1966 Lincoln Continental Convertible Project

This Lincoln Continental saw active duty as a daily driver from 1966 until 1978 and was then used as a parade car from ’78 until it was taken off the road in 1995 and stored in a garage. In 2011 it was moved outside and stored under a tarp until 2017 when the current owner purchased it. The car is a sad sight, but it does have some positive points, and the owner has decided to move it on. Located in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, it is listed for sale here on eBay.

The 6-years that the Continental spent living in the great outdoors hasn’t done the car any favors, but it appears that the car has spent the last 2-years in a workshop. There is certainly some rust to deal with, but apart from what we can see around the outside of the car, the owner claims that the only rust that isn’t visible is in the front floor on the driver’s side. There is a dent in the front fender on the driver’s side, but the owner says that the doors open and close cleanly with no sign of binding or misalignment. This raises the possibility that the frame might be structurally sound.

The interior has certainly seen better days, but contrary to appearances, it is complete. The missing items such as door trims are present, they just aren’t fitted to the car. While the upholstery appears to be free of any major rips or tears, there is a fair amount of mildew visible on a number of surfaces. This is not that difficult to clean, but if it has gotten into the padding, it’s going to smell pretty awful. The Continental has also been fitted with air conditioning, which was one of the very few options available on the Continental at this time.

For the 1966 model year, the original 430ci MEL V8 engine was expanded in capacity to 462ci, and that is what is fitted to this car. After dragging the car from its resting place, the owner discovered that the fuel line was rusted out under the car. He connected an external gas can direct to the carburetor, and that old V8 coughed right into life. This is the area that best demonstrates the fact that the owner has some confidence about the viability of the car as a restoration project. Since he got the car running, he has fitted a new alternator, a new battery, new plugs and wires, and new tires.

When I first saw this car, I was prepared to write it off as a lost cause, and initially thought that it was beyond help. However, there appears to be some potential in this Continental. If the rust is as limited as the owner indicates, then it would be a viable restoration project. With good examples starting in the market at around $35,000 and ranging up to $70,000 for an immaculate example, that leaves a fair amount of room to move on restoration if the price is low enough. The owner has set the opening bid at $2,995, but there is also a BIN option at $4,995. That does leave some room to move on a restoration project, but is it enough?

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Comments

  1. TCOPPS Member

    It’d be interesting to know how this one looks once cleaned up. A bit hard to tell from the pictures, but I feel it’s priced rather fairly. Would LOVE to see it back on the road.

    11
  2. SLK

    I can guarantee that there is no rusty frame below that car.

    5
    • Bryan

      You’re right SLK, this Lincoln’s unitized body has no frame to rust ;)

      My luxury 1965 Imperial convertible has a frame (a very large one), while every Dodge, Plymouth and Chrysler model had unibody construction since 1960 (trucks and Imperials were the exception). Imperials finally went to unibody construction in 1967.

      1
      • Bill McCoskey

        Bryan,

        The primary reason Chrysler kept the frame under the imperial was because of the Ghia-built Crown LeBaron limousines. In the 1960s it was difficult to stretch a unit body, but far less work to lengthen a frame to fit a longer body.

        It’s also one of the 2 primary reasons Chrysler stopped the Ghia Limo project, the other reason being very low production figures. 1965 was the last year for the Ghia limousines, with only 10 built. [I used to own #9.]

        1
  3. Miguel Member

    It is hard to believe all that damage happened in only 6 years.

    5
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      I agree Miguel, the kiss of death. Tarped and left outdoors.

      2
  4. Fiete T.

    Ha,ha,ha…rust & electrical system issues should be fun. Not to mention supremely expensive

    3
  5. Al

    Some nice examples on google images of what would look like finished like this one in pic. Seems blue was a popular choice. Hopefully the bumpers didn’t suffer any dings as those can be costly too to replace. Sad to see it went from ‘parades’ to it’s present state from neglect. Can imagine how many offers were turned down when it still looked like a gem & instead, chose to throw a tarp over it & forget it.

    7
  6. Rick

    Some years ago I had a chance to purchase a 66 convertible that was in good condition. I had worked on the car since day one because the dealer did not how to service the problematic top, and I did. As a joke, I offered the bed ridden owner $200 for the car. She replied that she would have her nurse fte the title from her safe deposit box. The owner died before that happened and her grandson ended up with the car. The last I knew of it the car was siting neglected in the middle of a field and was being advertised on Craigslist for $4,500. It did not run and needed a top. I do not know what else.

    1
  7. Brian Scott

    I’ll give 50 cents a pound. That’s my final offer.

  8. Clay Bryant

    First dented Continental I’ve ever seen as a parade vehicle…………

  9. Bill McCoskey

    Many potential owners are afraid to buy one because of what they’ve heard about the convertible top electrics being a nightmare. NO SO. I was part of the last FOMOCO service training course on the convertible tops & rear door window operation [in 1972], and I can tell you they are very easy to diagnose and repair provided you get the manuals. The top mechanism, while complex in operation, is easy to diagnose because it’s all sequential in operation, Where it stops is where the problem lies. Some of the relays are hard to find, but they can be substituted for other modern relays.

    I had a Black 1966 with wine red leather interior, Took 1st place in the LCOC national meet about 1980. I sold it because of 6 mpg fuel consumption.

    5
  10. Clay Bryant

    The same holds true for a Ford retractable. Lived in Gunnison,Colorado at the time when my trunk wouldn’t open to get my luggage out. 20 below zero weather, pulled the back seat out and started in on the circuit board. Traced to the pillar cover, opened it up and “Voila’! Someone had taken some wire to the contact switch because it had broke sometime earlier and pulled it over to align with the screw drive plunger. Wire was broke. “Rewired” and we were off and running.55 years ago but still fresh in my memory.

    2
    • Bill McCoskey

      Clay,
      The relays on the ’57 to ’59 Retracts are based on the Ford Autolite starter relay, except they have an additional small terminal added [total of 4 instead of 3 terminals]. These relays were used in other vehicles too, so they are not too difficult to find. Because the small terminals are a push-on connection, they can become corroded with age, so make sure they are kept clean.

      Also of importance to anyone who owns one of these cars [Retracts, Lincolns & T-birds] is to always keep a 3/8″ drive, 9/16″ socket, with a 3″ extension, and the socket wrench, in your glove box [Not in the trunk!]. If you look up in the wheel well just forward of the rear tires, up near where the front of the trunk lid is located, you will see a 9/16″ hex head bolt.

      Removing both bolts [right & left side], will allow the trunk lid to be lifted just enough on the ’57-’59 cars to disconnect the trunk lifting screw jacks, and on the T-bird & Lincoln it will allow you to slowly lift up [pulling against the hydraulic system pressure build-up] until you can gain access to the trunk. [With 2 people it takes a few minutes to slowly raise the trunk lid fully.]

      About 30 years ago I had an owner of a 1964 Lincoln convertible bring his car in to my shop, a huge hole cut [butchered] in the center of the trunk lid by a different repair shop, as they tried to gain access to get his top working. In 10 minutes I had his trunk lid open, and soon had the trunk release motor replaced. To paraphrase a well-known credit card slogan:

      Cost for the repairs;
      Labor; around $150
      Used motor; About $50
      Used trunk lid, including shipping from Florida & PAINTED to match the car; PRICELESS! [about $2,500]

      6
      • Clay Bryant

        Now ya’ tell me! lol great post. Incidentally, saw the one at Barrett/ Jackson tonight sell for 100k………

        2
  11. stillrunners

    Gas line rusted thru – is that galvanized ? Anyways we were just taking in Julio’s yard where he has three of these drop tops – they were moved from another of his salvage yards….just not that much demand for them.

  12. Clay Bryant

    Because of his price? Look at about half of the promo ads on t.v. right now. Seems like they’re popping up all over the place. Having owned one, one of the best rides ever……..Styling awards. I think the only one making negative remarks about one of these is someone who hasn’t enjoyed the ride…….stillrunners, why did you ask about them and not the 53 Plymouth in his yard?

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