By the mid-seventies, things became pretty clear for motoring America that, as far as status-symbol cars were concerned, Lincoln and Cadillac were in a class of their own. 1974 must have been a tremendous and miserable year at the same time for the automotive universe after the shockwave of the first oil crisis rippled through the fabric of the gas-burning paradigm. The oil embargo hit right after the carmakers began production for the 1974 model year, making it impossible for them to find a safe haven anywhere.
But, like in any other period of human history, the rich didn’t really feel the stingy geopolitical wars over the petrodollars. Lincoln was among the brands whose reputation prevailed over its gas-guzzling habits, making it immune to federal attempts to change America’s mind about personal luxury cars.
Unlike General Motors, Ford opted for a more refined front-end look, with a narrow “Greek Temple” grille that slightly resembled Rolls-Royce’s unmistakable radiator cover. The car kept the ‘personal luxury’ philosophy, sticking to the long hood, short deck styling, and retaining the fake spare wheel cover mold in the trunk lid.
Lincoln bragged about its Continental Mk IV becoming a legend in its own time despite some hindrances from the government. No, the feds weren’t going after Henry Ford II’s luxury cars in particular, but here’s what they did: a seatbelt interlock requirement.
Another safety-concerned trait was the 5-mph (8 kph) rear bumper (the front one had become mandatory in 1973). To disguise the shock-absorbing mechanisms that allowed the bumpers to resist said impacts, urethane panels covered the gaps between the body and the collision protections. Ultimately, the cars’ roofs had to withstand a weight equal to 150% of the vehicle's mass without collapsing.
Naturally, all these requirements added weight to cars. In Lincoln’s case, the Continental MK IV grew to 2.4 tons – and this was still a two-door personal automobile, not a full-size pickup truck. The extra load didn’t help with fuel economy, either, not that the 460-cubic-inch V8 was a money saver. At 7.5 liters, the enormous V8 was an unsatiable ogre that evaporated one quart of gas every three miles. At 11 mpg (roughly 20 l/100 km), the Lincoln was not on the list of EPA award winners.
Rust has sunk its teeth in it, with the help of a lousy paint job on the hood and front panels, and the vinyl top lost the battle with the elements. However, the interior is in a much better state than the shell – a solid proof of what $10,000 would buy in 1974. The boys from WD Detailing who performed the cosmetic refreshment on this Lincoln didn’t check the engine to see if it runs or turns. Still, the engine bay looks nice enough to keep the hopes high.
After the government decided to prick carmakers in the speed, fun, and emissions sectors, inaugurating the Malaise Era, cars lost their luster, horsepower-wise. The 460-cube big-block V8 delivered 220 net hp and 355 lb-ft (223 PS / 482 Nm) with the compression capped at 8.5:1 (down quite a bit from the 10.5:1 figure of the previous generation model). The transmission was a single-offer three-speed Ford C6 automatic. The shifter was placed on the steering column, giving the Continental Mk IV a six-passenger carrying capacity.
This example featured In the video is a project worthy of restoration, provided that the next owner is willing to pour some cubic dollars over the Lincoln. The YouTubers didn’t reveal the mileage or other details about the car’s history, so it’s anyone’s guess whether this car will return to the road.