64 Lincoln Continental Convertible Is Amazing Retro Cool Car
Fans often say that the 64 Lincoln Continental was the best Lincoln car ever made.
The Lincoln Continental is a timeless American classic. It’s been around for a long time, from 1939 till now, and it’s known for its sleek and tough appearance. You’ve probably seen it in movies, often driven by the bad guys. Some even say it’s the ultimate Mafia car.
Lately, in movies like ‘Hit and Run’ and the TV show ‘Entourage,’ we’ve spotted the fourth-generation Lincoln Continentals being driven by cool characters.
But for many Lincoln enthusiasts, the 1964 Continental steals the show as the best Lincoln ever made. These cars are all about class and power, representing the height of luxury from Detroit. Luxury cars, especially convertibles, can cost a pretty penny, sometimes reaching six figures. So, how much does a 1964 Lincoln Continental go for these days? Let’s take a closer look.
Last Lincoln Standing: A Tale Of Legacy And Luxury
The Lincoln Motor Company started in 1917 and Ford bought it in 1922. It became Ford’s fancy brand, and it still is today. But things got a bit rocky for Lincoln in the past.
Around 1960, Ford’s Lincoln division was losing lots of money. They spent way more cash making the last set of Lincoln cars from 1958 to 1960 than they earned. Ford had to decide: fix Lincoln or let it go.
Thankfully, in the early 1960s, Ford wasn’t afraid to make big changes. They wanted to be known for making the best mass-produced cars in the U.S., and they thought keeping Lincoln alive could help with that reputation.
Lincoln had been using the name ‘Continental’ for their cars since 1940. But in 1961, they made a big change. They decided to stop making all the other types of Lincoln cars and only sell Continentals. They offered these Continentals in two styles: one with a solid roof and another that could turn into a convertible.
The company also decided to spend a lot of money on making this new Continental really good. They planned to keep the same design for about eight or nine years without changing it.
The Fourth-Generation Continental: A Timeless Classic
The third-generation Continental, made from 1958 to 1960, was huge, with a 131-inch wheelbase, making it the largest car in its class. But Ford thought a smaller car would sell better, so they made it shorter by 8 inches and cut its overall length by 15 inches. Then, in 1964, they added 3 inches back to the car’s length.
The design boss, Elwood Engel, had proposed a cool-looking 1961 Thunderbird design. Ford didn’t use it for the Thunderbird, but they liked it for the new Lincoln. This fourth-generation Continental was actually built on a longer version of the Thunderbird’s frame.
Ford only offered one engine for this luxury car, a 430 cubic-inch V8, and all Continentals came with Ford’s C6 three-speed automatic transmission. Some lucky Lincoln restomods now have a modern Coyote engine or even a supercharged V8.
One of the standout features of this fourth-generation Continental is its rear doors. They opened from the back of the car, which was a departure from the norm since 1951. People often called them ‘suicide doors.’ This unique design gave the car a timeless and distinctive look in the 1960s.
To make this happen, all Lincoln Continentals had a B-pillar between the front and back doors, and it had a vacuum-powered lock. In hardtop models, the B-pillar supported the roof, while in the convertibles, it stopped at the bottom of the side windows. Another cool thing about all Continentals was that their door glass had no frame.
The 64 Lincoln Continental : Timeless Elegance And Innovation
The fourth-generation Continental went through some small changes in 1963 and again in 1966. But the 1964 Lincoln Continental made a notable update by adding a 126-inch wheelbase, which meant more legroom for folks in the back seat. Inside, it got a fancy full-width instrument panel and better materials for the seats and door panels.
They also changed the shape of the back roof and the windows. Instead of a curved roof, it had a more square shape with flat glass. This made the car look really cool, with a smooth and stylish design. This generation of the Lincoln Continental won an award for its engineering in 1961 and even got a prestigious medal for its design. It’s easily one of the top 10 best Lincoln car models.
The starting price for a brand new hardtop Lincoln Continental back then was $6,292, which was quite a lot of money in those times. Surprisingly, even today, old Lincolns in not-so-great condition aren’t worth a whole lot more! According to Hagerty Insurance, a 1964 Continental in just okay shape might go for around $7,500.
But if you’re looking to buy one that’s in pretty good condition, the National Automobile Dealers Association thinks it could be around $6,462 at the lowest. On average, they say it might go for about $11,550. However, Hagerty has a more optimistic view, estimating an average of around $15,800.
If you’re talking about the fanciest, top-notch examples, NADA values them at $35,310, which is in line with what Hagerty says a super fancy, perfectly restored one might sell for, around $41,000.
Back in 1964, if you wanted a convertible Continental, it would only cost you an extra $476 compared to a hardtop. But fast forward to today, and convertibles are worth a lot more. According to NADA, the lowest-priced convertibles are sitting at an even $22,000, while Hagerty thinks a convertible in ‘fair condition’ might go for around $16,200.
If you’re aiming for one that’s in pretty good shape, NADA says you might have to fork out around $39,200, and Hagerty agrees, saying ‘good’ examples could fetch about $34,800. If you’re looking at a truly excellent one, Hagerty puts its value at $61,600, while NADA suggests the highest retail price could be $72,700.
But here’s the kicker: Hagerty believes that if someone does a super-duper, top-notch restoration job on a 1964 convertible, it might even sell for as much as $106,000. So, these cars have come a long way in value over the years. You can find more info in Hagerty’s valuation reports or check out NADA’s guides, which are powered by data from J.D. Power.
Recent Sales: Lincoln Continentals On The Market
Some cars from the 1960s are super hard to find because they’re not made anymore. Even if they’re not worth a ton of money, people still want them. But when it comes to the 1964 Lincoln Continentals, you’re in luck. There are usually a bunch of them for sale.
For example, in 2018, a working 1964 Lincoln Continental without the roof sold for $10,500 on Bring A Trailer. A really nice one, with new upholstery and a fresh coat of turquoise paint, went for $22,000 in January 2020.
Now, if you’re looking for the ones with the fold-down roofs, they’re worth a lot more. A beat-up convertible that needed fixing sold on eBay for $15,250 in October 2020. Another convertible that was a project, and had low mileage but needed some TLC, went for $16,967. It had been sitting in storage for 20 years.
But the big bucks go to the restored convertibles. One that had been upgraded with Bluetooth and disc brakes, and was kept in a museum, sold for $51,500 in November 2020 on Bring A Trailer. And if you want the cream of the crop, a showroom-quality California convertible went for a whopping $69,666 on Bring A Trailer in October 2020. So, these old cars can still fetch some serious cash.
Conclusion: The Legacy and Value Of The 64 Lincoln Continental
The 64 Lincoln Continental convertible is a classic luxury car from the United States. Lately, these cars have gained a cool reputation in Hollywood. While many old Cadillacs from the 1960s cost a small fortune, the 1964 Lincoln Continental is still a great deal.