1948 Lincoln Continental - $29,900
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  • Overview & History
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The Continental coupes are somewhat rarer than the ubiquitous convertibles, and its all-weather comfort makes it an ideal tour car.

Older restoration still in great condition. Proven tour car. Rebuilt V12 engine. 3-speed manual with overdrive. Power front disc brakes. Newer wide whitewall radials. A great entry-level Full Classic that will be welcome at any vintage driving event.

If you wanted twelve cylinders after WWII, there was only one place to shop: the Lincoln store. Even though the Continental was largely carryover, the all-new design in 1942 ensured that the post-war Lincolns looked fresh. With tasteful alterations, including the more pronounced eggcrate grille, the final Continentals are arguably the most handsome cars of the immediate post-war period. This handsome black 1948 Lincoln Continental coupe represents the end of the line for the V12 Lincolns, yet it remains eminently affordable today. Thanks to a body-on restoration in the early 2000s, it looks well-tailored in black and definitely attracts attention wherever it goes. Panel fit is quite good and even though the styling cleverly hides its size, this is a big car so getting it to fit together properly can be a challenge. The finish still has a fantastic deep shine, and although this has been a favorite tour car for nearly two decades, it still shows remarkably well. There are a few very minor nicks here and there, but nothing of note and going down the road the car looks quite impressive indeed. The Continental coupes are somewhat rarer than the ubiquitous convertibles, and its all-weather comfort makes it an ideal tour car. Of note, this car has excellent chrome trim, including a grille almost entirely devoid of pitting—that’s rather unusual when it comes to these cars. Obviously someone spent good money to have the brightwork restored properly. This big coupe still looks well-tailored and crisp, befitting the Lincoln name.

The gray leather interior was restored at the same time and shows quite well today. There are obviously some comfort marks on the driver’s seat, inevitable when a car is used as intended, but there are no splits or tears in the hides. The beautifully fitted door panels highlight the Continental’s unique pushbutton door releases and power windows, both fairly advanced features for 1948. The gauges are familiar 1940s fare, with a big, round speedometer ahead of the driver and secondary gauges to the immediate left, plus a big center stack that houses secondary switches. All the gauges appear operational and their ornate gold lettering still looks elegant today. The burgundy plastic steering wheel is in excellent condition with no major cracks or breaks. The toggle switches under the center stack control the headlights (the original switch also seems to work—curious) and the auxiliary electric fuel pump, which is a useful addition for cold starts and hot days when vapor lock can become an issue. This car is also equipped with factory overdrive, which makes the Continental a comfortable cruiser at modern highway speeds. Even though this is a coupe, the back seat is spacious enough for adults and with quarter windows, it doesn’t have the same claustrophobic feel as the convertible. And for touring, there’s a rather large trunk out back that’s fully upholstered to match.

Lincoln went back to the 292 cubic inch flathead V12 after the war, and it’s a smooth, reliable, and competent powerplant. They have a reputation for being fussy, but we think that’s unfair—when properly sorted and tuned, they are as reliable as any other engine of the era. This one has proven itself over the past two decades and 15,000 or so miles and today it works like it should. With a little choke, it fires up easily, and once it’s warmed up it idles almost silently. This is a very big car, so acceleration is modest, but where this V12 shines is on the open road where it works with the overdrive and 4.44 gears to stay in its sweet spot and make the Continental feel light on its feet. It wears correct green engine enamel and still uses the factory oil bath air cleaner assembly. Other nice details include factory-style hoses and clamps, a correct generator, and a new wiring harness with proper cloth-covered wires. Ride quality is quite good despite the fact that it still uses leaf springs and live axles at both ends, and for safety, this Continental has been upgraded with a dual master cylinder, a power booster, and front disc brakes—reassuring in a car that probably weighs 4200 pounds. As I mentioned, the body has never been off the frame, so it isn’t detailed for show underneath, but there are no holes in the floor, no structural issues, and a totally solid frame. A fresh muffler gives it an appropriate V12 purr and it has been recently outfitted with a set of 215/75/15 wide whitewall radials that look right and handle great.

Extras include a factory service manual, jack assembly, and some spare parts.

Admired for their styling, the last of the Continentals make great entry-level Full Classics. They’re welcome at almost any event and when you open the hood to show off that V12 engine, it will immediately draw a crowd. And with a few modern upgrades, this is an enjoyable road car that will shine on CCCA CARavans and other driving events. We remain convinced that the Continental is the biggest bang for the buck in terms of high-end luxury in today’s collector car world. Call today!

Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections of any vehicle in our inventory prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1948 Lincoln Continental
Price: $29,900
Stock Number: 120131
Odometer Reading: 47,824
VIN: 8H181303
Engine: 292 cubic inch V12
Transmission: 3-speed manual with overdrive
Gear Ratio: 4.4400000000000004
Wheelbase: 125 inches
Wheels: 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 215/75/15 wide whitewall radials
Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Gray leather
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