Automotive Mileposts
1977 Continental Mark V1977 Continental
Mark V

INTRODUCTION DATE: October 1, 1976
Body Style Code: 65D
VIN/Body Serial Code: 89


A     460 CID 4V V-8
Bore & stroke: 4.36 x 3.85 in.
Comp. ratio: 8.0:1
Horsepower: 208 at 4000 RPM
Torque: 356 lb.-ft. at 2200 RPM
Carburetor: Motorcraft 4350

S     400 CID 2V V-8
Bore & stroke: 4.00 x 4.00 in.
Comp. ratio: 8.0:1
Horsepower: 179 at 4000 RPM
Torque: 329 ft.-lb. at 1600 RPM
Carburetor: Motorcraft 2150


U     XPL Automatic (C6)
Z     XPL Special Automatic (C6)


O     3.00:1 Traction-Lok
2     2.75:1
6     3.00:1 (Only with 460-4V Engine,
  High Altitude Emission Equipment or
  Class III Trailer Towing Package)
Wheelbase: 120.4" Overall Length: 230.3" Width: 79.7" Height: 53.0" Curb Weight: 4,838 lbs.
Track: (Front/Rear) 63.1"/62.6" Luggage Capacity: 18.1 cu.ft. Fuel Capacity: 26.0 gallons
Headroom: (Front/Rear; in inches) 37.5/37.1 Shoulder Room: 60.4/59.0 Hip Room: 55.4/54.3 Leg Room: 42.3/34.0
A Mark of Tradition

First there was the original Continental. One of the most beautiful cars ever built. What can mankind create to follow in its footsteps? The Mark II. A classic in every sense of the word. How do you top the Mark II? With the 1969 Mark III. How do you better the Mark III? You create the Mark IV, which finally serves notice to Cadillac that Lincoln is number one in the personal luxury field. With the Mark IV outselling Cadillac's Eldorado each year, how do you improve on that? With a Mark of tradition. The Mark V. Big luxury cars were on their way out when the Mark V was introduced in 1977. Ford had already downsized the Thunderbird, and it was about to have its best sales year ever in 1977. Lincoln decided to maintain the full size of its personal luxury offering for 1977, with a new engine to provide improved fuel economy.

Lincoln's decision was a correct one. The Mark V set a new sales record for the year. This was in spite of the increasing cost of fuel, and the luxury import market gaining acceptance with U.S. buyers. The Mark V was an evolution of the Mark IV. All of the sheet metal was new, but there was more than a passing resemblance between the two. The Mark V was squared off, more angular in its appearance. The interiors were quite similar, with the Mark V showing just a few updates from its predecessor. The Mark V retained all of the classic features necessary to identify it: the modified Rolls Royce grille, the concealed headlights, opera windows, simulated spare tire cover, etc. The sales brochure stated the new Mark was "Boldly contemporary...yet reassuringly compatible with traditions evolving from the first Continental..."

Cadillac downsized all of its line for 1977, with the exception of the Eldorado. To compete with the Mark's Designer Editions, Cadillac introduced the Eldorado Biarritz during the 1976 model year as an option for the 1976 Eldorado. The Biarritz was available from the beginning in 1977 in a limited assortment of colors, and featured a heavily padded Elk Grain cabriolet vinyl roof with limousine-style rear window and French seams. A vinyl insert that matched the roof color accented the aluminum roof crossover molding, and coach lamps served notice that this was not a standard Eldorado. A heavy brushed stainless steel molding began at the front of the hood with a spear shape, then continued down the side of the car along the belt line, widening near the rear edge of the door then narrowing again before continuing around the base of the vinyl roof. A Biarritz script nameplate was placed just behind the coach windows. Color keyed wheel covers and a pillowed leather interior completed the package. Very distinctive, but the Biarritz with its 1975 body was not able to compete with the crisp clean lines of the Mark V.

Functional front fender louvers were a styling refinement that helped cool the engine compartment, and were the only new styling feature introduced for 1977, as the new vertical tail lamps had been a styling feature of the 1969-1971 Mark III series.

Performance suffered, due to the sheer size and weight of the car. About 400 pounds was shed between 1976 and 1977, but the smaller standard power plant eliminated any possibility of better performance. What did not suffer was the smooth, quiet ride and satisfaction of owning one of the year's most distinctive automobiles. With new styling, new status for 1977. A Mark of tradition.

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