The Real Hot Rod Lincoln
So I drive to the middle of nowhere to see a 1973 Lincoln Continental Mark IV. What a mouthful. Anyways, guy was only asking 1300$ for it. I took it for a spin and it's really clean inside, suspension is killer, A/C works, and it cruises great. Only downside is that it is gutless, which is not what one would expect from a clean running 460 cu in V8 from the 70's. Long story short, I made the guy an offer he couldn't refuse and he took it. I guess nobody was beating down doors for these cars lately due to gas prices. I would estimate the date of purchase at around mid 2013.
The story was this: an old lady owned the Lincoln and her husband passed. Then she wanted to restore it and gave it to a shop for that purpose. The shop got it running and driving again and gave her an estimate for the resto job. She decided after viewing the price to let the car go and the shop kept it in lieu of charging her for the work they did to get it running decent (edelbrock intake, edelbrock carb, probably some electrical work.) Then the shop was trying to offload it and I showed up.
In Hindsight I want to say I offered the guy less than 1300 like maybe 1000 or so and he accepted. But because I'm not sure I will leave the cost at 1300. And bam I had a new project! Sweet!
So here's what I did to it:
Here are some technical notes for anybody wanting to hot rod a Lincoln of this era:
- Made-for headers are impossible to find on the cheap. I was going to do some hacking on some generic ones until I found somebody on craigslist locally selling his custom built Sanderson headers for 200$ so I grabbed them. Perfect fit too!
- Rear end ratio: I went from 2.75 to 3.7. Thing burns out awesome! Problem was, I built and installed the rear end before I installed the headers and exhaust. After I re tuned everything it was apparent that I had more power than anticipated. This big block loved the headers! This ratio with my tire combo amounted to about 2300rpm cruising on the freeway at 60-65, which is slightly annoying for a big block. Everywhere else car is certainly driveable and enjoyable. In hindsight I should have built the rear end last, and I should have went to a 3.2 or so for maximum happiness of cruising and power. This thing has torque!
- I haven't said anything about the shift kit I installed, but you need a shift kit and it improves these cars sooooo much it's astounding.
- Hood clearance: things you must know. An Edelbrock Performer RPM manifold was what was on the car when I bought it. This did not leave enough room above the carb for a real air cleaner! I experimented with tiny air cleaners and they would immediately starve the car for air no matter how I jetted it. Not only was the performer RPM manifold too tall, but it flowed too much for my perceived use of the car anyways (READ: it was the wrong target rpm band.) I opted for a standard performer which was shorter an enabled me to squeeze a 14" air cleaner on top. This was done with a drop/offset air cleaner mount. I will try to find a pic of it and add it but I don't remember where I put it. This is the closest example I could find on the internet:
So after all this I had driven the car quite a bit, and had enjoyed wrenching on it for a few years. I knew the time had come to let her go. I decided on a price of about 5000 and listed it on local Cragslist after a few months - I didn't get any real enticing trades or decent offers, so I de-listed it and drove it for fun. I wasn't really dissapointed that nobody made a good offer, because this car kicked butt and was a blast to drive. So I took it out on the weekends etc.. to impress people and show it off.
Fast forward to 2016 and I relist it again this time coming to terms that I would take $4500 for it. Within 2 weeks I got a decent offer after a test drive and I said sure lets do this. I sold the car and was sad to see it go, but happy to watch it leave!
Now to the bottom line, I didn't make that much money on this and I put quite a bit of time into it. Also I didn't account for gas, registration, insurance, etc which probably would make this a net loss and a big one at that. Since this is a finance blog I will ballpark the facts here though:
Sale price 4300$ - 1300$ car price - 2330$ parts = 670$ Profit.
But you know what, If you're making money at all with your hobbies that is a very good thing. That means when you finally get to financial independence, you can still have the same hobbies and not worry about them affecting your lifestyle AT ALL! Some people like doing things which cost more and that's fine. My questions to them: are there other things you like to do that cost less? Are you willing to let your expensive hobbies and dreams chain you to a desk in lieu of swapping them for equally enjoyable things that are cheaper? These are questions you will need to ask yourself, because once you're financially independent, your lifestyle will be totally different and you will need to find things to fill all the free time with. And for us mortals, sometimes the best things in life really are free.
If you are reading this and thinking "man this guy is dumb why would he spend 57 hours of hard labor to make 670$ anyways" I will refer you here to show that yeah when we want to we can make a killing. Never mind the fact that I can now feel confident about building an amazing ground pounding drivetrain on the cheap, which had always given me trouble in the past. In the future I will create a post involving the 3 or 4 Porsche 944's I flipped in college, and you will learn to respect my judgement a bit more. Until then, hate away, it won't slow me down.