And for the record, this was far more badge engineered compared to the Mark III before and the Mark V after.
The III was Thunderbird based, as it used the coupe's inner body structure but bolted it to the sedan's longer wheelbase and gave it a unique interior and exterior.
The V was basically the Tbird/Mark IV on the inside, but totally unique outside. Of course the uniqueness stems mostly from the Thunderbird shrinking down to the Torino chassis in 1977, not because Lincoln opted to make a special design for the 1977 Mark Series.
It was my understanding that the IV was the Torino / Thunderbird chassis. Didn’t the 1977 V actually grow in length over the Mark IV ? The first real downsizing came with the FOX chassis in 1980.
Hello @MeanMrMustard, yes the Torino and Thunderbird/Mark IV chassis are similar, but the Torino is significantly smaller. No press materials ever suggested they shared a common chassis back then, but they sure look similar under the skin. I have 1972 Torino headers on the Mark IV profiled here, and they fit with a little modification. (More proof they aren't 100% a shared platform.)
The Mark V was indeed longer and lighter than the outgoing IV, which was awesome. Even though earlier 70s Lincolns were better in many ways, the V is still my favorite.
You are correct on the downsizing, but that was with the Panther chassis in 1980. The Continental got even smaller in 1982 thanks to the Fox chassis.
Yes , the Torino chassis was reworked for the T-bird but then that rework was also used for the Mark IV which was also built exclusively at the Wixom plant. The Mark in the T-bird chassis is nearly identical so you don’t need to see press materials to see that you can compare shop manuals and it’s there in black-and-white. Also what do exhaust headers have to do with a chassis? They’re pretty much an identical fit though for the 429 and the 460. Since you’re mentioning an engine part , the Thunderbird was the same 460 that they dropped in the Mark IV with no horsepower difference or anything . But again this whole idea of badge engineering has been with Ford and the rest of the car companies almost since their inception. I mean the entire lineup of GM cars from the 50s was practically the same car just reworked for each model line. Engines were different and they had to give the engineers little perks and pats on the head here in there but primarily everybody was dipping into a parts bin and taking what they needed and building on that. In the case of the Mark IV well I guess that Iacocca was just a little bit more obvious about it.
The aftermarket headers prove the chassis is very similar, because getting long tube headers to snake around a chassis' hard points and unique bits (like steering and brake systems) takes a lot of engineering. The passenger side header fit just like a Torino, but the driver's side had to be modified to clear the Mark/Tbird steering system. So no, they aren't identical, but they are quite similar (wheelbase aside).
There is no modification needed from 429 to 460, it's the same motor in terms of bolting up a header to the exhaust port of a 385-series Ford engine. All headers for these motors (Boss 429 aside) interchange, it's the chassis that becomes the sticky bit.
I am splitting hairs here, but the 1972 Thunderbird didn't have a 460, it had a 400 or a 429. The 460 was another unique bit reserved for Lincolns at this time. (That changed circa 1974.)
Agreed with your assessment of badge engineering, the issue here is that the Mark IV was indeed more obvious (good phrase) and paved the way for future grievances like the Versailles, Mark LT, and Zephyr/MKZ.
Hmmm. There are plenty of examples of prior and after badge engineered cars coming out of Ford, and the big 3. The Mercury Bobcat comes to mind.. talk about crippled, but here, it was the Merc that was crippled by ladling on “Mercury” styling. They took the clean simple Pinto and dressed it in Mercury chrome and gave it a honker of a truncated Mercury grill. And back to the Mark IV, since you could get a 1972 T-bird equipped exactly like a Mark IV for 2500 less, I wouldn’t say the Ford was crippled there either. The Mark just had extremely well targeted marketing, appealing to newly moneyed business people who wanted to standout from the Cadillac hoards. All because of that riff of a Rolls grill.. which to me makes the Mark III the beginning of the so called retro look, truly Art Deco revival, but better executed in the Mark IV. The 70’s did embrace a return to the Art Deco period in fashion, and design and even movies such as “The Great Gatsby”, “Funny Girl”, right up to “Xanadu”, and these Marks fit right in.
Very good point! There as also another moment like that, the 1982 Continental Concept 90 and 1983 Continental Concept 100 were concept cars with styling cues seen in both the Mark VII and 1983 Tbird. We don't have any insight like we do for the 61 Conti, but there's a chance the Tbird was heavily influenced by Lincoln designs of the early 1980s.
Thank you again for your kind words and encouragement! Yeah this one only took like 5 hours from the first photo to hitting the submission button. 😂
Funny you mentioned it, as I put in newer amber turn signal bulbs (these were dim and I had better ones from a low-mile Mark VII, ironically) and I've always loved the clear lense that turns amber at the flick of a switch. I had no idea there are some bulb designs that weren't available in both clear and amber!
Thank you for reading @CitationMan! Yes, for a car so old it's needed very little. I have done more modifications (not that you can tell in photos) than I have restorations. The only big ticket items it needed to remain functional was a brake booster (hard to find), A/C compressor and a new transmission, the latter chronicled here:
She's a beauty, one of my favorites of all time. I remember as a kid in NY in the early 60's one day, the United States, the France, the QEII and a Continental MKIV were all berthed at their home piers on the Hudson at the same time. Wish I'd been on the NJ side to get a pic 😉
This is the best information I could find, but they don’t mention a 1970. The hood is fiberglass, so whoever manufactured this went the extra mile.
I kind of like it.