1978 Continental Mark V shown above in White
|1978 Continental Mark V|
1978 Mark V Auctions
Celebrating 75 Years
Exterior Paint Colors
Diamond Jubilee Edition:
- Diamond Blue
- Jubilee Gold
Ford Motor Company celebrated a milepost in its history in 1978. This was Ford's 75th Anniversary year. To celebrate the event, Ford selected just two cars and graced them with a special "Diamond Jubilee Edition" option package. Those two cars were the 1978 Continental Mark V and the 1978 Ford Thunderbird.
Available in just two colors, Diamond Blue and Jubilee Gold, these monotone-colored packages looked very different than its brethren, and came equipped with items not available on any other car. The special touches that differentiated the Mark V version were many, and are covered in detail on our 1978 Diamond Jubilee Edition Continental Mark V page. Lincoln stated that the Diamond Jubilee Edition was the most luxurious production automobile they'd ever made, and that was likely an understatement.
After the best sales year to date for the Mark series in 1977, the 1978 version was little changed. Sales dropped slightly, down 7,719 cars to 72,602 built for the model year. At a $12,099 base price, Lincoln easily out sold the Cadillac Eldorado...again. Just 46,816 Eldorados were built for the year, with an announcement from Cadillac that 1978 would be the final year for the Eldorado with this body style and chassis. A new smaller platform was to be introduced for 1979.
Despite the Eldorado's "last of its kind" attraction, the Continental Mark V was the automobile getting all the attention. Perhaps it was the fact that it was Ford's 75th Anniversary, or it could have been that the public never really embraced this particular Eldorado body style. But whatever the reason, the sales figures proved beyond any doubt which car was preferred by the luxury car buyers in the late seventies. For its final send off, Cadillac even introduced a special Custom Eldorado Biarritz Classic [click for image] in 1978 with a two-tone paint scheme outside and two-tone pillowed leather upholstery inside. Not everyone was delighted with this offering, and a few of Cadillac's traditional customers found it to be in poor taste. Perhaps a few of them even made their way to a nearby Lincoln dealer to place orders for a new Mark V.
The ever-popular Luxury Groups returned for 1978, again with a bit of shuffling. New for 1978 were the Wedgewood Blue, Champagne, Chamois, and Dove Grey Luxury Groups. Priced at $680, they were very popular. The Chamois Luxury Group featured Moondust paint and went for $775.
Standard equipment was mostly carry over from 1977, but a few new options were introduced for 1978 including a "Miles-To-Empty" Gauge that advised the driver approximately how many more miles were available with the current fuel level in the tank; a Garage Door Opener was integrated into the driver's side visor vanity mirror, and came with a separate unit to be mounted in the garage to control the opener; an Illuminated Outside Thermometer was a good idea that had been available on a few GM vehicles for a couple of years; the Carriage Roof option turned the Mark V into a fake convertible, complete with snaps for the top boot. Of course, the top was stationary so the snaps were never used. Available only in white, the opera windows inside the car were replaced with mirrors.
There were a total of 11 standard and 9 optional Moondust Metallic paints available for 1978. These were coupled with 13 accent stripes and 14 Valino Grain Full Vinyl Roof colors. 16 different colors were offered for the Valino Grain Landau Vinyl Roof.
Little was changed inside as well, although the new standard Ultravelour Cloth wasn't a huge hit with some of Lincoln's customers. Available in 7 colors, it had a pleated sew pattern and a heavily textured appearance. Optional interiors included genuine leather seating surfaces in 14 colors, 7 of them White with contrasting components in Red, Blue, Black, Chamois, Jade, Cordovan, or Gold.
Luxury Group sew style interiors could be ordered in 8 shades of leather or 6 shades of Media Velour, each specifically matched to a particular Luxury Group.
The four Designer Editions returned as well, a few of them dropping their signature color schemes of the past for new ones. Bill Blass abandoned the dark blue shade of previous years for a Midnight Cordovan; Cartier changed to Light Champagne from the Dove Grey or Silver previously used; and Emilio Pucci chose a Light Silver instead of last year's black.
1978 was a great year to buy a new Continental Mark V. Assembly quality and fit and finish of the cars seemed to be to the highest standards for 1978, and of course there was nothing on the road with a quieter, smoother, more relaxing ride.
The 1977-1979 Mark Vs are somewhat susceptible to rust after all these years. Look closely around the vinyl roof moldings, as well as the front fenders near the bottom, especially in the corners around the wheel opening and below the front cornering/side marker lights. The rear quarters can also be a problem, as can areas around the wide bodyside moldings. There seem to be quite a few well cared for, low mileage examples around so do your research before purchasing, and buy the best one you can find, because these cars are still fairly plentiful today.
You will enjoy being a member of the Continental Mark V club. It's an exclusive one that represents the final full size personal luxury cars built by Ford Motor Company, the automobile manufacturer responsible for creating this market segment with its first four passenger Thunderbird back in 1958. We'll likely never see cars of this size again, from a time when fuel was still relatively inexpensive and a lot of the joy of going someplace was in the journey itself.
Shown below: 1978 Diamond Jubilee Edition