Curbside Classics: 1958, 1959, & 1960 Lincolns Photographed Curbside (in Kodachrome!)

It recently came to my attention that among the “loved-or-hated” 1958-60 generation of Lincoln motorcars, there are only curbside examples profiled on CC of the 1958 and 1960 models . . . but no ’59s.  So today we’re going to fill this terrible vacancy, and include a ’58 and a ’60 to boot!  The following photos I took myself using a 35mm camera with Kodachrome slide film in the fall of 1989–thirty-three and a half years ago!

First I have to point out that 1989 was a long time ago–this is a picture of me graduating from college that year.

Now I had been an old car enthusiast for a long time then, and I read a lot of classic car magazines.  My main area of interest was American cars from 1955-62, and I discovered that while some years, makes, and models from that era were commonly written about, others that I really liked were basically ignored, much to my disappointment.

So I approached Car Collector & Car Classics and asked them if they would like me to write an article for them on the 1958-60 Lincolns.  They said yes, so I wrote the article, but I needed pictures of these cars to go with it.

In those pre-Internet days, you couldn’t just Google search images or names of owners of these cars–1958, ’59, and ’60 cars of any make were quite scarce even then.  But somehow I managed to find three owners (one for each model year) who agreed to have their cars photographed for my article.  The ’58 owner (Robert Vogelsang from Long Island) supplied his own photos;  the other two gentlemen, John Zaleski of Edison NJ with his ’59, and Joseph Nicastro, Jr. of South Plainfield with his ’60 agreed to meet me in Chatham so I could take pictures.  It was great meeting them and seeing their beautiful cars in person!

Car Collector & Car Classics published the article in their July 1990 issue.  However, because of space limitations, only a few of my photos were used, and they were printed in black and white, not color.  So until now, no one has seen these slides in full, glorious color except me.  In fact, it would be impossible to produce these images today because Kodachrome went out of production in 2009–you can’t obtain Kodachrome, and nobody can develop it anymore.  And we all know that Kodachrome can’t be matched for that certain depth of color richness and softness that modern methods cannot truly duplicate.  CC has many posts showcasing vintage Kodachrome slides that make the world look wonderful!

c. 1960 or 2022? My attempts to re-create the look of a vintage Kodachrome slide using a smartphone camera and photo imaging software.


So here are the slides from 1989, which I just had converted to digital format for posting on this site:

Robert Vogelsang’s 1958 Lincoln Continental Mark III convertible:  (Kodachrome slides provided by the owner)

From the 1958 Lincoln brochure, convertibles shown in Deauville Yellow and Jade.  As Ed Sullivan said when introducing these cars on his show, “Those are really knockouts, aren’t they?  I had my eye on one down at the factory–it’s a Mark III in Peach!  Oh, brother–this is really a job!  So stop in at your Continental and Lincoln dealer’s this week, and see these magnificent new cars for yourself!”


John Zaleski’s 1959 Lincoln 4-door Landau:  (Kodachrome slides taken by me in Chatham NJ, 1989)


Very similar to the one Norman Rockwell drives (except Mr. Rockwell’s is a Premiere, one trim level above the regular Lincoln series).


Like that Mid-Century Modern concrete block in the background? I thought it was the perfect backdrop for this Lincoln.


Here’s a Google Streetview of the same building today. The solid wall of hedge has been broken up. That’s not a flag at half staff–it’s a flagpole attached partway up a streetlight post.



“3 TONS”. Yup, that says it all!  (Actual shipping weight is listed as 5000 pounds, so that’s 1000 pounds short.  Load it up with a few heavy passengers and some luggage and you might get to three tons).


In this recently posted YouTube commercial, Les Tremayne and the charming Julia Meade show us why this 1959 Lincoln is so spectacular:


Here’s the 1959 Continental version. Hard to distinguish from the Lincoln and Lincoln Premiere from this angle. Main differences are grille texture, triple taillights, reverse-angled backlight, and more lushly-trimmed upholstery.


This generation of Lincolns were available in some very exotic colors with names like Claret, Sapphire, Rosemetal Iridescent (extra cost), Cameo Rose, Jade, Suede, Sunstone, Burnished Gold, Peacock Green. When selected, such vibrant color tones could do wonders for these cars.



The unique “aircraft-type” instrument panel which was shared with the ’58s. The odometer read about 30,000 miles, which was claimed to be original.


Joseph Nicastro, Jr.’s 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V 4-door Landau:


Just like this ad. “A new peak of perfection in America’s finest motorcar.”


The 1960 Lincoln grew pointy new “Dagmar” bumpers, which had been dropped in ’59.  This was not the last American car to have them–in 1961, Buick sprouted a new pair.


1950s TV star Dagmar, and bumper bullets on the 1956 Cadillac. I think you get the idea.


The dashboard was completely redesigned for 1960, with four round dials in pods which closely resembled the gauges on the 1956-57 Continental Mark II.


A tour-de-force of modern industrial design. The overall look with that thick steering column makes it seem like you’re piloting the USS Norfolk.  Everything feels big . . . solid . . . spacious . . . smooth.  I actually got to drive it around the block.  This ain’t no Honda!


Side-by-side views:


1960 Continental and 1959 Lincoln look dramatically different from the rear, even though they’re basically the same car.



10 nanoseconds before a head-on collision between a ’59 and a ’60. (This is just a simulation–no collision occurred.)


Back-to-back shows some interesting differences.


Looking back on it now, I wonder about the guys I met that day in Chatham and their cars.  How are they doing?  Do they still own the cars which were in such nice original condition?  A lot happens in 33 years.  If they were age 40 or 50 then, they’re 73 or 83 now.  The world, and all of our individual lives have changed so much.  I guess that’s one reason I like old cars–the original condition survivors are tangible links to a past which was real and beautiful in its own way.  And no matter which old cars we’re drawn to, that’s precious!