Pencils have erasers; cars have reverse gears. As a CContributor, then, it was perhaps in the very nature of the beast that a (long) pause would take place. But there’s always a return, fortunately (for me, anyway). So here’s more bad puns, stilted writing and questionable photos from the megalopolis that keeps on giving – Tokyo. And what better car to return to CC in than a ’79 Lincoln?
It’s gigantic, it’s iconic and it’s the last of its kind. It’s also severely underpowered, kinda ridiculous in many ways and completely ill-suited to the local streets. Sweet, sweet contradictions, what would we do without you?
Of course, being a pampered Japanese-owned classic, the obligatory “special license plate number” is on display – this one being a bit less obvious than the usual “19 xx” model year. I really should figure out how this is done, but given how all things administrative work here, I imagine it must take a lot of patience, reams of paper and surprisingly little else.
The MY would have been pretty easy to figure out, as the Collector’s Series was only featured for the big Conti’s 1979 farewell tour. Givenchy and Bill Blass can eat this car’s dust – this is the collectable one. Says so right there.
Given how popular neo-retro styling is in Japan, it’s really a wonder why there aren’t more of these late ‘70s land yachts about. Mitsuoka, meet your master.
The 1977-79 Mark V has been covered on CC quite extensively, so no need to go into the nitty-gritty. Suffice to say that this 2.5-ton car has a 6.6 litre V8, but it can only send 180hp to those rear Mi… oh, those should read Michelin, but they’re Minervas? Clever.
Less clever is that weird piece of vinyl on the trunk. The brochure calls it “padded contoured decklid accent.” Never heard that one before. Is it more of a Brooklyn / Jersey wise guy intonation, or closer to a New Orleans Cajun type of lingo?
Ok, the Mark V’s exterior is what it is. It’s impressive, but not really my cup of Americano. But that interior does change things. Midnight blue “Kasman II luxury cloth,” according to the brochure. Now, I may not know much about Kasman II (does anyone? Genuine query.), but I know what I like. This looks like a very nice place to spend a few hours with scenery wafting by.
These rear seats, though, seriously? What happened? Just over 120’’ (304cm) of wheelbase and the rear passengers are more at risk of developing blood clots in here than on a low-cost airline. That old ‘70s malaise feeling creeping back, I guess.
But it’s not a concern in the real world. Who rides in the back of these anyway? It’s not what they’re for.
Anyway, it’s really good to be back at CC. Time was not entirely wasted, though: during my hiatus, lots of material (weird Japanese, rare European or eclectic American cars) was encountered and photographed. I’ll try and get to the more interesting / rarest / oldest ones first. Or not. But it’s going to be fun — take my word for it.
Curbside Classic: 1979 Lincoln Continental Mark V Collector’s Series – The Mayor of Brougham City?, by Jana Lingo
Curbside Classic: 1977-79 Lincoln Continental Mark V – A Formative Influence, by Don Andreina
Curbside Classic: 1978 Lincoln Continental Mark V – Old School’s Last Graduate, by JPC
Car Show Classic: 1978 Continental Mark V Diamond Jubilee Edition – A Grandiose Name For A Car Of Grandiose Proportions, by Brendan Saur
Curbside Classic: 1977 Lincoln Continental Mark V – Navigating Big City Streets, by Joseph Dennis
CC Road Trip: Go West, 1979 Lincoln Continental Mark V, by Robert Kim
Such a land yacht…
Glad to see someone else referring to it as a LAND YACHT! 👍
It’s great to see your posts from Tokyo here again!
Regarding “Kasman II luxury cloth,” I believe the original “Kasman” upholstery debuted in 1976 on the Thunderbird, and it was described in the Thunderbird brochure as having the “look and feel of cashmere.” I assume the name was invented by clever marketing folks to sound like cashmere.
As for Kasman II? Clearly the next-generation in advanced quasi-cashmere luxury, pioneered by the Lincoln Division.
Lincoln apparently felt Cashmere was the ultimate. My 2007 Town Car Signature Limited body color is identified as Cashmere and is seemingly a rare color choice. Have only seen two others. Strange how leather seating is now the standard for luxury interiors. Love this Town Car, but wish it had a plush velvet interior.
Love your last pic of the smiling antenna ball! Priceless!!
It looks like Felix The Cat under that hat.
That Mark V is in really nice condition. Tokyo certainly does keep on giving doesn’t it? I hope that this delightful white creampuff has a true sheltered home. That typically cramped parking spot will not provide the preservation the car deserves.
Those seats do look inviting, and the bucket/console set up is way cool. I believe most Mark Vs I’ve seen have bench seats. What you never see is the rear windows rolled down, but apparently they can since the window switch is right there is case any rear passenger is feeling claustrophobic enough he needs the extra ventilation.
Good to see you back on CC!
Not sure what the mentioned button is for. Think it may be for rear seat reading light 🤔. But I think rear windows could not be lowered, even on Mark IV. Not sure about Mark III, but my 78 Grand Marquis two door had stationary rear windows.
Yep, the Mark V’s rear quarter windows did not retract. The switch is for the reading light.
With the Mark IV, it depends on the year. The 72/73/74’s were true hardtops with retracting quarter windows.
’75 and ’76 Mark IV’s have fixed rear quarter windows. I can only assume that was a cost-cutting move.
Didn’t the Mark III have rear windows that slid sideways into the C pillar instead of rolling down? Or was that the Eldorado? can’t remember…
Mark lll rear windows rolled down.
A car as big as America.
Damn right! Those were the days!
Although huge, the Mark was actually smaller than same vintage Town Cars, with 126 in WD and 235 in length. My 78 Town Coupe had more rear seat room, although seldom had rear seat passengers. Unfortunately Federal mandates scrapped 460 engine! These cars are MONUMENTS to the GREAT American 🇺🇸 LAND YACHT! Absolutely love the OTT excessive size,luxury, and in your face arrogance of these beautiful BEHEMOTHS 😍 ❤ 🏆.
Good to have you back, T87. Looking forward to more.
The Collectors’ Series was the successor to the Diamond Jubilee, although the CS was also available on the Town Car, unlike the DJ. This was basically an $8,000 option on a $12,000 car. The CS package included this exclusive interior with unique seating, center console and virtually every thing as standard including the miles-to-empty digital fuel gauge, leather-bound tool kit, leather-wrapped dash and special umbrella. The only options were a sunroof, a CB, and engine block heater.
Welcome back. Not my kind of car here in the US, but it becomes far more interesting seen in Tokyo.
What a fantastic find. It looks like brand new!
I’ve always loved these cars (nearly any Cadillac and Lincolns from 1977 to 1989). As for the rear seats, this one is more for the empty nesters and really more about 2 passengers lofting along in pure comfort and style. If you wanted the more room for rear riders, you got the Town Car trim in sedan. Back in 1980, my uncle (used car lot owner) picked up a perfect one year old 1979 Town Car Collectors Series in the dark blue with matching leather. I got to ride in that limo-like luxury car from our farm to my brother’s wedding about 80 miles away. One of the best and most memorable rides ever, unlike riding in any of the forgettable and bland boxes of today.
I can hear Joe Pesci’s Nicky Santoro saying,
“padded contoured decklid accent.”.
Yeah? Well I kin heah dis guy sayin’ it, right ovuh hee-yuh (extra credit for the cherry-on-top at the end).
My Mk V is hard to park in Canada due to the absurd front overhang. I can only imagine trying to drive one in Tokyo, land of the tiny, or non-existent parking spot.
“It’s also severely underpowered”
The 400 gave plenty of torque. The cars do not feel slow.
Welcome back, T87!
Good to have you back, Tatra87.
What a monster of a car, and just that makes it so interesting. For once I agree with Rick W.
Like onlookers in the 1930s, who stopped in awe, when massive airships passed overhead. I’d stare at these as a kid.
On those rare occasions I’d spot one, almost always white-haired seniors driving them.
Bon, welcome back! What a great find, in more than one way. The archetypal land yacht, this must be the most popular classic US car of that specific breed here. Visit any decent classic US car show and you’ll see plenty of them.
This one proves it all over again: there is no car too detestable or boring (to me, all other’s mmv), a big gulp of some quality-“bad puns, stilted writing and questionable photos” would not spark at least some favourability for. That’s what I keep coming here for, anyway, and I’m happy, this particular source hasn’t runneth dry.
On a random note: Here’s a snapshot from yesterday up on the Simplon, for everyone’s further delight.
Maybe this yatch-it is owned by a basketball player who needs a big American car, hence the seats all the way back?
The owner practices gangsta lean. He has a half circle instead of a diamond in the back.
First of all, thrilled at the prospect of more of your finds and pieces. Second of all, the Continental Mark V is (hands down) my favorite premier personal luxury coupes of its day. That back seat, though, is tragic. Those tissues are there for when you start crying because your legs just fell asleep with no circulation.
I graduated from high school in ’73. Moving through the 1970’s, Mark IIIs, IVs, and Mark V’s were everywhere. This was the heydey of Lincoln, these outsold the Cadillac ElDorado. They were the “It” car that everyone lusted after. You could quibble a bit about the proportions, there is a lot of front overhang, and of course they weren’t the most practical to carry extra passengers. But they certainly had presence. I wonder if they sold to a lot of people that had wanted a ’50’s two seater T Bird, but had to wait until they were older and could afford it.
I was a huge fan of the Mark III, but was primarily a Cadillac guy. I’d already had several big two door Cadillacs, and a Lincoln. However, when I bought my three year old ’77 Coupe de VIlle I considered a Mark IV, but felt that the CdV was more modern, and was going in the direction that the luxury field should be headed.
I still find the Bill Blass Mark V to be a knockout, but don’t think that I’ll ever go down that road again. Nice to see a well kept example of the breed.
Welcome back Senpai…you’ve been missed…
I think that front seat must have had the tracks extended – my 78 Town Coupe had OK leg room in the rear, even with the front seat fully back.
Content de te revoir, Professeur! I’d just been thinking it was quite a while since I’d seen one of your Tokyo posts. They’re so inspirational, and responsible for no few model purchases… 🙂
What a wonderful find. Somehow this Lincoln seems the ultimate American car. The size, the looks…it could come from no other country. The style doesn’t look funky or weird; it’s almost seventies Euro-clean (front and rear detailing excepted), but scaled up about 30%. Totally impractical in today’s traffic conditions (and even more so in Tokyo, I:d imagine), but that was never the point.
As for managing this behemoth in Tokyo traffic conditions, I would assume it’s not a daily driver. Must be a hit at car shows.
I 65 yes old have had 5 mark v finest car there is for American highways 4 wheel disc brakes anti sway bars front and rear, I upgraded mine car cornered flat with the new bars and modern bushings, was running away from the dreaded minivan, could fit 3 car seats and one kid up front with well a lotta steel to get through to get to them, never dented one but keeping the long flat sides looking sharp ugh oh would get 25 to 30 mpg highway get that metal rolling on flat highways it was idling basically at 70 mph
The 70s Lincolns, both Town Cars and Marks are works of art. My favorite Mark is the 1974 model year. They convey a certain Lincolinesk presence. The lines are more rounded, the front marker,turn indicators have a beautiful and elegant thickness about them, and the way the horizontal taillights rap around the rear fenders is gorgeous. My uncle had a 75 Givenchy designer green with matching green leather interior. We called it the Shark Mark because of the simulator fins on the front fenders just behind the front wheel openings. Like I said, the 74s are more rounded and elegant. We also had a 76 4 door Town Car. It was dark red Moondust Metallic, with matching velour interior. It was also gorgeous. It was a much better car than the 76 Cadillac. I then had a 1990 downsized Mark Vll LSC, I was black with black leather. A great looking car, with great sounding duel exhaust. That same year my parents bought a 90 Town Car, it was dark blue metallic with matching blue leather interior. But my favorite was my 95 Town Car, it was black with black leather. It had a regal look about it that fit the Lincoln perfectly. I really loved that car. It had Ford’s 4.6 Ltr fuel injectioned modular engine, duel exhaust and had plenty of power and still got decent mileage. It had the Lazy L factory wheels on it which was also a perfect fit. In 95, Lincoln redesigned the dash, that features electronic dash, a moon roof and variable steering controled by the driver. It was a fantastic, underrated car. I would add one last thing. I wish I still owned every one of them. Try and find one of these cars today. You won’t, but if you do, you will pay top dollar for it
I love the 60s and 70s Lincolns. Both Town Cars and Marks. I feel greatful to have lived when those cars were new. There. Is nothing quite like those Lincolns. I wish I still had every one of the Lincolns I once had.
Ye olde barge, that would be fun in modern Japanese traffic, driving it would be ok its not as big as a truck parking it could be a trick to learn, Ive noticed since Ive been driving larger Citroens parking spaces have shrunk they are narrower yet my car is only Holden/Falcon size so not huge. Im liking park assist, though plants on driveways upset it.
Thank you so much for your kind words, everybody! It’s really good to be back. In the highly unlikely event that Tokyo would cease to offer its usual bounty of CC fodder, I have enough in store to keep posting for a good couple of years. All the best to all of you 🙏
A belated welcome back, T87. What a great choice for the opening of your second chapter.
As one who lived through that era and spent a little time around that class of car, I must doff my hat to the fastidious owner who keeps that white vinyl roof so clean, clean, clean. Those always *looked* clean from a distance, but when you got up close each of a million tiny crevices was full of embedded grunge that no car wash would get out. I could get vinyl tops looking like that, but it took the right products and a fair amount of effort.
The skimpy rear seat leg room is made to look worse by the way the owner keeps the seats reclined so far back. It is hard to imagine driving the car with the seats like this, but maybe this is a favorite place for an outdoor snooze.
Okaeri Tatra87-san! Glad to see you posting again. And what a way to start! Question: When the owner goes to the local constabulary, do they have to prove they have a parking space big enough for the vehicle, or only they have a space?
Looking forward to more. Any from Kyushu? Have you made it there in your journeys? We are just in the planning phase of circumnavigating Kyushu by rail as we did Hokkaido in 2018 and there were interesting vehicles up north for sure. Hoping to see some more in the south next spring.
yay you’re back!
T87 will be bringing some Tokyo fun…..some good news!