1979 Lincoln Continental Mark V: Aqua Dream

It is now Tuesday afternoon (just flashed back to the Moody Blues song, typing this), sitting on the deck with a cocktail and looking at cars I have no room for.

Such is life. But anyway, here’s today’s Klockau Lust Object, a 30,000-mile ’79 Mark V in Dark Turquoise Metallic with matching top and leather interior.

Those of you following along may remember I have a serious love of 50s-70s domestic land yachts in aqua. And this one is doubly desirable to your author, as my grandfather had a navy blue ’77 Mark V.

It was posted on the FB group, Finding Future Classic Cars, and naturally my friend Jayson Coombes tagged me.

Currently it is viewable on Phoenix Craigslist, and the car is in Redoso, New Mexico.

The group admin, Chuck Houston, spoke to the 84-year-old owner. Apparently he had just bought this and a 1971 Continental Mark III from a guy in California and subsequently lost his storage.

By the way, the Mark III looks nice too, ha ha.

Thus, the sale of the Mark V. The Mark III is being sold too, by the way. Anyhow, this is a pretty nice Mark, with the only blemish a little crunch in front of the rear wheel on the driver’s side.

Now, these aren’t rare cars. It was known when the 1979 Lincolns appeared in showrooms that the 1980 models were going to be shrunken. So sales were healthy, to the tune of 75,939 Marks built for the model year.

But I was still drawn to this one for its most excellent color combination, and the timeless turbine alloy wheels. The ask is $9500. So if anyone is intrigued, the ad can be found here.

So, until next time ladies and germs, keep calm and Brougham on. And always tip your bartender.

28 Replies to “1979 Lincoln Continental Mark V: Aqua Dream”

  1. John C.

    When Lincoln and Chrysler stuck with their biggies after the big 1977 GM downsize, it is amazing how well their sales stayed up. Think how different this was in size compared to the 79 Eldorado. The car magazines really spewed their hatred as these last of bigger is better departed. It is great that the buyer knew better, well they were a little bit more mature.

    With these on the Panther related Torino platform, and the Escort coming on stream so much more efficient than Pinto, Ford CAFE average might have been able to stand Mark Vs not being replaced by the mini me Mark VI. They would really have come alive in 83 when big car sales exploded and avoided the sadness of the Mark becoming a Fairmont.

  2. CJinSD


    I don’t want to tell other people what to drive, but I can’t reconcile how much better the interior of a 1970 Continental MKIII looks than that of a 1979 Continental MKV. If you go back another nine years to the 1961 Continental’s interior, you’re talking about something that not only looks even better relative to the 1970, it could have compared well with any luxury car’s interior in the world.


    I don’t get it. I believe my neighbor’s father was a pharmaceutical rep back before the industry figured out they’d do better by having a string of prostitutes out peddling their wares. He got a new Continental practically every year, and he kept a couple previous company cars at a time. At one point he had a Mark IV and two Mark Vs. What I hated about his turn to drive the carpool to whatever sport was in season was that his Lincolns were always rolling dirty ashtrays. What I’d have hated about them if I was him was that he could witness their gradual decline from one model year to the next. He either changed jobs by the time the Mark VII came out, or his employer started giving him much less flamboyant company cars.

    I’m sure lots of people who drove Detroit luxury cars bought new ones every other model year. Those buyers knew the cars were getting worse. Apparently Detroit didn’t have the engineering chops to maintain or improve performance during CAFE tightening the way that Honda and BMW could, but it doesn’t make any sense that they were costing out the interior of this Veblen Conestoga wagon. Wasn’t it enough that they reverted to body on frame and started copying Rolls Royce’s styling? They could have at least given the style slaves some payback in the form of an interior as tasteful and expensive as what they were serving up before JFK gave them all that free press.

    • John C.

      Sorry, I don’t quite buy that fancier leather or even thinker velour would have won CJ over to the cause of the Lincoln Marks. He clearly resents who designed them and most importantly the people that would chose them over some 320i with such upscale vinyl furnishings and a similar automatic performance if you are willing to really wind out, the BMW.

      • stingray65

        You are so right John, nobody could possibly lament the movement away from luxury car interiors with real chrome plated metal, stainless steel, and real wood veneer to “luxury” cars featuring chrome plated plastic, and wood-look vinyl. And who could possibly want luxury cars with big powerful engines that made them faster than cheaper brands, when they could have “luxury” cars with big strangled engines that were shared with the cheaper (lighter) brands and hence slower? And of course CJ hates those mostly white male engineers/stylists who designed the 1970s American “luxury” cars versus the mostly white male engineers/stylists who designed the 1960s American luxury cars, and I’m sure he hates all the people like his father who year after year bought American luxury cars during that era. There are lots of reasons that Detroit declined during the 1970s to present day, but to deny the role of poorer quality and poorer performance in the face of fast improving competitors is purely delusional.

        • JMcG

          Guns are currently undergoing the same decontenting as cars did forty and fifty years ago. Wood and machined, blued steel have given way to plastic and paint and receivers cut from tubing. The enthusiast magazines present this as an unalloyed good rather than as a way of maximizing profits.
          I spent a good deal of the eighties criss crossing the country with a subscriber to CandD and RandT (Motor Trend was a little déclassé) who would spit venom at the multitudes of unenlightened in their rolling barcaloungers.

          • stingray65

            “Wood and machines, blue steel have given way to plastic and paint, and receivers cut from tubing.”

            That decontenting must be where all those assault rifles have come from. Hopefully they and all other guns (and perhaps knives and scissors) will soon be banned so that only the police are legally armed as they arrest hair salon owners, barbers, joggers, waffle house customers, surfers, church goers and other deplorable criminals (aka taxpaying citizens) practicing their Constitutional Rights (minus the 2nd amendment).

          • Jack Baruth

            I think there’s a unique factor at work, and I call it the “Python Effect”.

            To wit: Almost every handgun competitor and enthusiast I’ve ever known wants to have a perfect Colt Python in Royal Blue with a six-inch barrel. But we also knew that such a gun would be the last one to be effectively banned/grabbed/confiscated by the Brady crowd. So we spent 30 years stocking up on Glocks and HKs and all sorts of hi-capacity psuedo-military stuff, knowing that whenever that shit got banned we could always walk down to the store and finally buy that blue Python.

            Well, you know what happened: with no buyers, Colt discontinued the Python. And when they brought it back, it was for a limited stainless run.

            The same thing has happened with rifles and shotguns. There used to be any number of gorgeous engraved low-capacity semi-autos from the major manufacturers in hand blued finishes with walnut stocks. But we knew those would be in stores for 3-4 years after the last AR-15 became a hanging offense. So we didn’t buy them, and now they are gone.

          • CJinSD

            That’s an excellent explanation of why guns are utilitarian objects instead of male jewelry, but why did Lincoln and Cadillac think that they could get away with using luxury cars to pad the books instead of delivering anything approaching a luxurious experience?

            Some years ago, I used to meet up with friends on a particular week night at a bar called the Aussie Pub in Pacific Beach. They had great hot wings, charming and beautiful waitresses, and good beer specials. When Obamagate was in the act of committing treason; meat prices spiked in Kalifornistan and restaurants that counted on value to attract business were mightily squeezed. The Aussie Pub responded by serving ever-worse food. About when they got to the Mark VI round of decontenting their wings, and after I’d lost about 9 pounds being food poisoned by their blue cheese dip, I asked my charming and beautiful waitress why the once-fantastic wings were now gristle and sinew. She told me that, “the manager says everybody complains, but everybody keeps coming back.” It turns out that their was a place called Dub’s two blocks away that served gigantic wings that were grilled instead of friend and then served with some of the best and hottest sauces I’d experienced in a couple of decades of being a hot wing fan. It was like going from driving a Lincoln to driving a Lexus. I just needed that final push. The Aussie Pub was called the Sand Box last time I drove by it. At least the new owner must not own a cat.

          • CJinSD

            I would love to edit that inappropriate their to the there it should be, but I’m pretty sure Edge changed fried to friend. As a matter of fact, it just did it again when I typed fried in this post. Bill Gates must die for humanity to thrive.

          • John C.

            The downgrade of the Mark Lincolns has nothing to do with ability to drag race 40 year later economy specials or even the velour thickness. The Mark driver would instead wonder, 40 years from now surely the Pinto Pony will be nuclear powered and fly. The driver of a Mark doesn’t need some fleeting injection of endorphins to snap him out of his depression.

            He instead needed a respite at the beginning and the end of the hard day where he was being comforted by the smooth, effortless, and quiet ride while being respected by his fellow men for what he is achieving for his God, his family, his country, his company, and his community. A tall order for the designer, much more difficult than a lightening lap time, but maybe it would help to throw in a Rolls Royce grill. There sure is a disconnect between the generations.

          • Jack Baruth

            All of that is true of my Lincoln MKT as well, but it also meets/exceeds the Japanese competition in the objective areas, from safety to 1/4-mile time. Sometimes it’s just a matter of expecting more from your people.

          • John C.

            Naturally a man like me would expect nothing less of a 20+ year old Volvo platform than that it exceed the best of a generation later Japan Inc. offering.

            The more pertinent question for a man like you or me is whether his needs as he tries desperately to reach the best of his abilities in what will naturally be the peak of his career and just when he begins to understand what the labors of family life are yielding is being adequately enhanced by a vehicle designed by and for an international lowest common denominator instead of a person who understands you because he is you?

            Hint, the new CT5 Cadillac chief designer according to the video on the GM website is an Indian man who fancies himself a musician. No music was included. Is he you? Sorry, but he is not me and the car reflects that.

          • CJinSD

            I had to do a search for the Lincoln MKT to know what you are talking about. I’m still not sure I’ve ever seen one, and I see a plethora of luxury cars and CUVs every day. Its interior may be a respite from the world of Democrat treason and brainwashed imbeciles, but I doubt it provokes much respect from outside observers. By 1979, the Mark V was catering to a shrinking demographic of people who recognized it as a status symbol. Whatever is left of that demographic over forty years later, I’m guessing it is a larger pool of admirers than new Lincolns posses.

            I saw a banner ad for the current suicide-door Lincoln. It featured a picture of a solitary guy letting himself out of the back seat of a driverless car. Why?

        • Casey

          Just letting you guys know why they went from real wood veneers to fake plastic wood grain crap…

          I mentioned this to my father who is among the oldest Boomers who legit rode in these luxury cars in the 1960s when they were brand new. He told me that many of the real wood veneers had a habit of cracking and breaking off within a year or two. So the fake wood grain stuff was an UPGRADE to many of these customers back in the 1960s.

          That’s only for the fake wood grain stuff. Can’t explain for the rest of the crappier interiors like going from metal knobs to chrome plastic. Or the general quality malaise.

          As an aside, my father owns a 2004 Saab convertible. It has real wood bits in the interior. The wood surround around the shifter has cracked. The conversation about this was how I learned about the transition from real to fake wood was handled in the 1960s. Most wood veneers today are saturated with epoxy and will not crack.

          • Carmine

            It certainly cracks on all those quality Jags, Mercedes and Rolls, I’ve seen…let me tell you about shrinking leather on Ferrari dashes too….

          • snorlax

            Also, the older crowd who were buying this car would have thought of plastic as an exotic, space-age material. Hence the popularity of day-glo velour upholstery in cars of this type.

            No charge advice: To the extent it doesn’t already, speccing a car with carbon fiber trim is going to look really chintzy in ten years.

          • CJinSD

            Jaguar and quality don’t belong in the same sentence, unless some negative qualifier is involved. Their cars were often much cheaper than others with comparable mechanical specifications, and the difference was made up for in their thin veneer of luxury over almost nothing of substance. On the other hand, I’ve seen Rolls Royce and Mercedes Benz wood stand up to well over a decade of sun and humidity with minimum degradation. I’ve also seen what happens to a Rolls Royce that spends decades in jungle levels of humidity, and that isn’t pretty. I seriously doubt any Detroit boardroom has given a thought to someone who owns one of their cars for thirty years when making production decisions.

            A friend of mine had a 1985 300D Turbo Diesel sit in direct sunlight on her property for long enough that the MB Tex seats broke down, but the wood trim still looked artificially perfect. We found the long-missing key, ran jumper cables from my car, and the 300D fired up by the way. On fuel that was at least seven years old. That used to be possible with gas powered cars in the days before Archer Daniels’ rent-seeking.

  3. stingray65

    Amazing specimen and the price per pound certainly seems reasonable, but I wonder what the future status of such cars will be. Slower than a Prius or Mirage, more ponderous to maneuver and park than a crew-cab pickup, less quiet and smooth than an Avalon, likely to attract envious looks only when cruising by nursing homes, and requires a huge shed to store and lots of gas to drive. They were also sold in huge numbers new and there remains a fairly large number of survivors so price appreciation isn’t likely to be based on rarity, which together with being mostly standard Ford in technology, means that parts and servicing would be relatively cheap and easy, but that isn’t the most compelling reason to own a collector car. Are Millennials or GenZ going to want these land yachts, and if they don’t who will?

    • George Denzinger

      You could say almost exactly the same thing about any “antique” car. Who knows how to operate a Ford Model T? How long before the generation who venerates the Tri Five Chevys dies off or is shuffled off to senior living and have to liquidate their beloved cars? How many Millenials are going to want these? Or Duesenbergs, or original Datsun 240 Zs, for that matter? What are you trying to say? If you think about it, any conventional car requires you to assign a lot of resources to it, even a daily driver beater. I think car culture is stronger than you imagine and what is collectible has changed.

      I’ve been fairly stunned by the automotive tastes of the younger generations, from what little I see. Hell, I’m glad they even care about cars, much less want to collect or cherish them. Some like my 27? 28? year old neighbor has four cars and trucks, all of which are modded. His live-in girlfriend drives a 500 HP Chevy Silverado single cab, his daily is a turbo Buick swapped Oldsmobile Aurora. I feel glad that he’s in my neighborhood, even when he fires up his 1000 HP LS3 turbo motored 1962 Chevy Pickup. He’s someone I can relate to and understand.

      There are (apparently) legions of young people who love Broughams and collect them actively. I’m in a FB group with a bunch of young people who collect and drive FWD GM cars from the 80’s and 90’s. My own 26 year old kid cherishes her bone stock 2009 Pontiac G6 GT with a fervor I never imagined. I wished she would have treated that old Cavalier that I gave her to drive in HS with a little more respect, but you know, kids…

      Times change, tastes change. These kids aren’t going to want an Airflow or a GTO, but having experienced working on/living with/paying for their own collector car, they will keep the hobby going. Even if what they collect is expensive and require a lot of resources to keep them going. It’s the nature of the hobby.

      • stingray65

        I don’t disagree with some of your statement, and in fact that is why mint T-Fords are available all day long for very little money, and why Tri-5 Chevies are well past their peak values. I suspect it will also be increasingly difficult to sell any “classic” car with a manual transmission as that skill disappears from driving public. But some old cars such as a well optioned GTO, C2 Corvette, 240Z, or air-cooled 911 are either very good looking (in a timeless sense) and/or still fun to drive (either in a modern sense or the thrill of a vintage experience), which means that people will continue to want them and collect them. Others such as a Model A Ford or most vintage sports cars are also not very large or very thirsty which means they are easy to store and cheap to run. Anything that looks funky or beautiful but isn’t much fun to drive can also be resto-modded or hot-rodded to be more appealing to the modern driver. My question for the Mark IV is whether it has any appealing attributes that make it appealing as a classic or worth modding to future generations? I personally don’t see it, and the low price of such a stellar example suggests that I am not alone, but you are correct that tastes can change.

        • rambo furum

          “My question for the Mark IV is whether it has any appealing attributes that make it appealing as a classic or worth modding to future generations?”

          I wouldn’t pay a nickel for any malaise brougham as a 20th or 30th car, but the headlights and decklid shape have some novelty to them.

      • JMcG

        Agree. Just got my son a mid nineties F150 short bed with a five speed. It’s getting gone over right now. He’s completely in love with it. As are all his high school buddies. Thankfully, with the straight six and a high ratio rear, it’s no race car.

    • arbuckle

      “Are Millennials or GenZ going to want these land yachts, and if they don’t who will?”

      Probably not enough to bring the values up but not so few that they get wiped out either.

  4. George Denzinger

    That’s a lot of aqua, Tom! Nice ride. I definitely didn’t appreciate them back in the day, but find them much more interesting now.

  5. Mike O

    Liked the Ebay ad for the 70 Lincoln but mostly because it was sold new in Westmont Illinois. I remember that dealership as I did stereo and alarm installs for a lot of dealerships on Ogden Avenue back in the day. I myself prefer the 1972 Mark since it is one year only with the small bumpers. Like them so much I actually bought one last year in Medium Green Metallic. Tom, I have to admit your stories probably influenced me slightly on my decision to actually pull the plug and buy one. Now all I am waiting for is this lock down to be over so I can drive it to one of your recommended supper clubs.

  6. Glenn Kramer

    Beautiful car! I have a Turquoise MK V, but it’s a ’60 convertible. By the way, the Mk V (’77-’79) is still a contemporary car, able to be daily driven, if sedately. The sense of occasion the silence and comfort are unmatched. The gas mileage is balanced by the lack of depreciation. I used my ’79 Collectors Series every day for two years.

  7. John

    Late to the party here on this way old dead thread.. but hey.
    Glad to see it got back on track after being highjacked by the 2nd A folks. Ugh. Guns and Lincolns? Talk about Slabs and Swangas.

    The Marks are the Escalades of their day. Huge , wasteful and deliriously comfortable. You don’t have to “get” them. Just enjoy them. American’s will alway revert to larger rigs as bigger is always perceived as better and that’s ok. If you can afford it.. do it. It’s no less crazy than driving a Ferrari around the city that you could never take out of first gear. Besides, the Mark is gonna be way for comfortable.

    I own a 72 Mark IV. It’s a very special car to me. Completely of it’s era. Old money bought Cadillacs but new money bought Marks. My car was bought by such working class money, a man who owned a Cast Stone company. He loved my car and passed it on to his son who kept it for 17 hears before his wife made him sell it. I guess she was tired of walking around it in the garage. Right after the car was on the transporter headed to me she had him dragged out to the store to buy new furniture. Wives. I’m glad I do not have one.

    So don’t “get” it. This isn’t a car for millennials. Or BMWs drivers. It’s a rolling phallic symbol. An automotive aphrodisiac. There’s noting quite as sexy on the road anywhere, in any era.


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