Low Mileage And Huge: 1959 Lincoln Premiere


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In the late 1950’s through 1960, almost every American car manufacturer produced cars that were over the top in styling – fins, chrome, and size reflected the styling cues of the space age and America’s belief in its manifest destiny. Lincoln’s 1958-1960 unibody cars were massive and featured over-the-top styling that was not broadly accepted in the market.

Lincoln s-l1600

These Lincolns were the largest the nameplate had produced, and the engineering that went into the frameless structure of these cars was significant – and expensive. Apparently, the Lincoln division lost quite a bit of money for Ford during this period (which coincided with the launch and failure of the Edsel as well.)

Lincoln rear s-l1600

For 1959, with the Continental maintaining its position as the top of the line Lincoln offered the Premiere just below it and Capri as more or less its base model.

Lincoln grille s-l1600

Lincoln manufactured only 7,861 Premieres in 1959, of which 1,963 of the two-door “coupe” Premiere, model number 63B, with an empty weight of 4,920 pounds and a base price of $5,347 (about a dollar a pound, what a deal)! These cars were 227 inches long and an amazing 80 inches wide. What a beast.

Lincoln plate s-l1600

Rare or not, the styling of these cars is still polarizing. You either love them or think they’re ugly as sin. Nonetheless, near perfect examples of these cars do have some value, and thanks to reader Charles H, we learned of this 1959 Lincoln Premiere for sale here on eBay, which the dealer selling the car claims is worthy of the Smithsonian Museum.

Lincoln steering s-l1600

I guess he wants to convey that this car is as good as it gets in terms of condition.

Lincoln trunk s-l1600

The car has had two owners before this one. It’s located in Indiana and the seller thinks you should see it in person to understand how great it is. The Lincoln has only 35,000 miles on it, and indeed is pretty close to perfect. Problems include a balky rear electric window, another window with some “squiggly” marks on it, and a rock chip in the windshield.

Lincoln body plate s-l1600

Forgive me for being critical, however, doesn’t it seem reasonable to expect that if you want to sell a car as museum quality, you should fix the small things that are wrong with it before putting it up for auction?

Lincoln windshield s-l1600

Lots of really fine pictures here. The car was Ziebarted when new, which probably helped keep it from rusting. Evidently this car was either originally sold in or imported to Canada at some point in its life.

Lincoln motor

Does that make it even more rare?

Lincoln floor

Anyway, with two days left to go in the auction, the bidding is up to $15,100, reserve not met. Hagerty values a concours example of the 1959 Premiere two door at $25,000, so the assumption is the reserve is somewhere in that vicinity, if not higher. Remember, this car is original, not restored, and that should make it a bit more special to a prospective owner.

Lincoln dash

In case you are tempted to bid on this car, be sure it will fit in your garage. And don’t expect this car to be an investment – values for these gigantic beauties have been and likely will remain relatively unchanged. And that value is just about half of what it sold for in 1959 dollars adjusted for inflation. If you love the excessive styling of the fifties, maybe this Lincoln is for you.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. mark

    Great looking car. Now that gas is cheaper, how about taking this on a cruise across America?

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  2. David R.

    Yeah, if you wanted to write “I visited every gas station in the USA” on your tombstone. 10 MPG (If you’re lucky) on the highway, 6 in town

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  3. Jim

    Plenty of bidding!

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  4. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    Love it, great car. It is just me or does the rear end resemble Oldsmobiles of the same era?

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    • Puhnto

      It’s just you!

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    • John Deebank

      I thought that too as soon as I saw it. You are right.

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  5. Jose

    I don’t know, not being a mathematician and all, but at 4,920 pounds, and $5,347; how did determine that the car was less than a dollar a pond?

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    • David WilkAuthor

      Yeah, you caught me writing faster than my brain spins. OK, so I either meant “just over a dollar a pound” or “fully loaded with gas, oil, and six adults, less than a dollar a pound.”
      Either way, sorry about that, and thanks for pointing out my error.

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  6. RayT

    For some reason, I can’t fully warm up to the two-door body style — doesn’t look quite as nice as the four-door.

    Would that stop me if I had the budget and driveway space? Not at all. It looks ready for a new owner to hop in and start burning up Dinosaur Juice.

    I would imagine it might become a maintenance nightmare if used regularly, though. Lots of wiring, power assists, trinkets and doo-dads just waiting to cause problems. Still, you wouldn’t have to restore it, and that’s a big “plus.” Given the claimed (and apparent) condition, there can’t be many like this waiting to be found!

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  7. fred

    Always assumed this wouldn’t fit in my 30’s era garage- but my ’51 Kaiser (now sold) fit and it was 210″ with nearly a couple of feet to spare. This one would fit with a couple inches to spare. As far as gas goes, most owners wouldn’t drive this one far enough for it to matter. Styling…a face only a mother could love.

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  8. dave

    I would buy it if was a convertible. Love the Lincolns from 1958 to 1960. I want to do a triple black convertible and put a SOHC engine in it with a 12.71 blower sticking through the hood. Open headers with the top down cruising on a beach and playing Johny Cash on the 20.000 dollar stereo playing (Ring Of Fire) full volume. That is on my bucket list. NO! I’m not a young punk kid. I’m a 63 young punk kid.

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  9. Jason Houston

    When these first appeared in late 1957, they were immediately panned as one of the ugliest cars in America. My dad even called them “Chinese outhouses”. Years later we bought two unrestored convertibles and made a nice silver with white top and black/red/white interior. I created a system of repairing the speedometer face plastic, as these always crack right down the middle as soon as the car hit its first bump. Interesting cars, but not sure I’d want another any time soon.

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  10. Oldcarsarecool

    I’ve always loved these cars ! Got to drive a ’59 Mark IV around a parking lot many years ago. I believe these cars were the largest unit-body cars ever built . . .

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    • cyclemikey

      Nope. ’73 Imperial. I had one, a triple black coupe. 239.5 inches long.

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  11. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    It’s the 1961 Oldsmobiles that have a similar rear-end treatment, with upper and lower fins.

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  12. piper62j

    Unpopular then, but LOOK OUT NOW!!!!!!!

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  13. Jim Marshall

    As stated the value of these cars has remained unchanged over the years as have the 58 to 60 square Birds. The Mark 2’s of 68 to 71 have also stayed at a steady value. The 61 to 63 Lincoln Continentals seem to be very popular lately and they have been appreciating in the last few years. Lincoln learned their lesson from these monsters and really got it right in 61.

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    • dave

      I have seen these cars go for 100.000

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  14. dave

    In the good old days, Cadillac was always about superlatives, most of all when it came to size. They just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger…until the laws of nature finally interceded, and they imploded. Not totally unlike the life cycle of stars; before they collapse into a black hole, they swell into red giants. So here is the Red Giant of automobiles; the biggest regular production car ever: 250 inches (6.35 meters). Strictly speaking, the 1974 version was two inches longer, but you get the point; and this is what I found. Anyway, it’s a bit dangerous to hang around red giants just before the implode; they create a supernova. And that can be quite deadly.

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    • Rando

      A friend’s dad had a later one of these in a dark Blue with white top. Talisman? I think it was? WE finally got him to let go of it and put it’s rusty old self in a demolition derby. This was in the 90’s. Wasn’t worth much then. Makes all the rest worth more now.

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    • John Deebank

      I had this car in red. Bought it in ’80s. Power everything. Back seat curves like a sofa. Next car was a Lincoln, then an 86. Caddy white with red interior. I was hooked on long cars. Next came another Caddy.

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  15. dave skilton

    i drive mine in the uk, bit wide for some roads and parking. drives very well even with cross plyes

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    • z1rider

      Dave S.

      Bless your heart. I’ve driven in the U.K and you are a brave man to pilot one of these around Blighty. The price of petrol is not the only obstacle

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  16. Wayne

    Definition of “Museum quality”. Looks good from 10 feet away, that’s why we have ropes around it so you cant get any closer.

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  17. Ronniecarlo

    This car ..yes!..That Israli truck… WTH????

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  18. Russ

    My family had a ’60 Mark III and I can still remember the high pitched whine of the power vent window motors. I seem to recall that the windows always worked even with the key off. My brother bought that Mark off my folks for a few hundred bucks in about 1967 and a year later it went into a demolition derby. Can you imagine an eight year old luxury car being demo derby material now?

    Like 0

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