Autosport International Sale 2019

Back to lot listing

1961 Lincoln Continental Convertible

Lot No.: 329

Registration: JRR 8V
Chassis Number: 1Y86H417786
Engine Number: Not Specified
Number of cylinders: 8
CC: 7500
Year of Manufacture: 1961
RHD/LHD: Left Hand Drive
Buy now for (£): 19,500Contact us

 

  • From the first year of a new design direction. Lincolns raised the bar for US luxury vehicles
  • One of only 2,857 in 1961. H-Code 430cid V8. Dual-range factory 3-speed automatic transmission
  • Designed for ease of passenger entry - rear-hinged 'suicide doors' and flat windscreen
  • From a private collection and showing just over 49,000 miles
  • Imported from Houston, Texas in 2015 and now UK registered

 

Lincoln boldly switched to unitary construction for their 1958 models, but the result was somewhat underwhelming. The biggest Lincolns to date and the largest unibody cars ever, they came across as perpendicularly sculpted, competitive at first but decidedly dated by 1960. Determined to put things right, Ford's Vice-President of Styling, George Walker, had chief stylist Elwood Engel round up a team that eventually included John Najjar, Bob Thomas, Joe Oros, John Orff, and Colin Neale. Engel told his stylists, "I want a clean car - no garbage."

A clean car is what he got. Created around a Thunderbird cowl, Robert McNamara, Ford General Manager, who soon became company president, suggested it become a four-door Lincoln Continental and it went into production in November 1960. The Industrial Design Institute awarded it a coveted Bronze Medal, rare for an automobile. The new Continental was designed for ease of passenger entry with the lack of a wrap-around windscreen and use of rear-hinged "suicide" rear doors making passenger ingress and egress considerably easier. Novel for the time was a convertible saloon body style, the first since the Frazer Manhattan of 1951. Lincoln, in an understated manner, called it simply the Continental Four-Door Convertible.

This, very early, 1961 Lincoln Continental Convertible is showing just over 49,000 miles and was purchased by our private vendor in Texas during 2015. The car was subsequently imported to the UK and is now registered here. Having resided in our vendor's private collection these past few years, the time has now come for someone else to enjoy a car that raised the bar on luxury vehicle design in the US in the early '60s. Offered at a sensible estimate, this example will certainly turn heads and looks to offer boatloads of fun along the way.