This film promotes the aerodynamic Lincoln Zephyr, first launched in 1936. The car was conceived by Edsel Ford and designed by Eugene Turenne Gregorie ,said to be inspired by the Pioneer Zephyr Streamliner train. At the beginning of the film we see other streamline designs in action, including the record-breaking SS Normandie.
Introduced on November 2, 1935, as a 1936 model, the Lincoln-Zephyr was extremely modern with a low raked windscreen, integrated fenders, and streamlined aerodynamic design, which influenced the name “zephyr”, derived from the Greek word zephyrus, or the god of the west wind. It was one of the first successful streamlined cars after the Chrysler Airflow‘s market resistance, and the concept car Pierce Silver Arrow, which never went into production. In fact, the Lincoln-Zephyr actually had a lower coefficient of drag than the Airflow, due in part to the prow-like front grille on the Zephyr, reflecting the popularity of leisure speedboats like Chris-Craft. The Lincoln-Zephyr succeeded in reigniting sales at Lincoln dealerships in the late 1930s, and from 1941 model year, all Lincolns were Zephyr-based and the Lincoln-Zephyr marque was phased out. Annual production for any year model was not large, but accounted for a large portion of the Lincoln brand’s sales. In its first year, 15,000 were sold, accounting for 80% of Lincoln’s total sales.
Production of all American cars was halted by the Government in 1942 as the country entered World War II, with Lincoln producing the last Lincoln Zephyr on February 10. After the war, most makers restarted production of their prewar lines, and Lincoln was no exception. The Zephyr name, however, was no longer used after 1942, with the cars simply called Lincolns.
The idea of a smaller and more modern luxury car to fill the gap in Lincoln’s traditional lineup was revisited in the 1950 Lincoln Lido (The Lido was the same size as other two-door Lincolns, though), 1977 Lincoln Versailles, 1982 Continental, and 2000 Lincoln LS. The Zephyr name was resurrected in 2006 for the car’s spiritual successor, the Zephyr, which was quickly renamed the MKZ for 2007.