Marky Mark: 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

Don’t look at me like that! What an evil grin, I love it. This 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V looks great in the photos but I’d want to see it in person if at all possible. It looks almost too good in some areas, if that makes any sense. It’s listed on eBay in Costa Mesa, California with a bid price of just over $3,700 and only one day to go on the auction. It seems like the bid should be higher than that, doesn’t it?

That’s one crazy design! FoMoCo really threw everything that they had at this car. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. History has shown that this era of Lincoln is sort of the middle child, between the drool-worthy 1956-1957 Continental Mark II and the chic, modern 1961+ cars. Being a lover of all things unusual and over the top, I like it! And, if you thought that grille was unique, check out the rear view, snappy.

For 1958, Ford threw down the gauntlet, and also a humongous amount of money, on a total redesign of the Lincoln. Not just the car, though, they also built a brand new factory to produce them in, and came up with a new body construction method (Continental Uni-Frame Body), as well as a totally new suspension, series of engines, and more. The Budd Company provided the stampings for the bodies. These were unique cars, to say the least. The design may have been the least unique thing about them, even though the design sure is unique. I absolutely love the front end and grille treatment. It’s like the horn-rimmed glasses that women wore in the same era. Hmm.. a coincidence?

The seller says that this is a “very original dry climate, carefully owned and used 57 year old Continental.” It sure looks great, but they mention several times that it’s a project car, even though it’s a turn-key car. I’m not quite sure what that means, other than it runs, but it isn’t ready to run on the roads. They mention that the brakes need a lot of work, but they may have the parts, or most of the parts, to fix them. Some parts of the body look like they’ve been repainted to me. Surely this is not an original car with nary (as no Lincoln owner said, ever) a rust spot or ding to be found. “In conclusion, this beautiful white Lincoln although turn key is sold as a project car due to the brake and exhaust work needed as well as some expected electrical work on window switches and lights in line with her age.” I wish I only needed that little amount of work done in line with my age!

The interior of this car is as outrageously wacky and cool as the exterior is. And, at least the front seat portion of this interior needs work and it won’t be inexpensive. The back seat, though; gorgeous. This is where I’d want to ride. Those door panels could be / should be in the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art). The seller mentions the usual electrical gremlins that have to be sorted out, these Lincolns are notorious for those sorts of things. And, just when I thought that there may be some hidden bodywork in a few areas, which I still think there may be, they have provided quite a few underside photos and it looks rock solid! That is the best news of all time for this car as it can easily be $12,000-$15,000 just to repair a rusty unibody on a ’58-’60 Mark V.

As a fairly recent 1960s Lincoln owner, I’m becoming more fond of these cars the more I see them. The clamshell hood is unique and is actually a safety benefit. The underhood area looks almost too good to me, which sounds odd to say. But, it doesn’t look original at all, it looks like it’s been spruced up, it’s far too white and crisp and clean. Hopefully it wasn’t just a spray-can-restoration, but it does look good. This engine looks almost like it’s been totally restored, other than the missing hood insulation. This almost hidden giant is Lincoln’s 315 hp 430 cubic-inch V8. It was an impressive and speedy driver in its day, even though it weighed a touch over 5,000 pounds. Hagerty lists a #4 fair-condition 1960 Mark V as being worth $7,500. I would have to think that this car is worth all of that just based on its seemingly rock-solid underside and rockers. The new tires weren’t cheap, so subtract the price for those, and other than needing maybe a few thousand in repairs and interior work, this car is really appealing!

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  1. dirtyharry

    I think you need to be really brave and have a fat wallet to deal with all that technology. But past that, you own a car that looks like it was created by aliens. It is outrageous to look at. I like it and am equally repulsed at the same time. Certainly looks like an awesome starting point, if this flips your switch. Great find.

  2. Pa Tina

    Why am I picturing the Pope driving this? Must be the crucifix on the hood.

  3. Sam

    I rescued one of these back in the 70s (to keep it from the junkyard). I wanted the engine, but couldn’t bring myself to tear it apart, so I sold it to someone who wanted to restore it. It was fun to drive even in its dilapidated state.

    • Marshall

      If those headlights were diagonally canted the other way (with outer headlight lower instead of higher (with the fenders likewise proportionally canting lower), that “Are you talking to me?” Robert DeNiro” expression would look like JAWS instead! I believe only FoMoCo and Chrysler Corporation experimented with diagonal headlights as I don’t remember any diagonal headlights on any GM cars. In any case, the experiment failed. Perhaps that’s one reason GM led in sales.

      In 1984, I bought a 1960 Cadillac 4 door flat top with the panoramic rear window. It did not look too bad, but it did not run very well. It was not far from the wrecking yard either (though I don’t know what would have happened had I not bought it). Anyway, I bought it just to pal around in on weekends with another Cadillac loving friend of mine for $500. But partly because the transmission started grinding in reverse, I sold it to a collector later that same year (for $500, so I lost money on it, oh well). But not before I had some things fixed on it. If it could talk, it would have given me a thumbs up.

      I called it the “great white shark” because of it’s fins. That car was also likewise fun to drive even in it’s dilapidated state. Kudos to you for not yanking the motor out of your Lincoln, and to whomever you sold it to with the intention of restoring it!

      • Mountainwoodie

        Speaking of Flattops all be it a ’59………saw this on the road in SoCal this week

      • dr fine

        The ’59 Buick had canted headlights.

  4. Rick

    Fresh respray. Overspray on the rubber door gaskets and certainly the hood insulation. Still, the undercarriage doesn’t look bad. Is that a retractable rear window? God I hope so… just adds to the bizarreness of the design. The mechanicals would be pretty straightforward; I can’t imagine the electrical side would be all that difficult. It’s so weird I’d daily that sucker!

  5. King Al

    What a magnificent land yacht.

  6. leiniedude

    Think of the cost to manufacture this today. Cool ride.

  7. -Bear-

    LOVE IT!! 🙂
    You certainly won’t find a dozen of these at your local car show!
    & I’m betting that most people won’t believe that this came from the factory looking like this!
    GREAT BUY if it is half as solid & complete as it appears! (y)
    (…I wish I had $4K or $5K in my “toy budget” right now!!) 🙁

  8. Racer417

    Love the car because it’s so typical of the era. Overstyled, overchromed, and overweight. My dad was driving one of these when the power steering pump went out.
    And it wasn’t enough to have a Lincoln badge on each interior door panel. There are three (times four doors). Plus the ones on the sill plate and the steering wheel.
    This car would be a great attention getter.

  9. David Frank David Frank Staff

    Right you are Scotty! Horned rimmed glasses indeed and that chrome pair looking ever so perky! You can almost smell the hair spray.

  10. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    A product of optimistic times.

    The technical description for the front end styling is:
    ‘as aerodynamic as a barn door’.

  11. David Montanbeau

    I’m looking to buy a vert triple black. Putting in an Aluminum SOHC with a 12.71 blower with a 30k stereo. Cruise the beach with the top down playing Johnny Cash (One Piece At A Time) full volume. That is my bucket.

    • George

      David, Do U know where the Black Lincoln Convertible U pictured is located and the price. Thank U. George (U may respond to my email: ThankU George

      • George

        Dang editing program–refused to delete redundant second ”
        “Thank U.” As readers may assume. I am never either redundant nor long-winded. HaHa!

      • George

        This dang editing program is driving me cuckoo. This time it deleted “(you may respond to my email:”

  12. Sam

    Great writeup! Seems to be a great buy. The breezeway window was a Lincoln/Mercury item. Need more chrome or a stainless roof and front fender coves.

    Convert to 4 wheel disc brakes, borla exhaust and some wider white walls…cruise and have fun.

  13. George

    Though I would much prefer a 2 door if there was such a thing in the Continental line, I have been known to have, drive and been pleased with my 1990 White huge Cadillac Brougham a 4 door which I vowed I would never own as a residual of my horror when Dad who was notorious for always having had sharp roadsters or 2 doors, suddenly switched to 4 doors in order to be able to more comfortably transport my wonderful loving and much loved by me, grand parents when I turned 16! Zounds, I was slain (socially, that is. What shy, awkward i6 year old boy–which most were in those days–attempting to enter the brave new world of girls and wanting to kiss them, God forbid, rather than tease or smack them dependent upon their individual irritation factor–my sister being at the high warble end of tolerance.) This Lincoln would certainly surpass the intrinsic “beauty” of the Cadillac, albeit at a increased Stratospheric slurp-age fuel cost, but the stratosphere is were this car was designed to be. However the better place is in my garage and under my seat on the Lincolnistic days it is to be driven. Hopefully that will be it’s destiny should one richer than I, which it appears most are, have similar dreams. If there are, and there doubtlessly are, my hope is that theirs are dashed and this be one of mine is not.


    I love Lincolns and own the last of the coupes from 1998. But this thing is UGLY.

  15. -Bear-

    eBay listing has been ended early (“listing error”).
    I’m BETTING that someone went & looked at it locally with CASH in hand!
    (…bidding had already exceeded $5500 before the listing was ended early.)

  16. madbrit

    There is a 2 door version. I much prefer the 1958 model which had the very heavy (stylized) front bumpers and the deep scalloped areas around the front wheels, not the streamlined version the later models had.

    • -Bear-

      Agree that the ’58 front fenders and bumper are more appealing. 🙂

  17. glenn

    if the front seats were redone i can see 30-50k at auction

  18. Blyndgesser

    A great companion for a Squarebird.

  19. Dave

    Many of the design elements of this vehicle came from Packard. I wish Packard would have survived.

  20. W9BAG

    A Mercury Monterey with Lincoln appointments. Notice the “breezeway” back window. Any one remember the comic strip “Bringing up Father”? The headlights look like Maggie’s glasses. IMO, the worst design ever of a Continental. And, “caveat emptor”. The undercoating can be very deceiving. The tail light assembly is Monterey through & through.

  21. James Mogey

    In high school a friend from a wealthy family drove one just like this. It was, supposedly, the largest volume production car built in the US until that time. A neat feature on her family’s car was an electric pre-heater which warmed the cabin until the regular heater kicked in.


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