Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Lincoln Lineup for 1969/71

Mark III vs Continental
Just today I rode back to the industrial nether regions of Greenpoint along the banks of the fetid Newtown Creek in search of a car I remembered seeing and ran across these 2 Lincolns. This mighty 2 door is a 1971 Mark III in faded Medium Green. The color in this case was essential in identifying the year, as it was not available in this body style in '70. We can tell it's not a '69 because the windshield wipers are concealed, and their is a small band of orange on the front marker lights; other than that this car barely changed for it's 3 year run.
 The original Mark was the fabled Continental Mark II built between 1956-1957, and I will NEVER find one on the street as they were hand built and Lincoln lost over $1,000 on each one. This year is my favorite though because it's the exact year/make/model that Frog-1 hid all the heroin in in The French Connection.
This little War of the Worlds prominence is one of my favorite features on the car. While they were available on and off by different automakers from the '50s, they were never (to my knowledge) placed on the outside of the car in such a display. This is the Autronic Eye, and it's job was to notice oncoming headlights and automatically dim your brights! When I was a kid my stepfather's '62 Imperial had one but it, like most of the era. was placed inside on top of the dash. This placement basically says to the owner "Surely you wouldn't drive a Lincoln through an automatic car wash, would you?"

 The vinyl roof was standard for this year, as was the signature faux spare tire hump on the trunklid. With the exception of being a little chewed up by rust around the edges this one looks perfectly capable of carrying 120lbs of heroin to another country. Now if you'll pardon me, we've got a 2-for-one deal today:
A 1969 Lincoln Continental in the factory color White. This is the tail-end of the appropriately-named "Slab-Side" design, and actually the direct descendant of the car JFK was shot in (though his was a convertible obviously). Even with gray patches, a missing hubcap, and an urban setting this car screams diplomatic immunity.
 This is the last year for suicide doors (coinciding with the bizarre decision to offer them on Ford's 3-year-only 4-door Thunderbird). Dig the classy lines of this behemoth; very formal roof, trailing rear edge of the wheel openings, slight rear-quarter bump-up halfway through the rear door. Even the original hubcap fits perfectly with the substantial yet restrained look of the rest of the car.
Both of these Mafia favorites were powered by Ford's powerful 460 V8, which comes in handy when your 18+ft car weighs almost 2.5 tons! Now for a bonus glimpse through the fence:
  The dark blue car to the rear left next to the trailer is a 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan (which you can discern from the 1950 due to it having 2 horizontal chrome bars within it's grill). However, the groups of gentlemen in the background of a couple of the pics above were growing in number and taking a sudden interest in my picture-taking, so I pedaled it out of there. I think I might have to return at some point to see if I can get a better look.

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