Tag Archives: Lincoln Continental

Car Spot: 56 Lincoln Continental Mark II Custom Bubbletop

Wildness from the George Barris Kustom Shop

The 50s were a crazy time for custom cars. Builders were known for going way over the top in their creations and this week’s car spot, seen at this year’s Chicago Auto Show, is no exception.

56 Lincoln Continental Mark II Custom Bubbletop
If you look closely you can see a 56 Continental. That gold color, wow!

Created by Lee Wells, who worked for Barris, and a client who wanted to create a no-expense spared dream car. Under the hood is a Hillbourn fuel injected 368 cubic inch Lincoln V-8 with braided lines and tons of chrome, four carbs, and finned valve covers finish off the engine bay. Inside was Icelandic sheepskin floor covering, walnut dash, buckets seats all around that swivel outward, a TV, stereo tape player, electric razor (that’s a first I think in a custom car), and drink decanters.

RELATED Spot: See our coverage of the show.

56 Lincoln Continental Mark II Custom Bubbletop interior
An interior that would make most luxury cars look cheap

The Bubbletop Continental was a hit on the show circuit for decades and still attracted a decent amount of traffic at the show. Our daughter, Meg, who walked by while I was editing thought this looked like something out of The Jetsons.

56 Lincoln Continental Mark II Custom Bubbletop rear
Can you see George Jetson driving this?

Thanks for stopping by and checking out this car spot. There are lots of others. We also have a ton of car reviews so if you’re looking for a certain car, chances are we’ve reviewed it. Stop back next Friday for another one of my spots along with some of its history. Have a great weekend.


Car Spot: Early 60’s Lincoln Continental

The golden era for American luxury sedans

One of the era’s most enduring icons is the 4th generation Lincoln Continental, a car that would be forever etched in the minds of a generation who saw a President assassinated in one on November 22, 1963.

Not sure what the fate of this one I found recently is, it’s going to need a lot of work if it’s a future restoration project. For those looking to relive to Haute couture’s past, 1961-69 Continentals are reasonably priced. Final year sedans, according to Hagerty, sell for as little as 30 grand in Concours condition while excellent drivers, about half that. Convertibles will set you back quite a bit more at around $104 thou.

Have a great weekend and check back next Friday when I’ll have another car spot along with a little bit of history on that car.

2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve AWD

Aviator puts Lincoln solidly back in the game … 

Lincoln has been struggling for years like a one-armed barista fresh out of java. It’s no secret Lincoln has been looking for a new identity, a new look and hoping to regain its footing in the luxury car market.

Finally, it seems to have arrived, but not with cars, with sport-utility vehicles named Aviator and Corsair. I tested the Corsair earlier this year and found it a solid entry in the mid-size SUV market. Now comes the Aviator that soars to the upper reaches of SUV luxury, in looks, features and price.

Outside, Aviator is a blend of sophistication and sleek lines without the gaudy chrome explosion of earlier models, especially its cars. Think Town Car and old-time Continental. Continue reading 2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve AWD

1963 Lincoln Continental Convertible: Young lust

That woman in the convertible

I remember 1963 for the good stuff. My favorite band, the Beach Boys,savageonwheels.com, promotional model cars, model cars were cranking out hits along with a new group from England. Of course I know it’s the Beatles. ’63 was also the year dad packed up the whole family and moved us from Madison, WI., to Milwaukee, WI., where dad went to work for his new employer…..wait for it….American Motors. It was also a good year for AMC since the Rambler Classic was named Motor Trend magazine’s Car of the Year. I also remember another car, non-AMC, that caught my eye. It was a ’63 Lincoln Continental Convertible with the suicide doors that one of our female neighbors drove. Maybe it was just the person driving the car but I had never ridden in a convertible. Sort of that lust thing happening here?

The ’63 was the fourth generation introduced in ’61. It might not have been because it was originally intended to be the 1961 Ford Thunderbird. The design was enlarged and slightly altered before being switched to the Lincoln line. It was the first postwar four-door convertible from a major U.S. manufacturer.

It was because the marketing guys wanted them, right?

Not exactly. “Suicide doors” date back to horse-drawn carriages and were a purely practical decision. The new Continental rode on a wheelbase of 123 inches, and the doors were hinged from the rear to ease getting in and out. When the Lincoln engineers were examining the back seats that styling had made up, the engineers kept hitting the rear doors with their feet so hinging the doors from the rear solved the problem. The doors were to become the best-known feature of 1960s Lincolns. Suicide doors were especially popular in the gangster era of the 1930s, supposedly due to the ease of pushing passengers out of moving vehicles with the feature, according to Dave Brownell, the former editor of Hemmings Motor News. The last mass-produced car model with independently opening suicide doors was the  ’71 Ford Thunderbird four-door sedan. Safety concerns (the lawyers) prevented the subsequent use of such doors and some car companies have used a version when the back door won’t open until the front one is. They don’t use the term anymore. That might be a tough sales pitch. All the Lincoln’s came with huge V8’s since gas was only 29 cents a gallon then.

This generation of Continental is favored by collectors and has appeared in many motion pictures, such as Goldfinger, The Matrix, The Last Action Hero, and the Inspector Gadget films. It has also appeared on TV. Oliver Douglas, (Eddie Albert) in Green Acres owned a Lincoln Continental convertible and it is the vehicle of choice for Michael Chiklis’s character Vincent Savino in the series Vegas. I love both those shows. Watch Vegas for all the older cars in it.

linc convLinc conv 2In my research for this blog entry to see what they are going for now, I started out at my favorite place, Hemming’s and found the example on the left at The Auto Collections museum right off the strip in Vegas. You have to go there! Tons of cool cars and they are all for sale. Win big my friend, win big.

While the car is valued around $77 grand by the National Association of Automobile Dealers Association you can find good examples in the $40’s like this California car on the right. Ah, I can see myself in that car. Hawaiian shirt on, shorts, sunglasses and of course a cold beer.

Good examples of the promo model are hard to find and when they do show up at an auction they are not cheap. This ’63 comes from our friends at Wheat’s Nostalgia. If this isn’t a 10, it has to be pretty close. The vent window posts are there and with no cracks. Another item that will knock down the price is a missing hood ornament and this one has it. There were 27 bidders on eBay for this and it eventually sold for $233. I’m thinking if there are kids or grand kids for the new owner, it goes right into the display case. The only thing it’s missing is that female driver.

Lincoln frontlincoln left sideConv topLincoln rear