Review: 1963 Lincoln Continental Convertible

1963 Lincoln Continental Convertible

By Jonathan Spira on 3 July 2019
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Classic. Iconic. Few vehicles are deserved of such exultations as the fourth generation Lincoln Continental and Lincoln Continental Convertible.

Introduced in 1961 with the marque’s first rear-hinged doors in a decade, the 1963 Lincoln Continental Convertible was America’s only four-door convertible, not just in that model year but for the entirety of its run. Indeed, it was the first – and the last – four-door convertible in the post-World War II era.

Modern and elegant, with its simple, unsculpted blade-side sheet metal, the vehicle served as an antidote to the excesses of vehicles of the 1950s, with their overdone chrome, tail fins, and ungainly appearances. The Continental’s coach doors – referred to by some as suicide doors – allowed passengers to board the vehicle “like a lady,” the automaker said.

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Indeed, the ’61 Continental was a turning point in American automotive design. President John. F. Kennedy was assassinated in a black Continental limousine; Jacqueline Kennedy had a white convertible Continental of her own, and Pablo Picasso owned a 1963 Continental sedan in ivory white.

The early 60s Continental appeared in countless motion pictures and television programs. In the CBS situation comedy “Green Acres,” lead character Oliver Wendell Douglass, portrayed by Eddie Albert, drove a Continental Convertible both in the opening credits and throughout the course of the show.

The Continental was the first vehicle manufactured in the United States to be sold with a two-year, 24,000-mile (39,000-kilometer) warranty, a sign of the confidence Ford management had in the vehicle and a result of the rigorous quality-assurance program that Ford began with the 1956 Mark II coupe.

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