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Do the Continental

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Home : Scrapbook : Roamin Angel Corner Index : 1948 Lincoln Continental

1948 Lincoln ContinentalNot everyone has heard of the Fred Astaire and Gingers Rogers movie with the song entitled “Do the Continental,” but Manny and Winnie V. put the words into action. Tired of doing the very common Ford and Chevy, Manny decided to do something different. While on a visit to relatives in SoCal in 2001, Manny spotted a ‘48 Lincoln Continental sitting in a driveway in the San Fernando Valley that would be unique ride. Although to say it was in rough condition would be an understatement, Manny saw its potential. It would make a great ‘50's-style custom cruiser. He bought it and trailered it home. Then the work and spending began. The car was basically original, with a V-12 that barely ran enough to get it on the trailer. Manny is not a guy who likes “trailer queens” that only live at car shows and set about to equip it with modern, dependable tuning gear and comforts to make it streetable. He dropped in a 351 CID Ford Windsor engine with an AOD auto/overdrive trans connected to a Ford nine-inch rear end, power front disc brakes, power steering and a buggy-spring straight front axle. Many trim parts that were missing were not available anywhere, so he “nosed” it (removed and filled the hood trim). The interior was redone, using the original seats, in leather. The chrome was so bad that it could only be replated after extensive filling. After repairs were made to the body, it was painted Chianti Red Pearl Metallic. All the while, he and his wife watched their budgeted $20K for the project evaporate. Now this project car has over double that invested. But Manny and Winnie are not complaining. They love their Lincoln and are planning to drive it to Florida and New England soon. You might say their Continental will do the continent.

A true luxury car of its day, the Continental was handmade to order. This makes interchanging fenders, hoods, etc. chancy at best. 1939–1948 Continental was deemed a "Full Classic" by the Classic Car Club of America, one of the latest-built cars to be so.

1948 Lincoln Continental
With its wood-grained dash, this Continental still has style. To keep it that way, Manny had the original instruments converted to 12V. Even the clock works. Winnie insisted on a rearview mirror with compass, outside temperature and auto-dimming.

Although not a race car, the modern running gear keeps this heavy car moving on down the road. Vintage Air keeps the interior as cool as the car. Manny’s last task is to install a cruise control.

Story & photos by Ron C. 2008

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