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Home : Scrapbook : Roamin Angel Corner Index : 1964 Lincoln

1964 Lincoln ContinentalThe 1961-1969 Lincoln Continental convertible might well be considered the ultimate parade car. It is large, impressive and has plenty of room for passengers. The slab-side styling and rear “suicide” (rear-hinged) doors give it both a solid and limousine feel. Plus, as the only four-door luxury convertible made in America, it was much easier for dignitaries to enter and exit the back seat at parades. Whether the fact that Robert MacNamara was the one who took a rejected design for the Thunderbird and made it into a successful, long-run Lincoln while at Ford Motor Company had anything to do with John F. Kennedy making it the regular Presidential automobile we will never know. Although Robert MacNamara did become Secretary of Defense for Kennedy, it is more likely that Kennedy appreciated the bold, new lines of the Lincoln. Cadillac and Chrysler’s Imperial were bigger and still sported dated ‘Fifties-era fins. Kennedy’s was a youthful administration and likely wanted his cars to reflect that. Whatever the reason, the First Family was photographed so often in Lincoln Continentals that the car became known as the “Kennedy Lincoln.” Tragically, he assassinated while riding in one. Yet the classic Continental convertible has endured as parade favorite to this day. When Christy Barden saw a ‘64 Continental convertible for sale while living in Colorado in 1995, it was that timeless look that appealed to him. It had 65,000 original miles, which worked out to less than 2100 miles per year! It had all the luxuries, such as power steering and brakes, air conditioning, cruise control, AM/FM radio, six-way power seats and even automatically-dimming headlights. The interior and top had been redone and the big car had been repainted in the owner’s own body shop. The 430 CID engine was all original and never even detailed, but ran well because of the low mileage and good maintenance. The convertible top mechanism, which is a hydraulic system controlled by eight relays, worked well, a real plus on these cars. When activated for going topless, the front edge of the trunk raises and a trim panel flips out, the convertible top raises and folds into the trunk and the trunk lid settles back in place. All this is done with pre-computer technology by one flip of a switch and any minor glitch in the system creates havoc, so having one not in need of repair is important. Since buying it, Christy has only driven it 4,000 miles, including bringing it here from Colorado, mainly for weddings and parades. Unfortunately, he has more cars than space to store them, so now he is selling it. So if you are looking for a Lincoln Continental convertible, contact Christy. All you need to supply is your own bunting and flags and you will be a parade.

For more information about the Roamin Angels Car Club, go to www.roaminangels.com, call 432-8449 or write to Roamin Angels, PO Box 1616, Grass Valley, CA 95945

Captions:
Christy’s Lincoln.jpg
Although changes were made to the Continental from 1961 to 1969, the basic styling lines remained much the same. In 1964, the body was lengthened 3" to give more rear-seat leg room, but still was shorter and lighter than the Cadillac and Imperial for that year.

Christy’s Lincoln eng.jpg
Lincoln used a big 430 CID 320 HP engine to power this 5200lb.vehicle.

Christy’s Lincoln int.jpg
The advantage Continental’s signature “suicide” rear doors for easy access is obvious here. The dash was resigned and modernized in 1964.

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