Facebook Find: 1966 Lincoln Continental Coupe – “Maid Quiet”

Where has Maid Quiet gone to,
Nodding her russet hood?
The winds that awakened the stars
Are blowing through my blood.
O how could I be so calm
When she rose up to depart?
Now words that called up the lightning
Are hurtling through my heart.

William Butler Yeats surely had something in mind other than a Lincoln Continental when he penned the short little ditty above, titled “Maid Quiet,” but a bit of lightning hurtled through my heart when I saw this beautiful “Russet”-colored Lincoln on Facebook Marketplace last week.

Here is the ad: Rare Original 1966 Lincoln Continental Coupe. Runs great, fully loaded luxury.  Only 15,700 of these were made. Everything is here, just needs someone to restore it to their liking. Needs: tires, minor electric window work, minor floor pan rust repair. $16,000 OBO Contact Steve (this is my wife’s facebook (sic)).  Thank you.

From what I can see, this car doesn’t need much restoration to be a perfectly poetic collector car.  The ’66 Continental Coupe has already been covered here over the last few months, its Riviera-like profile having escaped my notice until it was pointed out.  But even if the Lincoln can’t quite rival the glamour of the original, it can be appreciated for its Turbine Car-aping color.

I’ve long been enamored by Chrysler’s Ghia Turbine Car, and I’ve made it one of my life’s goals to “visit” as many as I can.  I think I’ve seen five of the remaining nine in the metal (the car pictured above lives at the Henry Ford Museum).  The Turbine Car’s distinctive “Turbine Bronze” color seemingly prompted a short blip of mid-sixties passenger car popularity, culminating in Chrysler’s “Turbine Bronze” and Ford’s “Emberglo” (labeled “Russet” in the Lincoln line).

Whether or not Ford’s answer to Turbine Bronze was an attempt to capitalize on Chrysler’s beautiful rolling test bed, I don’t know, but they would be within their rights considering that the Turbine Car itself was a forgery of not only Ford’s Thunderbird, but also its old La Galaxie concept car of the 1950s.  Elwood Engel liberally plagiarized when he saw fit, which is again fitting, because he fundamentally designed this Continental in the first place when he was working at Ford Motor Company.  Such is the tangled web of the American auto industry.

I would feel fairly confident buying this particular Continental “sight unseen,” which is an oddly paradoxical idiom of the buyer’s trade.  The seller took no less than twenty pictures, although the undercarriage was completely ignored.  Here, we see a bit of ’65 Riviera in the taillights.

The interior pictures definitely show the Turbine Car influence on Lincoln designers.  This magnificent color scheme is missing the Turbine Car’s dramatic console and gauge cluster, but the consistency of the bronze is compelling.

Here is the Stahl’s Automotive Collection Turbine Car for comparison.

The Lincoln’s interior trim color is “Emberglo,” and it’s everywhere.  It’s on the door panels.

It’s on the back seat.  It’s on the carpet.

It’s on the floor mats, the steering wheel, parts of the dashboard.

It’s on the data tag: “84” under “Trim” is “Emberglo.”  As mentioned previously, Emberglo is also the Ford Division’s label for this Lincoln’s exterior color.  By the way, this car was apparently scheduled for assembly on August 27th, 1965, so it was a very early-in-the-model-year build.  The District Sales Office is Chicago, which coincides with this car’s current Wisconsin address.  The axle code of “16” doesn’t match up with anything: It should be a “1” or a “6,” but not both.  Interesting.  The “4” under “Trans.” denotes a C-6 automatic transmission, which was introduced in 1966.

The trunk is appropriately massive, although it is disappointingly not trimmed in “Emberglo.”

Under the neat-but-not-really-practical-front-opening hood sits a complex nightmare of plumbing, wiring, and assorted knick knacks and vacuum hoses waiting to ruin one’s Sunday drive at this late date.  That’s why I have mixed feelings about antique luxury cars.  This car was beautiful and luxurious; in fact, Yeats’s title “Maid Quiet” would have been a great nickname and a dorky homonym for a Lincoln Continental.  When new, it was designed to coddle the original owner as few other mobile bank vaults could, but that came with an inordinate amount of complexity that can today lead to heartache if an owner doesn’t know what they’re getting into.  My ’63 Thunderbird has taught me that I prefer a simpler conveyance in my personal fleet (although the T-Bird isn’t going anywhere), at least if said luxury car was manufactured by the Ford Motor Company.  Just look at how awful it would be to work on anything in there.

Ford’s engineers must have foreseen a game that has enjoyed an inexplicable return to popularity lately.

The Lincoln, by the way, was powered by the massive 462 cubic-inch MEL engine, soon to be displaced (ha) by the new 460 by the middle of 1968.  I haven’t heard anything particularly bad about the MEL; it’s just old-school technology with limited parts availability.

An alternate nickname for this car could be “Plagiarist,” which makes my title somewhat off-base.  The esteemed W.B. Yeats is known as one of the greatest poets of the 20th century, and he would bristle at the thought of being aligned in any way with a copycat.  But this wonderful, quietly loud Lincoln certainly looked to its competitors for some ideas to get it started on its way.  My enthusiasm about discovering a car like this for sale couldn’t conceal some evidence that it’s not a very original idea, even if it is a unique find today.

I would still drive it with pride all day long.  Now, if I could just Tetris it into the garage.