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NEW CAR/REVIEW

Lincoln Mark VIII

by Bill Maloney

Lincoln

SEE ALSO: Lincoln Rover Buyer's Guide

Sure, we all know that the Lincoln Mark VIII has been around almost as long as the venerable Lincoln Town car, a model that Ford can't seem to kill as a dedicated coterie of older buyers will not let it go away. We know that when the Mark first came out all the car scribes branded it a dolled up T-Bird which it may have been at one time but certainly not today and we know the Bird is going bye bye so does that mean the Linky built off the same platform will also head for that grear pit stop in the sky never to be seen again? We hope not because this 290 hp personal luxury sports car is a gas to drive, to park and to flaunt. Its new sexy rounded rear end and sloped front with color keyd grill the cars appearance is anything but T-Bird-like.

This is a car for the person who likes to make a statement and REALLY craves performance and will pay 40 grand for this. On making a statement I took the car and a pretty lady to one of the newest and poshyest water holes in Beverly Hills, California...the Eclipse. It was her birthday. The valet parking area looked like Beverly Hills Mercedes Benz car lot and had a couple of Rolls Royces mixed in. Inside we saw Dyan Cannon, Frankie Avalon who wouldn't sing happy birthday for us and a bunch of balding movie studio execs with youg starlets in tight dresses. When we left and the valet parkers stood by the Mark 8 with doors open, interior lights shing on tan leather upholstery and the Torredor red finish gleaming in the moonlight we said.."take that Mercedes Benz" The Lincoln sure held its own and got lots of stares.

All the car companies start off the new model year by touting a "complete updating" of some aging products however in the case of the Mark some neat new features have been incorporated.

New distintive grill treatment.

Side view mirrors tilt down when you are backing up...and that took some getting used to.

Power tilt/telescopic steering wheel with memory. The whole insides of the car bristles with memory. Getting in and out sets off a bunch of whirring motors as seats, mirrors, wheel move.

In-glass rear window antenna

New instrument cluster arrangement

It has neon tail lights.

About the new light system: Discharge lighting with its bluish white beam is much closer to daylight and provides 2.7 times more reflected light on the low beam setting compared to conventional halogen bulbs.

The claim to fame of the rear neon lights is that these units light 198 miliseconds faster than an incandescent bulb. At 60 feet this can help reduce stopping distance of following vehicles by as much as 17 feet.

And also in the interest of safety this model has a "puddle" that operates off the side view mirror that allows you to spot puddles before entering the plush interior cockpit.

LINCOLN MARK VIII

Price                      $39,990
Body/seats                 2D/5
Base engine                4.6 liter DOHC  32V  280 hp
Optional engine            4.6 liter            290 hp
Length                     207.3
weight                     3780
EPA                        18/26
ABS                        STD