my favorite drink is synthetic oil

CHRISTOPHER MCKITTERICK

1964 LINCOLN RESTORATION PROJECT

Automotive gem

THE 1964 LINCOLN CONTINENTAL: Perhaps the epitome of the American automobile. It's huge, with more than 100 inches of wheelbase, 5000 pounds, 325 horsepower, four center-opening ("suicide") doors, spacious interior, and a trunk big enough to hold a dozen bags. Inside, it's plush: Metallic-blue leather seats, perforated headliner, stainless and chrome trim everywhere, multiple layers of soundproofing, electric seat and windows and door locks, solid metal trim and fittings, and on and on -- when you're inside this car, it feels as if you're surrounded by a massive but tastefully executed piece of jewelry. A lustful ride on the highway, comfortable and powerful and quiet.

I've been restoring our beauty for more than three years now. I can't even imagine the number of hours I've put into it, but I have enjoyed every minute. There are few activities as calming as listening to the radio while restoring an automobile. You need to do it slowly and savor every moment; lay out the parts on a clean towel and clean each and every piece, replace the worn or damaged or rusted bits, and put everything back together even better than it had been assembled in the factory. Use stainless-steel bolts to replace rusted ones, and treat all bare steel with a clear coat or with rust-proofing. (By the way, the best stuff out there right now is Por-15.)

It all started with finding an extremely low-mileage (just over 40,000) car in the paper for a good price. It had been sitting in a garage for about 20 years when the owner passed away and his children decided to sell off the collection. This was one of the last six cars to go, being less flashy than the Thunderbird convertible and such.

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