This BMW-Powered Lincoln Continental Diesel Is Looking For A New Home

Diesel-powered luxury vehicles are becoming increasingly rare in the United States, but you can to buy one of the more obscure examples from the 1980’s.

Recently noticed by Redditors, there’s a Craigslist listing for a 1984 Lincoln Continental Mark VII. While most 1980’s Continentals are pretty forgettable, this one features a BMW-sourced turbodiesel engine.

It would be natural to assume this is some kind of homebrew modification, but the engine was equipped straight from the factory. Following the two oil crisis in the 1970’s, Lincoln wanted to offer a more efficient engine in the Continental and eventually tapped BMW to use their 2.4-liter six-cylinder turbodiesel. While it only produced 114 hp (85 kW / 115 PS), the diesel engine wasn’t much less powerful than the 5.0-liter V8 petrol which developed 140 hp (104 kW / 142 PS).

Despite offering significantly better fuel economy ratings, the diesel engine bombed with consumers. There’s no word on how many units were sold, but the Craigslist ad suggests there were only around 2,500 built. Regardless of the final number, the diesel-powered variant was only offered for two years.

This brings us to the Craigslist’s car which is a coupe that has spent decades in storage. The seller is asking for $2,500 and says the model is in “near perfect shape” despite the fact that it hasn’t been started in 20 years and needs a new head gasket.

That seems like a lot of money for a broken Lincoln Continental, but the seller goes on to say the car is rust free and has a gray leather interior that is in near perfect condition. While the listing doesn’t mention mileage, the car comes with the original window sticker and factory paperwork.

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    • benT

      That very correct.

  • kachuks

    Quick, where’s Hoovie? He can park it next to his McLaren.

  • I remember this and knew it would bomb in ‘Murica. ‘Muricans associate diesels with buses and lots of soot coming out your rear-end. Hardly a dignified look for a luxury car. By looking at the pic, this car appears to have some serious issues with its air suspension. That alone could cost $5K to fix.

  • benT

    Given that the point of difference is the motor, how about a coupla pics ??

  • Richard Alexander

    I love those wheels.


  • Ilbirs

    There’s a curiosity considering the use of BMW diesels by other manufacturers: these engines found a place both on Ford (this Continental) and GM (Opel Omega B), in both cases being inline sixes.

    • Timo

      BMWs Diesel engines where quite a benchmark, closer to petrol engines than its rivals.
      But the 2.4 in the ’84 Lincoln and the 2.5 in the ’94 Opel Omega were from two different generations and shared almost no similarities.

      • Ilbirs

        For sure, Lincoln’s one is the M21 while in Opel Omega the engines employed were the two next ones on the genealogy (M51 and M57). The curiosity is the fact that two fierce rivals around the globe adopted passenger car diesels from BMW at some point in their existences.

  • Bash

    I say it deserves a second chance. I hope someone will restore it to its original condition.

  • dumblikeyou2

    Nice saggy air-suspension. So very Lincoln.

    • KareKakk

      Saggy? Aren’t the suspension intended to be filled with air and thus raised when the ignition is on/the engine runs?

      • dumblikeyou2

        Nope. They are supposed to hold air in bladders to maintain a normal height even they’re off and parked. Usually the bladders failed on almost all of them in every model.

      • KareKakk more

  • Enter Ranting

    Could the seller have bothered to clean it, or at least close the hood, before posting the photos?

  • Michael_66589

    they put too small diesel to that vehicle…5.0 liter diesel could be ideal for that.

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