Lincoln Mark IV Design Inspiration Discovered – Ford 999

Ford Motorsports History

And all these years I’ve been calling the Mark’s neo-classical grille a “faux-Rolls-Royce” grille. Turns out that Henry Ford’s 1901-1902 “999” racer had one several years before there ever was a R-R. And it’s not just the 999’s grille either that was such a big influence on the Mark.

The 999 was one of the very first cars ever—if not the first—to have the classic “long-hood, short deck” proportions that would soon be adopted by all racing cars in the aughts, and then by sports tourers in the teens, and then by sports cars in the twenties, and then by sporty coupes and cabriolets in the thirties, and then by the 1939 Continental, and then by………the 1965 Mustang, and then by the 1968 Mark III. No more need to apologize for the Mark’s grille. And the look didn’t originate from “the continent” either.