The Cars of Dallas – Jock’s Lincoln Mark V

Recently a scenario about Sue Ellen’s Mercury Colony Park was featured.  Let’s now consider another car from Dallas, this time Jock’s Lincoln Mark V.

But first, let us refresh ourselves with Jock Ewing.  The patriarch of the Ewing Family was written off in 1981, primarily because Jim Davis, the actor who portrayed him, died.  After the video to give you a taste of Jock, let’s take a fanciful journey back into a snippet of Jock’s life.

Here is a link:  Jock’s Life

It was the Fall of 1979.  Jock Ewing was the owner and founder of Ewing Oil and a self-made bazillionaire. And, Jock itched for a new Lincoln.

Jock really liked his Mark V.  However the new Mark VI was coming out and he was curious.  He knew a man of his stature couldn’t risk being in yesterday’s ride.  So he stopped by Dewey-Cheetam Lincoln-Mercury in downtown Dallas one sunny afternoon.

“You the salesman of the hour?”, Jock asked Archie Banks.  “My name’s Jock Ewing and I’m looking for a  new Mark VI.  Haven’t seen one, what can you tell me?”

“Mr. Ewing, I can tell you that is a very wise choice.  The Mark VI is all new for 1980 and comes in a size much more personable than the Mark V.  It even comes with such features as a cutting edge 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission, as compared to the traditional 3-speed.  It makes for such a comfortable driving experience.”

“Okay, Archie, but what’s under the hood?” Jock inquired, “a man not only needs a car that looks good, but a car that runs good.  I want to really haul the mail, if you know what I mean.”

“Oh, Mr. Ewing, the new Lincoln has a 5.0 liter V8 with an optional 5.8 liter V8,” Archie cooed.  “So much more refined and fuel-efficient than the 7.5 liter V8 in the old Lincoln’s.”

“5 liter?  Isn’t that a 302?  Hell, Miss Ellie’s Maverick has a 302.  Hell, boy, what are you trying to sell me?  I want a car, dammit!  I want a Lincoln, not some pansy-tailed Maverick!”  Jock Ewing was losing his ability to be subtle.  A man can only be subtle for so long before something has to give.

“Mr. Ewing, I fully appreciate your reluctance.  Please let me tell you more.  Your Mark V is big, it weighs almost 4600 pounds.  The new Mark VI weighs just under 3900 pounds.  It doesn’t need so much engine to pull it and it burns less fuel!” Archie attempted to explain.

“Sir, I am an oilman.  I want to burn fuel.  And a lot of it.  Wouldn’t it be counterproductive for me to worry about fuel economy?”  Jock was starting to have fun with this poor unfortunate salesman.

Archie was getting flustered.  “Mr. Ewing, perhaps you would be comforted to know that the new Lincoln Mark VI Signature Series has a base price of only $20,940.  It is quite the bargain.”

Jock Ewing was a man who knew that if you watched your nickels and dimes, your dollars would ultimately take care of themselves.  So he knew exactly how much he had paid for every vehicle he had ever purchased.  “Sir, my Mark V is two years old.  The base price on it was $12,099.  Are you telling me your new Lincoln is about 75% better than my Lincoln?  Let me see one of these Mark VI’s.  I want to see for myself.”

Archie Banks awkwardly walked to the door of the shop.  Jock followed.  When Archie opened the door, Jock was greeted with:

Jock was aghast.  “Sir, thank you for your time.  A man such as me does need to be concerned about what he drives and I would be concerned driving your Lincoln.”  Jock paused and thought for a second.  “Archie, you have any new ’79 Mark V’s on the lot?”

“Yes, sir,” Archie answered carefully, “three of them.”

Jock smiled.  “Good.  I’ll take all three.”  The hell with money, he thought, I want a real car.  After writing a check, Jock strapped his checkbook into his pocket and left, happy to have avoided an unsavory situation.

….Jock wasn’t the only Lincoln customer aghast in the Fall of 1979.  Lincoln Mark V’s had been selling briskly since their introduction in 1977.  Sales had been 72,000 to 80,000 each of those three years.  Sales of the Mark VI in 1980 (2 door and newly introduced 4 door combined) were just under 39,000 with 1981 and 1982 being even worse.  Part of the blame can be placed on the recession then affecting the United States.

In 1979, the year after Jock’s Mark V was built, Lincoln was the only game in town for people who desired a traditional sized automobile.  Cadillac had downsized as had Chrysler.  The only downsizing Lincoln had performed for 1979  was eliminating the 460 cubic inch V8 that had previously been available leaving the 400 cubic inch V8 as the sole engine for the Mark V.  A little known fact is the Mark V was a downsize from the previous Mark IV.

The Mark IV weighed almost 5100 pounds, so the Mark V did have a roughly 10% weight loss.  In contrast, the 1977 Impala weighed 3659 pounds in comparison to the ’76 Impala weighing 4222 pounds, a reduction of 15%.  Looking at it that way, Jock had already downsized once and didn’t care to repeat it.

Surprisingly enough (or not), the ranch in Dallas used for exterior shots on the television show is now a museum.  The house was built in 1970 and upon the popularity of the show, many persons from around the world flocked to see the house.  So it is now a Dallas themed museum.  In one room is a car that is being preserved for posterity.  Wouldn’t you know?