1972-1976 Lincoln Continental Mark IV

The 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Interior

Naturally, the 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV had conveniences galore. Like the 1971 Mark III, driver and front passenger sat on a split "Twin Comfort Lounge" bench with individual six-way power adjustments (via door-mounted controls). Power locks remained standard, but plungers now allowed locking both doors from either side.

The trunk was fully carpeted, but so was the glovebox. Upholstery comprised nylon cloth inserts and grained vinyl bolsters; leather seating surfaces were optional. Air conditioning was much improved, and again offered automatic temperature control.

Other niceties included a Cartier clock, AM radio with power antenna, and a dome light with a pair of small, fixed auxiliary spotlamps.

The Mark III was a very quiet car, but Lincoln engineers had been working for over a decade on reducing noise, vibration, and harshness, and the Mark IV was their best effort yet.

For example, all suspension components mounted in large rubber bushings (springs were double-bushed, top and bottom), and body-mounts were not only redesigned but made of an entirely new butyl compound.

Each mount's shape and placement were determined by testing full-size cars on a laboratory "ride simulator" that could replicate most any road condition from cobblestones to railroad tracks.

Adding to the quiet were 225-15 Michelin steel-belted radial tires, a Mark standard since 1970. Also back for a third season was "Sure-Track," an early form of anti-lock brakes, now standard instead of optional.

Initial color choices involved 23 standard paints, four optional "Moondust" metallics, and five hues for the padded vinyl top. Popular options ran to automatic headlamp dimmer, power sunroof, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, AM/FM stereo radio, "luxury" wheel covers, and Traction-Lok limited-slip differential with numerically higher axle ratio.

At $8,640, the Mark IV was $173 cheaper than the final Mark III, which for various reasons had cost over $1,500 more than the 1970 model. In other words, the IV was more Mark for the money Lincoln cashed in as Mark sales leaped to 48,591, a near 56-percent gain over the previous year's 27,091.

Just as satisfying for Lincoln, the Mark finally outsold the rival Eldorado (by 8517 units) even though Cadillac offered a convertible as well as a hardtop.

To learn about the 1973 Lincoln Continental Mark IV, continue on to the next page.

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