A Not So Stinkin’ Lincoln

A Not So Stinkin’ Lincoln

“Vice” Read cruising his Lincoln Continental Mark III through one of many covered bridges on the driving tour portion of the 2021 Eastern National Meet.  Photo courtesy of John Walcek.

Originally published in the May/June 2024 Lincoln and Continental Comments magazine (Issue # 378)

My fascination with cars started as a child. My story began with a Matchbox & Hot Wheels collection and continued with participating in model car competitions, bumper cars, and go-kart racing. I attended the D.C. Amory World of Wheels show in the early 1960s with my father, where I entered the model car competition. I built The Little Red Wagon with cotton glued around the wheels and thread for the spark plugs. I had no directions and no parts left over. The judges were impressed, and I won 2nd place in my division. I was hooked for life. That was the beginning of dreaming of having a winning show car one day.

My passion for cars continued in my teenage years. As a rite of passage, you had to get a car and fix it up to get the girls. I started out as a Mopar man, for the performance. My mother gifted me her 1963 Dodge Dart Convertible, and my first car was a 1969 Charger R/T. In total, I have owned eight Mopar vehicles. As an adult, I was Assistant Director for Goodwill Industries Car Department, which accepted donations and conducted auctions. Most donated cars, if not all, were in pretty bad condition.

This is how I became the owner of my 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III named “STINKN LINKN.” It came in with the  original owner, who stated he couldn’t drive the car anymore and that his kids didn’t want it. The owner said it was luxurious. I was impressed with its appearance. The body was amazingly straight. There was nothing wrong with it except for the rear quarter panel damage he’d caused by putting it in his garage, where it sat for a year. I was a little reluctant because, at the time, my father and I were Cadillac men. Nevertheless, I offered him $300, and the rest is history.

In 2008, I became the owner of this Lincoln and started my journey. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. I received my first local car show award for Best Work in Progress and was gifted my first LCOC magazine at that show. I was working on the body, so primer was its color. Thereafter, I started the Continental Cruisers in 2010 with two members, and now we are an impressive 50-strong. We received numerous awards and have been featured in every medium: radio, television, videos, movies, and magazines. Joining the LCOC was definitely the highlight ownership of six Lincolns. Currently, I have three, including my daily driver, a 2016 MKT. My wife has a rare 1989 Lincoln Mark VII Convertible.

This journey has been an incredible ride. The friends I’ve met, the cars I’ve seen, and the places I’ve been have made the dreams of a kid at the World of Wheels with a model car come true. The fellowship and camaraderie of Lincoln enthusiasts and owners and the preservation of these beautiful, historic pieces of art make it all worth the money, time, and effort of owning Classic Lincolns. I am looking forward to what the future brings.

Long live the Lincoln, LCOC, and Continental Cruisers!

Ivan “Vice” Read is an LCOC member from Temple Hills, Maryland and the founder and president of the Continental Cruisers 

ABOVE:  The Stinkn 1970 Mark III sure looked sweet on the indoor show field inside the Classic Auto Mall in Morgantown, Pennsylvania.  The man himself and head honcho of the Continental Cruisers, Ivan “Vice” Read.

ABOVE:  “Vice” and his Mark III at the Strasburg Rail Road during the 2021 Eastern National Meet.

BELOW:  The Continental Cruisers, led by Mr. Read were out in force at the 2021 ENM.