Tag Archives: Eldorado

Rolls Royce Grill On A Thunderbird – Lincoln Continental Mark III

After coming a cropper and loosing US$1000 on each of the 3000 odd ultra luxurious ’56 and ’57 Continental Mark II’s the Continental name reverted to model name under the Lincoln brand and it was not until 1969 that the Lincoln Continental Mark III would see the light of day, although there had been a 1959 Continental III that retrospectively became known as the Lincoln Continental Mark III just to confuse the issue.

Lincoln Continental Mark III

When the 1967 fifth generation Ford Thunderbird started under performing in the market place Ford President Lee Iacocca decided the best way to recoup the companies investment was to use to use the 4 door Thunderbird’s floor plan for the new Lincoln Mark III. Allegedly Iacocca instructed Ford Design Vice President Gene Bordinat to ‘put a Rolls Royce grill on a Thunderbird’ in September 1965.

Lincoln Continental Mark III

The Continental Mark III’s 2 door body worked out 300 lbs / 140 kg heavier than the 4 door Thunderbird but it was powered by a larger more powerful 365 hp 7.5 litre / 460 cui V8 motor than the 345 hp available to Thunderbird owners.

Lincoln Continental Mark III

Interior trim included leather and real wood on the dash which kept the cars press rating above the nearest nylon cloth trimmed Cadillac Eldorado competitor as late as the Mark IIIs final year 1971, with a Cartier branded clock becoming standard soon after the cars launch in 1968.

Lincoln Continental Mark III

Sales of the Mark III never bettered the lesser trimmed Eldordo but were over 20,000 a year for 1969/70 they rose to a high of 27,091 in 1971 which coincidentally marked Lincoln’s Golden Jubilee Year.

Lincoln Continental Mark III

Today’s featured 1971 model belonged to my facebook acquaintance Lori Munro in the 1980’s when the photo’s were taken. Lori, who co founded Race Talk Radio, says that her Mark III “was great …. when fuel was just US$0.60 a gallon”, but decided to sell it after it had been in storage for a couple of years.

My thanks to Lori Munro for sharing her photographs and story, please drop by Race Talk Radio’s facebook page and “Like” to show your appreciation.

Thanks for joining me on this “Rolls Royce Grill On A Thunderbird” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

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Colour Of The Advocado – Cadillac Eldorado

The eight generation Cadillac Eldorado was built between 1971 and 1978 receiving face lifts in 1973 and 1975.

Cadillac Eldorado, Shakespeare County Raceway

Sharing a 126 in / 3120 mm E body platform with the Oldsmobile Tornado and Buick Riviera the Eldorado was 79.8 in / 2030 mm wide.

Cadillac Eldorado, Shakespeare County Raceway

Under the bonnet / hood of this 1973 model lurks a honking 400 hp 8.2 litre 500 cui V8, said to be the largest production V8 when it was first introduced in the 1970 Seventh Generation Eldorado.

Cadillac Eldorado, Shakespeare County Raceway

At 224 in / 5690 mm long the Eight Generation Eldorado’s matched the Sixth Generation Eldorado’s as the largest ever made though the Eight Generation were giving away over 6 inches in wheel base to the older model.

Cadillac Eldorado, Shakespeare County Raceway

One thing I did not know until preparing this blog was that like the Oldsmobile Tornado the Eldorado was front wheel drive which must lead to some interesting handling characteristics, while the Buick Riviera on the same platform was rear wheel drive.

Cadillac Eldorado, Shakespeare County Raceway

It is thought the opera window in the C panel which replaced the opening quarter window seen in earlier models was necessary to conform to roll over safety standards that came into effect in the mid 1970’s.

Cadillac Eldorado, Shakespeare County Raceway

Until I heard the Jonathon Richman song Pablo Picaso, I’d always thought of Eldorado’s as lumpy land yachts with as much appeal as a block of flats, however once I heard Jonathon’s lyric about girls turning advocado colour as Pablo Picaso drove down the street in his Eldorado, I began to see this leviathan’s in a slightly different light.

Cadillac Eldorado, Shakespeare County Raceway

In 1973 51,451 Eldorado’s were built just over 15% of Cadillacs total production for the year.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Colour Of The Advocado’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to came back now !

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Follow that Eldorado – Shakespeare County Raceway

Chris Hartnell, Shakespeare County Raceway

A couple of months ago, on my way to Race Retro, I spent several hours in the back of mini bus with ‘Crazy’ Chris Hartnell seen here at the wheel of ‘Backdraft’ a sling shot dragster, in a very short time his enthusiasm for drag racing infected me and on Sunday I finally got a chance to to go to my very first Drag meet.

Cadillac Eldorado, Shakespeare County Raceway

The meeting was held at Shakespeare County Raceway, in deepest Warwickshire, so deep I managed to get so completely lost trying to find the venue, no Sat Nav in this weekends borrowed wheels, that the only way I found it was by following a Cadillac Eldorado I fortuitously came across while trying to work out where I was at a T junction in the middle of nowhere that I could not find on my Google Map.

Chevrolet Advanced Design, Shakespeare County Raceway

The sound of V8’s being tortured for up to 10 secs from the car park was unlike anything I have ever heard before, made 43 cars flying round Talledega at 190 mph sound quite tuneful by comparison.

Dodge Challenger R/T, Shakespeare County Raceway

Bevis the owner of a sumptuous red 450 hp small block road going Chevy Impala, complete with one piece California rear bumper, the subject of a future blog told me that the really big Drag meeting was actually at Santa Pod near Northampton in September, but I was happy enough easing my way into the scene on Sunday.

Morris Minor, Shakespeare County Raceway

Against my expectations there were a few UK bodied vehicles including this Morris Minor, a Rover 400 Funny Car, a standard looking TVR Tuscan, a Ford Anglia and a couple of Mark 2 Ford Cortinas, including an Estate / Stationwagon !

Shakespeare County Raceway

I had hoped to get a photo of Crazy Chris popping a wheely, unfortunately I was a bit slow on the camera shutter, still next time I’ll know what to expect. If you have never been to a drag meeting I’d certainly recommend a visit, the atmosphere is extremely friendly and relaxed in the paddock and the action is short but intense on the track, I look forward to future blogs on some of the wild rides I saw on Sunday.

Thanks to ‘Crazy’ Chris Hartnell infecting me with his enthusiasm, I hope you have enjoyed today’s Drag edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you’ll join me again for Ferrari Friday tomorrow. Don’t for get to come back now !

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