Monday 11 July 2017
The (Lincoln) Continental Mark series is a series of personal luxury cars that were marketed by the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Company under various nameplates, including the short-lived Continental Division. The Mark Series was marketed from 1956 to 1960 and from 1968 to 1998, always serving as the flagship of Ford Motor Company in North America.
Initially existing as the product line of the Continental Division, the Mark became part of Lincoln in 1958; from that point, while marketed and sold by Lincoln, the line remained badged as a Continental for many years. To fully eliminate any confusion, the Mark series adopted the Lincoln badge in 1986.
While sharing underpinnings with other Ford Motor Company vehicles, Mark-series cars were distinguished by their own interior and exterior trim along with separate exterior panels. With the exception of the 1958-1960 Continental Mark III-V and the 1980-1983 Continental Mark VI, the Marks were all sold in the form of the original 1939-1948 Continental, as a two-door personal luxury coupe.
While discontinued in 1998, Lincoln adopted the legacy of the later Mark series personal cars in its current naming nomenclature. Since 2007, nearly all of its vehicles have adopted an "MK" prefix.
Introduced for the 1977 model year, the Lincoln Continental Mark V was a major revision of the Mark IV. The rounded styling of the previous generation gave way to a sharper-edged look. Interior design remained similar to the Mark IV, with variants in the seat patterns and dashboard trim (while retaining the general dashboard layout of the IV) being the primary differences. As the Ford Thunderbird was downsized and based upon the intermediate chassis utilized by the Ford LTD II and Mercury Cougar XR7, the Mark V utilized its own chassis. The Mark V was larger and more complex than its predecessor, coming just ten inches short of 20 feet (6.1 m) long. The electrical system and mechanical componentry shared less in common with other Ford products, and was harder to service than the corresponding equipment on the Mark IV.
The 460 cu in (7.5 L) of the Mark IV no longer remained the standard engine of the Mark V, with the 400 becoming standard and the 460 optional, for both the 1977 and 1978 model years. The 460 was not available at all for 1979. After the 1976 model year, the 460 was no longer available in Lincolns sold in California, because it was not able to be emissions-certified for that state. By contrast, the 1977 Continentals were initially available ONLY with the 460 in the 49 states but around mid-production the 400 became standard and the 460 optional, except in California. The March 1977 update of the Lincoln Product Facts Book for 1977 shows these changes in red font. Evidence of a change as early as December 1976 is available. The author of these edits (March 2013) has a 49-state February 21 1977 Continental Town Car, the price sheet of which shows the 460 as an option. Marti reports however suggest that almost all 49-state Lincoln buyers chose the 460 after it became optional.
- engine: V8
- capacity: 7500 cc
- horsepower: 140 HP
- gearbox: 3+1
- top speed: 150 km/h