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1971 Lincoln Continental
Production Numbers/Specifications

PRODUCTION NUMBERS
INTRODUCTION DATE:
September 18, 1970
TOTAL PRODUCTION:
35,551
TOP LINE: BODY CODE/MODEL NAME/BASE PRICE
BOTTOM LINE: WEIGHT/PRODUCTION
81 - Style 65A Lincoln Continental Coupé $7120
Weight: 5,032 Built: 8,205
82 - Style 53A Lincoln Continental Sedan $7419
Weight: 5,072 Built: 27,346
SPECIFICATIONS
ENGINE CODE
ENGINE DETAILS
A 460 CID 4V V-8
Bore and Stroke: 4.36" x 3.85"
Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
Brake Horsepower: 365 @ 4600 rpm
Torque: 500 ft.-lb. @ 2800 rpm
Carburetor: Autolite 4-barrel
TRANSMISSION CODE
TRANSMISSION DESCRIPTION
U SelectShift Automatic (C6)
REAR AXLE CODE
REAR AXLE RATIO
4
M (Traction-Lok)
6
O (Traction-Lok)
2.80:1
2.80:1
3.00:1
3.00:1
TIRE SIZE
BRAKES
255-15
Standard tire: Radial-ply BSW
Optional tire: Michelin radial-ply WSW 3/8"
Dual hydraulic system
11.7" Power ventilated front disc
11" Finned and flared rear drum
Self adjusting
Sure-Track Brake System optional
WHEELBASE
DIMENSIONS
127.0 inches
Front Tread: 64.3 inches
Rear Tread: 64.3 inches
Steering Ratio: 17.1
Exterior:
Length: 225.0 inches
Width: 79.6 inches
Height: 54.5 inches (Coupé)
55.6 inches (Sedan)
Trunk: 18.1 cubic feet
Interior (Coupé - F/R):
Headroom: 38.4"/37.5"
Legroom: 41.9"/38.8"
Hiproom: 62.3"/61.4"
Shoulder room: 61.8'"/60.8"
Interior (Sedan - F/R):
Headroom: 38.8"/38.1"
Legroom: 41.9"/41.9"
Hiproom: 62.3"/62.3"
Shoulder room: 61.8'"/61.6"
SPECIFICATIONS
CAPACITIES
Distributor Point Gap: 0.017"
Distributor Dwell: 26°-31°
Idle Speed: 600 rpm
Ignition Timing: 10° BTDC
Spark Plug Gap: 0.032-0.036"
Spark Plug Torque: 15-20 lbs.-ft.
Radiator Cap: 12-15 psi
Fuel Tank: 23.0 gallons (with standard Evaporative Emission System)
Cooling System: 19.5 quarts
Engine Oil: 5 qts. (including oil filter)
Power Steering: 3.9 pts.
Rear Axle: 5.0 pts.
SPECIAL NOTES
1971 was Lincoln's Golden Anniversary, and a special limited edition Town Car was built to commemorate the occasion. 1971 was first year for:
- Standard Evaporative Emission Control System on all Lincolns
- Automatic Temperature Control added to standard equipment list
Sales of the 1971 Lincoln Continentals dropped from 1970, the second year in a row this happened. A total of 35,551 Lincolns were built for the model year. Production of the most popular Sedan model dropped by 1,276 cars, while the Coupé experienced a big surge to 5,132 cars—a 267 percent increase!

Image: 1971 Lincoln Continental Coupé

Above: 1971 Lincoln Continental Coupé shown above in Deep Blue Metallic (code Y) with optional White vinyl roof (code W) and White leather interior.

Other than a few new exterior paint colors and a new interior trim fabric pattern, that was pretty much the extent of the changes for 1971. Lincoln revised its standard equipment by including Automatic Temperature Control and tinted glass as standard features on all Lincolns. This change was made due to the fact that in 1970, 96 percent of Lincolns built were equipped with air conditioning and tinted glass. Base prices jumped about $1,200 as well. This was an interesting step for Lincoln for a couple of reasons. During the sixties, Lincoln included more items as standard equipment than rival Cadillac, and also had a higher base price due to the added equipment. Cadillac offered several different lines during this time, with varying levels of standard equipment and a range of base prices. Lincoln determined it wanted to compete at the higher end of the price range, and even admonished Cadillac in advertising for offering less expensive models.

Items that were options on most Cadillacs, such as power vent windows, radio, power antenna, white sidewall tires, etc., were all included on Lincoln in the base price. For the 1966 model year, Lincoln moved many of these items to the options list, in order to be more competitive with Cadillac. Now, Lincoln was once again adding to its standard features list, and would continue to do so for the next few years. In 1971, the most affordable Cadillac models were the Calais Coupe and Sedan. Perhaps in response to Lincoln, the Calais models would begin to include more standard features as well during this time, but would be discontinued after the 1976 model year.

After the Calais series was discontinued, that would leave Cadillac's popular DeVille models as the most affordable, and would narrow Cadillac's model offerings, which is important because Cadillac always promoted the fact that they covered the luxury field, from the entry level Calais models to the exclusive executive Fleetwood Seventy Five Limousines. It would appear in this instance, Lincoln was a step ahead of Cadillac by offering only a limited assortment of models, which suggested exclusivity.

By 1971, Lincoln had established a look that was instantly recognizable, and while those basics would remain unchanged, styling updates would become more widespread in an effort to improve sales. Cadillac was still on a two year styling cycle, although due to the cost of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards during the early and mid-seventies, even Cadillac would break its long-standing policy of two year styling cycles. Cadillac introduced all new styling for 1971, and it would continue mostly unchanged through 1973. New styling was introduced for 1974, and it would continue through the 1976 model year after which Cadillac would down size all of its line except for the Fleetwood Eldorado. Lincoln would resist down sizing until the 1980 model year.

The 1971 Lincolns represented one of the best Lincolns to date. Even if the styling wasn't universally loved by all, the quality control and fit and finish, the smooth and silent ride, and more than ample room to stretch out and relax on long trips was superb. The 1971 Lincolns were indeed the final step up.