1978 Lincoln Continental Mark V / Photos, Specs, Styling Details

Featured is a beautiful 1978 Lincoln Continental Mark V, one of the largest automobiles produced in Detroit. This personal luxury coupe was produced from 1977 to 1979. During this three year production run, the Mark V turned out to be the best selling model of the entire Mark series and was the flagship of Lincoln’s fleet.

continental mark v
1978 Lincoln Continental Mark V Coupe

Continental Mark Series of Automobiles

When it debuted as a 1956 model in October of 1955, the high priced $9,970 Mark II was one of the heaviest American cars without air conditioning, This first Continental Mark II was built with a 368 cubic inch V-8 but the weight and size of the vehicle needed all it’s power and more. The Mark II was rated at about 16 seconds for 0-60 MPH but the 4,800 lb automobile was never intended to be a performance car.

The new Continental which appeared in 1956 had a styling that stood out. This was the era of automobile tail fins of various sizes as well as jet age styling in general, however the new Continental lacked all of these. The styling was conservative. No fins, no air scoops, no chrome moldings. Even chief rival Cadillac was sporting relatively small tail fins at that time. Later in the 1950’s Cadillac models would have some of the largest tail fins of all.

The Lincoln Continental Mark series of luxury automobiles proved to be successful. The success lasted through the 1979 Mark V. After that year the emphasis seemed to be on smaller cars, many of which were Japanese imports.

1978 lincoln continental

1978 Mark V Styling

The Mark V’s chassis design was largely unchanged from the previous 1977 edition.

The 1977 Mark V as we have said, is a big automobile. The car’s length was over 19 feet end to end. Two inches longer than the Mark IV model. The Continental Mark V had hidden headlamps, a chromed grille, fender louvers, opera windows, and the  Continental bump on the trunk lid. The Mark V stood out with it’s sharp edged fender lines and it’s almost flat roof line. The lack of excess chrome molding seen on many cars of this era, both luxury and mid sized, is noticeable and in our opinion gives the large Mark V a cleaner look.

As is common with luxury automobiles, there were several luxury options available. These included a light around the door handle, a CB radio with power antenna, driver’s side heated rear view mirror, and aluminum wheels

1978 Continental Mark V Specifications

Engine for the big 1978 Continental Mark V is a 402 cubic inch V-8 delivering 166 HP. Also available was a 459 cubic inch V-8 with 210 HP.

Transmission is a three speed automatic.

Four-wheel power disc brakes were standard.

The front suspension consisted of coil springs with upper and lower control arms. A stabilizer bar and tubular shock absorbers were part of the front end suspension. The rear of the Mark V rode on coils that sat in saddles on top of the solid rear axle. The axle was attached to the frame with upper and lower control arms. Rear suspension also included a stabilizer bar and tubular shock absorbers.

78 continental

Dimensions include a 120.4 inch wheelbase, 230.3 inch overall outside length, 79.7 inch width and 52.9 inch height. Curb weight 4,760 lbs.

Total 1978 Lincoln Continental Mark V production was 72,600 vehicles.

Luxury car buyers liked the Continental Mark V and the car’s starting price of about $11,000 was not an obstacle. That amount in today’s current value is about $53,000. This comparison demonstrates just how much automobile costs have gone up where today you can pay much more than that for a new top of the line pickup truck.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are on the links below….

1941 Lincoln Continental Club Coupe

1948 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet V-12

Reference material for this article includes….Lincoln and Continental Classic Motorcars  The Early Years by author Marvin Arnold…The Lincoln Continental Story From Zephyr to Mark II by Tim Howley…Complete Book of Collectible Cars by the Editors of Consumer Guide.

(Photos and article copyright Auto Museum Online)

The Lincoln Continental Mark V Collector Cars

The 1978 Lincoln Continental Mark V is a popular collector automobile as it represents the pinnacle of the extra large personal luxury car era.

1978 mark v

The Lincoln Continental Mark V is a good automobile to start a collection with. The current prices for examples in excellent condition appear to be found in the $18,000 to $30,000 range with some priced well below that.