Lincoln Continental Mark IV

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Mark IV
1975 Lincoln Continental Mark IV, Dutch licence registration 21-YB-60 p1.JPG
1975 Lincoln Continental Mark IV
1976 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Givenchy designer series (interior).jpg
1976 Continental Mark IV Givenchy Edition Interior
Overview
Manufacturer Lincoln (Ford)
Production 1972–1976
Assembly Wixom Assembly, Wixom, Michigan
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door coupe
Layout FR layout
Powertrain
Engine 460 cu in (7.5 L) Ford 385 V8
Transmission 3-speed C6 automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 120.4 in (3,058 mm)
Length 228.1 in (5,794 mm)
Width 79.8 in (2,027 mm)
Height 53.5 in (1,359 mm)
Chronology
Predecessor Lincoln Continental Mark III
Successor Lincoln Continental Mark V

See Lincoln Mark series for a complete overview of the Lincoln Mark Series.

The Continental Mark IV is a two-door personal luxury coupe that was sold by Lincoln from 1972 to 1976. Following the success of the Continental Mark III, Lincoln renewed the model line to again compete against the Cadillac Eldorado.

Sharing the underpinnings and much of the roofline with the redesigned Ford Thunderbird for 1972, the Mark IV was given distinct body styling from the windows down. In addition, the Mark was distinguished by hidden headlights and the "Continental spare tire" trunklid. A feature retained from the Mark III was "Sure-track" brakes,[1] which was one of the first American cars to become equipped with anti-lock brakes. Both front seats were power adjustable.[2]

All Continental Mark IVs were assembled at the Wixom Assembly Plant in Wixom, Michigan, alongside the standard Lincoln Continental and the Ford Thunderbird. For 1977, the Mark IV underwent a substantial exterior styling revision and was replaced by the Continental Mark V.

Design[edit]

1972 Continental Mark IV, showing pre-facelift grille

As in the redesign of the 1970 Lincoln Continental, Ford chose an evolutionary design to build on the success of the Continental Mark III; the Mark IV built upon the "long-hood, short deck" proportions, sharp-edged fenders, hidden headlamps, and a tall, radiator-style grille. In the rear, the "Continental trunk lid" made its return. However, as a cost-cutting move, the roofline of the Mark IV and the Thunderbird was a shared design. In a change from luxury-car tradition, the rear wheel openings were the same height as the front openings (similar to the Oldsmobile Toronado).

In 1973, the federal requirement of 5 mph bumpers necessitated a redesign of the front grille; a year later, the rear bumper was redesigned with higher-mounted taillights.

All Mark IVs were equipped with a vinyl roof. The Mark IV introduced the opera window to the Mark series, a feature that would become a Mark trademark until 1984. In 1972, it was an almost universally specified option and from 1973 onward it was standard equipment.

Mechanical specification[edit]

All Mark IVs were equipped with the 460 in³ (7.5 L) Ford 385 series V8 engine. 1972 Mark IV's were rated at 365 bhp Gross, the engine being a direct carry-over from the previous Mark III. In 1973 compression-ratio was lowered considerably due to new changing EPA requirements, and Ford adopted a new SAE method of measuring horsepower, resulting in 212 SAE net hp (158 kW). The performance-gap between the 1972 and its later-year brethren was significant. All model years drove through a C6 3-speed automatic transmission.

Continental Mark IV Designer Editions[edit]

The Mark IV debuted a new tradition for the Mark Series, which later spread to other models in the Lincoln model range. Earlier, the Mark III had an Cartier-branded clock installed optionally. In 1976, the Designer Series was introduced as four special-edition models. Each edition was an option package with color, trim, and interior choices specified by notable fashion designers (Bill Blass, Cartier, Givenchy, and Pucci). Each edition carried the designer's signature on the opera windows and were fitted with a 22 karat (92%) gold-plated plaque on the instrument panel which could be engraved with the original owner's name. The concept was successful and would continue on other Lincolns until the end of the 2003 model year.

For 1976, four designer editions were offered:

Designer Edition Exterior Vinyl Roof Interior
Bill Blass Dark Blue (cream and gold pinstripng)

cream or body-color moldings

Cream "Normande Grain" Blue cloth or leather

(cream accents)

Cartier[3] Dove Grey (red and white pinstriping)

body-color moldings

Dove Grey "Valino Grain" Dove Grey cloth or leather
Givenchy Aqua Blue "Diamond Fire" (black & white pinstriping)

white or body-color moldings

White "Normande Grain" Aqua Blue cloth or leather
Pucci Red "Moondust Finish" & Silver (silver and red pinstriping)

silver or body-color moldings

Silver "Normande Grain" Dark Red "Majestic" cloth
Lincoln Continental Mark IV Givenchy designer series (1976) 
Lincoln Continental Mark IV Pucci designer series (1976) gallery 

Sales and pricing[edit]

Year Production Price (USD)
1972 48,591 8,640
1973 69,437 8,984
1974 57,316 10,194
1975 47,145 11,082
1976 56,110 11,060

Specifications (1976 model)[edit]

US Metric vs. Mark III
Wheelbase 120.4 in 3058 mm +2.7%
Overall length 228.1 in 5791 mm +1.9%
Width 79.8 in 2027 mm +0.5%
Height 53.5 in 1359 mm +1.1%
Weight 5,264 lb 2,388 kg +11.1%
Engine Ford 385 series V8
Displacement 460 in³ 7.5 L
Bore × stroke 4.36 × 3.85 in 111 × 98 mm
Power (SAE) 202 hp 148 kW @ 3800 rpm
Torque 356 lbf·ft 482 Nm @ 2200 rpm
Compression 8.0:1
Carburetor Motorcraft 4350
Transmission Ford C6 3-speed automatic

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

Lincoln Mark Series[edit]