March 03, 2024
Wheels

Classic Wheels Spotlight: 1947 Lincoln Continental

Meet Dan Colyer & his 1947 Lincoln Continental

Photos by Rudy Host, Jr. - 1947 Lincoln Continental Front

You don’t see many 1947 Lincoln Continentals on the road these days, but even decades ago when they were far more prevalent, you didn’t see many that look like Dan Colyer’s beauty.

Dan’s Continental is hard to miss with its open-air appeal making the 18-foot-long convertible look streamlined. Make no mistake, this Lincoln is massive with a width of more than 78 inches and a wheelbase of 125 inches. Huge front and rear fenders accentuate the spectacular curves many cars of the era possessed.

Dan says he has had the car for about 10 years. He picked it up in Kansas City, Missouri. It was originally green, but it now shows off a Pacecar Yellow paint job that only adds to the eye-opening impact.

Photos by Rudy Host, Jr. - 1947 Lincoln Continental Side

“This 1947 Lincoln Continental attracts attention no matter where it is parked,” says Dan. “There are only a couple of autos like it in the area, which makes my 1947 Lincoln a unique car to own and share throughout the Midwest area.”

In 1947, the Lincoln Continental had a base price of $4,400, making it one of the most expensive domestic vehicles for the model year. There were just 738 Continental convertibles built for 1947, offered in 12 colors, with three interior color options.

The Continental’s most famous hallmark was its rear-mounted, exposed spare tire—a ‘continental’ touch in the European design sense. It inspired the ‘Continental Kit,’ an aftermarket accessory, which allowed virtually any car owner to attach a spare tire to the rear of his vehicle. The Continental Spare remained popular for more than a decade after the final first-series Lincoln Continental was built.

Photos by Rudy Host, Jr. - 1947 Lincoln Continental Rear

The post-WWII Continentals had a broader and bolder ‘face’ than the more streamlined prewar cars, which gave the newer cars more presence on the road. Modern auto designers of the 2007 Lincoln Navigator drew inspiration from the 1947 Lincoln Continentals—the wide lower portion of the Navigator grille, with its inset round parking lamps, is a direct interpretation of the 1946-1948 Continental design.

Dan’s Lincoln has a 302 cubic-inch Ford engine with a two-barrel carburetor mated to an automatic transmission. It also features hydraulic windows and a hydraulic convertible top. Dan says he chose to acquire the 1947 Lincoln Continental convertible because it was so unique, and he simply liked everything about it. Though it looks just like the actual 1946 official Indianapolis Pace Car, Dan’s is a ‘47.

In 1945 Eddie Rickenbacker owned the Indy Racetrack. The story goes that Wilbur Shaw talked Tony Hulman into buying the 1946 Lincoln Continental and asked Henry Ford II to supply a pace car. Lincoln was the pace car for the 1946 and 1932 Indy races.

According to Dan, everything you can see is original. “Since changing the undercarriage of the car, and re-doing the interior, the 1947 Lincoln is a pleasure to drive, as well as show,” he says. “It attracts attention whether parked at the gas station or parked at a local car show.”

Photos by Rudy Host, Jr. - 1947 Lincoln Continental Interior

Dan says the improvements he has made to his Lincoln include the engine, brakes, suspension, and tires. In the mid-2000s, Dan was asked to drive his ‘47 Continental in the Indianapolis 500 Parade, where Anderson Cooper was the grand marshal, and he rode in the back seat. The following year an Indy driver from England was the guest that got to ride in the Lincoln.

“This forty-seven Lincoln has been invited to the Oak Brook premier car show held on Father’s Day each year,” says Dan, who also takes it to occasional local parades, where it is a Shriner Parade Car.

If you have a car you would like to see featured in Classic Wheels, contact Rudy Host, Jr. at Classic.Wheels.Rudy@gmail.com.