Declining Design: 1946 Lincoln Continental Convertible – Sold?

Mar 2021 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Topless Thursday

April 1, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this very rare Lincoln Continental Convertible “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

The first generation Lincoln Continental is such a gorgeous classic.  We can only imagine being on a street shortly after the end of World War II as one of these passed by and wondering what the well-heeled driver did to afford such a stunning automobile.  Recognized by the Museum of Modern Art as a “timeless-design”, it’s just amazing to see the value of these exquisite automobiles on the decline while ultra-low-mileage Honda Civics now command more.  A prime example is this restored, V12-powered, 1946 Lincoln Continental Convertible originally spotted in February 2021 on Craigslist in Plano, Illinois (Chicago) with an asking price of $34,950. Comparing this price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has the Scrambler priced between the #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $48,000 and the #3 “Good” estimate of $32,600. As a second data point, the Collector Car Market Review reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $26,300 and its #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $38,000.

The design of the original Lincoln Continental began as a one-off design personal car for then Ford Motor Company President Edsel Ford he commissioned Chief Stylist Bob Gregorie to have ready for his March 1939 Florida vacation. The custom channeled and sectioned version derived from a Lincoln Zephyr design introduced two long-running features used in many American automobile designs. The longer modified body gave the design new proportions over its Zephyr counterpart; with the hood line sitting lower over the V12 engine and the passenger compartment moved rearward, the prototype had more in common with classic era “long-hood, short deck” body configurations versus being a strict adherent of contemporary streamline moderne design trends. As a consequence of the smaller trunk space, the spare tire was mounted behind the trunk; while disappearing on American cars, the externally mounted, covered spare tire remained a feature on European-produced cars.  When Edsel’s custom car arrived in Florida, interest from his well-off friends was so high that he sent a telegram back to Michigan that he could sell one thousand of the car.  Hand-built production of the aptly named Continental in 1940 and though suspended during World War II, reappeared in 1946 shortly after the war ended.  This 1946 example is one of only 210 produced and features the flat head V12 in addition to a hydraulically actuated convertible top and windows.

While the private seller of this rare Continental offers few words to describe their car other than “restored to excellent condition,” he does provide this video that speaks volumes about the car:

With a 125 inch wheelbase and an overall length of nearly 18 feet, you need to have adequate room combined with above-average mechanical ability to keep this V12 powered classic in running condition.  However, given the beauty and the declining prices, we think it will be worth the effort you’ll be rewarded with every time you take this beautiful automobile for a drive.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1946 Lincoln Continental Convertible
The Holy Grail of the Continental….ONLY 201 produced …..making it extremely RARE !!!
Complete Restoration ….would be at Excellent in condition

Do you have a Lincoln Continental story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

1 Comment
  1. Declining Design: 1946 Lincoln Continental Convertible – Sold?

    When I was younger I had no appreciation for these pieces of art. Now in my 50’s I am blown away by the beauty and craftmanship of these classics.
    I only hope they will not be erased from American history like Dr. Seuss.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *