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May 29 2017

1965 Lincoln Continental Limousine

Limousines converted from sedans are becoming a thing of the past as those fortunate enough have been gravitating towards pimped-out SUVs and vans. That’s a bit of a shame, because long and low limos like this one are about as cool as they come.

1965 Lincoln Continental Limousine

1965 Lincoln Continental Limousine

What you’re looking at is a 1965 Lincoln Continental – not unlike the one from the opening of Entourage, but stretched longer and with a fixed roof instead of a standard wheelbase and drop top.

The classic limo was converted by Lehmann-Peterson, which executed the job so well that Ford extended its factory warranty to every one the independent Chicago-based coachbuilder made. And man, were they sweet. So sweet that celebrities and statesmen alike bought them up as fast as Lehmann-Peterson could make them.

President Lyndon Johnson had one. So did Senator Robert Kennedy, Governor Nelson Rockefeller, and even Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko. They were even more popular in show business, counting among its owners Elvis Presley, Sophia Loren, Spencer Tracy, Hugh Hefner, The Rolling Stones, and The Supremes. This one was owned by the one star who was cooler than all of them: the legendary Steve McQueen.

Of course McQueen was better known for driving himself around in Ferraris and Porsches, or riding his motorcycles. But some occasions called for a chauffeur, and for those occasions he had this unsurpassedly cool limo. It was decked out with every luxury available at the time, including a window divider and mechanically opening bar with crystal stemware.

It’s been immaculately preserved since McQueen’s time, and is now heading for the auction block in Santa Monica next month, where RM Sotheby’s and Auctions America project it will sell for $100-150k. That’s a lot more than you could spend on a Continental (or any Lincoln) these days, but then nothing Lincoln makes now is anywhere near this cool.

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