There aren’t a whole lot of challengers out there vying for the title of world’s quickest fourth-generation Lincoln Continental, but Texas native Mark Davis is perfectly content to carry that flag all on his own if necessary.
Davis, a machine shop owner and highly passionate hot rodder, holds to the keys to the 5,150-pound behemoth that rightfully owns said record, and there isn’t an ounce of shame in his game as he breaks necks with the certified sleeper.
“I’m the third owner — I bought the car a couple years ago for $4,000 from a real nice guy who had bought it in 1973. It was running at the time, had the original motor in it. I’ve always wanted one of these things — I think the Mark III is the best-looking Lincoln,” Davis says.
“I ran it around town for about three months and was wanting to build a big motor; back around 2000 I had a ’66 Galaxie with a 600-inch Ford in it that ran low 10’s, and I knew what I could do with this Lincoln because the cylinder heads are so much better now,” he continues.
Despite the fact that Davis and his son have “LS motors running out of their ears” at their shop and are widely known in the area for their penchant for Chevrolet engine builds, he considers himself primarily a Ford and Dodge guy at heart.
Horsepower for this hunk of iron comes compliments of a 612 cubic-inch (4.5-inch stroke, 4.650-inch bore), 460 big-block Ford, with an Eliminator Products siamese-bore iron block serving as the nucleus. Davis chose Callies ultra rods, Diamond pistons, Total Seal steel rings, a John Kaase solid roller cam, along with Kaase’s SR71 Blackbird cylinder heads, Harland Sharp rocker arms, Smith Brothers pushrods, and a Pro Systems 1300cfm single four-barrel carburetor. An Aeromotive A1000 fuel pump mounted inside a custom tank, along with filters, hose, fittings, an A2000 regulator, and the works deliver the fuel.
With the big-inch combination in the equally big luxury sedan, Davis has rolled to a 10.62-second best elapsed time at 130.86 mph, with a 1.69 60-foot and a 6.91 to the 1/8-mile.
To certify the sleeper appearance, Davis sourced a set of solid-center steel wheels and bolted on the classic, factory Mark III hubcaps. Davis notes of the granny hoops, “Those turbine hubcaps are heavy — you can’t hardly get them off without damaging them. I actually have to use wooden wedges that I cut out of 2x4s to get them off, because if you put a tire tool in there, the retention device is so strong you’ll ruin the hubcap.”
Davis runs Mickey Thompson 28×10.5W slicks on the rear, with M/T 28 x4.5-inch frontrunners on factory wheels that he cut apart and narrowed to 4.5-inches. He etched the raised lettering off the tires and used glue-on white-walls for that classic look to go with the turbine ‘caps.
Opting not to run a spool on the street, Davis outfitted the car with a 35-spline Detroit Locker and Mark Williams axles, along with 4.11 big-pinion Pro gears inside a Strange big-bore iron case, all spun by a Denny’s driveshaft. A C6 transmission, to the surprise of many, delivers the power to the axles.
To get the ‘W’ tire on the car, Davis notched the box-frame, then fabricated bronze bushings to replace all of the factory rubber bushings. Strange double-adjustable shocks plant the power, and three-way adjustable aftermarket shocks up front give him added room to tinker to get the bulky ride up and going out of the hole.
🇺🇸🔥 This Lincoln just can’t be stopped. 10.6 at 130mphPosted by Houston Raceway on Friday, February 21, 2020
“It’s got old-school R12 refrigeration in the air-conditioner,” Davis begins as he pivots back to the car and its timeless features of a bygone era. “The only option that was available in ’69 that it doesn’t have is the factory-installed sunroof. That year was also the last before the government mandated a rearview mirror on the passenger door, and that’s a real hard item to find for that car, but I got one for it. Those things usually sell for almost $1,000, and a guy put one up for sale for $75 last year, so I got me one of those bad boys and I just have to put it on.”
“There’s a whole lot on that car that’s vacuum-operated — everything on it works,” he continues. “The headlights and doors, the trunk release, the door locks are all vacuum. The interesting thing about the ’69 is that it was the last year the windshield wipers were powered by the power steering pump, which is how mine are.”
Davis installed an original ’69 Mercury Cougar hood scoop, noting that “it looks like it’s made for the car, really.”
The Lincoln is, above all else, Davis’ around-town toy that just so happens to go in a straight line a whole lot quicker than anyone would suspect.
“I keep Texas circa-’69 antique plates on it, and I drive it up to town to get me a Chick-Fil-A sandwich or go over to the grocery store. I’ve got the A/C, the power windows all work, so it’s really nice. It’s got the original, optional black leather, and the dash doesn’t have so much as a crack in it.”
As if an afterthought as he beams over his pride and joy, Davis remembers the latest addition to the spec sheet.
“Oh yeah, I put nitrous on the car, too. We done that here in the last two weeks. I don’t usually show my times, but the next time I go out with the car, we’re going to turn the clocks on and it’s going to run in the high nines. The converter in there now is so tight the car leaves, pulls the wheels, and bogs because it’s too far below peak torque. So we’re going to squirt it with about 75-horsepower of nitrous to help it get out of the hole and not bog, and then ramp it in to about 150 or 175. If I spray it the whole way, it ought to go a 9.80. I’ve got all the right parts in it, so it’ll take it.”