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1964 Continental Slips Into Reverse

Good morning Bill -

My 1964 Lincoln sometimes slips into reverse on its own and other times when I try and start it it sounds like it's in gear and if I move the shifter level all the way down to low and back to park it usually remedies the situation and car starts fine. Also once running I believe the transmission works fine, i.e. smooth shifting etc. Thanks as always, Vinnie


Hi Vinnie -

What you are describing is a very common situation, but it is very uncomfortable for you and could be further detrimental if ignored.

You or your mechanic will need to inspect all of the transmission shift linkage from the shift lever to the transmission looking for wear/looseness and any bushings etc. that may be damaged. Pay close attention to the Parking Pawl that the shift lever locks into in the steering column. Also check the Steering Column Bushings and Sleeve. Another possibility is that the engine and or the transmission mounts have rotted out and are now useless. This could allow the engine and transmission to look ok at the mounts but rotate or shift around slightly during " torque situations" enough to change the manual shifter settings. Please check out all the above asap to avoid further damage. We will have any parts available for you if needed. Good luck with the diagnosis and let us know what you find defective so that we can let other customers know.