Jovan Van Drielle, 64, a marketing executive in Scottsdale, Ariz., on her and her mother’s 1966 Lincoln Continental convertible, as told to A.J. Baime.
When my mother Josephine was a young woman, the 1966 Lincoln Continental convertible was, in her mind, the most luxurious of cars. My father was a car collector but he did not like convertibles, and he never bought her the car. She always said that if she ever won the lottery…
My dad passed away years ago, and in 2017, my mother—then 87—moved from her home in New Jersey to be near me. I wanted her to be happy, so I said to her, “Mom, I’m going to buy you your dream car.”
Photos: Like Driving a Yacht
This 19½-foot-long Lincoln Continental is among the relics of the mid-1960s
I scoured the internet and found a 1966 Lincoln at a used-car dealership in Boston. The pictures looked great, and I trusted the man I spoke to because…he was a used-car salesman. [laughter] I paid $21,000 for the car and had it shipped across country. With the restoration, I put in another $50,000.
When I bought the car my mother was still driving, but now not so much. I drive her around in the Lincoln. It is like “Driving Miss Daisy.” The car is huge—19½ feet long—so her wheelchair fits in the trunk.
I made a postcard of my mom with the car—I call it my $71,000 postcard—and sent it to all her friends and family on the East Coast. I also had an art piece made of her at the wheel, and hung it on her wall.
One night not long ago, I was watching “Jay Leno’s Garage” on television. Turns out Jay Leno also owns a 1966 Lincoln Continental convertible, and on his show, he had a man named John Cashman on, whom I now refer to as the Lincoln Whisperer. Mr. Cashman travels the country with his dog in a rolling auto shop, working only on vintage Lincoln Continentals. I still needed some work done, so I contacted him. I prayed that he would come look at the car.
On Nov.18, the day the photographer came, Mr. Cashman arrived in a huge truck filled with every kind of tool and Lincoln part imaginable. He fixed things on my car I did not even know were broken.
I cannot believe how perfectly it all came together, and the best part is how happy it makes my mother.
—Contact A.J. Baime at Facebook.com/ajbaime.