Modified '61 Lincoln

Franklin Mint 1961 Lincoln Continental Convertible
Independent Retailer Exclusive Limited Edition of 1000
Custom Modified by Wadus Exum

I just love the first-year Lincoln four door convertible, and especially this limited edition in Regency Turquoise. It's one of my favorite models.

The first thing you'll notice is the roof color, but then some of the more subtle changes become apparent. I didn't like the fake plastic-like look of the off-white top, not to mention the fact that the headliner was off-white as well, instead of the correct black. It's purely a matter of personal taste, but I think the black looks more realistic.

Ah, there's nothing like open-air motoring, and what better way to "catch some rays" than cruising around in one of these land-yachts with four or five of your closest friends.

Of course we all know that no diecast model is absolutely perfect, but some are better than others...

Unfortunately, these gorgeous cars were plagued with quality control problems and build flaws--some minor and some not so minor. Wanting to have mine corrected, I posted a message on the Diecast Zone bulletin board, and Wadus came to my rescue. He's famous in diecast circles for his one-off customizations and repaints, and he has a special passion for the '61 Continental convertible--lucky me!
Mr. Exum did several things for me to correct and improve this model, and I have highlighted some of the major items with photographs below. Please browse through these pictures to see the magic Wadus worked on this car, which is now the centerpiece of my growing collection...

Center Post Interior Detail

The center posts between the doors have had scratchbuilt black interior panels added with the correct chrome trim pieces on top.
Front Door Corrections and Improvements

The front doors have had the interior door handles reversed so that they now point in the correct direction. Also, all four of the intrusive dogleg-style door hinges have been painted black to make them less noticeable when the model is displayed with the top down as seen in the picture of the dashboard below.
Dashboard and Windshield Height

The dash was mounted too low and the windshield too high on these models, causing a gap where they met on the interior, as well as gaps where the windshield frame met the vent windows on the side doors. The dashboard and windshield were removed, altered, and replaced on this car at a more correct height relative to the 1:1 car.
Photo-Etched Hood Ornament

Fussy collectors like me were unhappy with the stamped metal hood ornament used by the Mint. It was too big, too jagged, and only had detail on one side. Wadus obtained a 1/24 scale photo-etched Lincoln hood ornament from a well-known diecast parts fabricator, and scratch-built the chrome base.
Custom Plaque

In addition to the standard Limited Edition plaque located in the trunk to the right of the covered spare tire, Wadus created a special plaque for my car which reads: "Modified by Wadus 4/2005"
Front and Rear Marker Lights

Many diecast cars have headlight lenses with a dark spot in the center caused by the mounting post. On this model the headlights were fine, but all four marker lights (front and rear) had posts, and on such a small lens the post was particularly noticeable. The posts were skillfully removed and the lenses reinstalled.

Additional modifications not pictured above:
1) The car’s wheel covers stuck out too far—way beyond the rims of the tires—so these were modified to sit more flush with the tires, as they should.
2) Some tiny paint chips (not uncommon on these cars) were touched up to match the paint color and wet-sanded to match the original finish.
3) Some chrome trim that was slightly mis-aligned was removed and re-attached in the proper alignment.
4) Lastly, at my request, Wadus signed and dated the model's original numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

See MORE Lincoln modifications on my FM 1961 Lincoln, Pt. 2 page. Using Bare Metal Foil I chromed the edges of the wheel openings to match those on the real 1:1 continental, and chromed the tips of the welt on the convertible top.

I can't thank Wadus Exum enough for the labor of love he bestowed upon my little car. It is one of my absolute favorite images, but sadly its original "mint" condition left a lot to be desired.
Wadus is not only a very talented individual, he has also demonstrated his generosity and kindness in my dealings with him, and I would recommend him whole-heartedly.