Rare Rides Icons: The Lincoln Mark Series Cars, Feeling Continental (Part XVII)

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With its splashy debut and fast product sales accomplishment, Lincoln’s Continental Mark II I private luxurious coupe provided up immediate and significant competition to the a lot more established Cadillac Eldorado, which previously had the industry all to itself. With its special styling different from other Continentals and a extra upscale interior, the Mark normally received in comparison checks published by the automotive push of the working day.

Soon after a successful a few a long time on the market, it was time for a new Mark in 1972. The year prior Cadillac introduced a new ninth-generation Eldorado that was larger and additional lavish than ahead of and adopted Seventies-all set boat-like styling. Lincoln quickly adopted suit with the all-new Mark IV.

Equivalent to the fifth-technology Continental two- and four-doorway types that shared a platform and tons of sheet steel with the Mercury Marquis from 1970, the new Continental Mark IV shared a lot with the (sixth-gen) Ford Thunderbird. The system sharing was practically nothing new, as the Mark III utilized the fifth-gen Thunderbird’s platform. But with Mark IV, Ford took the sharing a couple techniques further.  

Though the Mark IV maintained a look that was an evolution of the Mark III, there were being a lot of additional similarities to the Thunderbird: The roof, hood, windows, mirrors, and doors ended up shared concerning Thunderbird and Mark IV. Variations were restricted to exterior trim, and front and rear styling. This method was a distinctive departure from the Mark III, which experienced a body style all its possess. 

Parked aspect by facet, the similarities involving the two designs were being obvious. Nevertheless, in a go that almost certainly happy Ford sellers, the similarities were a carry to the Thunderbird’s image. The styling on both equally autos was carried out to make Thunderbird a Mark-minus, somewhat than the Mark a Thunderbird-in addition. 

The Mark IV’s id and lineage ended up obvious when regarded as upcoming to a Mark III. The similar form of very long hood and brief rear deck proportions remained, alongside with the most appealing lined headlamps and their flip-down doors. At the entrance, the grille and headlamp structure was minimally changed from Mark III to Mark IV. One noteworthy addition was a Lincoln hood ornament, as the Mark accepted its organization branding in a considerably more noticeable way. 

The Mark IV’s hood was formed practically identically to that of the Mark III, though the length among the A-pillar and the entrance stop of the vehicle was much greater. It was a time of progress and gingerbread extra in domestic vehicles, and the PLC led the charge forward in this sort of features. The extended front fenders ended up similarly sharp as on the Mark III, and battering ram entrance corners produced a return.

Also existing were being related wrap-about indicator lamps, nevertheless they donned a new chrome grille search on Mark IV. As it was the Seventies, the Mark IV’s bumper was chunkier than its predecessor and sad to say equivalent to the Thunderbird’s. The chrome trim around the Mark IV’s entrance finish was nearly unchanged from its predecessor, with just one exception: The chrome strip that ran together the major edge of the fenders was eliminated.

Not to worry, new (optional) entire body facet trim appeared alongside the sides of the Mark in line with the chrome under the headlamp doorways. The trim had its own twin chrome appliques, and was available in unique shades of plastic and detailing (filigree) dependent on color plan and solutions. In its fullest optional structure, the trim curved up about the wheel arches – which had been additional pronounced on the Mark IV – and ongoing all the way to the rear of the car or truck. 

Within the trim forward of the entrance tire was an amber reflector, which complemented a new cornering lamp put reduced on the body. The lamp was inside a chrome trim strip that ran the length of the Mark IV, but it was chunkier and significantly less effectively-applied than on the Mark III. Thicker, much more substantial trim also appeared at the A-pillar and ran together the doorway sill.

It was not a new spot for chrome but was of a higher volume than the Mark III, and was not a continuation of the fender line trim as on the aged auto. The thick chrome wrapped up all around the rear side window and ongoing all-around a window line that was fairly identical to the Mark III. 

Like the Mark III, Mark IV arrived with a vinyl roof masking which prolonged down the A-pillars. In the new Mark, the very simple vertical opera lamp was replaced by an oval opera window – a form of porthole for rear barge travellers to peer out of. The window was trimmed in its own chrome and bore a further Lincoln crosshair brand. It was an solution in 1972, (though practically always selected) and turned normal for 1973.

Beneath the opera window one more piece of chrome trim appeared, which all over again carried out the similar form of decorative function as the Mark III’s fender line trim. On the new Mark, it wrapped about the B-pillar and ongoing throughout the trunk, in which it was joined by a thickly chromed rear window. The trim ongoing around to the other side in its framing of the vinyl roof and ended at the window on the reverse facet.

The clumsy vinyl roof implementation was the get started of a theme for the rear stop of the Mark IV. There was somewhat as well substantially of all the things. Also much rear fender metal, way too a lot trim, and panel gaps that were also massive. The sophisticated rear deck on the Mark III was changed by something substantially chunkier wanting.

The compact tail fins of the Mark III ended up all but absent on Mark IV, diminished to smallish protrusions that had been a lot softer. Rear fenders lacked definition much too and appeared a lot less flowing and extra bulbous. The dilemma was the Mark’s character line, which was relocated from the sharp fender down to the center of the physique. It drew the eye downward and created the Mark IV seem taller. 

New rear tail lamps had been compact and horizontal, positioned to possibly facet of the now famed Continental package bulge. However similarly as pronounced as it was ahead of, the bulge presided about a rear end that was a great deal considerably less appealing to appear at. The bumper was heavier than it was in advance of and integrated additional sculpting representative of the tire hump. Reverse lamps and the license plate spot had been in about the exact same spot they had been beforehand. 

From a rear 3-quarter check out, the lesser Thunderbird got absent with a cleaner search. With sleeker and more simple chrome implementation and a big pink heckblende, it was far more innovative hunting than the Mark IV. The only mark on Thunderbird’s rearview was the corny-looking rectangular opera window. 

Equally cars and trucks experienced a slightly gawky visual appeal from the rear because of one thing new and distinctive Ford designers experimented with: They gave the front and rear wheel arches the very same top. It was a crack from a long custom wherever a car’s rear wheel arch was reduce than the front. The equivalent-top wheel arch pattern was begun a couple of yrs prior, by the Oldsmobile Toronado of 1966.

It was a crucial variance from the Eldorado which taken care of the conventional offset wheel arch height. In addition, the sporty wheel arch flares intended there would be no comfortable fender skirt motion. And the skirts have been a crucial ingredient of the Eldorado’s seem in the Seventies. 

In our upcoming installment, we’ll phase within the Mark IV’s interior, and into a earth of really unrealistic-looking wood paneling and shag pile carpeting. Type of like your grandparents’ living home circa 1970! We’ll also critique the Mark IV’s mechanical aspects.

[Images: Ford]

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