Well, actually, the saga began in 1964. In the early 60's my dad worked for PHILCO (a division of Ford Motor Company) as a computer keypunch operator. Back in those days the computers took up an entire room and people punched out cards which were fed into the reader. Those cards told the computer what task to perform. Anyway, back then they gave executives new cars every year. When the executive turned in his car, they offered the old ones for sale to certain people in the office. In 1964, he got a 63 Lincoln Continental for my grandfather (mom's dad) and in 1965 he got a 1964 Park Lane for my mom. In 1966 he got a 65 Thunderbird for my aunt. When my grandfather stopped driving he gave the Lincoln to my mother. At that time, my parents sold the Park Lane. God only knows what my cousin did with the T-Bird after my aunt died. Hindsight…always 20/20!!
As a kid, I remember driving around in the Lincoln, and I learned how to drive on this car. Weighing 5,124 pounds and being about 18 ˝ feet long, obviously my mom felt very safe in this car. The general consensus was that if you could drive this car, you could drive anything. Every time I went to my parent's house I would see the car and vowed to one day have it restored to its original beauty.
|Fast forward to late 1999. The car had been sitting in my mom's back yard and the last registration on the car was 1985. Fifteen years of sitting outside in the snow, heat and rain took a toll on the car. I knew it was in bad shape, but I was ready to start the restoration. I finally had some savings and an income to support the restoration. I was, and still am a mechanical moron. I'm not mechanically inclined, and have no desire to learn how to be. I met a mechanic at a chamber of commerce event who told me he could handle the restoration, so in February 2000, I gave him a $4,000 deposit and he towed the car to his garage.
The car was so heavy (or his truck was so light) that as he
lifted the front end of the car, the front tires of the truck began to lift off the ground!
His shop was on the other side of town, and I often passed it and periodically stopped by. Every time I dropped in he would tell me he was going to start the car soon. Every once and awhile, he would move the car to a different place on his lot. After a year and a half, I was fed up and went looking elsewhere. I met the guy who was the body shop manager at the local Honda dealership and paid him a visit. I was pleased with him and the way he handled the work on my Honda, and vaguely remembered him telling me that they could do some restorations. When I asked him about the Lincoln, he told me that he could take the car, but it would not be a priority, meaning he would use it for fill in work when the guys were slow. I really appreciated his honesty, and asked him if he knew someone I could contact. He told me to go see a guy named Charlie Mulholland.