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

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With its splashy debut and immediate product sales success, Lincoln’s Continental Mark II I personal luxury coupe available up speedy and serious opposition to the additional set up Cadillac Eldorado, which beforehand experienced the market place all to alone. With its exclusive styling various from other Continentals and a a lot more upscale inside, the Mark usually received in comparison tests printed by the automotive press of the working day.

After a productive three yrs on the current market, it was time for a new Mark in 1972. The calendar year prior Cadillac released a new ninth-era Eldorado that was larger and extra lavish than in advance of and adopted Seventies-ready boat-like styling. Lincoln rapidly followed accommodate with the all-new Mark IV.

Similar to the fifth-era Continental two- and 4-door types that shared a system and heaps of sheet steel with the Mercury Marquis from 1970, the new Continental Mark IV shared heaps with the (sixth-gen) Ford Thunderbird. The system sharing was nothing at all new, as the Mark III utilized the fifth-gen Thunderbird’s platform. But with Mark IV, Ford took the sharing a couple actions even more.  

Although the Mark IV managed a glimpse that was an evolution of the Mark III, there have been numerous more similarities to the Thunderbird: The roof, hood, home windows, mirrors, and doorways ended up shared in between Thunderbird and Mark IV. Differences had been constrained to exterior trim, and entrance and rear styling. This solution was a unique departure from the Mark III, which experienced a entire body style all its individual. 

Parked side by aspect, the similarities involving the two styles had been noticeable. On the other hand, in a transfer that possibly pleased Ford sellers, the similarities were being a raise to the Thunderbird’s graphic. The styling on both cars and trucks was carried out to make Thunderbird a Mark-minus, fairly than the Mark a Thunderbird-plus. 

The Mark IV’s id and lineage ended up obvious when considered up coming to a Mark III. The identical sort of prolonged hood and short rear deck proportions remained, along with the most attractive coated headlamps and their flip-down doors. At the front, the grille and headlamp style and design was minimally adjusted from Mark III to Mark IV. One notable addition was a Lincoln hood ornament, as the Mark approved its business branding in a much far more clear way. 

The Mark IV’s hood was shaped practically identically to that of the Mark III, nevertheless the length among the A-pillar and the entrance stop of the auto was a great deal increased. It was a time of development and gingerbread extra in domestic vehicles, and the PLC led the charge ahead in such aspects. The extended front fenders were being likewise sharp as on the Mark III, and battering ram entrance corners built a return.

Also present have been identical wrap-all-around indicator lamps, however they donned a new chrome grille glimpse 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 all around the Mark IV’s front close was practically unchanged from its predecessor, with a single exception: The chrome strip that ran together the top rated edge of the fenders was eradicated.

Not to fear, new (optional) physique aspect trim appeared alongside the sides of the Mark in line with the chrome beneath the headlamp doorways. The trim had its possess dual chrome appliques, and was accessible in diverse shades of plastic and detailing (filigree) dependent upon shade plan and choices. In its fullest optional format, the trim curved up more than the wheel arches – which were being a lot more pronounced on the Mark IV – and continued all the way to the rear of the auto. 

Inside of the trim in advance of the entrance tire was an amber reflector, which complemented a new cornering lamp put small on the body. The lamp was within a chrome trim strip that ran the size of the Mark IV, but it was chunkier and significantly less properly-applied than on the Mark III. Thicker, more sizeable trim also appeared at the A-pillar and ran alongside the doorway sill.

It wasn’t a new area for chrome but was of a greater quantity than the Mark III, and was not a continuation of the fender line trim as on the previous automobile. The thick chrome wrapped up close to the rear side window and ongoing around a window line that was quite similar to the Mark III. 

Like the Mark III, Mark IV arrived with a vinyl roof masking which extended down the A-pillars. In the new Mark, the basic vertical opera lamp was changed by an oval opera window – a type of porthole for rear barge travellers to peer out of. The window was trimmed in its have chrome and bore yet another Lincoln crosshair symbol. It was an alternative in 1972, (however pretty much often chosen) and grew to become normal for 1973.

Beneath the opera window yet another piece of chrome trim appeared, which once more carried out the exact same type of decorative operate as the Mark III’s fender line trim. On the new Mark, it wrapped all around the B-pillar and ongoing throughout the trunk, the place it was joined by a thickly chromed rear window. The trim continued close to to the other aspect in its framing of the vinyl roof and ended at the window on the reverse facet.

The clumsy vinyl roof implementation was the begin of a concept for the rear stop of the Mark IV. There was slightly too a lot of every thing. As well significantly rear fender metallic, way too significantly trim, and panel gaps that have been much too big. The classy rear deck on the Mark III was changed by a little something a lot chunkier on the lookout.

The compact tail fins of the Mark III were all but long gone on Mark IV, reduced to smallish protrusions that had been substantially softer. Rear fenders lacked definition much too and appeared a lot less flowing and much more bulbous. The dilemma was the Mark’s character line, which was relocated from the sharp fender down to the middle of the overall body. It drew the eye downward and designed the Mark IV appear taller. 

New rear tail lamps have been small and horizontal, positioned to possibly side of the now renowned Continental package bulge. However similarly as pronounced as it was just before, the bulge presided over a rear stop that was a great deal less appealing to appear at. The bumper was heavier than it was just before and integrated additional sculpting consultant of the tire hump. Reverse lamps and the license plate area had been in about the similar area they were being earlier. 

From a rear 3-quarter see, the lesser Thunderbird obtained away with a cleaner glimpse. With sleeker and more simple chrome implementation and a huge crimson heckblende, it was additional complex looking than the Mark IV. The only mark on Thunderbird’s rearview was the corny-on the lookout rectangular opera window. 

Both equally cars had a a little gawky overall look from the rear for the reason that of some thing new and various Ford designers attempted: They gave the entrance and rear wheel arches the exact height. It was a crack from a prolonged tradition exactly where a car’s rear wheel arch was reduced than the entrance. The equal-height wheel arch pattern was begun a couple yrs prior, by the Oldsmobile Toronado of 1966.

It was a important variance from the Eldorado which managed the classic offset wheel arch top. Moreover, the sporty wheel arch flares intended there would be no calm fender skirt motion. And the skirts were a crucial component of the Eldorado’s seem in the Seventies. 

In our upcoming installment, we’ll step inside of the Mark IV’s inside, and into a entire world of quite unrealistic-wanting wood paneling and shag pile carpeting. Kind of like your grandparents’ residing place circa 1970! We’ll also overview the Mark IV’s mechanical facts.

[Images: Ford]

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