Pristine Survivor: 1976 Lincoln Continental Mark IV

Man, I can hear the jingle of gold chains and the thump-thump of disco with today’s very large and in charge, 1970’s barge, a 1976 Lincoln Continental Mark IV, located in Tucson, Arizona and for sale here on craigslist for $9,500. Thanks to Ian C for the tip.

This Lincoln is full-tilt for the era, Landau top? Check; Stand-up hood ornament? Check; Opera windows? Check; White stripe tires? Check; Huge underpowered engine? Check. But get a load at the condition, 43 years old and only 25,888 miles; it’s essentially a new car.

This Mark IV is a Gen 3 version of the fabled model, started in 1956 with the Mark II, followed by the Mark III from 1969 through 1971 and then this Mark IV from 1972 through 1976. In keeping with the times, this is a very large car. The Federally mandated 5 MPH bumpers only adds to the girth and its out-sized appearance. One look at this coupe and you’d assume you would need a massive engine to power this car in Lincoln style. You’d be right!

But you’d also be wrong. While this Mark IV does have a 460 CI, 385 series V8 engine, increasingly onerous emission controls damped the power output down to 212 net HP – it’s no hot-rod Lincoln. Is it torquey? You bet, it will probably pull stumps and get the Mark moving but acceleration overtime is going to be restrained. The seller claims that, “this giant land yacht runs, drives and stops as if you were on a cloud, extremely quiet engine…” so I’ll take that to mean it runs well. With only 25,000 miles on the odometer it should; the 460 CI is a perfectly sound engine. As usual, this Mark has a three-speed automatic transmission.

Lazy-boy called, they want their recliners back as they appear to have been carted off in this Lincoln. This interior, besides being in what appears to be perfect condition, is the typical lap of luxury that one would expect to find in this era Mark IV. Seats, carpet, door cards and dash all look very inviting and are color-keyed to the exterior. While it is a very fluffy and inviting living room, it is more restrained than some of the bordello accouterments that Lincoln’s competitors incorporated into their interiors back in this era.

There is really no reason to dwell on the exterior of this Mark IV because it looks perfect, not a panel, shut line or chrome appliance out of place. Being an Arizona car, I wouldn’t be worried about rust or corrosion; perhaps a faded finish or dried out landau top but that’s not the case here. Obviously, this Mark IV has been kept in an enclosed structure, it’s just too nice for anything otherwise.

Back in the day, I derisively derided these cars as gross excess. I still think they are extreme but I say it with no malice, they just reflect the times that were our 1970’s. I’d have to research values to form an opinion on price – comparatively, it would probably be difficult because there can’t be many 1976 Mark IV’s in this condition. While I wouldn’t want to own this car, I must admit that I really like it – I’m in awe of its condition. How about you, would you consider owning and driving this most obvious mid-‘70s icon?


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  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    Can anyone comment on how HP could be increased? Yank off all the pollution control stuff? Jettison the rear seat? But seriously, you guys know more about tweaking engine performance than I do, so what would you do?

    Like 4
  2. alphasud Member

    The biggest way to increase horsepower in this old engine would be to raise the compression ratio and revise the cam timing. One could retain the looks of originality by installing a TBI EFI injection and install a modern 3-way cat so it would pass emissions if you lived in an area that still does the IM-240. Auto manufacturers had to reduce the compression ratios to decrease the NOX which occurs with high combustion temps. EGR was added as well to help this but it wasn’t enough. Then came lean burn which drove up the unburnt hydrocarbons so that required a 2-way cat to control those issues that stemmed from combustion chamber design issues. As electronics and O2 sensors came along with 3-way cats the manufacturers could start raising the compression ratios again along with better engine design.

    Like 8

    Take that 460 lump over to Jon Kaase , he can give it all the HP you can afford. But seriously it’s got enough power for doing what you do with them, cruise low and slow.

    Like 15
  4. CharlesinDallas

    When I was a kid my playboy uncle pull into our driveway in this identical machine and hit the air horns. “Lara’s Theme” came dancing out from behind the grill.
    Disco music, chains, yes, but prior to disco was the addition of air horns playing musical themes. Another song I remember hearing was “La Cucaracha.”
    Quite a few years ago I was resting on the balcony railing of the second story of a hotel. Below me was a Suburban and parked next to it was a Lincoln Mk – guess which is longer.

    Like 3
  5. Classic Steel

    I would leave it alone on the ponies and drive this led 🛷 for fun.
    To gain performance one could put a cat-back less restrictive dual exhaust system with smog to pass inspection and play with existing four barrel jets and timing or swap intake and carb to a performance with fuel injection system.

    This car averaged 14 mpg on-a good day so are you sure you want 8 mpg?

    Current Engine specs

    460 CID 4V V-8
    Bore & stroke: 4.36 x 3.85 in.
    Comp. ratio: 8.0:1
    Horsepower: 202 at 3800 RPM
    Torque: 356 lb.-ft. at 2200 RPM
    Carburetor: Motorcraft 4350 4-Barrel

    Like 2

    I don’t think a 5.0 Coyote or 5.4 Triton swap worth it, this car is for Cruising and enjoy the cloud ride, cars and coffee and park where it can be admired.

    Like 1
  7. TimS Member

    If I had this thing it would be conserved but miles of the highway variety would be piled on.

    Like 5
  8. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    I owned a 75 model, it was dark blue with white top, white leather interior and electric moon roof. These cars give a great ride, and draw attention. Mine was new when I owned it and I was single so it was very impressive to women. I think the asking price is fair for a car in this condition. I doubt you would have to do much to it. A beautiful driver from day one.
    God bless America

    Like 4
    • Tony Primo
      • Jack M.

        Back in the sixties in elementary school we would all sing God Bless the Queen followed by O’ Canada 🇨🇦.

        Like 3
  9. ERIC

    Frank Cannon

    Like 5
    • Santo Lumby Sheilds

      That year was 72 I liked it better because of the bumpers….

  10. Bob McK Member

    If he did not state that the price was firm, I would call this guy and bring her home. For some reason I have to negotiate the price of a car. So, I will try to sleep tonight knowing that this beauty is out there calling me.

    Like 3

      He will negotiate, he’s a flipper. If you like it, go for it.

      Like 2
  11. Michael

    Leave it totally alone. Keep as original, every accessory, accoutrement, paint, panel, sticker, tag, chalkmark, pollution control, hose, canister, doodad, geegaw and thingamagig it ever came with. We won’t see the likes again.

    Like 5
  12. Harry Hodson

    During HighSchool in ’76, my buddy rolled up in his Mom’s new MkV and we rolled with laughter.
    Me- ” Nice pink Lincoln Henry!”
    Buddy, shirt open and polyester pants tight ” It’s Champagne Rose!”
    Me- ” It’s F’ing PINK!!”
    Buddy- . . . . . . “jog-offs “. . . .
    And yes, it would pull stumps, with 6 of us in it.

  13. Del

    If you are into these Tanks then this is the one.

    Very nice shape

    Like 2
  14. Stevieg

    This has me foaming @ the mouth like a St Bernard!
    Now that I am about the same size as Frank Cannon lol, I appreciate all of the front seat room. Back seats in this are tiny. My sons are grown so I don’t care lol.

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