1964 Lincoln Continental: The Great American

1964 Lincoln Continental: The Great American

Engine V8Horsepower 320 BHP (235.52 KW) @ 4600 RPMEngine Location FrontDrive Type RWD Weight 5050 lbs | 2290.641 kgTransmission 3-step manual

The fourth Generation Continental appeared to save the Lincoln company from bankruptcy. It was indeed a great vehicle, a worthy rival for luxurious Cadillacs. Equipped with a vast 7-liter V8, it received a 2-year warranty (unprecedented for American automobiles), the California walnut veneer trim, and, of course, the high-end technology that made the automobile the wealthiest darling. 

Source: Vintage Car Collector

During the 1960s, Lincoln was struggling financially, and they needed a new vehicle to revitalize the brand after the outdated “fin baroque” style became irrelevant. The novelty was designed with a more understated and elegant style, with clean lines and no unnecessary chrome trim. The result was a magnificent vehicle that was two feet shorter than the previous model, and it received unique features that became iconic of the brand’s luxury. The automobile’s signature “suicide-style” front opening tailgate, which had a one-piece body structure to support heavy rear doors in the convertible model, was particularly noteworthy. Even today, these features are associated with the Lincoln brand.

The origins

Source: Torq Talk

A string of failures that followed the Ford Motor Company in the fifties questioned the existence of the luxury brand. The company’s management was forced to close the Edsel division by losing $300 million because of Edsel-car’s failure and another $60 million because of the unsuccessful 1958-1960 Continental. The next was the Lincoln brand. It was obvious – only a miracle could save the brand. And it appeared! The designers created just one car to replace the three previous Continental, Premiere, and Capri series. By chance, the legendary Ford designer Elwood Engel was working on the third generation of the Ford Thunderbird. So, initially intended for the Thunderbird, the two-door layout moved to the luxury brand at the behest of Ford Vice President Robert McNamara. Engel adapted the design for the 4-door automobile. Both vehicles received a checkered radiator grille combined with the front bumper with a protruding chrome divider and twin round headlights in oval blocks. The model appeared only in two bodies – a sedan and a convertible, 380 mm shorter than its predecessor while keeping its 6-seater interior. There was a flashing door open indicator on the instrument panel for safety reasons. The fourth generation received a 7-liter V8 with 300 hp. A console with a radio receiver appeared in the cabin for the first time, dividing the cockpit into two symmetrical halves. The interior featured leather and walnut veneer.

The 1964 model year

Source: Octopup

The 1964 model’s base increased by almost 8 cm, making the interior even more spacious, especially on the second row. The trunk also grew significantly, reaching 3.20 m. The new grille and hood with longitudinal stamping made it even more modern. The classic automobile with rear-hinged doors received matt tungsten gray with gloss black trim. From a technical point of view, an important step was the introduction of disc brakes on the front axle. The 1964 release received a seven-liter V8 engine able to develop 320 hp. 

Remarkably,  it was carefully checked and tested before the sale: each engine was tested at the stand for three hours at a speed of 3500 RPM, corresponding to a car speed of about 160 km/h. After the test, the vehicle was disassembled, and all the elements were checked and reassembled. Anti-corrosion treatment was an integral part of the inspection of body parts. Before handing over a new automobile to the client, each drove about 20 km and carried out 200 control operations. The model received an unprecedented 2-year warranty for a 24,000 miles or 39,000 km ride. Ford invested all the best resources in the model, which cost $ 7,000 in 1964.

Did you know?

Source: Shannon’s Insurance

Lincoln Continental and Ford Thunderbird were Elwood Engel’s most iconic creations. These two vehicles’ designs were reminiscent, at least in the first modifications. Both cars were legendary and, of course, filmmakers’ darling. The iconic appearance of the 1964 release in the Wachowski brothers’ films made it even more famous. In two episodes of the Matrix trilogy, Neo, starring Keanu Reeves, moved around the virtual city on it. This sedan also appeared in two episodes of the Bond series. The first appearance was in “Goldfinger” and the second was in “Thunderball.”

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1964 Lincoln Continental: The Great American

Engine V8Horsepower 320 BHP (235.52 KW) @ 4600 RPMEngine Location FrontDrive Type RWD Weight 5050 lbs | 2290.641 kgTransmission 3-step manual

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