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Continental Kits installed on 14 beautiful automobiles


Mark Gregory
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Some automotive historians feel that the term also describes a nonfunctional circular bulge that is stamped into the trunk lid or a cosmetic accessory to the rear of the car giving the impression of a spare tire mount.  Made popular by a number of Italian bodied Chrysler concept cars, and later embraced by Chrysler designer Virgil Exner, this idea made its way to production models on the Imperials in 1957 and worked their way down to baseline Valiant compacts by the early 1960s.

 

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4 hours ago, victorialynn2 said:

I actually wish my car didn’t have it. 

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hi, your Ford Skyliner is one of the few late 1950s American Automobiles that looks good with the continental kit, the extending rear fenders and taillights help to keep the kit from sticking out too far from the body of the car, doesn't look like it interferes with opening and closing of the trunk lid when you put the retracting hardtop in the trunk or bring it back out and up. 

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There's a local 55 Chevrolet with one, with a mural of itself painted on it. It's not factory stock so I won't show it, but I like the way it looks. 

 

Some cars it fits, others it looks terrible. The Cadillac leading off the thread looks particularly bad to my eyes. 

 

I think it works particularly well on the 1958 Impala. It's like the trim around the taillights was designed specifically to accommodate it. 

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14 hours ago, padgett said:

Just think if they adopted the 30's look with two spare tires.

Early Thirties Alfa-Romeo 6C1750 or 8C2300 Gran Sport and alike ?
 

 

OTOH, anyone seriously enamored by or into Cont. Kits on post war cars should go to major car gatherings in Sweden.
Not only do they have probably more rare/unusual models of most post war (up to ‘70s ?) American cars anywhere in the world, including U.S., but same with Cont. Kits and other aftermarket (vintage) bling one can load on a single car.

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Talk about guiding the lily. Beautiful cars with great lines made to look out of proportion by the continental kit. It appears that the weight distribution is way off and makes you wonder if the front wheels are touching the ground. Waste of money. 

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15 hours ago, rocketraider said:

🤮🤮🤮

 

Connie kits IMHO should be unallowable on any vehicle except a Lincoln Continental or 1st-gen Thunderbird. 

 

Chrysler toilet seats are barely acceptable.

 

The ungainly things ruin the styling on everything else they're tacked onto. 

53 -4 Caribbeans also OK.  Basically, allow if factory not aftermarket.

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4 minutes ago, kingrudy said:

Talk about guiding the lily. Beautiful cars with great lines made to look out of proportion by the continental kit. It appears that the weight distribution is way off and makes you wonder if the front wheels are touching the ground. Waste of money. 

Lots of people like (aftermarket) add-on bling doo-dads.
No different than adding extra horns/lights/mirrors, side mount spares, running board boxes, travel trunks, etc on prewar cars that didn’t come with them.

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I like the integrated style as on the first Lincoln Continental. In that instance it was a form follows function thing. The obvious add-on ones tend to get gross.

 

Derham did a couple of Chryslers that came off well.

1946 Chrysler New Yorker for sale in La Mesa, CA – photo 7

I had a Lincoln coupe section I was tempted to graft on to a '48 Packard I wanted to "Derhamize".

 

There are some '60's cars that could come off smooth if the mounting was recessed. But it's all custom stuff.

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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2 minutes ago, jrbartlett said:

Odd how popular continental kits are today, considering that when I was growing up in the 1950s we really did not see them very often. 

 

Very true, just think of having that thing in your way going in and out of the trunk? or even worse having a flat tire and taking all of that crap off to get the spare out? 

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22 minutes ago, jrbartlett said:

Odd how popular continental kits are today, considering that when I was growing up in the 1950s we really did not see them very often. 

How common were WWW tires on daily drivers back then ?

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9 hours ago, pontiac1953 said:

hi, your Ford Skyliner is one of the few late 1950s American Automobiles that looks good with the continental kit, the extending rear fenders and taillights help to keep the kit from sticking out too far from the body of the car, doesn't look like it interferes with opening and closing of the trunk lid when you put the retracting hardtop in the trunk or bring it back out and up. 

Thanks. It doesn’t interfere with the top. It’s just so big... I call it the “back porch”. 😆 I like the proportions of the car better without one. The car is already so long in the back to accommodate the roof.
 

I won’t make any major changes to my dad’s car though, so it’s staying. I’m sure he would have taken it off if he didn’t like it. 

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  Truthfully. I had forgotten how ugly most of them were (are).

  That said, some designs carry the kits better than others. I recall them being quite popular but not to everyone's taste, just as wide whites weren't for everybody.

 In 1960 I got a 'smokin' deal on four WW blems one of the local garages got stuck with and had in stock for a year without any takers.  They set off the brick-red '50 Studebaker Champion convertible nicely.

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The guy who put a continental kit on a 1959 Cadillac should have his driving privileges permanently revoked.

 

The rest should have something unpleasant but not permanent happen to them. Except maybe the '65 Thunderbird guy. He should not be allowed to own anything but Hyundais or something.

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15 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

The guy who put a continental kit on a 1959 Cadillac should have his driving privileges permanently revoked.

 

The rest should have something unpleasant but not permanent happen to them. Except maybe the '65 Thunderbird guy. He should not be allowed to own anything but Hyundais or something.

Not only a continental kit on the Coupe De Ville, but also dual rear mount antennas, quad rear exhaust lake pipes. Ruined an absolutely fabulous car. He ought to be hung by the jewels & beat with a teaspoon until he begs for mercy.

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1 hour ago, victorialynn2 said:

Thanks. It doesn’t interfere with the top. It’s just so big... I call it the “back porch”. 😆 I like the proportions of the car better without one. The car is already so long in the back to accommodate the roof.
 

I won’t make any major changes to my dad’s car though, so it’s staying. I’m sure he would have taken it off if he didn’t like it. 

 

Hi Victorialynn,

 

One benefit is that it does give you somewhere to sit during a "Runningboard" picnic

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2 minutes ago, AL1630 said:

Maybe I should put one on my Rambler, it would really class it up and make it seem more fancy than the economy car it is! 😄


Kind of like the current fad of modified exhaust systems on small four cylinder FWD Japanese cars?  Trying sound like something other than a small economy car.  

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