It’s tough being the middle child, especially when your older and younger siblings have made major successes of themselves. So it goes for the 1958-1960 Lincoln Continental, whose baroque styling makes it much less memorable than the classic and coveted 1956-57 Continental Mark II or the Mad Men cool squared-rigged Continental that arrived in 1961.
But there are those among us, myself included, who find a certain funky appeal in the over-the-top design of these Lincolns, which were known as the Continental Mark III, Mark IV and Mark V, designating each of their three years of production. (Even Ford seemed to ignore the existence of these cars, coming back in the late 1970s with a new lineup of Continentals repeating the names Mark III, IV and V.)
Those slanty quad headlights, jutting fender sections and wildly complex derriere, which speak of the anything-goes optimism of that era, look either bold or wacky, or more likely a combination of the two.
The Pick of the Day is a gleaming example of the top-of-the-line model, a 1958 Lincoln Continental Mark III convertible in rich black finish and bright-red interior, a desirable color combination that seems to tone down the styling excesses. These cars are most-often seen in the popular pastel colors of their day, which makes them appear all the more outlandish.
OK, I admit I came within a hair’s breadth of buying a 1958 Continental in pinkish choral a few years back, a coupe that looked even wackier than the convertible because of its inward-slanted rear window. Oh yeah, it was weird. Its owner named it Dame Edna. I eventually came to my senses and passed on it.
The Belleview, Washington, classic car dealer advertising the convertible on ClassicCars.com says in the skimpy description that the Continental is in “gorgeous” condition and was previously part of the Rogers Classic Car Museum of Las Vegas. That entire collection of more than 200 cars was sold by Mecum Auctions in February after the death of the proprietor, Jim Rogers. His surviving family donated the proceeds to local charities.
The ’58 Continentals were the largest unibody cars built, powered by the massive 430 cid V8 that summoned 375 horsepower, which sounds pretty meaty for even this 5,000-pound behemoth. The ultra-luxury car was equipped with all the top-drawer features of the day.
The asking price is right up there at $69,950, although in line with the current price guide averages for the model. Those fine chrome wire wheels also enhance the value.
Sure, the ’58 Continental is an acquired taste, but this color combination seems to nail it. And you’re unlikely to encounter too many other survivors of this largely forgotten model.