1973 Continental Mark IV
|1973 Continental Mark IV|
1973 Mark IV Auctions
The Most Beautiful Automobile in America
Exterior Paint Colors
Silver Luxury Group
The 1973 Continental Mark IV was, quite simply, the most beautiful automobile in America. And if people loved last year's version, they adored this year's as well. For 1972, the new Mark IV set sales records, and it would do so again with 69,437 cars built for the 1973 model year. Cadillac's Eldorado, by comparison, built 51,451 cars for the model year, which places the Mark IV ahead by 17,986 units, a considerable difference.
For 1973, Mark IV buyers could choose from 24 different shades of paint, 9 of them optional Moondust Metallics which cost extra. 8 different colors were available for the paint stripe, and 9 different Calvary Twill vinyl colors were available as well. Inside, 7 colors of Westminster Cloth and vinyl were standard, with 13 different colors offered for the optional Genuine Leather seating surfaces with vinyl side panels. Additionally, a Cranberry Victoria Velour Cloth was part of the Silver Luxury Group, and was not available separately.
Changes for 1973 were few. On the exterior, a new 5 mph front bumper system was mandated, and this required a significant change from the gorgeous front end treatment used the previous year. But Lincoln pulled it off, and left the majority of the original design's integrity intact. A new optional rear bumper guard was part of the Appearance Protection Group, and was nicely integrated into the overall rear design. A Remote Control Right Hand Mirror was made available as an option for the first time, which was a welcome and popular option since it could be adjusted from the driver's seat using a control toggle on the instrument panel, just to the left of the radio.
The previously mentioned Silver Luxury Group was a new trim package for 1973, which was fairly popular and would be expanded in the years to come with different colors and combinations of trim and options, to give each one a distinct appearance. The Silver Luxury Group combined Silver Moondust Metallic paint with a Silver Levant Grain Vinyl Roof, Cranberry Victoria Velour Cloth upholstery, and matching Cranberry paint stripes. Silver or Dark Red Leather was also offered, if the velour was not your thing. For $400, it provided a higher level of distinction than other Marks.
The opera window, introduced the previous year, was made standard for 1973 and was a significant factor in the Mark IV's popularity at the time. A new AM/FM/Multiplex Stereo Radio with Tape System gave occupants true stereo sound through four speakers which could be balanced either front to rear or from side to side for the best overall sound. It was a popular option, and allowed Lincoln to more closely match its competitor's offerings in the sound department, although Cadillac still offered a signal seeking AM/FM stereo radio, which the Mark wouldn't have for a few more years.
The optional Electric Power Door Locks were revised for 1973, which resulted in moving the control switches from the plunger knob to the front door arm rests. This location was more convenient for most, and was combined with the Electric Remote Trunk Lid Release in the "Lock Convenience Group" option, where both could be had for just $93.36.
A new feature offered for the first time was the Moonroof, which was basically a power sunroof with a Silver-tinted glass panel that allowed occupants to see out when it was shut. A shade could be closed manually to completely block out all light if desired, but would open automatically when the glass panel was opened. At $777.40, it was the most expensive option offered for 1973, and garnered a $166.12 premium over an above the cost of the power sunroof, which was the second most expensive option that year, priced at $611.28.
Lincoln's advertising took on long time rival Cadillac with ads that stated, "The Continentals beat the other make of luxury car again." When comparing ride and handling, Lincoln's testing indicated that more people preferred Lincoln over the "other make." Lincoln described its ride as offering deep, deep quiet. One automotive writer noted that the Mark IV was so quiet, he could hear himself breathe.
At this time, even some long time Cadillac owners had expressed a concern that quality had slipped a bit, and that some of the interior appointments were not what they had been in the past. Now, this was true of most American cars of the time, but it's apparent that Lincoln was more adept at adding fake wood touches than Cadillac was at the time. As for Lincoln's statement that their cars were quiet, anyone who rode in one new can attest to the fact that you do not hear outside noises, even at highway speeds. You feel totally isolated from the world outside, which was exactly what most luxury car buyers wanted at the time.
As for the appearance, that speaks for itself.
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