of fun reading your comments.

    Take care, Ron

  37. chad

    Must B where they got the idea 4 the Pacer seen here last wk…
    Those car companies sure steal frm eachother.

  38. johnj

    So while I was watching TV and thinking (day dreaming, procrastinating) about putting my small block Vega back together, this guy cut a car in half and welded it back together. Not my style for sure but getting any one of my many projects back together would take way less effort and I still haven’t done it. I think most of us should at least respect the effort.

  39. Adam T45 Staff

    Put down the moonshine and step away please sir.

  40. jrc

    Has more problems than a sticking float

  41. Ri??ler

    WOW!! This is as stupid as it gets, only one question comes to mind. What would compel a person to do this? On second thought I really don’t want to know. The craftsmanship suck, the idea sucks, but I have no doubt this individual would be a blast to party with.

  42. gerry Member

    So the Roadkill guys have bought this for the 24hours of lemons

  43. Keith

    This Lincoln is yelling “I was in the pool!”
    But seriously this has been on my local CL FOREVER and most likely will remain there….one of the ugliest cars I’ve seen in a long time (and I like Edsels and Citations, so that’s saying a lot)

  44. RichS

    Check the link above, Keith. It will be on an episode of Roadkill soon.

  45. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    Here’s a link to the Roadkill episode:

    Too bad they didn’t give us a mention…

  46. RonZ1971

    Jesse, thank you so much for posting the road kill show link, it made me chuckle!

  47. Nik.R

    This would be a very cool car to own. Albeit very ugly it was on an episode of the popular motor trend show roadkill

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