Friday, July 27, 2012

Santa Cruz Street Sighting - 1968 Lincoln Continental coupe

Over the years on California Streets I've featured multiple Lincoln Continentals and a couple of Mark series coupes. Most have been sedans, but the regular Continental was also available as a coupe for part of its production run. This practice continued from 1966 until the early 1980s when the Town Car was also offered as a Town Coupe. I almost never see Continental coupes like this, which made this one that much more special.

This car belongs to the Santa Cruz collector who also owns the Peugeot 403 I featured a few weeks ago. This big blue boat is in good condition for its age and has clearly been maintained with pride. It's not a concours example by any means; the paint is failing on the trunk, there's a small rust bubble on the trunk lid corner, and one hubcap and the hood ornament have gone missing. But the big formal coupe displays well at the curb and is clean enough to be a daily driver classic. This is a true personal luxury coupe. It's gigantic, nearly twenty feet long. And yet, the greenhouse is tiny. The back seat must have almost no legroom or headroom. I've always found the proportions of these cars a bit odd, but the intention is clear. Personal luxury means one or two people, not the whole family, coddled in the most sumptuously appointed interior and and riding on a pillow-soft suspension, with a powerful engine and an enormous trunk for whatever the owner and his or her traveling companion wishes to bring along. This car has that in spades. It makes up for its unusual midsection with instantly recognizable Continental design cues, proper thin whitewall tires and full styled wheelcovers. The '68 Continental coupe may not be my favorite Continental year or body style but it has a heck of a presence and I'm glad I was able to photograph it.

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