1968 Continental Mark III Press Release

Originally published in the First Quarter 1995 issue of Continental Comments (Issue # 203).

From Patrick J. Kelly of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania comes this 1968 press release on the Continental Mark III found in the library and research center of the Antique Automobile Club of America in Hershey, Pennsylvania:

Dearborn, Michigan, February 12, 1968. Diplomats, royalty, entertainers, classic car admirers and “carriage trade” buyers throughout the world have placed more than 1,000 orders for Ford Motor Company’s new Continental Mark III, the luxury personal car scheduled for introduction at Lincoln-Mercury dealerships in April.

E.F. (Gar) Laux, Ford vice president and Lincoln-Mercury Division general manager, said today that although few persons have seen the new motorcar and initially production will be limited, the company expects to sell between 13,000 and 15,000 Mark Ills in the first full calendar year.

Mr. Laux, addressing newsmen attending the national press-radio-television preview of the Continental Mark III, said the new car will continue the “momentum toward excellence” began by the Lincoln Continental and derived from a heritage that includes Henry Leland ’s original Lincoln and the first Lincoln Continental and the Continental Mark II.

“The momentum toward excellence, once achieved, is yours as long as you value it and protect it,” Mr. Laux said. “And that’s what we propose to do.”

The Continental Mark III will enter a steadily growing market of luxury and luxury/personal cars that annually accounts for about 440,000 units, a retail business worth about $2.5 billion. The present Lincoln Continental participates in this market to the extent of more than $250 million annually, Mr. Laux noted.”

The Mark III is a luxury car, a personal car and a two-door hardtop,” Mr. Laux said. “In other words, the Mark III is placed squarely in the center of the three most affluent and fastest growing areas of the market.”

Influencing the momentum toward excellence , Mr. Laux added, are the highest standards of design, manufacture, advertising , customer and supplier relations.

The new 460-cubic-inch engine which powers the Mark III, Mr. Laux said, is one example of the high standards of design accorded the new car. The 365-horsepower V-8, with a design background deeply rooted in the company’s performance engine program, is ideally suited to the Mark III, he added. The new engine also features advanced emission control.

Pointing out that January car sales by Lincoln-Mercury dealers were up 19% over Jan u a ry , 1967, Mr. Laux was optimistic about the balance of this year.”

Many of the new car purchases which were deferred last fall by the Ford strike will be made in this quarter of 1968,” he said. “Consumer reaction to the new models has been excellent, and we expect 1968 to become a banner year in the history of the industry.

“There seems to be no lessening in the American’s reliance on cars for his personal transportation .” He cited a steadily increasing car population, buoyed up by a scrappage rate of about seven million cars a year.

Mr. Laux also said that he expects Lincoln-Mercury sales to get an added boost this spring with a pair of new Mercury models—a hardtop and a convertible—with “yacht deck” simulated woodgrain side paneling and a new Cougar XR7-G, featuring a special handling package and power-operated sun panel in the roof.

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