1959 Lincoln Premiere
8-cyl. 430cid/350hp 4bbl
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The 1958 Lincolns were completely new, and the square and elegant Premiere was one of the largest postwar cars to ever drive on American roads. At 229 inches long, and weighing in at more than 4,800 pounds, the Premiere was available as a hardtop coupe, four-door sedan, and four-door Landau hardtop sedan, and ranged in price from $5,300 to $5,565. To power the enormous car, an equally enormous 430-cid V-8 was used. The overhead-valve motor used a four-barrel carburetor to generate 375 hp. For the first time, Lincoln used unibody construction on the Premiere.
In 1959, the Premiere was largely unchanged in nearly every way, though power output did dip to 350 hp. The 1960 model year marked the last of this baroque generation, as 1961 would introduce Elwood Engel’s trend-setting slab sided Lincoln. The Premiere this year saw a revised rear suspension, and a further dip in power, now to 315 hp.
In all, fewer than 25,000 Lincoln Premieres of this era were produced, with the hardtop sedan being the most popular. From a collectibility standpoint, the late-1950s Lincoln Premiere possesses an imposing road presence, and is mostly remembered for its size and its luxurious fitments. The cars are also somewhat complicated, and fairly rust-prone. Those two facts have caused attrition to thin the ranks, and means spares and high quality cars can be problematic to find. When bought right, however, the Lincoln Premiere is a terrific and affordable car.