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Charting the Changes

                    

Cosmetic changes for the 1979-1980 Lincoln Versailles offered a much needed visual improvement. The rear doors were widened and the roofline was extended eight inches, creating a more formal, town car look. A wrap-over, brushed aluminum molding housed integrated coach lamps. The rear deck lid tire bulge was covered in vinyl. The Detroit News had this to report on the creation of the new roofline for the Versailles by American Sunroof Corporation:

" Every day brought new deadlines. Whatever the customer wanted, Prechter promised to deliver. When senior Ford executives asked him for ideas to improve the look of its slow-selling Lincoln Versailles sedan, he shifted into overdrive. His team worked around the clock for 10 days to modify the roof and add snazzy new trim. Then Prechter jumped in the prototype and drove straight to a party at the home of Ford design chief Gene Bordinat. 'All of a sudden,' said Trostle, 'we had the next-model Versailles on our hands.' "

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5th generation

Vehicle Features by Model Year

FUNCTIONAL 1977 1978 1979 1980
351 CID Std n/a n/a n/a
302 CID Opt Std Std Std
Electronic Engine Control n/a Std Std Std
Automatic Transmission Std Std Std Std
Power Steering Std Std Std Std
Power 4 wheel disc brakes Std Std Std Std
Power Windows Std Std Std Std
Automatic Temperature Control Air Conditioning / Heating Std Std Std Std
Tinted Glass Std Std Std Std
Solid State Ignition Std Std Std Std
Wide Whitewall Steel Belted Radial Tires Std Std Std Std
Inflatable Spare Tire Std Std Std Std
Automatic Parking Brake Release (not available with floor shift) Std Std Std Std
Intermittent Wipers Std Std Std Std
Dual Note Horn Std n/a n/a n/a
Triple Note Horn n/a Std Std Std
Illuminated Entry System Std Std Std Std
Rear Window Defroster Opt Opt Opt Opt
Defroster Group with Heated Left Hand Remote Control Mirror n/a Opt Opt Opt
Power Door Locks and Trunk Release Opt Opt Opt Opt
Garage Door Opener Opt Opt Opt Opt
Power Glass Moonroof Opt Opt Opt Opt
Tilt Steering Wheel Opt Opt Opt Opt
Speed Control Opt Std Std Std
EXTERIOR 1977 1978 1979 1980
Clearcoat Paint Std Std Std Std
Wheelip / Rocker Panel Molding Std Std Std Std
Full Padded Vinyl Roof with French Backlight and Coach Lamps Std Std n/a n/a
Coach Roof in Valino Grain with Integrated Coach Lamps n/a n/a Std Std
Convertible Theme in Cavalry Twill with Integrated Coach Lamps n/a n/a n/c n/c
Full Vinyl Roof with Integrated Coach Lamps n/a n/a Opt n/a
Vinyl Covered Decklid Accent n/a n/a Std Std
Paint Stripes, Bodyside and Decklid Std Std Std Std
Remote Control Left Hand and Right Mirror Std Std Std Std
Bumper Protection Rub Strips Std Std Std Std
Aluminum Wheels Std Std n/c n/c
Wire Wheel Covers n/a n/c n/c n/c
Cornering Lamps Std Std Std Std
Bodyside Moldings, High Luster with Vinyl Insert Std Std Std Std
Coach Lamps Std Std Std Std
Bodyside Protection Molding Opt Opt Opt Opt
Two Tone Paint Opt Opt Opt Opt
Illuminated Outside Thermometer n/a n/a Opt Opt
Halogen Headlights n/a n/a Std Std
Appearance Protection Group (floor mats, door edge guards, license plate frames) Opt Opt Opt Opt
INTERIOR 1977 1978 1979 1980
Carpeted Luggage Compartment Std Std Std Std
Digital Clock, Cartier Signed Std Std Std n/a
Electronic Day/Date Elapsed Time Clock n/a n/a n/a Std
Deluxe Seat Belts Std Std Std Std
Light Group (luggage compartment, glovebox, instrument panel courtesy, engine compartment, ashtray, dual beam dome/map) Std Std Std Std
Rear Seat Reading Lamps n/a n/a Std Std
Warning Chimes for Lights, Key in Ignition, Seat Belt Std Std Std Std
Roof Rail Grab Handles Std Std Std Std
Flight Bench Seat, Power 4-Way Std Std Std n/a
Twin Comfort Lounge Seats, Dual Recliners, Power 6-Way Driver n/a n/a n/a Std
Reclining Bucket Seats (Leather Trimmed, 4-Way Power) Opt Opt Opt Opt
Floor Shift with Bucket Seat Option Opt Opt Opt n/a
Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel, Dash Pad, Door Armrests Std Std Std Std
Leather Seating Surfaces Opt Opt Opt Opt
Day / Night Inside Mirror Std Std Std Std
Power Antenna Std Std Std Std
AM / FM / MPX Search Radio Std n/a n/a n/a
AM / FM / MPX Quadrasonic 8 Player-Track Opt n/a n/a n/a
AM / FM Search Stereo, Dual Rear Speakers n/a Std n/a n/a
AM / FM Stereo 8-Track n/a Opt Crdt n/a
AM / FM Stereo Quadrasonic 8-Track n/a Opt Crdt n/a
40 Channel CB, Hidden Chassis, Detachable Microphone n/a Opt Opt Opt
Electronic AM / FM Stereo Search Radio n/a n/a Std Std
Electronic AM / FM Stereo Search Radio with 8-Track n/a n/a Opt Opt
Electronic AM / FM Stereo Search Radio with Dolby Cassette n/a n/a Opt Opt

 

Authenticity & Year-by-Year Comparison Tips

 

1977

  • Dual note horn upgraded to triple note horn sometime during the 77 model run

1978

  • The 351 engine is discontinued

  • The Electronic Engine Control is added

  • The variable-venturi carburetor becomes standard

  • Battery rating is dropped from 54 amp/hr to 53 amp/hr

  • Wire wheel covers are added as an option

  • Speed control becomes standard

  • Right hand illuminated vanity mirror upgraded to dual illuminated vanity mirrors

  • Defroster Group option adds heated left hand rear view mirror

1979

  • New roofline, larger rear doors added

  • Rear seat reading lamps added

  • Bodyside molding is a delete option

  • Padded vinyl rear deck is added, but may be deleted

  • Half vinyl roof becomes standard with cross over, brushed stainless steel band and integrated coach lamps; full vinyl roof is optional

  • New DIN-style AM/FM Stereo/Search radio with Quad-8 tape becomes standard; LCD display is red in 1979 only

  • Halogen headlamps are new feature and standard

  • Electronic voltage regulator is added

1980

  • Illuminated outside thermometer added to left hand rear view mirror is new option

  • All DIN-style radios have blue LCD display and come in 3 formats: AM/FM stereo, 8-track and cassette. The AM/FM stereo without 8 track becomes the standard radio offering.

  • Leather covered door armrests are replaced by vinyl formed armrest during the model run (from Granada and Monarch parts bin)

  • Speedometer now displays miles/kilometer scale

  • Cartier rotary digital clock is replaced with a new electronic day/date/elapsed time clock

  • Standard flight bench seat with 4-way power is replaced with standard Twin Comfort Lounge Seats with 6-way power on the driverís side and dual recliners

  • New starter

  • Electronic chime replaces electromechanical chime for seatbelt warning

  • Full vinyl roof option is discontinued

  • Floor-mounted transmission selector is discontinued

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