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Lincoln models


Lincoln Continental

 from 1939 to 2002

Lincoln Continental road car

1939 : Generation 1

The first Lincoln Continental was developed as Edsel Ford's one-off personal vehicle, though it is believed he planned all along to put the model into production if successful.
In 1938, he commissioned a custom design from the chief stylist, Eugene T.
"Bob" Gregorie, ready for Edsel's March 1939 vacation.
The design, allegedly sketched out in an hour by Gregorie working from the Lincoln-Zephyr blueprints and making changes, was an elegant convertible with a long hood covering the Lincoln V12 and long front ...


Lincoln Continental  56 (1939-1941)

Lincoln Continental  convertible 57 (1939-1941)

Lincoln Continental  66H, 76H , 876 H (1946-1948)

Lincoln Continental  convertible 66H, 76H , 876 H (1946-1948)

1956 : Generation 2

Ford wanted a superior and standalone up-market brand aside from Lincoln, to compete with General Motors' Cadillac and Chrysler's Imperial brands. The new Continental was not intended to be the largest nor the most powerful automobile; rather, the most luxurious and elegant American car available, designed to recapture the spirit of the great classics of the prewar period—with prices to match.
The Mark II's inspiration was the celebrated V12-powered Lincoln Continental of the 1940s, among the most notable cars of that War-interrupted decade. Having considered using an outside design team, Ford turned inside to their own Special Products Division.
In Fall 1952, they designated John Reinhart as chief stylist; Gordon Buehrig as the chief body engineer, assisted by Robert McGuffey Thomas; and Harley Copp as chief engineer. Ford had wanted to use unibody technology, but Copp argued against such a choice for a high-brand/low volume model, which was required to be delivered into sale in a short time scale. What emerged was something quite unlike other American cars of the period.
While other makes experimented with flamboyant chrome-laden styling, the Continental Mark II was almost European in its simplicity of line and understated grace. There was something of the style of the early Ford Thunderbird at the front, with a tasteful egg-crate grille; a long, curving hood; and straight fenders to the headlights.
The fender line went back to behind the doors, at which point the line kicked up a little before curving back down to the taillights. Little chrome was used compared to other vehicles of the time, and the only two-tone paint combinations offered were limited to roofs being contrasted with bodies.
The car had power steering, power brakes, power windows, power seats, power vent windows, and a tachometer.
The vanes on the wheel covers were individually bolted inside the frame of the cover.
It sported a high greenhouse and a wraparound windscreen.
Fueling was accomplished via a swingaway left taillight.
The Continental Mark II had only one option, air conditioning, for $595.
Cars with A/C had different body parts. Most of the car was hand-built to an exacting standard, including the application of multiple coats of paint, hand sanding, double lacquering, and polishing to perfection. For power, the Mark II featured the newly offered 368-cubic-inch (6.03 L) Lincoln V8.
Standard equipment in the Lincoln line, the engines selected for the Mark II were effectively factory blueprinted, assembled from the closest-to-specifications parts available.
Turning out 285 hp (213 kW) in 1956, the engine was tuned to produce 300 hp (224 kW) in 1957.
The engine was mated to a three-speed Lincoln automatic, and both engine and transmission were subject to extensive pre-release testing.
In a 1956 report from Popular Mechanics, the Mark ll got 16.7 mpg at 50 mph. Its perimeter frame was of ladder form with a central spine between the transmission and the crossmember at the kick-up ahead of the rear wheels.
The crossmember under the front seat was of box form, but all the other six, unusually, were made of tubing (with that at the transmission augmented by box members).
A Mark II chassis was used to create the Lincoln Futura concept car. The Mark II sold for around $10,000, the equivalent of a new Rolls-Royce or two Cadillacs (at least until the $13,074 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham out-priced it in 1957).
In spite of this, Ford estimated they still lost over a thousand dollars per car on the 3,000 that were built. About 1,300 were sold in the last quarter of 1955 after the car's October debut at the Paris Motor Show; another 1,300 or so in 1956; and 444 in 1957, some with factory-installed air conditioning.
Initially, Ford accepted losses on the Mark II in return for the prestige with which it endowed its entire product line; but after going public, tolerance for such losses fell. Famous owners included Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, the Shah of Iran, and a cross section of the richest men in America.
The car was featured in the 1956 film High Society, starring Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, and Louis Armstrong. While technically never a Lincoln and manufactured by a separate new division, Continental, the Mark II was sold and maintained through Lincoln dealerships, featured a Lincoln drivetrain, and sported a Lincoln-emulating spare tire hump in the trunk lid.
On its hood and trunk were four-pointed stars, soon adopted by Lincoln as its own emblem. Handbuilt and resultantly expensive at around USD10,000 on launch, the quickly redesigned 1958 Mark III was cheaper at $6,000, mostly because it recycled Lincoln parts and technology.
The result was that the two products were difficult to differentiate within the customer's mind, and resulted in the Continental marque's being reabsorbed by Lincoln.
Confusion of the model as a Lincoln has reigned ever since. Today (2011), approximately half of the original 3,000 cars still exist in varying states of repair.
An active owners' club exists, and thanks to the use of standard Lincoln mechanical components, most parts required to keep them going are available.
Prices range between $8,000 for a running example in poor repair to $70,000 in concours condition. From today's vantage point, it can be argued that the Continental Mark II was successful at being what it was intended to be: an American Rolls-Royce or Bentley, and a re-creation of the grand cars of the thirties.
Unfortunately, it was not profitable to manufacture, even at its five-figure 1950s sales price.

Lincoln Continental  Mark II (1956-1957)

1958 : Generation 3

After the Continental Mark II was discontinued, a new generation of the brand appeared for 1958.
These were the first Continentals produced at the new Wixom plant, and the first made on a unibody platform since the original Continental.
Though this edition is known as the "Mark III," the first models bore the nameplate "Continental III" on the front fender.
While advertising brochures made the case that Continental was still a separate make, the car shared its body with that year's Lincoln.
They differed f ...


Lincoln Continental  Mark III, Mark IV, Mark V (1958-1960)

Lincoln Continental  convertible Mark III, Mark IV, Mark V (1958-1960)

1961 : Generation 4

In 1961, the Continental was completely redesigned by Elwood Engel.
For the first time, the names Lincoln and Continental would be paired together outside the Mark Series; along with replacing the Continental Mark V, the 1961 Continental replaced the Lincoln Capri and Premiere, consolidating Lincoln into a single product line.
Originally intended to be the 1961 Ford Thunderbird, the design was enlarged and slightly altered before being switched to the Lincoln line by Robert McNamara.
One of the most striki ...


Lincoln Continental   53A, 57A, 82 (1961-1964)

Lincoln Continental  convertible  74A, 86 (1961-1964)

Lincoln Continental Bubbletop Limousine  53A (1962-1962)

Lincoln Continental   82 (1965-1965)

Lincoln Continental  convertible  86 (1965-1965)

Lincoln Continental   82 (1966-1967)

Lincoln Continental  convertible  86 (1966-1967)

Lincoln Continental   82 (1968-1969)

1970 : Generation 5

For 1970, the Continental received a ground-up redesign for the first time since 1961.
Available again as a two-door hardtop and a four-door pillared hardtop, the Continental borrowed a number of styling cues from both its predecessor and the Continental Mark III.
As before, the sides were relatively unadorned with blade-like fenders, but the door handles on 4-doors gave away the biggest change: the distinctive "suicide doors" were replaced by conventional front-hinged doors.
Like the Mark III, the Contine ...


Lincoln Continental   82 (1970-1970)

Lincoln Continental   82 (1971-1979)

Lincoln Continental  convertible  81 (1977-1979)

1980 : Generation 6

In order to meet federal fuel economy standards, the Continental underwent downsizing for the 1980 model year (three years after Cadillac).
For the first time, Lincoln shared a common platform (the Ford Panther platform) with full-size Ford and Mercury sedans.
In the redesign, the Continental shed fourteen inches in length, two inches in width, ten inches in wheelbase, and nearly a half-ton in weight; downsizing had brought some models of the Continental to within 200 pounds of the curb weight of the Versa ...


Lincoln Continental  82 (1980-1980)

1982 : Generation 7

After a one-year absence, 1982 saw the Continental name reapplied to a mid-size car based on the long-wheelbase version of the Ford Fox platform.
Intended to compete with the Cadillac Seville (priced in 1984 from $23,433), the new Continental was priced from $21,302.
Unlike the Seville, which switched to a front-wheel drive chassis for 1980, the '82 Continental remained rear-wheel drive.
While the now-unrelated Mark VI was produced in coupe and 4-door styles, the new Continental was strictly a four-door se ...


Lincoln Continental  97, 98 (1982-1983)

Lincoln Continental  97 (1984-1987)

1988 : Generation 8

By the late 1980s, the near-luxury segment in which the Continental competed had changed drastically from a decade before.
In addition to traditional competitors Cadillac and Chrysler, the Continental introduced in 1983 now competed in the same price and size segments as Acura, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Saab, and Volvo.
For the 1988 model year, the Continental was given a clean-sheet, aerodynamic redesign. ...


Lincoln Continental  97 (1988-1994)

1995 : Generation 9

The Continental was substantially updated in the mid-1990s, with more rounded lines.
The 1995 model had a complete overhaul on the interior and exterior.
Power now came from the Modular 32v DOHC 4.6 V8 also used in the Lincoln Mark VIII, but slightly de-tuned for front wheel drive use.
It produced 260 hp (190 kW) and 260 ft·lbf (350 N·m) torque.
0-60 mph was a stout 8 seconds.
Inside, the Continental featured a plush leather interior with many amenities and advanced electronics for the time.
The 1995–1996 ...


Lincoln Continental   (1995-1997)

Lincoln Continental   (1998-2002)

Lincoln Continental Concept car


Lincoln Continental   concept

- 2002

Idea and design © 1999-2013 van Damme Stéphane.

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