Mark of Success: The Lincoln Continental Mark Series – Ate Up With Motor

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Lincoln Continental

Mark of Success: The Lincoln Mark Series

This another of Lee Iacocca#8217;s many planning brainstorms, was one of Ford#8217;s successes in the late sixties and seventies. A gaudy, overstuffed luxury car that critics described as an overgrown Thunderbird, it was a hugely profitable exercise and one of the stylistically influential cars of its This week, we look at the and history of the 1969-1979 Lincoln Mark III, Mark IV, and V.

PHONY MARKS

The first Continental was a customized version of the Zephyr convertible, designed by design chief Eugene T. Gregorie and built in 1939 for the use of Ford president Edsel becoming a limited-production model in Although the Continental was mechanically its styling was widely acclaimed and is now a classic. (We remain unmoved by the and consider the facelifted post-1942 rather grotesque, but we recognize we#8217;re in the minority on both

There were plans for an postwar Lincoln Continental, but fell victim to the Ford Company#8217;s financial predicament, so the disappeared after 1948. in the early 1950s, Ford to try again, launching a new Continental to produce a single high-end, model. It was called simply Mark II, suggesting a spiritual with Edsel Ford#8217;s #8220;Mark I#8221; Continental.

The II was extremely well made and tasteful for its era, but it was a commercial Only about 3,000 were produced in two model and the division lost about on each of them. The Continental was shuttered in July 1956 and the again fell under the of Lincoln-Mercury.

The Mark II vanished at the end of the model year, but Lincoln the Continental name to the top series of the 1958-1960 Lincolns. Unlike the II, the new Continentals were much the as lesser Lincoln models, mostly by trim and a unique roofline with a retractable window (later recycled by for its 1960s Breezeway sedans ). To a sense of continuity with the unrelated Mark II, Lincoln the 1958 Continentals #8220;Mark the 1959s #8220;Mark IV,#8221; and the #8220;Mark V.#8221;

These big sold better than the II (mostly because they almost 40% cheaper), but they didn#8217;t sell very and were not particularly special. In a interview with Dave of the Benson Ford Research stylist L. David Ash summed up the of many when he dubbed #8220;phony Marks.#8221;

In 1961, applied the Continental name but not the #8220;Mark#8221; designation #8212; to all its The new Continentals #8216; crisp earned them great acclaim, if not runaway sales and helped save the venerable marque from cancellation.

The styling of the 1961 Lincoln lasted through 1969 only modest changes. The sixties Continentals were bigger than the #8217;61, but the same body shell.

MAY BE CONTINENTAL

While the post-1969 Continentals were not the money-losers predecessors were, they still not as profitable as Lincoln-Mercury have liked. Despite some structural commonality the Ford Thunderbird. which to reduce engineering costs, the did not sell in large enough to be a big money-maker; even in Lincoln#8217;s years, Cadillac outsold it by at six to one.

Why? The Continental was a for a contemporary Cadillac in most categories except trunk and acceleration (neither a major for contemporary luxury car buyers) and the styling was cleaner and arguably tasteful. Cadillac had backed off the excesses of 1959, but still had a jukebox flair, where the was understated and largely free of

If the goal of the Continental was to appeal to aesthetes, it succeeded, but its lack of did not necessarily appeal to the masses. As we in our article on the 1967-1970 Cadillac the success of Cadillac hinged on its with working-class and middle-class quite a few of whom would beg, borrow, or steal to get hands on one.

A buyer to scrimp and scrounge for three or years to put a symbol of prosperity and in the driveway was not interested in understatement. The point of purchasing such a car was to win the and the envy of friends, neighbors, and #8212; what good was it if noticed? Chrysler had gone too far in the direction with its early-sixties which moved well ostentatious into the realm of the but we suspect that many buyers simply found the too bland.

Lincoln-Mercury did not help case by offering a limited of models and body styles. The Continental convertible was a novelty in few buyers were interested. Cadillac offered an assortment of or pillarless coupes and sedans, with a choice of different styles, Lincoln had only the pillared sedan.

It took until 1966 to even add a hardtop, consistently the era#8217;s popular body style. seemed out of touch with the of the actual luxury car market.

THE STUDIO

In the mid-sixties, Ford, GM, maintained styling studios for division, including both studios and #8220;preproduction#8221; studios concepts for future models and a Advanced studio. For some Ford would stage between multiple studios, several alternative designs which senior management select #8212; the Ford was designed in this way in the summer of Lee Iacocca described this as the chocolate and vanilla approach; it management more options and a healthy sense of competition the stylists.

In 1965, styling vice Eugene Bordinat put stylist Ash in charge of a new Special Development with Ken Spencer and Don Kopka as his stylists. If the regular and advanced were chocolate and vanilla, group was what Lee Iacocca the #8220;strawberry studio,#8221; offering a alternative that would with the existing groups.

By time Iacocca, riding on the success of the Ford Mustang, had promoted from vice and general manager of Ford to group vice president in of the Car and Truck Group, responsible for all of automotive divisions, including Iacocca had an excellent sense of his tastes and priorities and his insights in era were usually astute. He had a strong grasp of the bottom

One of Iacocca#8217;s early ideas was to Lincoln-Mercury its own Thunderbird-style personal model. There were compelling rationales for doing so: For the four-seat Ford Thunderbird was positioned firmly in Lincoln-Mercury in price and image, about between the most expensive and the cheapest Continental. For another, wanted to utilize more of the of the Wixom, Michigan factory the Thunderbird was built.

The task of such a model was assigned to team in the summer of 1965, Iacocca took a keen interest in the car#8217;s development. the new car, which reached the clay model stage by 1965, was a cautious agglomeration of and Mercury design cues to the Thunderbird #8216;package.#8217; That was given its intended market but the general consensus was that the lacked the sort of pizzazz had made the four-seat Thunderbird a success.

While Iacocca was on a trip to Canada later year, he found himself to sleep, which sparked a brainstorm. He picked up the phone and calling Gene Bordinat in Dearborn, but Bordinat was traveling in so Iacocca finally ended up on the with Dave Ash. suggested that Ash add the spare bulge theme of the Continental II and an upright, formal grille of Rolls-Royce#8217;s.

Ash told him they try it.

Iacocca#8217;s idea ran contrary to the wisdom of stylists of the time. radiator shells were archaic, an antiquated throwback to the of hand cranks and wooden wheels. Ash said later if he had suggested such a thing Iacocca#8217;s imprimatur, Bordinat have flatly refused.

Ash liked the concept and he and his team got to on it. Bordinat was not fond of the project, but that Iacocca was and reluctantly

Naturally, Lincoln-Mercury could not and did not copy the famous Rolls-Royce but the Lincoln Continental Mark mammoth grille, an elaborate and …-casting plated with zinc, and chrome, is imposing in its own Note that there is no ornament; Dave Ash says one was but concerns about safety kept it from the production Lincoln dealers sold the as a paperweight, and some owners had it installed on their cars.

Since the new model was originally to fill the price gap between and Lincoln, Dave Ash suggested the car Merlin, a contraction of Mercury and that would refer to the figure of Arthurian legend and the successful Rolls-Royce aircraft of World War 2. Lincoln-Mercury executives like that name, so by the the first clay model was in mid-October, it was dubbed Lancelot

By January, the Continental hump and grille had been added to the model. Iacocca loved the but Gene Bordinat remained as did Lincoln-Mercury general manager Lorenz, particularly after a clinic found that buyers preferred the original

Any reluctance Lincoln-Mercury management may had was overridden by the enthusiastic endorsement of chairman Henry Ford II. Ash Dave Crippen that Henry saw the clay model on 24, 1966, he declared that he he could take it home him. The car was approved for production.

The Continental Mark III and its Mark IV and V successors had concealed headlamps #8220;Continental#8221; lettering on the left As with other cars of era, the covers were not reliable, and were often by owners. (The covers snap open if the mechanism Note the bladed fenders of the III, which gave a of styling continuity with the sedans.

THE THUNDER WITHOUT THE

The engineering budget for the Lancelot was set at $30 million, a very modest the Mustang had cost around $65 For cost reasons, the Lancelot be mechanically based on the Ford which was all-new for 1967. The two shared cowls, windshields, panels, and door glass.

The was originally intended to use the Thunderbird#8217;s as well, but Ash and Bordinat eventually Iacocca to authorize the cost of new door shells.

Although the was conceived only as a two-door product planner Hal Siegel basing it on the longer wheelbase of the new four-door, which allowed more interior space and a long hood. (Regular might recall that later used the same to create the long-nosed 1969 Prix .)

The Lincoln Continental Mark mammoth 460 cu. in. (7,536 cc) engine was but it had to contend with 4,900 lb kg) of curb weight. It was a little off the line, but had strong mid-range 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) around 9 seconds, but top speed was at 125 mph (200 km/h). Fuel was predictably dire, averaging 10 mpg (23.5 L/100 km).

1958 to 1966, both the and the big Lincoln Continental used construction, but for 1967, the Thunderbird to body-on-frame. As with contemporary big GM the body shell was a stiff, semi-unitized structure, but it was mounted on a perimeter frame, isolated the body with thick mounts. The Lancelot shared the Thunderbird#8217;s frame; the only chassis differences were in tuning.

The use of the long-wheelbase frame the designers to give the Lancelot long-hood, short-deck proportions, in the of the old Continental Mark II. Passenger was unimpressive for the huge exterior but its appointments #8212; supervised by Wood and Hermann Brunn, son of the coachbuilder #8212; were lavish. Occupants were from the outside world by 150 lb (68 kg) of sound deadener.

The standard was a very slick tricot that Ford designers #8220;panty cloth#8221; (also by the Ford LTD ) with real optional. To create a posh men#8217;s club feel, the made heavy use of wood although in typical American it was plastic. (For a truly touch, customers had the choice of two fake wood grains: Oak#8221; or #8220;East Indian Shortly after introduction, was also an ostentatious Cartier clock, marked with numerals.

While the 1969 Continental Mark III offered an of fake woodgrain, 1970 and models like this one genuine walnut veneer. Brunn specified the wrinkles in the to give the upholstery a plusher which nearly gave quality control teams more accustomed to flat, vinyl #8212; a fit of apoplexy. The III#8217;s interior does notably richer than of the contemporary Eldorado, which comparatively Spartan.

As Iacocca had the Lancelot had a Mark II-style spare tire bulge in its a styling feature Chrysler chief Elwood Engel (a Lincoln designer) had recently for the 1964 Imperial. The pièce de . however, was the upright grille, a piece of automotive architecture cost Lincoln-Mercury around per car, 10 times the cost of an grille.

Behind that and beneath the prodigious hood was largest engine, the #8220;385-series#8221; V8 on the Thunderbird in 1968, expanded the T-Bird#8217;s 429 cubic inches cc) to 460 (7,536 cc). This was fractionally smaller than the 462 cu. in. cc) M-E-L engine used by the old Mark II, but the 460 was a much more design better suited to the controls that U.S. law shortly require. It was rated at 365 horsepower (272 kW).

The size of the car caused considerable with Lincoln-Mercury engineers. L-M engineer Burt Andren was unhappy about its pronounced overhang, which had unpleasant on weight distribution. Andren to Ash and demanded he reduce the front by four inches (102 which Ash steadfastly refused to do.

Gene Bordinat went Andren#8217;s head and had him overruled, the design to go forward unmolested.

the old Mark II, the Lincoln Continental III featured a simulated Continental wheel, intended to evoke the kit#8221; of the original 1939-1948 Also like the Mark II, the III#8217;s spare-wheel bulge is cosmetic; the spare is laid toward the back of the trunk.

TIME#8217;S THE CHARM

As the new car#8217;s proceeded, its name became a issue. Everyone accepted #8220;Lancelot#8221; was a placeholder, but no one had yet offered an alternative. Since the car showed a design kinship with the II, someone #8212; most Iacocca, although some say Henry Ford II #8212; reviving the Continental Mark

Logically, this would made the new car the Mark VI, but no one had been fond of the 1958-60 Marks, had had little connection with glamorous predecessors. The new model was dubbed Lincoln Continental III.

Resuscitating the Mark was an interesting decision. It#8217;s a of the Mark II#8217;s commercial that barely a decade its demise, it was apparently acceptable for executives to publicly criticize it. On the hand, the commercial failure of the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham had not Cadillac to abandon the Eldorado or dissuaded them from it to their new personal luxury launched in late 1966 as a model.

News of the new Cadillac had a definite impact on Lincoln-Mercury#8217;s for the Continental Mark III. in its development, the division (possibly by Iacocca) decided that of being a Thunderbird rival between Mercury and Lincoln, the new would be a top-of-the-line model, most expensive and prestigious and a direct rival to the front-wheel-drive

The battle between the Eldorado and Mark II 10 years earlier had inconclusive, so the imminent clash the Mark III and the new FWD Eldo represented of a rematch #8212; a new front in the war of corporate egos.

The Lincoln Mark III is 216.1 inches mm) long on a 117.2-inch (2,977mm) about 9 inches (229 mm) overall than a Thunderbird but some 5 inches (127 mm) than a regular Lincoln sedan. The prominent flares the wheelhouses help to stiffen the which was more rigid the Thunderbird#8217;s, despite the larger Note the rear quarter as with the contemporary Thunderbird, the panes side backward the sail panels, rather retracting downward or swinging

LINCOLN CONTINENTAL MARK III VS. ELDORADO

Iacocca was fond of introductions, which, as the Mustang#8217;s demonstrated, were an effective way for new to stand out from the herd. the Lincoln Continental Mark III on April 5, 1968 as an early model. It arrived about 18 after the Eldorado, which had found an eager market.

The Mark III#8217;s starting was $6,585, $20 less than the That price tag included standard amenities, including steering, power brakes, and transmission, but not air conditioning or a radio. a full load of options as most Marks were #8212; the price rose to $9,500, enough to buy two well-equipped Cougars.

The Mark III was still cheaper than the old Mark II and on an basis was about 30% less

With its extravagant styling and engineering, the Continental Mark III was not the of car to appeal to enthusiasts. No one at Ford was In March 1968, Gene told Motor Trend Robert Irvin, #8220;The may not like it, but people with will.#8221; Even before the release, Dave Ash and designer Art noted that Ford workers loved the Mark III and very taken with its

The Mark had the same sort of as the Eldorado: it was in no way subtle, but it looked money.

Buyers responded despite the high prices. The introduction limited first-season to 7,770 (compared to 24,528 Eldorados), but for the Mark#8217;s first the tally rose to 23,088.

The Continental Mark III is low, but an overall height of 52.9 (1,344 mm), it#8217;s not as low as it Dave Ash#8217;s team the rear deck #8212; the back panel,#8221; in Ford (sometimes called the #8220;Dutchman#8221;) by about 2 inches (51 mm) compared to the giving the top the cut-down look of a Carson padded top. The top was a $136.85 option on 1969 but fewer than 100 cars built without it, and it became in 1970.

While the Eldorado had little to increase Cadillac#8217;s sales, the Continental Mark III Lincoln#8217;s business significantly. sold only 39,134 in 1968 and 38,290 in 1969, so the III accounted for more than of Lincoln#8217;s total volume. importantly, it was an exceedingly profitable

The Mark III#8217;s 1968-69 grossed around $275 which enabled Lincoln to the modest tooling and development very quickly. The Mark III was far less costly to build the Eldorado; Lincoln#8217;s profit on each car was reportedly around

Unlike the 1961-1969 Continental which used leaf in back, the Lincoln Continental III (and the Thunderbird on which it was had a three-link rear suspension coil springs and a Panhard rod for location. The Continental adopted system in 1970, along body-on-frame construction similar to of the Mark. All Mark IIIs had disc/rear drum brakes, with the optional Sure-Track

Four-wheel discs became on the Continental Mark IV in 1976.

Sure-Track

While the Lincoln Mark III would never anything to rival the Cadillac then-novel front-wheel drive, the III did introduce a significant mechanical of its own: anti-lock brakes.

A ability to stop quickly is by the traction of its tires. If the forces the apply to the wheel exceed the available traction, the brakes continue to act on the wheel without the rest of the vehicle at all. the wheel will stop entirely #8212; or lock while the vehicle continues to Wheel lockup may do considerable to the tire, aside from the immediate problem of bringing the to a halt.

Skilled drivers can this problem by pumping the (alternately releasing and applying when they feel the beginning to lock; this is threshold braking . However, is a skill that is not widely in driver#8217;s-education classes and without practice, the driver may not remember to it in a panic stop. Street also complicate matters the use of a brake booster, which it difficult to modulate the brakes

The aircraft industry faced problem in the forties and fifties, heavier aircraft and higher speeds made safe a problem. The solution was anti-lock (or braking systems, which detect imminent wheel and automatically modulate the brakes. One of the commercial systems was the Dunlop system, which appeared in and later became part of #8220;Formula Ferguson#8221; four-wheel-drive

Maxaret#8217;s first use on a production was the 1966 Jensen FF. Maxaret was a mechanical system and not particularly for automotive use, but it was reasonably when it was working.

In the late Ford Motor Company and manufacturer Kelsey-Hayes developed a sophisticated system using wheel-speed sensors connected to an computer. If the sensors detected the wheels were beginning to the computer would automatically the brakes up to four times per to prevent it. The system, called worked only on the rear which are the most vulnerable to As a vehicle decelerates, its weight forward, which reduces the of the rear tires.

MARK

In early 1968, Ford II promoted Ford Company president Arjay to vice chairman, which Ford in need of a new president. was a particularly challenging decision for Ford, who was reputedly angling for Lyndon Johnson to give him an if he was reelected that fall. Lee Iacocca clearly desired the of Ford Motor Company, thought Iacocca was too young and was wary of Iacocca#8217;s ambition (a that would eventually to Iacocca#8217;s firing in 1978 ). Henry decided to look the company, setting his sights on GM Semon E. #8220;Bunkie#8221; Knudsen.

Knudsen was a second-generation GM man. His William #8220;Big Bill#8221; had worked for Henry Ford#8217;s in the teens and early twenties and on to become the president of General Bunkie, who joined GM in 1939, a rising star in the fifties a very successful career at followed by a stint as general of Chevrolet.

Knudsen had looked a strong candidate for the presidency of the but in the fall of 1967, he was passed in favor of Ed Cole. Knudsen had not on leaving General Motors, but Ford called to offer him the Knudsen was not inclined to turn him

Like Lee Iacocca, Bunkie was an ambitious, energetic executive considerable chutzpah and very ideas about product He and Iacocca clashed almost and their battle of wills throughout Knudsen#8217;s tenure, other executives #8212; and designers and engineers #8212; to sides. Many chose sensing that Bunkie not be with Ford for long.

Knudsen arrived, Styling was proposals for a successor to the Lincoln Mark III, to be called Mark IV. During an unannounced to the styling studios in mid-1968, took a fancy to a design by Wes Dahlberg of the Advanced Styling (actually the work of Jim Arnold and Beck), announcing that it be the next Mark.

Gene who hadn#8217;t liked Dahlberg#8217;s car to with, tried to talk out of it, but Knudsen remained adamant, all of Bordinat#8217;s subsequent attempts to the design and reminding Bordinat Knudsen was still the president. may have been Knudsen#8217;s but it hardly endeared him to either or Iacocca, who took a paternal in the Mark series. It was also a move considering Henry well-known fondness for the Mark few executives would have had the to revamp the chairman#8217;s favorite car consulting him.

Bordinat continued lobbying for so Knudsen grudgingly allowed him to an alternative design. Stylist Ron and Steve Sherer of Don DeLaRossa#8217;s Projects Studio subsequently a new Mark IV clay, which DeLaRossa and Bordinat liked better than the Dahlberg

Although Knudsen showed no of changing his mind, Bordinat the daring step of ordering to continue work on Perry and design even after version had been approved for apparently hoping that would be gone in time to their concept for Dahlberg#8217;s. It happen and Dahlberg#8217;s car became the Lincoln Continental Mark IV.

As had predicted, Knudsen#8217;s presidency was Any dreams Henry Ford may had of an ambassadorial post disappeared Lyndon Johnson announced he not run for reelection in 1968. Henry decided that Knudsen was not for Ford after all and Bunkie was in early September 1969, 19 months after his arrival.

a brief interregnum, Lee Iacocca the presidency in late 1970.

Continental Mark IV debuted in the of 1971 as a 1972 model. It many of the styling cues of the III, although the Mark IV was bigger. It continued the Continental III#8217;s fake spare-tire and upright grille while a new neo-classical element: round windows#8221; in the sail panels. were initially an $81.84 although few Marks went them; they became in 1973.)

The 1972 Lincoln Mark IV still used the 460 cu. in. (7,536 cc) engine as the Continental III, although the big V8#8242;s ratio was reduced to allow it to regular-grade gasoline, costing it 15 and 20 horsepower (11-15 kW). to the adoption of more realistic SAE net the drop looked far more than it was: the 460 was now rated at 212 net horsepower (158 kW). The IV was a bit slower than the 1971 III, but the difference was not vast.

One item introduced on the Continental IV was the moonroof, a sunroof with a panel that allowed it to do duty as a skylight. The idea of Prechter of American Sunroof (ASC), the moonroof became a expensive option on the Mark IV in The Mark and Thunderbird had also a steel sunroof since which remained available as an

The Mark IV was even more than the Mark III, nearly 50,000 units in and nearly 70,000 in 1973. in 1975, its worst year, the IV sold 47,145 units, than the Mark III in its best The Mark usually accounted for half of Lincoln#8217;s total and most of its profits.

Even the Lincoln Continental Mark IV was than its predecessor: 220.1 (5,591 mm) long on a 120.4-inch mm) wheelbase. Curb weight was still around 5,000 (2,268 kg). As with the Cadillac Eldorado, the effort to the styling cues of the Mark#8217;s with more curvaceous made it look rather although buyers were not dissuaded.

By 1974, its base had soared to over $10,000, mostly to increases in standard

After Knudsen#8217;s departure, Bordinat ordered Don DeLaRossa to the design of the Mark IV#8217;s the Lincoln Continental Mark V, would be closely based on the Perry/Sherer proposal. Introduced in the Mark V#8217;s dimensions much the same as its predecessor#8217;s, but it was 300 lb (136 kg) lighter, thanks in to a smaller standard engine. The Mark V proved to be the most Mark of all, selling 75,000 units a year its three-year run #8212; remarkable its eye-opening prices.

Popular as were, the two-and-a-half-ton Marks not compatible with the demands of Average Fuel Economy nor were their massive suitable for ever-increasing emissions In 1980, Lincoln replaced the Mark V with the downsized, Mark VI. Sales immediately by half and never really

The 1984 Mark VII was a decided over the Mark VI (and its LSC was the first Continental that be called sporty with a face), but sold no better. By the the sleek Continental Mark arrived in 1993, the market for all luxury cars was evaporating; the finally died in 1998. Ford showed Mk 9 and Mark X cars in the early 2000s, has been no move to revive the

VULGUS

The styling and concept of the Continental Mark III were influential both at Ford and By the early seventies, the Thunderbird, sales had slumped badly, increasingly Mark-like. So did the Mercury and later the Ford Torino. Ford had a host of pseudo-Marks at price points, as did most of its

It#8217;s fair to say that we the Continental Mark III and Mark IV to for the upright grilles, opera and other neoclassical gimmicks blighted American automotive well into the 1980s. Don who followed Lee Iacocca to Chrysler in made no apologies for recycling styling cues as late as the Y-body Chrysler Imperial.

The Continental Mark V was even #8212; a whopping 230.3 (5,850 mm) overall #8212; and expensive than ever, but had anemic performance; its standard 400 cu. in. cc) engine had only 179 hp (134 kW) to its nearly 4,800 pounds kg) of heft. Nonetheless, it was by far the most Mark ever, selling units in three model

We may even hold the Mark III for the later obsession with styling. As Dave Ash remarked to Crippen in 1985, prior to the stylists would have such backward-looking designs old-fashioned. The Mark demonstrated there was a lucrative market for backward; it was eerily prescient of the mawkish nostalgia that American culture a few years

At the risk of sounding snobbish, we the Continental Mark III and its successors to be vulgar. We mean that in the sense of being tasteless frankly, their heavy-handed and ostentation makes us want to our eyes #8212; and in the most sense. #8220;Vulgus,#8221; the word#8217;s root, means #8220;common and the Mark III definitely had a strong to the man on the street.

This 1978 Continental Mark V is a Cartier Lincoln began offering #8220;Designer Edition#8221; models in bearing famous names Pucci, Givenchy, and Bill Each had specific paint and combinations; the Cartier Edition had #8220;Light Champagne#8221; scheme, matching landau top.

packages were quite costing between $1,800 and but were very successful. The Edition was the most popular, for about 8,500 units in and nearly 9,500 in 1979.

The Mark was perhaps the perfect car for the The giddy futurism of the fifties and the idealism of the sixties had collapsed by giving way to a queasy hangover of malaise, environmental anxiety, and scandal. It#8217;s little that overstuffed personal cars were so popular in era.

Americans often symbols of success more success itself and tend to see of wealth as the highest of virtues a tendency that becomes pronounced when actual is hard to come by. The self-indulgent of the Mark and its imitators was a palliative for the and disaffection of Watergate, the energy Vietnam, and inflation.

It#8217;s not to see the connection between the Continental and the SUV craze of 25 years later. The signifiers are different #8212; bars and skid plates than opera windows, big instead of Continental decklid #8212; but the overwrought grilles, the bulk, the fuel-… engines, and the look-at-me grandiosity are much the As they say, le plus ça plus c#8217;est la même .

NOTES ON SOURCES

Our sources on the of the Continental Marks III, IV, and V L. David Ash#8217;s 1985 with Dave Crippen R. Crippen, #8220;The Reminiscences of L. Ash,#8221; 25 January 1985, Design Oral History The Benson Ford Research Accession 1673, www.autolife.umd.umich. Design/Ash_interview.htm (transcript), accessed 30 2009); the Auto Editors of Guide, #8220;1972-1976 Lincoln Mark IV,#8221; HowStuffWorks.com, 9 2007, auto.howstuffworks. com/ accessed 1 August 2009, and of American Cars: Over 65 of Automotive History (Lincolnwood, IL: International, 1996); Automotive #8220;1969-1971 Lincoln Continental III,#8221; automotivemileposts. com/ accessed 31 July 2009, Lincoln Mark IV,#8221; com/ contentsmark4.html, accessed 1 2009, and #8220;1977-1979 Lincoln V,#8221; automotivemileposts. com/ accessed 2 August 2009; Jim #8220;Don DeLaRossa: Seeing It Collectible Automobile Vol. 19, No.

6 2003), pp. 68-77; Jim and Cheryl #8220;Continental Style: A Contest of Lincoln#8217;s Mark IV,#8221; Interest Autos #199 2004), pp. 44-47, and #8220;Mark III A behind-the-scenes look at designing the Continental Mark III,#8221; Interest Autos #196 2003), pp.

36-39; Tim Howley, Mark of Distinction: 1969 Continental Mark III,#8221; Interest Autos #58 (July-August reprinted in The Hemmings Book of driveReports from Special Autos magazine . ed. Terry (Bennington, VT: Hemmings Motor 2002); Lee Iacocca, Iacocca: An (New York: Bantam 1984); and Michael Lamm and Holls, Century of Automotive 100 Years of American Car Design CA: Lamm-Morada Publishing Co.

Inc.

We also consulted the following road tests: #8220;Rampant The new Continental Mark III,#8221; Test March 1968; Mark III: It#8217;s size and owes little to the Lincolns and Continentals,#8221; Car Life 1968; Edward Eves, New Continental Mk. III,#8221; Autocar 15 1968; Robert Irvin, Mark III#8221; and Bill #8220;First Driving Report: Mark III,#8221; Motor March 1968; Graham #8220;Driving the Lincoln Continental III: The latest American symbol,#8221; Autocar . 18 July Charles Fox, #8220;Viewpoint: Continental Mark III,#8221; Car and August 1968; #8220;Continental III: Prestige Luxury?

car of many less than Road Test April #8220;King of the Hill: Road the Lincoln Continental Mark III and Eldorado,#8221; Motor Trend 1970; John Lamm, of the Hill: Eldo-Mark III Revisited,#8221; Trend July 1971; Styling and Boundless Luxury: The Mark IV, A Brand New Ballgame,#8221; Car December 1971; and John #8220;King of the Hill: Cadillac vs. Lincoln Continental Mark Motor Trend July all of which are reprinted in Lincoln Lincoln Continental 1969-76 Road Test Books) . ed.

Clarke (Cobham, Surrey: Books Ltd. 1992).

Lincoln Continental

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