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Original AMT 1965 Lincoln Hardtop Review


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The interior tub is different too. Neither kit handy for photo comparison, but package shelf different. Rest is pretty much identical save for that and obviously glass. 

I bought a mint 65 HT body to bash with readily available CVT, and used my mib HT as guide. Some saw work involved, not quite complete. 

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I did it the hard way: used the roof, glass and package shelf from an otherwise unsaveable '64 sedan body ('64-'65 roofs are the same) and transferred it to a '65 convertible.

774964976_65continentalnewroof.JPG.cce0f4a64a18f2ac11510fce3cca1a15.JPG

The top of the window area will need a bit of work; it's almost flat, but should have a slight curvature across it with the high point at the B-pillar. Some careful trimming plus a little reshaping of the drip rail will fix that.

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On 4/1/2020 at 11:23 AM, RDean58 said:

I got this one two days ago, surprising that except for the hardtop body, the kits contents are the same as the recently released convertible version, which will help on the building of this kit since the chrome trees are on the satin chrome side of things.

AMT_1965_Lincoln_hardtop_01.jpg

Pics of contents, box art, and instructions at this link

Robert I like reviews and links your using here. A very good job. But, I do have one very small nit to pick with you on this one. The body in the above kit is not a hardtop. It's considered a sedan. In case you don't know (and some may not), a sedan has a "B" pillar. The window pillar between the front and rear doors. A hardtop does not have a "B" pillar. Making for a clear opening when the front and rear door side windows are rolled down. 

Like I said. This is only a very minor, very tiny, nit to pick. This and your '63 Mercury reviews are great. I'm just anal about car facts. So don't take it personal.

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52 minutes ago, unclescott58 said:

Robert I like reviews and links your using here. A very good job. But, I do have one very small nit to pick with you on this one. The body in the above kit is not a hardtop. It's considered a sedan. In case you don't know (and some may not), a sedan has a "B" pillar. The window pillar between the front and rear doors. A hardtop does not have a "B" pillar. Making for a clear opening when the front and rear door side windows are rolled down. 

Like I said. This is only a very minor, very tiny, nit to pick. This and your '63 Mercury reviews are great. I'm just anal about car facts. So don't take it personal.

Actually the bar you are seeing is the chrome surround for the side Windows. 

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1 hour ago, RDean58 said:

Actually the bar you are seeing is the chrome surround for the side Windows. 

Not on a '65 Lincoln. The sedans had a "B" pillar. The convertibles did not. In fact, I've never understood why Lincoln didn't build their solid roof four-doors as hardtops at the time. Without the pillar, the convertibles rear door window drops a bit automatically when the door was open. And, goes back up when the door is closed, to seal with the front door glass. Tricky, but needed with Lincoln's suicide door set up without a center pillar. But, since they could do it with the convertible, I don't understand why didn't they do it with the solid roof four-doors. The engineering was obviously worked out. 

When the new generation Lincoln body was first shown in 1961, which the '65 Lincoln is based on, they showed a four-door hardtop version in early promotional photos. But, that's the only solid roof four-door Lincoln of that generation I know of that would be considered a true hardtop. In fact the last production four-door Lincoln hardtops, period, were built for the 1960 model run. Based on a totally different car. 

Oh. And don't let Ford bambooze you. Starting in 1971, on the upper end full-size Fords and full-size Mercurys, they started offering something they called a pillared hardtop. It was really a sedan without door frames around the glass. But, drop the side windows, there was still a "B" pillar there. Just like on the 1961 on up Lincolns. Yet, Lincoln did refer to this style on their cars as a "sedan." They did not use the parlance of calling it a "pillared" hardtop. 

As a side note. In the full-size Ford line in 1971, they offered a four-door sedan with window frames. Their "pillared" four-door hardtop. And true hardtops in two and four doors. For 1971, the full-size Mercurys did not offer the sedans with window frames. The full-size Mercurys were offered only in the "pillared" hardtop and hardtop body styles starting in 1971. By 1973 the full-size framed window sedans were dropped from the Ford line. Even the "low priced" full-size Ford were now "pillered" hardtops. The full frame windowed sedans, reappearing in both full-size Ford and Mercurys again in 1979. The true four-door hardtops, were discontinued by Ford and Mercury in 1976. 

Side note number two. For the real nit pickers. In 1971 and '72 Ford and Mercury wagons had full frame doors. But, starting in 1973, though 1978, they were all of the "pillar" hardtop style. Though as far I know, I don't believe Ford or Mercury ever referred to these as "pillared" hardtop wagons. 

Okay I think that's it for now? 

Edited by unclescott58
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16 hours ago, unclescott58 said:

Not on a '65 Lincoln. The sedans had a "B" pillar. The convertibles did not. In fact, I've never understood why Lincoln didn't build their solid roof four-doors as hardtops at the time. Without the pillar, the convertibles rear door window drops a bit automatically when the door was open. And, goes back up when the door is closed, to seal with the front door glass. Tricky, but needed with Lincoln's suicide door set up without a center pillar. But, since they could do it with the convertible, I don't understand why didn't they do it with the solid roof four-doors. The engineering was obviously worked out. 

When the new generation Lincoln body was first shown in 1961, which the '65 Lincoln is based on, they showed a four-door hardtop version in early promotional photos. But, that's the only solid roof four-door Lincoln of that generation I know of that would be considered a true hardtop. In fact the last production four-door Lincoln hardtops, period, were built for the 1960 model run. Based on a totally different car. 

Oh. And don't let Ford bambooze you. Starting in 1971, on the upper end full-size Fords and full-size Mercurys, they started offering something they called a pillared hardtop. It was really a sedan without door frames around the glass. But, drop the side windows, there was still a "B" pillar there. Just like on the 1961 on up Lincolns. Yet, Lincoln did refer to this style on their cars as a "sedan." They did not use the parlance of calling it a "pillared" hardtop. 

As a side note. In the full-size Ford line in 1971, they offered a four-door sedan with window frames. Their "pillared" four-door hardtop. And true hardtops in two and four doors. For 1971, the full-size Mercurys did not offer the sedans with window frames. The full-size Mercurys were offered only in the "pillared" hardtop and hardtop body styles starting in 1971. By 1973 the full-size framed window sedans were dropped from the Ford line. Even the "low priced" full-size Ford were now "pillered" hardtops. The full frame windowed sedans, reappearing in both full-size Ford and Mercurys again in 1979. The true four-door hardtops, were discontinued by Ford and Mercury in 1976. 

Side note number two. For the real nit pickers. In 1971 and '72 Ford and Mercury wagons had full frame doors. But, starting in 1973, though 1978, they were all of the "pillar" hardtop style. Though as far I know, I don't believe Ford or Mercury ever referred to these as "pillared" hardtop wagons. 

Okay I think that's it for now? 

Actually,  Lincoln did offer a true hardtop in '61. As far as anyone can tell, a whopping 4 cars were made. The theory circulating in the Lincoln collector's world was these cars were build for high, high end executives or huge volume dealers. At least two of these cars have survived and have made the rounds at concours events.

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5 hours ago, Eric Macleod said:

Actually,  Lincoln did offer a true hardtop in '61. As far as anyone can tell, a whopping 4 cars were made. The theory circulating in the Lincoln collector's world was these cars were build for high, high end executives or huge volume dealers. At least two of these cars have survived and have made the rounds at concours events.

Those must be the cars shown in the early promotional material I talked about. Sorry, but four cars does not constitute a production run by most standards. So I still stand by my statement that the last "production" based Lincolns hardtops were built as 1960 models. 

I'd still like to know why they chose to go with building sedans rather than hardtops in '61? Four-door hardtops were at the peak of their popularity during that time in the high end cars. Since Lincoln built the four four-door hardtops, and had the production four-door convertibles. And, the suicide door glass meeting door glass problem had been figured out. Why go with a pillared sedan instead of a hardtop? And a thin pillared sedan that basically looked like a hardtop at a glance. The four-door hardtop body style was so popular in luxury class, that Imperial gave up on the sedan after 1969. And Cadillac followed in '71. Fear of Federal rollover standards, made Cadillac go back to sedans, and drop the hardtops in 1977. But still, this was not a consideration or worry when Ford was designing the '61 Lincolns. It would be interesting to know why Ford decided to go in that direction with the '61 and later Lincolns. 

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They had posts because the long wheelbase and uneven terrain would sometimes wedge the doors closed. Happened on LBJ's ranch with his convertible, few other places.

Sedans had more weight above, so more likely, despite no roof making it worse. Assume testing showed that, at least people can escape from a convertible. Great cars though. 

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7 hours ago, unclescott58 said:

Those must be the cars shown in the early promotional material I talked about. Sorry, but four cars does not constitute a production run by most standards. So I still stand by my statement that the last "production" based Lincolns hardtops were built as 1960 models. 

I'd still like to know why they chose to go with building sedans rather than hardtops in '61? Four-door hardtops were at the peak of their popularity during that time in the high end cars. Since Lincoln built the four four-door hardtops, and had the production four-door convertibles. And, the suicide door glass meeting door glass problem had been figured out. Why go with a pillared sedan instead of a hardtop? And a thin pillared sedan that basically looked like a hardtop at a glance. The four-door hardtop body style was so popular in luxury class, that Imperial gave up on the sedan after 1969. And Cadillac followed in '71. Fear of Federal rollover standards, made Cadillac go back to sedans, and drop the hardtops in 1977. But still, this was not a consideration or worry when Ford was designing the '61 Lincolns. It would be interesting to know why Ford decided to go in that direction with the '61 and later Lincolns. 

The reason was pretty simple.: cost. The retractable window mechanism was complicated and costly.  Each mechanism of the convertible was adjusted by hand whereas the windows of the sedan were pretty much of a bolt in and was far less troublesome.  Looking back the sedans are nearly as desirable as  convertibles largely because of the complexity of the convertible top and window mechanisms.

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10 hours ago, unclescott58 said:

Those must be the cars shown in the early promotional material I talked about. Sorry, but four cars does not constitute a production run by most standards. So I still stand by my statement that the last "production" based Lincolns hardtops were built as 1960 models. 

I'd still like to know why they chose to go with building sedans rather than hardtops in '61? Four-door hardtops were at the peak of their popularity during that time in the high end cars. Since Lincoln built the four four-door hardtops, and had the production four-door convertibles. And, the suicide door glass meeting door glass problem had been figured out. Why go with a pillared sedan instead of a hardtop? And a thin pillared sedan that basically looked like a hardtop at a glance. The four-door hardtop body style was so popular in luxury class, that Imperial gave up on the sedan after 1969. And Cadillac followed in '71. Fear of Federal rollover standards, made Cadillac go back to sedans, and drop the hardtops in 1977. But still, this was not a consideration or worry when Ford was designing the '61 Lincolns. It would be interesting to know why Ford decided to go in that direction with the '61 and later Lincolns. 

I need fix one part of the statement above. I was talking to good car buddy this evening, about our discussion here on this subject. He agreed with everything I said, but out thing. The statement I made about Cadillac dropping all sedan models for 1971. He pointed that I had forgotten about the Sixty-Special Fleetwood Brougham. And I thought, "poop, he's right!" Cadillac only dropped the sedan from the DeVille line. The Sixty-Special series did continue on as a sedan. Sorry about that guys. I made a boo boo. 

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2 hours ago, Eric Macleod said:

The reason was pretty simple.: cost. The retractable window mechanism was complicated and costly.  Each mechanism of the convertible was adjusted by hand whereas the windows of the sedan were pretty much of a bolt in and was far less troublesome.  Looking back the sedans are nearly as desirable as  convertibles largely because of the complexity of the convertible top and window mechanisms.

It's interesting you should bring that up. Again in my discussion on this subject with my car buddy mentioned above. I brought up the fact that I thought I had read somewhere that the setup for the convertible rear door widows were not 100% reliable. With convertibles being built in small numbers compared to the sedans, it might have been still worth the expense. Plus there where no alternatives in the case of the convertible. Where if Lincoln had built the hardtop, it may have given more problems than it was worth. And they had an alternative. The sedan. 

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