A White Ghost At UBCMonday, August 18, 2008
The 1956-1957 Lincoln Continental Mark II was the mid-'50s successor to the original Continental of the '40s. It was magnificently styled by a team including John Reinhart, William Clay Ford, and Gordon Buehrig. Engineer Harley Copp's unique "cowbelly" frame dipped low to permit high seating without a tall body.
With Multi-Drive three-speed automatic and a balanced, individually tested Lincoln V-8, the Mark II was marketed as an image leader intended to steal Cadillac's thunder in the ultra-luxury class.
Despite beautiful styling, it didn't sell well, probably because its price was so close to the (then) breathtaking $10,000 mark.
Last Thursday Rebecca, Graham Walker, Abraham Rogatnick and I went to UBC to the Chan Centre to listen to Rameau's Pygmalion presented by Early Music Vancouver. We picked up Rogatnick on our way. He lives on 11th Avenue and Trimble. We then proceded by Chancellor Boulevard. I have always been confused since it is similar (at the tail end near UBC) to University Boulevard. At one time what looked like a stately American antebellum mansion sat at the end. It is gone and there is a lot of construction of what looks like luxury condonminiums.
It was in front of that mansion that I photographed sometime around 1977 the most beautiful car in the world. It was an 1956-57 Lincoln Continental Mark II and its owner had hired me to take pictures of it. Little did he know that I knew little of this. I managed to overlook the rule that cars should be photographed free of distortion. I even (cringe) used a star filter to put stars on the headlights.
But I remember the mansion and the automobile fondly. I found the colour negatives in my files and had to use the colour restoration device of my scanner as those colour negatives had deteriorated with time. Even now that car seems to be a beautiful ghost with an existence all of its own.