: 1961-69 Lincoln Continental....Lincoln's finest?



I~LUV~Caddys8792
06-28-09, 03:07 PM
If you know me pretty well, you know I've always been an avid fan of the '70s Lincolns, especially the 1972-76 Mark IV's. I like how baroque, gargantuan and in your face they are. But ever since I started paying attention to the "Kennedy Continentals" a few weeks back, I've really started to see what everyone else likes about them. I used to find them dull, flat and uninspiring, but now I see the artistic ingenuity in them...the slab surfaces, the suicide doors, the matching front and rear fascias, the clean & simple interior unmarred by loads of faux wood trim and tacky velour seats. The car isn't so much a great automotive design as it is a magnificent piece of postmodern '60s design.

My favorite year is 1963. In my opinion, it had the best looking, cleanest exterior. The '63's had a cleaner, more symmetrical front grille insert than the '62s, and the rear fascia had moved the Lincoln star from the center of the fascia on the '62s to the top of the trunklid on the '63s, and added a vertically-themed rear grille. Then in '64, they revised both grilles once again and changed the dashboard design to a much more modern, polished metal inladen one and got rid of the tasteful wood trim accents used in the 1961-63's. Then after '65, they gave the car a major facelift, added a coupe in 1967 and left it drag on until 1969, then by '70, it was an all new, much more baroque design.

I'll take my '63 hardtop in black, with the cream leather interior. :drool:

http://home.comcast.net/~classiclincoln/IM000068.JPG
http://www.classic63lincoln.com/Im000088.JPG

I think the Mark IV may have just been usurped as my favorite Lincoln..

dirt_cheap_fleetwood
06-28-09, 03:18 PM
I'll take mine in convertible format.

http://www.motorbase.com/pictures/contributions/990720//std_1963_lincoln_continental_convertible.jpg

hueterm
06-28-09, 03:49 PM
For me, the Mark III splits the difference. Its interior was modern for the late '60s, but got old as it went into the '70s.

gdwriter
06-28-09, 07:50 PM
I love Sixties Continentals. The car just reeked of class and good taste. One of my Dad's good friends from high school worked for a NASA contractor near Houston, and he had a beautiful maroon '66 Continental that I called The Magic Car for all it's power goodies. I've loved cars for as long as I can remember; my parents' '64 Impala and The Magic Car were two of my earliest influences.

The Mark IV and V are fun for their sheer ostentation and Seventies vibe, but the Connies will always be my favorite Lincoln.

MauiV
06-28-09, 08:00 PM
Friend from HS has a white 66 w/462 for sale on her Facebook page. Both rear quarters have some rust but they only want $3000 for it and the 462 was rebuilt 1200 miles ago. If I wasnt paying $16k in tuition right now I would own it.

http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w52/jdinmaui/Lincoln.jpg

77CDV
06-28-09, 11:01 PM
Lovely cars, no doubt, but rust + unit body construction = not good. Though, they didn't rust out with the same vengance as late-50s ChryCo products.

orconn
06-28-09, 11:42 PM
Speaking strictly from a body and interior design point of view, I agree that the sixties Lincolns were a high pont in American luxury car design. The sixties cars were simple elegance at its' restrained best and really beat the Europeans when it came to displaying refined good taste in personal luxury design. Mercedes had succumbed to the finned abominations of their sedan models, Rolls was still working with the Silver Cloud mid-fifties design not to become again contemporary till the 1967 introduction of the Silver Shadow. Cadillac was still on a course of slow withdrawal from the 1959s total tasteless excess, a course not fully attained till the 1965 model year.

Truth be told Lincoln design produced some of their best work from the mid-fifties on. I still think they produced an all time post-war classic in the Continental of 1956-57. While Cadillac produced a show car for private ownership with Eldorado Brougham, Lincoln produced a personal luxury car with the Mark II that would have been at home among the moneyed upper classes, and was, anywhere in the world. Even the gargantuan 1958 Continental Mark III (the original MK III) had striking lines, it was just too big even for 1950's America and would fit nowhere in the world given the size of the roads and places to park a personal car.

The nineteen sixties Lincolns returened to sanity as far as size and usefulness as a personal luxury car. The introduction of the first four door convertible was also coup particular with its' top-up and top-down good looks.
Truth be told these cars were really slugs when came to dynamic performance, but there wasn't a lot of competition from the small displacement Europeans of the time and Cadillacs weren't much better (I had several relatives who had these cars in the sixties, which I was asked to drive from time to time; I always prefered to drive the Cadillacs because of the better feel and comfort).

I~LUV~Caddys8792
06-28-09, 11:46 PM
I'm curious as to how they drove. Were they as gawdawful sloppy and isolated as their '70s bretheren? Did the 430 and later the 462 (Ford's largest V8, ever) provide ample power? What surprised me was their size....they're not as long as they look. They stand 213 inches from stem to stern. The '90s deVilles were all in the 205-209 inch range, the '90s Town Cars were a bit longer at 217-219 inch, the '90s Caprice/Roadmasters were 215-218 inches and their younger bretheren, the '70s Continentals were 229-234 inches long.

orconn
06-29-09, 12:00 AM
Chad, I remember them driving like my 1967 Ford Thunderbird Coupe, which was the worst driving car I ever owned. Driving a brick supended on four squishy coil springs with dead steering. A car disinclined to go in any direction but straight. Despite the Continentals big displacement engines the car were sluggish. I blieve the Contis were buit on the same chassis design as the Thunderbirds, a situation that continued well into the 1970's. That being said the cars exuded a feel of quality and solidity .......... and also weight that far exceed either the Cadillac or the Imperial of the sixties. They felt very different than the floaty lincolns of the seventies, but not in a good way. Let's put it this way I was very happy to see the Thunderbird go when I got my 1971 XJ6!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
06-29-09, 12:14 AM
Yeah, they were a heavy SOB. The '63 brochure I have lists the Sedan at 5124 lbs and the convertible at a STAGGERING 5528 lbs. That's heavier than the heaviest '70s Continentals...5246 lbs (74 Mark IV). I still think I'd like the Imperials the most, just based on the way the look and drive.

orconn
06-29-09, 12:25 AM
While Imperials had torsion bar front suspension which gave them an edge in the handling category ( this was also helped by a lower center of gravity and harder spring settings) they didn't deliver the smooth refined feel that a Cadillac gave. And the fit and finish wasn't up to Lincoln or Cadillac standards in my opinion. The Imperial just gave a coarser less refined overall experience of the same period. I lover the look of the '55 and '56 Imperials both in sedan and coupe configeration, but the quality seem to go to hell in 1957 and remained sub par to their demise.

hueterm
06-29-09, 12:36 AM
I forget which Continental was the twin to it, but my Dad's old '62 T-Bird was a beautiful car, but it really wasn't a fun car to drive. Lifeless steering, barely adequate power.... He said the '56 Bel-Air, '64 and '66 Impalas, and the '70 GP were all much better driving. (The only one I can attest to is the GP, and he is right on that one.)

RightTurn
06-29-09, 01:33 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__q93LZ1Fzg

billc83
06-29-09, 10:27 AM
"They offer an optional automatic temperature control for your air conditioning and heater. You simply set the master control and automatically your preselected temperature is maintained no matter how outside conditions change.

"You mean that even in Siberia it would..."

"Keep you warm like a bowl of hot borsch."

:histeric: - Both an entertaining and informative commercial.

ryannel2003
06-29-09, 10:39 AM
I went to a classic car auction the other day and saw a beautiful black Continental (not sure on the year, but looked like the one JFK died in). I have never been a huge fan of Lincoln's, but this car just struck me as a stunning example of a 60's vehicle. I have alot of pictures, but most of mine were of Cadillac's. They also had a '72 Mark IV in a beautiful baby blue color that I did manage to get a picture of.

gdwriter
06-29-09, 12:41 PM
Chad, I remember them driving like my 1967 Ford Thunderbird Coupe, which was the worst driving car I ever owned. Driving a brick supended on four squishy coil springs with dead steering. A car disinclined to go in any direction but straight. Despite the Continentals big displacement engines the car were sluggish.


While Imperials had torsion bar front suspension which gave them an edge in the handling category ( this was also helped by a lower center of gravity and harder spring settings) they didn't deliver the smooth refined feel that a Cadillac gave. And the fit and finish wasn't up to Lincoln or Cadillac standards in my opinion. The Imperial just gave a coarser less refined overall experience of the same period. I lover the look of the '55 and '56 Imperials both in sedan and coupe configeration, but the quality seem to go to hell in 1957 and remained sub par to their demise.I have a book of Sixties Cadillac road tests, and it includes one from 1965 comparing a Sedan de Ville, Continental and Imperial Crown.

Truth be told, they didn't much care for any of them, saying size was about all they had over the mid-price brands like Buick, Mercury and Chrysler. They reported the handling of the Continental was atrocious, it was better in the Imperial, but its ride was the worst. I believe the Cadillac came out on top in the balance of ride and drive, though they didn't think the new perimeter frame was all that sturdy (too many squeaks and rattles over a rutted dirt road). About the only thing they liked about the Connie was its styling.


I forget which Continental was the twin to it, but my Dad's old '62 T-Bird was a beautiful car, but it really wasn't a fun car to drive. Lifeless steering, barely adequate power.... He said the '56 Bel-Air, '64 and '66 Impalas, and the '70 GP were all much better driving. (The only one I can attest to is the GP, and he is right on that one.)As I've said many times before (and I hope it's not annoying anybody), the '64 Impala is a fine driving car and a lot of fun, whether the road is straight or curvy. It's much lighter than the luxury brands at only ~3,700 lbs., so the 250-hp 327 moves it along easily at any speed. The ride is very smooth without being floaty, braking is good for 4-wheel drums, the steering takes a lot of twirling, but you can feel the road, and it will take corners with aplomb. A friend (who owned a '94 BMW 3-Series at the time) drove Betty over my favorite roller coaster road, and after taking her through the turns said, "I can't believe how well this car handles!"

Granted, I've upgraded Betty with wider tires, premium shocks and a rear stabilizer bar, but the basic design is solid. The '64 Impala I learned to drive in had skinny bias plies, and she'd heel over in a turn like the Andrea Doria (http://images.google.com/hosted/life/l?imgurl=97519a0ebb4b0970&q=andrea%20doria&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dandrea%2Bdoria%26ndsp%3D21%26hl%3Den% 26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN%26start%3D63%26um%3D1), but once there, she remained planted and steady. No plowing or washing out the front end. I was following a friend one time, and I think he was trying to lose me, because he was flying down this side street. I forgot about this huge dip, and hit the brakes too late. I wouldn't be surprised if the front wheels left the ground at least and inch or two, but the car stabilized immediately after the dip, and except for that initial rise, I never felt out of control.

Contemporary road tests give Sixties Impalas similar praise (I have a book of those, too), although there's one owner's report of a '66 Impala SS that's rather amusing for his tongue-in-cheek complaints about just about everything). Other Cadillac road tests in my book, particularly of a '61 Coupe de Ville and a '63 Sedan de Ville Park Avenue are highly complimentary, both of engine performance as well as ride and handling. So I would expect the Cadillac would beat the Continental in terms of driving.

I love the looks of Sixties Cadillacs as well, so despite the timeless elegance of the Connie, I'd probably still pick the Cadillac, preferably a '64 Eldorado convertible or Fleetwood, probably the most tasteful iteration of the famous tailfins.

orconn
06-29-09, 01:16 PM
I had a very good friend that had a '64 Chevy Impala station wagon that was his daily driver and served as his tow car for his SCCA B/C sports racing class race car. He was class champion several years in the sixties and seventies. The car was in tow car service almost every weekend and was used to shag parts for my friend's foreign car repair shop during the week. I know the car gave good service racking up well over 200,000 miles before it was traded for new mid-seventies Impala wagon. I rode to several races in the car and remember it being reasonably comfortable for long rides to race tracks around California, although I have to admit the '59 Jaguar Mark IX sedan, that was the alternate tow car, was a lot more comfortable travelling car. Actually I think the old Jag was a more comfortable long distance car than the Cadillacs of the time. GM cars have always had a more polished drivability than the competition , although they may have been outperformed in an individual performance area, overall they always left me with the impression of a smoother operating and in most years better looking cars than the competition.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-01-09, 09:50 PM
So after hearing that the '60s Continentals actually were MORE isolated (and unnerving) than their '70s counterparts, I don't want one so much anymore. Maybe old luxury yachts aren't my cup of tea? They sure are gorgeous though..

hueterm
07-01-09, 10:10 PM
You need a Mark III:

http://www.seriouswheels.com/1960-1969/1968-Lincoln-Continental-Mark-III.htm

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-01-09, 10:16 PM
Eh. The IV looks better and the V drives tighter.

orconn
07-01-09, 11:34 PM
^^^^ And they are all wallowy boats that hate to change direction with lousy brakes and steering ........ nice to collect, not so nice to drive every day when you are use to the contemporary stuff.

Destroyer
07-01-09, 11:54 PM
YouTube - 1966 Lincoln Continental Commercial (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__q93LZ1Fzg)That was the best automotive commercial ever!:lildevil::banghead:

dirt_cheap_fleetwood
07-02-09, 01:19 AM
Chad, screw those old ones. Mark VII FTW!

77CDV
07-02-09, 01:41 AM
So after hearing that the '60s Continentals actually were MORE isolated (and unnerving) than their '70s counterparts, I don't want one so much anymore. Maybe old luxury yachts aren't my cup of tea? They sure are gorgeous though..

It all depends. Suspensions and steering can be tightend up as much as you like. The main appeal of these cars, though, is cruising along an open highway in leisurely comfort. They are not the best choice for modern traffic, where people are zipping around at 75 and 80 mph, nor are they particularly happy carving canyons. You tweak them to your personal taste, then love them for what they are.

Spyder
07-02-09, 10:46 AM
I'll be returning to this thread. I am very intimate with the '63 (My cousin has one just like the black '63 on the first post) and I spent a year and a half and 16,000 miles in my '66 2dr...

Loved the speedometer (no time to explain), the electric wing windows and huge comfortable couch inside. Quicker than you'd think, handled better than you'd think, quiet inside at speed. 6mpg.

Off to work, I'll be back in a day or two.

orconn
07-03-09, 07:21 PM
Hey, Spyder ....... am looking forward to hearing your assessment of these Lincolns.

Kev
07-03-09, 07:57 PM
http://www.classic63lincoln.com/Im000088.JPG

My grandfather had one very much like this, my brother and I would fight over who would get to sit on the little 'booster seat' back in the middle. :)

Destroyer
07-04-09, 12:23 AM
Chad, screw those old ones. Mark VII FTW!Technically the Mark VII is an "old" one. Came out in '84 so it's 25 now. Qualifies for antique plates......................(where did the years go?)