Home Travel Stories Gas Logs 1993 LINCOLN Mark VIII 281 SM EFI MPG= 13.0 City/ 25.5 Hwy
1993 LINCOLN Mark VIII 281 SM EFI MPG= 13.0 City/ 25.5 Hwy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Double Dragon
Saturday, 05 April 2014 22:21

1993 LINCOLN Mark VIII 281 SM EFI MPG= 13.0 City/ 25.5 Hwy


Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown

Metric: 4.6 L engine= 18.09 L/ 100 Km City/ 9.22 L/ 100 Km Highway

93 lincoln mark viii gas gauge



For the 1967 model year Cadillac piggybacked on the Oldsmobile Toronado front wheel drive chassis to create a new 'personal car' named Eldorado. The Cadillac Eldorado nameplate had been around in the Cadillac lineup but this new new front wheel drive Eldorado was a beautiful car that targeted the growing 'personal car' market perfectly. Lee Ioccoca over at Ford responded quickly and similarly used an existing platform (the Thunderbird chassis) to create the Lincoln Mark III as a 1969 model.

For the next decade the Cadillac Eldorado and Lincoln Mark series were pitted against one another in "King of the Hill" tests run by MOTOR TREND. MT assessed these huge domestic gadget laden beasts in the context of the US luxury market. MT noted that import luxury cars were nimble and space efficient. Winding roads and narrow European streets dictated the design of imports while wide open spaces prodded USA manufacturers to build big cars with soft rides. A long wheelbase and heavy weight creates a smooth riding car.

A 'bigger is better' mentality ruled the domestics for decades until magnetic ride and other technological wonders rendered enormity unnecessary for comfort. Despite being able to do more with less, huge size makes the statement that this is the 'most' car in terms of size and price. This psychological factor kept the domestic cars big for a long time past the point where they needed to be huge.

The earliest luxury cars were huge for all these reasons. Interestingly, both Cadillac and Lincoln were created by the same man: Henry M. Leland. Leland built Cadillac on the debris of one of Henry Ford's failed enterprises when he was brought in by Ford's investors to salvage a sinking business. General Motors bought Cadillac. Leland parted ways with GM when his ideas to produce airplane engines for WW1 were rebuffed. Leland ended up with a factory set up to produce excellent V-12 engines and no customers after WW1 ended. Leland decided to build a car around his V-12 and set out to duplicate the prestige of Cadillac with Lincoln, named in honor of Abraham Lincoln. Henry Ford didn't forget or forgive. When he bought the Lincoln company in 1922 Henry Ford ousted Leland and put his son Edsel Ford in charge of Lincoln.

Edsel set about refining the exclusive Lincoln image further. The first Lincoln bearing the Continental name appeared as a 1940 model marketed as a limited production specialty car based on Edsel Ford's personal car. Lincoln built the Continental but presented it as a separate line from Ford and Lincoln much like Chrysler attempted to make the Valiant its own line in the 1960s. In hindsight this 1940 Continental was the 'Mark 1' although at the time it was simply called Continental. Edsel Ford died in 1943 and when post war production resumed his absence caused the exclusive high end emphasis at Lincoln to lose focus and definition.

Lincoln was spurred to aim higher when Cadillac created an incredibly expensive specialty showcar named Eldorado for 1952 named in honor of the mythical place El Dorado. This evocative name was attached to high end production Cadillacs starting with the 1953 model year. The Eldorado name would return in the 1960s to spark the rivalry between Continental and Eldorado which persisted for a few decades.

The Continental Mark II appeared as a 2 door svelte car that lasted for 1956 and 1957 model years before prohibitive build cost for the factory and consumer retail price ended its run. Once again the Mark series provided a personal focal point for a Ford man. William Ford fought for a no compromises final product but made the car so good that no one could afford one.

The Continental Mark III, IV and V series dropped the original 2 door 'personal concept' and became less specialized. These lower cost mass production vehicles were available in all bodystyles including large 4 doors.

The Continental name carried on through the 1960s with the clean styled smaller 'suicide door' type of 4 door body which ran for the 1961-9 model years. John F Kennedy's limousine parade car was the most famous of this line. In 1966 this version of the Continental received a 2 door version as well which was the first time since 1957 that the Continental name was associated with a 2 door.

In a somewhat confusing move the 'Mark III' name was revived for a special project Lee Iocacca initiated in April, 1968 as a counter punch to the new Cadillac Eldorado 'personal luxury car'. Iaccoca had his designers slap a Rolls Royce grille and rear 'spare tire hump' onto a Thunderbird platform to create a new 1969 model year version of the Continental Mark III.

Note that when Iococca introduced the Mustang in April, 1964 it was badged as a 1965 model. Once more, Ioccoca introduced a new car in April and badged it as the following model year. Since the 1969 version of the Mark III was a stylistic successor to the short lived Mark II produced for 1956-7, Ioccoca reasoned that it made sense to recycle the Mark III name and ignore the late 1950s and 1960 Mark III, IV and V which were not really true to the original concept.

The first Mark III introduced back in 1958 was an ornate car built in both 2 and 4 door formats that departed from the 1956-7 2 door personal car concept. The 1969 model Mark III was more deserving of the Mark III name with its tighter lines and 2 door personal car format.

The 1969 version of the Mark III had a 117.2 inch wheelbase, was 216.1 inches long and heavy: it had a 4,866 pound curb weight. The 460 4 barrel engine managed 10.4 to 12 MPG. In 1971 even with the advantage of low rolling resistance Michelin radial tires the Mark III only gave Motor Trend 8.8 to 9.25 MPG. This Mark was as big as it possibly needed to be. But when Chevrolet enlarged the Impala in 1971 suddenly Chevy made a huge car available for the masses imbued with many 'Cadillac' design cues. Cadillac had to respond by increasing the size of the Cadillac to maintain the GM 'hierarchy' of size and 'class'. Lincoln lost no time in puffing up the Mark series.

When the new Mark IV appeared for 1972 it rode on a 120.4 inch wheelbase and was 220 inches long. MOTOR TREND test weight was 5,010 pounds. The smog controlled lower compression 460 managed about the same MPG as its high compression predecessors at 8.6 MPG City and 11.7 MPG Highway. When bumper laws entered the picture length stretched to 228.1 inches long and the curb weight of the car plowed deeper into 5,000 pound territory. Gas mileage peak for 1973 was 11.9 MPG and 13.27 in 1975. For a mid 1970s domestic car the Mark series was fairly advanced. It had 4 wheel discs, 'Sure-Track' anti skid hardware and radial tires. EPA for the 1975 Mark IV with 460 was 10 City MPG and 15 Hwy MPG.

The April 1975 issue of POPULAR SCIENCE evaluated the performance of the 1975 Ford Thunderbird 460-4 barrel in relation to the Chrysler Cordoba 360-2 and Grand Prix 455-4. The 1975 Thunderbird is a 'clone' of the Mark IV. PS ran the cars at steady 45 MPH and 60 MPH and came up with 13.2 MPG and 11.8 MPG for the Ford 460. Steady 60 falls quite short of the EPA estimate of 15 Hwy MPG.

The 1975 Thunderbird 460 ran through a 2.75:1 axle on 225x 15 tires and despite massive 5,188 pounds curb weight managed 0 to 60 MPH in 12.8 seconds.

The Oct 1975 issue of POPULAR SCIENCE noted that Ford had improved MPG across the 1975 model lineup by installing catalytic converters which cleaned up emissions and allowed a return to economy/ performance tuning of engines and use of lower rear axle ratios. For 1976 model year Ford was going deeper into this approach on all cars except one: the 1976 Lincoln Mark IV. The 460 engine in this car relied on dual timing pickups allowing a computer controlled timing system (CCT) to instantly switch from to the other as required to match timing advance to conditions.

When regular cars were downsized it became possible to shrink the luxury cars which by comparison would still be the largest cars built. Cadillac downsized the Eldorado for the 1979 model year. Despite knowing that the new smaller Eldorado was in the works, Lincoln resisted downsizing and built the 1977 Mark V on a carryover chassis with a new sharp edged body style. Lincoln did manage to purge the car of 400 pounds with the new 'svelte' 4,839 pounds curb weight. The 1976 Mark IV had a curb weight of 5,264 pounds. The new 1977 cars are still huge however at 230 inches long. They are easy to spot due to the functional fender louvers behind the front wheels. Otherwise the lines duplicate the earlier models.

Some of the weight loss was due to lighter base engine: a small block 400 replaced the 460 as the standard engine. The 400 was a 'Cleveland' engine derived from the 351 Cleveland that used the 2 barrel small valve heads and actually displaced 402 c.i. Apparently most buyers ordered the 460 if we assume the same ratio of 460s appear in the general population as found in the POPULAR MECHANICS April 1977 Owners Report. PM discovered that 94.5% of 1977 Mark V owners opted for the optional 460. EPA said the 460 was good for 11 MPG City and 16 MPG Highway while real life owners averaged 10.1 MPG City and 13.5 MPG Highway. In 1979 the 400 single exhaust was the only game in town. The website FUELY.COM reported one user driving a 1979 Mark V getting 7.2 MPG from his 400.

Lincoln downsized one year after Cadillac shrunk the Eldorado. For 1980 the Mark VI rode on a 114.4 inch wheelbase and was 216 inches long. The overall length is within fractions of the 1969 Mark III but this is deceiving because the giant 5 MPH bumpers account for much of this length on the 1980 Mark VI. A four door version was also built with 3 inches extra wheelbase and length. The baroque styling was retained which doesn't work on a smaller car. The busy and dated styling may have caused this model run to be fairly short. A fuel injected 302 was standard with a 351 2 barrel optional for the first year. The 351 variable venturi carburetor was problematic causing the optional engine to be shelved after one year. In conjunction with the fuel injected 302 the Mark VI used an overdrive 4 speed automatic. Most of the MPG improvement came from reduced weight (2 door to 4 door ranged between 3,800 to 4,200 pounds). FUELY.COM has a user who managed 12.7 MPG in a Mark VI.

The 1984 Mark VII caught up with the times by matching elegant styling to the smaller body. EPA says the 302 for 1982 managed 14 MPG City and 20 MPG Highway. A 2.4 Liter six cylinder produced impressive figures of 21 City MPG and 29 Highway MPG. The diesel version of the 6 cylinder was strangely lower with 20 MPG City and 28 MPG Highway.

The Mark VII was well received and doesn't appear heavily dated even today. Following the new direction established with the Mark VII, Lincoln created the 1993 Mark VIII as a modern car with only subtle styling cues to link it back to the past.

The Mark VIII uses a fake chrome grille up front in a distorted homage to the old "Rolls Royce" grille that Lee Ioccoca ordered his men to graft onto a Thunderbird to create the first 1969 Mark III. The metal is actually a space age substance that looks like chrome but isn't. It can flex under impact and rebound. The 'spare tire' hump remains in the rear trunk lid despite the spare being located under the flat carpeted trunk floor. Factory literature claims this hump serves as a rear spoiler. The Mark VIII has a small spoiler up front.

Lincoln pulled out all the stops to create a car with comparable technology to the BMW and Mercedes which were killing the domestic prestige car market. Although both Cadillac and Lincoln downsized their cars these are still large vehicles with superfluous styling when contrasted to the utilitarian external design of the imports.

The EPA website states that the totally redone Mark VIII gets 16 MPG in the City and 23 MPG on the Highway. The original EPA system when the Mark VIII was first released credited it with 18 MPG City and 25 MPG Highway. The system was revised and old ratings have been subsequently downrated to reflect the new standards.

Either way you look at the mileage the impressive thing is that the smaller 4.6 L engine (281 cubic inches) is actually very powerful compared to the 5.0 (302) it replaced. Part of the explanation lies in the fuel injection, dual runners, and DOHC 32 valve set up. The reciprocating mass of the engine was reduced and coupled with advanced low friction parts. Lincoln used aluminum heads and block to reduce weight up front along with the composite hood.

Both the Eldorado and Mark VIII were now chasing the imports which meant smaller cleaner designs and precise road handling. The Mark VIII has air suspension with automatic leveling, four wheel independent suspension, four wheel ABS vented disc brakes, rack and pinion steering and aluminum wheels shod with specially made Goodyear Eagle GA tires rated for 149 MPH which were matched to the car's suspension. Despite all these leaps forward over the ponderous land barges of yore, the Mark VIII is still a large heavy car positively packed with gadgetry. Managing any kind of reasonable fuel efficiency while retaining the traditional large heavy luxury image shows how hard the Lincoln engineers were working on this car.

Part of the explanation lies in the body design which has enough length to provide space for a very large steeply raked windshield and rear fastback window. The engineers also used a few tricks to preserve 'big car' interior space by designing the car like a boat with the widest part of the car situated at the seating point for the front passengers. The car subtly narrows at the front and rear to assist air flow. The retractable radio antenna is probably going to be out of the airflow most of the time when you have a 10 disc CD player and a cassette player. The overkill in music choice renders the radio superfluous.

The automatic leveling suspension drops the car by an inch at highway speeds to reduce wind resistance. Even at speeds over 100 MPH the Mark VIII is dead quiet aside from tire roar; proof that the aerodynamic work payed off not only for the Corporate Average Fuel Economy but also for a silent luxury ride.

ROAD & TRACK Dec 1992 tested a Maroon Mark VIII and cataloged unwelcome stylistic add-ons such as the 'rear hump' and chrome accents added to a sleek bodyshape that otherwise met their approval. ROAD & TRACK managed to clock 0- 60 MPH in 7.6 seconds and cover the quarter mile in 15.8 seconds at 93 MPH. R & T's test car was limited to 130 MPH due to the use of a one piece aluminum driveshaft to save weight. Also noted were aluminum lower control arms, steering gear, rear suspension knuckles, and differential. Curb weight was 3,750 pounds. Braking was good with 60- 0 MPH taking 152 feet. They didn't run their own MPG test but quoted the EPA rating of 18 City/ 25 Hwy MPG.

AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE Dec 1992 tested the same Maroon Mark VIII and instead of running it against the Cadillac Eldorado which was the traditional rival of the Mark series they ran it against the new 1993 Cadillac STS. Both cars were pre-production cars and both were pronounced by AUTOMOBILE to be the best luxury performance cars USA had ever built up to that time.

The 4 door Seville Touring Sedan (STS) pumps 295 HP through front wheel drive via a 279 cubic inch (4.6 L) Northstar engine and 4 speed automatic that gets the power down through Goodyear Eagle GAs that are the same size as the Mark VIII's tires. The Cadillac made it to 60 MPH at 7.5 seconds which exactly matched the Mark VIII on hand (0.3 seconds faster than the R & T time). STS is free from a speed limiter which gives it a 150 MPH top speed. AUTOMOBILE stated that the Mark VIII is limited to 135 MPH which places top speed 5 MPH higher than what R & T reported.

AUTOMOBILE enjoyed the 2 cars and felt the Mark VIII was a bit nicer riding. Like R & T they critiqued the oceans of plastic visible in the interior with no wood accents. Lincoln listened to them because the production versions had wood applique. Program manager at Lincoln Paul J Morel, Jr states that unlike its competitor the Lexus SC400 which is a sporty car with luxury Lincoln wanted to create a luxury car with sportiness.

Paul Morel should be applauded for aiming the Mark VIII at the 2 door personal car audience in defiance of the trend to piggyback on the foreign 4 door luxury sedan tsunami. By providing excellent interior room and ease of entry Lincoln made the 2 door easy to use. The Autoglide seats combined with front belts with a pivoted retainer that folds the front belts out of the way make it easy to load and unload rear passengers. Unfortunately Lincoln no longer builds a 2 door personal car.

AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE July 1993 wasn't as pleased with the 1993 Mark VIII and 1993 STS when they took them over to Europe along with some other USA built 'best of class' cars. Amusingly the writer asks for some alternative to covering up acres of plastic with wood. Lincoln's production versions of the Mark used wood to cover plastic surfaces which were criticized in magazines for being too bare in the pre production version.

The Mark VIII's Autoglide seat system was praised as a solution that Mercedes should investigate for the SEC. The Mark VIII variable ratio steering and shifting came up short in European use. Impact harshness was another issue. Mark VIII wasn't sorted out sufficiently in the quest for a taut ride. The Cadillac STS wasn't immune to the same ride issues. AUTOMOBILE complained hat STS also bottomed out and was criticized for having too much woodwork and not enough space inside. It seems AUTOMOBILE measured the city MPG of the STS (14.3 MPG) while quoting the EPA number (18 City MPG) for the Mark VIII.



If not for the first year when it was a brand new lease vehicle the OOCC Lincoln would be a ONE FAMILY car. The OOCC Lincoln Mark VIII door sticker indicates a February, 1993 assembly date. The annual Aircare inspections begin Jan 24, 1994 which suggests that the car was first registered and insured Jan 25, 1993. It's commonly known that the door stickers can be 'up' or 'down' a month depending on how many were available on the assembly line but this time the sticker matches the vehicle records. This Mark VIII was actually built February 26, 1993 at the Wixom, Michigan final assembly plant where all Lincolns cars were built at the time.

The OOCC Mark VIII was built a few months into the run of the brand new run of Mark VIIIs which began Oct 21, 1992. The actual date of Mark VIII public introduction was Nov 18, 1992 at the Hotel Mark, in New York, NY.

The Mark VIII had only been in the public eye for 3 months when this particular one was built which may explain why it carries a full option load. The first cars down the line are often built to impress. Some of the earliest cars came without the Autoglide front seats and were retrofitted by dealerships. This car had the Autoglide seats and like many early production run cars has the 'dimple' style air intake hose.

The OOCC car was originally a lease vehicle through Brown Brothers Ford Lincoln in Vancouver, BC. When this Lincoln was traded back to the dealership the lease manager noted the pristine condition of this car and gave it to his wife. Although she fondly recalls how enjoyable the car was to drive, after several years she moved onto a new car. Being the wife of the lease manager creates opportunities to constantly stay on the cutting edge of the latest and greatest vehicles. She has a soft spot for the Mark VIII and it remains in her family as a pleasure cruiser which keeps it from racking up excessive mileage.

The standard features on the Mark VIII are extensive. Approaching the vehicle you have a choice of remote clicker entry, using the combination code under the door handle or a key. The driver and passenger door locks have an internal light to help locate the keyhole. Lifting the door handle turns on many interior lights. Turning the key in the lock disarms the vehicle immobilizer and alarm system.

Once inside, if you lift a seatback, Autoglide triggers the power seat to move forward to provide access to the rear. Returning the seatback to normal seating position causes the seat to return to the prior set placement. The ergonomically designed leather seats have 6 way power controls and 2 memory settings for various drivers. Color keyed to the seats are a leather wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and map pocket.

The Mark VIII has power door locks, power windows with one touch express down, climate control that is set to desired temperature (air conditioning or heater will automatically turn on as needed), tilt steering, remote trunk release which can be locked using the trunk key, fuel door release, driver and passenger illuminated vanity mirrors in the visors, dual airbags, cruise control with controls on steering wheel, speedometer, trip odometer, tachometer, fuel and temperature gauges and of course console storage armrest, lighter, ashtray and hidden cupholders under flip up real wood finished console hatches. The power mirrors are heated with memory recall of various settings for different drivers, just like the seats.

The center of the dash contains a computer center which warns of any malfunction and tracks service intervals. It reads oil and coolant level much the way new cars without dipsticks can. Your driving patterns are recorded to extrapolate service life remaining in oil and coolant. The computer will run diagnostic checks, tell you how many litres of gas (or gallons if you choose imperial measurements) are in the car, quantity used as well as current fuel economy and remaining range. The computer can be set for particular functions such as a compass.

The Mark VIII has complex wiper delay settings and delay lighting timers for exterior lights to illuminate the car as you make your way into your house. Side lights illuminate the road to the side of the car in the direction you have indicated you will be turning. The stereo has a remote rear antenna that raises and lowers whenever the radio is turned on or off. There is filament wire rear window defrost, trunk and underhood lights, automatic load leveling and ABS four wheel disc brakes.

Aside from extensive gadgetry, the Mark VIII provides luxury via ride quality and low noise. A combination of sound deadeners and high quality seals allow no wind whistle or external noise to intrude into the interior. The air suspension provides good compromise between quiet smooth solid riding quality and decent response and handling. At 55 MPH the car automatically lowers the air suspension to create better aerodynamics and less side wind buffeting.

This particular Mark VIII is a fully loaded car and takes the excessive luxury built into the standard car to the highest level possible for this year. All options available on the Mark VIII are present in the OOCC car: traction control which can be turned on or off with a switch near the shift lever, a tinted electric power 'moonroof' with a sliding sun shade under it, electrochromic rear view mirrors which use sensors to automatically dim the rear view mirror in response to the lights from following cars, 10 CD disc changer in the trunk with upgraded JBL sound system with cassette player in dash, aluminum 16 inch wheels, and voice activated cel telephone. A microphone in the driver's 'A' pillar employs voice recognition to allow the driver to say the name of the person he wishes to speak to. The system accesses up to 30 stored numbers and dials the correct person allowing hands free driving.

None of these features come for free. They all add weight and complexity as well as electrical drain to the system which ultimately creates more work for the engine. The curb weight of the base Mark VIII is 3,752 pounds. The power moonroof option adds about 30 or 40 pounds. The CD changer and higher end speakers probably contribute another 10 pounds to the car. The phone adds 2 pounds and traction control adds 10 pounds for total option weight of about 60 pounds pushing the OOCC Mark VIII up around 4,000 pounds.

This Mark VIII was evaluated by the British Columbia 'Aircare' program yearly providing a progressive record of the mileage of this car in kilometers with the exception of the entry for 1995 where Aircare recorded 0 Km. The subsequent entry is proportional to the other readings so its unlikely a roll back was done anytime in the history of the car prior to the lease expiry. The post lease numbers are all known miles to the family. The highest usage was in the year 2000 when a family member logged 14,000 km (8,700 miles) on a lengthy highway trip searching out long lost relatives.

Jan-24-1994 6,000 km (3,700 miles)

Jan-17-1995 0 km

Jan-22-1996 20,000 km (12,400 miles)

Jan-23-1997 26,000 km (16,000 miles)

Jan-21-1998 33,000 km (20,500 miles)

Jan-4-1999 40,000 km (24,800 miles)

Dec-29-1999 47,000 km (29,200 miles)

Dec-27-2000 62,000 km (38,500 miles)

Dec-4-2002 68,000 km (42,200 miles)

Nov-27-2004 81,000 km (50,300 miles)

Dec-3-2004 81,000 km (50,300 miles)

Dec-2-2005 86,000 km (53,400 miles)

Mar-4-2006 88,000 km (54,600 miles)

Mar-3-2008 98,000 km (60,800 miles)

Mar-15-2010 101,000 km (62,700 miles)

Mar-14-2012 109,000 km (67,700 miles)

Apr-2-2014 113,000 km (70,200 miles)

In 21 years the car was driven 113,000 km (70,200 miles) which is roughly 3,000 miles per year. Aside from the trip in 2000 the car was not taken on highways much which preserved it from from 'road rash'. There is not even one stone chip in the front bumper or hood. The hood is actually made of a plastic resin which prevents rust and saves some weight.

All the equipment works and the engine runs very strong. Despite low miles and a pristine body free of rust, scratches or dents the car has experienced some hassles. The complex options place a strong demand on the 120 amp factory charging system and the car has been through many batteries as well as a new starting motor. At 60,000 miles the Mark VIII needed a new alternator and once again at 70,000 miles this time with a new belt and tensioner pulley thrown into the mix. The transmission can create vibration when the lock-up converter kicks in on overdrive under light throttle pressure. Hard acceleration yields firm positive shifts. These transmissions are notorious for rough lock-up if anything other than Mercon 5 fluid is used.

The 4.6 L engine (a mere 281 cubic inches) manages to produce 280 net HP with the fake 'two into one into two' dual exhaust that the car came from the factory with. The later upgraded high performance version of the Mark VIII used true dual exhaust and two catalytic converters to produce 290 HP. Lincoln uses the strongest version of the 4.6 block ever produced. Lincoln blocks were cast in Italy by the Teksid company. The Lincoln 4.6 is an aluminum block instead of the standard Ford cast iron block. The Teksid aluminum block was also used in the supercharged 1996- 1998 Ford Mustang Cobra.

The 4.6 L will run on regular fuel but the 9.8:1 compression requires 91 octane premium for optimum performance. The gasoline used in the GAS LOGS was typically 'premium' 91 or 92 octane Chevron brand gasoline. The oil used was generally 5W30 or 10W30 which is an 'old school' formulation compared to some of the super thin gas saving oils on the market nowadays.

The tires were normally pumped up to 32 PSI although the factory placard in the passenger door jamb recommends a mere 30 PSI all around except for trailer towing and sustained high speed highway running. The aluminum wheels tend to lose air due to porosity and it is common to find the tires have fallen to 28 PSI between air pressure checks which impedes efficiency.

Most trips were made with minimal weight in the car. The permanent setting on the climate control was usually left at 72 degrees F which generally will not induce the use of the A/C in the frequently damp cool weather it was used in.

This Mark VIII usually carried a driver and a passenger along with a few items in the trunk- a load of about 300 pounds total. The base car with all options sits around 4,000 pounds giving an as driven weight of roughly 4,300 pounds. The car is all original except for the slightly oversized tires, replacement hood struts, accessory belt and tensioner pulley, battery, starter and alternator. It retains all original factory glass, paint, A/C charge, steering, shocks, brakes, exhaust and catalytic converter. Suspension is all original except for new control arm bushings.

The car is parked outside which means that all trips require the engine to cycle through the warm up process which represses efficiency. Daytime running lights mean that the engine works harder to offset the drain on the alternator. The car was driven almost exclusively in stop and go driving including a lot of idling time. The long term city average according to the in dash computer is 18 L/ 100 km. The car occasionally dips down into the 17s in lighter city traffic. The computer analyzes fuel use over the last 500 miles to arrive at the averaged figure.

Some of the older family members prefer the traditional imperial system. Simply pressing a button on the computer switches the measurement to MPG which is usually around 13 MPG City in heavy stop and go conditions. The gas logs support this final city number, too. The car will dip down into the mid 12s if it is used in very slow driving, stop and go with idling as seen in the reading below.

Late night cruising without traffic can bump city driving into the 15s on the computer MPG average. One issue that clouds up the figures provided by the computer average is that it is counting backwards 500 km. A mix of city and highway driving can mean that the average may continue to climb during city driving as an earlier segment of highway driving is 'pushed back' across earlier recorded city driving averages.

93 mark VIII 12.9 mpg computer readout

Odometer     Trip Od  Gallons Octane Full tank?    Calculated MPG/ Computer Avg

113,250 km                   2.0      87     Empty         n.a.

113,260 km   0.0 km    16.7       87    Full Tank      n.a.

113,356 km  106.1 km   1.6       91    3/4 filled      n.a.

113,411 km  162.0 km   4.8       91    Full Tank     14.6 MPG /  18 L/100 km computer

113,625 km  475.7 km  11.9      91    Full Tank      13.0 MPG /  14.1 L/100 km computer

113,876 km  101.5 km   4.8       91    5/8 filled      n.a.  MPG/  13.3 MPG computer

114,062 km  286.5 km  13.2      91     Full Tank     15.0 MPG/  13.8 MPG computer

114.381 km  606.2 km   4.8       91     3/4 filled     n.a. MPG/  15.5 MPG computer (60 miles hwy)

114,568 km  812.7 km   0.8       91     1/4 filled     n.a. MPG/  15.9 MPG computer (city driving)

114,670 km  894.2 km   9.4       91      5/8 filled     n.a. MPG/  15.1 MPG computer (city driving)

114,812 km  036.5 km   8.9       89      Full Tank     19.4 MPG/  17.5 MPG computer (reset ct/ hy)

116,653 km  077.3 km   1.8       89      1/4 filled     n.a. MPG/ 20.2 MPG computer (hwy and city)

116,867 km  088.2 km   8.5       91      5/8 filled     n.a. MPG/ 20.0 MPG computer (city)

117,021 km  245.4 km   1.8       89      x Full          n.a. MPG/ ? computer (city)

117,096 km  321.1 km   3.0       91      1/4 filled     n.a. MPG/ 16.7 MPG computer (city)

117,257 km  000.0 km   1.6       91       1/16 fill      n.a. MPG/ 16.1 MPG computer (city)

117,264 km  000.0 km   5.2       91       3/8 filled     n.a. MPG/ 15.7 MPG computer (city)

117,336 km  560.3 km   3.5       91      3/8 filled      n.a. MPG/ 17.0 MPG computer (city)

117,437 km  658.2 km  16.9      91       Full Tank     16.9 MPG/ 17.5 MPG computer (city)

117,655 km  000.0 km    9.3      91       Full Tank     14.5 MPG/ 16.5 MPG computer (city)

117,857 km  000.0 km    2.1      91       1/2 filled      n.a. MPG/ 15.2 MPG computer (city)

117,981 km  206.0 km    4.3      91       1/2 filled      n.a. MPG/ 17.2 MPG computer (hwy)

118,093 km  000.0 km   12.8     91       Full Tank      22.8 MPG/ 15.4 MPG computer (hwy)

118,308 km  533.0 km    9.2      91       Full Tank      14.4 MPG/ 13.4 MPG computer (city)

The driving from 119,940 km to 120.420 km (480 km= 298 miles) is city driving in dry 70 degree weather with some short hops on inner city highways enjoying reasonable traffic flow. The next fill represents slow easy short trip operation with plenty of stops and lights.

Odometer     Trip Od  Gallons Octane Full tank?    Calculated MPG/ Computer Avg

120,344 km 568.2 km    14.3    91      Full Tank     17.5 MPG/ 24.1 MPG computer (Hwy/ city)

120,420 km  643.1 km    4.3     91     Full Tank      10.9 MPG/ 23.4 MPG computer (city)

The city driving below was made during cold weather and severe stop and go traffic with prolonged idling.

122,190 km  414.0 km   11.8    91      Full Tank     15.3 MPG/ 23.5 MPG computer (city)

122,407 km  631.8 km    4.0     91      Not filled      n. a. MPG/ 15.1 MPG computer (city)

122,515 km  740.2 km    9.8     91      Full Tank      14.6 MPG/ 14.1 MPG computer (city)

122,689 km  913.2 km    8.1     91      Full Tank     13.3  MPG/ 14.2 MPG computer (city)

122,809 km  033.3 km    5.6     91      Full Tank      13.3 MPG/ 13.8 MPG computer (city)

122,996 km  220.2 km    8.4     91     Full Tank      13..8 MPG/ 14.2 MPG computer (city/Hwy)

123,239 km  164.0 km    6.7     91      Not Filled     n. a. MPG/ 14.5 MPG computer (city)

123,363 km  000.0 km    8.4     91      Full Tank     15.0 MPG/ 14.4 MPG computer (city)

123,636 km  860.9 km    7.9     91      Not Filled     n. a. MPG/ 14.5 MPG computer (city)

123,818 km  000.0 km    9.9     92     Full Tank      15.8 MPG/ 14.8 MPG computer (city/hwy)

124,000 km  224.3 km    5.9     91      Not Filled     n. a. MPG/ 14.0 MPG computer (city)

124,232 km  457.0 km   10.4    82     Full Tank      15.8 MPG/ 14.3 MPG computer (city/hwy)

The final 3 entries in the above listings include some sections of steady highway cruising which bumped the mileage up slightly. Temperatures had finally risen to about 60 degrees F and rain was a bit less severe. The entries below were recorded in heavy stop and go city traffic in spring when weather was drier and temperatures around 60 degrees F.

Odometer     Trip Od  Gallons Octane Full tank?    Calculated MPG/ Computer Avg

124,806 km  030.3 km  10.2    91      Full Tank     14.2 MPG/ 17.7 MPG computer (city)

125,076 km  300.2 km  10.9   91       Full Tank      15.3 MPG/ 16.7 MPG computer (city)

125,190 km  414.5 km    5.7   91       Full Tank     12.4 MPG/ 16.5 MPG computer (city)

125,374 km  000.0 km    5.5   91       Not Filled     n. a. MPG/ 16.3 MPG computer (city)

125,474 km  698.2 km    6.5   91       Full Tank     14.6 MPG/ 16.3 MPG computer (city)

126,100 km  324.9 km  10.8   91       Full Tank      14.0 MPG/ 19.4 MPG computer (hwy city)

The entries below reflect frequent stop and go slow driving in summer warm dry weather.

Odometer     Trip Od  Gallons Octane Full tank?    Calculated MPG/ Computer Avg

126,623 km  147.5 km  8.1   91         Full Tank      14.7 MPG/ 17.5 MPG computer avg (hw city)

126,815 km  239.4 km  2.6   91         Not Filled     n. a. MPG/ 15.7 MPG computer (city)

126,925 km  149.9 km  8.8   91         Not Filled     n. a. MPG/ 12.7 MPG computer (city)

127,071 km  265.7 km  9.5   91         Full Tank      13.2 MPG/ 13.1 MPG computer (city)

127,318 km  542.9 km  10.5 91         Full Tank      14.5 MPG/ 14.2 MPG computer (city)

*** Missing entries ***

The entries below are fall and winter driving in stop and go slow traffic. Gas used was usually Chevron 91 or Shell 91 (which is supposedly ethanol free).

Odometer     Trip Od  Gallons Octane Full tank?    Calculated MPG/ Computer Avg

128,264 km  481.4 km  10.7 91         Full Tank      18.2 MPG/ 16.0 MPG computer (city)

128,439 km  663.5 km   8.9  91         Full Tank      11.9 MPG/ 15.7 MPG computer (city)

128,662 km  886.6 km  10.9  91        Full Tank      12.7 MPG/ 15.5 MPG computer (city)

128,794 km  018.7 km   6.3   91        Full Tank      12.9 MPG/ 15.2 MPG computer (city)

128,983 km  208.1 km   8.3  91         Full Tank      14.1 MPG/ 15.2 MPG computer (city)

129,123 km  348.1 km   6.4  91         Full Tank      13.6 MPG

129,269 km  493.8 km   7.9  91         Full Tank      11.4 MPG

129,470 km  694.6 km   8.6  91         Full Tank      14.4 MPG

129,706 km  934.1 km   1.8  91         Full Tank      00.0 MPG/

129,947 km  141.8 km   9.9  91         Full Tank      00.0 MPG/

130,120 km  344.5 km   9.7  91         Full Tank      00.0 MPG/

130,280 km  505.0 km   7.5  91         Full Tank      00.0 MPG

130,453 km  677.7 km   7.2  91         Full Tank      00.0 MPG

130,633 km  857.9 km   8.1  91         Full Tank      0.00 MPG

130,886 km  110.7 km  10.9  91        Full Tank      0.00 MPG

131,376 km  000.0 km   9.8   91        Full Tank      0.00 MPG

131,560 km  784.6 km  10.9  91        Full Tank      0.00 MPG

131,800 km  024.9 km   9.5   91        Full Tank      0.00 MPG

132,029 km  253.7 km  12.2   91       Full Tank      0.00 MPG

132,183 km  407.5 km   7.4   91        Full Tank      0.00 MPG

132,312 km  537.1 km   5.5   91        Full Tank      0.00 MPG/ 14.2 MPG Computer

132,464 km  000.0 km   5.7  91         Full Tank      0.00 MPG/ 16.0 MPG Computer

132,736 km  926.8 km  10.4  91        Full Tank      0.00 MPG/ 16.5 MPG Computer

132,971 km  195.9 km  10.9  91        Full Tank      0.00 MPG/ 15.6 MPG Computer

133,252 km  478.5 km  12.6  91        Full Tank      0.00 MPG/ 15.3 MPG Computer

133,526 km  750.9 km  11.9  91        Full Tank      0.00 MPG/

133,774 km  398.9 km  10.0  91        Full Tank      0.00 MPG/ 15.2 MPG Computer

134,143 km  000.0 km  13.2  91        Not Full        0.00 MPG/

134,387 km  000.0 km  11.8  91        Full Tank      0.00 MPG/ 15.2 MPG Computer

134,672 km  896.7 km  10.4  91        Full Tank      0.00 MPG/ 15.2 MPG Computer

134,913 km  138.1 km   8.2   91        Not Full        0.00 MPG/

135,108 km  332.4 km  12.4  91        Not Full        0.00 MPG/

135,263 km  487.9 km   8.2   91       Full Tank       0.00 MPG/

135,539 km  000.0 km  12.7  91       Full Tank       0.00 MPG/ 18.5 MPG (Short Hwy Trip)

135,917 km  000.0 km   4.5   91       Full Tank       0.00 MPG/

136,040 km 000.0 km.   1.0.  91.      Not Full.       0.00 MPG- short slow trips

136,066 km. 000.0 km.    0.8.  91.     Not Full.       0.00 MPG

136,000 km. 000.0 km.    1.3.  91.     Not Full.       0.00 MPG

136,119 km  000.0 km.    0.3.  91.     Not Full.       0.00 MPG

136,126 km. 000.0 km.    1.3.  91.     Not Full.       0.00 MPG/ 8.5 MPG Computer

136,134 km. 000.0 km.    2.5.  91.     Not Full.       0.00 MPG/ 9 MPG Computer

136,191 km. 000.0 km.   3.4.   91.     Not Full        0.00 MPG/ 10 MPG Computer

136,235 km. 000.0 km.  2.8.   91.     Not Full.       0.00 MPG/ 10 MPG Computer

136,245 km 00.00 km    1.3.   91.     Not Full.       0.00 MPG/ 10 MPG Computer

136,271 km 000.0 kn.    1.7.   91.     Not Full.       0.00 MPG/ 10 MPG Computer

136,282 km 00.0 km.   3.3.   91.     Half full        0.00 MPG/ 12 MPG Computer

136,293 km 517.6 km.  9.5.  91.      Full Tank.     0.00 MPG/ 12.8 MPG Computer (no ethanol)



The 4.6 L engine barely turns over at sustained highway cruise. The 4 speed automatic overdrive 4R70W transmission with lockup converter and 3.07 rear axle provides 53 MPH at 1,500 RPM. 80 MPH is a mere 2,100 RPM.

93 Mark VIII 80 MPH

In overdrive the final ratio is reduced to 2.15:1 which is even lower than the super highway axles offered on 1960s Pontiacs and the fantastic 1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Turnpike Cruiser. See a story on the Turnpike Cruiser in these GAS LOGS filed under 1967 Cutlass Supreme.

This Lincoln Mark ViII speedometer readings are close to those of law enforcement radar results. The speedometer reads slightly low probably due to slightly larger than factory spec tires on the car. Indicated 90 MPH is around a real 91 or 92 MPH. When there is open highway the car settles in around this speed very comfortably.

Mile Markers on highways agree that the speedometer under reports speed slightly: the odometer shows 7.75 to 7.8 km has passed when 5 miles on the markers have gone by which is 4.8 miles recorded for every actual 5 miles of distance covered. Modern speedometers are usually intentionally engineered by manufacturers to exaggerate speed slightly. The speedometer was likely calibrated to be fairly accurate but this Mark VIII is shod with 'taller' oversize Hankook P235/60R16 99T Mileage Plus GT tires. Factory stock tires were Goodyear Eagle P225/60R16 97V. Incidentally early pilot cars were fitted with Michelins.

A highway run from about 113,525 km to 113,740 km with average speed around 75 MPH dropped the computer average from 17.2 L/ 100 km on departure to 14.1 L/ 100 km upon arrival which converts the overall average to 16.6 MPG. The average reflects about half city/ half Hwy driving since the computer analyzes the last 500 km that the car has traveled to create this average. The 'instant gas economy' button displays momentary gas use. Inclines in the terrain, pedal pressure and wind factors will all cause the number to fluctuate but in general it stands around 9 to 10 L/ 100 km at 75 MPH which is 24.7 MPG.

The computer also provides approximate gas use. Pressing a button displays how many litres (or gallons depending on the measurement system chosen) remain to empty in the gas tank. A stretch of steady 75 MPH highway cruising was initiated at 113,534 km when the computer indicated the gas tank had 42 L before empty. Coming off the highway at 113,604 km the computer read 32 L before empty. The 70 km drive (44 miles) required 10 L (2.6 gallons) which computes to 16.9 MPG Highway.

The old school drivers of this car who eschew the Metric system state that on flat ground the instant MPG computer usually displays about 33 MPG driving a steady 40 to 50 MPH. The instantaneous average drops to the high 20s for 60 MPH and only falls into the 23 to 25 MPG range when driving at 70 to 90 MPH. The gap between 70 and 90 MPH is not very noticeable with revs barely nudging upwards as speed piles on. Subsequently the MPG average doesn't drop much either which is a testament to slippery profile of the car due to extreme rake of the glass and overall torpedo shape of the bodywork.


ROAD TRIP ONE- Interstate and 2 lane blacktop driving= 24.3 MPG

Below are logs of some highway driving in dry summer weather between 75 and 85 degrees F.A All these small jaunts are lumped together to provide a general MPG reading. The first entry has city driving mixed into the driving and is not true highway. The high reading the computer gave was due to resetting the system. It recorded about 6 miles of city driving and the rest of it was highway and some idling for 15 minutes. The car was lightly loaded (about 300 pounds) and run around 70- 75 MPH with the air conditioning and fan on high and windows up. Tires were set to 32 PSI all around.

A small amount of city driving is sandwiched in the middle. When topping off a nearly full tank the gas pump will frequently shut off too early which skews physical calculations of MPG. The physical calculations infer a 34.2 MPG average while the computer says 19.4 MPG so it seems likely the pump shut off early. The entries generally combine some small town exploring and big city driving (including gridlock jamups) with 2 lane blacktop cruising at 50 MPH. The majority of driving happened on interstates at 70 MPH. The computer held steady around 25 MPG while the calculated amount is slightly lower at 23.7. However you slice it, this is good economy for a large powerful car driven in typical vacation fashion (ie lots of stopping and fiddling around outside of steady highway cruising).

Odometer     Trip Od  Gallons Octane Full tank?    Calculated MPG/ Computer Avg

114,812 km  036.5 km    8.9      89     Full Tank     19.4 MPG/  17.5 MPG computer (city/ hwy)

114,898 km  122.4 km    2.2      92     Full Tank     34.2 MPG/  19.4 MPG computer (highway)

115,080 km  304.6 km    5.6      91     Full Tank     20.1 MPG/ 23.3 MPG computer (highway)

115,375 km  699.8 km    4.6      91      3/4 full        n. a. MPG/ 22.1 MPG computer (city/ hwy)

115,516 km  740.5 km    5.7      92      7/8 full        n.a. MPG/ 22.2 MPG computer (city/ hwy)

115,814 km  000.0 km    3.2      91      1/2 full        n. a. MPG/ 24.2 MPG computer (hwy)

115,935 km  000.0 km     4.3      91      3/8 full        n. a. MPG/ ?

116,268 km  000.0 km     4.7      89      1/4 full        n.a. MPG/ 25.4 MPG computer (hwy)

116,313 km 000.0 km 4.1 92 1/2 full n.a. MPG/ 25.6 MPG computer (hwy)

116,349 km 573.0 km 6.5 92 Full Tank 23.7 MPG/ 25.7 MPG computer (hwy)

116,665 km  889.3 km    3.5      91       3/8 full        n.a. MPG/ 18.4 MPG computer (city/hy)


ROAD TRIP TWO- Pure Interstate cruising= 25.6 MPG (900 mile trip)

The logs below chronicle the Mark VIII on an Interstate trip made in 50 to 70 degree F dry weather. The first fill up includes city driving preceding a steady 70 MPH cruise. The other fill ups reflect steady 70 to 75 MPH driving interspersed with periods of congestion or lower speed limits down at 60 or 65 MPH.

The final fill up followed a period of flat driving in 70 degree F weather but the MPG dropped. The culprit is that cruise control was used for the majority of this portion of the driving. The cruise control cannot accelerate slightly to anticipate a grade or coast leading into a downhill slope. Cruise simply reacts to these scenarios in the moment, thus requiring the car to accelerate harder on uphills and needlessly maintaining speed before downhills followed by wasted energy braking on downgrades.

Odometer     Trip Od  Gallons Octane Full tank?    Calculated MPG/ Computer Avg

118,559 km  783.7 km    9.9      92      Full Tank     15.7 MPG/ 25.0 MPG computer (City/ Hwy)

119,195 km  000.0 km   14.7     92      Full Tank     26.8 MPG/ 27.7 MPG computer (Hw 70 MPH)

119,668 km 893.0 km    11.5     91      Full Tank     25.5 MPG/ 27.1 MPG computer (Hw 75 MPH)

119,940 km 164.4 km     6.9      91      Full Tank    24.4 MPG/ 26.8 MPG computer (Hwy 70 MPH)


ROAD TRIP THREE- Interstate cruising= 26.8 MPG (900 mile trip)

The fills below cover overall average speeds of 70 MPH. The first fill was made following a flat run on dry roads in 70 degrees F dry weather. The figure drops nearly a full 4 MPG for the next fill which was made in rainy mountainous driving with temperatures down in the low 50s and high 40s F. The figures rebound once more for the next fill after the car was driven on dry flat roads although the temperature was in the low 50s F. The final fill up MPG figure seems very low but this may because the car was holding a steady 80 MPH in cool weather. Another explanation is that the tank was pretty full when topped off. The automatic pump shutoff may allow the tank to be filled higher than normal before it 'senses' full. This creates the impression that the car used more gas on that portion of driving.

Odometer     Trip Od  Gallons Octane Full tank?    Calculated MPG/ Computer Avg

120,707 km 932.0 km    6.5      91     Full Tank      28.3 MPG/ 23.8 MPG computer (Hwy 70)

121,244 km 468.7 km   13.6     92     Full Tank       24.4 MPG/ 24.2 MPG computer (Hwy 75)

121,778 km 002.8 km   11.9    92      Full Tank       27.8 MPG/ 24.6 MPG computer (Hwy 80)

121,898 km 122.7 km     3.5    92     Full Tank       21.2 MPG/ 24.6 MPG computer (Hwy 80)


ROAD TRIP FOUR- Interstate and 2 lane blacktop= 25.0 MPG

The fill below followed a day jaunt in dry 60 degree F weather. The Mark VIII cruised at 70 MPH on dry Interstates, 50 MPH on secondary highways and did some exploring on secondary small town roads. The car carried about 400 pounds. Note that the computer which wasn't reset averages the MPG of this fill up with prior city driving records. The computer bumped overall average up to 18.8 from the usual average in the 14s.

Odometer     Trip Od  Gallons Octane Full tank?    Calculated MPG/ Computer Avg

124,572 km   787.1 km   8.4   92       Full Tank     25.0 MPG/ 18.8 MPG computer (Hwy)


ROAD TRIP FIVE- Interstate and gridlock= 23.5 MPG

The fill below was made following a trip in dry clear 65-75 degree F weather carrying about 350 pounds. Windows were up, air conditioning and the fan was on high. A good straight run of 75 to 80 MPH Interstate flying pushed the computer average to 29.1 MPG which was reset before departure. The average dropped during 30 minutes of gridlock where the car barely moved followed with some slow city reconnoitering. Later sections of highway running at 65 were sandwiched in with an arduous 2 hour freeway crawl.

Odometer     Trip Od  Gallons Octane Full tank?    Calculated MPG/ Computer Avg

125,855 km   079.7 km  10.0  92       Full Tank     23.5 MPG/ 24.8 MPG computer (hwy/ gridlock)



The fills below were made during a trip in light rain and mild temperatures carrying about 450 pounds. Windows up, A/C on with 70-75 MPH running on an interstate and about 8 miles of stop and go sidestreet exploring.

Odometer     Trip Od  Gallons Octane Full tank?    Calculated MPG/ Computer Avg

126,344 km  569.1 km  11.1   92       Full Tank    13.7 MPG/ 17.0 MPG computer (city/hwy)

126,393 km  618.2 km   1.1    92       Full Tank    28.9 MPG/ 21.8 MPG computer (hwy/city)

126,430 km  654.7 km   1.3     92      Full Tank    17.2 MPG/ 22.2 MPG computer (city/ hwy)

The 3 fills below combine short highway blasts at 70-80 MPH in dry warm weather coupled with some stop and go driving and some secondary curvy mountainous roads. Stop and go and some highway cruising follows but without a complete fill up. Computer bumped up past 16 MPG.

Odometer     Trip Od  Gallons Octane Full tank?    Calculated MPG/ Computer Avg

127,446 km 670.9 km   4.2     92       Full Tank    18.8 MPG/ 14.9 MPG computer (hwy/ city)

127,701 km  925.4 km   8.1     91      Full Tank    19.5 MPG/ 15.9 MPG computer (hwy/ city)

127,861 km  085.5 km   7.6     91      Full Tank    13.0 MPG/ 15.8 MPG computer (hwy/ city)

128,136 km 360.9 km    3.1     91       Not filled    n. a. MPG/ 16.1 MPG computer (city/ hwy)








Wixom, MI noon

SU 8 PI/ MO 4 TA/ ME 24 PI/ VE 17 AR/ MA 9 CN/ JU 13 LI/ SA 22 AQ/ UR 20 CP/ NE 20 CP/ PL 25 SC/ NN 17 SG

SU tr MA/ SU bq JU/ SU 45 UR/ SU 45 NE/ ME 30 SA/ ME tr PL/ VE sq NE/ VE tr NN/ MA ssq SA/ MA ssq PL/ JU 45 PL/ SA 30 UR/ UR 0 NE/

Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 March 2020 14:38 )