Lincoln Continental Mark III by Stavo1 at the English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 When Ford president Lee Iacocca told Design Vice President Gene Bordinat to "put a Rolls Royce grille on a Thunderbird" for Lincoln’s next top luxury model, the Continental Mark III was born. It would be three years before the Cadillac Eldorado competitor would hit the market, but it did so with great success. Introduced in April 1968 as a 1969 model, the Mark III outsold the Eldorado that year, and for multiple years after. The car was developed for only $30 million, and sold high volumes, making it one of the greatest successes of Iacocca’s career at Ford. The last Mark III left the factory on this day in 1971, succeeded by the Mark IV, which continued the same successful sales pattern.