via Edward M Fiore posting to The Classic Lincoln and Continental Appreciation Society
& in honor of the evolution & Heritage 'of' [BlackLabel] . . .
Curbside Classic: 1976 Continental Mark IV
Givenchy Edition – Aqua Couture
By Tom Klockau
August 31, 2012
Thirty-five years ago the Personal Luxury car was in its prime...
...the Mark did very well, selling 48,591 units despite its stiff $8,640 sticker. It sold remarkably better than the ’71 Mark III, which found 27,091 buyers. Period ads proclaimed, “In all the 1970s, this will be the unique American car.” Although the Mark hadn’t exactly invented the personal luxury segment, the ad was correct as far as it went. The Mark IV and Eldorado were the top two luxury cars in America. That fact, and several memorable Motor Trend “King of the Hill” comparison tests, prompted many middle-class buyers who couldn’t afford the real thing to go for “mini-Mark” Cougars, Montego MX Broughams and Ford Elites. And that oval opera window (optional in ’72, but so popular it became standard in ’73) would be a prominent Lincoln cue through the end of the decade.
As the ’70s wore on, the Mark IV remained a popular choice among luxury coupes, with sales zooming to 69,437 in 1973. Even in 1974, with Gas Crisis I in full swing, sales totaled 57,316–more than in 1972, despite that it was basically the same car. What, then, could be done to keep consumer interest high? Special editions, of course!
First up was the Silver Luxury Group Mark IV for 1973. As you might expect, it featured metallic silver paint with a silver Cavalry Twill vinyl roof. The interior was cranberry velour, with leather optional.
The silver Mark continued for 1974, and was joined by (you guessed it) a Gold Luxury Group. Described in the ’74 L-M brochure shown above. these special Marks opened the door for even more “Boutique” Luxury Groups that further gilded an already well-equipped car. By 1975, there were Silver; Lipstick and White; Saddle and White; and Blue Diamond Luxury Groups...
...The Special Edition craze reached its head in 1976 with the Designer Series Marks, which went beyond the already quite nice Luxury Group versions. It was sheer, pure and simple snob appeal–and in the ’70s it worked perfectly...
much,Much More... and many photos!!