This 1984 Lincoln Continental Diesel Is A Rare And Interesting Oil Burner

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Sadly, the Lincoln Continental is once again being discontinued after the conclusion of the 2020 model year, the fourth time in its long existence on this earth. But Ford’s luxury arm’s flagship has already cemented its place in the automotive model hall of fame after serving as a pinnacle of automotive design and helping to introduce the personal luxury car segment to the world. But those are probably not things most think of when they look at this 1984 Lincoln Continental diesel that’s currently up for sale on Craigslist.

No, the seventh-generation Continental isn’t exactly as beautiful as its forefathers, and certainly not nearly as luxurious. Most have simply forgotten about this mid-size four-door sedan, which rode on a stretched version of Ford’s Fox platform, which was modified from the the one used in the Ford Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar.

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A pair of engines were available in the seventh-gen Continental when it launched, including a 5.0L V8 that produced a mere 131 horsepower and a no-cost option 3.8L V6. But by 1983, both had been replaced by the Lincoln Town Car’s fuel-injected 5.0L V8.

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However, Lincoln also offered a Continental diesel in 1984 only that utilized a BMW 2.4L inline-six cylinder turbodiesel that produced 114 horsepower and was backed by a ZF four-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain choice was a direct response to diesel offerings from Cadillac and European luxury brands at the time.

The Continental diesel proved to be a flop in the market, and Lincoln only sold around 1,500 of them, which led to its prompt discontinuation. This particular car is one of those rare oddities, and the seller claims that it runs and drives very well. For what it’s worth, the car does look to be in pretty solid condition, albeit with a very dirty interior and engine bay.

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It may not ever be what one might call a valuable collector’s item, but the Continental diesel is an interesting footnote in history. Not to mention one that quite a few people may not even be aware of.


We’ll have more unique finds like this to share soon, so be sure to subscribe to Ford Authority for more Lincoln news, Lincoln Continental news, and non-stop Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Either didn’t know about it or forgot about it. Diesel engines in cars over here never really got over too well. Perhaps the GM cars that had them in the late 1970’s into the 1980’s scared people away. MERCEDES BENZ had them but they were accepted. Oh well.

    • That’s exactly it–GM’s Oldsmobile Diesel fiasco set back acceptance of diesel passenger cars in the US by nearly 30 years.

  2. Lincoln want to build a diesel I have a great idea how about a twin turbo charged Hybrid Power Stroke Call it Super Chief. Suicide doors remote control power tailgate up and down, remote control power bed cover, optional glass roof. The cool thing at Lincoln is the push button transmission which they should keep along with all 2022 model getting the 2017 Continental Outside door handles. Lincoln should be build off it’s on History to make new landmark vehicles for the future, instead of adding Grills head and tail lights to Ford product. The 80’s was where America Automotive Companies start following imports like BMW and Mercedes Benz instead of building what Americans loved about American cars. Epic Fail for America. Stop following let’s start Leading again

    • Unless they really have a change of heart, I think for the people at FORD, the sedan is there to stay…away.

  3. I had a Mark VII with the BMW turbo diesel. Not real fast off the line, but would run for hours on a tank of fuel, and the speedo flashing 85 because it wouldn’t register anything higher. 40+ mpg wasn’t unusual either with reasonable speed.

  4. None of the three Continental engine choices would pull the skin off a rice pudding back then. But they were fairly nice highway cruisers as they kind of floated down the road!

  5. That’s true Dave and while the recent version of the CONTINENTAL has a heck of a lot more power than the 1984 model, it too was never meant to be a sport sedan. But rather a smooth riding car that glides along the avenue or interstate without drama. But this time around so many people were put off by the fact that it has front wheel drive and too many shared parts from other FORD products. Good Heavens it probably had the same alternator from the F150.🙂 But like it or not the market spoke in both the 1984 and 2017-2020 versions.

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