The story of one 1962 Lincoln Continental spurs emotion for its owner as he describes its legacy
The 50’s was the decade of decadence where American excess was at its height. With the 60’s round the corner, some car manufacturers took an unprecedented move to shrink some of their model lineups.
One such example is the Lincoln Continental. The third generation model was awash with typical fifties design cues. The straight windscreen, flared rear fins and aggressive front end all signified the era that produced the most famous Cadillac DeVille and the ‘57 Chevy.
In this YouTube video by Petrolicious, Rich Plavetich showcases his stunning fourth generation 1962 model that was owned by his Grandfather. Plavetich goes on to explain how his love of cars came to be, and how influential this car was along with his Grandfather.
The story of this Continental is particularly interesting, with his Grandfather buying an alleged new example in 1962. The dealer advertised the car as new, however with insects adorning the radiator and worn tires, this was evidently far from the truth.
Fortunately with a law background, his Grandfather ensured this was not the end of the debacle. The General Sales Manager of Lincoln Mercury in Dearborn was an old friend, and once in touch his team was horrified at the news. The car was taken back immediately and replaced with the Executive Demo car seen here with just 2,000 miles on the odometer.
The Continental marked a huge change in design, and hosted a number of innovations such as the suicide rear doors, which remarkably are full length and sit in front of the rear wheel arches.
Powered by a gargantuan 430 cubic-inch V8, each engine was bench tested and road tested for 12 miles prior to delivery. To really emphasise the quality of these vehicles as Ford’s upmarket brand, each car was offered with a 24,000 mile warranty over 24 months, quite the commitment when rivals offered half the cover or less.
To preserve the car as it was under his Grandfather’s ownership, Plavetich keeps his pipe in the sun visor as a thoughtful reminder. He goes on to explain how his career in the car industry as a designer would not have materialised without the help of this iconic duo.
Whilst Plavetich now works at Nissan, his background includes working for GM, Mercedes and even designing the Eclipse E concept car for Mitsubishi. A humble reminder of how and why cars remain such a pivotal part of our lives, along with the wisdom and adventure they tend to lead us on.