Mercedes V12 Finds New Home in Classic Lincoln Continental
How do you double the power of the Lincoln Continental? Add four more Mercedes-Benz cylinders.
Apart from the occasional AMG V8 swap, it’s not typical to see an engine swap in a Mercedes. In fact, one engine that typically follows its original chassis to the automotive graveyard is the Mercedes M120 V12. No doubt it’s a great engine, especially when matched to the understated elegance of SL’s, CL’s, and S-class sedans where it was originally equipped. But one Londoner thought the M120’s journey shouldn’t end at the junk yard, and instead put it in a Lincoln Continental.
AutoWeek reports that Shabir Uddin did such a thing after finding a 1977 Lincoln Continental for sale in the United States. With his own shop in England to do the work, Uddin found a 6.0 M120 V12. Lets just say the swap wasn’t straight forward.
The build took over half a year, and required changing obvious things like the radiator and drive shaft length to make room for the bigger engine and transmission. Small, but important things, like engine mounts, engine accessories, power steering components were also moved around. Essentially, everything in front of the Continental’s cowl had to be prepared for the new German power plant.
Some of the photo details are a bit sketchy, like the “bracket” holding one of the air cleaners, but then again, we don’t think anyone was expecting it to come off as looking like a factory option.
Also unlike factory is the exterior. Gone was the popular malaise era hue of gold and in its place is a bright candy red, but with gold pin stripes, of course. Whether a pseudo low rider look was the goal or not, our minds rewind to the image of Ali G hopping out from this ride to greet Madonna in a music video. Excess continues, with “V12” insignia is even in scripted detail just aft of the hood ornament. It’s quite a sight to take in, but in its own right admirable, too.