In the late ’70s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) mandated a 19-mpg minimum of all manufactured vehicles built in the states. At the time, the Lincoln Mark Vs were only getting 10 miles to the gallon. All the automakers went to the drawing board to downsize their models by shaving off pounds, inches, and adding smaller motors in order to meet the new regulations. By 1978 all manufactures dished out gas-efficient vehicles in their 1979 models – all but one.

Ford Motor Company decided to bid farewell to the last of the full-size luxury cars by producing 1979 models of the Mark V. Ford would receive a severe penalty for not meeting the minimum requirements placed by CAFE. Ford passed the hefty fines to consumers that rushed to purchase the last full-size luxury vehicles by raising the price on the Mark Vs and none of their other models.

The final blow to these boats on wheels came when a series of lengthy strikes by Iranian oil workers brought the industry’s oil exports to a halt. This was known as the 1979 Oil Crisis and it brought long lines at the pump and proposed gas-rationing methods. Even though the strikes took place over 6,500 miles away from Detroit, Michigan (aka Motor City), its effects changed the automotive industry forever by leaving the Big Three automakers (Ford, Chrysler, GM) hanging by a thread while giving a rise to Japanese imports.

Tech Specs

Vehicle Year/Make/Model: 1979 Lincoln Continental

Vehicle Nickname: Sunrise V

Owner: Takato Ogura

City/State: Gunma, Japan

Engine: 460 V-8 with three-speed C6 automatic transmission with dual-exhaust.

Body/Paint: House of Kolor Sunrise Pearl with read fades, gold leafing with yellow and red pinstriping

Interior: Tan leather

Wheels/Tires: 100-spoke center gold / 155/80R13