Summer In Racine: The LCOC Visits S.C. Johnson & Co.

During the Spring of 2018, I received my monthly newsletter from the Lake Shore Region of the LCOC-the Lincoln and Continental Owners Club. I’ve been a member since 2015. From April through October, there are many club events for the region, which consists of greater Chicagoland, and adjacent parts of Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. What caught my eye was a planned June 16th trip to the S.C. Johnson Company’s headquarters, famously designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and constructed between 1936 and 1939, and its adjacent Tower, completed in 1950.

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1954 Lincoln Capri Coupe: Road Race Car

This morning, let’s talk about the 1952-55 Lincolns. They replaced the first all-new postwar 1949-51 Lincolns, and while were much more modern looking and finally came in that hot new bodystyle, the two-door hardtop, they also were a little less distinct that Lincolns of the not-so-distant past.

Of course, most gearheads today remember these primarily as the “Road Racing Lincolns” due to their achievements in the Carrera Panamericanas of the early to mid-’50s, but there was more to them than just that. Despite their power and handling prowess, they were, for most well-heeled buyers, good-looking, plush, modern luxury cars. There was no more Continental, no more long-wheelbase limousines. And for many, Lincoln seemed to be chasing Olds and Buick instead of Cadillac. But there’s no denying their clean good looks.

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1974 Continental Mark IV: Maize Yellow Yacht

The weekend has barely begun, and here I am ogling vintage ’70s land yachts on CL, via one of my favorite Facebook groups, Finding Future Classic Cars. And it will no doubt come as no surprise to most of you that one, it is a Continental, two, that it is pastel yellow, and three, that it is from the 1970s. The trifecta! So let’s check out this 1974 Continental Mark IV.

As with my Brougham lust for 1971-76 Cadillac Fleetwood Broughams, my equal fascination with the 1972-76 Continental Mark IV is due to my having a little diecast version of one when I was a kid. Also, my grandfather, Bob Klockau, had a triple dark green 1972 model. Also, Cannon is just about my favorite TV show. So every time I see one, I go back in time.

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1978 Lincoln Continental Town Car: Your Best Bet’s A…Well, You Know…

As a member in good standing of the Lincoln and Continental Owners Club since 2015, I always have an eye out for interesting old Lincolns. That includes when I’m on the way to work, stuck at a red light, or perusing CL and ebay. Just last week I spotted this one on the electronic bay, and the condition was such that I was compelled to share it!

A triple Wedgewood Blue 1978 Lincoln Continental Town Car with the mighty 460 CID V8 and only 50,300 miles on the clock. Yowza.

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Five Years On The Town: Life With A 2000 Lincoln

In October 2013, I broke my predictable pattern of driving Volvos and bought a Lincoln, my first. It was pure chance. I didn’t set out to get it, and wasn’t even looking for a car to buy. Serendipity plays a part in many of life’s memorable events, it seems.

Cartier 02

At the time, I was driving a 2006 Volvo V50 station wagon, serviced and purchased as a CPO with 14,000 miles at McLaughlin Volvo in summer of 2007. Since I’ve always been a car nut, I’d stop by for no reason whatsoever to check out the rolling stock, grab brochures, and glom a cup of coffee.

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A Short Note On The New Continental

Note: Today’s guest post is by Barry Wolk, a friend of mine and Lincoln owner. His Mark II convertible is well-known in collector circles, and appeared on Hemmings Classic Car several years ago. There has been a lot of flack on the 2017-present Lincoln Continental, and social media and third-rate blogging sites are awash in fear and loathing on a car they’d never buy in the first place. Why so many spleens are vented on something they hate rather than things they enjoy is beyond me, but such is the state of many corners of society today. This is Barry’s response. -TK

Mark II

While the new Continental was still in clay form I was asked if the Lincoln Division studio could borrow my Mark II for the winter for inspiration, for an upcoming car that had no name at that time. It didn’t have door handles yet, so I asked if it would have rear-hinged doors. I was told that their surveys of potential buyers found this less than important.

I also asked David Woodhouse why the LCOC or any Lincoln club members weren’t asked to participate in focus groups for the new car and he sat me down and explained that people that buy old Lincolns rarely, if ever, buy new ones, making their opinion about new cars irrelevant.

As a business model making cars for the used car market makes zero sense. Still doesn’t.

I asked him about the shared platform and he educated me as to how many shared platforms we have in our lives. TVs, washers and dryers, cars and houses all have shared platforms. The difference between luxury items and base items is what added to the base, not the base itself.

I asked why it wasn’t rear-wheel drive and he responded that AWD is better, and it’s true in every circumstance, whether you believe it or not.

If Ford isn’t building a car that suits your needs or desires, please buy what you want, but quit grousing about cars you’ll never buy new. That’s the true definition of an anachronism.

Steam and coal aren’t coming back, either.

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1997 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series: Family Car, Found!

Note: You may remember my friend Anthony Gucciardo’s immaculate, showroom condition 1997 Town Car. He still has it, but has since not only located the 1997 Town Car his mother bought new, but purchased it and had it restored. How many of us have wished we could have our first car back, or one of the family cars you remember from your youth? Well, Anthony did it! Enjoy. -TK

A few years back, I wrote a story for Curbside Classic about my fondness for the 1995-1997 Lincoln Town Car. It was re-published here at Riverside Green back in June 2017. You might have to read the article to totally understand where I’m coming from.

https://jackbaruth.com/?p=6765

In that article, I talked about my love for the Lincoln Town Car and that up to this day, the love affair continues. Over the years I’ve been fortunate to have had several high-end luxury cars and they’ve all been great. The technology has come a long way since the late 1990s, yet I still get a kick out of a large luxury sedan equipped with self leveling air suspension and thin white wall tires. Nothing rides like a Lincoln Town Car, especially at highway speeds. The wind noise coming from the windshield and sunroof gives the car true Lincoln character. It was obviously a design flaw but as we say in real estate, charm and character is what makes things sell.

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1966 Lincoln Continental Coupé – Classy Chassis

With the exception of the original 1939-48 Lincoln Continental, the 1960s Lincolns are quite likely the most recognized products of Ford Motor Company’s premium division. Naturally, the four-door convertibles are the most famous models of that decade, and the most valuable, but the four-door sedans and two-door coupes were attractive luxury transportation as well. Today, we’re talking about the coupe, or Coupé, as Lincoln called it.

1960 Lincoln

1960 Continental Mark V. Photo courtesy Dave Smith.

Thanks to the failure of the 1958-60 Lincolns in the marketplace, Lincoln itself was close to getting chopped in 1960. It’s a story oft-told, but the short version is Robert McNamara, who thought everyone should drive a Falcon, had set his cap to kill off Edsel, even before the cars first appeared in showrooms.

1961 Continental convertible

1961 Continental at the 2014 LCOC meet in Rockford, IL.

Lincoln was going to be next, and only an 11th-hour viewing of a proposed future Thunderbird saved the marque. It was stretched just enough to add a second pair of doors, and the result was the 1961 Continental.

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1976 Continental Mark IV Desert Sand Luxury Group

1976 was, in my opinion, Peak Brougham. It was the last year for the truly large premium sedans, the Cadillac Fleetwood, De Ville, Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight and Buick Electra. Over at Chrysler you had Royal Monacos, Gran Furys, New Yorker Broughams and even the wood-paneled Town & Country station wagon. And over at Ford, there were myriad examples of big luxury cars to fill your requirements: LTD, Marquis, Country Squire, Colony Park, and Continental sedans and coupes. At at the very top, the finest, the Continental Mark IV.

Mark IV

1972 Mark IV owned by fellow LCOC member Humberto Garcia.

1976 was the final year for the Mark IV, which first appeared in Autumn 1971 as a ’72 model. My grandfather ordered one in triple dark green, to replace his triple dark green 1969 Mark III.

Mark IV

In my opinion, the 1972 was the prettiest with its small, integrated front and rear bumpers. In 1973, the Mark IV, along with most other Detroit rolling stock, got the new 5-mph front bumpers due to new federal regulations. In 1974, a larger rear bumper was added to match the front.

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2018 Lincoln Continental Reserve: Luxury, American Style

The new Continental. I like it. So many don’t. At least, on social media. I am co-admin on a Facebook Lincoln and Continental group, and whenever someone posts a 2017-present Continental, the whining commences. Oh yes.

Continental

How so Klockau, you may ask. Well, you see, a lot of angry folks on social media tend to foam at the mouth whenever someone, like your author, posts a new Lincoln Continental. “Dagnabit, that’s NOT a Lincoln! A Lincoln should have suicide doors, a stand-up hood ornament, and crushed velour!

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