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The Massive 1958 Continental Mark III - Jay Leno’s Garage

May 30, 2024
You know, the funny thing about the drivers is that they don't look like any modern car. I just like the way it floats down the road. This car with two people in it is about to read the other episode of Jay Leno's Garage that the car featured today. Continental Mark 3 I don't say, he said Continental, not Lincoln Continental because it was a separate brand at the time, this was the largest, longest and heaviest American car ever produced. Still, I think it's hard to look at this car and think who would have thought it was attractive, but you have to remember the time it was built, it was


, we had a Second World War and we had quite a bit of cash.
the massive 1958 continental mark iii   jay leno s garage
You know, there were some very tasteful Lincolns in the '50s until about 1957 and right after, in the '61 Lincoln 4-door. and all that is in very good taste, everything went well.


was a crazy year because it was the year GM was putting chrome in a test where the Corvette had a big thing with teeth on the front and there I think Buick was in the Buick Limited, I'm not sure, but one of those Buicks just had


amounts of chrome almost hysterically so this was Lincoln's answer to this was Lincoln's answer to Cadillac. Notice how the front looks like what it looks like. all those George Barris hot rods in the '50s with the French headlights and all that kind of stuff and a subtle appearance like the Batmobile, you could see where the idea behind the Batmobile came from, this kind of styling, don't forget it . 58 I think it was the The first year of dual headlights, many states at that time still had laws that said you couldn't have dual headlights because they were too bright, so Ford and Chrysler in certain states had to make a model of a just lighthouse and finally you know common sense. prevailed and double headlights are allowed.
the massive 1958 continental mark iii   jay leno s garage

More Interesting Facts About,

the massive 1958 continental mark iii jay leno s garage...

It has a


430 cubic inch V8 engine. A compression ratio of ten and a half to one, it even says in the owner's manual that it gets up to ten point three miles per gallon, which is pretty good if you're driving on the highway. old man barefoot and you're touching the accelerator with your big toe it's hysterical to drive you pull up next to people I mean it's so huge and parallel parking is the most fun you've ever seen in your life but it has all the options Ford had it available that year. I bought this car.
the massive 1958 continental mark iii   jay leno s garage
I am the third owner. This is the original painting. This car was parked in a


in 1990 in Anaheim, California, near Disneyland, and when I looked at it there were blankets piled on it, there was a dresser. Sitting around, it was just one of those cars, I guess it was dad's car or grandpa's car and he had loved the thing and it got a little old and you just parked it one day and it was sad there until I took it out, I guess which was about a year ago, actually, it cleaned up pretty well. I was amazed and it has some amazing options when I bought it.
the massive 1958 continental mark iii   jay leno s garage
The man I got it from. I never met him. He had passed away, but he was a radio collector. You know, he liked to collect antiques. radio stuff like that and when I looked in this car I saw some kind of tuning box in the transmission tunnel I thought, well let me get that out, that's something that guy put in there. I realized this was the first year of FM radio in cars for at least Ford and at the time they couldn't integrate it into standard AM radio so they put this giant FM tuner in the transmission tunnel and then you plug it in , you turn on the normal radio and then you have to turn on that one. one and tune it and it's funny that it says that with this FM tuner you can listen to all kinds of crazy, crazy radio stations because I guess at that time FM was kind of like I don't know what the beatniks listened to, I don't know, but just one one of those strange things it has a central lubrication system you fill it with oil and it lubricates all the points of the chassis it has cruise control which I think it added later I don't think it was available in 1958 these are ridiculously the two two-door sports coupes, the Most of these were for doors, so finding this model in two-door units like this is the case if you are a single man and want to travel with I don't know seven other women, this is the car. have a huge steering wheel but you know it drives fantastic on the road it just goes down the road it has 14 inch wheels you know before this they had 15 inch wheels and because they wanted that kind of longer or thinner or lower look in 1958 they put 14 inch wheels on it now with the 14 inch wheels they obviously couldn't use the brakes on the 15 inch wheels because they didn't fit so they had to figure out how to upgrade the brakes even though they were smaller so They made the drum about three inches wider, which is unique to this model.
I guess this really has nothing in common with the earlier or later Lincoln. It's the wildest looking thing I've ever seen and it's so unappealing. which is actually attractive it's just an assault on your senses it's really everything we no longer do in cars huge engine in fact 1958 this was the most powerful luxury car you could buy in the United States and the fastest because with those big 430 cubic inch v8 with the Holley four cylinder made 375 horsepower mated to the three speed transmission, it was 0 to 60 and 8 something points seconds which was pretty quick because anything less than that was considered in that shot. 10 seconds, although that's really crazy, this was the fastest accelerating luxury car you could buy in 1958 between 59 and 60, really the mileage issued was so horrible ten point three miles per gallon and that's driving it quite conservatively, so when you put your foot down you're just sucking fuel, so they changed. to a two-barrel carburetor he dropped it to 350 horsepower and eventually dropped it to 315 horsepower in an attempt to get better mileage.
The good thing is that this 430 cubic inch engine is bulletproof. You heard the term hot rod Lincoln, this is where it comes from you. You take the engine from one of these and you put it in your 32 Ford or whatever you have and you have the fastest device ever, yeah, I mean, this thing grows on you, you know, it's like a big, ugly dog, but it's friendly. and it's funny here's one that's really strange this back window is a very far window yeah even though the car has an engine you open that window and let's smoke and everything outside.
I think it's a time when people call it the fart window, but I don't. I think they put that in a brochure once, but the idea was that if you're smoking, you just drop it out a window and all the smoke comes out the back. The good thing was that people in the northeast really liked it because when it's snowy you even have to scrape the back window it always stays clean because it was there so does anyone know what this is well this is an electronic eye I know what they call it one of those omatic things that they would always use back in the day in the '50s, it automatically dims the headlights on this car so that you don't blind the oncoming driver as soon as the oncoming headlights come on, this automatically, you know, dims the lights for you and remember that all this is before the computer, everything is done with relays and things like that. so you hear, click, click, click, you know when, when the lights go out and they go out.
Those wheel covers are works of art. Try to find them. I try to recreate them. They will cost you a fortune if you have one of these. The old Lincoln and Mercury store in Florida is the place to get parts. I will put his name. You have to talk to her. You know, I love the guys that keep this kind of stuff and that's what they do because when you have one of these and you need a part where are you going to get it, so you go to the parts store, but it's more like a club because it's a whole, everyone has one of these nose herbs and that's where you get all your pieces. brake booster, anything you need, they can do it and they rebuild a lot of new parts too, so I thank these guys for doing it every time I hear people complain about how well we'll find another one, okay, because you're not going to watch how. a lot of curl I mean doing the chrome on this thing like this huge front end here this car was well maintained and well taken care of I think it was Elwood Engel I think he was one of the ones that designed this thing it just doesn't look like any other Ford before it or later and it has been a fortune to develop this car as a unibody build deal.
I mean, it's pretty amazing. I think this interior was redone at some point. I don't have any real information. I know it's the original. paint because in the paint code this strawberry is the original color. I think this might have been made in an upholstery store sometime maybe in the 70's or 80's. It doesn't look like it was done well, but the fun thing is when you look at these when you get the brochure. I love how small the people are compared to the car. It looked like a little record on this thing, like a seven-year-old going down the road, just a big giant and just the idea of: Oh, look, you can. have him and her look at it, yes good luck finding a


but these two battleships at the same time are a lot of fun but this was considered simply because you confronted me with good taste and style the day I showed you this truck.
Oh, and you can close the trunk from the driver's seat and open it from here. The good thing about this trunk is that you can carry all the spare parts you need for the car with you while driving. Look at this huge trunk of Of course, electric antenna, you must have it. I see young people going to the antenna. What's that? Again, this car is not restored. Was this a classic example of working when Park Right, that was pretty much it. It's parked in 1990, so it was 30 years ago. This thing was parked, I think it had been well maintained, it was there for 30 years, they just put it away and you know their families grow, you kept piling things up, look how you open the hood here, see that open even sounds like a master doctor, open The hood, as if it were a giant beast, is sitting in a tar pit, as you have seen, totally unrestored.
This is a speed control to help you. Your speed control or cruise meter engages something like that. You see we redid the A/C pump but like you I can see it's pretty much how it was back in the day yeah just a huge huge car and it caused those huge bumpers that don't impale you on oh my gosh You get behind the wheel, you feel like you're eight years old. years sitting on your father's lap again going down my highway he has all you have power windows you have a little you even have power side windows look at that eh god forbid you would have to do this no no there you go can you move your ashes from the window and set fire to the forest and of course the complete absence of any safety equipment of any kind, even though it was padded;
I guess it was a nod to Ford, to be fair, not leading the way with padding. dashboards in the past Oh, ashtrays, everyone in this car has an ashtray, so everyone smokes. You have five ashtrays in this thing. I have lighters. God forbid. You have to wait a second to light your cigarette. Yeah, so I just drive. this at the end of the road full of smoke belching gasps oh boy let's take it for a spin now this still has the original at least probably original: the exhaust system from thirty years ago we have a stainless steel system on the way because they were silent no they made no noise but do you ever hear a little bit of noise but not much longer down the road is the kind of person who wants to drive around England they say hello I'm looking for McDonald's I'm going to Mac and how Do you know what fun driving is ours?
It's so different from any modern car. You know he got fried here at the show for having unusual driving experiences when I was a kid, all the cars drove like that and then just everyone. he's gone and now you're back to this kind of floating sailing, you know what everyone is talking about, you know F1 and all these cars that have the raw experience, this is the complete opposite, his theory doesn't even feel like it's there. connected to the wheels. It floats down the road, hits the power brake and stops. I mean, yeah, this is what the road, the track, the car and the driver criticized for 20 years.
Which was wrong with American cars, but if you just want a big comfortable seat, literally a couch. on wheels to go down the road and be comfortable you know the styling is so unusual it really looks like some sort of George Barris custom especially in this color this strawberry you know the cars are so bland now you know it's all silver gray matte black matte you know the idea of ​​having turquoise and strawberry and flamingo pink and all these colors that existed in the '50s. I'm not even sure this car would fit in a standard size garage, although you know which garage I got it from.
In Anaheim, when you closed the garage door, you had maybe a quarter of an inch and that was it and it was right against the back wall of the garage cluster and when he closes the motor head, I just push the door a little bit. But you know, because it's sobig, it's so funny when you try to parallel park this thing, you realize there are no spaces on this side. This is, I think, I think well, I think it's bigger than an Escalade, it's probably heavier. a few pounds less, maybe because don't forget you don't have door crash beams or anything like that, just massive amounts of steel soundproofing equipment.
When you bought these I got a new set of spring foam but it seems like it sits a little low, that's because these things are pretty worn and curved and the guys at the old Lincoln-Mercury store make new springs or you make them has manufactured and they do a great job, so that is the next point: putting in the exhaust. System on, raise the springs. I'm not going to restore it because you know you can spend a fortune to make it look new, but making it drive like it's new, that's a fun part, well look, look how much space there is in this car, it's just funny and actually, The board is very well designed, it was clogged, an extremely complicated system.
Here you have all this air conditioning, heating, it's all one control, you just turn it on to know if you want heat, when you want air conditioning, you want ventilation, you want to, you know, defrost it, it's great, which I understand, man He owns this thing. He drove it all over the east coast, west coast, put a lot of miles on it, I think it's probably a lot more than 93,000. I think he could be in the second round for him. A friend's car was sold new, obviously, at forty-five. Fifty-eight bought it in '61 or early '62 and drove it until 1990, so he worked on it a lot, it's interesting, he added, as I mentioned before, that it had on cruise control, which was a Lincoln option, but it didn't in 1958 I think that didn't come and I feel later, maybe 60 or something like that.
I don't know about that, I'm not really sure like I said, the only thing I'm suspicious about and I have to ask Herb Scheffer about this. I don't think this interior is original. Hey, it looks too new. It's all leather, but it doesn't quite fit the car. The car should be a little more stylish, I think, but I love that it's a two-door model, I think most of all. These were sold in terms of doors, the two-door sports coupe, you know, and when the Lincoln 55 57 of the early '50s, you know, that Continental, a two-door that looked like a big Thunderbird, that same one cost more of $10,000 per thousand dollars lost and every one they built when they built this thing.
I think they wanted a top price of about six thousand dollars, which doesn't seem like much today, but back then, while my parents' house was ranked 19th, it gives you an idea of ​​how much it cost. The car cost the guy you could drive to Las Vegas, actually, it's the only car you could drive. Nothing looks more Vegas than this thing. Get yourself a purple color, so maybe a strawberry outfit to match the car. Find a fart on your friends' old homemade cars and they force you. I feel and this one just makes me smile it just makes me laugh because it's so ridiculously big.
I'm not sure what the practical value of such a large car was, but at this point in history, Cadillac was outselling Lincoln and an Imperial, probably five to one. I mean, if Imperial and Lincoln sold five or six thousand cars, Cadillac probably stole a hundred quid, that's the advantage Cadillac had and deservedly it was a good product. I always say that in a 1914 Cadillac 49, thank you, when it came out it was the best car in the world, that air conditioning and our windows had automatic transformation when Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz had six cylinders. You know, they had a rudimentary automatic, but it wasn't as smooth as the G.
These days, the United States led the world in fennel heating and air conditioning. I mean, the idea might change if I froze like that. It's pretty amazing, it's amazing how maybe people think it's some kind of custom car with those headlights, well no, that's the way it is. they built them, in fact you can see the influence I have even on Rolls-Royce when they came out with Dave, they are cars with slanted headlights, our cars are quite well developed in this period, like I said, va8 air conditioning has to come back, I think I've probably told this story before, but a couple of guys in Florida called me.
They were driving cross-country in a classic car. We arrived in California. Better made movie. You know, we say they got into my '68 Cadillac that cried, come on guys. It's not a classic, but they're not finished either. I guess it's a 50 year old car, but people do it every week and drive Cadillacs all over the country, but I thought there were a couple of frogs and like at night, you know, or they were bottle fed, they thought. all me and of course something all the cars in the fifties had these giant Dagmar bumpers, those huge fort shaped bumpers on the front, they call them Dagmar because of a young actress who was catapulted to fame for reasons obvious outside of the Dolly Parton type. and they started calling these front bumpers Dagmar, you know, don't forget it was the '50s, the era of the cone bra and all that kind of stuff that came out for a while, so I don't think he would get away with it. mine today, but in the '50s, you know, she was a staple saying her name was Virginia Ruth Aigner.
The name that no one remembers now I love the name Dagmar, I would still love to remember it. Certainly famous in the day is Marilyn Monroe, the oldest ID, although well, something they did and manufacturers still do today, as I mentioned before, it doesn't say link it on the card, it just says Continental and the idea was to have a brand above the imperil brand. which apparently used to be a own brand built by Chrysler and then as it got to a lower and lower level in the Chrysler Imperial I have a lower 58 convertible and that's just in the clothing it's not a Chrysler it's an imperial and the idea behind Lincoln. okay, he had your Ford, what your LCD screen, your Galaxie type of car, then above you had your Lincoln and then above you had your Continental, which was just the epitome of your luxury, style and class, it was the idea here so that would be maintained.
Above all, the other friend that you know like everywhere in the world, the Acura NSX is Palma Honda Anatec, but here we call it Acura, you know, Alexis is very good, the Toyota ghost, but the Lexus lane, you know that they don't like to confuse brands and they know the reason why. Well, I remember that Volkswagen came out with that, what was that B12 sedan that they had for Ralph and is there


eting? The Volkswagen people went to what they revoke $100,000 because I guess it's crazy, well that's what happens, you know, believe me. The brand works and that's why Do It, the idea was to be the Continental Mark three, although look, that's above the link, oh, so people would know that Maybach was above Mercedes-Benz when Miss ADA's Benz bought the name and they put "Let's spend advertising" on Maybach and it just kind of caught on. confusing but this car is rare because it's not rusty and once the rust hit one of these oh my god this thing the way it was built was new to Ford it was unusual so finding this one has two doors and it has a car with every option imaginable, that's pretty rare and the fact that they all work.
I have to fix the clock, the clock on the dashboard, but that giant FM tuner makes me laugh and it's worth setting up right there at the dance, but Of course, nowadays all cars have power windows, but when it was Boy, how good, you could open the window from here. It's amazing where we live, it's like the way it floats down the road, this car with two people in it. it's just about three things has God's carbon footprint it's like, oh my gosh, what a giant friend I just like how it's a classic example. I don't think anyone would think of buying a car that looked like this today, but back in the day. 1958, the height of style.
If you think about looking at all the Motorama shows, look at all the custom cars that don't show up at the '50s car shows, the roofline lowered, smaller wheels to get the car closer to the ground, I mean, literally. I used to advertise it as the complete absence of road countryside, it's like you're in some kind of foam bed going down the road. I think the phrase I used on my other Lincoln was that it handles like a bowling ball on a waterbed, if you can imagine. a bowling ball on a waterbed, basically that's what it is and you're the bowling ball and you just sit here, you know, when I see younger people, I mean people in their 40s and what they're surprised by its size and look how well it goes.
Could you say it and are the stops actually correct? You know something I don't think anyone under 40 has ever felt in a car: broken things where you literally have another break, so much so that sometimes they get hot. the liquid boiled and you just don't get a break, you know, I got a 55 pack in there, they got these little seven or eight and one day I was flying down Mulholland Drive and I got to Towson and I put my foot down. straight to the ground, I just went through the stop sign, what does the brake that faded so far ahead mean?
Complete Valley Road office, wait 10 minutes to brake school and they have a horse as a brake pedal. I mean, think about it. Trying to stop 6,000 pounds going 60 miles so you can get one or two, lock them up, stop driving this car is like trying to heat your pool, you give that bill at the end of the month, oh my gosh, I mean, back up your car, If you have to save yourself, I want to feed my family for a week or get a tank of gas and that's pretty much what it comes down to, filling this thing up costs like a hundred bucks at least you're in California so and you can drive a pound for maybe a couple of hours, it makes me smile, it's just unusual, it's just a completely different way of building in a field and you know, if you find your cars by the pound, this is the best deal, you know, they're just literally and this is about two dollars a pound, that's what I paid this time, that's not bad and it's a lot of fun, bulletproof engines, it's fun to save all the throwable things anyway, I know this one was a bit Different than we normally get a little tired of all the super cars and stuff, things are a lot more fun on a budget, as long as they don't put gas in anyway.
See you next week. I hope you enjoyed this show. You know I could have taken most of the audience with me, that's the Thai stuff you guys are having next week.

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