AJ’s Car of the Day: 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV

AJ’s Car of the Day: 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV

Car: Lincoln Continental Mark IV

Year: 1972

What makes it special: The Continental Mark IV was a personal luxury car that was sold and marketed by the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Company from the 1972 to 1976 model years. The third generation of the Mark series, the Mark IV grew in size over its Continental Mark III predecessor and its Cadillac Eldorado rival. With designers again using sharp-edged fenders, hidden headlamps, and a tall radiator-style grille, the Continental Mark IV retained the traditional “long-hood, short deck” coupe proportions of the Mark III. All Mark IV’s were equipped with a vinyl roof. The Mark IV introduced the opera window to the Mark series, a feature that would be featured in the Mark through the discontinuation of the Mark VI after 1983. For 1972, it was an almost universally specified option, becoming standard for 1973.

What made it famous: Sharing a common chassis with the Ford Thunderbird, the Mark IV was given its own exterior design from the windows down, returning hidden headlights, a radiator-style grille, and a Continental spare tire trunk lid. The spare tire was actually stored on a ledge in the trunk on top of the gas tank, immediately behind the rear seat. In what would later become a long-running tradition for the Lincoln model line, in 1976, the Mark IV introduced Designer Editions as an option series, which consisted of specially coordinated exterior and interior trims developed between Lincoln and contemporary fashion designers. All Mark IV’s were equipped with the 460 cu in 4V Ford 385 series 16-valve V8. Rated at 365 hp in the Mark III, the 460 was carried over to the Mark IV. For 1972, rated output underwent a numeric decrease to 212 hp. In order to comply with changing EPA emissions regulations, Ford was required to decrease the compression ratio of the engine. All examples of the Mark IV were equipped with a Ford C6 3-speed automatic transmission.

Why I would want one: It’s a big car, but it’s also a very cool, stylish car.

Fun fact: All Continental Mark IVs were assembled at the Wixom Assembly Plant in Wixom, Michigan, alongside the standard Lincoln Continental and the Ford Thunderbird.