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Abandoned Lincoln Continental Gets Second Chance, V8 Fires up After 32 Years

In 2016, the iconic Lincoln Continental made a comeback after a 14-year absence. But the brand's ambition on the full-size luxury car market didn't last long and the tenth-gen model was discontinued in 2020. In a market dominated by SUVs, the nameplate might not return, but it will never be forgotten thanks to its classic iterations.
abandoned 1969 Lincoln Continental 6 photos
abandoned 1969 Lincoln Continentalabandoned 1969 Lincoln Continentalabandoned 1969 Lincoln Continentalabandoned 1969 Lincoln Continentalabandoned 1969 Lincoln Continental
The history of the Continental can be traced back to 1939 when Ford commissioned a one-off design as a personal vehicle for company president Edsel Ford. A production model was launched in 1940, discontinued in 1948, and revived in 1956. From then on, the Continental evolved into one of America's most popular premium vehicles.

Built in large numbers over the decades, the classic Lincoln Continental remains an affordable collectible. Sadly, many of them still populate junkyards, left to rot beyond recognition. This 1969 had a similar fate. Abandoned sometime in the 1980s, it became one with the mud and vegetation that took a hold of its wheels. But this massive two-door got extremely lucky when it was discovered by the folks over at Budget Buildz, who pulled it out of its resting place and revived its V8 engine.

Saving a car that's been sitting outside for more than three decades is no easy business. It usually loses the integrity of its frame due to direct contact with wet soil and the tires are among the first to become unusable. But these guys got lucky. The Continental seems to be in one piece despite sitting for so long and all four tires inflate enough to help the car roll onto a trailer.

Once they take it back to the shop, the guys at Budget Buildz set out to fire up the old V8. Fourth-gen Continentals were fitted with massive engines. These cars tip the scales at more than 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg), so Ford went with big-block units only.

This 1969 Continental is fitted with the biggest mill ever fitted in the full-size vehicle, in the form of a 462-cubic-inch (7.6-liter) V8. Part of the MEL series, this big engine powered the Continental from 1966 to 1969 and generated a solid 340 horsepower and 485 pound-feet (658 Nm) of torque when new.

It's a rather troublesome engine, but it agrees to fire up after a bit of work and a bit of fiddling with some of its components. And it runs surprisingly well for an engine that hasn't turned for 32 years. It's not yet ready to push 5000 pounds worth of car just yet, but we should be seeing it hit public roads soon.

I don't know about you, but I'm always happy to see luxo-barges from the 1960s get a second chance at life. Check it all out in the video below.

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