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Rare Rides Icons: The Lincoln Mark Series Cars, Feeling Continental (Part XXI)

Rare Rides Icons: The Lincoln Mark Series Cars, Feeling Continental (Part XXI)

&#13 &#13 November 23rd, 2022 10:47 AM

When the Continental Mark IV was introduced for the 1972 product yr, it wore near visual ties to the smash hit that was its predecessor, the Mark III. After federal safety legislation altered the front of the Mark IV’s visual appearance in 1973 and its rear in 1974, the visible link amongst the two vehicles thinned noticeably. The Mark IV (like other massive PLCs of the time) struggled with regard to product sales but obtained a raise in 1976 with the arrival of the Designer Sequence editions. The high-priced higher-profit trims observed the 1976 Mark IV go out on a large-ish revenue note of 56,110 illustrations, all around 8,000 additional than its debut 12 months in 1972. In 1977 Lincoln aimed the moment a lot more for PLC good results with the new, even greater Continental Mark V.

It’s a superior plan to build some context at this point, as issues experienced adjusted considering the fact that the introduction of the Mark IV. In 1977 the Lincoln vary consisted of the new midsize Versailles, the two- and four-door Continentals and Continental Town Auto, and the new Mark V. In 1977 the Continental range was even now in its fifth technology guise, the just one from 1970. Right after its fifth product 12 months, Lincoln current the Continental considerably and pulled it in a much more upscale visible direction. 

This kind of a move was very well advised, as the Continental was criticized upon its debut for its near resemblance to a lesser sibling, the Mercury Marquis. For 1975 Continental was current with a new roofline, tail lamps, and a new opera window on Town Automobile. At the exact same time, Mercury took the Marquis upmarket with the introduction of the Grand Marquis edition. 

Lincoln took further more actions absent from the Marquis in 1977 with the introduction of a new grille, which replaced the huge Marquis-type device with just one just about equivalent to the new Mark V. Continental would carry on on in this format by means of 1979, which coincided with the remaining 12 months of the Mark V and the arrival of company downsizing in 1980.

But there was no time to get worried about downsizing in 1977, as Lincoln launched a Mark that was more substantial and much more high-class than at any time in advance of. In other places in the coupe current market of the late Seventies, the need for intermediate PLCs had elevated substantially, and newer arrivals from the Detroit Three all competed for the similar shopper. 

By that time, Typical Motors made available the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, Pontiac Grand Prix, Buick Regal, and Chevrolet Monte Carlo to the gold chain-putting on PLC shopper. Chrysler pitched the baroque Cordoba with rich Corinthian leather, and Dodge presented the sportier, significantly less fussy Charger version (which swapped to the Magnum in 1978). All these opponents were being a issue for Ford. 

The Blue Oval had presented an unsuccessful PLC dependent on the Torino system for three yrs, known as Elite. Introduced in 1974 and originally named Gran Torino Elite, the design shared considerably with the Mercury Cougar XR-7 but had redesigned front and rear clips to make it search extra like a Thunderbird. It was a minimal-price work at an intermediate vehicle, meant for the buyer who could not spring for the full-size Thunderbird.  

The Elite didn’t appeal to customers like Ford prepared (mainly because it was unattractive and type of poor), so they killed off the model following 1976, kind of. Ford desired to preserve funds and develop an intermediate PLC offering, whilst at the same time letting the Mark V far more place and independence at the top rated of the industry. So, in 1977 the Thunderbird was downsized into an intermediate auto and moved onto the Torino platform with the Cougar. 

Around 8 inches shorter than its predecessor, the new seventh-technology Thunderbird was offered as a two-doorway coupe and shed a great deal of its luxurious standing for much more mass-market appeal. Ford’s entire-sizing coupe in Thunderbird’s stead was the LTD Landau, now in the final pair of a long time of its next-gen guise (1969-1978). 

The sacrifice of Thunderbird at the altar of prevalent PLC gave the Mark V the breathing room Lincoln desired, but triggered two new complications for the design. Without the need of its quantity system sibling and thinking of the Mark IV’s middling profits, Lincoln management could not justify expending the progress dollars for a new Mark-unique system. 

Aside from budgetary problems, the way the Mark IV was rejuvenated late in life by the Designer Sequence trims created a new styling direction seem far too dangerous. The standard luxurious PLC shopper was one who returned to get a new car and preferred substantially the exact same detail they’d bought ahead of: An tremendous auto entire of velour and bogus wooden, with as several power options as achievable. 

So when it arrived in 1977, the Mark V rode on a platform all its individual. That sort of system independence experienced only transpired the moment in advance of, in the Mark II of 1956-1957. Its underpinnings weren’t new, due to the fact the Mark V was pressured to keep on on the Mark IV / Thunderbird chassis. But the system recycling didn’t suggest the Mark V was just a next take of the Mark IV. Just the reverse: Mainly because Lincoln engineers started with a entire platform, it intended they had loads of time to shell out bettering it.

In our future installment, we’ll go over the efficiency edits engineers created to modernize and assure the Mark V was more prepared for a write-up-oil crisis market. We’ll also include mechanical information, and go over its exterior seems. It was an important minute for the brand name, as the Mark V coupe of 1977 debuted with the styling path Lincoln would have as a result of the conclusion of the Eighties. 

[Images: Ford]

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