The Dramatic 1973 Continental MK IV

The legend in its own time…

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The Continental MK IV is perhaps the most beautifully designed automobile of the 20th century. It is the most dramatic personal luxury coupe in the world. It was built form 1972 until 1976. These automobiles ROCK when it comes to luxury, performance, and prestige. The MK IV was an “Image-car” for the 1970s.

The 1973 Continental MK IV is America’s favorite edition from this eminent series. Style code #65D Continental MK IV coupe had a base price of $8,984 and was introduced September 22, 1972 as a 1973 model. Its production totals 69,437 units. Lincoln had finally put Cadillac in second place in the personal luxury car arena. The Eldorado is luxurious…but the Continental MK IV is the most charismatic…the 1973 edition is proof – 

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The Lincoln Mark Series is an ultra-exclusive line of personal luxury automobiles from the 20th century. These automobiles were built at a time when splendor in luxury automobiles prevailed. Elegantly proportioned, limited editions, and superb aesthetic qualities made the illustrious Continental Mark Series the personal luxury car by which all others were judged.

The notable models in this series begins with the original Continental built from 1939 until 1948, ending with the Continental MK V built from 1977 until 1979. Marks in this series after the 1979 model year were lackluster not only in performance… but styling, fit & finish suffered as well. After the Continental MK V, the Mark Series became austere and nondescript losing the esteem it once held. 

1948

The original Continental wasn’t marketed as a “Lincoln”

1956

The MK II is built by the Continental Division of Ford Motor Co

MK III

After a 12 year hiatus, the Continental MK III was introduced

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Continental MK IV is the most beautiful automobile in the world

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The ersatz spare tire design is a signature feature

MK V

Continental MK V precluded the notable Continental Mark Series

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The Continental MK IV started a styling trend in the 1970s. The distinguished opera windows were such a stunning attribute, after market kits were available to install the oval windows on any automobile with a sail panel large enough to accommodate it. The Continental MK IV’s ersatz spare tire design on the rear deck lid was copied in fiberglass and was available for many automobiles at the time.

The MK IV’s distinctive Rolls Royce inspired radiator grille was also copied and offered as an aftermarket item. This trend-setting personal luxury coupe is described in the sales brochure as “The 1973 Continental MK IV quite simply, is the most beautiful automobile in America.” It is indeed…

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This is another fine classic from Daniel Schmitt & Co

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The 1973 Continentals were sublime. In fact, a survey was conducted by Nationwide Consumer Testing Institute for smoothness, stability, and quietness. The result was astonishing – 60 out of the 100 owners of “the other luxury car” – agreed the Continentals for 1973 had a more comfortable ride. The 1973 Continentals were designed to be even quieter than the 1972 models. These cars were luxurious near the point of perfection – 

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The 1973 Continental MK IV successfully combines classic and contemporary styling. Its silhouette is long, low, and wide. The dramatic front end ensemble is augmented by hidden quad headlamps and a unique radiator grille. The federally mandated 5-mph impact bumper is artfully integrated into the architecture.

The traditional Lincoln knife-blade fenders are trimmed to disappear into the body lines. The rear end styling is highlighted by the traditional mock spare tire design. From its bold grille to the elegant sweep of the low-slung roofline, to the rear ersatz spare tire design…there is no mistaking the Continental MK IV. It is the quintessential personal luxury car – 

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Standard exterior signature features for the 1973 Continental MK IV includes a Cavalry Twill vinyl roof, opera windows with a hand-ground Continental star, cornering lamps, front bumper guards with rubber impact strips, remote control driver’s outside rear view mirror, and an elegant stand-up Continental star hood ornament. The Continental MK IV for 1973 was available in 15 standard colors and 9 optional Moondust metallic finishes.

MK III 2

MK III 4

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The “Triple White” color theme was popular in the Spirited Seventies

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The interior of the 1973 Continental MK IV is as exclusively elegant as its exterior. Twin Comfort lounge seats in a 50/50 configuration came standard with 6-way power adjustment for driver and passenger. Soft-textured Westminster cloth was standard; optional glove-soft leather added classic Lincoln luxury. The instrument panel features Kashmir walnut wood grain matina and baby burl walnut appliques.

The clock is a Cartier timepiece and is signed by the famous Fifth Avenue jeweler. Automatic temperature control holds the temperature within a selected comfort range while it reduces pollen and humidity in the air. Power windows, power steering, power brakes, color-keyed 100% nylon long shear cut pile carpet, front & rear folding center arm rests, and a 3-spoke Rim-Blow steering wheel are just a few of the myriad standard features and accessories of the 1973 Continental MK IV.

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Cartier Clock

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Popular options for the 1973 model year includes; Appearance Protection Group (front & rear carpeted floor mats, door edge guards, horizontal rear bumper impact strip, spare tire cover, and license plate frames), automatic headlamp dimmer, interval windscreen wipers, rear window defroster, power sunroof or Moonroof, power vent windows, Lock Convenience Group (electric door locks, remote control trunk lid release), AM/FM Multiplex radio with stereo tape deck, automatic speed control, tilt steering wheel, and luxury wheel covers.

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MK III 3

MK III 5

MK III 7

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The 1973 Continental MK IV Is more than just a pretty car…it is a performance car as well. It is powered by the 7.5 litre Ford 385-Series 460 CID 16-valve V8 engine equipped with a 4-bbl carburetor and overhead valves. The engine is designed to operate on regular grade gasoline with an octane rating of at least 91 when the engine is calibrated to factory specifications. It is constructed with a cast iron block and cylinder heads. 

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The 460 CID V8 is a work-horse in every respect. The engine produces 208 hp @ 4,400 rpm with 458 Nm of peak torque @ 2,800 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 11.3 seconds, 0-100 mph in 36.4 seconds, and 0-110 mph in 70.3 seconds. It has an ungoverned top speed of 116 mph and can do the ¼ mile @ 78 mph in 18.7 seconds.

The longitudinal acceleration looks slow compared to today’s cars but remember, this is an extremely heavy automobile, all-steel construction with NO aerodynamics. The engine is mated to Ford’s C6 Select-Shift automatic transmission with 12” hydraulic torque converter and 3-speed planetary gears for smooth response at all speed. Muscle cars from the 1970s produced a different type of power. It was a brute “torque-thrust” as compared to today’s wind-cheating “power-to-weight ratio.”

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The 1973 Continental MK IV is a large front-engine rear-wheel drive vehicle. It rides upon a long 120.4” wheelbase, has the luxury length of 223.3” and is 79.8” in width. The front uses an independent dual ball joint suspension with spring-loaded upper joints, helical coil springs, and double-acting hydraulic shock absorbers. The rear suspension is equipped with a four-link design, deep coil springs, double-acting hydraulic shock absorbers, and rear stabilizer bar.

For the 1973 model year, the MK IV comes standard with the “Sure-Track” brake system. It is a computer controlled system which improves braking stability by preventing rear-wheel lock up on ice, snow, or wet pavement. This is a primitive form of today’s ABS. This sophisticated system senses the driver braking hard, electronic monitors take over automatically pumping/releasing the brakes at 4-cycles per second. It ceases operation when the car slows to 4 mph or when the driver releases the brakes.

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MK III 12

MK III 15

MK III 14

MK III 10

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Silver Louxury Group 1

For the ultimate in prestige, the 1973 Continental MK IV was available with the Silver Luxury Group. This posh luxury edition was finished in Silver Moondust metallic with a matching Levant grain vinyl roof. If the optional Moonroof was requested it was a silver one-way tinted glass with an interior shade to close out light.

 It’s the inside story that made this option popular. The choice of glove-soft leather or opulent Victoria Velour all-cloth for the upholstery made a definite statement in elegance. Matching 100% nylon long shear cut pile carpet was luxuriously under foot. The interior was available in silver or cranberry. This is the first year for Lincoln’s Luxury Group option. New color choices and Designer Series were added for each subsequent model year. The Continental MK IV with the Luxury Group option was the epitome of Lincoln luxury, elegance, and prestige…they were another luxuriously elegant obstacle for Cadillac to overcome –

Silver Louxury Group 3

Silver Louxury Group 4

Silver Louxury Group 5

Silver Louxury Group 2

MK III 13

MK III 11

MK III 20

MK III 18

MK III 19

MK III 21

MK III end 3

MK III 16

 MK III end 2

MK III end

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After setting a banner sales year for 1972, the 1973 Continental MK IV continued at an unprecedented pace racking up another sales record at 69,437 vehicles built. This is the best-selling model year from 1972 until the last MK IV rolled off the assembly line in 1976. It is the classy Continental MK IV that placed the Cadillac Eldorado in second place in the personal luxury niche. The MK IV beat the Eldorado in almost every category in the testing conducted by Nationwide Consumer Testing Institute.

The result was startling – 60 out of 100 owners of “the other luxury car” chose the MK IV as being quieter, more comfortable, and more aesthetically pleasing. Powered by the 460 CID V8 made the MK IV a luxury performance car. There was nothing else on the road at the time such as this highly spirited personal luxury coupe. The 1973 Continental MK IV quite simply…is the most beautiful automobile in the world –

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MK IV

The 1973 Continental MK IV

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The Continental MK IV is NotoriousLuxury at its finest

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