my favorite drink is synthetic oil

CHRISTOPHER MCKITTERICK

1964 LINCOLN CONTINENTAL:
A Project Summary

Feeling much better now!

Tips and FAQs

New and Rebuilt

Extras

Things Left to Do

Imperfections

Great Features

Old Photos

Medium-Old Photos

Newest Photos (10-13-2004)

The new owner took delivery of my lovely Lincoln in May 2004 and is planning to continue The Story of The Car. I'll post a link when he gives it to me. It was the reasonable thing to do (what with the other vehicular projects underway), but it's still sad. I hope he loves it as much as I have.

This car is now reliable enough that I would drive it around the world thirty or forty times without fear! I'd bring along a timing light and a screwdriver to keep it tuned, though *g*.

Here's what I've done to this car. I have driven the car about 2000 miles since doing all this work, and many of the smaller parts have as few as 100 miles since replacement:

  • Engine professionally rebuilt. It has new pistons, rings, bearings, seals, gaskets, valves, hardened valve seats, valve springs, valve guides, oil pump, rocker arms, pushrods, lifters, timing chain and gears (now all steel), diverter valves, straightened and balanced crank/rods, and everything else you can imagine. I spared no expense, because I want this machine to be on the road forever. I replaced the oil after first starting the engine, then replaced it again after a proper break-in of 100 miles, and have been running synthetic every since.

  • Transmission professionally rebuilt. It has new bands, bushings, bearings, clutches, gaskets, seals -- everything except the gears was replaced. Again, the very best work I could find. I picked the only transmission rebuilders in Seattle that were recommended by AAA.

  • New $1500 paint job in the stock color (matched to factory using original paint chip set). Clear coat over premium paint. Note that this is not a $8000 paint job, because this car is intended to be driven! Looks as good as a factory job, but not as nice as a "trailer-queen" car-show paint job. Despite a few minor flaws, it looks gorgeous.

  • Radiator and heater core professional serviced. Pressure-tested to as-new condition!

  • New engine mounts.

  • New transmission radiator.

  • New torque converter.

  • New flywheel.

  • New finned-aluminum oil-filter cooler.

  • New lifetime Autolite starter.

  • New lifetime alternator.

  • New voltage regulator.

  • New starter switch.

  • New battery cables, attractive clear-covered very thick-gauge copper.

  • New Pertronix Ignitor electronic-ignition system. New points and condenser included, just in case. Also new cap and rotor.

  • New super-voltage Pertronix Ignitor chrome coil. Normal-voltage chrome coil included.

  • New lifetime-warranty 8mm silicone Accel wires.

  • New coil-over shocks, front and rear.

  • Three new Rochester 2-Jet carburetors.

  • Three new vintage-style finned aluminum air cleaners with washable filter elements.

  • New windshield-washer pump and pump wiring. Old pump (sort of works) included. Note that the stock washer-bag (in really nice condition) is not very practical, because it holds less than a quart.

  • New glasspack-style mufflers.

  • Replaced electric antenna. Original included.

  • New Orbital gel-cell battery (will never leak, super powerful, but costs 4x as much as a normal battery).

  • Complete, new set of radial tires.

  • New electric fuel pump.

  • New fuel-pressure regulator.

  • Nearly every hose is replaced.

  • Almost everything else under the hood is replaced, especially the electrics and tubing. Lots of new miscellaneous wiring, switches, all the sending units, other electrics, and so on.

  • New inner and outer front wheel bearings.

  • About a million other things I can't recall offhand.

Note that I have cleaned, polished, prepped, rust-proofed, painted, and otherwise cherished almost every piece of this automobile during this process. I have used countless sheets of sandpaper, pads of steel wool, bottles of paint and rust-proofer and Armor All, and on and on. I wanted this done right. I have saved receipts for all the major work, and for lots of the other parts, too.

Extras I've collected over the years:

  • Original intake manifold with overhauled original Carter 4-barrel carburetor, and original air cleaner with heat-stove for cold starts (thermostatic valve works fine).

  • Extra set of leather seating material to recover the front seat bottom. The front seat bottom is currently in nice shape for its age, but shows cracking. I don't mind driving it like this, because I didn't feel bad if something happened to them. But you should use this great-condition material if you plan to show the car.

  • Original shop manual, excellent condition.

  • Reproduction of the original shop manual, so you can get it dirty without worrying about damaging the collector's item.

  • Spare-tire cover (added a hubcap to the spare) to dress up the trunk.

  • One new intake valve, one new exhaust valve, two new rocker arms, and two new pushrods. These are left over from before I decided to have the entire engine overhauled professionally instead of fixing the bent valves. $120 value.

  • Original factory sales brochure, about 20 pages of beautiful photos.

  • Some magazine ads in plastic protectors, plus an original Road & Track road-test article. (Also tons of digital ads and so forth I've collected over the years.)

  • Original owner's manual and driver's log.

  • Original electric antenna. The internal, plastic cable is broken, but the motor and the rest of it is excellent.

  • Original hood ornament. I removed it because the hood looked "busy" with the scoop and ornament.

  • Original paint-chip set.

  • New door weather-stripping: Needs installing.

  • Lots of spare gaskets and misc. parts and seals.

  • Spare set of metal head gaskets.

  • Power-steering overhaul kit. Found it on eBay for a good price and couldn't resist!

  • New old stock factory tune-up kit in a can, like an old oil can. Really cool vintage item, unopened.

  • Everything you need to install an electric choke; it currently uses a manual choke, which I decided to use when I found the car doesn't usually need to use the choke to start. You have better control with a manual, but you might prefer the ease of an electric. $90 value.

  • Original option rear-window defroster unit, with motor, venting, and trim piece. Works great, but not installed.

  • Complete set of blue, woven hose covers for engine compartment. These aren't installed, but I'll include them if you wish. Will really make those boring hoses and lines look great and protect them from heat and wear!

  • The mechanics of a cruise-control unit -- the part that hooks to the throttle.

  • See this page to get a look at some print extras.

  • NOS ignition key, uncut.

  • Two extra (driver-quality) hubcaps.

  • I will provide detailed, customized documentation about maintaining, starting, driving, and stopping this automobile. I'm a technical writer and teach technical writing, so I understand the value of docs. Also, the theft-prevention equipment and current set-up require specific methods to start and stop the car -- simple but unique. I want our baby to live on for more many happy years, so I will also include customized information for optimum maintenance, as well as the original shop manuals.

I'll keep any of the extras you don't want to take with you, and find other Lincoln restorers who need them.

Things I plan to do over time:

  • Install new window-channel weatherstrip and rubber weatherstrip. The felt is pretty worn, and some of the rubber needs to be replaced.

  • Replace one window-switch for the rear, passenger-side door. You can find these regularly on eBay. All the others work great, and you can now open this window from the driver's control panel.

  • I plan to install one of the new aluminum radiators from Summit (about $200), or a fan shroud to flow more air through the radiator. The engine makes more power than stock, and more heat. The stock (excellent) radiator doesn't overheat, but it gets warm on those 90+ degree days!

  • Again, due to now living in a hot climate, I plan to install an aftermarket A/C system. The two I am considering are from Air-Tique (about $700) and Hot Rod Air (about $800).

  • Fix the electric clock.

  • Eventually, I'm either going to install a "hotter" camshaft or else install smaller jets in the secondary (outer two) carbs. It runs a little rich at idle and low speeds with the current jetting. This is not a problem, because rich is better than lean! But extended periods of idling can lead to loading up the engine with excess fuel and a rough idle until I get it back up to speed.

Other imperfections. This car is meant to be driven. Though it gets lots of attention at car events, it has some strikes against it if I were to take it to a concours event. I estimate the overall condition between 2 and 3, much closer to 2, and a very simple project to become better than 2. I'm listing every imperfection so a future buyer won't have any surprises, and my grading of the car is more conservative than most sellers would grade it:

  • The front seat bottom should have the extra set of leather seating material installed to make this a show car. Still very nice as-is.

  • Some normal scratches on the sides of the bumpers and trim behind one bumper.

  • A few-inch ripple in the middle of the bottom-edge, driver's-side body trim.

  • A couple of chips in the paint, carefully treated with clear lacquer right after the pebble or whatever chipped the paint.

  • The rear springs occasionally need to be greased, or else I hear some creaking. Not loud, but worth doing for a quiet ride.

  • With the Tri-Power, I get either heat or vacuum-assisted door locks. I swap over from the heater to door locks based on the season, but one could mount an electric vacuum-assist to fix this once and for all.

  • The passenger-side vent window has lost its top pivot. I have a complete spare window, frame, and motor to replace this item.

  • I recently discovered a failure in the bodywork at the front of the driver's side rear fender. Needs paint stripped and underlying cause repaired to look its best.

  • The front, passenger-side edge of the hood scoop, where it mounts to the hood, has a two-inch stress crack in the fiberglass. I sealed it with epoxy resin, and the crack hasn't progressed since then. Here's how it looked before the repair. Drive it as-is (it's sealed against the elements) or have it touched up to look its best.

Great features:

  • The previous owners tell me that the indicated mileage (less than 50,000) is actual, and things like seat and pedal wear would suggest that this is accurate.

  • This car is like new mechanically, practically new everywhere else. Just about a #2 car, which could be restored to #1 (custom class).

  • Vintage Edelbrock Tri-Power manifold with three new Rochester 2-Jet carburetors, three new finned aluminum air cleaners with K&N air filters, new progressive linkage, new fuel rail and stainless-steel lines, and other extras. Currently set up to drive on center carb until reaches about 3/4 throttle, when outer carbs open to about 3/4.

  • 445 cubic inches of Lincoln power (original engine bored over .040").

  • Super-clean engine compartment with lots of detailing.

  • A real luxury hot-rod: 0-60 MPH in less than seven seconds, with a gentle launch! That's amazing for a machine that weighs almost 5000 pounds. It is as fast or faster than all these fine performance and luxury cars:

BMW 7-Series, 5-Series, and 3-Series; Mercedes CLK, M-Class, E-Class, and C-Class; Jaguar X-Type; all Cadillacs; Toyota MR2 Spyder; Acura RSX; Mazda Protege Mazdaspeed; Mazda RX-7; Chevy Camaro; Audi TT; Saab Viggen; Ford Mustang; and even the Ferrari F40 and Porsche 911 GT2 -- soft launch only for those two! I could go on a bit, but you get the idea. The engine modifications do their job.

  • Power steering.

  • Power windows (six of them!).

  • Vacuum-assist power door locks.

  • Power brakes fully inspected and professionally balanced; brake lines bled and refreshed; work great.

  • Gorgeous metallic-blue leather interior.

  • Multiple-adjustable power front seat: front/back, tilt, seat back. Works great, with new switches.

  • Arm rests wide enough for two people to use without bumping elbows.

  • Sun-visors wide enough to actually block the sun, front or side!

  • Top-tinted windshield.

  • Slightly tinted side glass (stock feature).

  • Stock AM radio with power antenna, works great.

  • Rear courtesy lights turn on when any door opens, and don't turn off unless rear doors are shut securely (safety).

  • Rear-door-open light on dash (safety).

  • Front seat belts.

  • Day/night rear-view mirror.

  • Remote-controlled driver's-side door mirror.

  • Trunk light turns on when trunk opens, off when closed.

  • Original jack, jackstand, jack lever.

  • All four original hubcaps.

  • Spare wheel with good, full-sized tire and original trunk-interior mounting hardware, hubcap, and excellent cover.

  • Dual exhaust with crossover pipe.

  • All trim, inside and out, is stainless steel for a lifetime of good looks. Bumpers are multi-chrome-plated for exceptional resistance to rust or stains.

  • After the paint job, I replaced all trim using stainless-steel screws.

  • Engine compartment, trunk interior, and underside of hood cleaned, rust-proofed, primed, and painted.

  • Lots of clever organizing items, like new straps and connectors, to keep wires and hoses from getting into trouble.

  • Dual-note horn. Loud but pleasant-sounding.

  • Low-fuel warning light (comes on when down to reserve, which is at least two gallons as far as I can tell).

  • Two driving headlights, two bright headlights, floor-mounted dimmer switch. With four bulbs running, you have as much light as a modern car's super-halogens.

  • Liquid-operated windshield wipers. This is very cool: The power steering pump pressurizes the wiper system, which is infinitely adjustable from intermittent (this takes a steady hand to find on the control) to high-speed. It is quiet and smooth, unlike electric systems.

  • Green-tone dash lights are dimmable.

  • Map light.

  • Glovebox light turns on when box opens, off when closed.

  • Carpet and floormats in great shape.

  • Headliner is nearly showroom-perfect, as is the rest of the interior, except the front seat bottom.

  • Heater warms up the whole car very well through excellent engineering design: No one gets wind on the face. Also strong defroster. Heat/defrost control is multi-adjustable.

  • Theft-deterrence system that is the closest you can come to burglar-proof. I won't detail the electronic countermeasures here, but no one's likely to steal this car! Also includes that great visual deterrent and steering-wheel lock, The Club (blue, of course).

  • Always garaged in a temperature-controlled room, and its previous warehouse was likewise temperature- and humidity-controlled.

  • For more great features, make sure to check out the photographs page, which describes the car in detail, picture by picture.

A little of this car's history that I know: The previous owner had this car in his huge, warehoused collection for nearly 20 years. When he died, his son and daughter sold his collection, which is how we got it. Prior to him, I am told that this car was owned by an Air Force Colonel (who worked with the collector), who was the original owner (him or his family owned it since new). We have owned "Goddard," as my wife named this car, for nearly four years. It lived for years in a temperature-controlled garage in Lawrence, Kansas, then left in May 2004 for sunny L.A.

I have spent about $14,000 and many hundreds of hours making this the wonderful machine it is today.

I have worked long and hard to make this is a completely unique automobile. Is it a luxury car? A classic? A hot rod? Its new owner will decide, and enjoy the years of effort I have invested in this machine.

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