See Lincoln Mark for a complete overview of the Lincoln Mark Series.
The Lincoln Continental Mark V was a large coupe sold by Lincoln, the Ford Motor Company's luxury division, between the 1977 and 1979 model years. The Mark V was a restyled Mark IV, replacing that car's more rounded styling with a more squared-off, sharp-edged look that was the new automotive fashion. The standard engine was now the Ford 400 in³ (6.6 L) small-block engine instead of the 460 in³ (7.5 L) Ford 385 engine, but the latter was available as an option everywhere but in California in the first two years of production. Designer Editions included models named after influential designers of the likes of Bill Blass, Cartier, Givenchy, and Pucci, each featuring a unique option package and exterior and interior colors. One unique feature of the Bill Blass edition was a "carriage" roof design. This vinyl top configuration gave a "convertible top" look to the car. A humorous anecdote to the Bill Blass edition is that it had a nautical theme having small anchors detailed in the pin striping and the Bill Blass logo of the time and the fact that most large cars from this era are referred to as "land yachts". All 1977-1979 Lincoln Continentals feature a Cartier clock.
The Mark V was tested by Germany's car magazine "Auto, Motor und Sport" in 1977 and to this day (2005) holds the record as the least fuel efficient car ever tested by them, averaging no more than 7 mpg and giving only an (extrapolated) 3.5 mpg under full acceleration.
Lincoln, with the Mark V and Continental, held out for the giant American car longer than anyone else, but after 1979 it would not be possible. Ford came dangerously close to violating the Corporate Average Fuel Economy laws that year, and subsequent models would be substantially smaller.
To set it apart from the ordinary Marks, the Diamond Jubilee was available in just two colors: Diamond Blue and Jubilee Gold. Whichever color you chose, it would be repeated throughout the car. In addition to the special Clearcoat paint, the vinyl-insert bodyside moldings, vertical bars on the grille, bumper guards and rub strips, turbine-style cast aluminum wheels, grille ornament, and padded vinyl deck lid kickup with matching vinyl-insert lock cover were all coordinated.
Interiors were the most luxurious ever installed to date by Lincoln in a production car. Also matching the exterior color scheme, the interior featured front bucket seats with a padded center console. The console provided extra storage, and came equipped with an umbrella built into the underside of the padded armrest. The seats were upholstered in luxury cloth with a unique sew style.
Other distinctions included padded leather in high wear areas of the interior, as well as wood inserts on the instrument panel, door trim panels, front seat backs, and console. All Diamond Jubilee Marks were supplied with a leather bound owner's manual and tool kit. The outside edges of the opera windows were also beveled, and featured Diamond Jubilee Script and a simulated diamond chip laminated between the glass. After delivery, the customer could choose to have his or her initials monogrammed on the doors, interrupting the bodyside stripes. Most Mark V optional features were standard on this car, including the new digital "Miles-To-Empty" fuel gauge that calculated approximately how far the car could be driven with the remaining fuel in the tank, based on fuel level, driving speed, and fuel consumption rate.
Midnight blue cloth bucket seats and a console were standard, however seats were also available in a choice of blue leather or white leather. A price reduction was provided for the leather-equipped cars, which did not include the console. Unique paint stripes on the bodyside and hood, as well as Collector's Series script on the rear roof quarters, gave the Collector's Series unique touches. Unlike other Mark V models, these cars did not include opera windows. Gold colored grille bars and a padded contoured decklid accent with matching vinyl insert also set it apart. Naturally, this, and the above-mentioned Diamond Jubilee Edition, remains the most collectible example of the late seventies Mark V. Actor Tom Selleck was used in media advertisements for the car; this was prior to his television fame as Magnum P.I. Being as fully optioned as the car was, naturally the retail price reflected this abundance. The "Collector's Series" option almost doubled the retail price of the standard Continental Mark V to almost $22,000 US dollars. This option package was also available on the Lincoln Continental sedan which boosted the retail price of that car to almost the same amount.