1961 Lincoln Continental

No car better sums up 60s style and class better than the 1961 Lincoln Continental. It does away with the outrageous chrome that characterized the previous decade, and even gets rid of the fins, so beloved by the public but whose time had come. From its pinched front end to its enormous trunk, the Continental featured clean, tasteful lines that at the time of its introduction, felt more European than American, although the size and proportions were very American indeed. A real four-door convertible, its rear doors were rear-hinged, giving the car the ‘clap-door’ nickname. It was the car for the rich and famous, and even JFK made the Continental his official car.

1961 Lincoln Continental
1961 Lincoln Continental

The biggest engine available on this version of the continental was a 7.5-liter V8, producing 365 horsepower. Coupled to a three-speed automatic transmission, it could reach a top speed of 125 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 mph in 10 seconds flat.

Mechanically speaking, it was standard 60s fare, with an independent front suspension and a live rear axle, drum brakes all around and every possible option, power windows, a motorized top for the convertible (although for having driven a convertible, I can assure that a motorized top is no luxury!) and everything else but the kitchen sink.

The 1961 Lincoln Continental was originally offered only as a sedan and as a convertible, although a coupe was added to the mix in 1966. Besides that, the car changed little until it was cancelled in 1969, except that it got longer every year!

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