1985 Lincoln Continental Givenchy: Regally Rosewood
I’ve always loved the 1982–87 Lincoln Continentals. As I’ve previously written, my grandparents ordered an ’87 in Rose Quartz Metallic to replace their 1977 Continental Mark V. I went with my dad to pick it up from the dealership and immediately fell in love with it. I also love that brief period in the early-to-mid-1980s when each of the Big Three luxury divisions offered a take on the neoclassical, Hooper-inspired “bustle back” look.
Cadillac was first out of the gate with the all-new 1980 Seville, followed by the Cordoba-based Imperial coupe in ’81 and finally the Continental in ’82. But, of course, the Continental was the one I remember best. It lasted the longest of the trio, being replaced by the front-wheel-drive, Taurus-based Continental in 1988. The Imperial made it to ’83; the Seville, ’85.
But we’re here to talk about the Lincoln, aren’t we? Getting back to the Continental itself, it received an “aero” front-end facelift in 1984, giving it an appearance more in line with the recently introduced Thunderbird/Cougar and upcoming Taurus/Sable. Other than that, however, the Connie was much the same.
The Designer Series had started in 1976 with the Mark IV. Four distinct special editions appeared—by Bill Blass, Emilio Pucci, Givenchy, and Cartier. The ’76 Givenchy was in a cool aquamarine/white color combination. Through 1981 the Designers were exclusive to the Mark IV and Mark V, but starting in 1982 the Cartier moved to the Town Car, and the Givenchy was moved to the new Continental.
In 1984, the Givenchy Continental was two-tone Slate Blue and Midnight Blue Glamour Clearcoat, with an Admiral Blue interior. It was joined by a Valentino Designer Continental, in Cabernet Wine over Medium Charcoal Glamour Clearcoat. Both looked appropriately luxurious.
By 1985, the Valentino Continental was added to the model lineup. Finished in Midnight Black over Burnished Pewter with Sand Beige upholstery, it was attractive in its own right. But the Givenchy was my favorite. I’ve always loved dark red and burgundy on luxury cars.
And the ’85 Givenchy was really red. And an impressive luxury conveyance, at least in your author’s opinion. As the 1985 deluxe brochure related: “The very name, Givenchy, has come to stand for sophisticated elegance, dignified restraint, and Parisian chic.
“The 1985 Givenchy Continental is certainly no exception. Its exterior is covered in a color all its own: Dark Rosewood Clearcoat Metallic, enhanced by a special tri-band accent stripe along its sides and across its deck.
“The Givenchy Continental’s lavish interior is highlighted by Givenchy-styled cloth seats in a rich Mulberry Brown … Twin Comfort Lounge front seats with six-way power controls, dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and Lincoln’s innovative new Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS).”
For most of the ’80s the Lincoln lineup contained three models: The Mark VI or Mark VII coupe, the Continental and the full-size and formal Town Car. Not a pickup, crossover or SUV to be seen, I assure you. These three roughly corresponded to the Cadillac Eldorado, Seville, and Fleetwood Brougham. But while the Seville was front-wheel drive with the 4.1-liter “High Technology” V-8, the Continental was rear drive with Ford’s well regarded 5.0-liter V-8 under the hood.
Continentals rode a 108.5-inch wheelbase, had an overall length of 200.7-inch and a 3790-pound curb weight. For comparison’s sake, an ’85 Town Car had a 117.3-inch span and 219.0-inch length.
As you’d expect, the V-8 was standard in the Continental, but in 1984 and ’85 only, a BMW-sourced 2.4-liter six-cylinder turbodiesel was optionally available on both the Continental and the Mark VII. I have never seen one in person, but my friend Phil Schaefer once had a gold 1984 Mark VII Bill Blass edition with this engine.
This ’85 Givenchy was the first one I’d ever seen. I first saw it at the 2014 LCOC meet in Rockford, Illinois, but a summer thunderstorm kept me from getting more than one or two photos; it spent the rest of the day under a cover.
Back in October 2016, however, I drove up to Napleton Lincoln for an LCOC Lake Shore Region meet and show. And there it was again! I invited my friend Jim Smith to the event, and though we weren’t able to get him to join the club, a fine time was had by all. And I wasted no time getting many pictures of this gorgeous Continental. I’ll always love these cars; every time I see one, I remember my grandparents, their own love of Lincolns, and great childhood memories.
I had a lighter rosewood 85, with burgundy leather. The real wood was bubbling and peeling & Ford had recalled the car for that prior to me getting it. I inquired and they said no more plastic woodtone kits left. One rear suspension airbag went out to the tune of 300 bucks in 1993. Dealer said good thing I brought it in because the trunk compressor is 500 bucks. The for sale sign went up the next day & sold within a week. I got a 1985 Buick LeSabre. I figured I could do the whole suspension for 300 bucks.
We have a 1985 Lincoln Continental Givenchy rose wood. Poor condition , trying to determine value? Where should I go to check?