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Slightly Batty: 1957 Lincoln Capri

Lincoln Capri Barn Find

Lincoln in the ‘50s was a far cry from the Lincoln of today. Believe it or not, the brand was known for its high performance cars, especially the Capri model as seen here. Positioned below both the Continental and the Premiere, the Capri was known for its speed. And although you’d be forgiven for thinking this is a Chrysler from this particular angle, Lincolns were very much their own car at this point in time. Barn Finds reader Robert R has alerted us to this true barn car, currently on offer here on craigslist for $5,900 in Hodgenville, Kentucky.

1957 Lincoln Capri

If I squint really hard at this picture, I can see some styling cues from the ‘60s Batmobile of TV fame. That’s because the 1955 Lincoln Futura show car was later turned into the television car by famed customizer George Barris. Much of the styling of the 1956-57 Capris came from the Futura. Unfortunately, Lincoln decided not to put the double bubble clear roof on the Capri; perhaps Ford and Mercury’s bad experience with the “Skyliner” 1954-56 cars dissuaded them. That and the tremendous heat that would result in the interior any time the sun was out!

Finned Lincoln Capri

I’m hoping the photographer for this ad shot the car through some sort of filter to make the pictures look old; the car is certainly staged well in the barn but I hope the pictures are current. The seller states that the car has “very little” rust and he has the replacement rockers and front floor plans ready to go. I honestly wouldn’t consider that only a little rust, but at least the panels are there to make the repair. There are also some spare parts included, including some trim and hubcaps.

As the hot rods of the Lincoln lineup, Capris won the Carrera Panamericana in 1952 and 53 (they actually finished first through fourth both times) and won it again in 1954, the last year the race was run. I didn’t find any references to any 1957 Lincolns being used for racing, but with the ability to cruise at about 130 mph, it certainly wasn’t a slouch!

Lincoln Capri Engine

The engine is claimed to be the original 368 cubic inch V8, which was rated at 300 horsepower. 0-60 times under 9 seconds were fast for the time as well, although a thirsty 10-12 mpg was the norm. I guess that makes sense when you consider it weighs over 4,500 pounds! Despite the performance heritage and batty good looks, Lincoln did not capture the market in 1957. Sales fell one third from 1956 to only 5900 cars. This is the two-door hardtop version, so most would consider it desirable, but do you?


  1. Vincent Habel

    always like the 57 Ford products.

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  2. Nicolas giguere

    This is a big heavy car, but stll in good rebuild condition, but is it worth rebuilding as parts are scare and probably expensive? The seller doesn’t show the inside. Wonder how it look. Nice barn find that look complete.

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  3. Chris in WNC

    that low production number explains why I cannot remember ever seeing one of these beasts before today.

    with those numbers, the Lincoln could not have been a very profitable car for Ford that year.

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  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    I was right there at BJ’s when the Batmobile sold for that wild and crazy price. Personally I think the buyer could’ve done better with something else, but that was HIS own money. Given a choice between the two, I’d prefer this one.

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  5. Tom

    I know some would scream heresy, but can you imagine a ford V10 swap in this car as a restomod? It has the space!

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    • St. Ramone de V8

      Sounds like a good idea to me. Unique ride for sure.

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    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Heresy yes…but a lot of fun!

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    • JimmyinTEXAS

      V10 or Roush 588 SRE and an 8 speed, you would have to put the brake on to hold it to a cruise speed of 130mph…. lol

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  6. Rick

    I think it might have been fortunate for Capri owners that the roof wasn’t clear. Can you imagine the heat inside that car even with A/C going full blast all the time?

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  7. mark h.

    I have 2 56 Premieres that I would not trade for anything. Timeless styling, beautiful lines, single headlights, reasonable fins compared to this one. Still hope someone takes the time and invests the resources to save this one or at least get it back on the road to be appreciated by future generations of enthusiasts.

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  8. Todd

    Kind of ironic, since Hodgenville is Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace. Since I haven’t won the lottery, I guess I’ll hafta pass on this one.

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  9. MikeH

    I was a kid in ’57 and I remember these Lincolns. All of Detroit went on some sort of insane, masochistic styling binge starting about ’58. Lincoln was way ahead of the curve. Starting in ’56, each model got progressively worse until they looked at their sales figures and snapped out of it in ’61. I wouldn’t take this car if you gave it to me.

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    • GreaserMatt

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… : )

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  10. Robert R. Member

    Jamie, thanks for the write up and the post. More to come….

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  11. Gary

    Nice find for sure. I have always liked these big beautiful Lincolns. When I was a kid I remember these well and even had a plastic model kit the same as or very similar. I hope someone will take this on and bring it back to cruise and enjoy!

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  12. craZee

    I always have to push my non-running cars around my yard/garage by myself. The thought of getting this beast to even budge by myself leaves me cold.

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  13. Jim

    Very impressive cars, these were. Couldn’t touch power like that in those days, from a car this big. My God, that will look wonderful once it’s restored. Great color too…if ever there were color called “lemon chiffon,” this would be the one!

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  14. RickyM

    This car has fabulous wings ! Not many of these around and it’s a Really nice find.

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  15. r s

    Nothing unfortunate about FoMoCo not doing the double bubble roof on production cars… I would get claustrophobia riding around in my own private fishbowl. And imagine the temperature inside that if the AC didn’t work!

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