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What to look for if buying a 65 Lincoln Cont. Convertible?

pblocalpblocal Posts: 15
edited March 7 in Lincoln
I have the oportunity to buy a nice looking, low rust 65 Lincoln Continental Convertible. Here are the problems. Leaks at the front crank seal quite a bit. Leaks from the power steering box and both rear windows do not function but the top goes up and down flawlessly.

Overall body is in very good condition, interior as well. current owner has redone the brake system so it is virtually new.

what else should I look for? any good or bad things I should know about this year lincoln?

I want to thank all that can comment or help me in any way in advance and I hope that if this car does become mine I can come back here again and again over the years to get and give advise for this style car.

once again thanks in advance and I hope to hear from you soon!!!!!

ps - car is in another state and I have not physically seen it but I had it brought into a mechanic and I spoke extensively with him about it after he went through it.



  • pblocalpblocal Posts: 15

    not a single person has any info or even an opinion about this?

    I was hoping for a better welcome being new to this board!
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,648
    Well it's fairly esoteric knowledge you are asking for. We certainly welcome you, we just don't know the answer to your questions about 1965 Lincoln Continental mechanical weaknesses or issues.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,424
    A bigger question than the car is you - what are you wanting, a project car for you to work on using your extensive skills, or something you hope to have others fix for your use? These cars are old and complex for their period, so various parts will fail with some regularity. How much do you trust the mechanic who looked at it?
  • pblocalpblocal Posts: 15
    the car will be rairly driven, mostly it will sit in a garage, covered and only taken out on extremely nice days. I understand things go wrong and somethings I can fix them and at other times they must be done by someone with more knowledge than me. I do not know the mechanic who looked at it but it did seem like he gave me an honest assesment. I was hoping someone who really knows this car could give me a bit of advise.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,424
    There must be some local or national Lincoln owners clubs with members that could get you the detailed info you're looking for. Give Google a shot.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,648
    There definitely is some guy named somthing like....Mr. Continental....or something like that...who has a website. I'm sure there are very knowledgable people on the Internet for this car.

    My dim recollection of these cars is that this era 60s Continental definitely had some recurring and persistant problems that are well-known....but alas....not to me.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,593
    Well, those things were unit-bodied, so rust can be a much bigger problem than a body-on-frame car like a Cadillac. IIRC, electrical problems were also common. I think you can say that about any luxury car of the era, simply because of all the wiring and motors and servos and such that powered the seats, windows, etc. However, I think the electrical stuff that powered the metal boot that the top stows under could also be troublesome.

    I've also heard that they handle like crap. Even though they're borderline compact compared to the Cadillacs and Lincolns of the era, they were extremely heavy cars. I'd guess around 5200 pounds or more for the convertible. Still, you don't buy a car like this to go through the slalom or drag race, so sloppy handling's probably not a deal breaker.

    Did these cars run on 14" rims? If so, forget about ever trying to modernize to radial tires. I don't think they make 14" radials with a high enough load rating for a car that hefty. However, if it's on 15" rims, you might be able to find something.

    Anyway, good luck if you do decide to purchase it. Those 4-door Lincoln convertibles are beautiful cars.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,355
    Since you asked...

    Those cars were PIGS! They handled like crap, they were very hard on brakes and front end parts. They crack exhaust manifolds that are a nasty b***h to replace. They are very difficult to work on and they get 9 MPG.

    That convertable hydraulic system is VERY complex and the few people who knew how they worked are probably long dead.

    They have vacuum door locks and wipers and A/C controls that will cause you constant trouble and are nasty to fix.

    All of this being said, they do look good and there are no doubt clubs out there who can offer youy some support.

    Every car has it's following it would seem.

    I wouldn''t touch that car with a twenty foot pole.

    You did ask, remember...and WELCOME!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,355
    Did we scare him away?
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,424
    After your pep talk, what do you expect? ;)
  • pblocalpblocal Posts: 15
    my first choice is also black on black. the price unfortunately for a like condition one is about 2 - 2 1/2 times what I paid for this so I had to go with white.

    when it comes time to redue the interior I will do a two tone (non original) white and red to rid the inside of ALL the red it currently has. (this is the only thing I dislike but can live with it because of its shape, condition and price!
  • pblocalpblocal Posts: 15
    It would take a lot more than that to scare me away from here and even more so from a car I have always loved and wanted to add to my collection.

    I came to this board hoping that someone would know a little something about this car and maybe advise me what to look for in the purchase process. I did not stop here though and with a bunch of research I found several people who are very knowledgeable and who were happy to help me in telling me what to look for.

    These cars I have found can have rust problems and as one of you stated, uni-body construction with rust can be a big issue. That is why the one I am buying has very little undercarriage rust. They can also have electrical and mechanical issues too but I have been advised that the mechanical issues are actually pretty easy to handle (something I plan on taking care of) For the electrical issues (and at the moment my new car to be does not have any) there is a guy who travels all over the country (in a large SUV) fixing these issues but he does charge an arm and a leg! If the doors or windows or top ever do give me a problem I will break down and give that guy a call. Everyone with knowledge who I did talk to all recommended this guy as a great person to do the work; they also said he backs his work with a minimum 12 month guarantee!

    Anyway, the new car is in transit and it will be here next week. My plans are only to drive it only when it is very nice outside, I have no work and there are two or three girlies to cruise around with. With that being said, I live in Southern California, 3 blocks from the Pacific Ocean and have a bunch of girl friends that cannot wait to go for a cruise!

    Here's a pic of my new ride for all of you to enjoy, ridicule or whatever you may....
    it shows up next week, I can hardly wait!
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,648
    I actually like these cars a lot. I have also heard they tend to be troublesome, relative say to their GM counterparts, but the important thing is that you like your old car---then anything is workable, fixable....if you don't have any real affection for a particular old car, then when things go wrong, it's not a challenge or a hobby, but merely an annoyance.

    The "traveling top fixer" is a true story. I have heard about him before---although I think that any really clever person could do this sort of thing. This isn't rocket science, but rather a question of patience, alignment, adjustment, etc.

    Yeah keep us posted. These guys aren't as mean as they sound :surprise:

    Maybe YOU will become the resident expert on these cars, for the next guy who buys one.
  • pblocalpblocal Posts: 15
    what do you think of this particular one? Or should I say, my new, old ride!
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,648
    Nice! My ideal version would be a black on black sedan.
  • No one said they aren't beautiful!

    It sounds like you did your homework and understand what you're getting into. I've heard of the traveling convertible guy too, there seems to be a lot of tech and parts support for these beasts. Pick up a Hemmings.
    Enjoy, and keep us posted!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,355
    And I gave my not so humble opinion.

    I too grew up (?) in Southern California a few blocks from the ocean so I have no idea what rust even is.

    I'll stand my my mechanical opinion of these cars and I truly hope you can avoid much of the troubles these are known for.

    I perfer the sedans too but that convertable is one beautiful ride.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,593
    beautiful car, but watch out...

    Big back seat + lots of girl friends who want a ride = pregnancy! :shades:
  • pblocalpblocal Posts: 15
    Yes I did ask and yes your opinion is not very humble. Be that as it may, you SELL cars, you don' fix them! And Honda's for Pete's sake, Yuck! The people I spoke with ONLY FIX OLD LINCOLNS, they don't sell them! (They do sell parts though) Look up Baker Auto in MA if you want verification...

    They and others have never mentioned there being a problem with cracked exhaust manifolds but as in all vehicles (more so in older ones) it is a possibility, as well as other potential problems, which I understand. I, of course, was looking for info on what to look for; I found it and then found a car that hopefully does not have a bunch of those issues but well see! They also told me (as well as I have experienced) that these cars drive like a dream. There not going to go down a slalom course but I am not buying it for that, they cruise down the freeway at 75-80 and glide. I remember that feeling the first time I rode in one, with the top down and I LOVED it. Pigs? Not for a second. Gas hogs? You bet!
  • pblocalpblocal Posts: 15
    Actually, I would not mind a child or two at this stage in my life! It's the wife I am trying to avoid at all costs (and in cali it is COSTLY!)

    Here's one more!
    <img src="
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