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Black Plate Barn Find: 1964 Lincoln Continental

Every time I see a 1964 Lincoln Continental, thoughts go right to Mr. Solo getting himself into a “pressing engagement” in the 1964 James Bond movie, “Goldfinger“. Yes, thoughts abound, how did that compressor squish a 5,000+ lb. luxury car into such a small cube? How was that Ford Falcon-based Ranchero able to transport all of that dead, compressed weight?  Why not just pop Solo, ditch his carcass and drive back to the horse farm with the Lincoln, and the gold intact? Questions, questions and I’m really getting off track. This review won’t answer those questions but let’s look at this California barn find anyway. It is located in Healdsburg, California and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $3,500, reserve not yet met, or a BIN price of $25,000.

The redesigned 1961 Lincoln Continental was a big deal when it surfaced, especially coming on the heels of its weird eyeballed, goofy-looking predecessor. The ’61 possessed a purposeful, restrained, all-business look about itself. In 1964, there were some minor exterior revisions and an increase in wheelbase, but the Continental remained pretty true to its ’61 metamorphosis. Sales were robust, about 36K copies found owners, almost a 42% increase over the 1961 inaugural year.

This example is listed as a northern California barn find but there is no detail other than that provided. It is listed as being all original and it still looks pretty good for a 57-year-old car with what is probably 130K miles on its odometer. While the body panels appear to be fit, the paint is peeling off in places which makes one think a poor repaint job, whole or in part, sought out this Lincoln somewhere in its past. The finish, overall, doesn’t look too bad and could probably be easily repaired by a competent painter. The extensive stainless trim is all accounted for and still presents well; same with the bumpers. Unfortunately, the distinctive (and probably expensive) Lincoln wheel covers seem to be MIA.

The seller claims that the 320 HP, 430 CI V8 engine was rebuilt only 150 miles ago but, unfortunately, there is no image included. He adds that the car “runs and drives great“. That’s good news, but I’d still like to catch a glimpse of the engine room. A three-speed automatic transmission known as “Turbo-Drive” backs up the big MEL engine.

The interior is fair, actually, probably better than fair but the disintegrating black leather driver’s seat upholstery is an unfortunate eye-catcher and detracts from the remainder of the environment. Beyond that, the remaining leather is marked by typical age or “beauty” marks. The carpet is a bit wrinkly looking so it’s either the original that has come loose or a replacement that has not been installed properly. From what can be spied, the instrument panel and dash pad show themselves to be in good shape. Of note, there is a Roberts brand aftermarket cassette player installed. The seller lists it as an 8-track but it’s clearly a cassette player. I was actually able to find the same model for sale on eBay.

This is a Lincoln Continental with possibility! Cleaned up with repaired paint, new upholstery, and some wheel covers, it would be a real looker. But a $25K looker? Unless Solo’s gold is in the trunk, I’m doubting it; what says you?


  1. alphasud Member

    The seller is dreaming. These cars have gained in value in the last 5 years just like most everything else but not in its current condition. You wouldn’t need to look hard to spend another 15-20K just in paint and interior.

    Like 9
  2. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member
  3. Classic Steel

    I have been looking for a way to get back onto college and resetting the frat house. This just might be the way to do it.

    Did you say ‘over’? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!”

    Like 27
    • margaret young

      Germans = Pearl Harbour excuse me .Russians surely ??

      Like 3
    • Superdessucke

      You f—ed up. You trusted us!

      Like 4
  4. Billkrz

    It also reminds me of Flounder’s brother’s car from Animal House that was turned into the Deathmobile!

    Like 28
    • chuck

      “It’s dented!”

      Like 6
  5. mrshred

    You can see when the Lincoln that Oddjob drives to the junkyard is lifted into the air to be crushed, it has no engine or transmission.

    Like 10
  6. grant

    Definitely not “all original” it’s been repainted at least once. Those gobs of bondo worry the hell out of me too. I’d look very carefully at the bottom of it first, and take a bunch of fridge magnets with you too. If it’s solid I see $10-$12k here, as is.

    Like 2
    • grant

      Huh I haven’t commented in a while we’ve lost the edit feature. The peeling paint is clearcoat, so obviously a (poor) probably 1990s paint job.

      Like 0
  7. RichardinMaine

    mrshred – and there’s a barely visible jump in the scene between when Oddjob pulls up in the Lincoln, gets out, and the claw swings into frame, where the motor-less car is substituted.

    Like 0
  8. John Oliveri

    Animal House all the way, Flounder cried , and then committed insurance fraud to save his ass, and have a Deathmobile

    Like 5
  9. Geoff

    Hagerty values this year and model in “fair” condition which this one is by only the most charitable definition at 8600 buck. The seller is dreaming.

    Like 3
  10. Daniel Gavin

    $25 Large for this?!! Beam me up Scotty and have the Jack on ice ready.

    Like 9
  11. Patrick Anderson

    “Don’t worry, D-Day can fix it!”.

    Like 4
  12. Robert F Gressard

    I liked Goldfinger and was blown away when the Lincoln was crushed. If you look at the one that is crushed it is a 1963. The one that was driven to the junkyard is a 1964. Probably the cost of a 1963 was a lot less. The film used a 1964 1/2 Mustang so the 64 Lincoln was probably new at the time of filming. I own a 1962 and a 1961 Lincoln. I had a 1964 some years ago. Great cars.

    Like 3
  13. Todd

    When did the Germans bomb Pearl Harbor? Did I miss something??

    Like 8
    • Classic Steel

      In the Movie Animal house John Belushi role played a non smart Delta frat role as their grades puts them on probation. Classic but still funny with a similar car welded up and painted for war.


      Like 3
  14. Steve Clinton

    Apparently, the owner had a flatulence problem.
    $25,000 and no hubcaps? I think not.

    Like 2
  15. Pete in PA

    As much as I love the 61 Continentals, the 64 & 65 leave me cold. I can’t imagine what Ford engineers were thinking when they switched from curved side glass to flat for 64. Seriously. And the addition of angular features around the rear glass and also the edge of the trunk lid was NOT an improvement.
    Only reason I can think of for the increased sales figures is that the build quality and reputation of the 61, 62, and 63 models became widely known and buyers then bought what was available.
    As for the price of this offering, well, the BIN of $25k is beyond optimistic. Way optimistic.

    Like 3
    • Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

      Pete, funny you should mention the flat glass. I was just talking to Chris at LincolnLand in Clearwater last week,and he told me the flat glass was used to fit the taller roof, which was changed to allow more rear-passenger headroom.

      Like 4
  16. Richard Nepon

    I was gifted one like this in 1974, after my 64 Buick 225 convertible was stolen. I took it on my honeymoon in June. My friends had written all over those slab sides with white shoe polish. The first three stops on my honeymoon were car washes. The forth was an overbite at a friends where I tried to remove the sun baked lettering by hand. It never went away and was full of explications and poor taste. But it was a tremendous cruiser with a/c and crude control. After chopping a flywheel tooth it seemed to always end up with me under the car trying to rotate the engine with the access cover removed below the flywheel. That got old very quickly. I sold the car. 20 years later I bought the car the original owner had replaced it with, a 79 Mercury Grand Marquis, black with a red velour interior. Saddled with California emissions it would start only about half the time. But usually it was good after a short wait. Worst carb and distributor ever invented.

    Like 2
  17. Steve Clinton

    What is the attraction to cars with ‘black plates’? I never could understand why that seems to be a selling point.

    Like 1
    • Nevada1/2rack Nevadahalfrack Member

      The “black plates” were an indicator that the car kept the original California registration from its initial licensing as there the plates for the most part stayed with the car regardless of owner transfers.
      The Land Of Exorbitant Taxing has learned of the draw from car enthusiasts and has recently began to make those plates again..

      Like 3
      • Mountainwoodie

        True about the state repop black plates but easy to tell from the original. Usually have the crammed up look of seven digit modern plates..unless some..er..person has laid out even MORE money for a personalized plate. On a side note when I arrive in Cali as a callow yute in 1978, I registered my car for twelve bucks!.

        As for the Lincoln , I had a perfect and I mean perfect ’63 in 1974 or so…. carried some very rowdy college boys from New Orleans to Colorado.a couple of times..just a beautiful car. I paid $750 for it and of course gas was about .35 a gallon. I couldnt always afford to fill it up lol!. Now people routinely drop 65 bucks a week to fill their beasts. Crazy.

        This poor guy sure isnt worth 25 large to me……….like I said…….crazy.

        Like 2
      • Vince H

        Not necessary true. When I was in the Army guys from California would buy cars where they were stationed. They also got black plates at the time.

        Like 0
      • Streamliner

        Steve Clinton — Nevadahalfrack is correct on all counts. The 63 series California gold on black plate CYE 008 is consistent with being first registered in fall 1963. Seller does not state this, but seems likely this Lincoln has its original set of CA license plates. Up to you if that means anything. At the very least, if these are the original plates, says this Continental has been registered in Calif for its entire 57+ year life.

        Like 1
      • Steve Clinton

        Streamliner, OK, that makes sense.

        Like 1
  18. benjy58

    Road trip! but With that price it has to be the entire country,

    Like 0
  19. John Oliveri

    Pertaining to Animal House, and this car, the only thing that would have been funnier is if Otter had deflowered Flounders girlfriend in the back seat instead of the dead girl’s friend

    Like 0
  20. Sunshine

    Jim, the GOLDFINGER scene was shot at Sol Walker’s scrapyard in Miami. He was a client of my father’s, business partner, and family friend. Dealing in scrap he was shocked they had a second brand new Lincoln Continental standing by should the shoot not go as planned. He did mention that the engine and other bits were removed before crushing. This may contribute to the size and weight of a former 5000 pound Lincoln being carried by a half-ton Ranchero, but not completely.

    Like 3
    • Ralph

      The whole drive to the scrapyard was also filmed in Miami. The scrap yard is on the river, the entrance is still visible last time I looked online but its container lot now.

      Like 0
    • Howard A Member

      No kidding, Miami? I thought for sure it was L.A.,( even with the “Atlantic” name) I agree, the Ranchero was a ’65 and had an 800 pound load capacity. The “chunk” dropped in the back clearly was not a crushed Lincoln, as even with the drivetrain removed, it would still be way too heavy for that vehicle.

      Like 4
  21. chrlsful

    I guess Bakers (since early ’70s)chrlsful@aol.com in Putnam is outta business? “There goes the neighborhood” (for rest0md w/these).
    black, wrong color (white is right) for a Cali car.
    I call these ‘the Kennedy Car” and love m as limos. One of my fav ‘big cars’.

    Now? lincoln land clearwater is the place…?

    Like 0
  22. Phil

    Thanks for the write up, Jim! I never have regrets, but sometimes wonder if I should have bought one of the classics I drooled over 30 years ago and was ready to buy a car. I remember seeking these out, especially a ’64 because of the clean lines. Gene Bordinat tidied up the grille and the rear treatment of the Engle original. I scoured classifieds in ye olden papers. The price for a decent one was $5,000 then, though as I said I have no regrets, and probably wouldn’t have been able to give it the time it deserved. That being said, it still was an early car I owned, although the classic Matchbox model in mint green that was new-old-stock in a drug store in the 1970s. Since these cars were so well designed and built, this really had lead no easy life and I would balk at $25,000. ….unless the gold was in the trunk. The car in the film that was crushed was a stand-in ’63 with the engine removed. The art director of Goldfinger Ken Adam recounts how there was complete silence when the Lincoln was crushed. It certainly was one of many things in that film that made an impact on contemporary 1964 filmgoers. It was a beautiful car then, and as they become rarer, moreso today.

    Like 0

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