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Locked 15 Years: 1965 Lincoln Continental

In the luxury automobile segment in the 1960s, it was almost always Cadillac – Lincoln – and Imperial, in that order, when it came to sales. But Lincoln would continue to do things to set itself apart and sell cars, like the use of “suicide” doors. The 1965 model year would be the last for the styling cycle that began in 1961 and this one looks to have been stored indoors for 15 years with several other vintage cars. Located in Cedar Falls, Iowa, it’s being sold without keys or a title to satisfy a lien on the property. The big cruiser is available here on eBay where the bidding stands at $12,900.

Some consider the 1965 model to be the best of that generation because of several firsts: ventilated front disc brakes, transistorized Ignition option, and emergency flashers (also optional). The cars benefitted from changes made in 1964 to provide a little more interior space for passengers and luggage. As stately-looking automobiles, they continued to be a huge departure from the garish, finned excesses of the 1958-60 Lincolns. On the downsize, they still employed unibody construction which can add to the cost of making repairs to the body/sheet metal.

From what we can tell, the seller’s Lincoln doesn’t suffer from any physical damage, so its rebirth may be more mechanical than cosmetic. However, because the doors are locked, we can’t determine the condition of the interior or if any critters have taken up residence. It would have been one of 36,824 sedans built in 1965 as the only other options were a convertible and a limo.

No indication is given about the mechanical health of this Lincoln. Its 430 cubic inch/320 hp engine has been idle for ages. If the gas supply was eliminated when it was parked, it might fire up with a new battery. Then, again, it might not. The party who buys this black-on-black/dusty beauty is taking a gamble on what’s good and what’s not. No keys, no title, and just a bill of sale. And you’ll need to bring a locksmith with you to gain access to your new treasure.


  1. Avatar photo nycbjr Member

    Call a damn locksmith lol!!

    Like 13
    • Avatar photo Arfeeto

      Perhaps the seller’s interests are better served by keeping this Pandora’s box tightly closed!

      Like 7
  2. Avatar photo Mike

    Good Lord. Take the time to at least get a key built and see if it will run. You would most likely make more if that was done. Oh, and maybe give it a good wash job…

    Like 20
  3. Avatar photo PaulG

    Sorry Russ but this styling cycle went clear to 1969.
    Having owned several from 62, 63, and 69 these were well built tanks. The earlier cars were very well put together.

    Like 10
  4. Avatar photo Big C

    Bring a trailer… and a hammer.

    Like 3
  5. Avatar photo JustPassinThru

    Getting a lock open on this era of car would be a simple matter. A locksmith could have the door open in an hour with a key made; anyone who knows how to use a Slim Jim could have the door open in a minute.

    The ignition switch is in the dash. I don’t know about Lincolns, but Fords of that era had a screw retainer on the lock face that could easily be removed. It had three recess points for a Ford tool; but someone could use a chisel and a small rock hammer. Get the face retainer off, drop the switch out under the dash, and either jump it with a wire or plug into a different switch. Off you go.

    Something is not being told. Perhaps the person knows something about what’s in the car and wants no involvement. Or has some connection to the owners, and thinks this is a way to do his business, removing the car, at arm’s length.

    Like 10
    • Avatar photo MikeH

      This car, and apparently others, is being sold, probably by a bank, to satisfy a lien. They don’t really care what it sells for. The owner probably refuses to give them the title or the keys. The bank has been badly advised as to the value of the car—especially considering the possible legal problems for the buyer if the owner is belligerent. They’ll sell for pennies on the dollar.

      Like 2
  6. Avatar photo George Mattar

    I could be in that car in two minutes. Lincolns are good quality cars. Hard on gas. Who cares. At least you aren’t driving a POS SUV.

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo Johnmloghry

    I owned 2 of these back in the day, both baby blue with matching vinyl top. Great cars. Price is ridiculous for this car without any way to open it for inspection. No way to know if it even runs, or transmission is any good. Best price in this condition is about a grand.

    God Bless America

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo Shane

      Apparently you haven’t seen the prices lately lol you can’t buy a rusted out parts car for under 4-5k! The issue I’d have is how would you be able to get a title?

      Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Thomas L. Kaufman

    Looks a lot like “Odd Job’s car from Goldfinger.

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo Troy

    Bidding is over $13,300 apparently they have seen it in person or have a lot of liquid cash for a big risk

    Like 1
  10. Avatar photo Robert L Roberge

    Can’t believe the bidding on a $2500 car as it sits.

    Like 2
  11. Avatar photo Cam W.

    I can understand why a seller would not want to expend potentially significant time, energy, and money to hire a locksmith, and try to get the engine running etc.
    Speaking from decades of experience, reviving a car like this properly can become quite involved, risky, and expensive. Just trying to start it usually means buying a battery, oil, and filter. Depending on your luck, you may also have to change the starter, points, coil, plugs, and wires. After all that, it may turn out that the engine is junk. Same with the auto trans, differential etc. Any of these faults will now have to be disclosed.
    The reality is buyers are more likely to “take a chance” and pay more for an undisturbed barn find than a car with a known bad engine etc.
    In most, but not all cases (especially with long-stored cars with unknown history), it is unlikely that sellers will recover money spent preparing such cars for sale.
    Some buyers (like me) prefer to do the recommissioning ourselves using proven methods and known quality parts.

    Like 2
  12. Avatar photo Bj

    If it’s being sold to satisfy a Leinholder I can understand why they don’t bother getting a key made, happens all the time just trying to recoup some of the unpaid storage fees. I once bought a 71 chevelle the same way no key or title got a key made , new battery flushed the tank and it fired up after years of sitting

    Like 1
  13. Avatar photo wes johnson Member

    Had 4 Lincoln’s w/ suicide doors. Great cars and plenty of room in the back seat “in the day”. As for the trunk, Robert Dinero said it best in “Analyze That”, Can fit 3-4 bodies in it easily.

    Like 0

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