This past weekend, I traveled to Rockford, Illinois to attend the Lincoln and Continental Owners Club Mid-America meet. It was, in a word, wonderful! I took over 500 pictures. Be assured that there will be a bevy of classic Continentals, Marks and Premieres in the near future. But for today, I am sharing a “sneak preview,” in the form of these lovely 1961 Continentals, arguably Lincoln’s most remarkable design in the postwar era. What beautiful cars!
You’re right – beautiful cars!
Bring on the other 499 shots!
All in due time! There will probably be several posts–a few on individual cars that I especially liked, and a “whole show” post as well.
Crap- I wish I would have known this was taking place. Rockford is only about 75 miles from Kenosha.
That is a great picture of some beautiful Lincolns!
And what did I just mention to you yesterday about the Mark IV not receiving it’s proper due.
Bring it on!
I do hope there are some of a 56 Lincoln Premier in Wisteria.
+1 on a Wisteria 56.I thought I was the only 56 Lincoln fan
Oh no Gem. A friend of mine got a cream-colored ’56 Premiere convertible this year. I got to ride in it, and it was amazing! I need to write that one up soon too.
Put me down as another who really likes the ’56 Lincoln. Stunning cars in all respects. Also, they can be made to look even better – just park one next to the facelifted ’57 model.
can you believe that the fins on the ’57 where initially taller on the styling model. Another example of the first year of a design being the best. Also Packard was interested in buying the ’56 body and putting an Edsel like beak on it as a cheap way to make a ’57 Packard.
The Packard Predicter show car had an Edsel like beak and a slantback window which appeared on the new Edsels, the slantback window appeared on the horrid 58 Lincolns and the later Mercuries.I read about the proposed Packard Lincoln cars but have never seen any pictures of prototypes.
Industrial espionage must have been rife in Detroit!
I read about the proposed Packard Lincoln cars but have never seen any pictures of prototypes.
Here’s a sketch Dick Teague did: Predictor grill and tailfins grafted on to a Lincoln Premier. Ford wouldn’t sell the Lincoln dies, so that was the end of the idea.
Studebaker had a bit better luck. The smooth sided box they started putting on their pickups in the late 50s was made with cast off Dodge dies.
Thanks Steve,if only they’d made it instead of the Packardbaker. It could have bought time to get back on their feet.
57 Lincoln, same roofline and front wheel arches as the Packard proposal.
Thanks Steve,if only they’d made it instead of the Packardbaker. It could have bought time to get back on their feet.
Read “The Fall Of The Packard Motor Car Company”. Packard was done. A reskinned Lincoln wouldn’t have saved them.
I think Steve’s right. As much as I am a fan of Packard hanging on for a miracle, their doom was sealed when they bought Studebaker without really auditing the books. Studebaker had played fast and furious with their accounting for six years or more,hiding the flood of red ink they hemorrhaged while waiting like Sadie Hawkins for a gullible suitor to come knocking. Can you believe? – they were so strapped for cash, they couldn’t pay to update their production facility by putting in wider doors! THAT is why Studebakers always were narrower cars than the competition – the finished cars had to squeeze through the doors. SMH
How they kept Packard from finding out about things like that until after the contracts were signed is beyond me. Oy.
P.S. – if you referred to the book by James Ward, I just bought a copy from Amazon. I’m curious to see how many of my suspicions, and how much of “conventional wisdom” actually were anywhere close to the reality of the situation. I suspect I’ll learn a few things. 🙂
I love these cars. Can’t wait to see the rest of the pics!
I went to a small high school which sometimes had maintenance issues with its buses.
The 1959 Chevrolet-chassis bus, I think it had a 348ci V8, was fine (and was the fastest in the fleet). The 1960 GMC with a V6 was the lemon. Everybody hated the Chevrolet with a Stove-Bolt Six but our route had become too big for it.
When the bus broke down and could not make its run, volunteer drivers…aka MOTHERS…would take over. At our stop, for about seven kids, we had several volunteers…and three of the cars were a 1961 Lincoln Continental sedan, a 1963 Cadillac six-window Sedan de Ville and a 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix.
All three have left beautiful memories! Maybe in rust-free California, that Continental still lives!
The 1958 Chevrolet Biscayne with a dented hood…well…
The 61 was the most handsome of these cars. I have a 67 which is the last year of the convertible. Oh, how I wish my car was a 61:(
Tom, Did you see a rare Mark IV Town Car or Mark IV Limousine at the meet?
No, no 1959 Town Car or Limousines. But there was a ’66 Lehmann-Peterson limo!
Oh my! Have you ever seen one of the 58-60 Mark IV Town Car’s or Mark IV Limousine’s?
I know of them, but have never seen one in the metal.
I knew a guy who had one of the 1960 Town Cars. He also had a red and white 1957 2-door hardtop; I gave him a red and white 1957 Illinois Land of Lincoln license plate for it. He also had a row of garages on the back of his property with a whole fleet of 1956-1960 Lincolns – it’s been too long, and I don’t remember what all they were – at least one was a 58-60 convertible.
I’m looking forward to more coverage of this show…maybe there’ll be a tan on tan 1962 convertible like my old one.
I think the 1960 Town Car has the most handsome dash instrumentation. I live in a very rural area and a local had one of these new that is still in the area. I will not bore you with the story. Sometimes I wish we had a way on here to private message one another for such stories. Bottom line on the Town Cars of this era: they are so rare if you ever see one time the time to look it over well.
looks like the Contie’s are taking over the world in this picture anyway… never seen 5 together in a row before! lol
Was just thinking about how Ford Provided at least 4 distinct convertibles to film Green Acres Oliver Douglas daily driver to Sam Drukker’s.
First a 64 Lincoln, followed by a Chrome bedazzled taillight of the 65 model featured in many of their best episodes. Followed by a 67 I Believe, and finally a 69 Mercury Marquis convertible was used; all in what can best be described as an off gold-sage green color.
I always wonder where Oliver traded his cars in, Pixley ?
There is a black ’63 convertible in my city, on large after-market wire wheels – it’s a damn beautiful car indeed. So long, wide and unbelievably low even with the top up. Those chromed appendages on the front fenders are as sharp as a knife blade. I’m hunting it for almost a year to take a good shot – no success as of now…
The car sneaking into the picture on the left appears to be a 62.
I’ll never forget going to the 1961 auto show with my Dad and seeing the first examples of this car: stunning. I distinctly remember a green metallic convertible taking center stage. These cars just don’t age for me; they are timelessly attractive.
Most cars don’t accept stretching well but the Hess and Eisenhardt limo built for JFK was just as handsome as the regular models. It remains difficult to accept that it became the crime scene of the 20th century.
Can’t wait to see more – thanks, Tom.
Yep, the one at the far left was a ’62 Convertible. The other four are indeed all ’61s, though!
At eight years old, I fell in love with the ’61 Lincoln before they were introduced November 17, 1960 in the storage sheds behind Arkport Motors, Lincoln-Mercury, Arkport NY. Two ’61 Lincolns were parked in the first bays, a solid dark blue sedan and a metallic gray, red interior, black top convertible sedan…..a car I still can see in my mind’s eye……and still want.
Hopefully you got some ’40/’41 Continental Cabrios…my favorite car, #1 on the list. 🙂
No 1940-41s, but there were a couple ’42s!
My father wanted to buy a used `63 Continental convertible in black, I went with him to see it at a local L-M dealer, and it was beautiful. When we took my mother to see it, she absolutely hated it. Why? She refused to ride in a car that “looked like the one Kennedy was assassinated in”. Needless to say, we never bought it.
I feel like a kid in a candy store waiting for these CC”s. Thanks, Tom these are right up my alley.
I was tripping over my tongue, looking at all the amazing Lincolns and Continentals! I may have to join the LCOC, they are a great group and made me feel very welcome, even though I wasn’t a member.
Looking forward to lots of Lincoln eye-candy! That would be my kind of show.
Does it count as sort-of-CC effect that I saw a mid 80’s Fox Continental on the road today, and then read this a few hours later?
It counts in my book! My grandfather’s last car was a 1987 Continental in Rose Quartz–last year for the Fox Connie.
The one I saw was a goldish-tan color. It’s someone’s daily driver, or close to it, as I often see it pass by if I’m looking out the window at the right time of the afternoon. Looks to be in pretty good shape, as far as I can make out from about 100 feet away!
In 1972, and living north of San Francisco, I decided a second car would be a prudent purchase. Before the Interwebs, it was perusing Auto Trader or some newsstand publication, and I lit on a ’62 Continental with 105K for sale down in Burbank. Well, I ended up buying that car, putting the wife and daughter in it, and driving it all the way up I-5, over the Bay Bridge, up the 101, and straight into our driveway. It had burned less than a quart of oil, and it rode like a buttoned-down limo. It sported real wood on the dash and (all four) door panels, a metallic medium -blue leather interior with European-firm seat cushions, and the exterior was a pale sky blue. Just tremendous. Oh – and did I say it was a private sale, and that I only paid $500 for it? That has to rank as one of my all-time greatest hits. The suicide doors were a just a bonus at that point…though still the best way to allow a lady to exit the back seat with grace, IMHO.
The Gilmore opened it’s new Lincoln gallery a month ago. Very nice turnout by club members at the opening. Inside the gallery is a video about Henry Leyland, Lincoln and archival film of the bankruptcy sale when Ford took over. Some pix of the opening here.
The Gilmore’s new Cadillac gallery opens this Sunday, the 28th
Nice ! .
In 1972 I bought my G.F. Mom’s ’65 Lincoln Sedan for $350 , original owner , low mileage and ran like a dream .
Sold it and shortly after had a ’63 , ’64 and lastly a ’67 . paid $100 each , no one wants old Luxo – Barges when they’re 6 to10 years old .
The ’65 was the first year for disc brakes on these and they were very grabby when you came in after driving some drum braked American boat .
Good cars ! built like tanks and handled better than anyone expected too .
61’s are my favourite Connies. There’s something about that front end treatment that somehow isn’t there in following years; it’s the best of that iteration by far. I can’t define what it is, maybe remotely European, maybe very old money? I’m not sure and have never been able to articulate it to my satisfaction.
The 1961 front end treatment did look the most like that of the 61-63 Thunderbirds, which may be the reason that the later years were changed.
A sudden traffic congestion, that’s what happens when a few of them Lincoln boys get together. (Photo: Stichting Lincoln Club Nederland)
I love those suicide door Lincolns! Wish I was there!
Probably the most famous one was the one JFK was assassinated in – a 1961 stretch one, customized, with a 1963 grill retrofitted on. After his death, the White House had it modified. It’s now in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI.