I’ve always loved Lincolns and Cadillacs. Lincolns, because my grandfather, Robert Klockau, owned several, and some of my earliest car memories are of riding in the back seat of his navy blue ’77 Mark V, peering thru that most excellent oval opera window with the Lincoln emblem embedded in the glass. Later on, it was traded in on a Rose Quartz metallic 1987 bustle back Continental.
But there were other factors, including the red Matchbox Mark V and blue Pocket Cars Mark IV that were among my favorite toys. Furthermore, once I mastered my first bicycle, one of the places I liked to go was to visit a triple black (meaning matching paint, vinyl top and leather seats) 1971 Continental sedan that lived a couple blocks away from my house.
All the years I checked it out, it never moved. About two feet of the trunk protruded out of the garage opening (both house and garage were circa late 1920s, designed for Model Ts not ’60s and ’70s Broughamasauruses), with the door snugged down to the top of the trunk lid.
Peering below the aforementioned door, one could see layer upon layer of dust and four very flat, dried out tires, but the car was clean and complete, and most compelling to Mini-Me me. I knew it was a ’71 due to the three triple taillight clusters per side.
I actually sneaked into the garage one time and actually got into the car. What can I say, kids do dumb things, especially when said dumb kid is totally infatuated with a then-twenty-year-old, neglected Lincoln.
I remember sitting in the back seat on plush black leather, and being totally smitten with that amazing dashboard and Y-spoke steering wheel. Is that not a great steering wheel or what? And the smell of the ’70s leather, plastic, rubber and carpet still is a distinct memory.
Back in the early ’90s, my dad took me and my little brother to an indoor rod & custom car show. One guy had a bunch of old car brochures.
Dad said he would buy me a couple, and of course I zeroed right in on the silvery covers of the 1971 Lincoln Continental and Mark III brochure, with “my” car in it! I also got the big, fat, lush 1971 Cadillac deluxe catalog. I still have both too.
And thus to we come to the present, featuring this absolutely gorgeous 1972 Continental coupe. The Continental coupe first appeared in 1966 (or should I say, reappeared, a two-door Lincoln had last been offered in 1960), complementing the four-door sedan and unmistakable four-door convertible.
With the complete redesign of the non-Mark Continentals in 1970, the Coupé returned, despite the fact that the 1969 Mark III’s appearance had substantially shrunk demand for the ‘standard’ Lincoln Coupé. But it gamely hung in there, and retained its classic good looks and lovely pleated premium cowhide.
The 1970-up Continentals have been said by some bloggers (who tend to love rust-eaten Fiats and inoperable VW Rabbits, but I digress) to be a bit of a letdown compared to its immediate predecessor.
But keep in mind, that generation, despite new sheetmetal for 1966, was rather long in the tooth. What was Lincoln supposed to do? Cadillac was all new in 1965, then was heavily revised in 1967 and again in 1969. Gotta keep up with the competition, dontcha know!
Several years back I became aware of libertyoldtimers.com, a Brugge-based “oldtimer” dealership of classic American iron, particularly luxury land yachts. Which sadly seems to no longer exist. At any rate, one day I clicked on the link and was immediately drawn to this classic 1972 Coupé.
In 1972, however, the all-new Mark IV was the belle of the ball. My grandfather ordered a new one, in triple dark green, from Bob Neal Lincoln-Mercury.
48,591 were sold. As for the Continental Coupé, she was the bridesmaid instead of the bride, with 10,408 assemblies. And yes, the Coupé was 225″ long, with a 127″ wheelbase. It was full-sized, by any standard.
It appeared to be painted in optional Blue Moondust Metallic, which contrasted nicely with the white leather interior and white top. This interior was classy without resorting to some of the rococo touches a few years later. So I saved some pictures to ‘The Vault’ and promptly forgot about it.
Several months later, after having a couple of cocktails, I remembered the pics, and my ill-gotten seat time in an old forgotten 1971 Continental. And wrote it up for the Cantankerous Coot. But never mind him. This spring I decided to revise it and run it right here on RG, primarily so I can share its true blue Broughamtastic lines without giving the Coot any additional clicks. So enjoy, and excuse me while I go get myself another bourbon. Cheers!