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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Project Valentino: Semi-Quixotic ambition and automotive Grand Designs | Hagerty Media

I once considered myself allergic to reality television shows, but that was before I got hooked on two British mainstays of the genre: Wheeler Dealers and Grand Designs. The former restores fully-depreciated cars, but fails to resonate with my logic-free, budget-busting project taste.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/maintenance-and-tech/project-valentino-semi-quixotic-ambition-and-auto...
43 REPLIES 43
Utopia1
Detailer

Years after the project it complete, it won't be the money you spent that you remember. It will be the memories you've made with the car that you will cherish.
Sajeev
Community Manager

That is my hope!  My hope of all hopes, in fact! 

Tsaxman
Detailer

Sorry, Sajeev. You have gone full Don Quixote -- the Mechanic of La Mancha.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Stop making me want to read that book!  It's too long! 

Swamibob
Instructor

I dig it Sajeev! But, I have to ask: When is the 460 and the 5-speed going in? 🙂
Sajeev
Community Manager

LOL that much motor in a lightweight Fox Body is like 10 lbs of you-know-what in a 5 lb bag! 

chrlsful
Instructor

the platform has been a profitable one for several yrs now as Boomers age out of the mrkt ('60s/70s cars) and millennials hang. Eventho a same sz cohort, I C a smaller mrkt as these folks seem to have less interest in all things automotive. Twenty five yrs + for swap-ins makes it fun weather more "rest0" or more "mod". Some of the Panther fits too~
Sajeev
Community Manager

Not sure if slant back Contis will appreciate heavily, but that sure would be nice!  Right now it seems like all Capris, Fairmont/Zephyr, LTD/Marquis are all moving up with the Mustang bump. Especially the LTD/Marquis, I am really impressed with those not being sold for scrap anymore. 

brianr911
New Driver

Nice project! It's great you have history with the car and are preserving it! I have 1976 Bill Blass Mark IV so I appreciate the "Designer series."
Sajeev
Community Manager

And you have the first year of the designer series! Thank you for your kind words! 

Cornbinder
Intermediate Driver

You always do a restoration for love not money, and you seem to have the former dialed in. Looking forward to seeing it in the Custom class at an LCOC national meet someday, as it seems like everybody else is focused on Town Cars and the occasional Mark VII of that era - these slant-back Conti's seem to have all but evaporated.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Hi @Cornbinder it will be there, eventually!  For now I am just looking forward to some level of completion that lets me take it to a local LCOC meeting! 

Cornbinder
Intermediate Driver

I'm also a bit surprised that you haven't found a custom graphics shop that'll be be able to create your stripping.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Same here. Everything was fine until the name was needed.  Maybe someone in Italy with connections to the fashion designer can help. (kidding) 

TonyT
Instructor

Sajeev,
My neighbor has an old, unused windmill in his backyard. You can tilt at it at your own risk... just make sure that your lance doesn't scratch that beautiful paint!
Sajeev
Community Manager

There's one in my head that I tilt several times a day! 😂

MoparMan
Advanced Driver

Sajeev: The new paint is gorgeous! I learned the HARD way about costs with home renovations; when I was advised by an older and wiser friend "not to total up receipts"! That said, every time I look at the finished product, that deep glow of satisfaction is there. As far as my car project, I'd been saving and acquiring parts since I'd bought the car. A few years ago, the estimate for a cosmetic restoration made me take pause. Now, the cost is higher! Since having completed some mechanical upgrades (with delays from/during) 20COVID20, my thoughts have shifted back to plunging ahead with the restoration. Pray for me, LOL!! 🙂
Sajeev
Community Manager

Yup, I highly recommend diving into the restoration as soon as possible!  It's pretty tough right now, but it will work out for me...and you! 

Bigspanner
Intermediate Driver

I consider those Lincoln’s one of the nicest designs of the 80’s - inside and out!
Sajeev
Community Manager

I am in good company!  Thank you for that!

Maestro1
Instructor

Sajeev, very well done. It's handsome without being overdone, modifications don't conflict with the design, and it must be a pleasure to drive.
Thank you for this and stay well.
Sajeev
Community Manager

I took it for a spin around the block, it's indeed very fun but still comfortable.  Can't wait to show everyone the final product!

CitationMan
Instructor

Just beautiful! This is so cool, you would have totally regretted it if you didn’t pursue this labor of love. Full speed ahead, there’s no banks in heaven!
Sajeev
Community Manager

I like that Banks in Heaven comment...totally gonna use it. Thanks for that! 

drjim
Detailer

Well done, Sajeev! The paint looks spectacular, and I can hardly wait to see Valentino when it's all back together!

- Jim
Sajeev
Community Manager

You'll be in the loop!  Thank you for your kind words! 

Land_Ark
Intermediate Driver

I'm very excited for you! You can do it right or you can do it cheap. And if you aren't going to do it right, why are you doing it?

By the way, it'll never be "done." Ask me how I know.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Oh I already know, as I did a full paint job on my daily driver (1995 Mark VIII). It looks great but I probably shoulda deleted the aftermarket moonroof because now it whistles a lot on the highway, and the motor quit working (probably a wiring issue). 

 

Whatever, it sure beats leasing a base model Lexus! 😂

TG
Instructor

Beautiful car... I can imagine what it will look like complete
I have the opportunity to get an '81 Seville (which has a lot of the same styling as your Linc). My problem is that I am at the opposite end of the collecting spectrum. I like buying cars that need 'something'... something that I can deal with, but otherwise are intact and that look good from 5 feet but are less that perfect so I don't feel guilty driving them. The Seville needs paint - which will amount to a proper 2+ tone paint job like yours, and is currently V6 powered which just isn't acceptable for a big Caddy in my book - so repower and all the headaches that follow would be on the list. I'm just not ready to bite that bullet yet, but looking on how yours is turning out, I may reconsider
Sajeev
Community Manager

Hi @TG I used to be exactly like that with Project Valentino, but sometime in the early 2000s I knew this restoration was far beyond my skills.  First off, I don't have the tools to do a motor swap, and most shops aren't keen to work on a non Mustang Fox Body.  Once things like a 4R70-W transmission standalone computer system became available, I was probably gonna need an expert for that too.  And when I removed the battery and saw the rust (exploded battery in the 1990s) I knew this was gonna be a full restoration. Funny how these things work out. 😀

omac
Intermediate Driver

That's an awesome car. When the project is complete and you start enjoying the Lincoln that will be what you will remember most.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Yeah it's gonna be worth it in the end, thank you for kind words! 

MaverickNutron
Intermediate Driver

HEE-HEE-HEE - A Wolf in Sheep's clothing...I love it!
"However, Mom won’t care about my 331-cubic-inch stroker V-8, Dad won’t enjoy the Thunderbird Turbo Coupe limited-slip differential, and my brother doesn’t appreciate the SVO Mustang Koni dampers and SVT Cobra rear sway bar … wait, scratch that, he’d gladly hurt some track-day egos in the Valentino."
Sajeev
Community Manager

Yeah, not gonna pick on Coyote V8 Mustangs, but it will suffice LOL 

Punk
Detailer

If Wheeler Dealers is too rich for you (I love that show) then you should check out another (obviously) British show called Flipping Bangers. The premise is two guys buy a car for 500 - 1000 quid and spend no more than 5 days working on it and turning it for a profit. Very low-end but entertaining to watch fixes on the cheap!
Jnick
Intermediate Driver

Another fabulous article!
Most of us reading this article understand the 3 I’s of Hot Rodding namely initiative, imagination, and ingenuity. Every old car no matter how far gone is another blank canvas ready to be reborn.
Other people’s reaction is a litmus test to their belief in the 3 I theory and it is like the gearheads secret (or not so secret) handshake as to the value.
I appreciate your efforts, labor and of course money to create a unique machine and also know the feeling of opening a specially mixed can of paint or hearing a long dormant engine roar.
Keep the stories coming they give us all hope!
Sajeev
Community Manager

Thank you for your reaffirmation!  It's always great to hear from like-minded people...definitely keeps me motivated! 

brb
Advanced Driver

Beautifully done (and written) and coolly insane. It's what money's for. Enjoy it!
Sajeev
Community Manager

I generally feel better about the project after writing about it...thanks to kind folks like you! 

61Rampy
Detailer

Sorry that I'm late to the comments here. but I just have to say that paint & bodywork is Fabulous!!! MoparMan made a good comment: Do NOT total the receipts up! Just enjoy the car, and who cares what it costs, as long as the car is the way YOU want it! My first reaction was "Why an 83 Conti?". The obvious answer is "Why not?". Back in 93, I suddenly needed a bigger car than my 85 Mustang GT. I really wanted to get a wagon-style Fox body, preferably a Fairmont. Plan was to transfer all GT goodies to the wagon, possibly the whole front clip, for a "Family Hauler". Instead, I bought an 88 MkVII. Did not regret my decision! Good Luck with the project!
Sajeev
Community Manager

You have fantastic taste, and you both are right about the receipts: I will save them but never tally them up!  And 1988 was a great year for the Mark VII, that musta been fun to own back in the day! 

hyperv6
Technician

A true example of love, dedication and family history.

If not for cases like this we would have lost some examples of cars from the past.

Sanjeev you have crossed over with this project as a auto move enthusiast of the highest degree. Few ever get to this level and to me it is the highest level one could achieve in auto collecting and restoration. It is cars like this that show the true love and passion for a car in a world of profit medication.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Thank you for your kind words!  I agree that this project is so much more radical (not by how it looks, but what is going into it), time consuming, and memorable than any other I've done...and I am glad to see others enjoy and appreciate it too!