“Maybellene” – a Kindig-It built 1958 Lincoln Continental
Editors Note: Words by Tad Leach, owner of “Maybellene”
I have been a car guy since I was a kid, when cars were freedom. I’ve had a number of fun cars since then – a 421-powered ’64 Pontiac, a ’54 Buick, a 2004 Corvette, a ’59 Buick convertible, and a ’39 LaSalle concept car among them.
As I approached the age of 70, several things struck me: I was 25 years older than my dad when he passed away and a prostate cancer survivor. It dawned on me that if I was going to do one last perfect car, I’d better get going. Fortunately, my wife of over 52 years, Sue, encouraged me to follow my dream.
In watching various car television shows, I took a liking to Dave Kindig and his team at Kindig-It Design on Motortrend’s “Bitchin’ Rides.” I contacted Dave and liked what I heard, so I visited his shop.
I’d been thinking about a ’56 Lincoln Premiere, as I always liked the look – a true ’50s car with fins. He talked to a local classic car dealer who happened to have a 1958 Lincoln Continental, which also had great lines and fins. It was a limited run (3,048) and is the longest production convertible other than rare 1934-37 Cadillac V16s.
I liked the ’58 but told Dave there were several things I wanted to change, such as the fender skirts and a chintzy stamped panel across the back. Dave showed me a design that resolved those issues, so we went with it.
His team built sculpted rear quarter panels that mimic the front fenders and a custom aluminum rear panel with an LED taillight behind. They also shaved the emblems and extra trim before applying the brilliant AkzoNobel Teal Later paint.
I wanted a unique car with unique features and lots of power. The latter came from an all-aluminum 600c.i. V12 engine made by Ryan Falconer of Falconer Racing Engines. It’s the only one of about 50 he’s made that’s supercharged and it generates 940hp and 1,040 lb-ft of torque, sending it through a 4L80E transmission.
I asked Dave to do a clear bubble in the hood to showcase the engine, like the optional ’53 Oldsmobile Fiesta hoods that showed off their new Rocket 88 engines.
The rest of the car uses top-shelf components, including a custom Art Morrison frame with AccuAir adjustable-height suspension, Wilwood disc brakes, and custom EVOD wheels with Pirelli tires.
JS Custom Interiors stitched together beautiful upholstery using Bentley Beer Foam-colored leather. Custom Dakota Digital gauges replace the originals, and there’s Vintage Air for comfort.
The finished car speaks for itself. “Maybellene” debuted at the 2017 SEMA Show and won numerous awards at the Grand National Roadster Show, Sacramento Autorama, and Portland Roadster Show. Becoming a 2018 Goodguys Custom Rod of the Year finalist is another top honor for this custom 1958 Lincoln Continental that has been a culmination of my lifelong automotive infatuation.
Photos by Damon Lee