For Sale: 1984 Continental Mark VII Bill Blass Turbodiesel – You’ll be the Only One at the Cruise-In!

For Sale: 1984 Continental Mark VII Bill Blass Turbodiesel – You’ll be the Only One at the Cruise-In!
For Sale: 1984 Continental Mark VII Bill Blass Turbodiesel – You’ll be the Only One at the Cruise-In!

One benefit of being a member of many, many Lincoln, Brougham and myriad other automotive groups on FB, is I now know a lot more ‘car guys’ than I used to. One such person is Phil Schaefer, who has tons and tons of awesome old cars. Case in point: He recently bought a 1936 DeSoto Airflow. The addition of another pre-war car means that some of the less-desireable members of the fleet need to go to make room for the new stuff. So here’s your big chance to own a first-year 1984 Continental Mark VII Bill Blass Designer Edition-with a factory-installed BMW turbodiesel!

1984 was the first year for the aero Mark, following the footsteps of the equally-smooth 1983 Thunderbird. Gone were the razor-edge fenders and landau roofs, yet with a still-classy appearance. The Designer Series Marks, which came out in ’76 on the large-and-in-charge Mark IV, carried on, however, with the Bill Blass in Goldenrod Glamour Clearcoat Metallic.

If that was too much gold for your taste, the alternate Designer model was the Versace, in Walnut Glamour Clearcoat Metallic. But we’re here to talk Blass today!

Starting with the Mark VII’s debut, in keeping with a more driver-focused environment compared to the Mark V and Mark IVs of the past, a LSC with blackwall tires (gasp!) and alloy wheels (double gasp!) debuted in ’84, along with a turbodiesel option! It was a 2.4 liter inline six, backed up with a ZF-sourced 4-speed automatic with overdrive.

In addition to the Mark VII, the turbodiesel was also available on the Continental, though I imagine even fewer picked the diesel on the Connie than on the Mark VII, though I have seen one or two Continental turbodiesels on craigslist over the years.

Which brings me to the sales pitch (cue Dr. Evil laugh). Phil wants this clean (not mint) albeit high-mileage Mark VII gone to make room for the new arrivals. So if Sajeev doesn’t buy it immediately, the rest of you could be rolling in gold ’80s Lincoln luxury!

Which includes full air suspension (which still works well!), primo 1984 Lincoln JBL premium sound, functional climate control (always a plus!) and these most excellent two-tone leather thrones.

True ’80s luxury! With 169,000 miles on the clock, this is not precisely a time-capsule car with 158.002 miles on it, but still a fun car to enjoy and take to the monthly cruse nights that will be starting up by the end of the month.

And come on, we NEED cars like this at the cruise nights! I mean, after the third or fourth show, I start wishing I had a rocket launcher by the time I see my 167th resale red 1969 Camaro resto-mod with Foose wheels.

Buy this car, take it to a show, and all the spectators will flock to your car, wanting to know what it is, and leaving the red Camaros and Corvette mid-life crisis mobiles sitting adrift. You need to buy this car. It’s for the public good!

And I haven’t even mentioned the priceless looks you will garner when you pop the hood and all the fine folks gathered ’round will exclaim, “Wow! A diesel!” “I didn’t know Lincoln had a diesel!” Then you can smugly sit back in your Members’ Only jacket and Oakley sunglasses and smugly say, “Why yes, of course. It is the same engine used in BMWs back then.” Think of the fun you’ll have!

Ifin I have convinced you, go over here and check out the CL listing. Phil’s a good guy, and even if you don’t buy the car, you’ll get to check out a rare ’80s Continental and yak with a true gearhead. Tell him Klockau sent ya!


  1. Love these Mark VIIs, but the diesel would put me off. Tom, is this the same Phil Schaefer whose 1956 Lincolns have been featured in Hemmings? His custom built Lincoln station wagon is awesome, in the truest sense of that word.

  2. Hey Jack, it’s Jack. I just read your Noguchi Table write up from 2015. I think you missed something in the article, when you show the map of details on how to tell a real from a fake, just under that bit, explains that Herman Miller has put the label on the underside of the base; it is suppose to be on the ground side where it can’t be seen. Someone less knowledgeable has simply put the base the wrong way up. And believe me, anyone who spends the correct amount of money to buy an original, new or old, isn’t showing off, good design is good design. It’s like a fine wine connoisseur taking an old vintage out on a lunch break and drinking it with a hotdog on no specific occasion, it’s not showing off and it doesn’t matter what they are pairing it with, they know what it is and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

    1. Wasn’t the point of the original table that there’s no “right” way to place the base, though? If we now have to be label-conscious, doesn’t that harm the purity of the original design? Just a thought.

  3. i love these cars. something about them just screams “business in the front, party in the back.” but there’s a little more color to the image, like a contrast cuff and suspenders-bedecked Lumbergh with something longer and more feathered than the restrained 90’s execumullet Gary Cole sported in the film. Maybe a Def Lep tour tee with the sleeves ripped off as an undershirt. ’79 hairy balls Fire Am in the personal parking space instead of the pleb-spec 911SC.

    But no, these Lincolns were depreciated to the point that high school juniors didn’t want to be seen in them 15 years ago. Ask me how I know. If you weren’t interested in appealing to the superficially popular and successful crowd via your mode of transportation, these guys had much to offer though. Velour COUCHES for seats that would swallow you whole. Able to compete with all of the other Fox bodies in a parking lot burnout contest, and to do it with an affected class and panache to boot.

    The designer connection (if your kid asks you who the hell Bill Blass is, just tell him it’s the 80s equivalent of Supreme or Pizzaslime or whatever fad streetwear brand is pimping underage human trash in exchange for 15 more seconds of cultural relevance these days), the European drivetrain ratchet that faux cachet to ELEVEN and then some here. If you want your priceless blog coverage and a possible feature on “two middle-aged guys inexplicably wearing shorts and flat billed caps” Youtube auto enthusiast channel, you’d better include the price of a Cummins swap into the bottom line, son.

  4. I paid 4000 for my Continental diesel, dumped 6k into it, then sold it for 1.8k. Way better shape than this POS. That interior will break you if you want to restore it. I would be interested to see if it tosses V belts as often as my ride did.

    Also, if that head cracks, you’re FUBAR. So keep that v belt on for the love of Christ. Only ford made that head, no replacement parts exists except for running M21 Fox diesels.

    1. Does it really have a different head than the 524td? The only reason I’d have bought one of these is that the crank and a Schrick camshaft could turn the ‘Super-eta’ M20 into the right engine to let a 1988 325 beat an E36 M3 in BMW CCA club racing, but that stopped being relevant about twenty years ago.

      I was actually in the presence of someone who spent their own money on a Lincoln MKX today. They have to tolerate a plethora of Matthew McConaughey jokes, plus they thought it was a good idea to go off road in a Lincoln MKX. Probably a coincidence.

  5. Well, ya know, I’d prefer a 302 too, no worries about parts availability. But the combination of the diesel and the Bill Blass option really was interesting. I can’t imagine many Designer Series Marks had the oil burner. I wonder how many cars were sold with the diesel, grand total? It was only available 1984-85.

    1. I get it. It’s a rare ride and one of the few times in the 80s that a “Big 3” manufacturer said “these guys know more than we do, let’s ask”.
      Honestly, I’d like to see a Super Coupe mill under that hood.

  6. I’ll keep my ’86 Corvette thanks very much. It may not be a “luxury” driver’s car, but it’s for sure a driver’s car.

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