1977 Lincoln Continental Convertible
One of my dream cars, I just purchased this car on ebay. I have wanted one since seeing one as a teenager in the 1980s. There was more than one company that produced these conversions, between three and five I think. I have researched these cars and what I have been told is that these were special ordered through the dealership. The car was sent from the factory to a conversion shop and then delivered to the dealer. The Continental Coupe or Mark V could be converted, and between three and six four-door convertibles were made too. Some people have told me that they were factory authorized conversions but Lincoln's archives division told me that they were dealer offered promotions. I think that "Factory Authorized" means that Ford would still honor its warranty on everything except the converted parts. Or, it might simply mean that Ford gave permission to dealerships to order aftermarket modifications and still sell it as a new Ford product.
No one really knows how many of these were made. SILLCO averaged about 50 conversions per year, as did Andy Hotton Associates (AHA). Best estimates are that about 400-500 were made between 1977 and 1979, which is incredible to me: The conversion basically doubled the price of an already expensive luxury car during a time of gas shortages and double digit (21%) inflation. The cost of the conversion was $10,000-$15,000 on top of the cost of the car.
Below is a scan of an ad from a 1977 Playboy Magazine showing a dealer that sold these cars.
Below are more pictures, including a shot of the car arriving on the transport.
Updated July 1, 2007