It’s not too often that you will find yourself reading a feature story written in the first person. So, take this rare opportunity to hear an owner’s story firsthand, grab yourself a cold one, and sit back and enjoy the tale of Mike Alexander’s very first finished ride!
“When it came time to find the perfect cruiser, I turned my sights onto something a bit older, and began the search for that one-of-a-kind custom that I could make my own. I knew I wanted to do up a ’60s custom, but I didn’t want to do the same old Cadillacs, Fords, and Rivis that had been done over and over. That’s when I stumbled across a ’66 Lincoln two-door. The “more-doors” seemed to be everywhere, as the rear suicide doors are a pretty cool touch on the Lincolns, but I’m just not that into them for one reason or another. But this two-door spoke to me! It’s long and mean, and was just begging to be customized with some style.
“Bought from the second owner who was an undercover narcotics officer in Las Vegas (that’s right, a real-life Training Day car), we were wondering if we would come across some findings when tearing it apart. But alas, things were normal and with the interior torn apart, this ’66 quickly found itself under the knife. My good buddy Steve Wilk took care of the suspension duties. After a few talks and a game plan to put it flat on the ground, Steve fired up the torch and got down to business. Since it’s a unibody, it took some planning and hard work to get it to sit this low—a ton of hard work! Out back, a full custom four-link was built, and the body was plated and reinforced for the new rear suspension. Up front, Steve and Max at Bio Kustumz built a set of custom spindles, and Steve plated and modified the arms and spring pockets to accept the larger airbag. For air management none other than AccuAir Suspension components would do this daily cruiser proper justice and make it as easy to cruise, as it is to admire.
“Once the hard part was out of the way and the suspension was dialed in, giving this land yacht the perfect asphalt cruising stance, it was time to make the ultimate decision: wheels. Stick with a classic hubcap and whitewall or be a little more daring? Well, as you can see, I chose to dig up some relics and install a set of Cragar Star Wires with the perfect amount of white to complement the roof. Thanks to some help from Harry and the Los Boulevardos guys, I can proudly say the wheels really are one of my favorite parts of this build. With the perfect set of rollers restored and bolted up it was time to call in another favor.
“My friend Dave Prater from Sparky’s Collision went through books and books of paint chips to come up with the perfect root beer float combo that I was after. So we settled on a Mini Cooper color combo with gold metallic to really gleam in the right light. Tons of man-hours and tennis elbow went into making such a long car nice and flat for the shiny stuff, but the efforts paid off. When building a mild ’60s custom, styling cues, class, and elegance go a long way; standing out from the crowd, however, is even more important in this day and age. Still, to do all of this and still pull off a killer driver tops it all!
“I’d like to thank everyone who helped me make this happen in record time, and everyone who’s stood by me through the years. My friends, family, and club members make it all worth it. Killing ourselves time and time again to see a creation that began as a daydream come full circle and find itself parked in our driveway, well, that’s priceless.”
Rod & Custom Feature Car
Pismo Beach, California
1966 Lincoln Continental Coupe
As most of you know, the challenge in getting these Lincolns super low comes from the fact that there is no frame. It is a unibody car so we built a few things from scratch to get it to sit down nice and low. This included custom spindles, and lower control arms in the front, along with a full custom four-link and bridge work in the rear. Firestone ’bags keep the ride nice and kush, while RCD Bilstein shocks at all four corners help with the damping ability, giving this low Lincoln the quality ride it deserves.
Wheels & Tires
Nothing but classy and old school would do the trick, so a set of fully restored Cragar Star Wire 30 spokes were wrapped with American Classics 1-inch whites to set off the rolling attire perfectly.
Again, these old Lincolns aren’t the easiest to work on, and the MEL 462 engines also live up to this. With very few parts or go-fast goodies, and even fewer mechanics to work on them, it’s a battle getting the engine bay to complement the lines and beauty of the rest of the car. But thanks to Mooneyes and some old lost and found parts, we were able to spice things up a bit. Matched with some good straight pipe exhaust work, this ’60s custom cruiser is as mean as it looks!
Body & Paint
The bodywork that it takes to get these long cars straight, well let’s just say we wouldn’t wish it upon our enemies. But Sparky’s Collision came to the rescue and Dave Prater worked night and day to help the classic look we were after become reality. A root beer metallic was chosen for the body color and a vanilla for the roof color. What was once a vinyl roof car was now a smooth and painted hardtop that only the pickiest onlookers could differentiate.
Choosing to keep the clean and classy look, most of the original interior was kept intact. Black tuck ’n’ roll throughout, with a few modern additions. A centerfolding armrest was modified to house the AccuAir Suspension e-Level controller and custom AutoLoc power window switches. A carpet kit was installed, and the rest cleaned up to cruise. On a visit to Japan, the shift knob was purchased from Fudemae, a world-renowned artist from Japan, while good buddy Gato striped it up!