- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 26, 2003

Three months before a planned trip to visit his daughter in Chicago, William Gallahan took action. He wanted to make the long journey in comfort and style.

With those parameters in mind he went to the Chermer Lincoln-Mercury dealership in Shirlington. There he saw 18-feet, 5-inches of gorgeous white Lincoln Continental capped with an ivy gold embassy vinyl roof. After that initial sighting, the only question was what price was he going to pay.

The eventual cost of the 5,049-pound Lincoln was $7,104.52. A total of 33,331 Continental four-door sedans were built during the 1967 model year, making it far and away the most popular model.

Each 1967 Lincoln Continental left the factory with an engine that was up to the task. Tucked under the hinged-at-the-front hood, beneath a blue air cleaner that proclaims via decals the size of the engine and the fact that it is fed by a four-barrel carburetor, is a gigantic 462-cubic-inch V-8 that produces 340 horsepower.

The luxurious Lincoln was purchased March 2, 1967 and only three months later, in the heat and humidity of June, it was comfortably cruising on its 126-inch wheelbase on the way from Virginia to Illinois. The occupants of the Continental rode in air-conditioned comfort beneath the perforated headliner, entertained by signals from the AM radio.

The armrest in each door is graced with an ashtray as well as a cigarette lighter.

After that round trip to Chicago, the car saw limited suburban use until the owner died in 1983. At that time the 16-year-old car had been driven only 15,000 miles. That is when Michael Gallahan, son of the original owner, took possession of the Lincoln.

He continued his father’s practice of always garaging the car and avoiding driving during inclement weather. Mr. Gallahan located the original window sticker listing all the optional extras and their prices which include:

• Air conditioning……..$471.04.

• AM radio…………….161.27.

• Ivy gold embassy roof….136.85.

• Leather upholstery……124.30.

• Six-way power seat…….83.28.

• Power door locks……….68.50.

• White sidewall tires…….56.20.

• Tinted glass……………52.53.

• Vinyl floor mats………..12.83.

Added to the accessories was a $103 freight charge and $40 more for service and preparation.

The padded dashboard is an easy-on-the-eyes cameo green, which shields the horizontal 120 mph speedometer from sunlight.

As auto manufacturers often do, the most important gauge is placed directly in front of the two-spoke steering wheel, and on this thirsty Lincoln the fuel gauge is centered directly under the speedometer.

An early version of cruise control is mounted on the lower left side of the dashboard while over at the right end is the electric clock.

Unusual in any 1967 car is the vanity mirror on the right visor and, of course, there are no cup holders.

The light ivy gold interior is designed to complement the rooftop covering.

A remnant of bygone elegance are the assist straps to aid passengers exiting the rear seat. “You need them to get out of the back seat,” Mr. Gallahan says.

He has discovered that the Lincoln needed mufflers, resonators and tires, all typical replacement items.

The big Lincoln abounds in unique and neat features such as the crank-open vent windows in each front door.

On the outside of the driver’s door is the mirror attractively mounted unobtrusively in the uninterrupted bumper-to-bumper fendertop line of chrome/stainless steel/aluminum trim.

The dozen horizontal chrome bars in the grille have a bulge in the middle that is continued in the sheet metal of the engine hood all the way back to the windshield.

At the other end of the lengthy Lincoln, the taillights are incorporated in the rear bumper.

For the past 20 years Mr. Gallahan has kept his father’s 1967 Lincoln in pristine condition.

Wherever he has driven the luxury car it has been led by the dominant hood ornament. He has driven his Lincoln twice to car shows in North Carolina.

“I’ve had it up to 90 mph one time,” he says.

Was there anything left?

“Oh, yeah,” Mr. Gallahan confirms.

With the odometer now approaching 37,000 miles after 36 years, Mr. Gallahan says, “It’s like driving on a cloud.”

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