Tips, Tricks & Trends

Worst Car Wednesday: 1984 Just Puked Coal At Your Door

Have you ever read the book 1984? It portends the demise of society and complete control by the government. While some may think we are there, read the book. We’re not there, yet. But something that signaled the demise of the strongest symbol of American superiority made its debut in 1984. That would be the 1984 Lincoln Continental with the diesel engine option. While you might think we’re joking with you, believe us when we tell you we are not. As such, this Lincoln is the poster child for everything wrong with Detroit-made cars back in the day.

Thankfully, we are past this black mark in American industrial superiority. Lincoln is building cars the way it should have back in 1984. Which swings us back around to the 1984 Lincoln Continental diesel. What a mess this turned out to be. 

One of these suckers has shown up on craigslist

Why this has even percolated to the surface is because one of these suckers has shown up on craigslist. Thanks to Ford Authority for the heads-up. With only 1,500 made before Ford figured out their misstep, they’re more than rare. These Continentals were so bad that there couldn’t have been any that escaped the crusher by 1999. Ugly, poor handling, bad quality; and then top it with this anemic diesel engine. Ugh.

RELATED: 8 Cars That Tell the History of Diesel in the U.S.

The gas crunches of the 1970s brought a certain awareness to Detroit. Ford thought that maybe a diesel would catch the attention of customers shocked at the rising price of gasoline. And it had a German connection. Actually, it was German.

Ford worked out a deal to use BMW 2.4-liter inline-six turbo diesel engines. What Ford eventually determined almost every potential Continental customer got right away. The 114 hp doesn’t do shit with a two-ton Lincoln. Did any Ford engineer even drive one of these? Had they it would have been immediately apparent the cackle and fumes were not worth the stomach pump power the diesel offered. 

Cadillac and European manufacturers offered diesel options-Lincoln needed one too

But Cadillac and other European manufacturers offered diesel options so naturally Lincoln needed to follow suit. That Cadillac’s was a mess and Mercedes’ and BMWs were inadequate didn’t register with Ford. This thing had flop sweat from the get-go.

With 1,500 produced it is apparent that Ford’s expectations were way too high. Or maybe it was the individuals who thought this was a good idea was the ones who were high. We’ll give it kudos for trying. Oh, those poor souls that were suckered into purchasing one of these abominations. However, one has survived and surfaced on craigslist.

It runs great and he has the special tools and a spare engine

The seller says it runs great and he has the special tools and a spare engine in case you doubt him. It looks like he has some poor eating and cleaning habits based on the shots of the interior. But that’s just dirt and mung. With 84,000+ miles on the ticker, it’s a healthy beast. 

Should you decide to consider it consider this will be an attention-getter at any Cars and Coffee event. There can’t be 10 of these turds left. If there are at least half of them should be crushed right now. The world doesn’t need these for anything other than as an artifact to the really low and dismal days of the malaise era of car building.