Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Oakland Street Sighting - 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III

For years now, Mercedes-Benz has been running holiday season commercials depicting Santa Claus driving a red Mercedes as his Christmas sleigh. An SL roadster? How pedestrian. Santa's too pimp for that. A fat man who dresses in red and white fur and gets little people and animals to help him do his work needs something big and classy. And in proper pimp car fashion, the car should match Santa's favorite wardrobe. The jolly old elf also has to make his rounds delivering toys to millions of kids in one night, so he needs something powerful and fast, with a large trunk for the bag of gifts.

Enter the 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III.

The Mark III was never my favorite Continental iteration, but it was perhaps the closest the Mark ever came to being a muscle car. It was based on the Thunderbird sedan platform and, while it was a portly personal luxury coupe weighing nearly 4900 lbs, the new Continental packed a 460 V8 engine producing 365 horsepower. This barge was hardly a garbage scow. It was a luxurious cruiser that could get out of its own way. One of these cars featured in the 1976 David Carradine movie "Cannonball" - it didn't quite survive the film but it did some exciting fast driving while it lasted.
I rather like this red and white example which is visually stock aside from a set of chrome wire wheels which actually look pretty decent. I like that they're a reasonable size and are mounted on whitewall tires that suit the look and feel of a vintage luxury car. The only other modification I see looks like dark window tint. The paint is probably recent and isn't the best-quality spray job I've seen, but it looks great from across the street.
If Santa wants to go incognito this Christmas, a red and white Continental Mark III with tinted windows seems like a very good choice indeed.


  1. Love these 'barges' as driven by Frank Cannon IIRC ;-)

  2. I believe this is a 1971 (I have the same car).
    George Barris customized one for the 1977 film "The Car"

    1. I think I guessed 1970 because it was the middle year of production. Most annual changes were small details in the interior and I don't have photos of that. How do you know it's a '71 exactly? I'm curious. I'll correct the year on my post if you're right.

  3. could be a 69, 70, or 71. They are exactly the same, cept the 69's had a different interior design. Then in 72 they changed the body ever so slightly and put a circular window in the back side and changed the interior design yet again. I love em. I've had two of these, looking for my third. They are great to drive. just like a boat in a lake. whole front end raises up when you hit the gas. takes a while to get going, but LOTS of power in there. I've seen this same linc all over the east bay.