1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV
For most of the period from the mid-1950s to the late 1990s, Lincoln Marks were the most expensive cars Americans could buy from the Ford Motor Company. During the 1970s, the Mark III, Mark IV, and Mark V personal luxury coupes were built on the same chassis as the then-massive Thunderbird, with curb weights hovering around 5,000 pounds. Here’s a 1972 Mark IV, from the year the engine power really started its Malaise Era falling off a cliff, photographed in a Denver-area drive-thru yard.
The list price for this car started at $8,640, which equates to something like $61,445 in 2022 dollars. Benz has the more powerful V8 engine.
Horsepower ratings had just moved to net rather than gross numbers, so that massive 460 cubic-inch (7.5-liter) V8 was rated at just 224 horsepower (ever-stricter emission rules reduced also the real power). At least the torque was still pretty good, at 342 lb-ft.
Runs on regular gas!
This car has clearly spent some time, probably at least two decades, sitting outside in the harsh Colorado climate. The seat padding is deeply irradiated.
The padded vinyl roof didn’t hold up well in the sun.
Someone tore up the dashboard, but you can still see the elegant Cartier clock hidden in the wreckage.
There is some rust, enough to scare off anyone who might have been interested in a restoration.
The Continental Mark IV’s main rival was the Cadillac Eldorado, which was slightly smaller and (slightly) less full of bling.
The 1972 Imperial LeBaron was cheaper and had more horsepower than the Mark IV, but felt heavy next to the carefree Lincoln.
More than 8,000 owners of this luxury car switched to Continental for ’71.