1967 Lincoln Continental
Above: 1967 Lincoln Continental Coupé
1967: Lincoln's Last Convertible
Above: The end of the line: 1967 Lincoln Continental Convertible shown in Powder Blue paint. This would be the final year for the exclusive Lincoln Continental Four Door Convertible. To date, Lincoln hasn't built any production convertibles since 1967.
Sales and production of the 1967 Lincoln Continental dropped off sharply from the year before, with a loss of 9,088 (16.6%) cars. In fact, 1967 would be the first year since 1961 that Lincoln hadn't shown a production increase over the year before. There are likely several reasons for this. Cadillac and Imperial both introduced new designs for 1967, with Cadillac's styling a bit more dramatic than before, and Imperial's clean '67 styling was very crisp, in keeping with its previous styling which was without question inspired by Lincoln (and done under the supervision of the same person responsible for the 1961 Lincoln).
Additionally, the Ford Thunderbird also introduced all new styling for 1967, the most extensive redesign in the line's history since 1958, when it switched from two to four passenger capacity. One of the T-bird's new models was an elegant Fordor Landau, with center-opening rear doors, just like the Continental! Since the Bird was priced less than the Continental Sedan, it's possible a few customers may have opted for the new Fordor Bird, since it was a big hit during its debut year.
The 1967 Lincoln Continental Convertible model came to an end in 1967. Although 1968 prototype convertible models initially were built for testing purposes, they were destroyed and never went into production. The reasons for the demise of convertibles during this time have been mentioned often on Automotive Mileposts, but the popularity of factory air conditioning systems, stereo tape players, and the widespread availability of hardtop body styles, no matter the model or price range all contributed to less demand for convertibles.
In its final year, the Continental Convertible had a couple of starring roles in popular television shows and movies. In the Heat of the Night was one of the year's biggest hit movies, and featured Sidney Poitier, Warren Oates, and Rod Steiger. Norman Jewison directed. The winner of five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, one scene featured a beautiful Huntington Gray Metallic Continental Convertible, with Silver Blue leather interior. A stunning automobile in a stunning color combination.
One of the top rated television shows of the time, The Fugitive, featured an Arctic White 1967 Continental Convertible with Black leather interior in an episode during the last season of that show. The final episode was aired in two parts, with the second part becoming the most watched television show ever at the time. The last show was broadcast on Tuesday, August 29, 1967, and 25.70 million households were watching. That was equal to 45.9 percent of all American households with a television set. That record held until the November 21, 1980 season opener of Dallas (the "Who Shot J.R.?" episode).
Television sightings include: The Andy Griffith Show, Green Acres, The Invaders, and Mission: Impossible.
It's difficult to explain why Lincoln sales weren't better for 1967, but changes were forthcoming for 1968. In fact, some very big changes were on the way. A new roof line for the Coupé would dramatically update its look, and Lincoln's new personal luxury car, the 1969 Continental Mark III, would be introduced in April of 1968. The Mark III would rejuvenate showroom traffic, and immediately challenge Cadillac's Fleetwood Eldorado.
The 1967 Lincoln Continentals are beautiful automobiles with a great ride, good handling characteristics, plenty of power to spare, and an understated look that has aged very gracefully. Rust in the quarter panels and under vinyl roofs is a concern, and the electrical systems on these cars can be complicated to diagnose and repair if there are any issues. This car has relays for everything: power windows, turn signals, you name it there's probably a relay somewhere for it. If you can rebuild them, you will be thankful for that skill.
Parts are fairly easy to find, especially mechanical items as many were shared with other Ford vehicles. Some specific trim pieces can be a challenge to locate, but most parts are still around. Prices are very reasonable for the quality of car, so find the best one you can afford and enjoy it.
You too can live the Continental life '67 style. It comes with the car.
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