Buying dream car, 1967 continental sedan, what should I know

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Buying dream car, 1967 continental sedan, what should I know

Postby UglyViking » Thu May 14, 2020 7:18 pm

Hey all, brand new member!

I've been looking off and on for a number of years at a 66-67 lincoln continental with suicide doors, hard top. I'm finally in both a financial and personal place that allows me to buy it. I've found one that looks like it's in moderately good condition, needs a few minor things (at least as it's being reported) and is within my price range. I'd like to buy something that needs a little TLC so I can make it my own. I am looking at a sort of restomod, don't want or need to make it exactly as it left the factory but I also don't want to put hydraulics or anything in it. I've got a few questions that I'm hoping I can get answers to.

Lest it seem like I've done absolutely no research I'll say that I've done some digging into parts, books, etc. to understand everything. Nothing appears crazy to me, although it's clearly not going to be as easy as restomodding a 68 camaro it doesn't seem impossible. Please help point me in the right direction. I appreciate the help in advance!

  • Is there anything I should know about parts availability. As I said, it doesn't need to be factory original, reproduction is fine. Can I get things like window seals and the like? If there anything that is "required" that you just can't replace without enormous cost?
  • What should I look for that isn't obvious when buying? I'm looking at a hard top so convertible top or vinyl top issues aren't a thing. There doesn't appear to be any rust, at least that I can see. What else am I missing?
  • How reliable is Hagerty for pricing? How about nada? at least from what I'm seeing there is about a 5 grand delta between the two, Hagerty saying around 17k and nada saying around 12. Split the difference, favor one over the other?
  • Again, what am I unsure of here? I'm beyond excited about being able to buy, own, work on and drive my dream car, but I don't want to get ahead of myself. Please provide any feedback.
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Re: Buying dream car, 1967 continental sedan, what should I

Postby action » Thu May 14, 2020 7:56 pm

Welcome to the world of yesteryear!

A slab side (nick name for Continentals between 61 and 69) is not an easy first time vintage ride. The technology was developed in the 1950s and tweeked some during production.
The engine is a bit odd ball - the fuel pump is expensive and odd with 3 lines. A mechanical pump with a return line.
The power steering and windshield wipers are hydraulic. Operated off of a pump on the crankshaft
The tilt column and ATC of the period are complex and can fail. Rather expensive to fix and parts are a bit difficult to find
Power window switches have a high failure rate. While they are about $50 to rebuilt that is easy to get to happen
The thought process for electrical was to use relays for everything. (Convertibles are the worse) That just means there are a lot of wires
The door panel arm rests were not well thought out and made of plastic that commonly breaks

Brakes, steering and suspension are fairly easy to find parts even at fast moving parts stores like Auto Zone
Other maintenance and wear items should be easy to find
Yeah door seals are expensive. Reproduction pieces are easily avialble

Recently there are sellers on ebay that are asking very high prices that I don't that they will get. There are a number of suppliers for used parts on the East coast.

The most complex Continental is a convertible. If you are not buying one of those, then there are only two left. One has 2 doors and the other has four. The 2 door was first introed in 1966. It is the least complex and should be the least cost to buy. And will get less cash at re-sale. Unlike most collector cars where a 2 door is more desirable (based on appeal) in the Continental of the period it is the 4 door with the rear doors opening at the rear of the car that is the unique feature!

As to valuation guides. That is what they are a guide. And know that in the universe of car collecting, the higher the price the fewer the buyers. Which makes the time to sell longer.

Likely there is more but that is what I have to say.

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Re: Buying dream car, 1967 continental sedan, what should I

Postby LithiumCobalt » Thu May 14, 2020 9:40 pm

Viking, welcome. You have come to the right place. My dream car is also a 1967 Continental. I once had a ‘67 convertible but now happily drive a sedan. Check out the thread where I asked some of the very same questions you are asking back in 2011: https://www.thelincolnforum.net/phpbb3/ ... 50&t=37002

There is some good advice in there. A few other things I can offer...

1. Parts availability for a classic Lincoln is not the same as many other makes. These cars were limited production so aftermarket support is not great. Most things can be had, but they are usually expensive compared to Camero or Mustang parts and there is no such thing as a catalog you can buy for Lincoln’s with all the parts in there. Sometimes finding things takes a lot of patience and digging and knowing the right people to ask. A lot of things are “one year only” parts. If you must have something year specific, it can be a real treat trying to track it down. If you plan to use things that “work” but not necessarily “correct”, you’ll have an easier time. Sometimes nothing but the year specific part will work.
2. If you jump into one of these cars, don’t try to do too much at once to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Fix one or two things at a time to feel a sense of accomplishment and then move on to something else. These cars can bust balls and sometimes you just gotta walk away and come back later.
3. Get the factory service manual from this forum. It is priceless if you plan to work on the car.
4. About everything you can encounter with these cars have been discussed here at some point. Don’t be afraid to poke around and ask questions
5. Price guides are almost never accurate, in my experience. EBay is usually not a good indicator either. We’d be happy to critique cars for you here before buying if you want.
6. It’s easy to get upside down on a sedan as opposed to a convertible. If you are OK with that, then no problem. I’m already there with mine. I don’t care. I love the car and have no plans of selling.
7. There are no such things as replacement body panels other than from parts cars and the rare unicorn NOS fenders. For this reason, and the fact that these cars are unibody, do not buy a rusty one. You’ll spend twice the value of the car just repairing the body.
8. Have fun.
9. Let’s see some pictures once you get ‘er home.
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Re: Buying dream car, 1967 continental sedan, what should I

Postby action » Fri May 15, 2020 12:14 am

Expanding on ebay … and not necessarily Lincoln focused …….
I believe the sold or completed sales on ebay represents accurate market value. Especially if there is multiple sales of an item.

And one other comment about ebay and venues like that, many times the seller does not exactly know what they are selling. It may be a part that fits two years and one model. The seller states it fits many models and many years. Knowing what you want to buy you may need to educate the seller.

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Re: Buying dream car, 1967 continental sedan, what should I

Postby UglyViking » Fri May 15, 2020 7:00 am

Thanks for the feedback all, this is the vehicle I'm looking at (https://www.classiccardeals.com/Listing/257052/1967-Lincoln-Continental.aspx) Please don't buy it out from under me!

It looks to be in pretty solid condition and the engine looks well cared for, at least from what I can see. It's hard to tell if it has AC, it wasn't stated in the ad but it seems to have the vents and control:

AC Vents.png
AC Vents


AC Control.png
AC Control
AC Control.png (157.12 KiB) Viewed 844 times


Frankly, I don't care what the vehicle is worth, to me it's a priceless item. I've wanted one for almost 20 years and I'm finally in the position to buy it. The only thing about this particular version I dislike is the blue interior, but honestly I don't have any problem doing a color change over the coming years.

I'm in the process of getting some additional information, a video of it running and some better quality photos.
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Re: Buying dream car, 1967 continental sedan, what should I

Postby LithiumCobalt » Fri May 15, 2020 7:12 am

Car has got A/C based on the engine bay photos. Whether it is working or not is the question. Would need more photos to give an honest assessment, but just based on the description, the price is about double what I would pay for a car in that condition.

Looks like some liberty was taken with paint as the top peak moldings have been painted black. They should be stainless.

I love my dark blue interior. I’d be willing to buy parts from if you end up swapping it.

Ad photos don’t really convey much. Strongly suggest viewing in person.

Just for reference, I have been looking for almost ten years and there have only been about 3 cars that I would have considered spending money on - one of them is sitting in my garage. They aren’t easy to come by especially in unmolested condition.
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Re: Buying dream car, 1967 continental sedan, what should I

Postby UglyViking » Fri May 15, 2020 7:27 am

LithiumCobalt wrote:Car has got A/C based on the engine bay photos. Whether it is working or not is the question. Would need more photos to give an honest assessment, but just based on the description, the price is about double what I would pay for a car in that condition.

Looks like some liberty was taken with paint as the top peak moldings have been painted black. They should be stainless.

I love my dark blue interior. I’d be willing to buy parts from if you end up swapping it.

Ad photos don’t really convey much. Strongly suggest viewing in person.

Just for reference, I have been looking for almost ten years and there have only been about 3 cars that I would have considered spending money on - one of them is sitting in my garage. They aren’t easy to come by especially in unmolested condition.


Appreciate the feedback. I noticed the peak moldings, doesn't bother me, in fact I planned to do that exact thing. How well they are done may be another question but I like that balance between the paint and chrome personally.

I'm surprised to hear it's double, from what I've seen the prices seem to be around 12-18k with examples fetching around 8k that need quite a bit of work up to 30k+ for basically restored versions. I'm not currently expecting to pay asking, but I've been looking for a few years and they are not the easiest cars to come by. I'm ok with overpaying a little, I'm not ok with 2x. What makes you say that it's double? I'm all for more data as it will further help with my negotiation :)
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Re: Buying dream car, 1967 continental sedan, what should I

Postby Mike » Fri May 15, 2020 8:01 am

It's definately a car to see in person. Especially when there are things like the painted chrome you need to know what else they've done that'll take money to fix.
It also has exhaust cut out's sticking out underneath the sides.
From those pics looks like it's more a 10-12K car but again really need to see it in person.
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Re: Buying dream car, 1967 continental sedan, what should I

Postby UglyViking » Fri May 15, 2020 8:13 am

I'm not going to be able to see in person, with COVID and a new baby on the way it's just not going to happen. I am going to have a service such as (https://www.aimcertify.com/) check it out. I asked for better photos. What else should I be on the lookout for? As I noted initially, I'm not concerned with it being a perfect numbers matching original, I want the bones to be good, to have no major mechanical/electrical issues and no real rust.

My guess on the mentions about paint are fear of bondo?

Edit: lest I come off as someone who is being defensive, that is not at all my intent. I'm brand new to this world, the point I'm trying to make it simply that I'm not concerned if something is original or an "as it came from the factory" resto. I'm all for the feedback on why it's worth less than asking, I'm all for being the buyer obviously. I am just looking for data to help backup the claim otherwise it's gonna hard to go to the seller with "some guys on the lincoln forum say it's worth 10-12k".
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Re: Buying dream car, 1967 continental sedan, what should I

Postby Dan Szwarc » Fri May 15, 2020 9:24 am

Looking for 67 sedan or 'vert - what should I look for?

There's a lot that's been posted before.
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Re: Buying dream car, 1967 continental sedan, what should I

Postby UglyViking » Fri May 15, 2020 9:36 am

Thanks Dan, I read through that entire thread before posting. Good info in there to be sure, I'm unsure how accurate the pricing is since it's from a decade ago.
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Re: Buying dream car, 1967 continental sedan, what should I

Postby Steve K » Fri May 15, 2020 10:02 am

I'd definitely want an assessment of the sheet metal under that paint job. A good magnet test for bondo and carefully viewing it along the sides for ripples and waves that look like there have been repairs. Personally I would rather see some door dings from other car doors and other signs of normal wear and tear than the absence of those - which almost always means repairs. Since the structure of the car is unibody and since these cars have a history of rust, very carefully check for signs of rust where its covered by paint and also rust where it wouldn't normally be covered up like the underbody. There are lots of mods under the hood which may not be especially important but I always wonder why things like coils and air cleaner assemblies get changed out for after market parts on a car that otherwise appears pretty much stock except as noted with the paint on moldings etc. My personal opinion after chasing one for 10 years that I felt good about buying is that you can pretty easily find a car like that for between 10-12K. The sedanns aren't really as rare as hens teeth. As I said, with the exception of rust, I would choose an honest car that needs paint but which lets you critically see what you are getting than one with a respray. If money is less of an object, then why not have a car painted to your liking after sorting out the mechanicals than get disappointed with hidden but serious flaws. Sometimes you can find a member of this forum close to a car who may be willing to go look at it for you. Worth asking and paying for their gas etc. Good luck and welcome!
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Re: Buying dream car, 1967 continental sedan, what should I

Postby Mike » Fri May 15, 2020 10:49 am

It's fair enough reasoning why it's not possible to see it. I'd make sure whoever you find to look at it knows the car. A forum member if you can find someone who seems to know what they're looking at and is close by is a good idea.
Looking at the pictures again it looks like it's missing the trim on the edge of the body behind the rear bumper and also the rocker panel molding.
The bling rims are probably also adding a bit to the price.
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Re: Buying dream car, 1967 continental sedan, what should I

Postby action » Fri May 15, 2020 11:10 am

The manifold leak that is stated in the ad, will likely require removal of the cylinder heads just for access. And machining of the cylinder head surface to manifold surface could be necessary
If you are handy the removal and installation can be done by you. However job creep could expand the job.

Not exactly sure of what is optional and what is standard. A friend of mine has a 66 2 door with NO power door locks. I was surprised to see that.

Personally I am not a fan of the mods. (Wheels, exterior paint, painted trim, engine paint color, air cleaner and carb.) However the mods do not add value if that is the sellers thoughts. And I don't think they reduce value. The mods are about appeal. There are some that will like it and some that will not.

Things IMO that will impact the price are what is stated in the listing. Windshield, steering gear and exhaust leak. (Plus anything not stated) The first one is about the glass (is it available) the second two are more about labor.

Also know that the value of a nice driver and a show car is not that much for this body style. That may not matter, but know that people that are in the business rarely make money on the sale of a vehicle. The money is made at the time of the buy.

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Re: Buying dream car, 1967 continental sedan, what should I

Postby TonyC » Fri May 15, 2020 3:30 pm

Welcome to the club, Viking! :smt006

Fortunately, you're part of a forum which has experts on that particular year, including myself. The first thing you will want to get for your new-old car is a shop manual. You can get a soft version through this forum, or you can get a hard version from sellers on E-Bay. You will need one, don't doubt me. These Lincolns are not your run-of-the-mill Fords; in fact, a good 87% of these cars is exclusive, not interchangeable with any other car, save for other Lincolns of the same period.

That established, allow me to lend my own vast expertise on that particular year. Luckily, you have chosen to go with a sedan instead of a 'vert. Sedans are easier to work on (besides, anyone who gets a 'vert of that specific year has violated a law of nature, as nobody is entitled to one until after I get one myself :P ). Now, there are several design flaws that you will have to address. There is good news and bad news regarding these flaws: Bad news first, it will be expensive, from somewhat-expensive to very-expensive. The good news is that every design flaw can be engineered out, and when they are, you will never have concerns with them again. Here they are:

1. Engine: The engine was produced at the factory with a nylon cam gear as part of the physical timing arrangement. They did this to make the engine quieter, to eliminate gear chatter that plagued engines from previous decades. It worked—in fact, it worked so well that every automotive marque followed Lincoln's lead with installing nylon cam gears. But, the problem with that is that nylon does not last forever; it wears out with age, not use, and will fracture and crumble, causing fatal results if not addressed. The average life span of a nylon gear is 25—30 years; since your car is over 50 years old, that makes for a serious concern. You will need to replace the entire timing setup (both the crank and cam gears and the chain) before you think of using the car for any extended periods of driving. New timing sets are easily available and not that expensive; plus, new sets can be had with all-metal components, which will eliminate the risks posed by deteriorating nylon chips falling into the crankcase. Another concern is the oil pump, which was a regular-pressure, regular-volume unit. Due to the design of the engine, upper-level lubrication is a concern; a regular-volume pump barely provided adequate oil delivery to the valve train, and as it wore down that oil delivery also dropped. In addition, back to the nylon syndrome, if tiny shards of nylon get into the pump or even clog up the pick-up screen, that will wreck the pump. You will want to get a regular-pressure, high-volume oil pump, which will push a greater amount of oil into the upper parts of the engine, to prevent any further wear from friction. Do not get a high-pressure oil pump, as that can blow out seals and cause oil leaks from Hell. A high-volume pump is what you need.

2. Transmission: Your car is equipped with the first generation of C-6 transmission, which was first installed in Lincolns in 1966. While this will make for easier service than Suicides from earlier years, there is a flaw in its design, which I had learned about myself seven years ago. The casing has no fluid passages to the upper-level clutch components; the engineers only permitted splash-lubrication. While that may be adequate for a heavy-work vehicle travelling on rough terrain, it is by no means adequate for a luxury car that will spend about 95% of its time travelling on smooth, paved roads. The consequence of that is that the clutch pack at the top will eat itself up eventually due to excessive friction. Although I do not know any of the details of the solution, I can tell you there is a solution: Find a transmission specialist who is aware of that flaw, like I fortuitously did when my car's transmission failed. My rebuilder drilled a passage into the casing, tapping it somehow into a fluid passage, so the end result was a constant flow of fluid to the clutch pack while the car is running, keeping it always lubricated. Since finding a good transmission shop is very hard, and finding one both able and willing to work on a Suicide's transmission is even harder, you will want to do a lot of research into shops in and around your area. The shop I used was Smith's Transmissions, located in the south end of DeRidder, Louisiana; for anyone in that state, I recommend them.

3. Steering: This has to be the biggest problem of these cars, aside from A/C (which isn't really required in order to operate the car). Steering links, ball joints, and fluid seals will wear out, and every bit of wear will chain-react all across the system, causing even more problems. All of these problems can be traced back to one cause: The mounting spacers of the steering gearbox. Back then, the engineers employed special spacers that were impregnated with rubber, the intent being to isolate the steering wheel from any road vibrations, similar to the way motor mounts isolate engine vibrations from passing into the car's structure, making for a more-luxurious feel. Although that was well-intended, in practice they caused more trouble than they were worth. Just with regular manipulation of the steering wheel, those mounts would cause the gearbox to twist in place at all odd angles; the immediate effect was poor response to steering commands, especially in emergency situations. The long-term effect was in the form of wear to all the physical steering components, starting with the center link, which was never designed to withstand the twisting of the gearbox. Then the steering tie rods would wear, then the lower ball joints (which were already not of the most durable construction anyway), along with other steering parts, causing for sloppy and even dangerous handling. On top of that, the twisting would tend to loosen the fastening nuts for the fluid lines that go into the gearbox, causing fluid leaks; and when that fluid hit the rubber of the mounts, it would deteriorate the rubber, breaking it apart and causing even more twisting and even more delayed response...and even more wear. And fluid loss would have a catastrophic effect on the steering pump, which was not designed to withstand spinning dry for even a few seconds. So, how do you address that? Two ways: First, replace all the components that have worn out; they can all be had, but many will be expensive. Second, discard the original gearbox spacers and replace them with one of two designs available that are made entirely of solid metal. Those new spacers will prevent any twisting of the gearbox, significantly improving the car's overall handling in both normal and emergency situations. Once all that surgery has been done, you should never have steering issues again. Ironically, going with solid-metal spacers will not cause any noticeable vibrations to pass through into the steering wheel, since the car is already well-cushioned in other strategic locations; so the intent of the original spacers was a moot point, anyway.

There are many quirks with these cars to deal with, but those three are the biggest ones in the long run. This is only an introductory post to get you prepared for the love-hate relationship you are about to get involved with...and I will tell you, there is a lot more love than hate, and the hate is not enough to overpower the love. And you will have all of us to back you up with tips we have learned on every function of the car.

---Tony
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