Futuristic Survivor: 1957 Lincoln Premiere

When I was younger (a lot younger), no car better idealized the 1950s than the Lincoln Premiere. The 1956-57 models looked so futuristic that I expected a spaceman to get out of at any time. The Premiere only had a five-year run by name as Lincoln cars got more conservative going into the 1960s. This 1957 edition is a West Coast land yacht now on the East Coast and it underwent a light mechanical update about 40 years ago. It’s not perfect, but impressive, nonetheless. The car is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $12,257. There is a reserve, but it can’t be higher than the Buy It Now price of $19,800. Thanks, Russell Glantz, for seeking out this beauty for us!

Lincoln sold the Premiere between 1956 and 1960. At first it was positioned below the Continental Mark II’s and later above the Capri it was based upon. It was produced in 2 and 4- door versions before being replaced by the 1961 Continental. The Premiere name is currently used as a trim level on today’s Lincoln models. The Premiere was fitted with a 368 cubic inch Y-Block V-8 with a 3-speed Turbo-Drive automatic, necessary to propel a 4,357 lb. car like this. The Premiere borrowed from two concept cars for its execution, the Mercury XM-800 and Lincoln Futura. That accounts for its futuristic appearance and some of its unique features, like optional factory air conditioning that runs through overhead ducts similar to those in an aircraft. Lincoln sold 41,500 Premiere’s in 1956 and another 35,200 for 1957.

As the story goes, this car was restored after coming east in 1981-82. That work consisted of some mechanical tinkering, minor body repairs and fixing some of the interior trim. It saw little use after that and stayed in an enclosed storage structure for years. The current owner acquired it from that party about five years ago. There is a collection of old registrations and other documents that can account for much of the car’s past. The stated mileage is 54,000 which might be correct, but the seller is not certain.

The body and paint are solid overall, with the seller estimating the finish is about 70 percent original. It has a few dings and scratches which are to be expected for the age of the car. We’re told the undercarriage is good, but rust is starting to pop up here and there. The glass is good except for one side window and all the seals are pretty worn. Some of the chrome is pitted and stained, while other parts look fine. There may be an electrical issue as some of the lights work and some do not. The tires are old and should be replaced.

The color combination of the interior is beautiful, although some of material may be fading and there is a cut in the front seat bottom that should be fixed before it gets worse. The dash is good although deformed in a couple of places. The car has a lot of electrical conveniences, of which some work well and others not. The radio is one of the non-working items. The engine compartment is dirty, but serviceable and the trunk looks good except for the floor covering.

Mechanically, the car is pretty sound as it starts and runs well. A tune-up was recently done and the gas tank cleaned. The drive belts are new as is the starter solenoid, battery, and fuel sending unit. The transmission should be serviced before going through the gears while in motion. The brakes are new, too, including hoses and fluid. The shocks could stand replacing and the front end likely needs servicing.

The seller provides a ton of photos of the car, far more than in the eBay listing provides. And a video is there for viewing as well. All-in-all, this comes off as a solid old car that only needs minor work to excel, other than perhaps the electrics. Hagerty thinks highly of these cars, with an excellent example being worth close to $30,000. This one isn’t quite that nice, but better than “good” at what $16,000 would buy. Those in the market for an interesting car like the 1957 Lincoln Premiere could probably do worse.

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    I’m a fan! When they came out, Young Me thought they were overblown, gaudy and senseless, but I’ve grown up and Premieres have grown on me.

    I’d prefer a more flamboyant exterior color. Flamingo, maybe, or Teal. Otherwise, this is an iconic design, as emblematic of its period as a Lava Lamp.

    Lincoln-Mercury went overboard the next year, as far as I’m concerned. This is the best of the bunch.

    Like 8
    • LandYacht

      Overblown, gaudy & senseless!? Yes, yes that’s what makes a car like this so appealing. Can you imagine being a corporate designer back then, seems like it was anything goes. One of my favorite designs of all time 59 Buick

      Like 5
      • IkeyHeyman

        I agree, tacking on those fins was a mistake, a good example of “me-tooism.”

        Like 1
    • Stan Marks

      How about polka dot, Ray? LOL!!

  2. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Love that rear bumper

    Like 6
  3. ADM

    They took a beautiful ’56, and ruined it.

    Like 2
    • IkeyHeyman

      My reply above was meant for this post, not a fan of the fins.

  4. Bob C.

    This looks more interesting than the Cadillac of that year. Two thumbs up for this one! The 368 y block was used in the Mercury Turnpike Cruiser as well. Another favorite of mine.

    Like 4
  5. JCA

    Not one cupholder? I’m out…

    Like 2
  6. Daniel Gavin

    I also think this model was offered as a convertible…..anyone know if I’m correct? Thanks,

    Like 1
  7. Steve Clinton

    It reminds me of the Batmobile on the TV show. (that is not a bad thing!)

    Like 2
  8. Maestro1 Member

    Yes Daniel as far as I can remember convertibles were also offerred.
    i really like these old Lincolns. If I had the room………

  9. Jetfire88

    “and the front end likely needs servicing”
    It has the “automatic” chassis luber, essentially a can of oil that squirts a shot into the front suspension moving parts when the driver remembers to push the button on the dash. That is supposed to be done every 50 miles, but rarely happens, and most Lincoln and Mercs of this era with this option have truly junk front suspension and steering parts.
    Still is a neat car and I wish I had room for another one again!

    Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey

      Jetfire88,

      The automatic lube systems were a spin-off of the Bijur lubrication system designed for complicated mechanical manufacturing machinery that required regular lubrication. Before the adaptation of the Bijur oiling system, employees who ran stationary equipment in factories, typically had to spend substantial time and effort on a daily basis, lubricating the equipment before the start of the workday.

      Using the Bijur system, employees only needed to pump a lever or foot pedal to fully lubricate the machinery. As long as the reservoir wasn’t allowed to run out of oil, and no dirt was allowed into the reservoir, the system was very reliable.

      Later improvements included a mechanical counter, that upon reaching a pre-determined number of operating cycles, would automatically cause the Bijur system to cycle and oil the machine. Now all they had to worry about was keeping the oil clean and not let it run dry.

      I’ve had many 1930s thru 1960s luxury cars with the Bijur system, including Packard, Rolls-Royce, and Bentley. I had a British Rover 12 automobile, with the Bijur system. My car’s Bijur reservoir and pump, on the firewall, used a vacuum diaphragm mounted on top of the pump. When the car was started, engine vacuum would pull the diaphragm up and keep it there until the engine was turned off. Once the vacuum was allowed to dissipate, a spring would pull the diaphragm down, lubricating the chassis & steering.

      But when the system was adapted to use on the more expensive FoMoCo cars, the automated option was not included. Instead [probably in a cost cutting effort], a button at the lower edge of the dashboard was used to lube the car.

      So we had luxury cars, equipped with labor saving devices [like power windows, etc.], but the driver still had to remember to push that lube button on a regular basis. As we all know from hindsight, drivers simply didn’t bother to push the button.

      When I was still in high school, I had a part time job working for a restoration shop. One of the owners told me about working as a service manager at a Lincoln-Mercury dealership when these cars were new, and he said they were dealing with Lincolns that needed suspension parts replaced, sometimes when the cars were still in warranty [12,000 miles or 1 year].

      When the car owners were told the replacement of these chassis parts were not included in the warranty, because of the owner’s failure to keep the car lubricated, the car owner often complained the sales staff touted the fact the lube system was totally automated, never requiring a trip to the garage for a lube job. So these cars sometimes never got any lubrication except for the lube oil [only 10 weight oil — not grease] needed for the initial factory assembly.

      It’s my belief that this failure to make it truly automated, drivers forgetting to push the button [there was no reminder light], plus the reluctance of sales people to impress upon the new owner the critical need to push the button, doomed this FoMoCo option from the start.

      Like 2
  10. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    1957, I was 10 years old. A class mate was dropped off and picked up from school everyday by their mother who always had a new Lincoln. The one I remember the most was a 58 Convertible in the same color as this one. To me they were rich beyond my wildest dreams. They lived in a new house in a new subdivision and drove new expensive cars. I never found out what the father did for a living, but he must have made a lot of money which he lavished upon his wife. That was when American cars were proud kings of the road, so big most European streets were to small for these huge steel rolling gas burners to even be practical. But in America extravagant living was a sign of success, and the bigger your car reflected the height of your success. Things have changed a lot since then as Asian cars have overtaken the market, and success is measured not by the size of your car, but by the amount of bling you possess. My days on this earth are coming to an end, and electric cars are becoming more acceptable, as people become more aware of our environment, but I have a glimmer of hope that my grandson will take ownership of my 64 Buick Riviera and drive it with pride as long as gas is still available.
    God bless America

    Like 18
    • dr fine

      My god, I watched a beautiful blond mom drop her beautiful blond daughter off every day in a white 58 connie convertible, and they lived in the fancy neighborhood, even had a chrome Christmas tree lighted with a color wheel. You didn’t live in Corpus Christi did you.

      Like 1
      • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

        No sir, Dr.Fine. We lived in a rural small town area of Northern California.
        May you be blessed in all your endeavors.
        God bless America

        Like 3
    • Bill McCoskey

      JohnMLoghry,

      You mentioned; . . . so big most European streets were to small for these huge steel rolling gas burners to even be practical.

      This is an understatement! In the early to mid 1970s I lived in Central Germany while in the US Army, and my everyday car was a 1956 Chrysler Imperial sedan, It had been the Paris Auto Show car and had spent all it’s life in Europe. I can remember one Saturday afternoon in Heidelberg, and trying to negotiate the center of town’s narrow streets, I came to the end of the road, as the area ahead was for foot transportation only. Backing up wasn’t realistic.

      A kindly pair of city policemen realized the problem, so they slowly “walked” me and the car down the main “pedestrian only” part of the city! I was told this wasn’t the only time they assisted cars like mine.

      Like 7
  11. Chris M.

    Looks like George Jetsons ride.

    Like 3
  12. Daniel Gavin

    to Johnmioghry……we are the same age. The tone of your post sounded very sad…..don’t know you…..but I wish you well. Happy Healthy New Year to you.

    Like 4
    • Stan Marks

      Hey guys,
      What’s going on with the age thing? I’m three years older, than both of you. I’m far from hangin’ it up. Of course, health has a lot to do with it. I’m not a smoker OR a drinker.
      77 is the new 55.
      ;^)

      Like 11
  13. Daniel Gavin

    Thanks guys for getting back to me on convertible model.

  14. NW Iowa Kevin

    Back in the 70’s a local retired farmer had filled one of his milk cow buildings with old cars. He had a ’57 Chevy 4 door, a ’60 Impala 2 door, a ’61 Bubble Top and a ’57 Lincoln Premiere just like this one, in red. There were half a dozen other cars from the 1940’s and 50’s. At that time in high school I had little preference regarding brands, as I do now. I do recall the price on the Lincoln was $1800….WAY out my price range. If only I/we could visit the past and buy up hundreds of cars! Logistics would be a nightmare, though. Just my daydream, lol.

    Like 5
    • Stan Marks

      Shoulda woulda coulda.

  15. Daniel Gavin

    In 1969 I was in college and had the greatest summer job. I worked for Stern / Hasskill on Jerome Ave. in the Bronx. They were wholesalers that dealt in used high end foreign cars. I drove Miura’s’s and Ferrari’s and a bunch of other great exotics from the Bronx to Boston, Philly and Long Island. When I think back at what those cars were being sold for at the time I get sick. Being in college, I didn’t have two dimes to rub together much less buy a Lotus Elan or any of the other cars being sold there. Coulda, Woulda, Shouda……the story of my life.

    Like 4
    • Stan Marks

      If we only had a crystal ball.

      Like 1
  16. Daniel Gavin

    Stan……yes, that’s exactly what I was taking about…..I knew I had seen a convertible somewhere along the way. Thanks!!

    Like 1
  17. dr fine
  18. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    I don’t mean to sound gloom and doom, I’m just a realist, although 73 is not really that old (I’m the youngest of 10 siblings) of which 4 are still living beside myself. My health isn’t too bad (pacemaker/defibrillator neck disc replacement) nothing serious. My wife who is 8 years my junior has become an invalid in the last 2 1/2 years and on dialysis 3 days a week, which leaves me in the position of full time care taker, shopper, cook and house cleaner. It’s not really all that hard, but sometimes I do get a little down and reflects in my writing. I may quit writing on these blogs because I want to be a positive person and I want that to reflect in my demeanor.
    God bless everyone who reads these posts, and may you all prosper and live well.
    God bless America

    Like 13
    • Stan Marks

      I totally understand, my friend.
      God bless you and your wife.

      Like 7
  19. Michael L Gregory

    I love this car. I think Batmobile every time I see one, of course. The interior colors are incredible. There is a small privately-owned salvage yard about forty five minutes from my home. He has two Premieres, both in pink. They are slowly sinking into the ground, which makes me sad. But every time I drive past the place I can’t help but look for them.

    • Steve Clinton

      Someone needs to save them!

  20. martinsane

    Sexy car and seems priced fair compared to other “more desirable ” crusher fodder.
    Id love to have it and wish stuff was still made like this, you know a 2000 Toyota Highlander wont be around 60 years after its creation like these steel beauties.

    Like 1
    • Stan Marks

      Marty, I wouldn’t bet on it.
      As beautiful as this ’57 Lincoln is, how many, in this pristine condition, is still on the road?

      Like 1
      • martinsane

        Valid point Stan. I guess in the current sea of plastic disposable cars, etc i yearn for these steel beauties.

        Like 1
  21. Stan Marks

    Marty,
    Looking back on our lives, we all yearn for those days & the cars we once owned. If only, etc….
    It seems, since the internet came into our lives, we have the opportunity to reach out to old friends & schoolmates. As young kids, we had our entire lives in front of us. Now, we have less time, ahead & more time behind us. That’s the way life goes. As older people, we now appreciate what we once had. Especially the cars we enjoyed. We log onto classmates, face book, etc., car auctions on TV & Barn Finds, to look back at the cars we wish we could afford.
    Stay healthy, my friend…

    Like 2
    • Steve Clinton

      It’s a shame that young people will never know the excitement of waiting every year for October to roll around and seeing all the new makes and models introduced. My dad would take my brother and me around to all the dealers to see the new cars and to grab the latest brochures. We would come home with stacks of them. I wish I had kept them all. Who knew?

      Like 1
  22. Daniel Gavin

    To Stan Marks…………nice posting…..couldn’t have said it better.

    Happy HEALTHY New Year to all.

    Like 2
    • Stan Marks

      Thanks Dan. I appreciate your comment, my friend.
      Here’s to a much better 2021 & good health for all.

      Like 1
      • Bill McCoskey

        Thanks for your comments, and thanks for the private email for “yesterday & today”.

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