11853886_10152968638602201_1167306201_nDuring these dog days of Summer before life files into the rigor of Fall activities and education, one might daydream about one final cruise under the warm Summer sun.

The more elegant the beast we bask in the better, right? Nothing says luxuriant sunbathing like a Camelot Continental. Ironically we meet up with the penultimate version of this breed of fun machine under foggy San Francisco Summer skies.

11830175_10152968638182201_1611017779_nThere’s plenty of amenities to keep one warm and cozy despite some regional micro climates that don’t seem like conventional convertible weather. Then again, the Continental itself wasn’t a conventional convertible either.

A host of new improvements, and a bit more girth went into the updates of the 1966 Continental. Under the hood, Lincoln decided to trump Cadillac in the displacement war, giving the old veteran M-E-L big block V8 a displacement boost to 462 cubic inches. That extra displacement however just bought it in horsepower parity with luxury competitors.

Visible updates included the return of curved side glass after a 2 year absence and a return to the simple understated elegance that recalled the landmark 1961 models. With the visible updates came length that was up over 8 inches from that 1961 model. More room in the interior and new features like an 8 Track tape player from sister car the Ford Thunderbird found their way to options lists.

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All the improvements, and the re-introduction of a 2 door Hardtop Coupe after being absent since 1960 made for the best sales year of the Camelot Continentals. Sales peaked over 54,000 units; chump change to Cadillac, but an impressive showing for a car staying fresh with mild updates on its 6th year on the market.

None of those improvements came through increased sales of the convertible however, as the closed coupled personal elegance of the Coupe pointed to the true luxury zeitgeist unfolding as the 1960’s really started barreling into their 2nd half. With one more sales season, the Drop Top Conti sealed its existence as an American Style icon that has few peers. We haven’t been blessed with a 4 door convertible from a US manufacturer since 1967. Every time you see one of these beauties, take a moment to honor this particular Sun Goddess.

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