1968 Lincoln Continental: Burgundy Broughamage

Jayson Coombes

Today we have yet another classic Lincoln that my friend and frequent photo contributor, Jayson Coombes, photographed at the Lincoln & Continental Owners Club (LCOC) Eastern Meet in Knoxville, Tennessee, last June. It was, as Jayson relayed, a somewhat small but extremely high-quality show, with some amazing cars.

1968 Lincoln Continental rear three quarter
Jayson Coombes

If you don’t mind, may I make a minor digression? I would rather go to a small or medium-sized show with some really interesting rolling stock over a huge event with a bunch of late-model vehicles and Mustangs, Corvettes, and Camaros. Now, it’s not that I don’t like those cars too, but you see them so often. At least, I do. I like ’65 Mustangs and ’69 Corvettes and the like, but in an average show season, I will likely see 40–50 of them.

1968 Lincoln Continental top
Jayson Coombes

Oh, but what about Continentals? Vega woody wagons? LTD Landau coupes? I’d go to a show in a tiny town 40 miles away that had only 12 cars if cars like that were in attendance. I like what I like, and the few friends who tolerate my frequent disappearances—sometimes for 45 minutes—and yet continue to attend car shows with me will attest to this.

1968 Lincoln Continental interior rear seat
Jayson Coombes

OK, now where was I? Oh yes, the LCOC show. As I write this I am eagerly anticipating the LCOC Mid-America meet in Springfield, Illinois, a relatively short hop for me, distance-wise. But at the Knoxville show, there was some severe Ford Motor Company Broughamage. This elegant ’68 Continental is a case in point.

1968 Lincoln Continental interior leather
Jayson Coombes

By 1968, the Lincoln Continental’s classic squared-off, chrome-edged, classic 1961 lines were almost at an end. There would be only one more year of this classic shape, with the always-distinctive “suicide” doors. The ’68 model year was the first in which a convertible model was no longer available, though the two-door hardtop (introduced in 1966) remained alongside the sedan in Lincoln-Mercury showrooms.

1968 Lincoln Continental front hood up
Jayson Coombes

The 1968 Continental sedan had a base price of $5970 (about $52,781 today). The coupe started at $5736 ($50,713), and the all-new Continental Mark III personal luxury coupe, which appeared mid-April as an early ’69 model, had a base price of $6585 ($58,219). A total of 29,719 sedans were sold for the model year. For comparison’s sake, a new ’68 Mustang was $2602 ($23,005), and a Steve McGarrett-approved Mercury Park Lane four-door hardtop stickered for $3647 ($32,244).

1968 Lincoln Continental engine bay
Jayson Coombes

Under the Continental’s hood was an all-new 460-cubic-inch V-8 with 365 advertised horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque. It breathed through a four-barrel carburetor, required premium fuel, and was backed up by a three-speed Select-Shift Turbo-Drive torque converter transmission. No manual transmission for Ford’s finest!

1968 Lincoln Continental hood
Jayson Coombes

Available options included an automatic headlamp dimmer (seen above)—it was mounted on the front driver’s side fender, near the windshield—tilt wheel, Stereo-Sonic Tape System (8-track player), power vent windows, reclining passenger’s seat, Automatic Ride Leveler, six-way power seat (a two-way power seat was standard equipment), and an automatic temperature control system. And by the way, this car has a particularly uncommon option, the “Individually adjustable contour front seats with reclining passenger’s seat and console, six-way power driver’s seat, two-way power passenger’s seat,” as the brochure describes. I’d never seen one before.

1968 Lincoln Continental interior steering wheel
Jayson Coombes

Standard features included the expected power windows, power steering and brakes, factory undercoating, cut-pile carpeting, front and rear folding center armrests, electric clock, triple horns, and a choice of 22 exterior colors. I’ll always love these, since my grandfather Bob Klockau’s first Lincoln was a dark green 1966 Continental sedan with dark green leather and the optional 8-track player. This 1968 doesn’t look much different, though the ’68s received a new grille with the turn signals moved up into the fender blades with clear lenses, the stand-up hood ornament was replaced with a flush-mounted one, and there were mild styling updates to the rear deck, seats, door cards, and instrument panel. The non-Mark coupe also got a smoother roofline.

1968 Lincoln Continental wheel tire
Jayson Coombes

By the way, the color, according to my 1968 Lincoln color and upholstery folder, is Royal Burgundy, suitably named for a luxury make. It is contrasted nicely with a black leather interior and black vinyl-coated Heritage Roof, as it was referred to in the brochure.

1968 Lincoln Continental rear trunk
Jayson Coombes

It was a splendid conveyance and makes me wonder why Lincoln decided to not only eliminate all sedans from its lineup starting in 2021, but also ax the Continental name, just when it was getting off to a new start. Oh well, we’ll always have the classics!



Check out the Hagerty Media homepage so you don’t miss a single story, or better yet, bookmark it. To get our best stories delivered right to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletters.

Read next Up next: Big sales of exclusive Porsche models only tell part of the story


    Sedans — indeed, cars in general, are fast-disappearing; replaced by SUVs, trucks and every other sort of vision-obstructing non-aerodynamic body shape.
    We now need periscopes or drones, simply to see.
    “Their” solution? Get a bigger one…

    Oh, dude, I thought for half of ever that I was the only one who thought this was. It is SO relieving to know that frustration of mine is exactly shared by at least one other person on Planet-Earth!

    Tom that is one fine 68. The updated dash is outstanding in it’s layout and far more modern then the early sixty’s version. My first car was a 70 which not only grew in size but was a complete departure from what Lincoln a Lincoln had been from 61-69. Interesting that the 70 had a full compliment of gauges where as the 68 had just the speedometer and fuel gauge . Oh as a heads up start planning to be in Gettysburg in June we just listed out the plans for the show field and we are capping participation at 436 cars…. You may need to make it a two day attendance as there will be lots to see, and don’t forget your NARCAN…

    What a beautiful Lincoln! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in this color, and as mentioned, the black vinyl top and leather interior complement the design of the car beautifully. I have been a Ford man since my brother bought a black on black 1966 Mustang. A 289, with a Ford modified Holly 4 barrel carburetor. Attached to the engine was a 4 speed manual transmission. I feel in love with that Mustang as soon as I saw it. I was 11 years old in 66, but already a mini Gearhead. I knew at that point I would own a Mustang as soon as I was old enough to drive. I was very impressed with the quality of the Mustang. My family all drove Chryslers at the time, and I could see the Mustang had a much better interior fit and finish. My Godfather and Godmother owned a 68 Lincoln Continental, it was Dark British Racing Green, with black vinyl top and black leather interior. That green was very popular at the time and it fit the Continental very well. I remember hearing my mom always commenting my Godparents Lincoln. She thought it was great looking and was the most comfortable car she ever road in. I knew then we would one day soon own a Lincoln Continental. I had another uncle that owned a 1966 Imperial, a silver with silver cloth interior trimmed in black leather. It was the first year Chrysler made the 440 standard equipment for the Imperial. It was a 4 door hardtop Crown. I really liked that Imperial. But to be honest, the 68 Continental had a much more luxurious feel about it. In 1976, my parents bought a new 76 Lincoln 4 door Town Car. It was Dark Red Moondust Metallic with matching thick padded half vinyl top with coach lights on the B pillars. Under the hood was the mighty Ford 460. The interior was dark red velour interior, including thick shagg carpet, also in matching maroon. We all loved that Town Car and from then on Lincolns became the family standard. The 76 had a very Lincolnesck look about it. It captured the traditional Lincoln style from the 60s. In the mid-80s I found a black with black leather 68 Continental 4 door hardtop. It was beautiful and I had to have it, and I did. My favorite 60s Lincoln was the 65. I like the turn indicators and taillights built into the end of the fenders. I really liked the chrome bezels surrounding the taillights, very classy. The dashboard was massive, but very well done, it was trimmed in wood and was complete with a barrel speedometer, very cool, and it had the Automatic Climate Control system that worked very well. Under the hood was a 462 cubic inch engine with a 4 barrel modified Holly carburetor. That 462 was as solid as a rock, it fit that big Continental perfectly. With duel exhaust that Lincoln Continental sounded great and I could now see why my mom liked my Grandfather’s 68 Continental. I believe the tourque that the 462 had gave those Continentals a presence that no other engine could provide. Since then I have always owned Lincolns, I had a black with black leather 1990 Mark Vll LSC. It had a 5.0 injectioned engine, duel exhaust tuned to be very sexy and sporty. It had 4 wheel air suspension, and that LSC fit me to a tee. In 1995, I bought a new black with black leather Town Car Signature Series. It had Ford’s 4.6 liter V8 and fuel injection and duel. It was a beautiful and elegant evolution of the 1990 Lincoln Town Cars. It had a moon roof, electronic instrumentation, a 10 stacker CD changer mounted in the trunk and a fantastic ride and handling.air load leveling rear suspension, 4 wheel power disc brakes with ABS. It was one of my all-time favorites. I had to sell it, but have since regretted it. I have been trying to replace but just try to find one. People that have them keep them. But if you do find one, you will pay top dollar for it, and I know why.

    I feel I should make one more point. Lincoln Continentals, Continental Marks, and Town Cars, have always been a great American luxury cars. Every generation has iconic great looks and they have everything a top luxury car should have. It’s no secret Lincolns top competition has been Cadillacs and vise versa. The Chrysler Imperial is also always been a top competitor to both Lincoln and Cadillac. It’s funny how life works. It’s true that Cadillacs have always been regarded as the top luxury car in the American market. They were the real, first American luxury icon. When we made it big, the proof was driving a Cadillac. But the truth be known, the Lincolns, and the Imperials were better built cars. They both have been better looking than Cadillacs, save for a few model years that Cadillacs had great styling. Lincoln and Imperial have always been second or third in overall sales. I’ll never understand why the Chrysler Imperials never out sold Cadillacs or Lincolns, and Lincolns never out sold Cadillac. Those facts are real, but both the Lincoln and Imperial were much better cars than the Cadillacs. Cadillac like other GM brands have always been victims of corporate GM bean counters, and the cars typically showed that to be true. Imperial have also struggled with corporate control and maybe the Virgil Exner strange styling cues, The Exner look was interesting, perhaps a little to radical and clearly wasn’t for everyone, and Chrysler paid dearly for that. I happen to like Exner’s styling, but could see many people didn’t. But the Imperial was a very well built car by any measure. Lincoln had much better success than Imperial did, but still suffered the emotional impact caused by Cadillac. In any event, I would much rather own a Lincoln or Imperial than a Cadillac. In the 1970s Cadillacs were just big and boring. Lincolns of that same era are much better cars on every level. Lincoln had much better styling and mechanical trates. Like I said, the Cosmos moves in strange and questionable behavior. That’s the way I rationalize and justify the the attraction that Cadillac enjoys. In a perfect world, Cadillacs would not hold the top sales position it always has.

    That is one VERY impressive surviving example! I tried counting the options it had, then I realized it was easier to count what it didn’t have as opposed to what it did have. I mean, this car even has the starboard-side mirror option, which is far less common (AND more expensive if you even find one) than the bucket-console seating! The five options I saw this car not having are cruise (or “speed” in Ford lexicon) control, rear-window defogger, stereo/tape-playing setup (though the AM/FM radio it does have is a plus-option), trailer hitch, and the safety head rests. I never have seen an example of the auto-leveling setup, so I can’t speak for that. If only the ’68s had not been designed with such woefully-inadequate rear lighting, especially the safety lighting (brake/turn lighting, to be precise), I’d want that car for myself. What it doesn’t have could be installed with relative ease, and still look as OE as anything…well, except for adequate safety lighting, that would require some serious thoughts on how to upgrade that without sullying the look of the rear end.

    Growing up in 1960s there were a Lincoln Mercury dealer and Chrysler Plymouth dealer on my paper route (paper delivery route) and after passing my papers before 6am, I would walk past the Lincolns , Imperial, and Chryslers and I would often climb into the unlocked front seats and admire the beauty of the dashboards and lovely soft leather and natural smell.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *