Most auto fans would be be able to recognize the car teased to the right as the 1984 to 1992 Lincoln Mark VII. A rather advanced-looking rear-wheel-drive car that didn’t forgo a prestigious and simultaneously muscular appearance to achieve its slippery shape.
However, there’s something about this partially-revealed car that may alter your opinion: it’s FWD.
If you’re curiosity is piqued, read on to see what Ford’s luxury division was up to in late 1985.
So long RWD
While not a particularly stand-out generation, the seventh iteration of the Lincoln Continental (model years 1982 through ’87) was the last of the RWDs. That generation was based on Ford’s Fox platform that underpinned many models including Mustangs, Capris, Marquis, Granadas, Fairmonts, LTDs, Thunderbirds, Cougars and, well, suffice it to say the list goes on.
By the 1980s, the so-called luxury car scene had changed. Domestic luxury brands were struggling with identity crises and, coupled with increasingly-strict efficiency regulations and diminishing profit margins, were seeking out ways to overcome the mounting challenges.
Cadillac had largely pursued a FWD approach. Lincoln, for no doubt a number of similar reasons, decided to make the same course change for their mid-size sedan.
By late 1985, Lincoln was testing their eighth-generation Continental; that’s the car pictured above. The photo was taken by Barry Penfound and presented in Motor Trend’s Detroit Report section.
The Continental would ride on an extended version of the D186, FWD platform that already under-girded Ford’s highly successful Taurus and Mercury’s Sable.
While the midsection of the mule looks pure Taurus, the front and rear have clearly been altered. The bow is wearing what I mentioned above appears to be the front clip of a Mark VII. And, although the rear can’t be seen clearly in this shot, the overhang looks substantially longer than that of a Taurus and noticeably blockier.
Actually, I think this mule looks quite handsome, cobbled together as it may be.
To the left is a picture of the production version of the eighth-generation, and first FWD, Lincoln Continental.
Continue below to the photo gallery.