Lincoln Versailles
Vehicle Make/Model Specifications:
Make: Lincoln
Model: Versailles
Lincoln Versailles

The Lincoln Versailles was mostly a response to the great achievement of the smaller Cadillac Seville, which had appeared in 1975. The Seville was based upon the Chevrolet Nova and became an instant hit. Ford responded by choosing the Ford Granada and Mercury Monarch as the foundation for a new mid-size Lincoln sedan. The Lincoln Versailles was the first mid-size car from Ford Motor Company's Lincoln luxury division. It was sold from 1977 until 1980, as a four-door sedan only. At the time of conception, Ford did not have as much research and development capital to spend on its vehicles as General Motors, which was a problem that has often lead to the similar bodies of Ford and Mercury models. Until the Lincoln Versailles however, care had by and large been taken to give Lincolns a distinct expression and feel, in order to hide their now and again humble origins. But the Lincoln Versailles was visibly a Ford Granada clone and quickly became one of Lincoln's greatest sales disasters. Unable to afford a new body, Lincoln designers attempted to camouflage this fact with a Lincoln-type grille and wheels, along with a trunk lid that mimicked the spare tire bulge of the Continental Mark coupe. Whether these elements really worked on a smaller vehicle could be debated, but what was in between was without a doubt Granada. Doors and windows were interchangeable, the roofline was identical and inside, the potential luxury buyer faced the same dashboard design as the budget-minded Granada buyer. Perhaps most tellingly, the Granada windshield wipers remained present and exposed, long after hidden wipers had become expected not just on luxury cars, but even on intermediates. This was nothing short of a disastrous attempt to cover up the Ford in a costume, and a bad costume at that.

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