1966 Lincoln Continental convertible sedan
I was wandering around the Yellow field at Hershey last fall (2001), and stumbled across this car. The more I looked at it, the more I believe it is an unmolested 62,000 mile original car. The body appears to be straight, the doors hang square and have the right sound when they are closed, and the bumper gaps are all good. The rocker panel moldings do not have any sheetmetal screws holding them in place
The car is very well-equipped (climate control, AM-FM, dimmer, tilt wheel, cruise, 6-way seat, power locks and vents). The surprising thing is that most of the really complex widgets function: the convertible top, the climate control, the automatic headlight dimmer, and the cruise control all work perfectly. I had to replace a relay in one of the automatic rear windows. The window regulators all need to be cleaned and lubricated, and one of the window switches need to be cleaned.
After putting a thousand miles on this car, I have discovered that the exhaust system leaks, also.
It has now been almost a year since this car came home. We have traveled a little over four thousand miles together. I have been catching up with the maintenance, bit by bit. The exhaust leak was a bit of a challenge, but was eventually fixed (or so I thought). I cleaned and lubricated the window regulators and switches. I had the air conditioning system charged. I replaced a few components in the automatic rear windows.
My 30th high school reunion was held during the third weekend of September. I thought that this would be an apropos car to take to the reunion, as it is representative of what some of our parents would have been driving during that period. (Yeah, I know, it's a stretch, but I really wanted to take the car on a trip).
Last minute preparations included a new set of front shock absorbers and an oil change. When I left Maryland, we were proceeding at an easy 70 mph. After we entered Pennsylvania, I noticed that the back end of the car was beginning to exhibit a vibration at 70, so I took the speed down to 65. Got a bit further down the road, and then the speed was 60. By this time, I knew that something was not right, and I was going to have to have the car looked at the next morning. I entered Ohio at 55, and was approaching Cleveland at 50, when I heard a "BANG" from the rear of the car. Looking in the rear-view mirror, I could see a cloud of black particles expanding from the back. I pulled off to the side of the interstate to see what had happened. I discovered that the right-rear tire had had a major tread separation, losing 3/4 of its tread. When the tire fell apart, it punched a 3x6-inch hole in the right-side muffler. Fortunately, I was less than 100 yards from an off-ramp. I changed the tire on an apron at the toll booth. It took longer to unpack and repack the trunk than it did to actually change the tire. The next morning, Baby got four new tires. With the hole in the muffler, we loudly blurbled from Cleveland on to Chicago. The day after I arrived, I paid a call on a Meineke shop in Elk Grove Village, where the damaged muffler was replaced, and the leaky connections between the pipe and the exhaust manifolds were sealed (again).
The remainder of the trip was without incident. The car drank two quarts of oil, and returned 13 mpg with the air off, which was better than I was expecting. And as expected, the car effortlessly eats up the miles. The photo below was taken with the car parked in front of my alma mater, Glenbrook North High School.
The Continental is "reposing" for the winter. The last time she was on the road was Thanksgiving Day. I have a number of projects in mind for the spring and summer this year, beginning with a major tune-up (plugs, cap/rotor/wires, rebuild the carburetor and fuel pump), and continuing on to the suspension systems. I also want to get the foam in the seat replaced. There are a couple of cranky relays that need to be replaced, also. Details at Eleven.
Well, it’s been a busy year. The ’66 traveled another 2000 miles this year. Her big trip was to Newport, Rhode Island in late July for the Rolls-Royce Owners Club meet. Early in November, I learned about a pre-war Packard that is for sale in Phoenix. After a short trip to Arizona to inspect the car, I left a deposit. Another car forces me to put something up for sale, both for the garage space and the money necessary to complete the sale. Since the ’66 is the car that is most easily replaced, off she goes.
Today, the ’66 was consigned to a shipper to be trucked to Florida. She is being sent down to Chris Dunn’s in Clearwater to be sold. She was a good car, and I will be somewhat sorry to see her go.
The pre-shipment inspection.
As I last saw her, waiting to be loaded.
The car finally sold in early this month, going to a new home in Spotsylvania, Virginia. I hope she will serve her new owner as well as she served me.