Remember when Lincolns were the cars of choice for the most
grueling races of the 1950s? Yes, Lincolns! Cars like this 1954
Lincoln Capri were renowned for their big horsepower, tidy
handling, and bulletproof construction, making them a favorite
among competitors in the grueling (and deadly) Carrera Panamericana
cross-country races held in Mexico.
Of course, this handsome Capri sedan was never a race car, but the same virtues that made it popular with racers also serve it well on the streets. The tidy proportions bely the massive luxury machines Lincoln would become later in the decade, but the upscale design and ornamentation leave no doubt that this was a top-of-the-line car in 1954. The Ivy Green paint is a refreshing change from the pastels and plain black sedans of the period, and helps the car stand out without being undignified, which wouldn't suit a Lincoln at all. Finish quality is excellent and it's just a quick polish and wax away from being truly spectacular. It's got a great shine and the bodywork underneath is laser-straight, suggesting it has never been wrecked or rusty, and all four doors close with that incredibly solid ker-chunk sound that is always so reassuring. Plenty of chrome and stainless trim ensures nobody will mistake this for anything but a Lincoln, and it remains in first-class condition throughout, including the wonderful taillight housings and ornaments ahead of the rear wheels.
We have a lot of reasons to believe the interior is original, from the handsome patterned cloth upholstery to the ornate tri-tone door panels that blend into the dashboard. It's possible that the carpets have been replaced at some point, but even they have some patina that makes everything look consistent. It's loaded with power options, which should be expected on a car of this stature, including a power seat, power windows, and cold A/C, which appears to be an early add-on unit under the dash and not built into the trunk the way the factory would have done it. Either way, it's effective and most of the hardware tucks neatly out of sight. Sliding levers for the ventilation controls, an array of simple gauges, and an AM radio built into the dash instead of simply jammed into a slot all give it a very neatly finished look. We especially like the patterned applique that covers the glove box and wraps into the door panels, making the Capri feel light-hearted and not at all frumpy like most luxury cars of the period. And you do get a giant truck with an original mat and full-sized spare with jack assembly.
The 317 cubic inch V8 was all-new in 1954 and with overhead valves, power was way up over the flathead before it. The unusual exhaust manifold arrangement makes it easy to spot, and it appears to be mostly original under the hood, including the gold air cleaner and valve covers. You'll find both power brakes and power steering on the options list, and someone has insulated the fenders and air intake to make the ventilation system that much more effective. In 1954, Lincoln was buying Hydra-Matic automatic transmissions from GM, and that's what's in this car, which means it's reliable and parts are easy to find. A single exhaust system gives it a nice V8 burble and with a fat front sway bar, you'll find that it handles rather well for a luxury sedan, which is why they were so popular with racers on rough roads. No critical rust issues underneath and it sits on a recent set of 225/75/15 whitewall radials that look good and have plenty of life left in them.
An unusual car that offers one of the best driving experiences of the period, this Capri also brings plenty of luxury to bear, turning it into one heck of a bargain today. Call now!