Graceland Gift: 1976 Lincoln Continental Mark IV

Elvis Presley was renowned for a number of different characteristics. At the peak of his power, he was one of the greatest entertainers and singers that the world has ever seen. His sad and premature death resonated around the globe, and those of us who are old enough tend to remember where we were when we heard the news of his passing. His other great trait was his incredible acts of generosity towards those who had helped him, or who had touched his life in some way. He was more than willing to put his hand into his pocket, and to lavish expensive gifts upon those people. This 1976 Lincoln Continental Mark IV is said to be one of those gifts, and it appears that it is being sold with enough paperwork to verify its authenticity. The Continental is located in Fenton, Missouri, and is listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set the BIN price at $52,900, but the option is there to make an offer.

The story behind this car and its potential link to Elvis is interesting. In January of 1976, Elvis is said to have made the decision to take a vacation in Vail, Colorado. While there, Elvis undertook some snowboarding and chose to wear a woolen ski mask. He also decided to wear this while shopping by night in the area. He is alleged to have developed a reaction to the mask, and a rash broke out on his face. The local Police Chief put Elvis in touch with Dr. Gerald Starkey. Dr. Starkey prescribed an ointment for Elvis that relieved the discomfort and cleared the rash that had developed as a result of the reaction. Elvis is then said to have been so grateful that in one of his acts of generosity, he purchased a new Continental Mark IV as a gift for Dr. Starkey, and this is said to be that car. Certainly media reports at the time confirm that Elvis was in Vale when this is all said to have occurred, and there is a substantial amount of paperwork that is included with the car that should confirm the facts. This includes a copy of the cheque written by Elvis to pay for the car, order forms, the original Window Sticker, invoices, the original title, and numerous other pieces of documentation.

The condition of this Lincoln is extremely nice. The original Tan paint and Dark Saddle top look to be in nice condition, with no sign of any major flaws or problems. There are a number of photos in the listing showing the underside of the car, and it shows just some mild scale and surface corrosion, but no real problems. I have noticed a ding in the molding on the passenger door and a couple of other vey minor marks, but otherwise, this just looks like a nicely preserved and original Continental Mark IV.

Being a Continental, there is plenty of luxury once you climb inside. Matching the vinyl top, the interior is trimmed in Saddle-colored leather and vinyl. Once again, the overall condition of the interior reflects that of a Lincoln that has been well cared for. There are no real issues or problems that need to be addressed, with the plastic trim looking solid, the original carpet looking clean and well preserved, while the upholstered surfaces and headliner are also in very good condition. The car features an AM/FM radio/8-track player, air conditioning, power windows, power front seats, cruise control, driver’s remote mirror, and power locks.

Under the hood of the Lincoln rests the original 460ci V8, which is backed by a C6 automatic transmission. In addition to power steering, the vehicle has also received 4-wheel power disc brakes. The general appearance under the hood is very impressive for a vehicle of this age, and while the engine delivers 202hp, it has its work cut out propelling a car that weighs in excess of 5,000lbs. The real killer with these wasn’t outright performance as much as it was fuel consumption. Mind you, if you could afford to slap down the money for a Continental Mark IV, the fact that it averaged 10.4mpg probably didn’t really worry you that much. The owner doesn’t mention how well the car runs and drives, but he does say that it is showing 47,103 miles on the odometer, and he believes that this is original. It appears that this may be about the only piece of documentary evidence that the owner doesn’t hold.

Looking at this 1976 Lincoln Continental Mark IV in complete isolation, it is a nicely preserved car that is in better than average condition. There are certainly examples out there where the condition is better, or the mileage is lower, or in some cases, both. That should mean that a car in this condition could (and I stress the word “could”) be worth somewhere in the vicinity of $20,000, or up to $25,000. More likely you would be looking at a value somewhere in the low to mid-teens. Now we need to consider the “Elvis” factor. It would be very easy to get carried away by this and to make some pretty bold claims and value estimates. However, what needs to be considered is the relative merits of “owned by” versus those of “bought by.” If this was a Lincoln that had been personally owned by the great man, then we start to see some real escalation in potential value, the owner could name his price, and somewhere out there, an Elvis fan would gladly hand over the money for it. This car is a different matter. It was never owned by Elvis, there is not only a good chance that he never sat in it, but there’s every chance that he never laid eyes on it. If that is the case, then you have to question just what impact this could have on the potential value. As with the last scenario, it is quite possible that someone will buy it due to the Elvis connection. Whether they do or whether they don’t, it does stand up as a graphic demonstration of the great man’s generosity.

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Comments

  1. RoughDiamond Member

    It’s a nice car, however, IMO If there is any value here, it’s in the actual paper “check” that Elvis signed, if in fact he even did that. It seems he had an entourage of people who did pretty much everything for him.

    9
    • Smokey Member

      Other than being involved with Porsches for almost 40 years, I have had another unrelated hobby. I collect rare documents and signatures of all kinds of famous folks, in all kinds of fields. But I have specialized in European royalty, US Presidential, American and European literary and major entertainers. This is NOT the signature of Elvis Presley . His genuine signature is much larger, and much more elaborate, almost flowery , very attractive!

      12
  2. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    I was happy to read the Chief of police got one also. Nice car but the King connection does nothing for me, I thought Elvis was a Caddy guy? I will be waiting for the Love me tender comments that are sure to come. Always fun. Great write up Adam.

    7
  3. Jason

    The hardest part of this story to believe is Elvis snowboarding in 1976.

    32
    • James

      Hey, don’t have a wooden heart. He was a teddy bear to give that man a Lincoln. He probably had a blue Christmas and thought, it’s now or never!

      8
    • mallthus mallthus Member

      I too was amazed to discover that Elvis invented snowboarding before Sims and Burton.

      13
  4. Francisco

    It will be a cold rainy day in Kentucky when I believe this story.

    5
    • Suttree

      Francisco, Elvis bought a lot of cars for people. Including people who were simply looking at cars after hours at Memphis auto dealerships.
      This story is typical of Elvis.

      4
      • Francisco

        Sorry Suttree. Suspicious Minds.

        6
  5. AUTOVISA

    50K for a 76 Lincoln? No way, even if it was driven by Elvis himself.
    For the condition it’s a 10-15K car. IMHO.

    11
  6. Rex Kahrs Member

    “…..I’m itching like a man on a fuzzy tree….”

    4
  7. Rex Kahrs Member

    Oil filter coming off the air cleaner? What’s up with that? OH, and all you naysayers have Suspicious Minds!

    4
  8. CanuckCarGuy

    Beautiful car, great colour combination as well. The potential connection to Elvis doesn’t add tangible value in my opinion, it only makes for an interesting story at the show and shine. For what it is, I’d say $15K at the high end is a realistic price…given the demographic of original buyers, nice examples aren’t particularly hard to find.

    2
  9. Will Fox

    As someone already stated, Elvis bought ALOT of cars over the years for alot of people. Heck, back in 1960, a lady waiting for a bus in front of a Cadillac dealer was admiring Elvis’ `60 Cadillac limousine on the lot. Elvis saw her, and introduced himself. She complimented him on his limousine, and ended up buying her a silver-blue Coupe DeVille, BRAND NEW! She was poor and black and worked as a maid for a white couple. She kept that car her entire life.

    9
  10. luke arnott

    I had a Mk1V 40 years ago – one of the worst cars I ever drove.

    3
  11. BigDoc Member

    I grew up listening to girls fawn over Elvis but that doesn’t do squat for me. Beautiful car but never in a thousand years worth 50 grand.

  12. john c

    This automobile can be seen up close down at the Heartbreak Hotel.

    2
  13. Fastwhlz

    While the opening states that Elvis was snowboarding, I believe that an “authority” on Elvis reports that he was in fact snowmobiling at the time of the allergic reaction to the ski mask. Also true, he was most notably a Cadillac man but was known to enjoy the occasional Lincoln. It would appear that in this particular instance, that perhaps the good Doctor had expressed an interest in Lincolns and received the Mark. As far as the endorsement on the check, one need only refer to Elvis’ handwritten letter to President Nixon where Mr. Presley’s signature is very child-like in structure. His “autograph” would be undoubtedly more ornate than his “signature”.

    1
  14. Carmine440

    Elvis gave people gifts rather than cash so others wouldn’t perceive it as “charity”. A class act for sure.

    I’m not a huge Elvis (as an artist) fan, but I think it has more to do with those who did his arrangements. Obviously he had a great voice. Much like Sinatra would not have been as big a name without Nelson Riddle, nor Michael Jackson without Quincy Jones.

  15. T Mel

    Elvis liked Lincolns too and he bought them for himself as well. There’s a nice purple white interior custom logo stitched Lincoln on display at Graceland. This Mark IV did not weight that much more than the LTD of the same year which was about 4,400# with the same 460 motor. Also, that 460 got between 12-19 mph mainly because it’s barely turning 1,900 rpm at highway speeds, not 10.whatever the author states. Elvis bought cars for a lot of people and loved writing the checks himself.

    1
  16. Paul Duca

    Elvis was generous in giving away cars…but a number of recipients ended up selling them because they couldn’t afford the insurance and upkeep on luxury autos.

  17. Del

    n

  18. Del

    What a pile of BS

  19. Bradford

    I treat face rashes, some of them pretty gnarly. Never for a celebrity though. I’m lucky if people are willing to give their copay, let alone a Lincoln

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