Automotive Mileposts

Mark IV

September 24, 1971

Body Style Code: 65D
VIN/Body Serial Code: 89

1972 Continental Mark IV front grille
460 CID 4V V-8 (212 Net
Bore x stroke: 4.36 x 3.85 inches
Compression ratio: 8.5:1

Automatic, 3-speed planetary
   gears and 12" hydraulic
   torque converter

Standard ratio 2.80:1 (3.00:1 in
   3.00:1 optional

WHEELBASE: 120.4 inches
Overall length: 220.1 inches
Overall width: 79.2 inches
Overall height: 52.4 inches

STEERING: 17:1 ratio
Would you like your Mark IV with
or without Opera Windows?

For 1972 only, you had a choice.

1972 Continental Mark IV with optional Opera Windows
Above, with optional Opera Windows and...

1972 Continental Mark IV with traditional roofline (rare) rarely seen standard form, without Opera Windows

Most people placing orders opted for the Opera Windows, and they were so popular on the Mark IV that by the late seventies, they had become a distinctive styling feature that was virtually owned by Lincoln.
When the new Continental Mark IV was introduced, the Opera Windows were an $81.84 option. Lincoln apparently didn't want to rock the boat with a new feature that might not be accepted by the public. After all, Cadillac had introduced a similar feature (they called them Coach Windows), on its newly restyled Eldorado in 1971, and that car received a cool reception. The Eldorado only increased sales by around 3,000 units over its four year old 1970 body style, which is not a good sign for an all-new design. Of course, all of GM production was shut down due to a UAW strike for about two and a half months, and that probably contributed considerably to the dismal sales for some of the 1971 cars.

As it turned out, the Opera Windows on the Lincolns were very popular. So popular that it is now difficult to find any 1972 Mark IV without them! The windows were made standard for 1973, and eventually were included on most other Lincoln models as well. The Opera Windows were a Mark trademark until they were dropped in 1983.

In addition to the aesthetics, the windows also served a very practical purpose in that they reduced the blind spot in the C-pillar area of the roof. In 1972, the Mark stood alone in a world where individuality had all but disappeared.

1972 Continental Mark IV Contents

Paint | Trim | Standard Equipment | Optional Equipment

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