Junkyard Classic: 1962 Lincoln Continental – Ashes To Ashes, Dust To Dust

Lincoln is many things to many people, but mention the name to me, this is what always comes to mind first.  Well, perhaps not this particular one until now, but the Lincoln Continental of this generation is what I immediately picture, usually in black, which is why I found this one such a delight as I rounded the FoMoCo corner at my favorite Colorado junkyard.

You can keep your Mark V’s, your TownCars, your newer extremely pale imitation of what this one was even with the 80-odd quantity of new Continentals with suicide doors that are apparently all presold…figure out a way to make 80 more of these and they will sell twice as fast and probably for twice as much.

I’ll freely and happily admit I’m no walking encyclopedia of almost anything Lincoln, and until this day last week had not even realized that the hood on these opens in reverse.  But now that I have seen it so (as that’s how it was posed when it pounced on my eyeballs), it’s just so right and of course that’s how it’s supposed to be, never mind that accessing the V8’s glorious 430 cubic inches (7 liters to those of you working with the more logical scale around the world) that was installed in these first few years of this generation must have been a literal stretch.  In later years the engine expanded to 462 cu.in. (7.6l) and then in 1969 reduced slightly back to 460cu.in. (7.5l).  The transmissions throughout the run were 3-speed automatics.

How does such a massive lump look so small?  Even with a few bits missing you wouldn’t think there’d be so much space. Someone appears to have left their hanky on this one, perhaps many moons ago when it was last wheeled into the barn.  Or maybe just the day before I got here. (ED: note the two barrel carb, used on ’61-’62 Contis)

It somehow looks kind of shorter than I remember/envision it, but then I realized that for its mid-cycle refresh in 1964, the wheelbase was stretched by 3″ (around 8cm) which is likely what I was thinking of.  An extra 3″, some say that can make quite a difference…I also realized I’ve never opened the doors on one.

Ah, so satisfying.  But yeah, that opening isn’t particularly wide, you’d almost have to form a queue to get in when leaving from wherever you are with a full load of guests.

I think I’ll skip the actual getting in this time though.  But when new in 1962, it appears that a total of 27,849 people paid at least $6,074 (plus more for options) to have the privilege of getting in whenever they desired.  And a few thousand more people decided they wanted their hair ruffled in the wind so they chose the convertible version instead.

That’s a mighty big wheel, the camera couldn’t get it all.  Somehow the horn ring is broken off (remember those? they were great, just move your finger slightly off the rim and press down lightly).  The fuel gauge is still there, I imagine it read close to zero a lot back in the day.  What was on the right that’s missing here?

That center “stack” is almost foreshadowing what was to come years later.  It’s not that far off from some much newer designs.  And the infotainment system is right up top, gee, it almost looks tacked on, like a, oh, I don’t know, a book laying on its side or something!

I think Elwood Engel did a wonderful job with this, and I really love the little details, such as the grille and the patterned panel across the rear between the lights.

It just screams “America” from this angle.  How many bodies fit into this trunk?  It’s huge.

This has to be one of those cars that someone was going to get to “someday”.  Sadly I’d guess the owner ran out of time before someday occurred.

The color is denoted by the code letter “T” which means it’s Champagne, a fitting color for this car that would be the toast of many collections, including this current, final collection.  Also, mind you, a color I’ve never seen one in and I find it to look extremely attractive in this shade with much less gravitas than the typical black. Built in Wixom, Michigan as one of almost 7 million vehicles across many Lincoln models along with Thunderbirds and even the GT40 as well as the revived GT before the plant shut down in 2007.

She’ll live out her days in relative silence here on the lot until eventually even that comes to an end in a few months; at least she gets pride of place at the end of the row to watch those coming in down the center aisle and perhaps giving of herself so another can live.  I like modern cars as much as the next guy (and perhaps more than some here) but in this case even I have to say that they don’t make them like they used to.  May this one Rest in Peace.