Automotive Mileposts  
1976
Silhouette Mark IV
The Silhouette Mark IV was an optional trim package for the 1976 Continental Mark IV. Offered by Lincoln-Mercury as a factory option, said to unofficially commemorate the nation's Bicentennial*, the Silhouette was customized by American Sunroof Corporation (ASC) with most of the parts used for the customization procured from Lincoln. Sold through limited dealerships in a handful of cities, most of the cars were delivered to Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, or Charleston, West Virginia. The Silhouette Mark IV was yet another way Lincoln's customers could "make a Mark of their own" in 1976.
1976 Silhouette Mark IV shown in Black
1976 Silhouette Mark IV in Black with matching Custom Landau vinyl roof
Silhouette Mark IV Unique Features,
Facts and
Specifications
Total Production: 168 (or 200**)

Stainless Steel Halo Forward Half Roof
Padded Vinyl Rear Half Roof
Opera Window Delete
Landau Style Roof with Wide Chrome Moldings
Color-Keyed Custom Body Striping
"Silhouette" Name Identification in Script on Roof Side
Image: Interior view of 1976 Silhouette Mark IV opera windowThe Silhouette Mark IV started life as a normal Continental Mark IV, built on the assembly line in Wixom, Michigan along with all the other Lincolns and Thunderbirds in 1976. The common denominator among these cars is that most seem to have been equipped with the Versailles Velour Interior option (a few were ordered with leather), and it was specified that the standard vinyl roof be deleted. They were also all ordered without the optional custom paint stripes. As the cars came down the line, the opera window moldings, vinyl roof quarter moldings, the wide chrome moldings normally provided with the Custom Landau (Halo) vinyl roof option, as well as the Normande grain material for the vinyl roof covering itself, were packed into the trunk of the car instead of being installed.

After assembly completion and successfully passing a final inspection, the cars were moved to a special holding location in a lot to await being transported by rail to ASC, approximately 40 miles away, along with all of the other Lincolns and Thunderbirds that were to be fitted with the power Sunroof or Moonroof option.

At ASC, the Silhouette was fitted with a Sunroof or Moonroof if specified, and the unique Stainless Steel roof cap, rear Custom Landau vinyl roof, wide chrome moldings, Custom Body Striping, Silhouette script, and interior velour opera window cover (shown above left) were installed. After completing another inspection process at ASC, the cars were then shipped to their destination.
The Silhouette Mark IV has been documented in four color schemes, although there may be more:
Black paint finish (code 1C)
Black Normande grain vinyl Landau Roof (code LA)
Dark Red Versailles Velour Interior (code GD) or Black Leather (researching code)
Brite Blue Diamond Fire metallic paint (code 3P)
Blue Normande grain vinyl Landau Roof (code LB)
Medium Blue Versailles Velour Interior (code GB)
Dark Red Moondust Metallic paint (code 2S)
Dark Red Normande grain vinyl Landau Roof (code LD)
Dark Red Versailles Velour Interior (code GD)
White paint finish (code 9D)
White Normande grain vinyl Landau Roof (code LW)
Dark Red (code GD) or Medium Blue (code GB) Versailles Velour Interior

To date, all Silhouette Mark IV's documented have been equipped with the Versailles Velour Interior option and Forged Aluminum Wheels. Although these two items are not specifically listed as being part of the Silhouette package, it is possible they may have been included.

*The reason for the commemorative edition being built is disputed. While some say it was to celebrate the nation's Bicentennial, others insist it was done to acknowledge the 10th Anniversary of the continuing relationship established in 1966 between ASC and Ford Motor Company. ASC was contracted that year to install Power Sunroofs as a factory production option on the 1967 Mercury Cougars and on five 1967 Thunderbird Apollo models, which were the first cars since the 1960 Ford Thunderbird to offer a sunroof panel in this form as a production option. Cougar continued to offer the option in 1968, as well as later years, and it was added to the regular production option list for the Ford Thunderbird and Continental Mark III in 1969.

**Conflicting totals have been provided to us from sources deemed reliable. One source states that 200 Silhouette Mark IVs were built, while a second source tells us that only 168 Silhouette Mark IVs were built, and 32 similar 1976 Thunderbirds were incorrectly included in the tally, which is inflating the overall total number. If true, adding both the Mark and T-Bird totals together would add up to 200 units, and might explain the discrepancy. A third source says the overall total is much lower, closer to 100 units for both the Thunderbird and Mark IV. The 32 Thunderbirds have not been questioned by any source, so it is assumed the total for Thunderbird production is correct. We will continue to research.
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1976 Continental Mark IV

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