1973 Lincoln Continental Mark IV: It Has The Blues

1973 Lincoln Continental Mark IV: It Has The Blues
1973 Lincoln Continental Mark IV: It Has The Blues

Another Mark? Well, yes. In my defense, I really liked this particular example, especially the metallic blue paint with matching top and interior. So many of these were in the typical early ’70s colors like that light metallic yellow-green, tobacco brown and gold, that one in a non-sepia tone caught my attention, when I was perusing the Finding Future Classic Cars group on fb a couple of weeks ago.

While my favorite Mark is the 1969-71 Mark III, I like pretty much all of the personal-lux Continentals from the ’60s to the late ’90s. The ’73 is kind of an oddball, as it has the new park bench style 5-mph front bumper, but retained the slim, and minimally protective, rear bumper.

Technically, the now-familiar oval opera window was optional in inaugural ’72, though most IVs had them. But starting in 1973, they were standard equipment. Love them or hate them, they did provide some over-the-shoulder visibility in the massive sail panel.

Of course, those of a certain age will always associate these with that supper-club loving crime fighter, Frank Cannon. In the pilot he had a triple black ’70 Continental four door sedan, but after that got a silver ’71 Mark III with black top and red leather interior.

In ’72, it was replaced with a new Mark IV in the same colors. I love the show, got hooked on it about ten years ago when it started running on a local retro-TV channel. A Quinn Martin Production!

The personal-lux coupes of the ’70s were like the crossovers of 2020. It was the gotta-have-it body style.

They sold like dollar beer at a baseball game, everyone had one, and most manufacturers had several versions in various price classes and sizes.

GM was the master of the PLC in 1973 though; Ford really only had the Mark and T-Bird as full-blooded personal luxury cars. But the General had the Eldorado, Riviera and Toronado at the top, plus the midsized, hot-selling Monte Carlo, Grand Prix, brand-new Regal and Cutlass Supreme.

Ford and Chrysler were late to the PLC game, in ’74 FoMoCo finally enlarded the Cougar from the Mustang chassis to the Montego. Ford did likewise with a baroque-nosed Torino with dual opera windows, the Elite.

Chrysler was even later, with the Cordoba in ’75, but it sold well once it finally hit C-P showrooms. But the luxo-cruisers at the top were always the Lincoln and the Cadillac. While the realtors, accountants and middle managers had an Elite or GP, it was the boss who had the Eldo or the Mark. I guess the modern equivalent would be Grand Cherokees and Explorers, with the boss in an Escalade or Navigator. History often repeats itself, just not always in the exact same form.

This triple blue ’73 model was spotted on FB Marketplace in Belmont, North Carolina. I really liked the colors, as so many of these were brown or gold.

Not much was described in the ad, but as the seller is a dealer, they likely don’t know what to make of this ’70s survivor. Malibus, Altimas and Kias are probably more their forte-no pun intended.

A claimed 58,000 miles, but as you know, that may not be correct, with those ’70s style five-digit odometers. Though the car does look pretty good condition wise. Plus, the hood can double as a pool table.


  1. My dad had one of those in an off while color. I really loved driving it and taking trips in it. It was a really comfortable car.

  2. Thanks Tom. It is nice to reflect on a time when a man maybe wasn’t as cool as Cannon but perhaps like to see himself that way. Now with the Navigator, they have to pretend they can relate to Puff Daddy and his crew. Well I guess both Cannon and the self proclaimed mogul have their shoot outs.

    Does anybody remember what William Conrad drove by the time he was downgraded to being the fatman standing next to Jake. What a trajectory Marshal Dillon to Cannon to the sidekick of nothing man Jake.

  3. This one looks to be in better shape than the one from a month ago. Wonder if this will make it to BAT or barnfinds.com?

    Even the steering wheel is perfect. Not used to seeing cruise buttons on the straight-spoke wheel from the early-70s Fords versus the angled spokes from 1974 or 5 until the Panthers and Fox-bodies started taking over.

  4. That car is in great shape except for the pull straps on the drivers door (really split apart) and the passagner door (fewer splits). Oh, Tom you missed a trival item on this car, the infamous 1973 Ring Blow Horn. I believe a one year only item because of the number of complaints that the manufacturer got from their loyal customers. If you ever owned a 1973 Ford product with this innovative feature still wired up, you would remember as everytime you grasped the wheel hard the horn would blow. Also, this 1973 has or had another well though out government required feature, the ignition kill switch wired into the seat belt reciever. If you did not buckle your seat belt the car would not start. People were cutting wires right and left to defeat this well thought our feature because if you set a heavy purse or a bag of groceries on the passanger seat the car would not start until you buckled the seat belt or moved your purse or groceries off the seat. Great car and great color, it will make some one a very nice cars and coffee cruser.

    1. The rim blow was on the 72-73 (and maybe the 74s) Mark IVs. Having had two 72s the trick was to have a light touch on the wheel, one quickly got used to it. One time the horns (all three) stuck on while driving though a quiet suburban neighbourhood. It sounded like a runaway freight train was barreling down the street. I was able to quickly disconnect the faulty relay before the mob got too large.

      1. April,
        Thanks for the clairification. I had a 73 T-Bird and the horn always sounded off while driving. I could not remember if they addapted it in 72 or 73. Gee two 72’s the year before the front 5MPH snow plow. Mark’s looked much nicer with the thinner pre 73 front bumpers.

  5. This is a cool find in the blue, instead of the usual 70s green-brown spectrum. I believe these were available in pastel yellow, with matching roof and interior. Seems like an ideal choice for this car. Too bad the US makers abandoned this mkt. Its spiritual successor would be an S-class coupe. If only Cadillac would grow a pair and build the Elmiraj

  6. have one in tank love it and everything works, I will maintain the car as it needs be replacing all fluids and parts to keep the car in pristine condition, have the car 3 months I got lucky with this car real 41,000 miles untouched

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