- The Washington Times - Friday, August 1, 2008

Dave Boyle purchased his Wedgewood Blue 1978 Lincoln Mark V in June 2004. Having grown tired of his 1950 Chevrolet he had been shopping for a more modern car.

“I’ve always admired long and low cars,” he says. The 19-foot, 2.3-inch-long Lincoln is only 53 inches tall and it was advertised for sale on eBay. Mr. Boyle telephoned the seller in Purcellville and decided that it sounded like a car in which he would be interested. With the title to his Chevrolet in his pocket, he drove his car to Purcellville to see the Lincoln.

As far as he could determine, the car was as advertised. After a bit of horse trading, Mr. Boyle traded his Chevrolet, along with some cash, and in return became the owner of the Lincoln. The odometer showed the car had been driven about 93,000 miles.

He settled into the blue interior of the 4,567-pound luxury car, fired up the 400-cubic-inch V-8 engine and with 166 horsepower at his command, he drove the car home to Alexandria in air conditioned comfort. The two-barrel Motorcraft carburetor drinking regular gasoline from the 25-gallon tank. During the 1978 model year Ford Motor Co. manufactured 72,602 Mark V Lincolns. Mr. Boyle’s car had a base price of $12,099 in 1978. Riding on the 120.4-inch wheelbase on the trip home, “the front end gets there five minutes before you do,” he says.

The build quality of most American cars in the 1970s was not as good as the cars being produced today. However, after Mr. Boyle carefully examined his Lincoln he was pleasantly surprised to find uniform gaps between the body panels.

Since buying the car Mr. Boyle has replaced the steering box as well as a power steering pump and a radiator. Additionally, a slipping torque converter was replaced with a new one and the car now rolls on a new set of 15-inch white sidewall Firestone tires.

The well-appointed Lincoln is loaded with power assisted equipment including:

cPower seats.

cPower antenna.

cPower steering.

cPower windows.

cPower moonroof.

cPower disc brakes.

Mr. Boyle points out that his very heavy car has disc brakes at all four wheels.

In the blue interior is an AM/FM 8 track sound system. Mr. Boyle has a conversion unit that plugs into his 8 track tape slot in the dashboard enabling him to play cassette tapes. Even though the glass in the moonroof is tinted, a manually operated sliding panel can be used to black the suns rays. This car was built in the era when the manufacturers installed speedometers which could register speeds up to 80 mph.

At six-feet, five-inches tall, Mr. Boyle is grateful that the two-spoke steering wheel on his Lincoln is equipped with a tilt function. Dual mirrors make driving on multi-lane highways less dangerous.

At the rear of each L-O-N-G door on the car is an ashtray designed for use by rear seat passengers.

On either side of the ‘Continental’ bulge on the trunk lid is a horizontal red reflector. Both front and rear bumpers are protected by a pair of bumper guards.

Mr. Boyle points out that his Mark V is a base model and not one of the even more upscale designer models. He especially likes the fact that his Lincoln is not equipped with a vinyl covering on the top and around the oval opera windows. Helping to break up some of the expansive areas of sheet metal are pseudo “shark” fins on the front fenders. Also fake are the wheel covers which simulate bonefide wire wheels.

A cream colored dual pinstripe stretches from near the parking lights in the front to near the taillights at the other end of the car.

Designers of the Mark V knew that owners of the car would not want the four unsightly headlights to be exposed so the lamps were hidden behind a pair of doors.

“It does best on the open road,” Mr. Boyle says of his road ready Lincoln, “where I can steer it with one finger.” When at the helm of his land yacht the front bumper is almost eleven feet in front of him. “It’s just something you have to be aware of,” he says.

The odometer now has recorded 101,000 miles which amounts to about 2,000 miles a year. As for the fuel economy, Mr. Boyle says, “I don’t want to know. That would kill some of the fun.”