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Image: 1975 Continental Mark IV in Dark Brown Metallic
1975 Continental Mark IV in Dark Brown Metallic
1975 Continental Mark IV


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Image: 1975 Continental Mark IV: No charge.

The 1975 Continental Mark IV offered significant mechanical improvements, as well as major standard equipment additions and important new options. A new standard hydro-boost power braking system and four-wheel disc brakes were significant engineering improvements that gave the Mark IV smooth, easy-effort stops, and eliminated the need for engine vacuum to provide brake assist.

Several new options in 1975 included wide band white sidewall tires, forged aluminum wheels, a Security Lock Group, premium bodyside moldings that included filigreed color-keyed vinyl inserts, and a power lumbar seat. New standard features on the Mark IV for 1975 included speed control, tilt steering wheel, power door locks and remote control decklid release.

The base price for the 1975 Continental Mark IV jumped $888 to $11,082. This increase was partially due to the new higher level of standard equipment provided, but unfortunately that enhancement didn't spill over into the sales department, as sales dropped for the second year in a row to 47,145 cars.

Two new Luxury Groups were added for the year, the first was the Blue Diamond Luxury Group [links in this article will open in a new window] which featured contrasting shades of Aqua Blue for the paint and vinyl roof. The second was the Lipstick and White Luxury Group, an elegant white on white combination outside, with dramatic lipstick red components inside, providing a brilliant backdrop for the white leather seating surfaces. Late in the year, a luxurious Versailles Velour interior option was added, which included crushed velour upholstery in five color choices on the seats with a floating pillow effect on the cushion and seat backs. The door panels, rear trim panels, and headliner were also velour, and the luggage compartment trim was color-keyed to match as well.

With its higher level of standard equipment, the 1975 Mark IV was at its peak when it came to standard items provided at no additional charge, a fact that was emphasized in Lincoln's advertising for the year. Ads comparing new Lincolns to Cadillac on a feature by feature basis included the "No Charge" notation in the Lincoln price column, but with the additional extra cost specified in the Cadillac column, perhaps suggesting that Lincoln was the better choice of the two cars due to its higher level of standard equipment. This was not a new approach for Lincoln either, as it had provided a higher level of standard equipment in the early sixties as well, but Lincoln changed its approach in 1966 by moving formerly standard items to the options list in an attempt to be more competitive with Cadillac on the base price.

This approach would not last for long in the seventies, either, as many items would again be moved to the options list for 1976, along with a drop in the base price of $22. It was obvious that Lincoln wanted to promote the new lower price, but it's not clear exactly what the motivation for this was. The 1978 Continental Mark V Diamond Jubilee Edition would include almost everything one could imagine as standard, with only a few options offered, and it would be the best equipped Lincoln Continental model to date.

If you were in the market for a new personal luxury car in 1975, and didn't want to tack a lot of optional extras onto the price, the 1975 Continental Mark IV would have been a good choice. In standard form, it was one of the best equipped cars ever built, and also one of the most distinctive available at the time. The '75 Mark IV offered a quiet, soft ride that was perfect for long trips, and it handled and braked better than most of its competition. It was at the top of its class, and the satisfaction and prestige that went with owning a Mark IV was also standard, at no charge.

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