The Tim McManus Story

The Tim McManus Story

Tim MacManus was master of ceremonies at the LCOC National 2016 Western Meet in Westminster, Colorado and an important member of the Rocky Mountain Region Committee that organized the meet. He was born in New York City in Forest Hills, just beside Brooklyn.

The family then moved up to Old Greenwich, then down to Montgomery, Alabama where his father had a truck refrigeration company. When his father saw the original story on the Edsel he went to the Detroit Auto Show and saw the car for the first time and fell in love with it because the tail lights went all the way across the back when most of the others just had round tail lights in the fender and the front had a most unusual look and the instruments had a speedometer that rotated. It also had a button that when you pushed it it would lubricate your front end.

So he became an Edsel dealer in Burlington, North Carolina. But right away came the recession of 1958. The Edsel fit into a slot to better compete with General Motors. The Pacer and Ranger were on the Ford frame and the Corsair and Citation were on the Mercury frame. Then in December 1957 an article came out in Time magazine that put the car in ill repute and it never recovered from that. Women stopped coming into the show­rooms. This was also the first year that over a million imports were sold in the U.S. The Edsel the wrong car at the wrong time with the wrong design. For 1960 it was given a Ford design but it was too late. While the car lasted, Tim worked in his father’s dealership detailing Edsels and that’s where he learned to love cars.

After college, he went to work for Procter and Gamble. He started out with product goods, Head and Shoulders, Crest, Gleem, Scope, Prell, Secret, and he was so successful in three territories that he was selected to head the introduction of Pampers. It was so successful they couldn’t keep them on the shelves. From that success, he took a course in industrial real estate. He has sold industrial real estate ever since, for forty-six years.

When he was young he had five hears­es. He has always had two or three cars, even when things weren’t going so well. He now has a 1957 Cadillac Brougham, two 1958 Edsel Citation convertibles, a1964 Cadillac convertible, a 1979 Continental Mark V, a 1957 Continental Mark II, and a 1957 Thunderbird which is an Amos Minter ground up restoration. All of these cars are kept in a climate con­trolled facility near downtown Denver.

The 1979 Continental Mark V is a Collector’s Series that is black on black with a leather interior and a moonroof. It has the 400 cubic inch engine. He bought this car in the summer of 2015 from a dealer who had bought it out of a family estate with only 16,000 miles. The car had 22,000 miles at the time Tim bought it in the summer of 2015. At the time of the 2016 Westminster LCOC meet it had 23,000 miles. Only the 400 CID engine was offered for 1979. Most Collector’s Series were either white or midnight blue.

We have never seen a black one before and we do not know how many of this color were built. Four Designer Series were built. There was also a Luxury Group Series. Total 1979 Mark V pro¬duction was 75,939. The Mark V was an enormously successful car. Downsized 1980 Mark VI production was only about half that amount.

Low Mileage 1979 Continental Mark V in Missouri

Low Mileage 1979 Continental Mark V in Missouri

Recently, I was surfing the internet looking at Lincolns. Some of the most beautiful motorcars ever produced rolled off the Lincoln assembly line, and I like to look and admire. One of the cars I stumbled across was a 1979 Mark V. The turquoise paint caught my eye, so I opened the classified ad. In a word, the car looked stunning. It was triple turquoise, a color combination I hadn’t seen before and it looked to be extremely nice. The clincher was the fact that the odometer only showed 21,000 miles. It really captured my attention, so I left a message for the seller and he called me back the next evening. He had owned the car for 16 years and had bought it from the original owner’s estate. The story he related was the original owner had traded a smaller car for the extra-large Lincoln, and was not comfortable driving it because of its size. As a result, he didn’t put many miles on it before he passed away. His widow didn’t drive it, either, but did have the dealership come out once a year to ser- vice, wash and wax the car. Then back in the garage it went. When she passed away, the car landed in the hands of her daughter. Once again, it was seldom driven. After a year or so of attempting to buy it from the daughter without any luck, the second owner received a phone call from her informing him that if he wanted it, he had to come and pick it up that day, which he did.

The second owner painted a picture of the car that was almost too good to be true. He described a car so pristine that if I wanted it, I had to come and pick it up. It even had its original belts and hoses. He came across as very sincere in his glowing description of the car, not as one who was trying to oversell the car. Still, it was a story that was almost too good to be true.

I found out that he was only 2 1/2 hours away from me, just outside of St. Louis, so I made arrangements to go look at the car. When I arrived on the next Saturday, he took me out to the garage to look at the car. He had recently retired, had downsized his home, and the massive Mark barely fit in the confines of his new garage. The car was stunning in its sea of turquoise. I had never seen one that color, and it reminded me of Fiestaware from the ‘50s. It was every bit as nice as he said it was. He pointed out a few things that needed attention, such as the inoperative fuel gauge. He asked if I wanted to drive it, but as nice as the car was, and as I was unfamiliar driving the car and the area, I asked him to take me for a ride instead. He did, and the car drove out like a brand new car. Even the eight-track tape player works! I could tell the rotors needed to be resurfaced, and the a/c didn’t work, but otherwise it was hard to fault the car. It was like a time warp back to 1979. We returned to his house and struck a deal. I was by myself,so I made arrangements to return the following weekend for the car.

During the following week, I sent off for a Marti report. The report came back that my car was one of 75,939 Mark Vs built in 1979, one of 3,136 with the Turquoise Luxury Group, one of 2,732 with Medium Turquoise Moondust paint, and one of 684 with my particular paint and trim codes. It’s also very well-optioned. It’s definitely not a common car.

Debbie and I returned the following Saturday, and headed back home with the car. I stopped to fill up the fuel tank and

off we went. We had been on the road for just under an hour when all the traffic on I-44 came to a standstill. After idling for a few minutes, the Mark died and wouldn’t restart. Traffic was moving, but at a snail’s pace. Debbie had parked behind me in her Honda and there we sat, blocking one lane. After a while, some guys in a Ford pick- up helped me push the Mark off onto the shoulder. We sat for about an hour, and then I tried to start the car. It wouldn’t start. Plenty of battery, no fuel. Debbie had learned from the MODOT website that someone had left the highway and struck a huge tower holding high-voltage power lines. The impact had knocked the power lines from the tower, and they were lying across the highway and the service road. There was nowhere to go. After another hour or so, we decided to call a wrecker when the Mark still would not start. Over the course of the next three hours, we waited for the wrecker and were in contact with roadside assistance. The wrecker driver tried, but he simply could not get to us. Troopers had begun routing traffic off the next off-ramp and up north twenty miles and back around to the west and then south back to I-44. They were two- lane, curvy back roads and that was slow going for the truckers, so traffic was still moving very slowly. After waiting for four hours, I made the hard decision to lock up the Mark and leave it on the shoulder, keys hidden with the car, hoping the wrecker would get to it sometime. Needless to say,

I was very apprehensive. I had asked the wrecker service to tow it to a Ford dealer that was not too far away.

We arrived home, eleven hours after we left, on what should have been a 2 1/2 hour drive. At 8:00 that evening, the highway was still not clear and the Mark had not

been picked up. I think it was around 10:00 p.m. when it was finally retrieved and on its way. I was concerned about having to leave it on the side of the interstate and having it towed, so we drove to the Ford dealer the next day, Sunday, to inspect it. We couldn’t find it. We called the wrecker company and they assured us it had been towed there, but it was nowhere to be found. On a hunch, we drove a mile down the road to the Dodge dealership, owned by the same person and with the same name on the sign. There it sat. It appeared to be fine, but was in the wrong place. I called the wrecker company, maybe they had towed it to the wrong place and would move it down to the Ford

dealership on Monday morning. On Monday morning, I called the Ford dealership and they said it would be three weeks before they could diagnose it. This is a small Ford dealer in a small town, so I knew they weren’t that busy. They just didn’t want to work on it. I then called Carl, the man whose shop had built my Hemi Lincoln, and who was not that far away. He agreed to go pick it up and take a look at it.

Carl had the car for almost a month. He re-routed a fuel line to solve the vapor lock issue,which was why it had died on the highway and wouldn’t restart. While it was running to

make sure it didn’t die again, the a/c compressor clutch started smoking. It had to be replaced, along with a leaking radiator. I also asked him to repair the fuel gauge, change all the fluids and turn the front rotors. When he pulled a front wheel off, he found that the car still had the OEM brake pads! They were still good, but we replaced them anyway.

I finally got the car back home almost a month after I started the journey. I washed it, clayed it, waxed it, and treated the leather. I touched up a few rock chips and spot-cleaned the carpet. For a 37-year- old car, it didn’t need much cosmetically. We have a couple of minor mechanical issues to address yet and because of that, I haven’t driven it much. Unfortunately, by the time I get it back, there won’t be much driving season left before the snow starts flying here in the Ozarks. I’ll surely be looking forward to spring!

Lincoln Motor Car Heritage Museum Update

Lincoln Motor Car Heritage Museum Update

The Lincoln Motor Car Heritage Museum ended the year on a high note, the donation of two automobiles to the museum’s growing group of classic Lincolns. Of equal significance, three separate groups from the Lincoln Division of Ford Motor Company visited the museum.

The Dr. L. Dale Shaeffer family donated Dr. Shaeffer’s 1941 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet, which he had owned for more than sixty years. Dr. Shaeffer was the second president of the Lincoln Continental Owners Club (LCOC). His widow and children attended the 2016 Lincoln Homecoming for the ceremonies.

Randy Fehr of Iowa formally donated his 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan convertible, which had previously been on loan. During Mr. Fehr’s ownership, the car benefited from a complete restoration to as original condition.

Other key events that took place during 2016:

The completed restoration of a 1926-‘27 Lincoln L chassis was donated by Arnold Schmidt. The chassis was restored by Paul Van Stratton and his team of volunteers. Major funding came from the Nau family, in memory of longtime Lincoln enthusiast Gerry Nau. Several LOC members donated parts.

A 1946 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet was loaned by David Bunch of Florida. This is a one-off car customized by Lincoln’s design department. Unique features include a custom color, wheel covers painted body color, Haartz cloth top, and a chromed spare tire carrier.

The loan of a newly-restored 1940 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet by Lincoln Motor Car Foundation Chairman Emeritus Jack Eby, who led the LMCF for many years and continues to serve as head of the museum’s endowment campaign.

Of equal significance, three separate groups from the Lincoln Division of Ford Motor Company visited the museum. Among the executives visiting were teams from the Lincoln marketing department, Lincoln product planning department, and Lincoln design department. Among the executives visiting the museum were Moray Callkum, Vice President, Design Ford Motor Company; David Woodhouse, Lincoln Design Director, John Emmert, Group Marketing Manager, Lincoln; and Scott Tobin, Director, Lincoln Product Development.

An ongoing LMCF capital campaign drive continues to build an endowment fund that ensures the continued operation of the museum for years to come. Matching funds have been pledged by Jerry Capizzi and Chris Dunn.

Looking ahead, the 2017 Homecoming will take place August 9-13. (A “premeet” event will be held in Dearborn, Michigan, August 6-9.) A host of activities has been planned.

While the 2017 Homecoming will be hosted by the Lincoln Owners Club, it will be attended by all four Lincoln clubs—the Lincoln and Continental Owners Club, Lincoln-Zephyr Owners Club, the Road Race Lincoln Register and the LOC. The theme will be the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Lincoln Motor Company to build Liberty Motors for the war effort. (The company was reincorporated in 1920 to build motor cars.)

Details on the 2017 Homecoming are available on the LMCF website.

On the Lincoln Highway

On the Lincoln Highway

The Lincoln Motor Car Heritage Museum in Dayton, Ohio Mid-America Meet, June 15-19 kicked off the year 2016 in spectacular fashion. There were fifty-eight cars registered for judging and another twenty-one for exhibition. What I liked most about this meet was the sheer variety of years, and models, with some really rare ones.

There were two Lincoln Cosmopolitans, a 1949 Lincoln, three 1954 Capris, two 1956 Premiere convertibles, a 1956 and 1957 coupe, several 1958-60 era cars, more sixties era cars than you could shake an Edsel at, and more early Lincoln Continentals than we have seen in years. To top it off, the Elliston Bell winner was Tony Russo’s 1927 Lincoln L Coupe. The great diversity of Lincolns was paradise for photographer John Walcek.

There were so many tours you could hardly join them all. I especially liked the Packard Museum Tour which is featured on pages 43-44 of this issue. When Tim Wilson and his group in the Southern Ohio Region put on a National Meet, it is hard to top. You will be reading about feature cars from this Ohio Mid-America Meet in Comments for some time to come.

The Western National Meet in Westminster, Colorado, September 7-10, was as spectacular as its Rocky Mountain setting. This was the first National Meet held in the Denver area since 1992. It was sponsored by the reorganized Rocky Mountain Region with fifty-two cars entered along with an equal number of cars at another show in the adjacent parking area of the Westin Hotel, our meet headquarters.

The Thursday tour to the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park was followed Friday with a tour of the Clive Cussler Museum. The winners of the Elliston Bell Trophy on Saturday evening were John Burge and Mike Steiner up from California with their 1974 Continental Mark IV.

Not to be confused with these two LCOC national events was the Second Annual Lincoln Homecoming at the The Lincoln Motor Car Heritage Museum inHickory Corners, Michigan, August 10- 14. This event was sponsored by the Road Race Lincoln Register, one of the four Lincoln clubs who helped build the museum. It drew nearly one hundred cars.

The last meet of the year was the Eastern National Meet held in Bartlett, New Hampshire, October 13-16, which is covered “colorfully” in this issue.

In 2017, there will be one National LCOC Meet, the Fourth Lincoln Homecoming at Hickory Corners, Michigan, August 9-13. Details can be found on Page 10 of this issue.

Tony Russo’s 1927 Lincoln L Judkins Coupe, 2016 Bell winner in Ohio.

The Talbourdets with their 1966 Lincoln Continental at the 2016 ENM in New Hampshire.

A record turnout of Mark IIs at the 2016 WNM in Colorado.