Saturday, May 18, 2024

Lincoln Continental Mark V

Aaron's note: The first car that I bought on my own was a 1979 Lincoln Continental Mark V with a 400 cu. in. V-8 engine - purchased in the summer of 2002 when I came home after completing my freshman year of college. I remember learning it was made for the Florida market, which explained its turquoise leather seats and interior. The exterior was originally turquoise, as well, but a previous owner had it painted white. A beautiful car, it was 20 feet long, with the front hood itself taking up about five of those feet! It could seat six people, if needed, and it weighed about 4,600 pounds! It was a standard base model featuring oval opera windows, a nice Cartier hand clock that told the time in Roman numerals, and a speedometer that only went up to 80. I had the car for several years before selling it due to rising fuel and maintenance costs. Many happy memories. And so, in a fun post and a drive down memory lane for me, we take a look at the Mark V, manufactured by the Ford Motor Company as part of its Mark series. The Mark V itself was made between 1977-1979. Enjoy!


The Lincoln Continental Mark V, manufactured by the Ford Motor Company from 1977 to 1979, is a hallmark of American luxury automobiles from the late 1970s. Known for its distinctive size, elegant design, and powerful engines, the Mark V is a quintessential example of the era's preference for opulence and comfort in automotive design. This essay explores the Mark V's power plants, production specifics, trim levels, stylistic features, and sales performance.

Power plants

The Lincoln Continental Mark V was equipped with two types of V-8 engines during its production run:

400 cu. in. (6.6-liter) Cleveland V-8:
This engine was standard in most states, delivering adequate power for the car's substantial size. It featured a 2-barrel carburetor and was noted for its smoother operation in urban settings. The 400 was the standard engine in all states for 1979 due to growing emissions regulations at the federal level.

460 cu. in. (7.5-liter) Lima V-8:
Optional or standard, depending on the state, due to emissions regulations. Not an option in any state for 1979. Known for its higher torque and power, the 460 V-8 was favored for its performance, particularly while under load or in highway cruising.

These engines represented Ford's response to consumer demands for performance without sacrificing the luxurious feel expected from a high-end model like the Mark V.

Production and manufacturing

The Mark V was produced over three model years with significant production numbers:

1977: Introduction year, catching the market with its fresh design.
1978: Peak production year, reflecting the model's popularity.
1979: Last production year, with numbers slightly tapering off as new models were on the horizon.

Ford manufactured the Lincoln Continental Mark V at its Wixom Assembly Plant in Michigan, a facility known for producing luxury models. This plant's association with high-end vehicle manufacturing ensured that the Mark V met quality standards expected by luxury car buyers.

Trim levels and stylistic features

The Mark V came in various trim levels, each offering a different blend of luxury and style:
  • Base model: Featured standard luxury touches expected from Lincoln, including plush seating and high-end audio systems.
  • Designer editions: Collaborations with famous fashion designers like Bill Blass, Cartier, Givenchy, and Pucci, each offering unique color schemes, interior fabrics, and exterior markings.
  • Collector's Series: A special trim level to mark the end of the Mark V production, featuring special paint colors, a padded vinyl roof, and luxurious interior appointments.
Stylistically, the Mark V was noted for its long hood, short deck profile, and sharp, angular lines, which were characteristic of the era. The opera windows, vinyl roof, and the spare tire hump on the trunk were signature elements that accentuated its luxury status.

Sales and market performance

The Lincoln Continental Mark V was a commercial success.

Sales: Consistently strong sales figures throughout its production run, with the peak in 1978. The luxury market's demand for big, stylish cars played a significant role in its sales performance.

Market position: The model reinforced Lincoln’s position in the luxury car market, competing directly with other high-end models from Cadillac and Chrysler.


The Lincoln Continental Mark V stands out as a symbol of late 70s luxury, combining powerful V-8 engines with a design that exuded elegance and a high level of craftsmanship. Its success in the market was not just due to its performance and style but also Ford's strategic manufacturing and marketing approaches. Today, the Mark V is celebrated among classic car enthusiasts for its iconic design and the era of automotive history it represents.

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