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Hemmings Find of the Day – 1963 Lincoln Continental

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Unrestored 1963 Lincoln Continental for sale on From the seller’s description:

Alrighty. I put it up for sale last year…took it down…drove the car some more. It’s time to put it back up.

Short version: Great old car. Most everything works. People will eye you jealously.

Longer version with far too many words because I suck at editing:

This car’s awesome! (Because who begins their listing saying they have a piece of crap?) But seriously, I lucked out when I picked this up (it was a slightly impulsive buy a couple of years ago that probably is the kind of thing a person should look in to a little more than I did). This isn’t a trailer queen, but it’s one of the nicest drivers you’re ever likely to find. It’s just that it’s time to move it on to the next aficionado (or, as in my case, the next impulsive dude who can get a loan). More on that later.

This Lincoln runs well and looks amazing. I’m at the point where I get a little miffed if I’m cruising around and don’t get someone yelling something (usually complimentary) at me. I’ve had to explain to my little boys why it’s a good thing to keep hearing the words “badass” and “bad motherf***er” shouted in our direction as we float on by all those folks in their plain but sensible cars. If you don’t mind a ton of attention and answering “sixty-three” at every other stoplight, this might be for you. No anonymity here. This thing would be a terrible get-away car (so if you travel in burgling circles or are a bank robber by trade, you probably ought to look elsewhere for a vehicle).

Additionally, living in the LA area, I’ve had the fun of having this car used for various entertainment-type of things. When they were filming the Beach Boys movie “Love and Mercy”, a bunch of us with period-appropriate cars got to spend time down at one of the Hollywood studios, being fed amazing food, and getting paid (the scene they were filming that day was in a tight space, so my giant car didn’t actually make it on set, but I still got paid). Also, Charlize Theron’s butt touched the back seat for another shoot—I have photographic proof! And finally, it was used in a two-day shoot for a CA Lottery commercial. Let’s see if this link works…

But as much fun as it is to cruise in this vehicular masterpiece, it is time. It is time to be responsible. It is time to acknowledge that for this household, there are more logical uses for the money I paid and keep putting in to it. It is time to start beefing up those neglected college funds. It is time to throw a little restoration money at the ’68 Volvo my parents bought before I was born. It’s time to put in a pool! Wait, there’s that impulsivity thing again.

Anyhow, I’m assuming if you’re looking to buy a Lincoln, you probably already know this year had a 430, it’s got an automatic tranny, there weren’t very many convertibles made, etc. (My favorite is when someone selling a slab points out the suicide doors. Serious buyer, scratching head: “Oh, yeah. Look at that. They open backwards.”) Most everything here is still stock: drivetrain, suspension, brakes/wheels/tires (yes, the bias ply). So here’s the stuff you’ll probably find relevant…


Factory A/C!
Motorized vent windows (on the front doors, obviously)
“Autronic eye” headlight dimmer
Speed Control (Lincoln’s predecessor to cruise control)
Motorized front seat (didn’t they all have that?)

Repairs/replacements, dates:

Steering pump and gearbox rebuilt June 2017 (though the steering still has too much play for my tastes–I’d really like to modernize all that)
Rear brake shoes replaced and all four brake drums turned December 2016
New vinyl top and new top wiring harness installed August 2016
New tires June 2015 (3k miles ago)
Air Conditioning rebuilt July 2015 (took a long time to pay that one off)
Rebuilt water pump October 2014
New timing gear set October 2014. Old timing gear was the original with nylon teeth – replacement is steel.
Hydraulic upgrade for the convertible top January 2014. John Cashman, THE guy for electrical and convertible tops paid me a very expensive visit to take care of all that. He replaced the pump, cylinders, and lines for the convertible top, as well as going through the whole top system to make sure it all worked properly.
Wood trim kit February 2014
Horn February 2014. It came without horns! I got an original set, cleaned them up and painted them, and now the car sounds like a Lincoln should.

Things that work fine at the moment (that you should always be on the lookout for with one of these old LCCs):

ALL 6 windows! (Most days. Seriously, these things are a pain the ass. I think I’ve rebuilt all but one or two of the switches.)
Rear-window drop feature
Convertible top
Vacuum lines for doors and whatnot
Wipers (but why would you drive this in the rain?)
Powered antenna

Things that occasionally work:

Motorized seat (most directions, most days. I’ve been told the grease in the drive can get pretty gooey, so occasionally it needs a bit of a whack to get moving.)
“Park.” Seriously, wth? Someone informed me that these era Ford products are notorious for their transmissions slipping out of “Park,” so I’m always careful to put it all the way to P and set the brake. Also, top will not operate if the car thinks it’s not in Park, so make sure it’s all the way over.

Things that don’t work:

Dash board clock (except at 3:35, twice a day)
Wiper fluid pump (missing – never bothered trying to find one/hook it up)
Radio (it came with an old detachable-face CD player that didn’t work and looked funny, so I just found a non-working original AM radio and put it in for the looks of things)
Courtesy light in the glove box
Left rear door switch for all the courtesy lights. (Other three doors turn on the lights when opened.)
The Autronic Eye…probably. I never actually tried to get it to work.

Rust? Nope…ish. It was sold to me as a rust-free car, so I freaked out when I found two spots on the underside of a rear quarter and underside of one door (they’ll be in the pictures). An expert in these Lincolns laughed at me and basically told me to shut up, that is rust-free for these things, so there’s that.

Location Marker
Los Angeles, California
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