Few products from the Motor City have been as well-defined in the market as the Continental Mark IV. Produced by Ford’s Lincoln-Mercury division from 1972 to 1976. the Mark IV was the sleeker, flashier successor to the successful 1969-71 Mark III. (Read the story behind the Mark III here.) A team of two designers and six modelers under the direction of veteran FoMoCo stylist Wes Dahlberg developed the Mark IV’s imposing profile, which, surprisingly, was only four inches longer (and 200 lbs lighter!) than its predecessor. When Ford president Bunkie Knudsen saw it, he reportedly said, “Gentlemen, that is the next Mark… Don’t change anything.”
Of course, all you hardcore Lincoln enthusiasts know this wasn’t the first Continental Mark IV, as Lincoln also produced a Mark IV in 1959. But when the Mark III was introduced for ’69, the Mark series roman numerals were reset—rather like a TV or movie franchise reboot.
Anyway, by 1975 the Mark IV was in the fourth year of its five-year product cycle, so Lincoln offered a series of special trim packages to offer buyers some exclusivity. As showcased in this original Lincoln-Mercury dealer film, these included the Lipstick and Blue Diamond luxury groups. (L-M expanded on this theme in 1976 with its Blass, Cartier, Givency, and Pucci fashion-designer editions.) Of course, the Mark IV will be eternally remembered for its signature styling features: the faux-Rolls grille, spare tire bump, and opera windows, and all three are on prominent display here. Video below.