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Triple Black Land Yacht: 1973 Lincoln Continental

There once was a time where one’s automobile was a rolling reminder of their status.  While there were sports cars for well heeled gentlemen to purchase, those with means in the early seventies generally found themselves driving either Cadillacs or Lincolns.  Cadillac always won the sales race, but Lincoln put up a good effort.  The marque’s “halo” car has always been the Continental, from the Zephyr based originals to the tenth generation cars produced today.  While Continentals have always been expensive cars when new, our current obsession with fuel mileage and thrift has worked to make some of the older versions of these beautiful cars more accessible to those looking for a bargain in motoring excess.  Found here on craigslist in historic Ringgold, Georgia, this beautiful 1973 Lincoln Continental is looking for a home where it can resume its life of leisure in a garage befitting its regal stature. With a price of $4,500, this running and driving beauty has just 54,000 miles on the odometer, and is in excellent condition for its age.

The Mark IV version, built from 1972 through 1976, was true to the original in that it was the finest personal luxury coupe that Lincoln offered during that era.  Styling harkened back to the original Zephyr based models in having both long hood and short deck proportions, and the trademark bustle in the rear.  While the first Continentals were powered by sometimes trouble prone V-12 engines technologically based upon lesser Ford V-8s, these Continentals were propelled down the road by 460 cubic inch Ford V-8s, which put out 212 horsepower in 1973.  Sadly, 1973, the year of this black beauty, was the year that the compression ratio was lowered, five mph bumpers were added, and the added weight combined with the lower horsepower didn’t really help the performance of these cars.  The killjoy Feds had struck again.

However, if the idea is to cruise around as smoothly as possible, losing some horsepower is not the end of the world.  While the 1972 models were reportedly capable of 120 mph, it would take some measure of fortitude for the average Lincoln buyer to test that claim.  One aspect of having such a heavy car with a reduced horsepower engine was that fuel economy was usually just over 10 mpg.  With a 5,200+ pound curb weight and 460 cubic inches to feed, these leviathans, to put it a bit mildly, a bit thirsty.  Just think of the fun you would have driving it to the nearest Green Party picnic in your “Death Before Disco” sweat shirt.

The good news on this one is that it has passed the decades under cover, and it is in excellent condition.  The trim around the rear wheel well on the passenger side has been twisted up a bit, but the shunt didn’t seem to dent the fender or mar the paint.  One cautionary note is that the seller reports a little bit of bubbling under the vinyl top, but it is not noticeable or “crunchy.”  The car sits on new tires, and the black paint looks to be a detailing away from being nearly flawless.

Opening the door and having a look reveals a nearly flawless interior.  The black leather seats are in very good condition, and the door panels are in excellent shape as well.  The carpet seems to be a bit faded, but is not ragged by any means.  The car is equipped with power steering, power brakes, four wheel discs, and an 8-track player to help you enjoy your copy of  Freddy Fender’s Greatest Hits.  According to the owner, all of the interior items work, except for the air conditioning system.  The good news is that these cars packed a simple A/C system, and parts are still available.  Might as well set it up for a modern refrigerant system while you are at it.

With just 54,000 miles on the odometer, this Lincoln still has a lot of cruising left in it.  While it would make your credit card squeal, there is probably no finer way to make a long distance trip than behind the wheel of one of these land yachts.  Nothing produced today conveys the ride or driving feel that one of these beasts has.  Imagine riding over marshmallow fluff on a feather pillow, and you are in the ball park.  They are fairly easy to work on, and the 460 V-8 is a reliable engine.  At this price, why not put this in your garage?  Measure to see if it will fit first!


  1. Rob

    Just buy the car and build the house and garage to fit. Work the problem in reverse.

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  2. Luke Fitzgerald

    Good buying if as described – factor in the missing hood ornament and stuffed Wheel arch mould and you’ve got one of the last great looking Lincolns – from the rear anyway – not for everyone tho’

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    Strap bullhorns to the front.

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  4. Leon

    My guess. Blowout or road debris snagged that fender trim

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  5. T Mel

    I owned one of these for over ten years, drove it to work, cross-country, loaded up the trunk at home Depot, you name it. I’m just hear to say sure you could get 10 mpg if you roast around with the pedal down and jambed the bakes often. You could also get 8 or 6 mpg if you really tried to pretend you’re behind the wheel of a Camaro. BUT, those 460’s have so much low rpm torque, if you just drive it nice or pretend your behind the wheel of a 1965 Rolls-Royce or something, you can easily get 16-18 around town and even 20 on long trips. MPG is a range for any car and depends just as much on the driver where he/she will land within that range. I don’t like blanket statements like “although this car only gets x mpg…” bla bla. It’s misleading, just not an accurate way to write about any car. This car is barely more than idling at 60 mph.

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    • Thearle Lacey

      Had one myself, T Mel and can attest to your comments. Never realized it still came with an 8 track when I bought it after I had gotten rid of my substantial collect of * Tracks. Treated right, it will give good gas mileage. Only got onto it once when some smart ass pulled beside me at a red light, revving it’s engine. Walked all over him right away. Never spun the tires as it gave me traction right away. If I had the bucks, I’d look at this.

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  6. Christopher Wenz

    Mother of God! Look at this Titan. The price…… If had that scratch I would snap this big guy up in a heartbeat. That profile photo reminds me of that chisel nose Aston Martin Kalinda from the 80’s and that was a four door. Barn Finds had that Chrysler with the blue plaid interior. Another 70’s gem

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  7. JagManBill

    my Dad had this same car in triple black (ok – not this one but just like it) when I was a Senior in high school in 75. Fun is the only work to describe it…ok…you can add fast…and beautiful. This is not a land yacht. This, my friends, is that 40ft Cig boat that blows everything else out of the water….

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  8. JMC

    Hope it doesn’t go to a flipper,like that fellow in Lakeland.HE’LL up the price $20 k after a detail.

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  9. Nova Scotian

    Hey! Check the beak on that!
    No need for collapsible front end metal here. In a modern car you’d be sitting on the back bumper by comparison of distance to the nose! Lol. If it were front wheel drive I bet you could attach a plow to baby! Lol.
    All tongue in cheek comments….I love it!

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  10. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Lot of car for the money. Love the Triple Black

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  11. Maestro1

    T Mel is absolutely right. I’ve had a couple of Lincolns including one of these and all the hysteria about gas mileage is unwarranted. You motor in this car; you don’t jump on it at the green light. I have a Lincoln now otherwise I’d buy it. So you do it.

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  12. Troy s

    Yeah, a bit more than just a comfy luxury car, for the person who liked to show off a sense of style as well. These were not measured by quarter mile time slips or road course ability, these were for mature grown up buyers looking to impress people in a different way. Floating effortlessly down the highway quietly, highball glass of whiskey in one hand Marlboro in the other,basically flaunting your wealth of success, how much gas it used was of little importance. Am I right? Even close?

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  13. David Miraglia

    Always like the Mark 3,4 and 5’s. Epitome of 1960’s and 1970’s kitsch.

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  14. JMC

    Ad was deleted….congrats if someone here bought it!

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  15. CaCarDude

    Ah yes, when I see these big beautiful land yachts as this I think of the old TV series Cannon and the star Frank, the private eye driving his Lincoln pedal to the metal. Probably a lot of young people here that never heard of the series. Good times the early to mid 70’s..

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  16. Brad

    I had a ’76, and really liked it. It had less HP than this one, using unleaded fuel and dual convertors. It was a pooch, even with the 460. I held it to the floor for 5 miles, and 115 was it. Even when perfectly tuned, perfect alignment, tires @ 38 psi, windows up and A/C off, at 65 mph, about 14 mpg was the best I could get. Good thing it had a 27 1/2 gallon gas tank.
    My eyes were also automatically drawn to the plastic box that the pw/, pdl switches are mounted, and as I expected, it has a couple of cracks. This was very common on the big door Fords. People thought they needed to close the doors with more force than required. Hello, weight + momentum ? plus a poor design. Fortunately, repros are available, and easily replaced. When I got my 51K mile Thunderbird, I would put a post-it note on the glove box that read, in caps: do NOT slam door ! That being said, these are very nice cruisers, whether in town or on the Interstate.

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  17. Steve

    Posting gone

    Like 0

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