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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

1965 Lincoln Continental

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The 1965 Lincoln Continental was 5 494 millimetres (216.3 inches) in overall length and rode on a wheelbase: of 3200 millimetres (126 inches).

The 1958 to 1960 Lincoln was a mixed bag of flamboyant postwar, jet-age styling. Consumers simply did not warm up to the outlandish looking but luxurious land yachts. 
 
1958 Lincoln Continental
Automotive reporters noted the dwindling sales and speculated that Lincoln was about to die. Designers  in Dearborn were immediately put to work, under the gun to move in a different direction and create a suitable, more elegant flagship. The project floundered. Ford’s popular Thunderbird was the starting point but a frustrated management team repeatedly rejected the proposed designs for the largest and most regal of the Blue Oval’s product lines.

The 1956-1957 Lincoln Continental Mark II was the inspiration for a new generation of luxury cars.



Finally, there was a breakthrough. Elwood Engel, working solo in the Special Projects studio, was inspired to update the already classic 1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II. Engel’s vision resulted in a vehicle that was both stately and restrained. When the four-door clay buck, with its centre-opening doors, was viewed by execs, it was immediately selected to be the next generation of Lincoln.
  
1961 Lincoln Continental

The 1965 Lincoln Continental hardtop (top) cost $8,528 and weighed in at 2 317 kilos (5,109 pounds). The convertible (below) cost $9,398 before taxes and had a curb weight of 2 446 kilos (5,393 pounds).
The 1965 restyle was befitting the overall tastefulness of the original design. The grille was squared up and subtly flattened. Parking lights were moved from the bumper to the caps of the front fenders.  The rear was simplified, given a sharp concave crease and the taillights were graced with ribs. Advertising billed the latest Lincolns as “America’s most distinguished motorcar.”

As the owner of a fine automobile would expect, interiors were spectacular and available in many tasteful, coordinating colours including Beige, Black, Blue cloth and leather combinations for sedans. Shared between both models were Aqua, Beige Black, Blue, Burgundy, Ivy Gold, Palomino Red, Silver Blue and White-Black leather.

New this season was Largo cloth in a pleated, vacuum-formed Biscuit Design as well as an embossed roll-and-tuck Moire fabric. Other upholstery choices included the highest grade of traditional wool broadcloth and a dozen colours of low-lustre leather. The upholstery was exceptionally sharp when dressed up with the optional walnut accent panels.  Carpets were seamless, moulded and cut-pile.

Instrument panel in the 1965 Lincoln was majestic and vast.

In the driver’s seat, the operator sat in front of an impressive control panel, padded and cowled. The fascia was horizontally divided into two. The top portion was long and narrow, home to a strip speedometer, radio, heather controls, and a clock. The lower portion featured a band of chrome ribs over a black panel. Here was located a quartet of gauges in the shape of the Lincoln emblem. The 40-centimetre (16-inch) steering wheel was given a textured grip and the six-position gear selector was redesigned.

A massive 7-litre [430-cubic inch) engine thundered power through the Twin-range, three-speed, Turbo-drive automatic transmission this season.  Top speed was 196 k/h (122 mph). While it weighed in at 2 395 kilos (5,280 pounds), Lincoln was no slouch, rocketing from zero to 100 k/h in 10.3 seconds (60 m/h in 9.7 seconds.)  Fuel consumption was 23.9 litres/100 kilometres (11.8 miles to the Imperial gallon). The 238.5 kW (320-horsepower] mill required premium gasoline when the Lincoln passed by an Irving, Husky or Fina filling station.  No one cared, the national average price for a litre of gas was 9.9 cents (49 cents for an Imperial gallon].

Exterior colours for Lincoln this year were Phoenician Yellow, Jamaican Yellow, Persian Gold, Powder Blue, Willow Gold, Fiesta Red, Heather, Arctic White, Platinum, Burnished Bronze, Huron Blue, Spanish Moss, Desert Sand, Russet, Silver Sand, Turino Turquoise, Black Satin, Nocturne Blue, Charcoal Frost, Madison Grey and Royal Maroon. The last five were limousine choices, as well.  

The list of standard equipment was  nearly as big as the BNA Act. The ‘almost totally automatic’ Lincoln included power steering, self-adjusting power brakes—disc in front, power windows and door locks, six-way power front seats, heater, a dual aluminum muffler, variable-speed windshield wiper, a windshield washer, whitewall tires, back-up and courtesy lights, open door warning light, a transistor AM push-button radio, power antenna, a trip odometer, undercoating, electric clock, and retractable seat belts (front).

The options list was much shorter but included rear seat belts, emergency 4-way flashers, air conditioning, tinted glass, an AM/FM radio, an automatic headlamp dimmer, speed control and a block heater.
 
The 1965 Lincoln Continental Executive Limousine was fit for royalty.
Finally there was the Executive Limousine, touted as “the ultimate expression of Continental elegance.” These sedans were stretched by 86 centimetres (34 inches) then handcrafted into custom-built limos by Lehmann-Peterson Coachbuilders of Chicago.  The conversion included a padded roof with a rear opera window for privacy. Instead of jump seats, a clever rear-facing companion seat provided an “intimate conversation area” in the glass-partitioned rear, where the floor was carpeted in mouton. Upholstery was broadcloth or leather.  A hand-rubbed walnut cabinet housed a built-in television set and an AM/FM radio. A separate heater and air conditioner pampered passengers.  There was space for a telephone, a built-in dictating machine or beverage comportment.  The limo and its conversion equipment were fully warrantied by Ford, which introduced the industry’s first 40 000-kilometre (24,000-mile) warranty.

Visit my old car website at: The Oilspot Eh!
 
For 1965, only 78 (some sources say 85) of these fine limousines were built.  It is not known how many were sold in Canada but total Lincoln sales for the calendar year reached 711 units. That placed the luxury mark in third place behind Mercedes-Benz with 736 sales and Imperial delivering 257 cars for fourth place. Cadillac continued to lead the luxury pack with 3,389 vehicles registered throughout the Dominion.




Visit my old car website at: The Oilspot Eh!
Visit my old car website at: The Oilspot Eh!
Copyright James C. Mays 2015 All rights reserved.

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The Executive limousines were actually stronger than the factory 4-door sedans, due to the strengthening rods and panels that were added by Lehmann-Peterson.

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