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Hagerty Employee

1979 Lincoln Versailles: Dearborn's answer to the Seville | Hagerty Media

The Lincoln Versailles. Name it and certain folks will immediately get all wound up. Much like some folks who go el bonzo seco when the name "Cadillac Cimarron" is mentioned. But never mind that. Dreamed up by the powers-that-be in the Glass House, perhaps over a three-martini lunch at the Dearborn Inn, the Versailles was meant to compete with the successful first-generation Cadillac Seville.
New Driver

I saw a 1979 Versailles at the Mecum Auto Auction in Kissimmee in January. It sold but I didn't get the price. The Mecum no. was K185 It is a light brown with a dark chocolate lower. The VIN is 9W84F623296. The interior is a light chocolate. It looked pristine. I did take pics. I wanted one in 1978 and came close but had orders to Korea. In 1986 I bought a 1978 Granada for my oldest. He was in an accident. I went to a junkyard and put a 1979 front grille assembly and bumper on it. It was a tank!
Intermediate Driver

I was always of the opinion (being old enough to have bought the May 1977 issue of Motor Trend it was reviewed in - along with the Pontiac CanAm) that Lincoln really should've also done a two-door version. Swap the Granada/Monarch trapezoidal window in the C-pillar for a proper Mark IV-V-VI oval opera window and they'd have sold well. Problem being, more against the Mark V than any brand's competition, so that's probably why they didn't pursue it. That, and they were probably too focused on matching the Seville like-for-like. The general design theme of the Granada/Monarch was essentially a Lincoln wanna-be out of the gate in 1975, so it was 3/4 there before the Versailles front clip and decklid - unlike the world's most expensive Nova. Then again, call me biased, as at that time, I had just taken my driver's test on mom's 1976 Granada Sport package 2-dr - 302 V8, floor shift C-4, Magnum 500 wheels, tan bucket seats, and black with a tan half-top. It looked great and moved along very smartly to boot. FAR sexier in the high school parking lot than the Family Truckster 1972 IH Travelall. Then again, I'm also doubly bias, as I've owed a gold '78 Mark V Diamond Jubilee for two decades.
The half-year 1977's, while having the "Granada roof", were the only ones to have the 351-2v engine as an option. Otherwise, only 302's were under the hood.

I'm old enough to remember these when they were new, but not old enough to afford one. When the Seville was released it was camouflaged enough from it's RWD X car roots to not give its secret away. No matter how nicely equipped, the early ones always reminded me of a dressed up Monarch, it wasn't until they got the roof extension that they at least looked like a Lincoln. I get that folks really liked them and I'm not here to wee on them, but I could never get on board with them. Would I drive one now? Sure, I miss the era. Honestly, coming from a family that adored Mercurys, I would rather go with the LDO Monarch, especially a 1977 with the 351...