the view through the windshield
1964 Lincoln Continental - Improved Greatness

The 1961 Lincoln Continental was a gorgeous design which set Lincoln on a new course. But it wasn't perfect. People complained about things like a poor ventilating system for the air-conditioner (fixed in '62) as well as poor rear legroom and small trunk capacity. These were addressed with the 1964 model.

The redesigned '64 Lincoln Continental retained the basic styling theme from 1961 but contained revisions which materially improved the product. The new rear decklid combined with a deeper trunk well increased luggage space by 15%. The curved side glass was eliminated which reduced the 'tumblehome' of the cross section and lessened the feeling of claustrophobia, increasing shoulder room. The wheelbase was extended by 3 inches; this provided a much-needed increase in rear-seat legroom and produced a smoother ride. The restyled roof produced increased head room.

The 1964 Lincoln was offered in 18 new exterior colors and was powered by the same 430 cubic-inch, 320 horsepower V-8 engine as was used in 1963. The sedan weighed 5,055 pounds while the convertible tipped the scales at a hefty 5,393 pounds. During the 1964 model year, Lincoln sold 32,969 four-door sedans and 3,328 convertibles. The convertible sold for $6,938 and the sedan was priced at $6,292.

Lincoln had a good sales year in 1964 - the best since 1957 - but it was still far outsold by Cadillac - over 165,900 Caddys found buyers in the '64 model year. But it's somewhat of an unfair comparison because a base-model Cadillac started at a price of $5,236, almost 17% less than a Lincoln sedan.

Cadillac also offered a variety of body-styles and trim lines not available from Lincoln. Two-door Caddies sometimes represented 20% of total sales and the availability of factory 75 Series limousines with corresponding commercial chassis models for hearses, flower cars and other special bodies gave Cadillac additional luxury cachet. Lincoln's line was limited to only two models - a four-door sedan and four-door convertible.

In 1966, the addition of a coupe model helped Lincoln sales considerably - almost 16,000 coupes were sold in '66. Sales jumped again when the Mark III personal luxury coupe was introduced as a 1969 model. (posted 8/30/13)

Remember When: 1964
auto blogIn January, the U.S. Surgeon General reported that smoking may be hazardous to one's health; this was the first such statement from the U.S. government. In July, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.

Martin Luther King Jr. became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. In August, a race riot in Philadelphia lead to 341 injuries and 774 arrests. In September, the Warren Commission Report, the first official investigation of the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy, was published.

In the November '64 election, Democratic president, Lyndon Johnson, handily won reelection over his Republican challenger, Barry Goldwater.

New consumer products included skateboards, Kellogg's Pop Tarts, Diet Pepsi and Maxim freeze-dried coffee. GE introduced the Electric Knife at $27.95. The Esso tiger debuted, urging everyone, "Put a tiger in your tank!" Newspaper comic strip, 'The Wizard of Id', first appeared in 1964.

In April 1964, the New York World's Fair opened. My future wife and I visited the Fair and I've posted many photos here.

The musical 'Hello Dolly' opened on Broadway. TV game show 'Jeopardy!' debuted on NBC; Art Fleming was its first host. 'Shindig!' premiered on ABC, featuring top musical acts of the period. 'Bewitched', starring Elizabeth Montgomery, also made its debut.

Top song of the year was 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' by the Beatles who made their American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show February 9th. Other Beatles hits in '64 included 'Can't Buy Me Love', 'I Feel Fine', 'A Hard Days Night' and 'Do You Want To Know A Secret'. The British Invasion had officially begun. Not a single Elvis Presley recording made the Billboard Top 100 in '64.

1964 movies included 'Doctor Strangelove,' 'Goldfinger', 'A Hard Day's Night', 'The Pink Panther' and 'My Fair Lady'. In 1964, a movie ticket cost $1.00.

The first Ford Mustang appeared in April; all American cars now offered front seat belts as standard equipment. Cadillac debuted its 'Climate Control,' an automatic temperature control system.

Craig Breedlove's jet-powered land speed record car, Spirit of America, went out of control on the Bonneville Salt Flats and left 6-mile-long skid marks on the salt.

People born in 1964 include television commentator Glenn Beck, actor Nicholas Cage, chef Bobby Flay, musician Courtney Love and serial sexter Anthony Weiner.

Deaths included former president Herbert Hoover, retired general Douglas MacArthur, composer Cole Porter, comedienne Gracie Allen and singers Johnny Burnette, Sam Cooke and Jim Reeves.

Muhammad Ali (aka: Cassius Clay) beat Sonny Liston and was crowned heavyweight boxing champion of the world. In the '64 World Series, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the New York Yankees, 4-3.

More AutoSketch car drawings can be found here.

Drawing copyright 1989, text and photos copyright 1965, 2013-20 - Joseph M. Sherlock - All applicable rights reserved


The facts presented in this blog are based on my best guesses and my substantially faulty geezer memory. The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and are protected by the U.S. Constitution. Probably.

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If I have slandered any brands of automobiles, either expressly or inadvertently, they're most likely crap cars and deserve it. Automobile manufacturers should be aware that they always have the option of trying to change my mind by providing me with vehicles to test drive.

If I have slandered any people or corporations in this blog, either expressly or inadvertently, they should buy me strong drinks (and an expensive meal) and try to prove to me that they're not the jerks I've portrayed them to be. If you're buying, I'm willing to listen.

Don't be shy - try a bribe. It might help.