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Image: 1967 Lincoln Continental

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1967 Lincoln Continental

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Image: 1967 Lincoln Continental SedanAfter introducing completely new styling, a new engine, and new interiors the year before, changes for the 1967 Lincoln Continental were minor in nature, meant to update the appearance slightly and to address new safety requirements and feedback from customers who bought 1966 models.

Seven vertical bars were added to the horizontal bar front grille to emphasize the center section, and the grille was recessed slightly to provide more protection from low speed impacts, and to visually emphasize the front header panel. A new spring loaded, stand-up hood ornament was added, which made 1967 the only year to date with a spring-loaded hood ornament. This was required by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, to reduce the likelihood of injury. The hood ornament was dropped completely from 1968-1971, but would be spring loaded when re-introduced in 1972.

The Continental Star emblem on the front fenders was removed and a version reminiscent of that used on earlier models was placed on the roof rear sail panels. The rear tail light lenses received updated chrome ornamentation to reflect the changes made to the grille, and that sums up exterior updates for the year.

Inside, Lincoln received feedback from 1966 customers that they would prefer to have the headlight switch and wiper/washer control locations reversed. For 1966, the headlight switch was on the lower left end of the instrument panel, balancing out the ignition switch which was on the lower right end of the panel. The wiper/washer control was placed higher up on the control console, next to the heater controls. It seems customers were reaching instinctively for the wiper control when they meant to turn on their headlights, perhaps because that control was more visible in its location higher up on the panel.

Since headlights were used more frequently than wipers, it was suggested that the two controls be switched, allowing easier access and more visibility to the headlight switch. Lincoln made this change for 1967, and it remained this way through 1969, which was the last year of this body style. The instrument panel area around the driver's control console was also modified to reduce glare and lessen the chance of injury to passengers in an accident. If you compare the lower side sections near the heater controls and radio of the 1966 instrument panel to the 1967 panel, you will see the difference.

New options for 1967 included a separate Stereo-Sonic Tape System, which was mounted to the floor tunnel under the instrument panel. This allowed customers to choose either the AM radio or the AM/FM signal-seeking unit, both of which were installed in the instrument panel. The integral AM Radio/Stereo-Sonic Tape System was still available as well, and that unit left the floor of the car uncluttered since it was one unit installed in the instrument panel. Having the separate tape player allowed more flexibility for customers who wanted the stereo tape system, but also desired to listen to FM broadcasts.

Perhaps one of the most exclusive options ever offered on a Lincoln of this era was introduced in 1967. The Individually Adjustable Contour Front Seats included separate seating for driver and passenger, separated by a console. Each seat was two-way power operated, with a six-way adjustment available at extra cost for the driver's side. The passenger seat back reclined, operated by an electric solenoid controlled by a switch on the seat side shield. Additionally, a power-operated headrest was built into the upper seat back, and could be adjusted by another switch on the seat side shield. The reclining feature was also available for the standard front bench seat, but required the six-way power adjustment.

A new standard interior upholstery was introduced for 1967. Chalfonte was a knit nylon broadcloth that was very durable, yet had a soft, smooth texture. The Continental emblem was embroidered into the lower seat back area. This material was available in eight colors, and was standard on the Sedan and Coupé. Deep-dyed leather and vinyl upholstery was standard on the Convertible model, and was offered in nine colors. A front bench seat with two-way power adjustment was provided as part of the standard equipment package.

Another nifty new option for 1967 was Speed-Actuated Power Door Locks. Two door lock controls were mounted on the front doors to lock or unlock all doors, and in case one forgot to lock the doors once underway, a vacuum valve operated by the transmission sensed when vehicle speed reached 8 mph, then locked the doors automatically. For security, the doors were held in the locked position until the car speed dropped below 8 mph. At that point, the doors could be unlocked manually with the control switch, or by pulling up on the plunger knob. One unseen issue with this was some cars would lock the doors as they passed through an automatic car wash. If the lock adjustment was off a bit, the doors could lock at speeds much lower than 8 mph, and with the keys in the ignition, the car arrived at the end of the wash line with locked doors!

Other reports told of owners who had to crawl out through open windows because the lock mechanism failed to release when the car stopped, and they couldn't overcome the vacuum holding the doors locked. Needless to say, this soon became an issue that needed to be addressed, and Ford did so by disabling the feature on vehicles already in service, and by removing the speed actuated locking feature from production. Once disabled, the power locks operated as they normally had. The "rolling door lock" feature as some call it was available on other makes and models besides Lincoln, including the Ford Thunderbird and LTD/Galaxie 500, as well as some Mercury models. Most of the vehicles with this option operated properly, and smart drivers carry an extra set of keys with them anyway, so with a few precautions the system truly was a better idea. Even today, some collectors have restored the rolling locks because of the novelty.

Nine new colors were provided for the '67 Lincolns, and of the 20 shades, 11 were metallic finishes. Three Embassy Roof colors were available on the Sedan and Coupé, as were three convertible top colors for the Convertible, now in its final year. The elegant Continental Convertibles of the sixties made a statement about their owners. It said that they didn't subscribe to the theory that the most popular was always the best. It said that change for the sake of change was unnecessary. It said its owners enjoyed the Continental life and all that came with it. Perhaps their own plane or boat. Or, vacationing in Europe. Being the first to discover a new restaurant. Thinking for yourself. That is the Continental life '67.


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