Warts And All: 1966 Lincoln Continental Coupe

Hi, folks – let’s try this again. On my last post about this car, my 1966 Lincoln Continental Coupe, I threw it out there at the last minute that I was going to sell it in the last part of the post and it has created sort of a Lincoln-sized monster. This car looks gorgeous in photos, but it does need a fair amount of deferred maintenance work to bring it back to its once cushy, quiet ride. It also needs work on its beautiful body to fix the dings and scratches that have been touched up over the last few decades by the previous owner; who, by the way, is a heck of a nice guy. This one is worth it, though. It can be found on eBay in St. Paul, Minnesota with a current bid of $4,000. Let’s dig a little deeper into this baby in full disclosure to point out what the next owner will be getting, and won’t be getting. There are quite a few photos on the eBay link if anyone wanted to see them.

Let’s start with what the next owner won’t initially be getting. They won’t be getting a 100% perfect daily driver. They won’t be getting a quiet, luxurious riding Lincoln Continental. This car had a slight leak on the right side exhaust manifold, or the flange where it connects to the exhaust, and it tick, tick, ticks. A Lincoln ought never to tick, as no Lincoln owner said, ever. It really brings this car down a few notches for me, it sounds somewhat like a beater which it should not even remotely be in the category of. It’s such an elegant car that once had such a fantastic, floating, quiet ride.

Speaking of ride, I had one of the steering drag links changed but there still seems to be some play in the suspension and some clunking in the rear. I’m assuming that all four shocks are in need of updating and I would do that if I were keeping it. I had dreams about this car in the time after buying it from the former owner in New Jersey. I thought that it would be as luxurious and quiet and smooth and effortless to drive as my former 1973 Buick 225 was, or even better, my dad’s old 1970 Oldsmobile 98. It is not. It wanders on the road a bit and I’m not sure if it’s due to the 30-year old “new” Montgomery-Ward bias-ply tires or something else. I’m guessing that once new radial tires are fitted it’ll help a lot with that issue. And, I would want to check and maybe update all of the bushings and things like that so it’s as tight as it was when new, or as close to that as possible.

I have not crawled under this car but the shop that had it for two months, while they waited for the water pump to come back from being rebuilt, said that it was rock solid – but you can see surface rust under there. I don’t know how long this car was driven before it was put into storage in 1980 but it could have had 14 years on east coast roads and there should be surface rust if that’s the case. There are 65,570 miles on this car and it needs someone like Howard A to be its care-taker, someone with the experience, skill, and a place to work on it to bring it back to where it should be. (hint-hint)..

This Lincoln has the automatic climate control, sort of a precursor to the modern one that you may have in your vehicle. You just set a temperature and push a button as to where you want the air to be directed and it’ll keep it there until you change something. The AC compressor engages but it doesn’t sound as quiet as it should be and I’m worried about it being low on oil… as they say, and I didn’t want to run it for as long as it took to see if it got ice cold. I’m assuming that after 51 years, it’ll “need charged”, if not need more than that. There were some good comments on the post the other day about how to possibly remedy this system from geomechs and Rustytech.

You can see that the dash will need some polishing, if that’s even possible to do without removing the tiny, painted font for the radio and HVAC controls at the same time. Yes, that’s an 8-track player! And, the switch on the top of the radio is to raise or lower the power antenna, which works like a charm. This car also has a “Motorola Vibrasonic” unit attached under the dash, but I’ve never tried, it. I’m not even sure what it is, some sort of reverb, I’m assuming? One of you will know. The long light below the dash in the above photo is a map light that you push in to turn it on or off, but the bulb is burned out and I can’t figure out how to change it or take it apart. The transmission works and it should be silky smooth, but it’s slow to engage and I’m assuming that it has 40-50 year old fluid and filter and those should be serviced, flushed, changed, adjusted, and whatever else you’d normally do on a car that has been sitting for decades. I spent $2,600 just to have the belts and hoses changed, have the cooling system flushed, get the water pump rebuilt, and have one steering drag link changed. I travel a lot and I don’t have room to work on this car in our garage and the storage unit where I keep it (at $230 a month) doesn’t allow cars to be worked on there, so I had no choice but to bring it to a shop.

These are odd photos to show, but some of them don’t show up on the eBay listing. This car has original carpet, as you can see, and I’m embarrassed that I didn’t take the time to “toothbrush clean” the pedals and the vinyl portion of the carpet before taking the photos!

I’m assuming that here is where some of the trouble is emanating from as far as the power locks that hiss but don’t operate, and why a couple of the windows aren’t going down. On the post from a couple of days ago, a lot of folks had great info on this car, including 64 bonneville who mentioned that the power windows are pin-connector type and a good cleaning of those connections may be what it needs. Both doors close like new without a hint of any sag what so ever. No lie, they are rock solid. There is only one outside mirror on this car and if there was ever a vehicle made on the planet earth that should have a passenger side outside mirror, this is it! The first thing I do with my vehicles, usually, is to put those little stick-on convex mirrors on the outside mirrors for seeing who’s in the lane next to you, but I never really had a chance to enjoy and drive this car and I haven’t done that yet.

There are so many things that are close to being like new on this car that maybe that’s why I’m so disappointed in the things that need work, like the exhaust manifold and transmission service and shocks, etc. I should just be happy with the good things, which are many. It really would be a fun car to tinker with and get all of those things fixed, starting with tires and transmission service, and then drive it as a person fixes everything else.

The supposedly rare carpeted spare tire cover with the perfect embossed Lincoln portion is still in the trunk.

As is what I’m assuming is the original jack, under a vinyl fabric flap on the right side in the trunk. Hagerty lists a #4 fair car as being valued at $7,700 and a #3 good car as being valued at $14,800. Right in-between those two numbers is $11,250 and I’m asking $9,500 given that it needs tires, and it has the exhaust manifold and/or flange leak, and it probably needs shocks who knows what other suspension bushings or other work, and then there’s the body and paint to make like new again.

Back to the exterior for a minute. As was pointed out in the original Barn Finds post in June, and by J.C. in the recent post, these are not 1966 wheel covers, they’re from an early-70s Lincoln. I just missed out on an eBay auction for a full set of 1966 wheel covers for $200 but, as always, I was traveling and I missed the end of the auction. The tires look great but they’re Montgomery-Ward bias-ply tires from the Reagan era, so they “need replaced”, as they say. I’m sad at how little time that I’ve had to spend with this car or any of the others that I have. I used to do everything from u-joints, brakes, oil changes, even fixing an AC system once, but I’m out of town so much now that I haven’t had time to do much with this car other than pay for storage and have it sit there. What a waste of a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a car like this. I have several other vehicles, most of them vintage Japanese vehicles, and this 1966 Lincoln Continental Coupe is certainly in a different league.

The previous owner said that the car was painted about 30+ years ago and there are a couple of areas that are showing some former repair, which I’m assuming is due to rust. Right behind the left front wheel is the biggest one, shown above. There is also a tiny spot in front of the left rear wheel shown in the photo of the wheel.

On the bottom of the passenger door there’s a crease. A paintless dent repair technician thought that it could be taken out but since it isn’t original paint he couldn’t guarantee that the paint wouldn’t be messed up in the process. This car deserves a full, high-quality bodyshop treatment and high-end paint job. You can see orange peel in the paint and the hood is dull. I thought about trying to get it in shape but it really needs to be fixed and repainted by a quality shop. As far as an asking price, I was hoping for $9,500 to try to take care of a couple of months of the storage costs and what I have in to it. I paid $890 in shipping to get it here from New Jersey in June and then the repairs, tax, license, title transfer, insurance, etc.

Here’s a good example of the paint touch-ups on this car, on the driver’s door and just about everywhere else.

I’ve had a lot of interest in the car, a gentleman from Sweden even offered to buy it if I would do that. I have only sold one car on eBay and I don’t sell or flip cars for profit.. ha.. as much as I would love to do that. I just like tracking down rare and interesting vehicles and I like owning them for a while. Sometimes they stay and sometimes, in two cases now, they go. I just wanted to go over this car again with everyone and let any potential buyers know that this isn’t currently a jump-in-and-drive-down-Route-66 car, it needs lots of maintenance things done in order for it to be drop-dead reliable and to be as quiet and smooth as a 1966 Lincoln Continental Coupe deserves to be.

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Comments

  1. JimmyJ

    Beautiful car I remember congratulating you on the purchase.
    Great write up as u sound like a very honest guy who mentioned every shortcoming
    If i had the money i would gladly bid
    on this car
    Good luck im sure it will go to a good home!

  2. RicK

    I didn’t see where you mentioned that it only gets 10 miles to the gallon (maybe).

    • Howard A

      7city/11highway.

  3. Oldcarsarecool

    One of my favorites ! I’ll have one someday . . .

  4. LAB3

    “I spent $2,600 just to have the belts and hoses changed, have the cooling system flushed, get the water pump rebuilt, and have one steering drag link changed.”

    I’ll be officially retired at the end of this week, let me know if you need an oil change done for $900!

    • Howard A

      Yeah, 1st, welcome to retirement, 2nd, this is a very serious problem in the old car hobby today. It can make or break interest in the hobby. Scotty doesn’t have the time or the place to work on these things, but still wanted the feeling of what the original buyer felt in 1966 when they bought this. I bet his dad would have wanted a Lincoln. They wanted the BEST American car they could get, and this was it. Sadly, and I don’t think the shop gouged him, really, it’s just, this is what it costs to repair a classic car, if you can’t do it on your own. What’s nice, at Scotty’s expense, the next owner won’t have to do near as much, and after seeing it myself, it is a nice car. While the gas mileage is a bit dismal, just remember, you can travel in style, and never set foot in an airport.

      • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

        Thanks, Howard. I just looked at the receipt in detail. Yes, I should have looked sooner and should have known exactly what was fixed on the car when I picked it up but I’m on the road for most of the time between March and November. They did quite a bit more work than I originally thought they did.

        They did a cooling system flush, added a new fuel filter, did a front wheel alignment, oil and filter change, changed the belts, air filter, the radiator hoses, installed new spark plugs, wires, distributor cap, and rotor and had the water pump rebuilt. The “steering center link” and water pump rebuild were $1,200. So, it was more than just belts and hoses…

      • whippeteer

        For all that they did, $900 isn’t bad. Take any car in for a full tuneup with new plugs, wires, etc. and there is at least $500 just for that.

      • Howard A

        This baby gonna “roll like thunder”!!!
        (notice to new owner, might want to get a decent radar detector,,,they still make those?)

  5. steve

    I love it

  6. Bruce Fischer

    A very NICE car Scotty and thats the right way to place an AD with all the pictures and wording. GOOD LUCK on selling her. Bruce.

  7. Bill McCoskey

    About those power windows and door locks:

    The hissing sound are engine vacuum leaks, because the door locks are vacuum operated. if it hisses when you push the button, chances are the vac diaphragm is leaking. Listen closely at the hinge area of the door, if you can hear leaks there, the flex vacuum line for the door lock is cracked.

    Power window switches were a terrible design on these cars. First of all, they are directly below the top of the window, any water leaks at the top of the window drips right onto the switches. They originally had small rubber boots around the little switch levers, but the rubber fell apart years ago. The actual switch is an open top plastic box, with the contacts at the bottom of the box. The big problem is a lack of a drain hole, so water will actually build up inside the switch, corroding the contacts. They can be rebuilt most of the time. push out the pivot pin and remove the lever and springs, then the flip lever with the contacts. Clean the contacts on both the flip panel and the contacts at the bottom of the box. Then drill a small hole in the bottom of the plastic box to let water drain out the next time the window leaks. For a new rubber seal, I used something called a dental dam, your dentist will have them. The dental dam is very stretchy, and a tiny hole for each switch lever works at keeping the water out. If I remember correctly I simply covered the entire driver’s set of switches with one dental dam, glued to the edges.

  8. newfieldscarnut

    Scotty –
    You have your #3 and #4 values reversed , but I get the picture …
    I commend you on a very honest and detailed description . Somebody will be getting a great cruising car !

    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Ha, shoot, thanks for catching that, newfieldscarnut! It’s fixed now.

  9. PAR

    Hey Scotty. I remember commenting that you bought this car out from under me. I have always wanted a Lincoln and this one fits the bill. How about you consider selling it to me so I can ship it down under to New Zealand (you know, the only TRUE paradise on Earth). We have so many unique & interesting cars in this country and I believe this Lincoln should join the ranks with me as its caretaker. I also love the fact that you have been so honest with your detailed discription, as buying cars online from overseas can be a perilous business. You are also a carguy, just like me and everyone else who loves this site. So how about it??? Pretty please! Thanks Philip

  10. JRATT 1956

    Great looking car. Reminds me of the lines of my 1971 Mark III, that I sold for $1500 in 1988. I should of kept that hot rod Lincoln.
    Car repair prices are crazy expensive today. I have a 2006 VW Jetta GLI turbo with the DSG dual clutch automatic. I have the synthetic oil and filter for the required transmission service every 40,000 miles, a local shop wants $425 to take my supplies and do the required service. I will be doing it myself, mechanic says it takes 4.5 hours. I have watched a youtube video, looks like it will take about 1 hour or less. I am so glad my Dad took the time to show me how to work on cars, it has saved me thousands since I started driving in 1971.

  11. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Have to say this one survived well.

    The Platform for this was shared by the Galaxy 500 if I’m not mistaken. Had one of those, rust issues in the rear wheel archescand rear quarters.

    This one looks amazing.

    Good Luck!

    • aaron

      Nope. You’re mistaken.

  12. newfieldscarnut

    Wrong . Ford Galaxie and Lincoln Continental are two totally different animals and do not share the same platform . Also there were only 15,766 Continental 2 doors made in 1966 , much more rare than a Galaxie by far !!

    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      Newfieldscarnut, I stand corrected, thanks!

      • newfieldscarnut

        No problem Ross . They both share similar parts . Lincoln was the flagship of Fomoco .

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