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Rough Start: This Lincoln Mark VIII Is A Cobra In Disguise, Ready For Battle. Who Would Suspect This Gray Sled?

Rough Start: This Lincoln Mark VIII Is A Cobra In Disguise, Ready For Battle. Who Would Suspect This Gray Sled?

I got into a discussion the other day: which would make a better build platform, a Fox-body or an MN-12 Ford platform, from an overall performance perspective? The Fox platform has a metric ton of the aftermarket’s attention and you can do just about whatever the hell you want, but the MN-12, which is the 1989-97 Ford Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar, and the 1992-98 Lincoln Mark VIII, have the independent rear suspension, come in versions that offer up supercharged V6s, Windsor V8s and the 4.6L Modular platform, and had versions that offered up three pedals if you want to build a shift-it-yourself form. Can a Fox be capable? Of course. But look at the fanbase that is solely focused on Terminator Cobra Mustangs with the independent rear suspension, then take a look at the price point of a similar MN-12, and you start to see what we mean.

Our latest cheap-car hunt for the Rough Start program, which gives you a total of $5,000 to buy and build a fun machine that will run, drive, and not blow up on you within fifteen seconds dredged up this 1997 Lincoln Mark VIII in “grandma got a new car, kids, come look!” gray. It isn’t as sexy as the Fox-body LSC model for sure, but the Mark VIII didn’t cheap out where it counts, either. The 4.6L “InTech” V8 is the same basic engine as the Mustang Cobra, the DOHC, 32-valve rev-happy unit that could benefit from being breathed on just a little bit. Since this car is a non-LSC model, you’re looking at 280 horses and 285 ft/lbs of torque…not great, but not bad for a cheap car, and you know there’s room to grow there.

But you don’t buy a Lincoln just to haul ass, do you? Look at the interior! If you ever wanted to make the “spare car” argument to your significant other, point to the comfort level of those seats. 1990s Lincoln knew how to make you comfortable and you’ll have just about every gadget you truly need in a car at your fingertips. All you need is an auxiliary input jack somewhere in the car for your portable music device and you are set!

The car is up for grabs for $3,899, which leaves enough money left over to take care of the one noticeable paint blemish on the rocker panel. After that, save your money and prepare for tuning…have Mustang fun without looking like you’re ready to mow down a crowd like an overgrown field!

Craigslist Link: 1997 Lincoln Mark VIII 

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3 thoughts on “Rough Start: This Lincoln Mark VIII Is A Cobra In Disguise, Ready For Battle. Who Would Suspect This Gray Sled?

  1. Bill Swanson

    That is a Pewter Gray Metallic car. 1997 only color and the least produced color for the year. I hope it goes to a good home.

    I’ve had a base 97 since 2000. It was an off lease car with 38k miles. Black, Medium/Light Graphite interior, everything but the phone and heated seats.

    Looks and drives great, it’s the best car I’ve ever owned….better than all of the Mustangs I’ve owned including the ’69 Mach 1 (long gone) and the highly modified 82 GT that I bought new and still have.

    My Mark is still stock at 130k miles. It was a daily driver for 6 years, racking up 80k miles in that period. Minor mods are in the works. A spare rear subframe has been reinforced. A spare differential carrier from a Terminator Cobra is packed with a rebuilt Traction-Loc diff, carbon clutches and 3:73 gear set. Proper bushings, halfshafts and miscellaneous parts are on the shelf. This winter it gets done.

  2. Matt Cramer

    Wow, that’s clean. Looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor I happen to really like the looks of the later Mk VIIIs, especially in black.

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