Lincoln Continental: Reader ride

By: Michael Popvic, Photography by: Michael Popvic

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Michael Popvic's 1972 Lincoln Continental...


Michael Popvic's 1972 Lincoln Continental

I couldn’t believe my luck when I found this car. The guy I bought it from purchased it from a famous neurosurgeon who imported it from the U.S. when he came to Australia in 1974.

But when he found out how ridiculously expensive it was to convert it to right-hand drive he put it in a shed and it stayed there for 38 years. The second owner had to sell it after a few months to finance a hip operation. It’s a small world, though – he lived up the road from me and my son grew up with his son!

I’ve been around cars all my life and when I saw the Lincoln I just couldn’t say no. When I got it home and put it up on the hoist I couldn’t believe its condition, given its age. It was completely untouched, new cars are nowhere near as good. It had the original tyres, every bracket and cable was original, it was totally original under the bonnet, it still had the paper tags on the gearbox, the inspection paint marks on the diff, and its first exhaust. The leather trim was unmarked and it smells brand new inside. The second owner changed the fluids and got the thing going again; all I did was fit new discs, pads, wheel cylinders, tyres, plugs and leads. I also had the carburettor re-conditioned.

The Continental was the epitome of American opulence in the 1970s. Mine has the 460ci big-block V8 and power everything, and cost around US $9000 new at a time when a GT-HO cost $5400. When I bought it, it had 17,000 miles on the clock – most of them were done in the U.S. – and it now has only 18,000 miles on it. I’m almost too scared to put more than 20,000 miles on it, in case it affects resale.

But it’s great to drive. I took it on the M7 and it’s effortless; it’s like driving the Bismark! They do not make cars like my big Lincoln any more.


More reviews:

> Classic: Lincoln Continental

> Buyer's guide: Lincoln Continental 1968-80


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