By Dave Turner
Further illustrations of the models described can be found at the end of the article.
Prior to this particular series of Lincolns, there had already been Mark 111, Mark IV and Mark V cars, and they were the series of huge 1958-60 Lincolns the object of which was to be bigger than anything else! A review of models of these earlier cars appeared in MAR magazine 108, January 1997.
Said to be an attempt to pretend these cars had never appeared, a second Mark 111 came in 1968 and was based on contemporary Thunderbird structure. Intended to be a “personal” luxury vehicle, it was smaller than the contemporary Continental that had continued to grow larger over time. It was followed in 1972 by the second Mark 1V, that being once again based on the contemporary Thunderbird, which, once again had become larger itself, and was in fact as big as the Thunderbird ever reached. This new Mark 1V was 4” longer and 1.3” lower than the ’68 Mk 111 but managed to be 211 pounds lighter.
Those little oval ”opera” windows in the rear quarters were actually very useful for ‘over the shoulder’ visibility at awkward junctions, I know I ran a Mark 1V for ten years. The 460ci. V8 with three speed auto gave the car quite vivid performance backed up by almost all the power assists that we have come to expect now 45 years later. “Sure-Track” anti-lock brakes, auto dip on the inside drivers mirror to name but two.
For 1973 the front end of the Mark 1V was changed substantially by the federal 5mph bumper joined a year later by a similar structure at the rear, the overall length now being no less than 8” more than the Mark 1V of just 2 years earlier. 1975 the cars had disc brakes all round together with numerous luxury-groups of special colour combinations. For 1976 came the Designer Series options – Bill Blass, Givenchy, Pucci and Cartier as well as even more special colour groups.
A total of 278,599 Mark 1Vs were produced by the time the next Mark V arrived for 1977.
A few contemporary toy Mark 1Vs appeared but more recently a couple of highly detailed models have filled gaps in the miniature Lincoln cabinet.
Among the latter are the American Excellence and the Neo, that are in reality one and the same, depicting the 1973 version with the heavy front bumper and original rear item. The former came in gold and the latter in dark red, both with black tops while the wheels on the models resemble the optional forged aluminium pattern. Assembly of these recent resin models is sometimes less than perfect, the upright “star” on the hood is mounted too far forward. otherwise my example seems OK. Wheelbase is spot-on for 1:43 but the overall length is proportionately too long.
In the 1990s, there were several operations on the US creating 1:25 resin kits that were either complete or utilised contemporary plastic kits for their substructure. Guy Cantwell produced a large range of complete kits of exclusively US subjects and a 1973 Mk 1V was among them.
Western Models were among the most prolific white metal producers for 25 years or so from the 1970s, their products became increasingly well detailed and executed but eventually they retired from the model scene. In the late 1970s they produced a rather rugged model of a ’76 Mark 1V. It was finished in a pale metallic silver, the blue tinge of which seems to almost match the Silver Luxury Group option of the 1975 series, but that had silver interior, the model is red inside.
In the 1990s Westerns Mark 1V tooling was significantly upgraded and a 1973 car was produced. This exhibited a little more finesse, especially around the side windows while the wheels now approximated the standard covers.
Going back to the time of the real cars introduction there were some small diecast Mark 1V toys in the “matchbox” flavour. Despite sporting at least three different makers names on their bases they are so similar that they must have originated from the same source.
From Japan came the Tomica Tomy that by a small margin had the sharpest casting, (or thinner paint!) Identical apart from the marking on the base is the Yatming from Hong Kong, and this came with at least two variations of base detail and finally employing the same body the Zee Toy offering, again from Hong Kong, adds to the variety. All these toys had the inevitable opening doors and extremely simple plastic interior.
The only other Mark 1V in miniature to materialise in 40 years of collecting is a Denys Fisher Stock Car Classy Crashers set, or to be more accurate, the mortal remains of one. As the whole point of this toy was to crash them into each other, it is inevitable that the chance of finding a good example will be pretty unlikely – or it will be expensive. Surprisingly the ’73 Mark 1V is, or was, a reasonably pleasant depiction of the real thing as its ‘partner’ is of rather indeterminate identity, but having a late 1930s flavour and marked “Luxury Limo” on its base. The Lincoln meanwhile is inscribed as “Sedan Royale”. It has languished out of sight for 30 odd years in the hope that another example may turn up and possess some of the missing parts.
|Guy Cantwell||USA||1990s||1973||1:25||Resin kit|
|Kenner||Hong Kong||1974||1973||210mm||1:27||plastic Stock Car Classy Crashers from Denys Fisher|
Neo 1:43 resin from China: 45566 1973 Mark 1V, overall length too long compared to wheelbase.
Western 1:43 metal from UK: 102 1976 Mark 1V.
Western 1:43 metal from UK: 111 1973 Mark 1V, refined tooling from the ’76 model.
Tomica 1:77 diecast from Japan: F4 1975 Mark 1V