I always extended beyond normal courtesy to a night janitor who worked at my college in my undergraduate years because his name was Lincoln. As a former Lincoln owner, I’ve always given deference whenever I encounter one on the road. It’s a thing I do, and I’m not sure how it started. But it was in those undergrad years that I actually drove one. And that janitor was a frequent beneficiary of my quirky behavior.
I frequently worked in the school’s photography darkroom late at night because as a student-teacher, I had free access to the facilities, and officially the darkroom was closed. Being in a forgotten corner of the science building, I had free rein while all of the left-brainers were elsewhere annihilating neurons at frat parties. Without all those pesky art and science students around, I took over the place and was able to make enormous photographic enlargements on a scale of 4×5 feet. Great for me.
More importantly, I could blast the radical saxophonings of John Coltrane as loud as I wanted at 1:00 am and the only one to hear my proverbial tree falling in the woods was Lincoln. And he didn’t care. He worked 2 full time jobs, it was a big building, he didn’t clean the darkroom (I did), and I was a known and affable if a bit eccentric quantity. After all, how bad could I be? I even gave him a present one Christmas… even if it also served as a bit of a wheel-greasing offering.
After all, the art department was underfunded, and there were plenty of science department assets that in my vision hadn’t been properly allocated. Take office chairs for instance. What’s the point of sitting on one of those spinny hydraulic office chairs? They spun and had wheels for a reason, and at various points during the early evening before I kicked everyone else out, time trials around the 3rdfloor served as some good-natured fun.
Plus, with assets properly re-allocated, suddenly the art department was flush with seating options, and the science computer lab became an innovator in standing-desk ergonomics. Just like magic. Oh sure, there were other typical college antics, all of which were harmless of course, and Lincoln just minded his business and never saw a thing.
Naturally, this served to cement my Lincoln attitude, along with my Mark VII sitting in the parking lot. But it was more than just a plow horse out in the pasture. It was my trusty steed that brought me across the North American continent and back. It was only the next morning after returning from that trip, as I was safely ensconced in my own bed that the radiator completely disintegrated when Dad borrowed it to go to the post office.
My ’84 Lincoln LSC even took a bullet in New York City. Hit in the rear tire. Shot from behind, the bullet went into the tire while the car was in motion and scratched a groove all the way around outside of the hub of the wheel. Fortunately it was shot out conveniently – ahem – in front of a tire shop. “We are busy, but for an extra hundred we can put you at the front of the line..”
Shady tire dealers notwithstanding, that car was epic.
Imagine my surprise then, having had a great love of the Lincoln, having also owned a Lincoln coupe, and that the Continental Mark II is one of my all-time favorite cars, that there exists another large coupe that was produced simultaneous to the Mark II that I had never heard of. It was Lincoln’s mid-level Premiere model, but I find my obliviousness of it as remarkable as unknowingly driving right past the only other store in a 2-store town because you were looking at the first one. But there you go.
It isn’t for the lack of size that it didn’t register on my radar, the 1957 premiere was approximately 225 inches over all. That’s only 2 inches shorter than the current Rolls-Royce Phantom which is a truly enormous car. Interestingly the 1958 model with it’s awkward looking headlight configuration reminiscent of fashionable ladies’ eyeglasses of that era – the sort one would expect to see gracing the face of a member of the secretarial pool – was yet even longer at 229 inches, besting even the Phantom and making it one of the longest cars ever manufactured.
Hovering close to the 19-foot mark makes it a remarkable length, because if you’ve ever parked next to a Phantom – which I have – it fits into a parking spot about as well as your typical middle-aged man fits into his old high school football uniform. Which, if you’ve ever seen such a thing, is likely a memory indelibly – however comically – etched on your retinas. Think: large hamburger, small bun.
But after having you recall some things you would have rather left un-recalled, and told you a long rambling story that seems somewhat irrelevant, I want to circle back. Back to Lincoln the janitor working the night shift at my college that my Lincoln Mark VII sat in the parking lot of. Why? Because interestingly enough those Lincolns were located within a short walk of one of the assembly plants this exact model of Lincoln was built. Amazing how it all fits together like that. And I didn’t know that either until just today.
This 1957 Lincoln Premiere Coupe has a 6-liter V8 and only has 39,000 original miles on it. Seller states that it runs and drives but needs brake work because of having been stored for so long. It has a clear California title and looks absolutely gorgeous in its creamy yellow over tan interior. The rear chrome bumper is large enough that you can store your dinghy there for when you need to make re-supply runs to shore from this land-yacht. A really wonderful mid-century piece of American automotive craftsmanship and style.
You can contact the seller HERE at the original listing on Craigslist.