Originally published in the March/April 2002 issue of Continental Comments (Issue # 245).

Webmaster’s Note:  This is an historical recreation of an article originally published in the March/April 2002 issue of Continental Comments magazine.  The J.C. Daniels collection is not currently up for auction.

The J.C. Daniels Collection in Pampa, Texas, the largest collection of Lincolns and Continentals in the world, is up for sale. 450 cars were advertised in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal in late January. Continental Comments called the number given in the ad to obtain more information. Several days later that call was returned by Barry Peterson, an attorney in Amarillo, Texas who is in charge of the sale. He explained why the collection is being offered as an entire package of 450 cars, not 450 cars being sold separately or in smaller groups.

He said that there are so many cars, so many non running cars, so many parts cars and so many parts that the estate does not have the staff to sell cars and parts individually. He added that there are some 55 Continental Mark IIs, and they do not want to flood or depress the market by offering these cars individually all at once.

Peterson said the entire collection is being offered for about $1.75 million, a price which will allow a dealer or dealer group to pick out the cars they want to keep and then offer the rest of the cars and parts to the public at a profit.

We asked why the figure is 450 cars, not the 492 reported in The Way of the Zephyr in 1998. Peterson replied, “J.C. Daniels was known to exaggerate..”

The core of the collection is the Continental Mark IIs in good original unrestored condition, but they have not been started in five or more years and they are parked so close together that you would have to move all 200 of them to get at any one of them. These Mark IIs are housed in a dome-like building with many of the other earlier Lincolns. The building is about the size of two football fields. There are 50 to 60 Lincolns outside ranging from 1-956-57 to ‘70s and ‘80s Lincolns. Reportedly there are several other buildings.

J.C. Daniels, owner of the collection, died a year ago. He was the largest dealer in Continental Mark IIs in the country when they were new. Most of the collection is made up of Lincolns from the ‘50s and ‘60s. There are many Lincoln Continental convertibles from the ‘60s. There are some ‘40s Lincoln Continentals and Lincoln-Zephyrs but not a lot. There is one 1922 Lincoln sedan painted gold with burgundy fenders, and there is a 1938 K Willoughby limousine.

Daniels was not a stickler for authenticity, so many of the cars have strange repaint jobs. He emphasized collecting in sheer numbers, not for show, and many of the cars are parts cars.

Among the better cars, and there are hundreds of them, is Elvis Presley’s 1959 Continental Mark IV limousine and an open parade car in which Vice President Lyndon Johnson rode on the day that President Kennedy was assassinated.

J.C. Daniels started in the oil business in 1940. By 1960 his Sunoco Oil Corporation had nearly 300 oil wells. Between his oil wealth and Lincoln- Mercury dealership in Pampa, Daniels started building his collection in the ‘50s and it grew for over 40 years.

Daniels shunned joining car clubs and remained very much an old car recluse, but he did open the collection to car collectors on several occasions. LCOC’s Fred and Lynn Hunter, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, visited the collection five years ago. Much of the information about the cars contained in this article comes from Fred.

Pampa, Texas, where the Daniels Collection is located, is in the middle of nowhere in the Texas panhandle, about 100 miles northeast of Amarillo and 70 miles south of the Oklahoma border. According to Fred Hunter it is a town of wide boulevards but few houses or people. It is the only town in the US where Burger King had to close down! It is not even known for the J.C. Daniels Collection of Lincolns because Daniels shunned old car notoriety all his life.

There has been a good response to the ads in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal according to Peterson. Even Jay Leno called. But so far the collection has not been sold. If any of our members are interested in purchasing the entire collection, not one car or individual parts, the number to call is xxx-xxx-xxxx [redacted].

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