After a - what it felt for me - endless time of waiting it was finally time to welcome my newly acquired 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III to Austria.
It arrived today - very unexpectedly when I got a call from a lady I know who is the manager of local gas station. She called me and asked if I would expect a Continental. She explained that a truck just stopped at her gas station to ask for directions to my home. Luckily I was still at home and so I jumped into the car to get to the truck driver and show him where I live, as he did not speak our language at all.
I then guided him through town and we started to unload the car close to my home.
When the car rolled of the truck I was shocked! The once perfect vinyl roof was badly damaged. It was immediately clear that it was damaged on the truck of the long journeys last leg.
Problem was that I could not really talk to the driver and write something down. I took lots of pictures immediately though. So I called the trucking company and they said that I should send them the pictures. The next day they called and asked why nothing about the damage was written down on the papers when I received the car and that they probably would not pay because of this!!!
Looks like I will need a good lawyer now to fight with the insurance company.
I got a raw estimate from a good upholstery shop here for the repair which is for 60 hours of work + material.
You have to remove almost the entire interior of the Mark III, including the rear window mechanism with the glass and most of the weatherstripping to get access to the fasteners which hold the moldings in place. Most of the plastic fasteners also are no longer available - so you will have to be very careful when you remove them.
The original top material of the Mark III was called “Cavalry Twill Vinyl“ and the only company which can offer a correct replacement top seems to be SMS Auto Fabrics http://www.smsautofabrics.com/products/vinyl-tops.php
The material alone costs 475.- + shipping. (price from August 2011)
Besides the damage to the roof during shipment- the car is really nice. It drives beautifully and everything works as it should.
I already delivered the Mark III to my restoration shop to prepare it for the inspection for the Austrian license. We will have to convert the lighting system to go with Austrian law.
The first inspection showed that I will also have to install 3 new brake hoses, 2 upper ball joints and both outer tie rods. Got most of the parts already from rockauto.com - only the front brake hoses seem to be difficult to get and very expensive. Luckily I found a shop on ebay where they are available for half of the price of what most Lincoln specialists are asking.
Here are some pictures of when the car arrived - it got extremely dirty from the transport unfortunately.
As you can see it was squeezed in pretty closely into the truck - watch the beam just above the vinyl top...
The damaged “Cavalry Twill Vinyl“ roof
My first ride in the Lincoln.
At home - saying “Hello“ to the Cadillacs
in front of the garage
In my old garage - together with our Roadmaster
First sunset in Austria
Dressed for the first night...
At the restoration shop - awaiting inspection