Sunday, October 26, 2014

1955 Lincoln Capri Special Custom 4-door Sedan

"There's something about Lincoln that no picture can capture — something that lies underneath its gleaming surface. And that's the way Lincoln feels when you drive it. At super highway speeds, there's an unbelievably smooth feeling. You almost think you're not moving at all, until the passing landscape, trees and telephone poles betray the fact that you're really traveling. This effortless ease cuts driving fatigue. Even after a long trip in a Lincoln, you feel fresh, relaxed. And it's unfair to talk about Lincoln without mentioning its Turbo-Drive. This has been called the most advanced improvement in no-shift driving in fifteen years. A few blocks of driving a Lincoln tells you why. With Turbo-Drive, there's no lag, no jerk. Just one sweep of utterly smooth, silent power, from start to super highway speed limits. Why not get a good, 'in person' look at America's really fine car at your Lincoln showroom? Your Lincoln salesman will be happy to let you drive it for yourself — and let you enjoy the greatest feeling you can ever get from behind the wheel of any car  . . .  anywhere."

Aside from a modern steering wheel, borrowed from a 1990s Chrysler Neon, this Lincoln Capri from Havana is in a remarkably good shape. The embellishment still shows its original golden hue, all the chrome trim is in place and, best of all, there is a mighty V-8 engine growling in the engine bay. That's not very common on Cuban roads today, but a Lincoln is a rather uncommon sight on the island, anyway.

When new in 1955, the Lincoln Capri was already in the final year of a four-year lifecycle and the next generation was being readied to get off the starting blocks in 1956. Yet, Lincoln didn't hesitate to spend money on a last extensive facelift. Reshaped rear fenders and "channeled" headlights should distract from the Lincoln's similarity to the lower priced Mercury, that had been all too obvious in the years before.

Yet, the Lincoln couldn't be mistaken for a Mercury on the open road: its mighty V-8 engine made sure that the pricey Lincoln remained the quicker car. For 1955, Lincoln implanted an all-new powertrain: the displacement of its V-8 engine rose from 317.5 cubic inches (5,203 ccm) to 341cid (5,588 ccm). Higher compression ratio and a new high-lift camshaft raised the output to 225hp, 10 percent more than the 205hp of 1954, and 15 percent more than the biggest available Mercury engine (195hp). The new "Turbo-Drive" automatic transmission replaced the "Hydra-Matic" that Lincoln had been buying from its competitor General Motors in previous years.

These technical improvements, however, didn't betray from the fact that this four year old Lincoln generation was an aging design. In a year of phenomenal sales industry-wide, just 27,222 Lincoln left the factory, more than a quarter less than in the previous year.

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