Junkyard Treasure: 1962 Lincoln Continental Sedan09/30/2019
Once the car of choice for American high-rollers, now just more potential feedstock for the global steel industry.
The Continental was also available as a four-door hardtop sedan and as a convertible in 1962.
The interior of this one is pretty well toasted.
Still, there are many nice parts available for a Continental restorer in northeastern Colorado or southeastern Wyoming.
A decade or so later, Continentals had fake wood in door panels. This car has the real stuff.
Note the CONELRAD nuclear-attack frequency markings on the AM radio.
I find quite a few Lincoln Continentals from the early 1970s through middle 1980s during my junkyard travels, plus the occasional really old Lincoln, but the slab-sided Continentals of the 1960s don’t show up in car graveyards so often these days. Here’s a rare 1962 Continental sedan, found in a Colorado self-service yard about 50 miles south of Cheyenne, Wyoming.
It’s hard to imagine an outfit this spectacular worn by a passenger in a 1982 Continental. Times change.
Let’s try to imagine what this glorious statusmobile looked like when it was brand-new, competing with the equally opulent Cadillac Sixty-Two and Imperial Custom Southampton. This plush dreadnaught would have set you back at least 6,074 clams back in 1962 (about $52,000 in 2019 clams). The ’62 Cadillac Sedan DeVille listed at $5,631 while the Crown Imperial sedan cost $5,400 (the Imperial LeBaron had a $6,422 price tag). Meanwhile, a Jaguar Mark X saloon (non-hardtop and much smaller than the Detroit land yachts, but still very swanky) could be had for $7,384.
Painted in Champagne, built for the Des Moines DSO.
The build tag says that this car rolled off the assembly line in Wixom, Michigan, on April 19, 1962. That’s the day Al Unser, Jr. was born!
The cost to restore this sun-baked interior would be more than the cost of buying a nice ’62 Continental sedan.
Even with the door posts, the suicide-door Continentals offered classy entrance and egress for well-heeled passengers in tuxedos and evening gowns. When I was in high school in the early 1980s, one of the English teachers was a 30-ish semi-hipster who drove a slightly battered ’62 Continental with a vanity plate reading I PARSE. Even in 1982, we thought these cars were cool… though not cool enough to make us want to read our Lincoln-driving teacher’s poetry.
This is a 430-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) MEL V8 engine rated at 300 horsepower, which was pretty beastly by 1962 standards. The Imperial had a 340-horse 413, while the Cadillac got a 325hp 390. All three engines were very smooth and very thirsty, not that fuel economy mattered much to the Continental-buying demographic in 1962.
Because every possible movie car chase must happen, here’s one between a bunch of Harleys and a 1962 Lincoln Continental, from a 1971 bikersploitation movie.
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