Lincoln Continental Convertible

The new 1961 Lincoln started out as a Thunderbird concept. Ford styling vice-president George Walker had chief stylist Elwood Engel round up a team that eventually included John Najjar, Bob Thomas, Joe Oros, John Orff and Colin Neale. Engel told his stylists, “I want a clean car—no garbage.”

A clean car is what he got, created around a Thunderbird cowl. Robert McNamara, Ford general manager who soon became company president, suggested it become a four-door Lincoln Continental. It went into production in November 1960. The Industrial Design Institute awarded it a coveted Bronze Medal, rare for an automobile. The new Continental was designed for ease of passenger entry: the lack of a wrap-around windshield and use of aft-hinged “suicide” rear doors facilitated this. Particularly novel was the use of curved side glass, as was the introduction of a four-door convertible body style, the first since the Frazer Manhattan of 1951.

The design lost some of its exclusivity in 1964, when flat glass side glass replaced the subtly curved windows. A hardtop coupe joined the sedan and convertible in 1966, and then the iconic convertible was discontinued two years later.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2012 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.

320 bhp, 430 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, three-speed automatic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel power hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 123"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Newell Coach Corporation