By on January 25, 2012

Ah, personal luxury! It’s hard to imagine anything more personally luxurious than a 4,906-pound two-door with 460 cubic inches under its 50-foot-long hood and an interior done up in classy brown-and-cream two-tone.
You don’t see many cars with the transmission gear ratios on a plaque in the engine compartment.
The Cartier Edition Mark IV came later, but this ’72 still got the Cartier clock. I tried to find a working Lincoln/Cartier clock in the junkyard for years, and finally gave up in despair. Cartier’s low-bidder clock supplier probably got $1.47 apiece for these.
This Mark IV had some rust issues involving the vinyl top. It appears that the car’s final owner removed the vinyl, saw the horror beneath, and sent the car straight to The Crusher.
In fact, The Crusher lives just a few hundred feet from this car’s final parking space. Here we see it in full, car-eating operation.
Let’s hope someone rescues these nice interior components before this car gets eaten.
The Mark IV came with an early type of ABS called “Sure-Track.” I’ve never experienced Sure-Track in operation, so I have no idea how well it worked.
At some point during its 40 years on the planet, this Lincoln got a name from a label-maker-equipped owner: Big Gulp!

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

62 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV...”


  • avatar
    tmkreutzer

    Many years ago, my then girlfriend started attending college on the far side of Washington State. After a trip or two across the Cascade mountains in my Geo Metro it became apparent that I needed something a little bigger and a little stouter to make that run on a regular basis.

    About that time, one of these Lincolns appeared for sale at the end of my neighbor’s driveway. I drove by it every day without a thought and eventually ended up buying a late model full size GMC Jimmy. I was young, stupid and paid too much. Soon the monthly payments started really hurting and I found out what it was like to be car poor for the first (and only) time in my life.

    To this day I kick myself in the ass for not going buying that Lincoln. I could have had it for a song and even with a giant 460 V8 sucking down gas would have come out ahead in pretty short order. Seeing today’s Junkyard Find makes me wish I had been smarter – what a car, you don’t see them like that anymore.

  • avatar
    JCraig

    Wow. And this is what happens when the free market runs wild. A massive 8mpg beast good for a few years of casual driving.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Owners generally got more than a “few years” out of these boats. The drivetrains were quite robust. The challenge was keeping the tank filled with gasoline when you’re using a gallon every 8-10 miles.

      • 0 avatar

        No challenge at all. In 1972, gasoline was usually somewhere between 25 and 33 cents a gallon in the US. I graduated from high school in 1972 and drove a hand-me-down ’66 Impala SS (SS in name only) with a 283 V8. I could do most of my weekly driving for $1 and fill the tank with a $5 bill.

        Also, this was not just a Lincoln, but a Mark, a personal luxury car. Anyone driving one of these in 1972 could well afford the gas.

      • 0 avatar
        rpol35

        “Owners generally got more than a “few years” out of these boats”

        Damn straight!; 460 CI “385″ series motor, C6 gearbox and a 9″ differential; some of FoMoCo’s toughest stuff. Free market at its best.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Ronnie,

        If gas costs .25 cents a gallon, and you are only buying $1 worth, and the car gulps a gallon every nine miles, you’ll be stopping at the gas station every 36 miles. Which is a pain in the butt, in my opinion, even if gas is cheap.

        Also note that, in early 1981, gasoline prices hit an inflation-adjusted high that was only recently surpassed. Keeping this car on the road by 1981 WAS a challenge.

        I had a 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Holiday coupe in the 1990s, when the price of gas was declining in real dollars. It got about 14 miles per gallon on a good day. I got sick of filling up that car so often – and I basically used it as a weekend driver. And that wasn’t even counting the cost of the fill-ups.

      • 0 avatar
        ciddyguy

        Geeber,

        What you say is correct and believe you me, if you drove a 4.0L V6 version of the Ranger truck, you got the bigger 18-20Gal tank instead of the normal 16Gal tank of the smaller 3.0L and the 4 bangers and it costs, in todays dollars roughly $60 per tankful. $20 doesn’t give you half a tank, just shy of in fact.

        In the past 6 years, I’ve only driven 47000 miles on my 92 Ranger truck and that breaks down to roughly 8.5K miles a year. It’d had been more if I hadn’t decided to take the bus to work as much as possible this past year nearly, mainly to SAVE gas.

        I don’t make too much but man, knowing I’d have to pay what it takes to fill it up, it, thus make me not want to drive it all over hither and yon as a result, especially when it only gets mid to upper 20′s tops on a good day on the highway.

        It’s dying BTW so I’m in the throws if replacing it (it’s almost 20 YO and had 236K+ miles on it) and I’m moving back to the A or B segment car that can do at least mid to mid/upper 30′s highway that is also a hatchback.

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      Well then I vote you to be the next “car czar” so you can “reign in” the free market because you obviously know what’s best for the rest of us to drive.

    • 0 avatar

      And this is what happens when the free market runs wild.

      While 1972 was hardly an era of free markets (Nixon imposed price controls), this is what happens when people choose to allocate their own resources in a manner of their own choosing.

      You got a problem with freedom?

    • 0 avatar
      AMC_CJ

      And that’s bad??

    • 0 avatar
      JCraig

      To all –

      As to lasting only a few years, I will defer to those that were buying cars in ’72. I can only base my assumption on 70′s cars in general and the consensus that it was the decade of the demise of the American car and possibly the worst decade for cars in history.

      I stand by the free market comment. The 70′s is proof that the free market (yes, us consumers) cannot be relied upon to make the best decisions. The free market works within reasonable limits, but boundaries and some amount of regulation has to exist. Otherwise you end up with huge gas guzzling garbage cars that are death traps.

      Thanks to regulations following the gas crisis the US was independant of middle eastern oil for many years. Thanks to safer cars fatalities are going down as more people get on the road every year. One final thought. If we were truly operating in a strictly free market the domestic auto industry would have been dead long ago.

      • 0 avatar
        Freddie

        JCraig

        Price controls through much of the seventies supressed gas prices somewhat, which worked in the direction of encouraging gas guzzlers. And long before regulations kicked in, consumers had begun to embrace efficient, high quality imports – the vehicles that anti-free market people wanted to keep out to protect Detroit.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        JCraig: The 70′s is proof that the free market (yes, us consumers) cannot be relied upon to make the best decisions. The free market works within reasonable limits, but boundaries and some amount of regulation has to exist.

        As others have pointed out, the auto industry was heavily regulated by the early 1970s. One reasons this car recorded gas mileage in the single digits was because of emissions controls mandated by the government, which decreased both mileage and performance until the adoption of the catalytic converter for the 1975 model year. This allowed engines to be retuned for better mileage.

        There is no proof that buying this Lincoln represented a “worse” decision than one you would make, except that Lincoln Continental Mark IV buyers obviously didn’t place much emphasis on handling or space efficiency. That doesn’t make their choices “wrong.” It means that they had different priorities than you did (or do).

        JCraig: Otherwise you end up with huge gas guzzling garbage cars that are death traps.

        By today’s standards, ALL 1970s cars were death traps. I hope you aren’t saying that this car was less safe than, say, a 1970s Toyota or Renault. (And please don’t trot out the old chestnut that better handling allows you to avoid an accident. There is no proof of this phenomenon in the real world.)

        This Lincoln was safer than the Japanese cars and most European cars on the market at the time. And I hope you aren’t going to point to the old VW Beetle as a paragon of safety, as those were notoriously unsafe even by the lax standards of that time. The only early 1970s cars designed from the ground-up with safety as a priority were Mercedes and Volvo.

        JCraig: Thanks to regulations following the gas crisis the US was independant of middle eastern oil for many years.

        Sorry, but that’s not what happened. We continued to import oil from the Middle East even after CAFE standards were adopted by the late 1970s. We were never independent of oil imported from the Middle East.

        Imports from the Middle East either fell because we sourced the oil from other countries (primarily Canada and Mexico) or our economy was in a recession, and energy use declined in tandem with the decline in economic activity.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Otherwise you end up with huge gas guzzling garbage cars that are death traps.

        Thanks to regulations following the gas crisis the US was independant of middle eastern oil for many years.

        Yeah, no thanks.

        The US continued to import oil from the middle east throughout the 70s, even during the OPEC embargo; absolutely no “regulations” kept us “independent” of middle-eastern oil.

        (See here, down to Table 3.3, pick the Middle Eastern Oil Producer of your choice and look at the numbers for the 70s. Ain’t seeing any zeroes, and seeing lots of 1,000s (where 1 = 1kbbl/day).

        The “Total OPEC” chart is also illuminating – it didn’t remotely hit zero even during the embargo, though to be fair OPEC isn’t just the middle east.)

        And “the best decision” you approve of is not obviously Best In Itself; especially the idea that middle-eastern oil is bad.

        Because, know what? If the US doesn’t buy Saudi oil someone else happily will – it will be sold and used, no matter what the United States does to itself to try and stop that.

        Regulation-for-everything and the dead hand of the State: Wasting everyone’s money by making their decisions for them, “for the best”. You can keep it, thanks.

        Lastly, if a truly free, non-protectionist market would have killed all the domestic carmakers?

        Good. A native car industry is not valuable if it can’t actually compete. GM should be liquidated, not bailed out.

    • 0 avatar
      PJ McCombs

      While cars like the Mk.IV were far more a product of organisational complacency and marketing myopia than government deregulation, I do think it amusing that people feel we’re living in an over-regulated age when your basic $25K V6 family sedan does 0-60 in the high 5s-low 6s.

      I also yearn for a dialogue in which sound, sensible regulation of industry can be discussed without descending to playground questions on whether you “like freedom” or not.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Ford sold every one they could build – even after the first fuel crunch. The next-generation Mark V sold even better, and was just as big, so I don’t know if I would call this car the result of marketing myopia.

  • avatar
    PJ McCombs

    I always found these cars quite elegant, in a bargey kind of way.

    As a high-schooler in the late ’90s, I ran across one of these in mint condition with about 70K miles for $3500. Hoped to quickly sell my ’73 Cadillac DeVille (another questionable purchase) and buy it, but no luck. Probably for the best, in hindsight… running one 9 MPG boat while working minimum wage was enough.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    My boss when I was 23 had one of these, he would take me for appointmenes in it occasionally. It was gigantic! The hood seemed as big as my bed at home. The engine compartment under that huge lid was completely filled up with engine! Remarkable. His was white. Amazingly, as big as the car was, it had a small cramped back seat. I thought it was way too much. I bought a Fiat x1/9, perhaps in response. That was probably as far as you could go in the opposite direction.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    The Continental Mark III was a class act in its own way – handsome, finely detailed, just enough glitz, and nice touches like temp, oil, and generator gauges on the dash. The ’72 Mark IV is where the concept went wrong – puffier, fatter, coarser, less interior room, and the gauges were gone. In fact, the Mark IV is a perfect example of what went wrong with the Ford Motor Company in the 1970s: marketing triumphing over substance and cynicism becoming the order of the day.

  • avatar
    AoLetsGo

    I love the plaque, at first glance I thought it was a graveyard marker. Back in the 70′s when I valet parked at a fancy country club there were a few of these around and I always liked their styling better than the Eldorado. Although you could not beat the convertable Eldorado for ultimate Superfly car.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    In 1972, the USA had a large middle class that had often personally experienced the Great Depression growing up, and had fought in the Second World War and Korea. Blue collar jobs were a viable career choice while raising a family on one income. Energy prices were low. Gold was $36 an ounce. The Vietnam War was ending, which made millions feel relieved. The President and Congress were of different parties, but worked together without much rancor.

    We have to know this to understand why these kinds of personal luxury car could have existed, let alone be so extraordinarily popular. During this era, car buyers believed that the luxuries of life were attainable, affordable, and desirable. Living in a trailer while also driving a Monte Carlo or Grand Prix was not seen as ridiculous. Saundering about in a huge land barge of a car with a padded vinyl roof, faux wood trim, useless opera windows, extraneous opera lights and fake continental spare tire bump was not laughed at by most. These cars were actually coveted by neighbors.

    There was nothing shy about the 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV. In an age of middle class opulence, the Mark was considered an epitome of grace and elegance. It was obviously too large to be sporty and too small to hold a family. It held within in so much comfort and luxury, the added padding ended up on it’s roof. There was no more places to luxuriate. There never was such carpeting splendor – in a trunk. Thick pile carpeting, Cartier clocks, burled walnut veneer, these cars were an escape from the suburban humdrum, the urban graffiti, and the factory shop floor.

    These cars floated down the road. Ford, years earlier, had established as fact that their cars were quieter than Rolls Royces. You could accurately cut diamonds in these cars as they made the rough world outside the decorated oval opera windows disappear into a miasma of creamy dreaminess. Buyers of these cars, and coveters of these cars recognized them as having the essence of post-coital bliss. It had a huge upright hood ornament standing upon a huge chrome grille with a ridiculously long hood and a tight little bum of a trunk – you betcha these cars seemed like a rolling bordello.

    In an age of plaid polyester clothes, crushed velour track suits, porn ‘staches, disco and blow, the Lincoln Mark IV was the Love Boat for aspiring Penthouse Hustlers.

    The engine was too big, the ride was too soft, the passenger room too wasted, the luxuries hedonistically complimented, the cost too high, the dream too wet – gone were the days of the thumping muscle cars and the wild 1960s. Throughout the 1970s and head on into the 1980s, millions bought into the idea that their ride should emote a smidge of a boudoir, the scents of pot and Ozium, and the performance of a bloated gasoholic.

    Pull down your Fosters, crank up Parliment/Funkadelics, light up a blunt, and pass the ‘fro comb through your lady’s do, it’s high time to live the good life on your way to your factory job at the brewery. Uncle Fred is 54, a WWII vet, recently divorced and looking for a good time!

    • 0 avatar

      Pretty accurate analysis of the era, Dude.

      Allow me to add that the train was starting to come off its rails, thanks to higher taxes passed a year or two earlier “because the economy was overheating”…and wage/price controls put in effect in 1971.

      Economic storm clouds were on the horizon, and we began to understand that our choices had an impact on the environment – and our health. Within two years the price of gasoline would double and then double again and go even higher, just five years after that.

      While I can’t speak for Lincoln, the case has been made on this website about Cadillac’s chasing market share during this period, to the eventual debasement of its brand equity. Wages and buying power were at a peak just as “The Standard Of The World” was becoming more affordable than ever. GM was obviously, cynically, counting on past perceptions to drive current sales. I’ll assume Ford, to keep pace, did just the same with Lincoln.

      It was inferred above that this is what happens when “the free market runs wild”. But it was that same free market that drove Volkswagen and Toyota/Datsun sales in those days, taking more of Detroit’s market share and driving the creation of Vega/Pinto/Gremlin…which, flawed as they were, sold many, many times more than this Mark IV, even before the Arab oil embargo of late 1973. After the first oil crisis, as prices – although double what they were before – stabilized…GM’s new downsized, more fuel-efficient B-bodies hit the market and the market embraced them like a pig to mud, forcing Ford’s hand on what became the Panther two model years later.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      “The President and Congress were of different parties, but worked together without much rancor.” You’re either kidding or you didn’t live through it. The Democrats hated Richard Nixon with a rare passion. The Nixon of the 1950s was considered a “Red-baiter” earning the enmity of the left wing of the Democratic Party, which began in the ascendant in 1968, with centrist Lyndon Johnson’s abdication and failed to control the party that year only because its standard-bearer, Robert Kennedy was assassinated. They felt Nixon had won the 1968 by default, as a result of a combination of a lackluster centrist Democratic candidate (Humbert Humphrey) and segregationist third-party candidate George Wallace having peeled away a few states from the Democrat’s (formerly) “solid South.” They reached their apogee (not attained again until 2008 with the nomination and election of Barack Obama) with the nomination of George McGovern for the presidency, whom Nixon blew away in a landslide.

      Nevertheless, retaining control of both Houses of Congress, the Democrats planned to get even — and did in a big way — when Nixon handed them his head on a platter with the Watergate coverup.

      An “era of good feelings” it certainly was not. Economically, things began to get squirrelly, with rising inflation as a result of LBJ’s “guns and butter” policies without taxes to pay for them and continuing with Nixon Treasury Secretary John Connolly’s decision in the summer of 1971 to abandon fixed exchange rates and let the dollar “float.” It immediately floated downward and partially contributed to the so-called “Arab oil embargo” of 1973 which was driven, in part, by the fact that oil is sold in dollars and the Middle Eastern kingdoms were getting less purchasing power as a result of the devalued dollars they were being paid for their oil.

      This car was designed before all of that tumult started crashing ashore, at a time when gasoline prices were about 40 cents a gallon. So, 8 – 10 mpg was not a serious concern among those who could afford this car. It was likely not used as a daily commuter; nor was it a family car for long road trips.

      • 0 avatar
        rpol35

        One thing to remember however is that the congress & executive branch did work together on the Clean Air Act of 1970 which created the EPA; a rather unrepublican thing to do.

        It is of importance here on an automobile site because the EPA regs had a very significant impact on automobile engineering and later design as the years rolled on. If anything, the regs as initially implemented, helped to drive down engine efficiency and did wonders to perpetuate 8-10 MPG fuel “economy”.

        I think round two was the Clean Water Act of 1972.

      • 0 avatar
        VanillaDude

        Personal politics aside, the White House and Congress worked well together. And, throughout my lifetime, Democratic attitudes towards Republican presidents seethed with hatred, so I can’t claim their hatred of Nixon was all that rare. I bet the guy who paints Hitler’s mustache on Republicans for protest posters already have a thousand made up for Mitt Romney.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Those early emission standards did in fact cause a number of years where cars ran poorly and mileage declined. “Declined” is relative when you are talking 2.5 tons and 460 cubes however. But, in the end, technology caught up with the regulations and cars began to run far better than ever. Well, other than that annoying rev hang on deceleration. Had emission and mileage regulations not been a driving force, we would probably still have carburetor equipped cars.

        Ronnie, there is nothing even remotely wrong with freedom of choice, as long as you pay full freight for the costs your choices impart on others.

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    +1 for the “Big Gulp” sticker on the trunk. I laughed for 5 minutes.

    Years ago (20+) I saw one of these in the junkyard with the Cartier clock and felt good driving a screwdriver through the clock. Take that Politburo elite.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Couldn’t the place that re-upholstered the front seats have at least tried making them look correct with some stitching or tufts? They are as plain and ugly as two over cooked slabs of brown toast.

    • 0 avatar
      MadHungarian

      Looks like a budget job going for function in a fully-depreciated daily driver rather than any effort to duplicate the appearance and certainly not the leather of the original. It’s better than throwing a slip cover or worse yet some towels over the seat.

  • avatar
    CougarXR7

    Despite their obvious shortcomingd as a vehicle, I’ve always had a slight woody for these things. Maybe because of their posh accomodations and sheer over-the-top showboatiness. Enthusiasts and save-the-planet types were horrified, but the increasingly prosperous middle clss took to these things like thirsty rednecks to free beer.

    This car is also somewhat historically significant because at the time, it was the first time in Detroit’s history that a Lincoln product outsold Cadillac. For the prior two decades Cadillac was the undisputed king of the domestic luxury market. Then Lincoln introduces the Mark IV and promptly cleans Cadillac’s clock, selling two Marks to every one Eldorado.

    Even today I still see a fair number of these on the street and in the classifieds.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    21.5 gallons, 91 Octane, 460 with 4bbl. My boss had one of these and I remember loaning him gas money. When this was new I was driving a 10yo mgb. I must have been ahead of my time because I already knew that buying gas was like pouring sand down a rat hole.

    I always thought you could identify the owners of these cars by the lobotomy scars they bore.

  • avatar

    Second to the magnificent 1956 Mark II, the MK IV has always been my favorite Lincoln coupe. It’s got smoother, more integrated lines than the MK III. The Mark V was boxier and gaudier. If I win the lottery, there will be a Mark IV sitting next to a suicide-door T-Bird. What can I say? I came of automotive age in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

  • avatar
    ppxhbqt

    Sure Track was an early form of REAR ABS and like Chrysler’s similar 1971 system, used a vacuum actuator to pulse both rear brakes at the same time (Chrysler’s system was a 3-branch system that also pulsed the front brakes separately).

    Full details on it are here:

    http://mustangtek.com/braking/FordSureTrackbraking.html

    You can see an overview of Chrysler’s system at:

    http://imperialclub.org/~imperialclub/Yr/1973/Data/49.htm#print

  • avatar
    DaveDFW

    The Mark IV is not one of my favorite Lincolns, though the 1972 was probably the best-looking of the series. The relatively clean design suffered greatly with federalized bumpers in later years.

    Another poster above got it right–the powertrains in these cars were virtually indestructible. The 460, C6, and 9″ rear combination can compete with roaches for longevity.

  • avatar
    Rollo Grande

    Not a great car, but a solid piece of machinery and a shame to see it here in basically decent shape. Saw that roof off, wax the hell out of the body and chrome, paint on some wide whitewalls and you’ve got a fun beater car for many summers to come.

  • avatar
    carve

    I can’t believe a 460 ci engine only takes 5 qts of oil! The 2.3 in my Honda only takes slightly less, and the 3.0 in my bimmer takes 2 qts more. No wonder people changed oil every 3000 miles!

    • 0 avatar
      ppxhbqt

      Well consider the 1972 LTD rode on G78-15 tires. That’s P215/75R15. We can see from the photo the tire here is a 225/75 something. From everything I can find, it’s also a 15″ wheel. The most basic 2012 Focus has 195/65R15.

      Over-spec’ing obviously wasn’t something anyone did back then.

      Thankfully, they most certainly don’t build them like they used to.

  • avatar
    gottacook

    I liked these cars (better than the equivalent Thunderbirds of the era) but would like to make two additional points:

    1. The “Lincoln” badge never appeared on these cars, nor on the late-1950s Mark III through V cars or the 1968-71 Mark III (and possibly the 1977-79 Mark V as well). As noted on other threads, this may have been the residue of the short-lived Continental Division that was created to produce the 1956-57 Mark II coupe. When you went to a Lincoln-Mercury showroom in 1972, you were presented with the Lincoln Continental (coupe or sedan) and the Continental Mark IV.

    2. In 1972 only, the opera windows were a delete option; that is, you could order a car without them, and I’ve seen more than one example.

    Also, I was curious about the “91 octane (minimum)” requirement shown in the photo: At the time we had a former dealer demonstrator ’72 Continental sedan (with Copper Moondust Metallic paint; how could one forget such a color?) that also had a 460-4V and definitely took regular fuel. Why would the Mark IV have had a different requirement? Or was 91 the octane number for regular leaded in those days? Can anyone shed light on this?

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      In 1972 we were still on the RON index (Research Octane) which pegged 100 as premium so 91 would have been regular. By ’72 pretty much every car sold in the U.S. was limited to a low compression ratio (maybe 9.0:1 at best) to run on low-lead/no-lead gasoline with ’71 having been the transition year.

      In ’73 the U.S. went to the current anti-knock index (AKI) which is also known as R+M/2 (research + motor diivided by 2 or averaged). This rating originally pegged 89 as regular & 95 as premium. As the lead disappeared, octanes were lowered and 87 became regular with 93 as premium and 89-91 as a mid-grade octane.

      As an aside, I can tell you from experience, if you have an old car with no anti-knock assistance, 93 octane is only good if you have a compression ratio that doesn’t exceed about 10:1.

      • 0 avatar
        Flybrian

        General question since it seems like you may know. As someone who owns a ’76 model LeSabre with a 4BBL 455, would running non-ethanol be advantageous to running regular pump gas?

      • 0 avatar
        outback_ute

        The ethanol will break down any rubber components in the fuel system that havent been replaced, and could dislodge any deposits in the system so be prepared to change the fuel filter replace hoses and seals, and rebuild the carb

    • 0 avatar
      chrisgreencar

      I’ve heard before that the ’72 Mark could be ordered without the opera window. Do you have any pictures of one so equipped? That would be great to see.

      • 0 avatar
        tonyola

        This wasn’t easy to find – http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v33/ronaldo/mark2.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        gottacook

        Here’s another link, including interior views of the C pillar:

        http://www.lincolnlandinc.com/carsforsale/showDetails.php?carForSaleID=440

        Note that the rear quarter windows are retracted (horizontally – I think that was the full extent of their travel).

      • 0 avatar
        tonyola

        Both the Thunderbird and the Mark had horizontally-retracting rear side windows beginning in 1967. However, 1972 was the last year they were available – the windows became fixed panes for 1973.

    • 0 avatar
      tonyola

      Interestingly enough, by 1986 Lincoln was no longer using the Continental names in association with the Mark coupes – the car was advertised as “Lincoln Mark VII”.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    It was in 78, i moved to Toronto, living in the dorm.
    Saw a few yrs old Olds 98 delivering pizza, mind u back then gas at 50-60c a litre one could still afford to run these beast for delivery,
    not now when gas is $1.25!

    These marks do have a presence then. when imports and 450sels were still a rare sight.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    back in 72, gas were no more than 50c a gallon!

    a fnd had a 50 or 100 cc Honda bike,he cannot put more than 25c in the gas tank and that was in Carlifornia.

    U need to be from that era to appreciate the funs with big Veee8s.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    @Flybrian:

    As I recall a ’76 Buick 455 has either an 8.2:1 compression ratio or 8.5:1 so octane is not a big deal. I prefer to use an ethanol remover which you can buy in any auto parts store. The ethanol free gasoline that I find in my area is usually 89 octane and that should work well in your Buick. My ’68 Chevy has a high compression engine (10.25:1) and it needs more octane so I use 93 and boost it.

    I find the ethanol in the fuel that I use in my Chevy is hard on carburetor parts (Quadrajet, same as your Buick) and on rubber fuel tank/pump connections unless you switch them to a material that is compatible with ethanol.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    I don’t think those who are comparatively young (I graduated high school in 1972) can really put cars like the Mark IV into perspective easily. There -were no- BMW’s or Audi’s or Lexus luxury sedans in those days. There were a few Mercedes but they were viewed as cars for eccentrics as they were not luxurious in the terms of the times. Jaguar? Madmen and Englishmen bought English cars. Other choices? Well a neighbor had a Citroen but got rid of it shortly after he had to have a mechanic flown in from Atlantic for the third time.

    The luxury choice was between Lincoln and Cadillac; Chrysler wasn’t a serious player any more. Cadillac was considered flashier; Lincoln was felt to be more ‘old money’. Of course by 1972, both these brands were being cheapened as they began to appear in the driveways of the ordinary.

    Still, I distinctly remember daydreaming with a friend one day before we went off to our freshmen years at college. We felt that we were on the way to a good upper-middle class life. My desires?

    A nice house in the burbs, with a pool; a pretty wife; a vacation to Europe every couple of years; and a new Lincoln every few years. We figured that this kind of life required an income of $21-22K to achieve.

    Then life happened. ‘Nuff said.

  • avatar
    wolf_walker

    A thing of beauty, to be sure.

    I was in fact driving a 78 Continental, daily, in about 1998 or 99
    when I was just married and making $7/hr, and it wasn’t really hard to keep it in gas then, fuel was at a low point. Before I finally parked it fuel hit a point where I was spending almost $100 a week on fuel, which isn’t abnormal for people making more money than I was back then and are driving SUV’s these days. It’s all about perspective. A close friend had driven that same car all through highschool a few years before and beat it to death, or not death as it were, the car was an utter, total, completely reliable tank, and was till the day the engine was pulled, put in a pickup, and is STILL driving around today.
    In fact we all had old v8 RWD cars back then still, other than the rich kids. That 78 with the detuned 460 averaged 12mpg, FYI, just what the window sticker said it would, and was to this day my most favorite car. People tell stories about that car’s adventures to this very day.

  • avatar
    samthedog

    Aaaack! The steering wheel! The steering wheel! The one they put in EVERYTHING! Oh the horror! For the love of God, could they not have used something else to give the Jumbotron the look and feel of something other than a Torino…or Marquis..or for all i know…a Camper Special….Yuck!…on related note though, I still cannot stand the sound of any 1970′s Ford V8 starter as it hit the ring gear…THWACK!…somehow it bugged me….still don’t know why…

    • 0 avatar
      MadHungarian

      Ford still did that in the 90′s; the one thing I did not like about my ’92 Town Car was that the steering wheel was absolutely identical to the one in every Crown Vic taxi of similar vintage.

  • avatar
    getacargetacheck

    Frank Cannon drove one of these. What, you don’t know who Frank Cannon was? Watch at 9:39

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvF2i9bB6M0&feature=related

  • avatar
    Rockford Brodie

    That little plaque didn’t happen to jump into your pocket or toolbox, did it?

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    It’s too bad that it’s the end of the road for this old boat. For a much better example, and at the end of the Mark IV series, have a look at the CC I wrote:

    http://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside-classics-american/curbside-classic-1976-lincoln-continental-mark-iv-gas-fed-beef-steak/

  • avatar
    MadHungarian

    Welcome to life with aging vinyl tops. It only takes the tiniest amount of water getting under the top to start the process. Maybe even condensation will do it. Typically the owner’s first sign of any trouble will be water leakage into the trunk, or inside at the C pillar or package shelf, or up front around the windshield header. Usually, by then the cancer has metastasized quite extensively under the top. It happens even in West Coast cars that don’t otherwise show any rust. I have known of people pulling off old tops, sometimes just to replace them with a better looking one rather than for any leaks, and finding baseball sized holes in the sheet metal.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    My mom bought a silver MKIV in 1974. She loved it, until the radiator problems began. Once a year, it would have to have a radiator leak fixed. A new one did nothing to stop it. It actually got near 20MPG on the highway, and it wasn’t terrible in city driving, for it’s size. One of the most impressive wrecks I’ve ever seen was when a drunk woman in a MKIV ran a stop sign and wiped out a 3/4 ton Chevy pickup. Both were totaled, but the truck was way more messed up than the MK was. The driver of the truck was pretty badly hurt, and we nearly had to pull her out the window as she was covered in gas and was begging us, “God, please don’t let me burn!”. The hood was jammed and it was smoking pretty badly. The fire department finally showed up and cut the battery cable and got her out. The MKIV driver was unhurt, until the cuffs came out, then she “collapsed”. She pled to DUI and the woman in the truck got a pretty big settlement. She had a broken pelvis, left femur, and several broken ribs. They didn’t find a thing wrong with the drunk.

  • avatar

    Had to chime in here, some direct experience back in the day.

    My just-after-high-school girlfriend’s dad leased a new Lincoln every couple of years, and would let us borrow it/them for date night. So yeah: pretty jazzed at age 18 to be hitting the drive-in in her dad’s 1970 Mark III. Fast enough, could handle Blue River Road at a quick pace, that darkest green w/ black interior.

    Then he traded for a ’72 Mark IV. Plush, and quiet, but an absolute oinker compared to the Mark III. Slower…softer…an old man’s car, far too mush for anything spirited. Felt tons heavier. Automated climate control that always gave him fits.

    Still took her to prom in it…Spring, 1972.

  • avatar
    hsmith5973

    I have a “Baby Blue” 1972 Lincoln, Mark IV Continental, with less than 100,000 miles on it. It needs a new vinyl top. I would like to sell it. If anyone is interested they can contact me at hsmith5973@aol.com

  • avatar
    chas404

    Please watch the Burt Reynolds movie Gator with Jerry Reed as the bad guy.

    I love the Mark IIIs and the MarkIVs.

  • avatar
    McMulhall

    I want one so bad it hurts


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India