Lincoln Model L

When Henry Leland founded Lincoln, he wanted to build a great cars for different sorts of clients. However, the plan backfired and the company was soon in serious financial trouble.

Leland valued Lincoln at over $16 million, but the judge presiding over the receivership determined that fair price was $8 million, an amount which was Henry Ford quite ready to pay in 1922. Following a couple of disagreements with Henry Leland, Ford positioned his son Edsel as the President of Lincoln Motor Company.

Edsel Ford soon took control over the L-series model, the first vehicle that company ever made. This beautiful piece of engineering was actually considered the most elegant of chauffer driven cars in 1920s.

Lincoln Model L was a representation of luxury vehicles that the company wanted to promote in America. Before Edsel Ford's new policies were implemented, early Lincoln buyers waited almost a year for the delivery of their car.

Some of the problems were internal, while other issues were caused by post-war recession, slow delivery time. Edsel quickly made an impact when he managed to cut down manufacturing costs nearly $1000 per car. He also handpicked the iconic leaping greyhound mascot emblem on the car.

Ford used his connections and financing ability to bring the finest American coachbuilders of the era to build custom bodies for Lincoln. Many famous names such as Brunn, Dietrich, Holbrook, Judd, LeBaron and Locke answered his call. Edsel found a way to lower their prices down by ordering in larger quantities (lots from 10 to 100).

Suddenly the company had unique high quality bodies that draw the wealthy to buy their own car. As a result, model quality and sales improved greatly. Model L had wheelbase of 136 inches, with interior was designed for four passengers.

A 383.8 cu in flathead V8 engine installed was capable of generating 90 horsepower. Engine was upgraded with aluminum pistons and improved cylinder head cooling, which increased the durability and road performance greatly. A classic a three-speed manual gearbox was the standard transmission used in those days. Guaranteed top speed was around 70 mph, pretty fast in comparison to the competition.

Lincoln Motor Company became the first car builder to have custom bodied vehicles available in their official catalogue. Numerous partners were responsible for the styling improvements and regular updates. But this wide option range came with equally high basic prices ranging from $4600 up to $6600. In the 1920s, that amount was the same as the annual salaries of most Americans.

As an interesting fact, the most expensive Lincoln model cost $7200 in 1925. Upscale luxury car market developed over the years, but Lincoln managed to keep the reputation for exquisite prestige vehicles.

Edsel Ford brought his passion and flair to firm engineering foundations that Henry Leland had left. The famous competitors such as Cadillac, Packard and Pierce-Arrow were suddenly studying their every move. Eventually Lincoln decided to finish Model L production run in 1930. Still, new production standards of luxury and excellence were set and the course of American automotive history was permanently influenced.

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