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HomeFeatured VehiclesPick of the Day: Lincoln Continental Mark III

Pick of the Day: Lincoln Continental Mark III

Picking up where Continental left off

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High-end personal luxury cars were not a thing until Cadillac got into the game with the 1967 Eldorado. Of course, what A does, so does B, which meant Lincoln saw an opportunity to produce a competitor – enter the Mark III. This 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III is our Pick of the Day. It is listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a dealership in West Chester, Pennsylvania. (Click the link to view the listing)

Before we talk about the Eldorado, let’s talk about the 1956-57 Continental Mark II. This new brand and model was produced by the Ford Motor Company as a spiritual successor of the original Lincoln Continental that was built in 1940-48. The semi-custom Lincoln, available as a coupe and convertible, was a landmark car in an era where landmarks were hard to come by – after all, the war disrupted production, if not the luxury market.

When Ford Motor Company decided to create a spiritual successor, it also decided to shoot for the moon and create a new brand (Continental) and market segment unique for an American car. In this case, the Continental Mark II would be priced at $10,000, much higher than any Cadillac. The Mark II’s design contrasted with other American cars, exuding the best of the era while eschewing the Atomic Age nonsense that was beginning to afflict the market. However, sales were not enough to sustain the marque, so the Continental Division was folded into Lincoln and the Continental – now the 1958 Mark III – became a fancier Lincoln akin to the Eldorado to Cadillac. For 1959, it was the Mark IV and then the Mark V for 1960, and then the Mark was laid to rest until 1968.

The genesis of the 1969 Lincoln Continental Mark III actually didn’t lie with the introduction of the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado. Rather, it started when Lee Iacocca asked a designer to put a Rolls-Royce grille on a Thunderbird. The design evolved from there, but the Mark III did share its platform with the Thunderbird and Lincoln Continental, which helped speed its development so, in March 1968, Lincoln introduced the 1969 Continental Mark III to the public, a spiritual (though not quite upmarket) successor to the Continental Mark II. Standard content was prodigious, of course, and a fancy Cartier clock joined that feature list several months into production. A capable 365-horsepower 460 was the only engine available. With marginal improvements like standard radial tires and anti-lock braking, the Mark III was produced through 1971.

This Dark Brown metallic 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III features a Buckskin leather interior and is equipped with air conditioning, power windows, split power seats, AM/FM radio, rim-blow steering wheel, remote side mirrors, and more. Best of all, it has just 7,000 miles on the odometer.

“All original and excellent in every respect,” says the seller. Perhaps the most interesting thing of all is that this almost-new car, which likely cost around $10,000 new (when a good middle-class sedan was $4,000), can be bought for only $37,000.

Click here for this ClassicCars.com of the Day.

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Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in metropolitan Phoenix.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for including a Continental or a Lincoln. You may want re edit your dates since if the Marks were laid to rest in 1968 how would this 1969 appear for sale.

    Gary, currently owner of a 79 Mark V and 56 Premiere

  2. Had the same car years ago. Somewhat of a collectible…how ever not worth what you’re thinking. I see these car’s for sale for under 7 thousand in very good condition…

  3. Yes, way overpriced IMO. And not particularly sharp in this color.
    Not long ago one that was painted a special color when it was built was offered for quite a bit less than this one and it was a beauty – red with no vinyl roof, and had the bucket seats interior.

    • The attraction to this car is that it has ultra-low mileage. Difficult to compare to others when they don’t share the same mileage.

  4. All it needs are some Coke wide whitewall tires. $37 k is a bit pricey but keep in mind car only has 7,000 “original” miles! Looks as new as the day owner drove it off the lot! A collector’s item for person with the money to buy it.

  5. When Cadillac came out with their first personal car in 1967 with the Eldorado, that drew an almost immediate response by Ford by coming out with the Mark 3 in mid 1968. The Mark 3 was an instant success and was featured in the “Cannon film series” starring Robert Conrad which was my favorite show as a youngster.

  6. To begin, I have always been a Ford man, so of course I like all the Lincoln Continentals, Marks, and Town Cars. Most Lincolns come very well equipped and are very comfortable cars. Next, As far as I know our friend Cannon always drove Mark IVs, beginning with the 1973 and then a 1974 through 1976, with the latter being my all-time favorite. I also liked the Mark Vl, and I actually owned a 1990 Mark VIi that I used as my daily driver for over 13 years. All my friends that my black with black leather Mark Vll was a perfect fit for me. I would have to agree. I also had a black with black leather 1995 Town Car which was a magnificent car. It was elegant, had plenty of power, got good gas mileage, and had features that most American cars didn’t have at the time, and I believe most people that owned one weren’t aware of the great features it had. One of my biggest regrets was letting that one go. I’m now trying to find another one but they are rare because people keep them. If I do see them on the used market they are priced close to what they sold for new. I don’t think there’s a better complement for a car to get, without even trying. Another fantastic car from the Ford Motor Company.

  7. Miles are not a indicator of condition. 90k well cared for vs 5k sitting in a field. Where the car has been, was it stored correctly or just parked and forgotten, who knows?

  8. I agree with R Lan. I have a small resto business and I’m working on a black/red ’70 MKIII that has higher miles but is in good condition. Main problem with these complicated vehicles is not the mileage but the “hammer and chisel” “restorers” who get to them.

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