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Lincoln Continental Bill Blass Edition Was the Pinnacle of American Luxury, Now a Bargain

Discontinued in 2020, the tenth-generation Lincoln Continental was a rather disappointing iteration of the company's flagship nameplate. And according to many, so was every Continental offered since 1980. But there were times when Lincoln's ruled the American luxury market.
1979 Lincoln Continental Bill Blass Edition 11 photos
1979 Lincoln Continental Bill Blass Edition1979 Lincoln Continental Bill Blass Edition1979 Lincoln Continental Bill Blass Edition1979 Lincoln Continental Bill Blass Edition1979 Lincoln Continental Bill Blass Edition1979 Lincoln Continental Bill Blass Edition1979 Lincoln Continental Bill Blass Edition1979 Lincoln Continental Bill Blass Edition1979 Lincoln Continental Bill Blass Edition1979 Lincoln Continental Bill Blass Edition
The second-gen model (1956-1957), for instance, featured a unique chassis, an exclusive exterior design, and was at the time of its introduction the most expensive automobile sold by a domestic manufacturer in the U.S.

That changed in 1958 when Ford decided that the Continental should be more affordable and closely integrated with other Lincoln products, but it remained a top-of-the-line contender against Cadillac and Imperial vehicles.

The fourth-generation car that followed is obviously known for its "suicide" doors and for having spawned presidential state cars, but it also debuted numerous new features and took sales to new heights.

This brings me to the fifth-gen Continental (1970-1979). The first of its kind to feature body-on-frame construction, the Mark V was also based on a longer wheelbase version of the Mercury Marquis chassis. We could say it was a step back from the Continental's traditional bespoke status, but it was luxurious and powerful nonetheless.

Hoping to give the Mark IV closer ties to the early Continentals, Lincoln introduced the Designer Series, a range of limited-edition option packages developed by notable fashion designers of the time. The list included Givenchy, Cartier, Pucci, and Bill Blass.

Introduced in 1976, the Designer Series remained in dealerships until 1979, when the fifth-gen Continental was discontinued. What made these cars special? Well, all four models came with special colors on the outside and unique upholstery on the inside. The bundle also included designer's logos and signatures and 22-karat gold-plated plaques.

The two-tone beauty you see here is a Bill Blass Edition from the 1979 model year. And it was quite opulent for the late 1970s. Finished in white over Midnight Blue Metallic, the Bill Blass came with a matching two-tone upholstery with accent straps, piping, and buttons. The nautical theme proved popular, and Lincoln sold 6,720 cars.

Come 2022, and the Bill Blass versions of the Lincoln Continental aren't particularly sought-after. And they're not more expensive than regular Continental Mark V cars either. And that's exactly what makes them an appealing option if you're looking for a classic luxury rig that won't break the bank.

Especially if you go with an example that needs some work, like the one you see here. While it appears to be in great condition from a distance, it does have a few rust spots, worn-out upholstery, and a cracked dashboard. It still comes with its original 400-cubic-inch (6.6-liter) V8, and the good news is that it runs and drives. However, not only the mill was rated at just 160 horsepower when new, but this V8 is also due for general maintenance.

Located in Yucaipa, California, the Continental is being auctioned off at no reserve by eBay seller "westernclassicsllc" and bidding has reached only $2,620 with four days to go. With 1979 Continentals in this condition valued at around $5,500, it's safe to say that this limited-edition coupe could be a bargain.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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