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

pblocalpblocal Posts: 15
edited March 2014 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!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    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.

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  • texasestexases Posts: 7,771
    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: 7,771
    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.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    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.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    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: 19,603
    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: 19,603
    Did we scare him away?
  • texasestexases Posts: 7,771
    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!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    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.

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  • pblocalpblocal Posts: 15
    what do you think of this particular one? Or should I say, my new, old ride!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    Nice! My ideal version would be a black on black sedan.

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  • 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: 19,603
    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: 23,040
    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="
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,923
    Looks like a very good driver, I am sure you will have fun with it.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,603
    You have no idea what my background is. You have no idea that I put myself through school working in a gas station that had a very busy shop.

    And, you have no way of knowing that at age 23, I managed a 40 bay shop. I've seen it all and I'm old enough to remember those cars. I remember them well and shops hated to work on them. My best friend has owned two of these and he kept me well versed on the many problems he had with them. If floating down the road is your idea of a "dream" you be a very happy person. They do have a nice ride.

    I'm glad you have people with the knowledge and patience to work on these. You will need them so be nice to them!

    You shouldn't ask people's opinions if you are going to snap back at them. You also shouldn't ask for opinions if you have already decided to buy the car.

    I do wish you well. It is, indeed a good looking car. I would leave the interior red. It actually looks good in that car.
  • pblocalpblocal Posts: 15
    When I asked for the opinions I asked what to look for when I buy one, not if I should buy one. I decided years ago that someday I would buy a lincoln like this and now being that I can, I did. Maybe you should re-read my first statement.

    Your opinion as well as all others were appreciated but to be honest I asked for advise on what to look for so I did not buy a lemon so to speak.

    My point is that your choice of wording in your first post was a bit off the mark. Thanks for the positive comments in this post, they were definitely different than your last!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,603
    Maybe I should re-read it because I thought you were thinking about buying one and asking what the pitfalls were.

    I probably would have toned down the content of my post had I KNOWN you had made up your mind to buy one.

    As long as a person KNOWS what they are getting into and still decides to proceed it's their choice.

    My feelings about these cars remains the same. They are very troublesome cars that are difficult to work on.

    You seem to be going in with your eyes wide open and it sounds like you have the financial resources to feed and repair this beast.

    As they say in the car biz.." There's an a** for every seat"!

    Join a Lincoln club and have fun!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    let's move on to more constructive comments, please....


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  • pblocalpblocal Posts: 15
    my thoughts exactly!

    I'll post some pictures of my own when the beast arrives!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    To make the next pictures more interesting, please take a cue from the auto shows and include the "girlies" with the car. Or in the car. Or, on the car. Whatever, but don't forget the girlies.
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    When I was a little kid, our friends had a 63,64,65? Lincoln convertible with the suicide doors. It was white, with a black interior. I remember it well because four of us kids got in big trouble because of it one afternoon. We were all picnicking out in a park by the river somewhere and the Lincoln was parked under a big tree....

    There was lots of room in that big Lincoln in the shade, and the four of us started jumping up and down inside the car, with all the doors open.

    I want to say that we managed to bend the frame, but I don't know for sure; I was just 5 or something - but I sure know that the owner was REALLY mad at us. :surprise:
  • pblocalpblocal Posts: 15
    I'd kill you kids if you did that in my new, old ride!!!!

    no worries about the girlies, you'll get a few of those (after I have!) soon enough....
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,603
    A few years ago, I was at an old car show and a guy with one of those Lincolns was lowering his top when it jammed in the mid position. Two hours later when I walked by there again, three or four guys were desperatly trying to figure out what had happened and get that top either up or down.

    I don't know how he would have gotten home with that little problem?
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