1976 Continental Mark IV
INTRODUCTION DATE: October 3, 1975
PRODUCTION TOTAL: 56,110
Body Style Code: 65D
VIN/Body Serial Code: 89
A 460 CID 4V V-8
Bore & stroke: 4.36 x 3.85 in.
Comp. ratio: 8.0:1
Horsepower: 202 at 3800 RPM
Torque: 356 lb.-ft. at 2200 RPM
Carburetor: Motorcraft 4350 4-Barrel
U XPL Automatic (C6)
Z XPL Special Automatic (C6)
K 2.75:1 Traction-Lok
O 3.00:1 Traction-Lok
6 3.00:1 (Includes Dual Exhausts and included with Class III Trailer Towing Package)
|Wheelbase: 120.4" Overall Length: 228.1" Width: 79.8"
Height: 53.5" Weight: 5,264 lbs.
Ford has always been successful at marketing special editions. Not that they were necessarily designed to sell in large numbers, but they did attract attention, and were successful at pulling buyers into the showrooms. The Mark IV introduced the Silver Luxury Group in 1973, which was repeated again in 1974. The Gold Luxury Group, introduced in 1974, attracted more buyers. This was expanded in 1975 to include the Blue Diamond, Saddle/White, and Lipstick/White Luxury Groups. Basically trim options, the Luxury Groups allowed Continental customers a bit more distinction than the traditional models, and the cost of the option was largely profit for Ford.
If a special color assortment could attract buyers, what would happen if a real designer put his name on it? The answer came in 1976. The Mark IV Designer Series included sensational color combinations and special equipment specified by Bill Blass, Cartier, Givenchy or Pucci. Each very different, they expressed the taste of their namesake. Bill Blass chose a deep blue and cream combination; Cartier, in keeping a precious jewelry theme, chose a creamy grey—the color of freshwater pearls; Givenchy sought to create a sparkling turquoise reminiscent of the Mediterranean Sea; and Emilio Pucci, known for his unique color combinations, selected a stunning vintage burgundy and silver to make his mark.
The Designer Series Mark IV's all featured a 22-karat Gold plaque with a provision for engraving the owner's name. The designer's golden signature appeared in the Opera Windows. And did the public like them? Within a few months, lesser cars of all types began appearing in the color combinations chosen by these designers. It wasn't unusual to see an Oldsmobile Cutlass sporting the Bill Blass or Pucci color scheme.
A rip off? Perhaps. But isn't imitation supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery? These same four designers would continue to come up with creative, distinctive, and elegant editions for the Continental for years to come. All of them said "welcome to the world of high fashion." They became the trendsetters of the automotive world, and forced the competition to look for their own designers.
Cadillac would have a Gucci Seville for 1978, complete with a five-piece set of matched Gucci luggage, and 24-karat Gold-plated Gucci emblems inside and out, including the center of the Wire Wheel Covers. Cadillac didn't actually build them, though. They were created by International Automotive Design of Miami, Florida. The cost for all this opulence? Only $19,990.
The 1976 Continental Mark IV catalog sums it up best: Pucci, Givenchy, Bill Blass and Cartier have all made a mark for themselves. In 1976, they'll help you make a Mark for yourself.
Introducing the Mark IV Designer Series.
Make a Mark for yourself.