Pack Automotive Museum

Performance - Hot Rods - Custom - Antiques - One Offs Many with valid Race and Movie Build Histories

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LINCOLN MOTOR CAR COMPANY

  One of the most important individuals in automotive history was Henry M. Leland. His presence was seen while involved with the first Oldsmobile, was the designer and founder of Cadillac and, known for his creativity with engines and their designs. By 1921 Leland produced yet another legendary vehicle (this one named after one of our greatest Presidents), Abe Lincoln.
The Lincoln was a solidly built, well engineered, precision machine both big and powerful using for the first time multiple carburetors.  It was also, however, a miserable failure financially. Way too expensive and causing the company to go into receivership almost immediately.
When the news of the liquidation of the Lincoln Motor Car Company reached the ears of Henry Ford he decided to purchase it.  After all, what could be better for Henry Ford than another price point to separate his growing number of car segments he had and he successfully “discouraged” everyone from entering the bidding. Henry Ford was the one and only bidder.
Eventually Leland was ousted completely and the car itself became a Division of the Ford Motor Company.  The bodies were successfully elegant, some including a V/12 engine, and one of the most popular of the day was the Lincoln Zephyr, first produced in 1936 and designed entirely by Ford’s new styling department under the direction of Edsel Ford. 
In the postwar year of 1949 the older body style was replaced with a larger, luxurious one even though it looked like an “overgrown Mercury”.  In 1955, and in an effort to undercut growing Cadillac sales, Lincoln re-introduced a previous name and called their new offering Continental.  There was no question about how this car was to be introduced.  It was targeted for an elitist market, almost snobby, by announcing a tremendously high price, stating that there would be only a few of the models produced and, the coup de gras, naming each of the series with a European nomenclature by calling them Mark numbers.  By 1960 they were already up to Mark V, the longest, heaviest, widest, American made (almost aircraft carrier in size) car to reach the American roads.
Unlike other cars of the period, the Continental had tail fins but they were shorter than all the rest, much smaller amounts of chrome were used, the grill and bumpers we not cluttered with bolts and spacer pieces.  Even “suicide” doors were introduced (doors opening from the center outward rather than both being mounted on a pillar and opening in the same direction).
Although the Lincoln of today is still in production, many of the Lincoln models are “twins’ of current Ford models with their own little custom works added.  Eventually, it is thought by many, most if not all of this division will be discontinued or absorbed back into the Ford Division ending years of non-identity.  The Continental has since been discontinued.

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