Junkyard Find: 1974 Lincoln Continental Mark IV

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1974 lincoln continental mark iv

Big, Detroit-made Malaise Era personal luxury coupes still keep showing up in the big self-service wrecking yards, more than 35 years after the last one rolled off the assembly line. Yes, the diminished-expectations Mark VI, the “What Oil Crisis?” Mark V, and the rococo Mark IV— examples of each of these will appear in your local U-Wrench yard from time to time.

Here’s a worn-out Mark IV from the year of Nixon’s resignation and Haile Selassie’s banishment from his throne in a lowly Beetle, now awaiting The Crusher in a Denver yard.

It’s dirty and rusty and doesn’t smell so good, but you can still make out vestiges of the swank this car once possessed. I’m sure some bitter tears will flow from Sajeev’s eyes when he sees these two-tone leather seats. This car appears to have the prestigious Gold Luxury Group option package, which included a moonroof with gold glass and gold shag carpeting.

I already have a genuine Cartier (not really made by Cartier) clock from a Mark IV, so I didn’t buy this one.

Engine power levels dropped significantly starting in 1971 as federal emissions regulations kicked in, and this 460-cubic-inch (that’s 7.5 liters, for those of you who don’t use Freedom Volume Units) V8 produced a mere 220 horsepower. The respectable 355 lb-ft of torque sufficed to move the car’s 5,362 pounds well enough, though.

Not much Midwest-style wheel well rot here, but the vinyl roof (standard equipment on the ’74 Mark IV) trapped rain and snow and allowed some pretty nasty rust to take hold. This could have been fixed, but it wouldn’t have been worth the investment.

Here’s the exquisitely middle-1970s deep shag carpeting, which would have been just the thing to put a Mark IV owner in the mood to hear the biggest schmaltzy hits of 1974. I’d like to think that the original owner of this car preferred the better music of that year, but we’ll never know.

If you were buying a luxury car for resale value in 1974, the Mark IV was your best choice.

The ’74 Town Car looked pretty plush, too.

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3 of 84 comments
  • Saeed Saeed on Mar 25, 2023

    Hello, I need a series of other accessories from Lincoln. Do you have front window, front and rear lights, etc. from the 1972 and 1976 models

    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Mar 25, 2023

      This article is from 2019 so the car is likely crushed. I saw a Mark IV in a self service yard in North Las Vegas three weeks ago which was somewhat intact. I don't know if they will remove and send you pieces or not but this was the site:


  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Mar 26, 2023

    2019 had better comments than 2023 😉

  • Ollicat I have a Spyder. The belt will last for many years or 60,000-80,000 miles. Not really a worry.
  • Redapple2 Cadillac and racing. Boy those 2 go together dont they? What a joke. Up there with opening a coffee shop in NYC. EvilGM be clowning. Again.
  • Jbltg Rear bench seat does not match the front buckets. What's up?
  • Theflyersfan The two Louisville truck plants are still operating, but not sure for how much longer. I have a couple of friends who work at a manufacturing company in town that makes cooling systems for the trucks built here. And they are on pins and needles wondering if or when they get the call to not go back to work because there are no trucks being made. That's what drives me up the wall with these strikes. The auto workers still get a minimum amount of pay even while striking, but the massive support staff that builds components, staffs temp workers, runs the logistics, etc, ends up with nothing except the bare hope that the state's crippled unemployment system can help them keep afloat. In a city where shipping (UPS central hub and they almost went on strike on August 1) and heavy manufacturing (GE Appliance Park and the Ford plants) keeps tens of thousands of people employed, plus the support companies, any prolonged shutdown is a total disaster for the city as well. UAW members - you're not getting a 38% raise right away. That just doesn't happen. Start a little lower and end this. And then you can fight the good fight against the corner office staff who make millions for being in meetings all day.
  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )