Square Shouldered – 1964 Lincoln Continental Hardtop Sedan

The anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s death comes with a reminder of the car he was riding in – a Lincoln Continental convertible limousine. And in fact, given the weight his death carried for the country, and how this car was so strongly associated with him, it’s surprising Lincoln was able to sell any more. But sell they did, and in fact, sales continued to increase through 1966, and still remained strong through the final year (1969). And that’s probably in no small part due to the inherent quality of the car and its design. Elwood Engle, who later went on to design various Chrysler models, designed one of the finest cars built in America at the time. It was packed with luxury features, came with the first 2 year/24,000 mile warranty, and weighed an outrageous 5,000 lb at its slimmest. This 1964 Lincoln Continental hardtop sedan is for sale in Yuma, AZ, with bidding at $3050, reserve not met, and about 3 days left.

1964 Lincoln Continental left front

What a gorgeous design. White is not the most desirable color for these cars – darker colors allow the shiny trim to really pop and make the distinctive design stick out. However, this particular car does have a nicely aged look, and hopefully the seller allowed the car to dry before taking pictures so we’re getting a true idea of the paint’s condition. By choosing a 1964 model year car, you still get some of the earlier design details, like the grill with 4 round exposed headlights. As with any Continental, you get the rear suicide doors which, incidentally, were specified for a practical reason – ease of ingress and egress.

1964 Lincoln Continental interior

The interior was recently redone, although the seller does not say to what extent. The dash is said to be in good shape, and the air conditioning functional, but vacuum-powered accessories like the windows and seats are not so reliable, so count on spending some hours replacing vacuum lines if you want to adjust your seat. The seller does concede the odometer reading is inaccurate, but on a car of this age, unless the mileage is super-low, the more critical factor is recent maintenance and a general impression of good care.

1964 Lincoln Continental engine

Here’s the 430 V8, which put out a massive 315hp. The power-to-weight ratio here must be similar to that of a modern, base-model pickup truck or SUV. Things look reasonably clean under the hood, the air conditioning hose fittings look pretty new, and the owner has fitted an Optima gel-cell battery. You won’t likely win any drag races, but as with yesterday’s Imperial, you’ll always have adequate power to get you around.

1964 Lincoln Continental left side

This is possibly its best angle – a good view of the suicide doors and straight-line styling. You’ll want to get rid of the dark blue tint on the windows, though. The first frustrating thing about being the owner/driver of one is never climbing through the suicide rear doors.


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2 Responses to “Square Shouldered – 1964 Lincoln Continental Hardtop Sedan”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    Around about 1981, my buddy got a hold of a beautiful sea-foam green Continental with a matching leather interior. Much to my dismay, he quickly beat it to death, which took some doing on his part because it was such good car (he chained the engine to the crossmember after he broke the motor mounts doing burnouts; which it did quite well). I lost quite a bit of respect for him after that.

  2. Chris Keen Says:

    That’s sad… I had a childhood fascination with 4-seat convertibles since I saw a faded red Continental convertible that a neighbor had. You know, so you could enjoy wind-in-the-hair while dad drove.

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