Teddy Pieper ©2014, courtesy of RM Auctions
The 1958–60 Lincolns and Lincoln Continentals were the most massive American passenger cars produced since World War II, as they were built on a 131-inch wheelbase and had an overall length of 229 inches. The Mark III convertible tips the scales at an impressive 4,928 pounds, and only 3,048 were produced. This stunning Mark III Continental received a nut-and-bolt restoration about a dozen years ago and has been driven very little since. The Matador Red paint is complemented by a red, white, and black pleated-leather interior, which is in very good condition. The chrome is very good, and the car is equipped with power steering, power brakes, power windows, a power seat, windshield washers, a remote door mirror, a Town and Country signal-seeking radio with a power antenna, a heater and a power top. When retracted, the top is covered by a three-piece fiberglass parade boot in the body color. The engine compartment is carefully and correctly detailed. It has yellow valve covers and air cleaner and appropriate hardware all around. The restorers have carefully replicated the inspection stamps for each stage of assembly. The undercarriage is all painted black and very clean, while the luggage compartment is finished with the correct pattern of vinyl material. The tires are B.F. Goodrich Silvertown 9.50-14 medium-width whitewalls.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1958 Lincoln Continental Mark III Convertible
Years Produced:1958
Number Produced:3,048
Original List Price:$6,223
SCM Valuation:$51,000–$84,000
Tune Up Cost:$300
Chassis Number Location:Plate on driver’s door hinge pillar
Engine Number Location:Machined boss on driver’s corner of block
Club Info:Lincoln Continental Owners Club
Alternatives:1958 Cadillac Sixty Special, 1959 Continental Mark IV convertible, 1959 Cadillac Coupe DeVille convertible
Investment Grade:C

This car, Lot 136, sold for $88,000, including buyer’s premium, at RM Auctions’ Sam Pack sale in Farmers Branch, TX, on November 15, 2014.

Many collectible cars are rare, but not all rare cars are collectible. If a car was not well received in the era and died due to a lack of interest, it most likely won’t be well received in today’s collector market. The 1958 Lincoln Continental is an exception to that statement, as the very excesses that made it quirky in era make it desirable today.

The 1958 Lincoln Continental Mark III is a car that the Ford Motor Company would like to forget. In fact, they did forget it, as the Mark series was banished to the archives until 1968, when it was revived as the new Mark III Continental.

Larger and longer than any other

Edsel Ford, as the head of Lincoln, was responsible for the creation of the Lincoln Continental. Later, after Edsel Ford’s death in 1943, Lincoln created the famed Mark II cars. They were the “halo” cars that garnered publicity and brought prospective buyers into the showroom.

The Mark II, introduced in the fall of 1955, was an elegant, high-quality automobile that created the desired initial excitement, but with sales of only 447 in 1957, it was not continued. However, due to Lincoln’s desire to capitalize on the name, it was attached to the 1958 Lincoln — which was nothing more than a styling variation of the Premiere.

The 1958 Lincoln was larger and longer than any American production car ever built. It was on a massive 131-inch wheelbase with an overall length of just over 19 feet. It had a unitized body, but the engineers at the time had yet to discover that unitized construction was inefficient on a vehicle of that size. As a result, additional steel was added to reinforce the frame, which, of course, added to the massive weight. It did allow for a lower profile, but that was at the expense of interior head and leg room.

These cars are best remembered, however, for their styling excesses. They were often referred to as the “Pagoda” because of all the mixed elements.

The front end looked as though it had been borrowed from Cadillac and the rear from Chrysler. The canted headlamps and rear reversed glass — even on the convertible — were not popular. Adding to the woes was gas mileage that was less than 10 mpg, so these behemoths could not stray too far from service stations.

Quality was also an issue, as 75% of the owners had complaints. In addition, an economic recession was now in full force. The Lincoln Continental Mark III was caught in the middle of a perfect storm.

A $24,000 jump in two years

While on assignment for SCM, I watched this very Lincoln Continental sell at the RM Auctions’ Charlie Thomas Collection sale for $64,900 on October 20, 2012. I thought it was a fair price, considering the quality of the restoration. This same car, offered just two years later at the Sam Pack sale, sold for an additional $24,000. What gives?

First, we have to look at where this well-restored Continental sold. Everything is bigger in Texas, and having spent seven years in the Lone Star state, I can attest to the fact that big hair, big ranches and big cars are a way of life. And what car is bigger than this massive Lincoln Continental? While it might not play in downtown New York, it is certainly right at home in the wide open spaces of Texas.

While this over-the-top car was panned in 1958, it is those very outrageous features that make it desirable — in a campy sort of way — today. The price paid pushes the envelope, but not to the point of being silly money. ♦

(Introductory description courtesy of RM Auctions.)

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