Driver Or Restore It? 1965 Lincoln Continental Street Find

It’s not a pink Cadillac, but it sure looks like it could be “oozing down the street!” Few cleaner designs exist than the 1961-65 Elwood Engel Lincoln Continentals, and I happen to prefer the 1965 ‘Mercury-esque’ grille over the earlier cars. This particular Continental is located in Kennewick, Washington and is listed for sale here on eBay, with bidding starting at $3,500.

Long and sleek with the unusual rear door arrangement, this vintage of Continentals wouldn’t be mistaken for anything else on the road. This particular car looks to be in decent driving condition, which is just fine with me. The only rust mentioned is a “small spot” in the trunk floor, which is perfect for me because my structurally sound but cosmetically challenged welding would be hidden once I was done repairing it. You may be thinking similar thoughts.

Speaking of the trunk, I’m guessing this car would have been a favorite to see how many kids you could stuff in there to get into the local drive in for free. That’s a lot of space, and at an overall length of 216.3 inches, parking might be a challenge at times. You are also looking at over 5,000 pounds of car. Maybe that means you can park wherever you want to!

Although the rear seat looks like brand new, the front has some issues with the leather giving up the ghost in spots. I’m hoping that some panel replacement could be done rather than replacing the whole seat cover, but it might be difficult to match the color. Door panels look nice and overall the car presents itself well. The seller does mention that the column shift bushings need to be replaced, or perhaps that is a matter of linkage adjustment? Any Lincoln experts in our readers?

That’s a 430 cubic inch V8 in there, Sonny, complete with air conditioner with a belt still on it. Perhaps the seller’s claim of everything works except the power windows is legitimate! The car has been tuned up and wears new tires as well. I do see signs of a poor respray here where the rubber hood buffer has overspray on it, but depending on the price I might be able to overlook that easily. Do you see yourself cruising in a Lincoln like this one? Would you restore it or drive it as is?

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Comments

  1. MIKE READING

    i had a 69 lincoln 4dr, what a great car, should never of sold it( about 12 years ago), saw it on craig’s list about 5 years later, i went and looked at it to buy it back, that car was used and abused in those 5 years, i just walked away shaking my head. these cars are nice but you can’t pass a gas station without stopping, mike

  2. JW

    These cars have always been on my bucket list just for the suicide doors. I love being different from the crowd.

  3. Shaun Carroll

    Nice car, if you do respray, dark blue would give the car that classic look.

  4. doug6423

    Restomod!! And I agree with JW.

  5. Rob

    Roadtrip!

  6. Juliano

    One of my dream cars right there… [sigh]… Would probably restore it entirely, although the interior looks far worse than the body.

    • Beth

      The body was great! Hardly any rust, just a little in the trunk, and me and my husband were gonna restore it, but here’s a warning with these cars; parts are really really hard to find, and pretty expensive. The only reason we did get rid of it was because we had no way to take it with us, it would have been so much of a hassle to ship it, too. It’s a huge car. One day, if you can… I definitely say go for it! You only have one life! ;D

  7. Red'sResto

    Knew a guy at work who had one in black, which is the ideal color for these IMHO.

  8. wuzjeepnowsaab

    In high school, a friend had a 66 Conti…trunk was absolutely massive. Like a bedroom back there.

  9. Fred W.

    I bought a ’66 TBird cheap and spent several months fixing things, including the probably identical power window motors. A little WD40 goes a long way towards freeing up the gummed up mechanism. If that doesn’t work, find a good one on Ebay. The loose column bearings are a pain to fix but it’s OK to drive it that way as long as it is not slipping out of Park. Turn signals may not cancel though.

  10. Ralph Robichaud

    Road Boss- Just enjoy the cushy ride.

    Now, this what I would call a survivor.

    No mention of mileage, but does it matter.

  11. Clay A.

    I had a 63 (white over maroon ) in high school back in 1980! What a gorgeous car. I miss it still today.

  12. GearHead Engineer

    These have a master window relay in the right kick panel area. It’s probably bad. Or there could be an issue with the master lockout switch. Seldom do you lose all six window motors at once.

    Shifter problem probably means you have to hold the shift lever up to start the car. Common problem on these. There’s a bushing in the column that crumbles. Fairly cheap part, big PIA to replace. Slipping out of park is a big deal on these because the parking brake has a vacuum release triggered by the neutral safety switch. So if it’s running and slips out of park you will be chasing it.

    Great cars. I prefer the earlier grille, and the longer wheelbase. That’s why I drive a ’64. But the ’65s are great too. This one looks pretty solid. Could be a fun driver as long as gas doesn’t go back up to $4.

    – John

  13. charlie Member

    My priest’s ’57 Ford had a similar shift lever problem, you had to hold it up as far as it would go in Park to engage the starter.

  14. Rob

    Make the minor repairs, wet sand and buff, repair seat and enjoy. maybe some wide whites and cool wheels.

  15. Beth

    We purchased this vehicle last year after my husband found it through a friend on the eBay listing. It was such a great car!! Barely any rust, we loved it!! Unfortunately though, my husband had to sell it because he was getting out of the army and we moved back home, but we sold it to a gentleman in Orlando, hope he loves it!! We never did find out what was wrong with the shift linkage, but we did manage to get the windows working!!! It was a really relieving thing, too. Louisiana gets muggy and sooo hot in the summertime!! The car is beautiful, though!

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