Junkyard Find: 1974 Lincoln Continental Mark IV

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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  • Jeff S Jeff S on Sep 04, 2019

    @Arthur Dailey--I remember my mother after raising 3 sons and having a late life baby girl deciding she had enough of station wagons and finally got a 72 metallic turquoise Sedan Deville with a white vinyl roof. She was so proud of that car and it drew plenty of attention. I never owned a Lincoln or a Cadillac but I do remember them well in their salad days and the attention that they drew. I always liked the Lincoln Marks and they represented the best in an American personal luxury cars. Today you can see a late model Cadillac or Lincoln sedan and it hardly draws any attention. That is not to say they are bad but they are far from being unique and the Lincoln could easily be mistaken for a Ford. Even most Mercedes and BMWs are not as unique as they once were. Blob like vehicles with a turbo 4, Billy Bass grills, tiny slits for headlights, and thick pillars are not that unique whether they wear a luxury badge or not and whether they are German, Japanese, South Korean, British, American, or Chinese.

  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Sep 04, 2019

    @JimC2 and JeffS: comments like yours are what keeps me coming back to TTAC. Regardless of personal beliefs/politics, there are some darn smart and/or entertaining postings. Agree 100% regarding how modern cars look so much alike. My wife a few months ago from the back quarter was unable to determine the difference between an F-Pace and a Rogue. There was a time when each manufacturer's vehicles were distinct. The ventiports on Buicks, the 'hawk nose' on Pontiacs, the round tailights on Chevs, each had their own style. When a Mark IV was in coming at you, there was no other vehicle that you could mistake it for, or when it was ahead of you with its continental tire hump, even from the side with its long hood, half-vinyl roof, opera windows and coach lights. Perhaps the advent of electric or hybrid cars will allow designers to once again claim their place ahead of engineers and their enslavement to MPG figures, and create unique designs?

    • JimC2 JimC2 on Sep 04, 2019

      Thanks, Arthur! And you as well (and JeffS, and many others on here too).

  • Cprescott I assume that since the buses will be free to these companies that these companies will reduce their bus fare.
  • Scott Mopar4wdthanks for those stats. But if 40% of suv buyers are 65+ that is not a long term strategyat 70 I’m perhaps not germane as I have only 2 cars now and replace only when they’re stolen
  • Mopar4wd I think the real question is when every EV can be optioned to be startlingly fast, you need something else to differentiate. Handling features etc, outright acceleration may not be as much a measure as it once was. That's the real problem I see for Dodge, their best bet would seem to be making them look way better than the competition.
  • Dukeisduke The wheelcovers with all the little round holes are from Pontiac, like the Catalina.
  • DungBeetle62 "Mark III would make its branding as exclusive as possible... " Meanwhile, 40 years on down the road every single Lincoln product was "MK _____"