1979 Continental Mark V
INTRODUCTION DATE: October 6, 1978
LAST DAY OF PRODUCTION: June 8, 1979
TOTAL PRODUCTION: 75,939
Body Style Code: 65D
VIN/Body Serial Code: 89
Total Collector's Series Production: 6,262
Midnight Blue: 3,900 | White: 2,040
Mid-year additions: Silver: 125 | Diamond Blue: 197
Total Designer Edition Production: 19,215*
Bill Blass: 6,720 | Cartier: 9,470* | Givenchy: 2,262 | Pucci: 763
(Collector's Series and Designer Editions are included in total above)
(*Researching conflicting information on Cartier Designer Edition figure)
1979 Continental Mark V Collector's Series Production and Data
S 400 CID 2V V-8
Bore & stroke: 4.00 x 4.00 in.
Comp. ratio: 8.0:1
Horsepower: 159 at 3400 RPM
Torque: 315 ft.-lb. at 1800 RPM
Carburetor: Motorcraft 2150
U XPL Automatic (C6)
Z XPL Special Automatic (C6)
C 2.47:1 Traction-Lok (Optional)
K 2.75:1 (Optional)
2 2.75:1 Traction-Lok (Optional)
Wheelbase: 120.3" Overall Length: 230.3" Hood Length: 66.8" Width: 79.7" Height: 53.1" Weight: 4,589 lbs.
Lincoln deserves credit for holding out longer than all the others. Cadillac was entering its third year with its smaller platform in 1979. Chrysler's Imperial never quite caught on, despite a very attractive (and Lincolnesque) restyle in 1974. Although the Imperial had been put to rest in 1975, the New Yorker carried on wearing all of the Imperial's fittings, except for the name and the Eagle emblem. Somehow, Lincoln's designers must have known when they were designing the Mark V that this would be the one to go out on.
The designers were surely inspired with the Mark V, not a single wasted line. Not one unnecessary piece of chrome. Everything in proper perspective, exactly where it belonged. Cars of this size aren't easily described as graceful, but one only has to observe a Mark V floating down the highway at speed to understand that these are indeed graceful automobiles. And if you are fortunate enough to be sitting behind the wheel, the view from inside is just as spectacular as the view from outside.
The Lincoln Marks that would follow would be similar in appearance, but substantially smaller. Riding a 114.4-inch wheelbase, six inches shorter than 1979, it would also go on a diet and lose close to 700 pounds and 14 inches in overall length. The smaller package was very luxurious and was more appropriate for the era. New electronic displays and gadgets would make the instrument panel entertaining, if not a bit more functional.
Ford Motor Company had come dangerously close to violating the minimum corporate fuel economy average that had been dictated by the Government, so the new size was somewhat of a relief to Lincoln as well as Lincoln's customers. Fuel economy improved, an additional relief to customers concerned about their bottom line in the 1980's.
Just as the last 1979 Mark V's rolled off the assembly line, and the plant closed down to prepare for the new models, we too must close to prepare for our next model. So, with the 1979 Mark V we also reach the end of the line. But that's not the end of the story. Building a Web site for vintage cars is a labor of love for those of us fortunate enough to be able to do what we really love. And we really love these cars. The Marks especially.
Without question, the Mark Vs were one of the most desirable and most wanted American personal luxury cars ever made. And rightly so. The elegant design of these cars has challenged the years, and they still turn as many heads today as they did when they were new. The final opportunity to purchase a vehicle of this size came in 1979. Quite simply, they were the most beautiful automobiles in America. We hope we have done them justice. They will be revisited again in the future with additional information and updated photos, so that this section of Automotive Mileposts will hopefully remain as classic and as contemporary as its subject matter.