On January 26, 1998, Ford Motor Company announced it would end production of the Lincoln Mark VIII in June 1998, leaving the Cadillac Eldorado as the only traditional American luxury coupe left on the market. Mark VIII sales were doing poorly. Only 16,805 of the newly revamped 1997 models were sold, and sales of the 1998 were even lower. On February 5, 1998, Lincoln announced that it would offer a Mark VIII Collector's Edition, a special commemorative version of the car. In Lincolns published announcement, Jim O'Connor, Ford vice president and general manager of Lincoln Mercury states, "We're celebrating the major role the Mark series has played in Lincoln's history. These are the cars that ushered in the Mark traditions of the Lincoln grille, bold C-pillar, long hood and short trunk, including the famous Continental kit spare tire." Lincoln had offered special editions when it has discontinued a line of cars before. In 1979, a Collector's Series option, was offered on the last of the Mark V's and the last of the big Town Cars. See this link at www.classiclincolns.com for more information on these special cars from 1979..
The Collector's Edition was a $900 option on top of the base price of the LSC edition of the Mark VIII on which they were all based. Only two colors were offered: the Cordovan Metallic color, which was exclusive to the Collector's Edition in 1998, and a $365 extra cost White Pearlescent Tri-coat Metallic. Two special interiors were offered a two tone Graphite interior and a two tone Prairie tan interior. Interesting, though all other LSC's featured Euro-perforated interior, the Collectors editions hides were solid with no micro holes in the seating area. Possibly, the seating materials were made up early in the decision making process when the Collector's Edition was planned to be a base model.
In addition to the above, the Collector's Edition buyer got the following:
Orders for the Collector's Edition were taken starting in April of 1998. All the cars were built in the weeks from June 8 to June 27, 1998. Each car received a metallic gold sticker with a serial number on the driver's door jamb. These serial numbers are not consecutive with production, as they were randomly applied to the cars, after they were all assembled. Serial numbers are known to go up to 1280, with this last car going to the Dearborn museum. Ford's records indicate that 1386 Collector's Editons were built. The additional cars may have been made for Canada and other countries.
Special brochures were printed for these cars. The intial brochure had a cover with a closeup of the taillight lens with gold letters "Mark VIII Collector's Edition." The production car did not have this detail, so a second brochure was made with a cover showing a small picture of a Collector's Edition in Cordovan Metallic. Both of these brochures are exceedingly rare. Reportedly, only one copy of the second version was given to each dealership. Click on the link on the bottom to see pictures of the brochures.
Complete Production Information for the 1998 Collector's Edition
Mark VIII Collector's Edition Brochures
Members' Collector's Edition Photos
Mark VIII Collector's Editon Owner Alert
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