Die Cast X|Summer 2020
The Mark series and the name “Continental” are the defining images in Lincoln’s branding strategy. They have been used increasingly often across Lincoln’s various lines in recent decades, but in the early years a Mark car was, by design, truly something special. This was certainly the case for the Continental Mark III, which debuted as a 1969 model. It was the spiritual successor to the exquisite Mark II of 1956-57 which, at that time, was the most extravagant, expensive American car available. In the years following, rival Cadillac had assumed the mantle of Detroit’s most luxurious, most prestigious automaker— and Lincoln wanted the title back. Cadillac had revived the personal luxury coupe market with the introduction of the stylish, technically advanced new Eldorado. Lee Iacocca, Ford’s vice president, ordered design chief Gene Bordinat to reboot the Mark series using the Thunderbird architecture.
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