Singer and rock star Neil Young is doing his part to be green. He’s going the hybrid route.

But he’s doing it his own way.

With a Lincoln. And not just any Lincoln. A Lincoln Continental Mark IV.

For those unfamiliar with the Mark IV, it was the successor to the Mark III and succeeded by the Mark V. Built between 1972 and 1976, these were two-door personal luxury cars, conceived by Lee Iacocca when president of Ford. Iacocca figured that Ford could trick up a Thuderbird even more, call it a Lincoln and make a killing on it. He was, as usual, absolutely correct.

Of course, “personal luxury” meant something different in those days. Yes, it was a bit smaller than a standard Lincoln Town Car of the era. But it was still within inches of being 20 feet long and weighed almost 5,000 lbs. Power was a 460 cu. in. V-8 with a 4 bbl carburetor. The car seated four comfortably. Very comfortably. Opera windows were technically an option, but almost all the Mark IV’s had them.

This is what Young is having converted into a hybrid.

The work is to be performed by a firm in Witchita, Kansas. It will be converted to a diesel-electric hybrid powerplant ostensibly capable of moving the car at 100 mph – a speed barely within its capabilities when the vehicle was new. It is to be capable of 0 – 60 times of six seconds – probably about four or five seconds below its original capacity. It will be a “plug-in” hybrid, too. 

“It’s the story of the resurrection and repowering of the car that represented the American dream,” said Young. “It’s part of the spirit of the country. America is never going to be frugal. It’s too big. The roads are long, the people are big, they like big cars. So there’s a challenge to figure out how to retain all those things and be clean.”

Makes you think. Lincoln does need a new model and they might still have some dies around for the old Mark. That’d sure show Toyota.

Ralph Kalal
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