. . . or perhaps Mercury's former top-shelf Comet, the Caliente, was making a comeback as a Lincoln?
M Y C O L L E C T I O N — My last crop of little red chili peppers is drying nicely. I thought about stringing them together, they make very cool looking garlands for the kitchen, but I'm having fun setting them up in photoshoots. Here they are accessorizing my 1981 Lincoln Continental Mark VI dealer brochure. The satin gold cover, and the trés elegant typesetting really harmonize with the deep red peppers for an unexpectedly "holiday" appearance, wouldn't you agree?
This series of Marks came with several designer editions, which I've photographed below. Generally, the designer packages were paint and trim combinations with no specific mechanical for performance changes from the standard Mark. Although the Red Hot Chili Peppers wouldn't form in L.A. until 1983, I think a Mark VI designer interior made from tube socks would have been perfect for them...
I absolutely love the style of the illustrations and the layouts used in this brochure for these designer Marks. The rest of this booklet uses "regular" photography. By employing these artistic renderings, the concept of the fashion designer influence is really emphasized. This is a really well-done square brochure, 11 1/4 inches x 11 1/4 inches. When it's opened, the spreads are deliciously large!
The outline font used for this cover is extraordinarily tasteful and well-done. The kerning, or inter-character spacing, is spot on, with the very slight exception of the A-L connection in the word Continental. I'm not sure why the designer felt the need to add the teeny tiny dividing line. The rest of the cover has nicely connected letters when necessary, and that A-L could certainly have done without the divider. Yes, I'm a typesetting NUT as y'all know, lol.
All photos are clickable thumbnails so you can see these illustrations in greater detail.
• For the Wiki on Lincoln's long history of their Mark series, click here.
The Hubert de Givenchy edition came in Black and Dark Pewter Tu-Tone (Ford's spelling, not mine), with a Black landau vinyl roof and wire-spoke aluminum wheels. The interior could be had with cloth or leather, both in Pewter. This generation of Lincolns, both the Town Car/Coupe and the Mark series, were greatly downsized from previous years losing almost a foot in length and close to 1,000 lbs in overall weight. By continuing these "ultra luxury" special editions, Lincoln was stressing that the luxury factor had not been downsized in the least.
The Emilio Pucci edition came in a subtle tone-one-tone, in Medium Fawn Metallic with a Light Fawn bodyside molding and a full vinyl roof in Fawn. Wheels were the wire-spoke aluminums also used on the Givenchy edition. The interior was furnished in Light Fawn leather with a Tu-Tone Light and Medium Fawn leather-wrapped steering wheel. I think the full vinyl roof treatment he chose was really tasteful. Many luxury cars, Lincoln included, had the option of a half- or Landau roof treatment, which I always found to be a bit tacky. I owned an '85 Town Car for nine years, and I had to choose a base-level Lincoln sedan to get a full vinyl roof instead of the Landau version. The dealer offered me a great deal to get the more expensive Landau roof, but I just couldn't look at it every day, lol.
The Cartier edition came only in Pewter, inside and out. The Landau roof was Medium Pewter, while the paint was Medium Pewter Metallic. A thin Dark Red coach stripe on the body and decklid was the only relief from the gray. The wheels were the Lacy Spoke cast aluminums offered optionally on other Lincolns.
Finally, Bill Blass really went to town with his nautical-inspired Mark coupe. The exterior was Dark Blue Metallic over Light Fawn Metallic, and the roof used an exclusive Cloth Carriage roof—a simulated convertible treatment. Earlier Blass Continentals were offered in White and Navy Blue. I think this Fawn and Navy Blue softened the look and "classed" it up a bit. The interior, available in cloth or leather, was also in a Tu-Tone Blue and Fawn combination. The wheels were the cast aluminum lacy spoke versions, which I also had on my Town Car. All Designer Edition Marks came with a personalized instrument panel nameplate for the buyers of these luxury cars. I like this Blass edition—I think the Tu-Tone paint treatment really made these newly-shortened cars look as long and as sleek as possible.
This generation of Marks, 1980-83 included the only four-door sedan in its rich history. Illustrated here is the Signature Series, the upper level of Mark sedans and coupes. The Signature Series, in 1981, was only available in this gorgeous Dark Red Metallic or Silver Metallic, both with color-keyed Landau vinyl roof and bumper rub strips, with matching interiors. This would be the last Mark series to utilize the inset oval opera windows, a look begun by the '72 Mark IV. Starting in '84, with the Mark VII, Lincoln reverted to a coupe-only lineup, the beautiful aero-styled Mark VII. The Mark VII stressed performance as a luxury feature, even including a specific model, the LSC for Lincoln Sport Coupe. The era of the "Hot Rod Lincoln" had begun.