With the popularity of the Personal Luxury Vehicle building massive steam by the late 1960s, Lee Iacocca knew Lincoln had to step it up. Working with engineering and marketing, they created the Lincoln Continental Mark III using a lot of Thunderbird architecture, as the ’Bird had been losing sales since the restyled 1967 hit the market and the idea of creating two cars out of one would save money and bolster profits.
In April of 1968, the Mark III made its debut, stealing a lot of thunder from the newly designed and engineered Cadillac Eldorado. It was a runaway success in both sales and popularity, and the media was abuzz over the Mark III, praising it for the Rolls-Royce inspired grille, hidden headlights, and remarkable interior. One magazine of the day discussed how they knew it was based on a Thunderbird, but were hard pressed to see any resemblance of the T-Bird in the Mark III. For 1972, Iacocca and his crew would produce another raving success, the Mark IV that was longer, wider, lower, and had truly baroque styling, which was huge for the era. Again, everyone loved it. For 1973, large 5 mph “Impact Bumpers” would replace the thinner ones up front, while the rears would retain the smaller sized units, and by 1974 both the front and rear would receive impact bumpers per federal mandates. Many were not fans, but some actually prefer them to the skinny chrome.
Interestingly, in 1973, Lincoln would begin to think outside the box with their Mark IV by offering an exciting array of new colors and trim options that quietly became available, creating Luxury Groups, which gave Lincoln an to begin working with well-known designers in 1975 to create the Designer Series Mark IV. Oddly, some of the Luxury Group Mark IVs, with their unique colors and trims, would look curiously similar to those styled by famous designers. Such is the case with the Silver Luxury Group option Mark IV, which the later Cartier Designer Series Mark IV would bear a striking resemblance to it.
A stunning example of a pre-Designer Series designer series Mark IV, this 1975 with the Silver Luxury Group seems to feature the factory applied Silver Moondust Metallic paint, silver Levant-grain vinyl roof, and optional leather and vinyl interior. Of course, that’s silver too. The seller claims the Mark has only rolled 30,900 miles from new, and by the looks of it, we see no reason to object. The Silver Luxury Group tacked on about $400 to the cost of the Mark IV, making it a sizable addition to an already expensive, opulent car. According to the seller, the car has never been in an accident and is in excellent condition. Powered by the 460 ci V8 engine and 3-speed C6 automatic transmission, there was plenty of torque on tap to move the hefty barge with relative swiftness. While the ad is a little on the vague side, the car appears to be in truly remarkable condition and is likely a great value considering the rarity and lesser known status compared to the Designer Series Marks of later years. Regardless of all that, it’d be a fabulous way to arrive at any venue or event, and more than likely the only one in attendance.
With Lincoln values on the rise, especially concerning Mark-series cars, we can only guess that while this price might seem lofty, it’s still got some room to appreciate. And why not? How many are left? How many Silver Luxury Groups were built, and remain? How many in this condition? You know the drill. We’ve seen non-special edition, similar mileage Mark IV’s recently sell at auction in the $20-$25k range, showing that we’re not the only ones perking up to their collectability. Interestingly, where it might be obvious to think older people are snapping up these cars, it’s surprising to learn that a large portion of the market is made up of people in their 20s through 50s, considerably younger than the usual suspects. This means, of course, that there is likely some time to enjoy the appreciation. Silver has always been a sterling investment, don’t you think?