Nostalgia. It permeates the collector car world, influencing the ever-evolving trends of what is popular at any given time.
The past few years, nostalgia has brought so-called next-gen cars to the forefront. Models like the Honda Civic and Toyota Supra. Since they’ve entered into the discussion, I’ve heard plenty of comments questioning why and how they fit in the collectible category. Some flat out refuse to acknowledge them as anything but Plain Jane transportation.
Memories of those comments burst into my mind the other day as I was scrolling through the results from Mecum’s December Kansas City auction. A few pages in, I came across a 1979 Lincoln Mark V Bill Blass Edition coupe that sold for $31,350 — an exorbitant amount in my mind. It led me to ask myself those same questions. Why does anyone find cars like this collectible and special enough to spend over thirty large?
To be fair, the car was in good shape. Its two-tone blue and white paint appeared to be clean with the extra-large chrome bumpers and chunky side trim free of dings. The undercarriage was lacking any major corrosion, as was the engine bay. And despite 60k miles, the white seating surfaces were not stained or soiled. Still, I found myself wondering who cares enough to spend that kind of money on it.
At the same auction, a 1975 Lincoln coupe in decent shape sold for much less at $9,900. It was just as geriatric looking as the ’79 example. Both had a vinyl covered roof, miles of body hanging past the front and rear wheels and seats more akin to a leather loveseat in your living room than those of a car.
I just don’t get it. Something is not connecting in my Millennial brain.
And yet, it’s a trend. Baffling me further was the sale of another 1979 Lincoln Mark V in Kansas City. This one had 40k miles sold for an equally healthy $27,500. It was both cheaper and had fewer miles. The lower price could be down to its red over red color scheme turning off some buyers — or the fact that the more expensive two-tone car was a Bill Blass Edition. And before you ask, yes, I had to Google Bill Blass.
My point in all this is that nostalgia plays a strong role in what cars we find desirable, and it hits each of us differently. There are millions of people that grew up with these big Lincoln coupes travelling the roads and playing a part in some great memories. It is the same for 30- and 40-somethings, albeit their memories include RX-7s and Subaru Imprezas. Others might not understand the excitement, but that doesn’t mean people should back away from spending $35k on that Mark V Lincoln or RX-7 they have always dreamed of.
It’s about more that money for us car crazed individuals. The vehicle we drive provides us the opportunity to make new memories, relive old ones and fulfill long held dreams.
So, why are these Lincoln Mark Vs collectible? Because there are people out there that want to get behind the wheel of one and make some memories. That is good enough for me, even if I would rather be gripping the steering wheel of a Supra.