Built by Gene Winfield and Bill Reasoner
1956 Lincoln Premiere "Dreamsicle" Hot Rod
Chassis no. 56WA47889L
In the early-1950s, while Cadillac was setting style trends with airplane-inspired fins and "Dagmar" bumpers, Lincoln was quietly sweeping its class in the Carrera Panamerica. Lincolns of that era were swift and handsome but clean to the point of being benign. However, by 1956, a brand-new Lincoln made subtlety a thing of the past. Influenced by the 1954 Mercury X-800 and 1955 Lincoln Futura show cars, the 1956 Lincoln finally gave luxury buyers a stylish alternative to the Cadillac juggernaut. Offering 285 horsepower from a new 368-cid V-8 with "Turbo-Drive" automatic and a wheelbase that grew three inches to 126, the 1956 Lincoln was a car that embraced Atomic-era futurism at its finest. The nation's car buyers agreed, spiking production to over 50,000 units an improvement of over 85% from 1955.
The Premiere series debuted for 1956 as the new top-line model (aside of the Continental Mark II) and pushed the Capri down a notch. Available as a sleek two-door coupe, dignified four-door sedan, and convertible, the Premiere (and Capri too)came standard with power seats, windows, braking, and Push-Button Lubrication. Optional air condition positioned an air inlet over each door.
This 1956 Lincoln Premiere "Royal Empress" is hot rod royalty - it was built by none other than Gene Winfield and Bill Reasoner; it was later taken to another level by noted kustomizer John D'Agostino. Twenty years ago it was an integral part of the show circuit, winning both the Al Slonaker Award and Harry Bradley Design Achievement Award in 1991, among others. Noted collector John O'Quinn bought it from Bill Abate in 2006 and had it freshened up, including the Tequila Sunrise Orange paint and revamped interior, to create the Lincoln "Dreamsicle." Up front, a Ford 351 V-8 with 300 horsepower provides sufficient power for cruising on the strip or the turnpike, while you'll find the obligatory air ride suspension system in the rear.
The 1956 Lincoln Premiere has been among the most admired American cars from the 1950s for quite some time. To own one that has received the Kustom treatment by legendary crafts men is truly a rare opportunity.