By Mike Schultz
Originally published in the November/December 2000 issue of Continental Comments (Issue # 237).
Going through some old files, I came across the advertisements on the next two pages for two Lincoln pickup truck conversion companies that appeared in Hemmings Motor News in 1979. With increased interest in Lincoln SUVs and the expected debut of the Lincoln Blackwood pickup truck in the near future, I thought these might be of interest.
The Florida Motor Coach conversion of a Lincoln four-door Town Car into a pickup truck was advertised in the September, 1979 issue of Hemmings. This conversion company was located in North Tampa, Florida. The converted vehicle itself apparently does not have any special name applied to it, other than being called a “Lincoln Continental Pick-Up Truck.” From the drawing of the Town Car pickup truck conversion and the ad narrative, it can not be determined if the tail-gate is operable or fixed, although an apparent tail-gate opening handle appears in the drawing. Although there is no photograph of a completed pickup truck conversion of a Town Car from this company, the narrative in the advertisement indicates that at least one conversion “has been done”.
The “Coloma” pickup truck conversion, from the Caribou Motor Corporation, San Francisco, California, utilized a Lincoln Continental Mark V from the years 1977 through 1979. The advertisements for the Coloma conversion kits appeared in the September and November, 1979 issues of Hemmings. The Coloma conversion was actually just a conversion “kit” costing $2,395.00 that the customers could buy and then either install themselves or have “an experienced body man” spend about 50 hours” to make the conversion. There is no mention in the advertisement if the kit manufacturer also installed the conversion kits on customers’ Mark Vs. The photographs of two different colored Mark Vs in one of the Coloma advertisements indicate that at least two of the Coloma Mark V pickup truck conversions were completed, presumably by the kit manufacturer itself. The photograph of one of the Coloma conversion kits being installed shows that there is no tail-gate during the installation process, leading to my conclusion that the tail-gate, once installed, was probably operable, even though there is no obvious evidence of an outside tail-gate handle in the photograph of the completed Mark V Coloma conversion.
Also, there is no indication in either of the advertisements for the Coloma Mark V pickup or the Town Car pickup as to whether the conversions were or were not authorized by the Lincoln factory or if the factory warranties were effected in any way by the conversions. However, especially with the Coloma conversion kit, it can be assumed that the factory would not have made any representations or warranties, since the kits could be installed by the car owner himself.
It would be interesting to know more about both these Lincoln pickup truck conversion companies and their products; such as how many conversions or conversion kits were made or sold; are there any company records left; are there any unsold Coloma conversion kits still sitting in some old warehouse; how many of the completed conversions, themselves, are left, if any; and are any of the completed conversions owned by LCOC members or have any ever been shown by LCOC members and judged at national meets.
While numerous photographs of obvious one-off and home-done Lincoln pickup trucks have been shown in Continental Comments over the years, there is apparently not much known, or at least not published, about Lincoln pickup truck conversions and conversion companies, whether done with or without factory authorization. I’m sure there must have been other conversion companies that made Lincoln pickup trucks (or maybe even station wagons) besides just these two companies.
I invite other LCOC members to let us know about additional Lincoln pickup truck conversions and hope that any members who have them will consider entering them at LCOC National Meets in the future, even if just for show. The extra variety of custom Lincolns, whether pickup trucks, station wagons, convertibles, parade cars, limousines, hearses, or even hot rods, etc. is, in my opinion, always a welcome addition to the usual groups of Lincoln cars we see at every LCOC meet. I believe there is a welcome place at the LCOC table for not just the purists who painstakingly restore their Lincolns to exacting factory specifications (after all, I helped to write the LCOC’s Mark II Authenticity Manual), but also for those members who are just as interested in and dedicated to their custom Lincolns, of whatever type and vintage. In fact, I suggest that we should have an occasional issue of Continental Comments dedicated to Lincoln conversions, especially the factory authorized or dealer prepared conversions.
(The ads on the following two pages [below] are reprinted from 1979 issues of Hemmings Motor News.)