1981 Lincoln Continental Mk VI
8-cyl. 302cid/130hp CFI
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
These “Panther platform” Marks are very nearly forgotten by many, but they are not at all bad cars. The prior Mark V was built until the end of the 1979 model year, and the “neo-aero-style” T-bird-based Mark VII coupes followed these cars, overshadowing the Mark VI from both directions. The other odd thing about these cars is that for the first time since 1960, a “Mark” was available with four doors, diluting its personal luxury car status in some eyes.
Worse yet, their introduction year and the year following saw the collapse of Lincoln’s overall sales due to economic conditions still being poor before prosperity returned in 1982. Sales of these cars did not reflect that, with 38,891 sold in 1980, 36,698 in 1981, 26,336 in 1982 and 30,856 in 1983. The explanation is that the Lincoln Town Car began taking the lions’ share of Lincoln sales over this time period.
In terms of size, the cars were given a drastic diet which helped them shed some 800 pounds and several inches in all dimensions between 1979 and 1980. Two-door cars were now “sedans” rather than “hardtops.” A 351 cid V-8 was optional only for 1980, a 302 cid V-8 was standard in all years with power generally around the 130 hp range, with a slightly higher powered 145 hp version of the 302 optional only in 1983.
In terms of styling, the Continental Mark VI was intentionally penned to be reminiscent of the previous Mark V. Hidden headlamps were utilized on either side of formal upright grille. Signature Series cars came with almost all options included as well as special equipment, and Designer Editions returned, including Bill Blass, Cartier, Givinchy and Emilio Pucci versions.
For 1981, the Designer editions were restricted to two-door cars. In 1982, the Emilio Pucci edition was moved to the four-door and not available on the two-door Mark VI. From 1983, the Givinchy edition was discontinued.