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Image: 1977 Lincoln Versailles

The 1977
Lincoln Versailles.

The first compact Lincoln.

The Lincoln Versailles was introduced mid-year during the 1977 model year, and sold 15,434 units, which was a pretty good start for a market segment that hadn't existed three years earlier.

The Versailles was a highly sophisticated automobile, the first to utilize Lincoln's Vehicle Electrical Test System (VETS). This system was capable of testing every electrical component in the car, before it left the factory, to determine if it met standards or not. A weak ground connection, pinched wire, or loose connector could be identified and corrected before it caused problems for the owner.

The only flaw with the new Versailles was with its heritage—it used the same basic body and platform as the Ford Granada and Mercury Monarch. Despite very high quality of materials and fit and finish, the Versailles' modest beginnings couldn't be hidden, and sales began to suffer after the initial demand was fulfilled.

Despite the objections, the Lincoln Versailles was a wonderful car that would have been a styling sensation had it been introduced before the Granada or Monarch.

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