Is there an award for the longest continental spare extension ever? If so, this ’57 Lincoln that William Oliver posted at the Cohort is sure in the running.
Here’s a better view, of its better end.
Those back deck kits always look like they’re missing a couple of deck chairs..
Exactly. A swim platform on a boat. The Lincoln needs a non-slip surface on the platform so you can get to the deck lid safely when it’s wet out.
I like this car a lot, but if it were mine, the kit would be removed the first day of ownership. Probably to get the garage door to close!
This is the very rare Lincoln Amphinental amphibious car concept! If only they had put it into production, the German Amphicar wouldn’t have singlehandedly destroyed the American auto industry!
The ’57 Lincoln was already a botched facelift of the pretty ’56 even before the continental kit. Nasty.
Agreed. The ’56 was one of the prettiest designs of that model year. The ’57 made me wonder if Studebaker didn’t have a hand in the design. It was that incompetent.
Funny you mentionned Studebaker, just after the merge with Packard. Dick Teague imagined to save Packard, a Packard based on the Lincoln.
On the other hand, I wonder if the 1957 Lincoln had a better look than the 1958 model?
Nice Lincoln!! can see the Batmobile in it. although i’m not a fan of the huge patio deck, continental spares do look good if done right!!
Me no like, it’s too extreme!
The non-stock fender skirts make it all the uglier. It does look like a boat’s back deck.
I think I’m in the minority here in liking the 1957 Lincoln – mostly because one of my Dad’s best friends had a new one back in the day, a turquoise convertible with white top and white leather interior, and this little kid loved it. Today I can see why most prefer the 56 but at the time everyone was rushing into bigger fins and what was viewed as a more modern, edgy look. I’m not a big fan of fender skirts unless they are really integrated into the styling scheme (e.g., on our 1965 Thunderbird) and this car was not designed to have them. Same with the Continental kit.
You’re not in the minority as far as I’m concerned, I loved these ’57 Lincolns, still do, they were the embodiment of the space-agey finny look of the late 50’s. Even as a ten year old at the time, I was awestruck at their presence, and I thought how much more contemporary an evolution they were from the ’56 (and I love the ’56, too). They made my aunt and uncle’s ’54 Capri look like yesterday’s news. I know I’ve said here before how I loved riding in a classmate’s family ’56 Premiere 2 door hardtop (turquoise with white top, just as you show in the convertible above) as newly minted high school drivers in 1963, these Lincolns still had elegance and cachet even seven or eight years later. Fabulous ’50s cars!
Sorry but the huge turd on the bumper ruins that car, they look much betters sans the sun deck on the back.
I like the ’56 and ’57 Lincolns. But whoever decided those continental kit add-ons were a good thing was wrong.
Add-on Continental kits never looked good on any car. I much prefer the nicely integrated continental tire decklid humps on later Lincolns starting with the 1969 Mark III.
That deck needs a trolling motor bracket bolted to it.
The Mercury Turnpike Cruiser might have a case.
With that many styling excesses, what’s another?
You could hold a barbecue on the bumper of this ’60 Chevy.
That is wretched. He’s added every dealer-installed optional bolt on available in the ’60 showroom book. Yech.
I need eye bleach after looking at that abomination! That looks even worse than the back porch on the Lincoln. Why do people continue to ruin the looks of Fifties cars with these warts on their butts? I was a young kid who loved cars back then. They were a rare sight, not on every ’58 Impala like you see at the auctions on TV.
When my Dad would see a car slathered with things like that Chevy has on it he would say that it looked like it had been driven through the Western Auto Store.
Stereophonic sound from the 2 antennae?
Actually it could be. Back then before stereo FM, a few stations had one stereo channel on AM and the other on FM.
When it comes to what people do to their cars, I generally have a pretty laid-back, none too concerned attitude. Jack up your F-450? Fine. Chop the top on your ’49 Mercury? Okay. Paint racing stripes on your 7-Series BMW? Go for it.
But these come across as little more than a bad tumor.
I remember what few were on the streets in my home town back then had a definite ‘greaser’ image. A guy who drove one of these didn’t seem to be the type that got the quality girls.
I’ve always loved these early-mid 50s lincolns – like what Joanne Woodward drove in The Long Hot Summer – a Capri convertible I believe. That was a great movie – and Paul Newman never looked better 🙂
Did all 1957 cars have the same roofline? They all look like they were sourced at the same roof-o-mart serving all car companies.
The taillights on that 57 Linc sure resemble a 56 Plymouth. Somehow I see a Packard influence over the whole package.
What’s with the quad headlights? Thought they didn’t appear until 1958.
Some states had changed their laws in order to use dual headlights in 1957 – I think you could order duals on some cars, such as Lincoln, as an option if your state permitted them. For 1958 all states had changed laws to permit them.
Mercury, Chrysler and DeSoto made the quads optional in ’57, and Nash went ahead and made them standard. Lincoln pulled a cute trick to circumvent the law. The lower lights weren’t officially headlights. They were “road lights” with a separate switch, not controlled by the dimmer.
Right. If you look closely, the lower “headlight” is slightly smaller than the real headlight.
I did hedge by saying “I think” but would have been well advised to re-read the piece by Tom Halter below that covers the headlight design issue right here at CC. I wonder if states that hadn’t changed the laws even bothered to enforce them? Is that how Nash got away with what they did? Their very low production figures that year probably meant that violators were few and far between…
This looks a particularly nasty piece of blacksmithing, with a huge bolt head (painted over) protruding in front of the bumper, and flat metal plates to the side instead of it being curved to match the roll-under of the fender. I suspect it’s home-made. I hope nobody was silly enough to pay for this ‘quality’; we’ve said all there is to say about the taste….
As someone who was incredibly attentive of what cars were back then (never mind that I was seven at the time, I knew more about some of dad’s Chevys then his salesmen did), I do not get the fascination with continental kits. They were not that popular back in the day, and if they did get exceptional notice, it’s because they were so rare on the cars at the time.
Nowadays, its like fifties cars are being restored out of some kids wannabe dream.
As I remember it, my cousin’s 1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser Convertible with factory-installed Continental kit measured 20-feet from stem to stern. They only made one hundred of them: The Indianapolis Pace Car and ninety-nine replicas if I have my figures correct. As shown on the black Turnpike Cruiser above, it was available on other Mercury models including the Monterrey convertible. It really helped to bottom out the car.
That’s the Brooklyn Crab restaurant in Red Hook. The guy who owns this one lives next door, but I’ve never seen it on the street, only in his memorabilia-filled garage. Nice shots!
Not a fan.
Here’s a nice one. . .
Since the ’70s, it sat about 1/4 mile back from the road on someone’s property. In the early 2000s, the owner asked my brother to tow it out of there–not an easy task. It was too far gone to restore, so we parted it out.
Hey, at least it doesn’t have one of those cornball rear tire kits on the back!
A good looking car, affected badly by some rather homemade looking OTT metalwork.
Are the slots on the front edge of the bonnet additional as well, and also it looks lowered a little.
I suppose we could measure the longest continental kit either in actual inches or–to take another angle—what percentage of the car’s total length it added (’57 Thunderbird comes to mind).
Here’s something for the 1959 Ford which would appear to be a contender:
1. FWIW, the earliest newspaper use of the phrase “continental kit” I could find quickly was 1950.
2. Also FWIW, here’s what’s on the back of the ’59 Ford’s photo:
Just imagine this was from the same company that gave us the understated (and classy) Mark ll in the same year!
I was sent this photo just the other week from a show not far from Melbourne.
You’d just about need some castor wheels to stop the thing from grounding if you drove over a sheet of paper!
Conceived well before the advent of the backup camera, which would have reduced the likelihood of bumper taps. But then, maybe that’s where the curb feelers would’ve helped. The appeal of these things always escaped me, particularly when learning that they held was no spare tire.
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