Rare Rides Icons: The Lincoln Mark Series Cars, Feeling Continental (Part XI)

We resume our Mark collection coverage in the 1960 model calendar year, which happened to be a past-of for a number of causes. It was the final of the unibody Lincoln lineup that debuted in 1958, the Continental Mark line of models, and for Lincoln’s design naming scheme as a complete. We protected the visual edits in our previous entry a return to some of the garishness of 1958 that Elwood Engel attempted to tone down in 1959. With the supplemental gingerbread hanging off of each individual possible area of the Mark V Continentals for 1960, the lineup grew larger in every course and heavier than ever in advance of.

The visible edits designed the Mark V the premier and heaviest Continental of the unibody technology. Size greater from 227.1 inches in 1959 to 227.2 inches in 1960. Soon after all, size bragging was vital for advertising functions. Width also greater even even though the Lincolns of 1958 had been some of the widest passenger autos on the street, from 80.1 inches to 80.3″. Height elevated as well, almost certainly down to a new suspension (see underneath), from 56.5 inches in 1958 and 1959 to 56.7″ in 1960. The Mark V claimed a history as the longest sedan ever made by Ford prior to five-mile-per-hour bumper regulation (we’ll get to these inevitably).

There were also a couple changes beneath the pores and skin for the 1960 Mark Vs, while most buyers ended up likely not informed at the time. The rear suspension design was “updated” from coil springs to less difficult leaf springs. And even though that may possibly have been a technical downgrade, the leaf spring set up was more capable to cope with the tremendous bodyweight of the 1960 Marks. Benefit of servicing enhanced as properly: The Mark V’s fuse box was moved beneath the hood alternatively of inside of the cabin, for far better obtain. Some thing a opportunity buyer surely cared about, cruise regulate, was a new merchandise on the choices checklist.

Human body variations remained as they were being in 1959, with Continental’s expanded array. Two-door possibilities involved the hardtop coupe and convertible, and there was a base 4-doorway sedan, hardtop Landau sedan, as effectively as the pretty pricey Town Car or truck and Limousine.

Even though the entire Lincoln lineup was a continuation for a single final calendar year in 1960, a person design didn’t make the slice: Capri. The entry-level Lincoln was rebranded as basically “Lincoln,” to compete with the new base model Chrysler New Yorker (1960-1962) and Series 62 Cadillac (1959-1960). Of individuals, the Chrysler was noteworthy for its new unibody design and style. Said layout was not shared with the upmarket Imperial types, which employed the body-on-frame D system from 1957 to 1966. 

The foundation Lincoln was a combo of the 1959 trim of the Capri with the new front and rear clip layouts from the Premiere and Marks. The only middling design was the Premiere, although all earlier mentioned have been Continental Mark V variants. Lincoln rolled them out on the showroom floor a person a lot more time, but they most absolutely did not fly off the ton. 

Lincoln’s all round product sales fell about eight per cent in 1960, a 12 months that saw typical stagnation in the U.S. vehicle industry. Complete company product sales ended up 24,820, which was much better than Imperial’s 17,719 determine, but pathetic in comparison to juggernaut Cadillac and its 142,184 revenue. Edsel offered 3,008 automobiles that 12 months, as the brand was set out of its misery. 

Not pretty fifty percent the Lincolns sold that 12 months have been Mark V Continentals, 11,096 examples. The most well-known human body fashion was again the Landau hardtop sedan, with 6,604 product sales. The convertible remained the up coming most preferred alternative, with 2,044 revenue. The hardtop coupe discovered 1,461 potential buyers, noticeably extra than the fundamental sedan’s income of 807. The 2nd calendar year of the Town Motor vehicle and Limousine observed an raise in income for the Town Vehicle (136 versus 78 the former yr), but the Limousine choose charge dropped from 49 to just 34. 

It’s not complicated to realize why shoppers have been not eager to pony up for the sticker of the City Automobile and Limousine. Apart from their ahead slanted rear window and additional leg place, there was little to distinguish them from any other Continental sedan. And they ended up not available in pillarless hardtop guise with their “formal” attitudes, at a time when the hardtop was a significant seller. 

In their final calendar year, the Landau sedan requested $6,840 ($69,172 adj.), though the convertible was $7,055 ($71,347 adj.). City Automobile asked $9,205 ($93,090 adj.), and the Limousine demanded $10,235 ($103,506 adj.). Price ranges for the Mark V cars and trucks were being almost equivalent to Mark IV pricing of 1959.

The 1960 Mark Vs represented a tipping stage of dimensions, bodyweight, garishness, and lack of customer interest. The 1958 to 1960 versions would afterwards be considered the “forgotten Marks,” although other garish luxurious styling of the interval was celebrated (specially for Cadillac). The individuals at Lincoln’s marketing and advertising office understood change was in the wind in 1960, and manufactured it apparent by means of an alteration in the brochures.

In 1959, the “Mark IV Continental” branding was an update to the previous year’s “Continental Mark III,” as it put the Mark title entrance and centre. In 1960 brochures explained “Lincoln Continental” and “Mark V” separately, but never ever with each other.

“Ever considering that its beginnings as a custom made-created car for a privileged couple of,” the brochure reads, “the Lincoln Continental has been famed as America’s most distinctive and deluxe motorcar. The Mark V now carries this tradition to a new peak of perfection.”

The separation was of training course intentional, as in 1961 Lincoln unceremoniously killed off the Mark cars and trucks and all other versions apart from Continental. Lincoln dropped $60 million concerning 1958 and 1960 as it floundered all over, a shocking determine of over $550 million in today’s income. In a sea adjust minute for 1961, all Lincolns had been instantly Continentals. Mark, Premiere, Capri, base styles? No. 

There have been two overall body designs on offer you: a 4-door hardtop sedan, and a four-door convertible. No two-doorway convertible, no coupe, no pillared sedan, no City Car or truck, no Limousine. And certainly no garish styling, as Lincoln went comprehensive mid-century contemporary with a new look penned by Elwood Engel. The new Continental appeared smooth and streamlined and was an almost instant design and style traditional. The new 1961 Continentals experienced a wheelbase that was eight inches shorter than in 1960, and an overall size 15 inches shorter.

And although I’m sure you’d like me to wax on a little bit about the 1961 models, it is outside the house the scope of this series. Recall, there were being no Mark vehicles on provide all through the Sixties. It was all Continental, all the time. Matters didn’t improve right until 1968 when a vice president at Ford named Lee Iacocca preferred Lincoln to create a new own luxurious car (a genre for which he held an everlasting flame). 

We pause there for right now and take into consideration what could have been. An upscale halo in 1961 called the Mark VI? A two-doorway convertible Continental like the initial of 1939? Oh, the lengthy-extinct prospects.

[Images: Ford]

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