Car Collector's Corner: 1979 Collector Series Lincoln Mark V

J Sutherland
by J Sutherland
car collector s corner 1979 collector series lincoln mark v

Like most car guys, Wayne Cooper always had one particular “must have” car on his wish list. Most guys have familiar names like Corvettes, Challengers, or Mustangs on their lists.

Not Wayne. His all time chart topping car was a 1979 Lincoln Mark V (Collector Series).

Like most motivated car guys, he eventually reached a point where he could find and acquire his dream car.

It didn’t start out that way. In 1979 this car listed at $24,000 and that kind of money was far beyond the reach of a younger Wayne Cooper. But he did have the option to drive his employer’s Mark V on a regular basis and that’s how the hook was set. As Wayne explained, “ I fell in love”.

His search took several years. He did eventually find this incredibly low mileage Mark V via an estate sale. Even then, the purchase didn’t happen overnight. He looked at the V in Oct. 2007 and didn’t actually buy it until 6 months had gone by. Finding this rare Lincoln was fortunate.Wayne had been to hundreds of car shows and he’d never seen one at any of the shows.

One of the byproducts of my owner interviews is the opportunity to learn about non-mainstream vintage iron. This Mark V is a classic example. These cars were better equipped than the relatively new F-15 fighter jet at the time. The list of standard equipment was the size of a grocery list for a family of twelve-up to and including an 8 track stereo with “quad” sound.

The seats have an infinite number of adjustments so Wayne reports, “ I can drive this thing at 75 or better for 7 hours and never get tired thanks to the seats and the ride”. The Lincoln “sees the real world” according to Wayne despite the low miles on the car (55,000). The Mark V looks like it belongs in a museum thanks to a lifetime of quality maintenance, no winter driving and a temperature controlled garage.

The end result is an impeccably well-preserved piece of Lincoln history. These are the cars that don’t get the same press as a Boss 302 Mustang, yet they are a significant part of Ford’s history.

Wayne used to dabble in classic era 5-6-7 Thunderbirds back in the 70s, but a fateful day back in the waning days of disco set off an atom bomb in his car guy world.

He drove a brand new 1979 Lincoln Mark V (Collector Series).

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  • Towncar Towncar on Mar 25, 2012

    docrock, you are not totally wrong, though. Although the cars had different chassis, a lot of trim was common between the Mark Collector and the Thunderbird Heritage. I had the Collector years ago and knew a guy with a Heritage. They had the same "Kasman II luxury cloth," the same superplush blue carpet (including in the trunk), and quite a few interior trim parts in common, including the console. BTW, that console was not mentioned in the Lincoln service manual for '79 and there was apparently no way to get parts for it (my latch broke). The Collector was definitely mega-loaded. The 8-track had a digital readout (you could see which track you were on), as well as a digital miles-to-empty monitor. The dash and console were upholstered in leather and the owner's manual cover matched. The matching umbrella was in a cubby that popped up when you opened the console arm rest. Inside the console was the CB radio and handset (with digital readout). There was also a custom toolkit in the trunk, bound in (naturally) matching leather. Loved the car, but I did regret the lack of the usual oval opera windows--it had a huge blindspot as a consequence. Although I'm a good Panther guy nowadays, I have to admit there was a certain falling off in Lincolness when the old leviathans went away.

  • Ponchoman49 Ponchoman49 on Mar 26, 2012

    I never was a big fan of this era of Lincoln. They still looked and felt like earlier 70's overweight Ford boxy iron to me with a bit too much tacked on fluff. The 9-10 MPG fuel mileage from huge displacement emission choked 400's and 460's, soggy handling and gimmicky headlights were other turn off's. In comparison the 79 E-body Riviera, Eldorado and Toronado seemed light years ahead of these in appearance, interior packaging, ride and handling, Winter traction and especially mileage from there smaller 350 and Buick 3.8 turbo engines. So did the 70's C-body cars. Most editorials favored them over the older designed Chrysler and Ford iron of this generation and I always agreed.

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