Lincoln Continental

In 1938, Edsel Ford commissioned a custom design from the chief stylist, Eugene T. Gregorie, making the foundations for the first Lincoln Continental development.

The entire original sketches were allegedly completed within hour and the ned result was an elegant convertible with a long hood covering the Lincoln V12, with long front fenders and a short trunk with trademark covered spare tire.

Lincoln Continental was inspired by Zephyr blueprints, with significant decrease in height. Compared to the competition vehicles of the period, long and low design makes the Continental one of the most beautiful cars from the era.

Edsel Ford had the vehicle delivered to Florida for his spring vacation, upon the successful production of customized one-off prototype.

New flashy prototype gained much attention in high society, with many of well standing citizens inquiring on the model and the price. Edsel recognized the opportunity, which he possibly created intentionally, and reported back to the factory to start the production. However, Lincoln Continental had to be extensively hand-built because of their unique design.

In 1939 the two dozen models were produced, while in 1940 Lincoln craftsmen managed to produce 400 units of the Continental "Cabriolet" convertible. It was the time of direct American involvement in World War II, cutting the regular production short and making some changes in design.

People wanted strong, safe cars, thus all Lincoln models were given squared up fenders and a revised grill to create a boxier, heavier look. After the attack on Pearl Harbor United States automobile production for civilians was suspended until 1945.

Ford's Lincoln division continued to produce the Continental for model years 1946 to 1948. Actually, the 1948 Lincolns were the last V-12 engined cars produced and sold by a major American auto manufacturer, making them a genuine classic. The Continental name was revived in 1955 with the Lincoln Continental Mark II. Version in question was again uniquely designed with the highest quality control ever seen in the automotive industry at the time.

With very limited availability, distinctive styling and luxury it appeared almost more exclusive than the original. Price followed suit and around $10,ooo Continental was one of the most expensive cars in the world.

The vehicle remained in the Ford lineup rivaling expensive Rolls-Royce models for over 60 years before the production discontinued in 2002. Through the decades brand grew stronger, while sales mostly remained stable. '48 Lincoln Continental remains as one of the most beautiful cars ever built by the American automotive industry which made a significant mark on the future models.

Next: Lincoln Model K | Return to library | Follow on Facebook