Thursday, June 9, 2011
Car of the Day : June 10, 2011
The car for today is Hot Wheels' 1964 Lincoln Continental.
The Lincoln Continental was an automobile produced by the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Company from 1939 to 1948 and again from 1956 to 2002. Despite often sharing underpinnings with less-expensive Fords in more recent years, the Lincoln Continental had usually been a distinctively platformed and styled, highly equipped luxury car in the course of its long history. The flagship Lincoln model during most of its run, the Continental name conveyed special cachet in the product line.
In 1961, the Continental was completely redesigned by Elwood Engel. For the first time, the names Lincoln and Continental would be paired together outside the Mark Series; along with replacing the Continental Mark V, the 1961 Continental replaced the Lincoln Capri and Premiere, consolidating Lincoln into a single product line. Originally intended to be the 1961 Ford Thunderbird, the design was enlarged and slightly altered before being switched to the Lincoln line by Robert McNamara.
This generation of Continental is favored by collectors and has appeared in many movies, such as "The Matrix", "The Last Action Hero", "Kalifornia" and Inspector Gadget movies, the TV series "Pushing Daisies", and recently in the opening sequence of the TV series "Entourage". Ford produced several concept cars which recalled this design.
This so-called "slab-side" design ran from 1961 to 1969 with few changes from year to year. The wheelbase was stretched 3 in (76 mm) in 1964 to improve the ride and add rear-seat legroom, while the roofline was squared off at the same time. The dash was also redesigned, doing away with the pod concept. Flat window glass was for additional interior space. The gas tank access door, which had been concealed at the rear of the car in the rear grille, was now placed on the driver's side rear quarter panel. The exterior "Continental" script was changed and the rear grille replaced by a simple horizontally elongated Continental star on the rear deck lid. 36,297 were sold that year
Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Continental to learn more on the 1964 Continental.
Purchased at a flea market this past spring for a cool $0.83 that was still on the card. While the wheels are a distraction, it's hard to argue about the actual casting. Now more than ever, I appreciate and like 1961-1969 Lincolns, '61-'66 Thunderbirds as well as the early 60s Galaxies. They all offered similar styling that while simplistic is also elegant in design.