Affordable Luxury: 1973 Lincoln Mark IV

Continuing with low-mileage Lincoln fest, We have recently covered a Continental Town Car and a pair of Marks, both a Mark III and a Mark V. Let’s go for an in-betweeny and check out this 1973 Lincoln Mark IV. It is located in Plymouth, Michigan, and is available here on craigslist for $6,900. Thanks to Ikey H. for this beautiful tip!

The Mark IV occupies an interesting space in the Mark series line up. It’s not the biggest, oddly, as the Mark V successor was a bit longer still. But it did signal the beginning of Mark excess with a disco type of decadence to it. Gone was the cutting edge, high horsepower, “I mean business” vibe of the Mark III. In its place, there was excessive size, a stand-up hood ornament, opera windows, introduction of landau tops, diminished power, worsening fuel mileage, and, with the introduction of the ’73 model, the battering ram sized five MPH front bumper. The Mark IV, early on, was still a stylish, notable car, but as the years wore on it developed a bit of a caricature personality about itself.

First up, this Mark is not an ultra-low mileage example as the previously reviewed Marks were, but at 49K miles, it is still in low mileage territory for a 47-year-old vehicle. And at that mileage, this Mark IV presents itself beautifully. According to the seller, who has owned this Lincoln for six years, it is one of only 383 out of 69K produced in ’73 finished off in a Copper Metallic paint trim combination. The finish has a deep luster and strong shine. The same accolades apply to the chrome and vinyl top, both are in like-new condition and showing no evidence of the passage of time. There is no sign of crash damage either, the body panels are well aligned and corrosion-free. It’s safe to say that this Lincoln has been well cared for and well stored.

Under the hood is a 460 CI “385 series” Lincoln/Ford V8 engine, puffing out a puny 208 net HP. Statistics of the time credit the Mark IV with 10.8 sec. in a zero to sixty dash while sucking down fuel at an average rate of one gallon for every mile 11 miles traveled – neither statistic being anything to crow about. And this Lincoln was produced right before the Arab Oil Embargo of ’73 which forever changed America’s views about fuel consumption. That had to be an ouch! But you can’t couch a car like a ’73 Lincoln Mark IV in 2020 terms, you have to have a perspective for the times in which it was produced. And Lincoln certainly wasn’t trying to live up to some sort of “Hotrod Lincoln” legacy at this point. The seller gives no indication as to how the Mark runs and drives other than to say the cruise control is not functioning. It has, however, had the radiator replaced, what looks like a new fuel tank installed and the A/C converted to 134A refrigerant. Speaking of the A/C, the compressor employed is, interestingly, a GM Fridgidaire A-6.

The interior has that typical Lincoln Living Room atmosphere about it. The leather upholstery is in very nice condition with some minimal, typical leather creasing. This light, beige shade is tough to keep clean but there is no evidence of dirt, scrapes, or scuffs present. The carpet, dash, door cards, instrument panel, and the headliner are still the way they were when this big Mark rolled off of the Wixom assembly line so many years ago.

It’s hard to dislike a car like this Mark IV, regardless of where your auto preferences lie. It is so typically American and represents its era perfectly. As has been said before, we won’t see the likes of an automobile like this again. My thought is that the price is pretty reasonable for what this luxury coupe is. How about you, a good buy?

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Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Member

    Excellent write-up Jim. You captured the car and its place in the automotive landscape of its day very well. “It is so typically American and represents its era perfectly.”

    Nicely preserved car in an attractive color scheme. With its low but not-too-low mileage, one wouldn’t be reluctant to drive it. Use it for the short commute to the office or to run errands, and you would be the coolest person in town.

    7
    • Jim ODonnell Jim ODonnell Staff

      Thx Bob! Much appreciated.

      4
      • 370zpp

        You had me with “battering ram sized five MPH front bumper”.

        6
  2. Arthell64 Member

    Every time I see a Mark 4 I think of William Conrad from Cannon. I always thought the Mark 3 looked so much than the Mark 4 but it is a nice car.

    11
    • Sam61

      …..a Quinn Martin Production, vehicles provided by Ford Motor Company….

      7
  3. Fred W

    I like this a lot better than the ’75 we just saw, and the price is one third.

    2
  4. Bob Mck Member

    The barges are beautiful and a joy to drive.

    3
  5. Paulbz3

    Interesting in that IIRC the front bumper is a five mph bumper but I don’t think the regulations didn’t require the back bumpers to be 5 mph compliant until 1974. Maybe someone else may no more. This Mark IV also has the “rim blow horn” feature which I wonder if that still works. From the looks of it new tires would probably needed before driving too far or fast. Despite the engines hp rating these 460 Lincoln’s are pretty fast for their size and weight. Will cruise smooth and fast at 110-120 mph. Mom had a 1974.

    Nice right up.

    4
  6. Tom Member

    This is great car and seeming in excellent shape. In my opinion, even though I am the one preaching that the collector car market is in decline, at an increasing rate, to stay that way I believe this car is underpriced.

    This car deserves an auction. What car in this condition can you buy for $7K?

    I am a GM guy but these cars were great. I don’t love the color scheme but a $7K reserve at auction, I think this car could get a couple of guys bidding up. I have seen total crap sell at Mechum for $8K to $30K.

    Just sayin.

    1
  7. luke arnott Member

    I had one of these.Awful thing to drive except in a very straight line.

    1
  8. Gary

    I had two, a jade green ’77 and a silver ’78. Mine were Mark V’s. I drove the 77 as a daily driver for 17 years. Wonderful driving cars, mine handled well. I did need 1 and a half parking spaces. Also I replaced the half padded vinyl top, twice. I loved both cars. It did take a whole day to wax one. Big cars!

    1
  9. Stevieg Member

    Another to add to the list lol. I wish I were Leno!

    1
  10. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Oh man, it is not that far from me!

    (Keep scrolling through the photos, trying to find something I don’t like about it…)

  11. Gary

    I owned a 75 and in spite of the “newer SAE” horsepower ratings, that 460 would light up those rear tires, had gobs of torque and gas mileage (10 mpg Hwy) that’d make your wallet bleed. The condition of this Mark is reflected in the odometer…a VERY good buy! (Just need to make an allowance for fuel).

  12. David

    A true land yacht. Mom would have loved it. She had an Olds 98 at the time, she didn’t get her Mark until it was a Mark VII, which was an altogether different (and much better in my opinion) vehicle. But you are right. These cars ruled the road in those days. Seems like a tremendous bargain for $6,900.

  13. AUTOVISA Member

    When you said:
    “PHONE CALLS ONLY ANY OTHER FORM OF COMMUNICATION WILL BE IGNORED”
    But not post your Phone number.

    Three Doritos later…….

    She: Honeeeey, what happened with the sale of that old car????
    Him: Don’t know Sweetheart!! why does nobody ever call me about that car??

    3
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      OK I reconsidered and removed my snarky comment before the time to edit elapsed. *whew* that was close.

      Just click on the “REPLY” button at the top left corner, then click on the button to reveal the phone number. Simple.

      • AUTOVISA Member

        No problem, I received the original but I’m glad you changed it. It was not my intention to offend anyone at all. When I checked the post on CL neither the name nor the phone number were available.
        Thank’s for the tip and happy car-hunting for all.

        1
  14. 4501Safari Member

    I still have one of these I bought 20+ years ago from the original owners for $2K. It was a low mileage Florida car with the exact same interior. No one ever seems to mention the rim blow steering wheel, which was an excellent feature. I learned a lot about this vintage Continental and have accumulated many rare parts which will never be used. Why? A four letter Northern word called RUST. I remember reading about a buyer who was so upset with the poor quality of his ’73 MKIV and the fact Ford would not buy the lemon back that he drove it to Michigan and burned it to the ground in front of the plant where it was built. Don’t know if this is a true story but the rust problems are real. I’d just had the “Cartier” clock quartzed, a finicky quarter window motor replaced and the vinyl top replaced with the correct material when the AC went out. At that point I parked the car awaiting time to address the issues. Oh, yeah, had already upgraded the hidden headlamps to correct the “sleepy eyes” option.

    She was a good looking car. Personalized license plate was “LUVS GAS” and did it ever. That anemic low compression 460 4bbl could pass anything but a gas station. One day I noticed a small rust bubble on the hood. It was the tip of the iceberg that led to a hole a raccoon could waltz through. In short order this quality Ford product has virtually biodegraded before my eyes and became a science project housing a 460, C6 trans and 9 inch differential, unfortunately drum to drum. Of course I’d gone through the brakes too. It’s a shame to have it hauled off to the pick ‘n pull, but I realize I’m never going to do anything with it and who’s looking for a parts MKIV or, in the COVID-19 world, a motor/trans for a street machine. There you go…

    1
  15. CVPanther Member

    Beautiful beast and actually affordable, if I had any garage space to do it justice.
    For me there are no modern cars as appealing as this for that kind of money.

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