1961 Lincoln Continental Review

1961 Lincoln Continental 7.0 from North America

Model year1961
Year of manufacture1960
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2014
Engine and transmission 7.0 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired89000 miles
Most recent distance91472 miles

Summary:

An American Icon

Faults:

Upper control arm bushings were replaced.

Replaced starter.

2 of the door power windows do not work.

Vacuum powered door locks also don't work, vacuum leak, bad vacuum lines are a possibility.

Replaced shocks.

Belts replaced.

New battery.

Needs a new headliner, and upholstery work

Rust here and there, but nothing serious.

Radio doesn't work.

Basic maintenance of the car, nothing major has been redone or repaired aside from the carburetor, which was rebuilt 5 years ago.

General Comments:

I have owned this beautiful Lincoln for quite a while now. There isn't a day that goes by where I can't help but think, "They really did used to build cars like this"; that is how amazing the 60's Continentals are.

The car runs great, it's so smooth and has loads of power to get up and out of the way. The 430 engine is as tough as nails.

The joy getting behind the wheel of my 61 brings pure happiness and satisfaction. The styling alone draws so much attention and love from a lot of people. These are real Lincolns, the days when high quality was job number #1 and its styling was unique, and distinctive to boot... The Suicide doors are so classy, the car just screams to be driven to a fancy hotel, nightclub, or a mob event!

There's nothing to complain about here, the quality of the car overall is outstanding, no plastic parts to break in the interior, and everything feels so substantial, heavy and tightly put together... Try opening one of the doors on a 60's Suicide, and you'll quickly find out how bank vault like they are. The tight fit and finish on the dash, will give new cars a run for their money. Nothing was sacrificed in these cars, the thickly framed stainless door glass keeps the wind noise and road noise out, as well as adding a luxury touch to the car...

All the standard power accessories are amazing for its time; 6 way power seats (option on Cadillacs), power door locks (option on Cadillacs), power steering, automatic vent windows (actually was an option), cruise control...

My car is loaded. The only thing it doesn't have is cruise, which is no big deal...

The interior styling is amazing; so much detail on the dash/steering wheel, and real walnut wood trim was used inside, that gives the car a nice warm quality feel to it...

My main complaint is how tight the legroom in the back seats is; this was fixed in 64 when the Continentals were slightly enlarged, longer in length and wheelbase size, which really helped with the lack of legroom for back seat passengers in the earlier models.

The interior is really wide though; you could easily fit 6 or more people if you wanted to.

The ride and handling of the car is sporty for its time. While a similar vintage Cadillac floated all over the road, the Lincolns rode a lot more firmly and handled very well for their size and heavy curb weight (5,125lbs)... My Conti goes over bumps very smoothly, without transmitting much fuss into the cabin due to the thickness of the sheet metal, suspension setup, wheelbase size and engineering design. Part of the reason for this is its unibody construction; you feel planted in the car, yet the body is very tight and it rides and drives extremely well. I wished it rode a tad softer (bumps/potholes are absorbs with ease), but knowing that the rear springs are leaf and not coils, this is what causes the reduced softness like you would otherwise experience in the 70's on up Lincoln's, where it felt like you were riding on a cloud.

My car hasn't given me any major trouble in the many years I've owned it (knock on wood). The engine needs work, it leaks oil everywhere, the suspension needs repairs done, but parts are very expensive and are hard to come by, as these Continentals are specific to Lincoln, since parts weren't shared with Ford counterparts in those days. Everything about these cars is Lincoln only. Engine, transmission, power steering pumps, shocks, springs, power windows etc...

Overall, I love this car to death!! It's my favorite car I have ever owned, aside from my 78 Lincoln Continental, which is a close tie. Lincoln used to build amazing quality luxury vehicles; it's such a shame that today the company can barely stand on its own 2 feet, making and designing some rather lame and petty looking cars, that don't stand out like the classic Lincolns do.

It's too bad, but hey, as long as we keep the classic's running, at least people will be reminded that Lincolns used to be really cool, stylish and luxurious cars at one point in time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th February, 2014

19th Feb 2014, 21:25

"It's too bad, but hey, as long as we keep the classic's running, at least people will be reminded that Lincolns used to be really cool, stylish and luxurious cars at one point in time."

Amen to that :)

20th Feb 2014, 19:40

My dad had a 62 convertible that he traded in for under a grand for a 73 Silver Mark. I had a chance to buy a 63 Corvette Split Window the following year during the gas embargo for 2600. Where was the crystal ball when I needed one!

Average review marks: 7.8 / 10, based on 1 review