Sign in to follow this  
Lebowski

How difficult is it to remove a continental kit?

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

I'm looking for another classic car to replace the '70 Chevelle that I sold in January and was considering something like this '55 Crown Victoria. The only problem with this one (currently for sale in Ohio) is I'm not a fan of continental kits. How easy would it be to remove it? Is it as simple as unbolting a few pieces and then attaching the bumper to the back of the car and also shortening the tail pipes or is there more to it than that? Has anyone ever done it? Thanks...

 

 

 

 

00m0m_3tco9thd9IQ_1200x900.jpg

Edited by Lebowski (see edit history)
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unbolt everything you do not want and put the bumper back on the car. Cut exhaust to length. List continental kit for sale. Enjoy cold adult beverage. Should only take a few hours. Spray the bolts with PB Blaster the day before. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that it should be easy enough to unbolt it and toss it. It's my policy to always remove non-stock continental kits. Bleh.

 

Fords are typically pretty good at using only the bumper brackets for mounting the rear spare, but I've seen more than a few continental kits that use the deck lid to secure the tire (mostly GM cars, fortunately). See if he'll send you some photos of the tire retracted and give you a look at the trunk lid itself.

 

033.thumb.JPG.572ef6f926d940c4cd113db668282dc1.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice car!  The deletion of the continental kit will be a big improvement.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recall an article in Old Cars Weekly many years ago written by an automotive designer about such things as continental kits. He said that designers used proportion in design and extending the car at the back like that if not designed for a kit ruined the proportions of the car. I don't care for kits and now I know why. As an aside, the author took aftermarket fender skirts to task also. He pointed out that if the fender had a lip at the bottom, the designer meant for the body to end there. Putting skirts on made the fender look funny. He was right about that too. Zeke

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Should be an afternoon project and then you can sell your kit and go out to dinner with the proceeds :)   And, you will enjoy not having all the extra length on the car (especially the first time you need to go in reverse) !!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Brass is Best said:

Unbolt everything you do not want and put the bumper back on the car. Cut exhaust to length. List continental kit for sale. Enjoy cold adult beverage. Should only take a few hours. Spray the bolts with PB Blaster the day before. 

 

This is exactly what the procedure was when I removed a kit from a 1953 Ford business coupe many years ago.

There was no way to undo the 102 louvers, nor the dozen or so in each "Cruiser" fender skirt, so they were simply removed and sold along with the continental kit. 

Back then, profit from the removed parts, plus the '56 Dodge "4-bar spinner" hub caps was enough to buy my $200 1954 Mercury convertible.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

00D0D_h9NMNbVxlNm_1200x900.jpg

00606_7swerUythZu_1200x900.jpg

 

I accidentally found it, wondering what it looked like in a good side view pic, but there were no good side views.

 

00j0j_ZvBRWUoQUc_1200x900.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed, it will look tons better without it.

 

What may be required are a standard set bumper brackets where it attaches to the frame, as they could have been replaced with longer ones made to extend that bumper.

 

Craig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, 8E45E said:

Agreed, it will look tons better without it.

 

What may be required are a standard set bumper brackets where it attaches to the frame, as they could have been replaced with longer ones made to extend that bumper.

 

Craig

 

Usually they're just bolt-on extensions, so hopefully the original bumper brackets are intact. You can sort-of see them here:

 

 

070.thumb.jpg.69f16448976d1f9fe9912b9c71a2910f.jpg1831766058_2019-03-1212_55_20.thumb.jpg.da94d91359ab924ecec4fd991eb5e5ca.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, 48Firetruck said:

What was the the functional purpose of these kits back in the day? Trunk space or just fashionable? If it was simply a fashion statement then I guess I'm too young to understand how anyone could think it made the car look better.

In the 'Longer, Lower, Wider' look of the day, they did what it took to achieve it.

 

Craig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought the exhaust came thru the rear bumper.. something I never liked anyways..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Edsel Ford had a Lincoln constructed for his personal car. Someone added the spare on the back like some European cars had (on the Continent). The style caught on and people mimicked the look. As best I remember the story. Zeke  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 48Firetruck said:

What was the the functional purpose of these kits back in the day? Trunk space or just fashionable? If it was simply a fashion statement then I guess I'm too young to understand how anyone could think it made the car look better.

 

You can't imagine how many guys think continental kits are just the greatest thing since hood ornaments. We had a '64 Thunderbird with a continental kit that looked like a hemorrhoid hanging off the back of the car--we tore it off instantly but a significant number of potential suitors wanted to make sure it was still included with the car and could be reinstalled. It was so awful I just have this one photo where you can almost see it. That piece of junk was off the car before the engine had cooled.

 

20181016_165734.thumb.jpg.ec86ff7dfb91a6467dc76f7300b9ebb2.jpg

 

Here's a similar car with the same godawful thing stuck on its butt. A great way to make a pretty car into a pretty ugly car. It's like a square peg in a round hole it's so wrong.

 

256-1964-1966-Thunderbird-Convertible.jpg


Bad taste is far more common than good taste. Therefore, the add-on continental kit.

  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In 1955 when the T-Bird first came out people complained that there was no room in the trunk because the spare tire took up a lot of room so in '56 all T-Birds had the continental kit. Some people complained about that too so in '57 they went back to the way it was in '55. They solved the problem in '58 by making the car a lot bigger and with a back seat too....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

Should be an afternoon project and then you can sell your kit and go out to dinner with the proceeds :)

 

Should be an afternoon project 🙂 and then you can sell your kit and go out to dinner with the proceeds.

 

I corrected the misplaced smiley.

Bernie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting thread.  Provides me with the impetus to get to work and remove the  kit on my 52 Olds 98  convertible.  Like they weren't long enough from the factory.  I always disliked it.  I didn't realize everyone else felt the same...Bob  Smits

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the 1950's and into the '60's all the individualists had them as a symbol of their flamboyant good taste. I think they all wore jackets that matched the logo on the tire cover, as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Robert G. Smits said:

Interesting thread.  Provides me with the impetus to get to work and remove the  kit on my 52 Olds 98  convertible.  Like they weren't long enough from the factory.  I always disliked it.  I didn't realize everyone else felt the same...Bob  Smits

 

They made your "Different", 

just like all the other guys!

 

... but I used to like the look, at least back then,

 

as a young guy, I even made my models, and home-built the Continental Kits - just imagine my kit of the 1956 Lincoln Premiere convertible, as if it weren't long enough.

Once, back around 1959? I almost bought a real 1954 Cadillac ElDorado convertible with the glass wind-wings from a used car lot on US-1 in Linden, NJ. It was in pretty good shape for a $300 car!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Robert G. Smits said:

Interesting thread.  Provides me with the impetus to get to work and remove the  kit on my 52 Olds 98  convertible.  Like they weren't long enough from the factory.  I always disliked it.  I didn't realize everyone else felt the same...Bob  Smits

 

When you're done how about posting before and after pics so we can check it out. Thanks...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Marty Roth said:

Once, back around 1959? I almost bought a real 1954 Cadillac ElDorado convertible with the glass wind-wings from a used car lot on US-1 in Linden, NJ. It was in pretty good shape for a $300 car!

 

I think my cousin bought that car when he was stationed with the army in Newburgh, NY. Made a couple of trips up to this end of the state and got swapped off. They were a "family only" car financed bunch. The Caddy wouldn't have required parental approval. I do remember a big stink a few years later when his mother wouldn't approve $3000 for a Gullwing Mercedes.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

to answer your question without getting into a shit show about liking or disliking them it is a two man job.and there should be nothing from returning it to the way it left factory.there were two styles the one you show and the other where the wheel? flipped down that one made it hard to get into trunk.I am bias as I have one on my car.it looks like those that were around after he korean war but before viet nam.some neathandrals still think that buggies(cars) do not look right without a horse in front operated by someone with reins in their hands😁

IMG_3993.JPG

Edited by 54vicky
added pic (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It all depends on the car. I am old so I liked them on some of the 50s cars. Ex. 59 Ford  convert.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would you call this a continental kit on this '48 Lincoln since it looks like it's part of the car and not added on? This doesn't look bad compared to the one on the Ford at the beginning of this post IMHO.... 

01111_aDbwl66cU1R_1200x900.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since “Continental kit” was so named because it first appeared on Lincoln Continentals I would say that the kit is appropriate for the car. It looks good because the designer designed the car to accommodate the spare on the back. Zeke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this