The original Lincoln Continental was Edsel Ford's idea, essentially the first time the words personal luxury car were used together. With two doors and a modest back seat, it was really a 2-seater with room for two more in a pinch, and it was the car you chose to let people know you had made it to the big time. In 1955, the Continental Mark II debuted, again, a large, powerful luxury car with two doors and a back seat and knockout styling. When the Continental Mark III was introduced, the formula was much the same: a personal-sized Lincoln with all the luxury accoutrements and a healthy dose of performance under the hood. Iconic, desirable, and highly collectable today, this low-mileage Mark III is a beautifully restored example with a few modern tricks up its sleeve.
Showing just 30,084 original miles, this triple black Mark III is the epitome of late60s cool. You just know Sinatra owned one just like this, and prowled the Las Vegas strip in it, the big block under the hood rumbling with authority, while the luxury-filled interior coddled him and his lady companions in the finest tradition. Nothing looks better on these cars than black, and the bodywork on this one was undoubtedly very straight before the work started, and today it's simply amazing. In the photos, you can sight down the flanks and see that there are no ripples or signs of bodywork, and that someone block sanded the hell out of this body before the two stage urethane went on. There's a subtle relief line that runs the length of the car, kicking up on the quarter panel, and alignment is spot-on from one panel to the next. There's about an acre of sheetmetal in that hood, and I'm astounded that they've been able to get it to look and fit as well as it does;it's obvious that this car was not restored down to a price, but was instead a cost-no-object project.
Although a Continental trademark was a restrained use of chrome and other flash, there's still quite a bit on this big cruiser. The bumpers are beautifully restored, fitting flush to the body front and rear. The distinctive Continental grille, which would be found on Marks for the next three generations, is upright and defies the wind. Then there's the gorgeous strip of polished stainless that follows the crowns of the fenders, along the tops of the doors, and out to the taillights, defining the body's shape in trademark Lincoln fashion. The side-mounted parking lights and complimentary tail lights start and end the body in fine fashion and are in spectacular condition. And the low roof, which almost looks chopped but is 100% factory original, is wrapped in luscious padded black vinyl that shows no wear or discernible installation flaws.
The engine compartment of this car might be the nicest I've ever seen in one of these. Everything appears as new, from the bright Ford Blue paint on the block, to the hoses and fittings. The 460 cubic inch V8 in the Continental was a high-compression 4-barrel unit, and the Mark III was most certainly a gentleman's express. With 365 horsepower, it powers the big coupe with effortless ease, and when you drop the hammer, it moves with real authority. The A/C system has been completely rebuilt and uses R134a refrigerant, so it will be reliable and easy to service in the future. Things like the inner fenders, the radiator cradle, and the firewall are in exceptional condition, and all the wiring appears new. A correct Continental decal has been applied to the air cleaner lid, and the valve covers read Powered by Ford, which was kind of a big deal in the 60s. Even the original data plate riveted to the radiator cradle is still intact, giving the engines vital statistics for service purposes. With only 30,000 miles, this is an extremely strong runner that rides and drives like a full-sized Lincoln should.
Harnessing all that big block power is a Ford C6 3-speed automatic driving a rugged Ford 9-inch with 2.83 gears out back. Thanks to the engines massive torque reserves, tall gears really aren't required, and this is one of those cars designed to hammer across vast stretches of interstate at high speeds in supreme comfort. The suspension and brakes have been properly maintained, and the chassis is clean, looking perfectly appropriate given the mileage shown. The exhaust system has been upgraded to some seriously big pipes and Flowmaster style mufflers, which give the big coupe a basso-profundo voice that is ideal for its luxury/sport mission. The wheels are positively massive 20-inch Boss Motorsports pieces wearing 255/40/20 Yokohama radials, and quite honestly, they look great on the car. Where the original tires look kind of lost under those big fenders, these manage to stuff the wheel wells without significantly degrading ride quality to a great extent.
The high style continues inside, where the original cloth and vinyl interior is almost 100% intact and in spectacular condition. Diamond-tufted seats with cloth inserts are the height of 60s fashion and the beautifully detailed dashboard is sporty, with individual nacelles for each gauge. Power windows and locks were standard equipment, of course, and the controls are at your fingertips on the nicely preserved door panel. Both the driver and passenger get six-way power seats that are fully functional and extremely comfortable. The steering wheel is a recent addition, but it looks right at home in the flashy Continental passenger compartment, with a bright billet aluminum center and a leather-wrapped rim. Carpets and headliner are exceptionally nice with no glaring issues or signs of age. In back, the trunk is nicely finished in gray trunk fabric, including a cover for the full-sized spare tire, along with a restored jack assembly.
This Mark III also includes a great deal of documentation. Not only is there the original owner's manual, but we also have the original build sheet, original invoice from Borough Motors in Charlotte, NC, the original Owners Card (Fords version of a Protect-O-Plate), and the original AM/FM stereo operating manual.
Cars like this are red hot right now. Collectors are realizing that they are exceptionally nice vehicles to drive, and they were some of the most expensive vehicles on the road when they were new. Pop culture has embraced 60s Lincoln Continentals as well, and a younger generation is discovering what amazing machines these full-sized luxury cruisers really are. With a few tasteful upgrades, this Mark III is surely one of the nicest anywhere at any price. And there's simply no color combination better than triple black on these. This is a magnificent car that still gets peoples jaws to drop when it shows up, and you'll feel like a million bucks every time you slide behind the wheel and sight down that long, long hood. Call us today!
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