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1977 Lincoln Continental
Fixed Glass Moonroof Option

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Image: 1978 Lincoln Continental Coupe

Above: 1978 Lincoln Continental Coupé with Fixed Glass Moonroof option

Image: 1979 Lincoln Continental Town Car
Fixed Glass Moonroof Option At a Glance:

Years Available: 1977-1979
Model Availability: All Lincoln Continental 2-Door and 4-Door models (except Mark V)
Option Price:
1977: $954 (early production); $960 (later production)
1978: $1,027
1979: $1,088
Glass Tint Colors: (Researching)
Dimensions: 31" on 2-Door models
23" on 4-Door models
Number Built:
1977: 2-Door models 1,347; 4-Door models 1,591
1978: (Researching)
1979: (Researching)

In what would have to be considered one of the more unusual options offered by Lincoln in the late seventies, the Fixed Glass Moonroof was made available for those who desired the additional light and views a glass panel roof would offer, but without any of the potential drawbacks (like wind noise and the fear of water leaks) that a power-operated Moonroof that opened and closed might present. Despite being offered for three years, the fixed glass panel is very rare in comparison to the one that opened to admit fresh air. Apparently there was a very limited market for a glass panel that didn't open, especially considering the cost for both was the same for two of the three years they were offered together.

The option consisted of a reflective one-way tinted fixed glass panel that covered nearly the entire forward portion of the roof itself! The glass panel featured a chrome border around its edge, and sat nearly flush with the metal surface. It was available with either a full vinyl roof, Coach roof, or painted, non-vinyl roof.

Lincoln Continentals ordered with the Fixed Glass Moonroof option were delivered to American Sunroof Corporation (ASC) for the modification, just like cars ordered with a Power Moonroof would have been. An interior sliding sunscreen was provided to block the sun and its heat when necessary. The sunscreen was manually-operated by either the driver or a front seat passenger.

Initially, the Fixed Glass Moonroof was just slightly more expensive than the powered version, with a cost of $954 compared to $938 for the Power Moonroof. A mid-year increase raised the price of the Fixed Glass Moonroof option to $960. For 1978 and 1979, the Fixed Glass Moonroof was priced at $1,027 and $1,088, respectively, which was identical to the cost of the Power Moonroof at the time.

Image: 1954 Mercury Sun ValleyThis option was inspired by the 1954 Ford Crestline Skyliner, 1955 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria Skyliner, 1955 Mercury Monterey Sun Valley, and 1955 Mercury Montclair Sun Valley, all of which offered a transparent green Plexiglas section over the front section of the roof, which extended a little more than halfway back. (Ford also offered a transparent top on the 1956 Crown Victoria, but it wasn't a separate model as it had been.) These models offered a snap-in interior sunshade for the hotter months when the additional heat might not be appreciated. And if one thing had to be identified as an issue at the time, it was heat. It was said that desert testing revealed an interior temperature gain of just 5 degrees with the sun shade removed, when compared to a standard hardtop configuration. The green tint gave the car interior a strange hue, and in an article Motor Trend Magazine even went so far as to suggest a young lady might as well switch to green lipstick when checking her makeup inside the car!

Factory air conditioning was offered on the Ford and Mercury models, but it was still a new concept at the time, and most people didn't pay the extra money to get it, which made the cars with this feature less popular in parts of the country with high summer temperatures. Of course, lack of air conditioning was not an issue on the 1977-1979 Lincolns, and the reflective glass used on the these models did a much better job of controlling solar gain than the tinted Plexiglas panels.

Restoring a Lincoln with this feature can be difficult if there's any corrosion around the glass panel. Removing the panel itself is a nightmare, and care must be exercised to not break or chip the glass. It is recommended the glass is supported and protected at all times when doing any type of work in the vicinity. It can be especially difficult to remove intact, although it has been done. Extreme caution is required when attempting any body or trim repairs around the glass panel.

The Fixed Glass Moonroof is one of the rarer options offered on Lincolns of this vintage, and it's a real conversation piece when people first see one. This is another example of a time when automobile manufacturers used to build unique cars that had their own individual look and personality, and often had options and trim and paint colors that really set them apart from everything else on the road.

Automotive Mileposts would like to thank Mr. Ron Fenelon and Mr. Francis Kalvado for providing some of the information used in this article.