Déjà Blue

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If you’re Thomas Askounis, you experience a bit of déjà vu every time you get behind the wheel of your 1956 Lincoln Premiere Sedan.

It’s painted “Summit Green and Taos Turquoise,” a hue off from his mother’s former 1956 Lincoln Premiere Sedan—the Summit Green and Light Ice car he used to pretend to drive when he was a boy.

“I always loved the style of the car,” Thomas says. “Before this, Lincoln was really taking on more of a road race car. But this was the year that they really went all out on style.”

Years beyond his boyhood, Thomas bought the one we’re looking at now from an online estate sale.

“We negotiated on the car,” he laughs, “but (as soon as) I saw it, I had to have it.”

We don’t blame him. 1956 marked a point at which Lincoln really began emphasizing a particular style that stands apart to this day. The interior is a study in detail, the steering wheel is two-toned and almost every available exterior surface seems to point forward, confidently.

“Part of the design idea was that the car was supposed to look like a waterfall,” Thomas says. “(It takes a cue from) water cascading down, while the front end looks like a shark. The interior is very much aeronautical.”

It’s immediately apparent what he means—almost the entirety of the car’s interior is upholstered in deep oceanic blue leather, while the toggle switches of the speedometer are topped off in sea foam tones of white and cream. The steering wheel practically begs for a ship captain to take the helm, while controls from the heater to the window handles evoke a sense of wheels-up, full-throttle flight.

“It’s amazing to see the details,” Thomas says. “They did all this design and everything else pre-computer age; I have charts and drawings of many different cars, everything from conceptual sketches to pre-brochure… and there was always somebody there at a desk doing it.”

The vehicle is so unique that once, when Thomas was out of town and saw a similar listing online, he wondered briefly if his had been stolen while he was away—because it seemed even less likely that his car had a twin.

“Half the fun of driving this car is just the smiles that it brings to people’s faces—the thumbs up you get,” Thomas says. “It just makes people happy.”

We were curious about one reaction, in particular.

“When I bought the car about three years ago, I took my mom—she was 94 at the time. I picked her up and we went for a ride in the car and I said, ‘Do you remember this car?’ and she says, ‘I think so,’” Thomas says. As if she might have seen it somewhere before…

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