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Recent Barn Release: 1954 Lincoln Capri

Lincoln sedans had some noted extremes in styling when comparing the ’56-’60 models to the very attractive, but staid, ’61 to ’69 versions. Before that juxtaposition, there were the more traditional for the time offerings like this 1954 Lincoln Capri, a stylish but hardly ostentatious luxury sedan. This example is advertised as a barn find, but at first blush, it looks a lot better than most of what qualifies as such here on Barn Finds. This Lincoln Capri is located in Eugene, Oregon and is available here on JalopyJournal for $14,000. Thanks to Moe for this tip!

The Lincoln Capri was offered in three different generations with this example being a first-gen member, produced from 1952 until 1959. The Capri was considered the standard Lincoln sedan until the newly redesigned Continental replaced it in that role in 1961. Three different body styles were offered, a two-door hardtop, four-door sedan, and a convertible, all three accounting for about 29K copies in ’54.

The seller states, “My business partner and I pulled this car out of a barn last year after sitting for a long number of unknown years.” For a barn find, it looks great, it must have been an accomodating barn. Other than the two blemishes on the rear driver’s side portion of the roof and a few more around the trunk lid, the exterior of this Capri looks like it needs little attention. The finish is a bit flat but that’s expected and it can probably be revived with some buffing. The front bumper, which looks angled down a bit, has some rust bleed-through so it will probably need to be replated. The rest of the trim is in place and perhaps just a bit dull. The seller advises that the body of this Capri is very straight and a cracked driver’s window is its only detraction.

The interior is fantastic in a way that ’50s interiors had a tendency to be. The two-toned hue, smartly upholstered in what appears to be leather or at least half leather, is in amazingly sound condition for a 66-year-old car that has experienced 107K miles. There are no observable rips, tears, spots, or wear. As is typical for the era, there is a rather intricate instrument panel in place with a non-working original radio. The seller mentions that the windshield wipers are on the fritz too.

I particularly like the passenger rope-grip affixed to the back of the front seat. You can hang on for dear life while you’re stubbing out your smoke in that sharp-looking ashtray. I guess Lincoln, like most manufacturers back then, gets points for offering some sort of a restraint system but it’s a far cry from actual seatbelts.

Under the hood, is a first-generation Y-block engine in the form of a 205 gross HP, 317 CI V8 powerplant backed up by a GM sourced Hydramatic, automatic transmission. I had forgotten about the GM transmission usage until I saw mention of it in the listing but recall reading some years ago how all of that came about. There is no mention made as to how this Lincoln operates but the seller does add that he has replaced the original Holley carburetor with an Edelbrock unit – I’ll go with the assumption that the engine at least starts and runs.

Cars like this Lincoln Capri have become a conundrum. The older individuals, to whom they appeal, are getting out of the car biz and younger enthusiasts don’t seem interested in models from the ’40s and ’50s. At the same time, $14K for a beautiful and impressive car like this Lincoln seems like a good buy compared to late ’60s clapped out Chevelles and roached out Mopars that go for $35K plus; it’s just not right, but it is what it is. Here’s to hoping this Lincoln Capri finds a new home soon, any interest out there?


  1. Avatar photo Phlathead Phil

    No, not here. Nice interior though. Many of the parts look interchangeable with my ‘53 Vicky.

    Like 0
  2. Avatar photo T. W.

    The “ropes” on the back of the front seat are for hanging blankets for passengers to use in cold weather. Kind of a throwback to the days when cars didn’t have rollup windows or very good heaters. More of a decorative item for a 50s Lincoln.

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo Lance

      It was called a robe rail. Like you said a hold over from when heaters were options

      Like 1
  3. Avatar photo Rodney Dean

    Sorry, but TW is mistaken. That “rope” on the back seat is exactly as stated. It was for holding onto if a person, or kids, wanted to be safe and secure.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Robert Scott

      It is called a robe rail. It was used for blankets for passengers when heaters were anemic…usually because car had 6 volts!

      Like 2
  4. Avatar photo Bill Hall

    Nice car, eons ago my Dad had a 52 sedan he got cheap, Drove it for a while and the engine died. The guy who was working for him as a mechanic didn’t want to rebuild the motor so out back it went to be cut up. This one car he actually regretted cutting up. A few extra $$ in my pocket and good place to store it I would be headed down I 5 to Eugene, But since I got no extra $$ it aint goin to happen

    Like 0
  5. Avatar photo Mitch

    I am one of the two owners of this car.
    All I can say is that it needs to be put away, covered, in a shop or barn the way we found it and only driven on special occasions. After a thorough inspection by a well known classic car repair shop in Coburg Oregon, we had the carburetor replaced and had the transmission resealed for leaks. I runs and drives better than you’d expect an all original 67 year old car should drive. Heck we even got the original keys!

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Jim ODonnell Staff

      It’s a great find Mitch! I wish you much success in finding a new home for it.


      Like 1
    • Avatar photo Conor Swan

      I might buy it back from you guys. I dont where you got one of the two owners from but I I bought it for $2500 and 600hrs of hard labor I after extensive detail work and minimal work in the shop working the kinks out of it. It was my daily driver for 2yrs. After buying an SUV it moved into the garage where it pretty much stayed for almost 12 yrs. I loved that car. Anytime I was having a bad day or week I could just go look at it and it always brought my spirits up. No matter if I was homeless jobless etc I wouldn’t sell it. Anyways..do your best to get her inside. I just happened to drive by it a few months back and saw that it was parked outside and it broke my heart. I had a couple investments fall through and I ended up in debt to my father who sold u the car. If I was you and actually wanted to find a buyer I’d post it out of town. seattle ,portland, rich California cities etc

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo Billy Reed

        Mr. Swan you’ll be glad to know it’s sitting inside on carpet and I’m currently re-wiring it. It will remain 6 volt! Just had a few bare spots that concerned me. I’m absolutely infatuated with the car!

        Like 0

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