I've always liked classic
cars and it wasn't long after getting my first real paycheck that I
spotted a 1959 Lincoln Mark IV Continental Coupe for sale just south of
Chattanooga where I was working.
The year was 1976, but the
styling of the '59 Lincoln was so retro, garish, and "over the top" - after only seventeen years of
automotive progress - I just had to have it. The price was right:
only $150! It wouldn't take much to fix up a luxury car from the 1950s
when purchased so cheaply, right?
Yes, I had visions of
sugarplums and rolling land yachts. Of course, knowing nothing about
working on cars, having no tools or garage space, or any extra money to
fix up the old beauty did not deter me.
a little spit and polish, I just knew my Lincoln would soon look like
the one in the brochure above. And someday, my wife would greet the
kids and me as we landed in our private plane!
would ride around in my restored beauty, wearing my gray flannel suit
and talking on my full-size radio telephone while all the "little
people" continued to pull off the road and look for a phone booth. Hey,
kids, don't you dare drop your ice cream on that "superbly beautiful
interior coachwork" as described by the sales brochure.
the little wifey would wait beneath her parasol while I played polo or
shot skeet with all my executive friends from the power elite.
But for only $150, you get what you pay for....
Although the "breezeway" window in the back worked, there wasn't much else that did.
much for the superbly beautiful interior coachwork. I'm surprised I
didn't get a respiratory disease from driving this tank to Summerville.
'59 Lincoln doesn't look too bad in this shot, but it was a rust bucket
and, even if I had had the money to restore it, it wouldn't have been
worth what I put into it. BTW - that's my 1972 Olds Cutlass 442 in the
background. Now that's a car I wished I had kept!
was soon towed to a barn on my father's farm at Alpine, awaiting the
day I would have plenty of money to restore her. However, after I got
married and we moved to Atlanta, there was no way I'd have the money or
time to fool with fixing up the old heap. Somewhere along the way, the
car was sold and wound up sitting outside Ralph Tucker's garage in
Menlo for years. Who knows where the old beauty is now?
the looks of these photographs, the car appears to be complete. Hmmm,
maybe I should have kept it after all. Just like I should have kept this one!)
Years later, I finally made my dream of having a classic car collection come true, as you can see below.
a 1955 Lincoln Mark II on the right side, followed by a Cadillac, a
Studebaker, a Mercedes, and, at the far end of the garage, a classic
What I like most about my collection is
that I pay no insurance or taxes on the cars, my storage costs are
minimal, and I don't worry about spare parts or repairs. You see, my
classic cars are only about a foot long, and most of my building
supplies for my garage came from the Dollar Tree.
Ah, the pride of ownership! And no worries about kids spilling ice cream on any superbly beautiful interior coachwork!