1964-1965 Lincoln Continental

A flat grille with protruding center section on the 1965 Continental replaced the convex grille.
A flat grille with protruding center section on the 1965 Continental replaced the convex grille.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

The 1964-1965 Lincoln Continental benefited from several new standard features. For 1964, those features included a low-fuel warning light, vertically adjustable steering column, auxiliary map light, automatic parking-brake release, and inch-larger (15-inch) wheels providing better brake cooling.

Chassis specs were otherwise unchanged save the expected recalibrating of springs and shocks. The driveline was also untouched, Lincoln's big 430 V-8 returning with 320 horsepower and again mating with Twin-Range Turbo-Drive automatic transmission.

That the Continental would evolve in so measured a way was by now an article of faith among buyers, particularly those who had crossed over to Lincoln after being turned off by Cadillac's constant revisions. Keeping the faith convinced some 4,000 more to join the ranks for 1964, though Cadillac sales were also up -- but not nearly as much. The sales gulf between these rivals was still huge, thanks to Cadillac's broader lineup and bigger dealer network, but it was smaller than it had been for quite awhile.

Continental's considered evolution continued for 1965, when Lincoln bucked tradition by not raising prices so much as a dollar despite adding front-disc brakes to an already lengthy list of standard equipment.

Styling updates were as mild as ever: just a new horizontal-bar grille with prominent center bulge, wraparound parking/turn signal lamps visible from most every angle, and back panels without the customary metal appliques echoing grille texture. A vinyl roof covering was a new sedan option ($105) and proved quite popular. Air conditioning, which now reached a 90-percent installation rate, was the only other major extra ($505) save individual power front seats ($281).

Longer wheelbase in the 1964 and 1965 Lincoln Continental added rear seat room.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

As it had every year since 1961, Lincoln volume increased for 1965, ending just above 40,000, over 3,000 more than in model-year 1964. The sedan accounted for most of the gain; the convertible was still selling at a 3,000-3,400 annual clip.

Lincoln had every reason to be satisfied with this performance -- but, of course, it wasn't. Seeking still-higher sales, Lincoln was readying even bigger and better Continentals for 1966.

See the specifications for the 1964 and 1965 Lincoln Continental on the next page.

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