Dirt Cheap Luxury: 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III

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Always a favorite of mine, is the “dirt cheap project cars” department here at Barn Finds. I regard it as one of the leading indicators of American abundance and excess, a well that will never run dry. The subject car is a 1971 Lincoln Mark III. The dirt cheap asking price is $650 or best offer.

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As is generally the case with cars like this, the low initial buy-in cost would be a stark contrast to the significant expenditure it would take to finish it. The photos aren’t as bad as many, but they still leave a lot to be desired. They’re equally matched by the seller’s wordy ad that contains lots of irrelevant and uninteresting information. The photos seem to show a relatively straight and solid body, but the engine comes in kit form – much of which appears to be loaded in the trunk. Like a broken record, again I must ask why this seller didn’t have 40 minutes to invest in a quick scrub and rinse of the exterior body. The car appears to be covered in mold, moss, or perhaps lichen. Which is no way to display such a fine, personal luxury car as this.

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If it has the typical vinyl top trim rust, it’s not overly apparent in the above photo. Maybe this car has benefited from indoor storage for much (though obviously not all) of it’s life. A few of the photos show what looks like a bit of a shine remaining on the beautiful black body, hiding beneath the filth.

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Black on red is always a good thing and this car would probably pull it off a little more successfully than most. In the past, I’ve been more of an Eldorado man, but there is definitely more than enough temptation here to get me to consider seeing how the other half lives, so to speak.

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A look down the side and at the roof line, shows a body style that is far more muscular-looking than the Eldorado. This one may be in nice enough original condition that a serious deep-cleaning might bring it back to presentable condition, with a few blemishes here and there. While the economics certainly aren’t here for a full restoration, a good looking, fully mechanically sorted boulevard cruiser would still be a very desirable end result.

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Here’s a look at the trunk load o’ parts. This is the back end of the investment, no pun intended. Get out your check book, because big block Fords are not known to be economical builders. It’s too bad there isn’t a popular LS-type swap for these big block Fords, because this car would certainly be a candidate.

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If I didn’t have so many other cars, this one might be a great project to get into. If you think so too, you can find it here on craigslist. It’s located in Farmington, Missouri.

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Comments

  1. Kevin

    Neighbor lady where my parents live had one like this. Same year only it was a light green, almost white color. Used to be her driver in the 90’s and she’d tell us “it’ll pass anything but a gas station.” The car was inside for probably 75% of its life, only being put “outside” under a carport for a few years before she sold it. The body was 99% straight with only a few bumps here and there, paint was good and the interior was dirty but in great shape. She sold it for $500 in 2011 and the guy drove it away. Still kicking myself in the ass for not buying that car.

  2. Blueprint

    Made famous by that cult B-movie “The Car”.

  3. waynard

    $500.00 is fair.

  4. Roger

    I’m here to say something else: I miss your partner BODRIDE so much! That Motor1 is all about new cars. And it doesn’t have that cozy enviroment that boldride provided us. I have just unsubscribed it.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Partner?

      • Roger

        When I said partner I meant, Boldride featured so many barnfinds from here ;)

  5. Joe Muzy

    My son use to work at a detail shop. A good cleaning will at times double the price.

  6. Ck

    Of all the Lincoln’s the Mark lll is my favorite .lt is just a good looking car, and with that 460 it’s got plenty of power .The interior of these cars with all that leather is just so kool .I’ve even seen these with a moon or is it a sun roof not sure what they called them .when I was a kid my neighbor had 3 of them parked in his back yard. A silver one with a black gut,a black one witha red gut andan orangy red color with a ???? cant recall gut. Nice cars

  7. Gsuffa BillW Member

    When you see these in person, the dimensions and quality just look right. 460 though? Maybe a similar era 351 Cleveland would work.

  8. Mr. TKD

    I’d find a 460 ready to go and just drop it in. Maybe a 390, 351, or Coyote would do the trick as well.

    As for the rest, start scrubbing!

  9. Gstegall

    Did not know the 460 variant was available as early as ’71. The mighty 429 came out in ’69. Wonder what the difference was in HP and torque.

  10. Tony B

    I actually have a 0-miles, rebuilt 460 from about the same vintage Continental sitting in my shop. I changed my project direction, and never installed the motor. Not really trying to market it, but since I’m in Carbondale, Illinois it might be close enough for someone to put the two together and have a great car for VERY low bucks! Again, not meaning to hijack this thread at all, just thought it might be a good way to make this car live again. PM me if interested.

  11. Dave Brown

    If I was close I’d have this towed to my driveway before the wife even found out.

    Like 1
  12. Kaleb

    Just bought it. Dropping in a 12v cummins

    Like 1
    • Jesse Staff

      That sounds interesting Kaleb! Please keep us updated on your progress.

  13. Keith

    The photos are terrible..I thought I was on Ebay for a second…

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